The music industry is booming, with independent US producers earning a whopping $6.8 billion online in 2023. Want a piece of that pie? Start with the right gear: the best studio headphones under $50.
Every year, new indie music artists like Apache, MISSIO, Unlike Pluto, and The Glitch Mob make their mark. They all began with basic equipment, including studio headphones with features like detachable cords, adjustable headbands, and closed-back designs. These headphones offer a linear frequency response, quality build, and padded headbands for comfort. Plus, they’re lightweight!
Most headphones in this price range come with a gold-plated adapter. They deliver great sound, rivaling even some expensive models. Their wide frequency response makes them a good choice for various tasks, from studio work to casual listening.
Top-Rated Best Studio Headphones Under 50 in 2023
Whether you’re an indie music producer or just starting a new hobby, the headphones listed here are perfect for studio monitoring, DJing, and even casual listening:
- Shure SRH240: Offers solid performance, comfort, and reliability at an affordable price.
- AKG K240 Studio: These semi-open headphones provide a wide soundstage and excellent instrumental playback.
- AKG K92: Lightweight and perfect for mixing and monitoring. They deliver precise vocals and acoustics.
- Presonus HD7: A value-packed semi-open model with powerful bass and an extensive frequency response range.
- Sound Technica ATH-M20x: Reliable and affordable, a favorite among many.
- AKG K72: Another gem from AKG, known for its sound clarity.
- Monoprice Premium Hi-Fi: Delivers quality sound without breaking the bank.
- OneOdio Pro 10: A versatile choice for both professionals and hobbyists.
- AKG K-52: Offers a balanced sound suitable for various genres.
- Superlux HD-681: Known for its comfort and sound quality.
- Bonus: Behringer HPX2000: A bonus pick that offers great value for its price.
Shure SRH240: Best Studio Headphones Under 50
Description: The Shure SRH240 headphones are a testament to Shure’s commitment to quality audio products. Designed for professionals but priced for everyone, these headphones offer a blend of performance and comfort that’s hard to beat.
- Solid Performance: The SRH240 delivers clear, detailed sound across all frequencies, making it ideal for studio monitoring, casual listening, and everything in between.
- Comfort: With cushioned ear cups and an adjustable headband, these headphones are designed for extended use without causing discomfort.
- Reliability: Shure is a brand known for its durable products, and the SRH240 is no exception. Whether you’re using them in a studio or on the go, they’re built to last.
- Affordable: Despite their professional-grade quality, the SRH240 headphones come at a price point that’s accessible to most.
- Not Ideal for Bass-Heavy Genres: Some users might find the bass response a bit lacking, especially if they’re fans of genres like EDM or hip-hop.
- Isolation: Being designed primarily for studio use, they might not offer the best noise isolation in loud environments.
AKG K240 Studio: A Broad Soundstage in a Semi-Open Design
Description: The AKG K240 Studio headphones are a favorite among sound engineers and music enthusiasts alike. Their semi-open design provides a unique listening experience, offering both spatial sound and isolation.
- Wide Soundstage: Thanks to their semi-open design, the K240 Studios offer an expansive soundstage, making them perfect for identifying minute details in tracks.
- Excellent Instrumental Playback: These headphones shine when it comes to reproducing instrumental sounds, making them ideal for genres like classical, jazz, and acoustic.
- Comfortable for Long Sessions: The over-ear design, combined with cushioned ear cups, ensures comfort even during prolonged listening sessions.
- Durable Build: Made with quality materials, the K240 is both sturdy and lightweight.
- Not the Best for Outdoor Use: The semi-open design means they might leak some sound, potentially disturbing those around you.
- Requires Amplification: To get the best sound quality, you might need to pair these headphones with an amplifier, especially if using them with mobile devices.
AKG K92: Precision in a Lightweight Package
Description: The AKG K92 headphones are a testament to AKG’s dedication to delivering professional sound quality in a sleek and comfortable design. Tailored for mixing and monitoring, these closed-back headphones are perfect for those who demand precision in their sound, especially when it comes to vocals and acoustics.
- Lightweight Design: The K92 is designed for comfort, ensuring that even during long sessions, users won’t feel weighed down.
- Precision Sound: These headphones excel in delivering clear and precise vocals and acoustics, making them perfect for studio work.
- Affordable: Despite their professional sound quality, the K92 comes at a price point that’s friendly to both professionals and hobbyists.
- Isolation: Being a closed-back design, they offer good sound isolation, ensuring external noises don’t interfere with your listening experience.
- Bass Response: Some users might find the bass to be a bit subdued, especially if they prefer a bass-heavy sound.
- Not Ideal for Outdoor Use: Due to their design and size, they might not be the best choice for outdoor or on-the-go use.
Presonus HD7: Best Studio Headphones Under 50
Description: The Presonus HD7 headphones are a blend of affordability and performance. With their semi-open design, they offer a unique sound experience that’s both expansive and isolating. Whether you’re a budding musician or an audiophile, the HD7 provides powerful bass and a wide frequency response to cater to all your listening needs.
- Powerful Bass: The HD7 stands out with its deep and powerful bass response, making it perfect for genres that demand a thumping low end.
- Wide Frequency Response: These headphones capture a broad range of frequencies, ensuring every detail in a track is heard.
- Comfortable Design: With cushioned ear cups and an adjustable headband, the HD7 is designed for extended listening sessions.
- Affordable: Offering professional-grade sound quality at a fraction of the price, the HD7 is perfect for those on a budget.
- Sound Leakage: Due to their semi-open design, they might not be ideal for environments where sound leakage could be an issue.
- Build Quality: While they offer excellent sound, some users might find the build quality a bit lacking compared to more expensive models.
Sound Technica ATH-M20x: A Trusted Choice for Sound Enthusiasts
Description: The Sound Technica ATH-M20x headphones are a testament to Sound Technica’s commitment to delivering quality sound at an accessible price point. Designed with meticulous attention to detail, these headphones are a favorite among many, from budding musicians to seasoned audiophiles. Their robust build and exceptional sound clarity make them a reliable choice for various audio tasks.
- Exceptional Sound Quality: The ATH-M20x delivers clear and detailed sound, making them ideal for studio monitoring and casual listening.
- Comfortable Fit: Designed for extended use, these headphones come with cushioned ear cups and an adjustable headband.
- Durable Design: Built to last, the ATH-M20x boasts a robust construction that can withstand daily wear and tear.
- Affordable: Offering professional-grade sound quality without breaking the bank, these headphones are perfect for those on a budget.
- Not Ideal for Bass Lovers: Some users might find the bass response a bit lacking.
- Bulkiness: Due to their design, they might not be the best choice for on-the-go listening.
AKG K72: Best Studio Headphones Under 50
Description: The AKG K72 headphones are another stellar offering from AKG, a brand synonymous with sound excellence. These headphones are designed for those who prioritize sound clarity above all else. With a sleek design and a focus on delivering uncolored and precise audio, the K72 is perfect for studio work and critical listening.
- Crystal Clear Sound: The K72 is known for its impeccable sound clarity, ensuring every nuance of a track is captured.
- Comfortable Design: With plush ear cups and a self-adjusting headband, these headphones are designed for extended listening sessions.
- Neutral Sound Signature: Ideal for studio monitoring, the K72 offers a flat and uncolored sound profile.
- Affordable: Despite their professional sound quality, the K72 comes at a price point that’s friendly to both professionals and hobbyists.
- Not Bass-Heavy: Those looking for a thumping bass might find the K72 a bit subdued in that department.
- Sound Isolation: Being a semi-open design, they might not offer the best sound isolation in noisy environments.
Monoprice Premium Hi-Fi: Affordable Excellence in Sound
Description: Monoprice Premium Hi-Fi headphones are a testament to the fact that quality sound doesn’t always come with a hefty price tag. These headphones are designed to provide an immersive audio experience, ensuring that every note, beat, and nuance is captured with precision. Their sleek design and comfortable fit make them suitable for extended listening sessions, whether you’re in the studio or just relaxing at home.
- High-Quality Sound: The Monoprice Premium Hi-Fi headphones offer a clear and balanced sound profile, making them ideal for a variety of music genres.
- Comfortable Fit: With cushioned ear cups and an adjustable headband, these headphones prioritize user comfort.
- Durable Construction: Built with quality materials, they are designed to withstand the rigors of daily use.
- Budget-Friendly: Offering a premium sound experience at an affordable price, they are perfect for those who don’t want to compromise on quality.
- Bulkier Design: Some users might find them a bit too large for portable use.
- Sound Isolation: They might not provide complete isolation in very noisy environments.
OneOdio Pro 10: Best Studio Headphones Under 50
Description: The OneOdio Pro 10 headphones are a versatile choice, catering to both professionals in the studio and hobbyists looking for quality sound. With a sleek design and a focus on delivering a balanced audio experience, these headphones are suitable for a range of audio tasks, from DJing to casual listening.
- Versatile Sound Profile: Whether you’re mixing tracks or just enjoying your favorite playlist, the OneOdio Pro 10 delivers a sound that’s both clear and dynamic.
- Comfortable for Extended Use: Designed with user comfort in mind, they come with plush ear cups and a flexible headband.
- Durable and Robust: Made with quality materials, these headphones are built to last.
- Detachable Cables: Comes with the convenience of detachable cables, making them easy to store and reducing wear and tear.
- Weight: Some users might find them a tad heavy for prolonged use.
- Bass Response: While they offer a balanced sound, bass enthusiasts might desire a bit more punch.
AKG K-52: Best Studio Headphones Under 50
Description: The AKG K-52 headphones are a testament to AKG’s commitment to delivering top-notch audio quality. With a design that speaks of simplicity yet elegance, these headphones are built for those who appreciate a balanced sound profile. Whether you’re diving into classical symphonies, grooving to jazz, or exploring the depths of rock, the K-52 ensures every genre shines in its full glory.
- Balanced Sound Signature: The AKG K-52 offers a sound that’s neither too bass-heavy nor too treble-forward, making it perfect for a wide range of music genres.
- Comfortable Design: With cushioned ear cups and an adjustable headband, the K-52 is designed for extended listening sessions.
- Durable Build: Crafted with quality materials, these headphones promise longevity and resilience.
- Affordable: Given the sound quality and brand reputation, the K-52 offers great value for its price.
- Isolation: Being designed more for studio use, they might not provide the best sound isolation in noisy environments.
- Non-detachable Cable: The fixed cable might be a concern for those looking for easy storage and portability.
Superlux HD-681: Best Studio Headphones Under 50
Description: The Superlux HD-681 headphones are a blend of comfort and impeccable sound quality. Designed with the user in mind, these headphones not only ensure that your music sounds great but also that your listening experience is as comfortable as possible. With a semi-open design, they provide a spacious soundstage, making them ideal for both casual listening and professional monitoring.
- Impressive Soundstage: Thanks to their semi-open design, the HD-681 headphones offer a wide and immersive soundstage.
- Comfort First: With plush ear pads and a self-adjusting headband, these headphones prioritize user comfort, even during long listening sessions.
- Budget-Friendly: Offering premium features at an affordable price, the HD-681 is a steal for both professionals and hobbyists.
- Versatile: Suitable for both studio monitoring and everyday use.
- Bass Response: While the sound is balanced, some users might desire a deeper bass response.
- Size: The headphones are on the larger side, which might not be ideal for on-the-go use.
In the realm of audio, finding the right headphones can be a daunting task given the plethora of options available. From the balanced sound of the AKG K-52 to the comfort-centric design of the Superlux HD-681, each headphone brings its unique strengths to the table. Whether you’re a professional sound engineer, an avid music lover, or someone just stepping into the world of high-quality audio, there’s a pair out there tailored for your needs. It’s essential to consider factors like sound profile, comfort, build quality, and, of course, budget. But with careful consideration and research, you’re sure to find the perfect match that not only meets but exceeds your expectations. Happy listening!