For under $100, there are some great pairs of studio headphones that even many professional musicians have in their recording setups ready to go an any moments notice. This part of our recording studio isn’t something we prefer to cut corners in — the better our headphones, the more accurate our mixes can be, and overall the better quality our music will become.
If you take a little step up in the game, our studio headphones under $200 showed us get into the higher-end category. However, both of these price-points in our opinion are perfect for those not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on studio headphones yet still need that classic flexibility these bring to the game — accuracy, comfort, and longevity. You can go the closed-back headphones route for recording and producing, or perhaps the open-back headphones game if you’re mixing and mastering (those are typically a bit more expensive). We tried to find a mixture of personalities in our list below.
The Best Studio Headphones for Under $100
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
Here’s one of our favorite closed-back studio headphones we currently use ourselves. The HD 280 Pro’s closed, around-the-ear design meets and helps the demands of any environment, from a home studio to even some pro studios out there. The ergonomic fit makes it easy to put in an extended studio or live performance session as the HD 280 Pro’s is comfortable to wear for hours on end, and that closed-back fit disallows noise from leaking into your mic while you record.
With an average rating of nearly perfect 10’s all around the board considering the price-point, this Sennheiser offering is popular among all of us musicians. In regarding some spec numbers, the product has a sound pressure level of 113 dB, a frequency response of 8-25,000 Hz, and a nominal impedance of 64 ohms. It has a high rate of ambient noise attenuation and offers accurate sound reproduction all across the board. The collapsible design, rotating earcups, and durable cable make the HD 280 Pro easy to transport without worrying about damage. If you are on a quest to find the best studio headphones under $100, you should undoubtedly consider these bad boys.
Here’s another pair we’ve used many, many times (for about 10 years straight to be honest). Sony’s MDR-7506’s reputation as one of the best studio headphones for $100 or less is strong with this one. Favored by both studio engineers and live performers, the MDR-7506’s closed-ear design offers low impedance, substantially reducing background noise without compromising volume.
In our experience, you rarely feel that pain from long hours in the studio as they’re quite comfortable. The headphones are also equipped with a neodymium magnet that is light yet long-lasting. Impendence levels go up to 63 ohms, with a frequency response of 10-20 kHz. At 8.1 oz and with a cord length of 9.8 ft, the Sony MDR-7506 is guaranteed to satisfy the needs of music enthusiasts and performers alike as it has now more than passed the test of time.
Here’s another one of our favorite picks as the best studio headphones under $100, and this time AKG’s K245 gives us some beautiful quality both on the inside and outside. Many rave about this pair’s deliverance of good performance and great value for money, and these give us an entryway into the open-back models that fall under $100. Great for mixing, even producing (many prefer production with these to help with a clearer sound and no frequency buildup).
The AKG’s rated impedance is 32 ohms, and it has an audio frequency bandwidth of 15-25,000 Hz. The headphones are ideal for studio mixing, listening to music, or even use with mobile devices for leisure listening. They was designed with both accuracy and durability in mind, and its self-adjusting headband, three-axis hinge, and floating ear cups make it comfortable for any user (work well with DJ’,s too). Lightweight and easy to transport, the AKG K245 is a worthy purchase.
These closed-back headphones bring us yet another choice for studio headphones under $100 in case the past few haven’t caught your eye. A great build here with their folding design, detachable cable, and carrying case for a good package. The specifications here offer impedance at 44 ohms and a frequency response of 10 Hz to 22 kHz.
The SHR440 has received several great reviews from too many musicians too count; doesn’t matter what site you check. There is no need to worry about a cable coming loose during a recording session, as the Shure SRH440 has a secure bayonet clip fitting to secure it to the headphones and can withstand movement by the wearer. Another solid pick here that may even confuse you more since the past 4 have just been knocking it out of the park.
Sennheiser HD 200 PRO
A user looking for portable studio-quality sound at a competitive price, the Sennheiser HD 200 Pro gives us yet another model from their HD Pro headphone series (we could write many articles on those alone, trust us). These over-ear, closed-back headphones reduce external noise, allowing for outstanding sound quality or secrecy while you’re recording vocals and instruments.
Sennheiser’s neodymium magnets allow for a detailed sound of great quality. With an impedance of 32 ohms, a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, and a lightweight design, the HD 200 Pro is ideal for any user’s needs and covers all the bases for what ‘best studio headphones’ demand. The soft ear cushions offer maximum comfort to the user, and since it weighs a mere 0.4 lbs., it is unlikely that one would find them heavy or cumbersome. The single-sided cable is 6.5’, allowing for plenty of movement during use.
Vic Firth SIH2
These stereo isolation headphones offer 25 dB of passive noise isolation and come with an integrated straight cable that is 5.5 ft. long. Fitting snugly around the ear, these headphones protect your ears during a performance and are great performers in and out of the studio.
While suitable for any musician, the SIH2 is designed for drummers. The comfortable headband means the user can wear them for several hours at a time without discomfort. With a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, the headphones offer good performance at a reasonable price. With ratings averaging at 4.5 out of 5 stars, many users have found the Vic Firth SIH2 headphones the ideal purchase. The last pick here as the best studio headphones under $100 but most definitely not the least.