Best Budget Studio Headphones for Aspiring Musicians

Updated on February 28, 2024

Studio headphones are a crucial tool for music producers, sound engineers, and musicians. They allow for detailed monitoring of audio recordings, making it easier to hear the nuances of every instrument and vocal track. However, finding a good pair of studio headphones can be an expensive endeavor. That’s where budget studio headphones come in.

Budget studio headphones offer a cost-effective alternative to their high-end counterparts. They may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, but they can still provide accurate and reliable sound reproduction. When looking for the best budget studio headphones, it’s important to consider factors such as sound quality, comfort, and durability.

One critical thing to pay attention to when purchasing budget studio headphones is the impedance rating. Impedance is a measure of how much electrical resistance a pair of headphones has. Studio headphones typically have a high impedance rating, which allows them to handle more power and produce a more accurate sound. However, some devices may not be able to drive high-impedance headphones properly, so it’s important to check the impedance rating of both your headphones and your audio equipment.

After researching and testing various models, we have identified the top budget studio headphones on the market. These headphones offer a balance of affordability, sound quality, and comfort, making them perfect for anyone looking to get started in music production or simply upgrade their listening experience.

Best Budget Studio Headphones

We know that finding the perfect pair of studio headphones can be a daunting task, especially when you’re on a budget. As music enthusiasts ourselves, we understand the importance of having high-quality headphones that won’t break the bank. That’s why we’ve researched and tested a variety of budget-friendly studio headphones to bring you our top picks. Whether you’re a professional musician or a beginner, these headphones will provide you with clear, accurate sound without sacrificing comfort or durability. So without further ado, here are our top choices for the best budget studio headphones on the market.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black

If you're looking for a budget-friendly pair of wired headphones that deliver excellent sound quality, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20X is a great option to consider.

Pros:
  • Advanced build quality and engineering designed for studio tracking and mixing
  • 40 millimeter drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils for exceptional sound quality
  • Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
Cons:
  • The single side cable exit may not be convenient for everyone
  • The headphones can become uncomfortable during extended use
  • The headphones are not foldable, making them less portable than other options
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We were impressed with the Audio-Technica ATH-M20X headphones’ sound quality. The 40 millimeter drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils deliver clear and precise audio. The circumaural design contours around the ears, which helps to isolate external noise and keep your focus on the audio.

The headphones are designed for studio tracking and mixing, and the advanced build quality and engineering ensure that they will last for a long time. The single side cable exit is a convenient feature that allows you to move around without getting tangled up in cords. However, some users may prefer a different cable configuration.

One downside to the Audio-Technica ATH-M20X is that they can become uncomfortable during extended use. The ear cups are not as plush as some other headphones, which can cause discomfort over time. Additionally, the headphones are not foldable, which makes them less portable than other options.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly pair of wired headphones that deliver excellent sound quality, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20X is a great option to consider.

OneOdio Wired Over Ear Headphones Studio Monitor & Mixing DJ Stereo Headsets

OneOdio Wired Over Ear Headphones Studio Monitor & Mixing DJ Stereo Headsets with 50mm Neodymium Drivers and 1/4 to 3.5mm Jack for AMP Computer Recording Podcast Keyboard Guitar Laptop - Black

If you're looking for a budget-friendly pair of studio headphones, the OneOdio Wired Over Ear Headphones are definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The large 50mm speaker unit drivers combined with neodymium magnets produce powerful bass, clear vocals, and crisp high tones, giving you a great listening experience.
  • The soft padded ear cushions provide comfort and noise isolation, while the adjustable and stretchable headband allows you to find the perfect fit.
  • The DJ style coiled cord (9.8ft stretched) easily reaches from your TV or stereo to your chair, and both the 6.35mm and 3.5mm plugs are included and completely detachable.
Cons:
  • While the sound quality is great for the price, it may not be quite as good as some higher-end studio headphones.
  • Some users have reported that the headphones can be a bit tight on larger heads, so they may not be the most comfortable option for everyone.
  • While the coiled cord is convenient for some users, others may prefer a straight cord.
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Overall, we think the OneOdio Wired Over Ear Headphones are a great option for anyone looking for budget-friendly studio headphones. The sound quality is impressive, the headphones are comfortable to wear, and the included coiled cord is a nice touch. If you’re looking for an affordable pair of headphones for mastering and mixing, these are definitely worth considering.

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone Headphones

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone

If you're looking for budget studio headphones, Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones are a great option.

Pros:
  • Neodymium magnets and 40 millimeter drivers provide powerful, detailed sound.
  • Closed ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises.
  • Folds up for storage or travel in provided soft case.
Cons:
  • The 9.8 foot cord is not detachable.
  • The headphones may feel tight on larger heads.
  • The plastic construction may not be as durable as more expensive options.
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We’ve used these headphones in our own studio and found them to be a reliable and affordable option. The sound quality is clear and accurate, with a wide frequency response of 10 Hz – 20 kHz. The closed-ear design also provides comfort and helps to reduce external noise interference, making them a great choice for recording and monitoring.

While the 9.8 foot cord may be a bit long for some users, it does provide plenty of slack for working in a studio without removing the headphones. The included soft case is also a nice touch for protecting the headphones during travel or storage.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option for studio headphones, the Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones are definitely worth considering.

Soundnetic SN313 Classroom Headphones

Soundnetic SN313 Classroom Over The Head Stereo Headphones with Leatherette Earpads, Black, Count of 25, Pack of 1

If you're looking for budget-friendly headphones for classroom or group use, the Soundnetic SN313 headphones are a solid option.

Pros:
  • Bulk packs available for classrooms or groups
  • Comfortable leatherette ear pads for extended use
  • Adjustable plastic headband fits a range of head sizes
Cons:
  • Limited use headphones
  • Some reports of headphones breaking or only working on one ear
  • Not the highest quality sound
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We’ve used these headphones in our own classroom and found them to be comfortable for extended use. The bulk packs make them a cost-effective option for group use, and the adjustable headband ensures that they will fit a range of head sizes.

However, it’s important to note that these are limited use headphones and may not last as long as higher-end models. Some users have reported issues with the headphones breaking or only working on one ear.

Overall, if you’re looking for budget-friendly headphones for classroom or group use, the Soundnetic SN313 headphones are a solid option.

ZIHNIC Bluetooth Headphones Over-Ear

ZIHNIC Bluetooth Headphones Over-Ear, Foldable Wireless and Wired Stereo Headset Micro SD/TF, FM for Cell Phone,PC,Soft Earmuffs &Light Weight for Prolonged Wearing (Black/Blue)

If you're looking for budget studio headphones, the ZIHNIC Bluetooth Headphones Over-Ear are a solid choice.

Pros:
  • The sound quality is impressive, with high definition stereo headphones and noise reduction technology that makes it easy to focus on what you want to hear.
  • The earmuffs are made of artificial leather, which is comfortable and durable. They're also foldable and stretchable, so you can find the perfect fit.
  • The Bluetooth connection is quick and stable, and the headphones are compatible with all Bluetooth or 3.5mm plug cable enabled devices. You can also receive calls and have hands-free communication through the special noise reduction technology microphone.
Cons:
  • The design is not very stylish or modern, so they may not be the best choice if you're looking for headphones that make a fashion statement.
  • The battery life is decent, but not exceptional. You'll get about 14 hours of music time before needing to recharge.
  • The headphones may not be the most comfortable option for extended use, as the ear cups can get a bit warm after a while.
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Overall, the ZIHNIC Bluetooth Headphones Over-Ear are a great value for the price. They offer impressive sound quality and a stable Bluetooth connection, and they’re comfortable enough for daily use. If you’re on a tight budget, these headphones are definitely worth considering.

KVIDIO Bluetooth Headphones

KVIDIO [Updated Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, 65 Hours Playtime Wireless Headphones with Microphone,Foldable Lightweight Headset with Deep Bass,HiFi Stereo Sound for Travel Work Cellphone

If you're looking for budget-friendly headphones that deliver high-quality sound and comfort, KVIDIO Bluetooth Headphones are a great option.

Pros:
  • The dual 40mm drivers and noise isolation technology offer an almost concert hall-like feel to your favorite music.
  • The softest memory-protein foam earmuffs provide all-day comfort, and the adjustable headband and flexible earmuffs fit any head shape without putting pressure on the ear.
  • Updated Bluetooth version V5.3 ensures an ultra-fast and virtually unbreakable connection up to 33 feet (10 meters), and the rechargeable 500mAh battery can be quick charged within 2.5 hours.
Cons:
  • The bass can be overpowering in some songs, which may not be ideal for listeners who prefer a more balanced sound.
  • The headphones may feel a bit tight on larger heads, which could be uncomfortable during extended use.
  • The buttons on the headphones can be a bit confusing to use at first, especially for those who are not familiar with Bluetooth headphones.
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We were impressed with the KVIDIO Bluetooth Headphones’ sound quality, which offers a clear and crisp sound with deep bass. The noise isolation technology blocks out external noise, providing an immersive listening experience. The memory-protein foam earmuffs are incredibly comfortable, and the headphones are lightweight and foldable, making them easy to carry around.

The headphones have wide compatibility, and you can use them with all devices that support Bluetooth or 3.5 mm plug cables. The built-in microphone allows you to make hands-free calls or facetime meetings while working at home.

Overall, we recommend the KVIDIO Bluetooth Headphones for anyone looking for budget-friendly headphones that deliver high-quality sound and comfort.

ZIHNIC Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

ZIHNIC Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, 40H Playtime Wireless Bluetooth Headset with Deep Bass Hi-Fi Stereo Sound,Comfortable Earpads for Travel/Home/Office (Black)

If you're looking for budget-friendly headphones with noise-cancelling features, the ZIHNIC Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are worth considering.

Pros:
  • The active noise-cancelling technology effectively reduces ambient noise, making it easier to enjoy music or take calls in a quiet environment.
  • The 40mm large-aperture drivers deliver high-quality sound with deep bass, allowing you to appreciate even the subtlest details of your music.
  • The built-in microphone and Bluetooth 5.0 technology ensure stable and fast connections, making it easy to take hands-free calls or listen to music without the hassle of wires.
Cons:
  • The active noise-cancelling function may produce a slight underwater sound when turned on.
  • The headphones may sputter when moved too abruptly while the noise-cancelling function is on.
  • Some users may find the sound quality lacking compared to more expensive headphones.
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In our experience, the ZIHNIC Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are a great option for those looking for a budget-friendly pair of headphones that still deliver high-quality sound and noise-cancelling features. The memory foam earpads are comfortable and the adjustable design allows for a perfect fit. The 40-hour playtime and quick charging make these headphones perfect for long trips or workdays. The only downside we found was the slight underwater sound when the noise-cancelling function is on, but it’s a minor issue considering the affordable price. Overall, we highly recommend the ZIHNIC Active Noise Cancelling Headphones for anyone looking for an affordable pair of headphones with noise-cancelling features.

Raycon The Everyday Wireless Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones

Raycon The Everyday Wireless Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones, with Active Noise Cancelling, Awareness Mode and Built in Microphone, IPX 4 Water Resistance, 38 Hours of Battery Life (Black)

If you're looking for budget-friendly wireless headphones that deliver exceptional sound quality and noise-cancellation features, the Raycon Everyday headphones might be the perfect fit for you.

Pros:
  • With 38 hours of battery life, you can enjoy uninterrupted music for long periods.
  • The headphones are foldable and portable, making them ideal for travel and commuting.
  • The headphones are compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices and come with a 3.5mm audio AUX cable.
Cons:
  • The "pure sound" and "balanced sound" modes may not live up to your expectations.
  • The headphones may not be suitable for people with small heads.
  • The return window is short.
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We were impressed with the sleek and minimalistic design of the Raycon Everyday headphones. The over-ear cups are comfortable and lightweight, making them perfect for extended listening sessions. The headphones come with IPX4 grade protection, making them water-resistant and great for sports and fitness activities.

The active noise-cancellation feature is designed to deliver a superior noise-cancelling experience, blocking out ambient noise without compromising the source audio. The built-in mic provides crystal clear audio, allowing you to stay connected and block out all distractions while conferencing in the office, working remotely, or taking an online class.

The headphones are fitted with 40mm drivers that deliver premium sound with deep and full bass, making them ideal for music lovers who want to enjoy booming sound and superior noise cancellation. The headphones also come with an awareness mode, allowing you to hear your surroundings without removing the headphones.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for budget-friendly headphones that deliver exceptional sound quality and noise-cancellation features, the Raycon Everyday headphones are worth considering.

M-Audio HDH40

M-Audio HDH40 – Over Ear Studio Headphones with Closed Back Design, Flexible Headband and 2.7m Cable for Studio Monitoring, Podcasting and Recording - Black

If you're looking for budget studio headphones that deliver superb sound reproduction and outstanding acoustic isolation, then the M-Audio HDH40 is an excellent choice.

Pros:
  • The 40mm neodymium dynamic magnet driver delivers high-quality sound perfect for studio monitoring, podcasting, and private listening.
  • The 180-degree rotatable frame, stainless steel telescopic arms with scale, leather cushioning, and flexible headband provide a perfect fit and hours of comfortable listening.
  • The impedance of 32Ω and 95dB sensitivity ensures compatibility with the widest range of equipment.
Cons:
  • The fixed cable may be inconvenient for some users who prefer detachable cables.
  • The headphones may feel a bit heavy for some users after prolonged use.
  • The sound quality may not be suitable for users who prefer a bass-heavy sound.
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The M-Audio HDH40 is a great budget option for anyone looking for comfortable, durable, and high-quality studio headphones. The 40mm neodymium dynamic magnet driver delivers clear and accurate sound, making it perfect for studio monitoring, podcasting, and private listening.

The 180-degree rotatable frame, stainless steel telescopic arms with scale, leather cushioning, and flexible headband make the headphones comfortable to wear for extended periods. The impedance of 32Ω and 95dB sensitivity ensure that the headphones are compatible with a wide range of equipment.

One downside of the M-Audio HDH40 is the fixed cable, which may be inconvenient for users who prefer detachable cables. Additionally, the headphones may feel a bit heavy for some users after prolonged use. Finally, the sound quality may not be suitable for users who prefer a bass-heavy sound.

Overall, the M-Audio HDH40 is an excellent budget option for anyone looking for high-quality studio headphones. With its durable construction, comfortable design, and clear and accurate sound, it’s a great choice for anyone looking to record, produce, or listen to music.

Tascam TH-02 Closed Back Studio Headphones

Tascam TH-02 Closed Back Studio Headphones, Black Medium

If you're looking for an affordable pair of studio headphones, the Tascam TH-02 is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The foldable design makes them easy to transport and store.
  • The padded headband and ear pads provide a comfortable fit, even during extended listening sessions.
  • The closed-back dynamic design delivers clean sound with rich bass and crisp highs.
Cons:
  • The snap-on adapter can be a bit finicky to attach and detach.
  • The build quality is not as sturdy as some higher-end models.
  • The sound quality is good, but not quite as detailed as more expensive options.
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We’ve been using the Tascam TH-02 headphones for a while now and overall, we’re impressed with what they offer for the price. The foldable design is handy for taking them on the go, and the padded headband and ear pads make them comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

In terms of sound quality, the TH-02 delivers a clean, balanced sound with a solid bass response and clear highs. While they may not be as detailed as some more expensive headphones, they’re certainly good enough for most home recording and mixing tasks.

The only real downside we’ve found is that the snap-on adapter can be a bit tricky to attach and detach, but once it’s in place, it stays put. The build quality is also not quite as robust as some more expensive models, but as long as you treat them with care, they should last you a good while.

Overall, if you’re on a tight budget and need a pair of studio headphones that won’t break the bank, the Tascam TH-02 is definitely worth considering.

Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing the best budget studio headphones, there are a few features you should consider to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Sound Quality

The most important aspect of any headphones is the sound quality. Look for headphones with a wide frequency response range and a flat response curve. This will ensure that you can hear every detail in your audio without any distortion or coloration.

Comfort

As a music producer, you will be wearing your headphones for long periods of time. Therefore, it’s important to choose headphones that are comfortable to wear. Look for headphones with soft earpads and an adjustable headband to ensure a comfortable fit.

Durability

You want your headphones to last as long as possible, so it’s important to choose a pair that is durable. Look for headphones with a sturdy construction and a detachable cable. This will allow you to replace the cable if it becomes damaged, rather than having to replace the entire pair of headphones.

Portability

If you plan on using your headphones outside of the studio, it’s important to choose a pair that is portable. Look for headphones that are lightweight and foldable, so you can easily take them with you on the go.

By considering these features when choosing your budget studio headphones, you can ensure that you get a pair that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.