Best Studio Headphones Under $200 in 2022 (Buying Guide)

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Studio headphones address anyone who is trying to fix impurities from the source of the audio. These headphones’ main target is giving you the opportunity to hear every rhythm and every beat correctly, so you can hear the music with pure joy and without signs of distortion.

As you know, the studio headphones cover primarily professional work which signs up to be the best for audio recording and mixing music. However, as I said, no limitation, the audiophile listeners will also appreciate it. One more thing, studio headphones in general appear to be bulky in design and cannot be considered very portable.

Thankfully, the price tags aren’t as expensive as they used to be before. So, in that case, I brought you budget-friendly studio headphones from very reliable brands. You’re welcome.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
HIFIMAN HE400SE
HIFIMAN HE400SE
10
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Best Ergonomic
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X
9
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Best For Mixing
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
8.5
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Best Noise Isolation
SENNHEISER HD 569
SENNHEISER HD 569
8.8
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Best Budget
M-Audio HDH40
M-Audio HDH40
8.6
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The Top 5 Best Studio Headphones Under $200

1. HIFIMAN HE400SE- Best Overall

At a glance, you can notice how gorgeous and professional the HE400SE looks and feels. The silver and the black leather follow the ear cups and headband thickly. It gives you maximum comfort, since you will use it for many hours straight, the lightweight and comfort zone is very important. 

HIFIMAN HE400SE uses a planar design. Planar magnetic wired headphones have many layers that cover the whole diaphragm and don’t allow distortion to take the lead.  

iFiMAN’s “Stealth” magnets result in neutral sound and a balanced frequency range. The bass production and vocals are detailed and very natural, just as you would expect, literally the instruments together with vocals draw a perfect line of balance.

The planar design adds a little bit more characteristics, for instance, the fast momentary variation in current, voltage, and frequency. The treble in high notes is so nice, but not warm. The high sensitivity will be a good couple for low-voltage amplifiers. The richness of sounds with just a small amp will impress you to a high level, you don’t need an extra huge or powerful amplifier to add. It’s nice, isn’t it?

Dual side connectors perform with a 3.5mm cable and 6.35mm adapter for more device compatibility. 

Accurate sound, padded ear pads and large ear cups make these some of the best options.

Technical Specs: 

  • Headphone Style: Open-Back
  • Dimensions: 12.05 x 10.51 x 7.09 inches
  • Weight: 13.8 ounces
  • Driver Size: 100mm
  • Maximum SPL: 91dB
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 25 Ohms
  • Connectivity: Wired

Why Should You Buy It?
Neutral sound and a balanced frequency range
Affordable Price
High Sensitivity (No Need for Powerful Amp)
Clear Sounds and Instruments
Passive Noise Isolation
Comfortable Ear Cups

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2. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X- Best Ergonomic

Let’s commend Audio-Technica for giving design some care. The ATH-M50X besides black comes in gun metal, white, and metallic orange hues.

High-end comfort is provided. You can take a pair of foldable, incredibly soft 90° swiveling earcups anywhere you like. Due to the high-quality materials used during construction, the headband and professional-level ear pads have a secure fit and can endure numerous hard rapid drops.

What i like the most about these headphones, apart from their great frequency response, balanced sound and comfortable ear cups, is the detachable cable. The detachable cable lets you carry these headphones with you wherever you go, all that without having to worry about breaking the cable.

Use the ATH-M50X for personal listening, DJing, mixing, tracking, or any other purpose. You won’t miss a beat or a rhythm because it completely isolates the sounds. Passive isolation, used by Audio Technica, works well in this situation.

Impressive sound quality may be found in the ATH-M50X. The vocals are on the right side and blend perfectly with instruments, especially acoustic guitar. The low ends are presentable and bass quality is on point, but at quiet tones, it isn’t very noticeable. Because the ATH-M50X targets the monitoring purpose or let’s say professional use, the trebles are excessively emphasized. 

Technical Specs: 

  • Headphone Style: Closed-back
  • Dimensions: 11.4 x 10 x 4.1 inches
  • Weight: 10.1 ounces
  • Driver Size: 45mm
  • Maximum SPL: 98 dB
  • Frequency response:
  • Impedance: 38 ohms
  • Connectivity: Wired

Why Should You Buy It?
90° Rotatable and Foldable Ear Cups in Both Directions
Affordable Price
Extremely Comfortable
Awesome for Mixing, Tracking, DJing, Personal Listening
Spacious and Clear Sounds
Passive Noise Isolation

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3. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO – Best For Mixing

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is a hard nut to crack even though many years of release date have passed. The unbeatable headphones come in black and gray colors and are ranked as a best seller like an absolute classic studio headphone pair.

The comfort is provided in velour ear pads and an adjustable leather headband. The great built materials will make the headphones last for longer despite the price tag.

Even though it is ideal for mixing, DT 770 Pro is suitable for podcasting, broadcasting, music production, engineers, and audiophile freaks. Thanks to the sound quality that fits everyone’s needs.

Speaking of sound quality, the instruments and vocals play at a certain frequency range with nice clarity. The professional audio quality is the best you can find for critical listening and mixing especially at this price range. No matter what music genre you play, the neural sound profile will take the lead, but not completely flat. 

Surprisingly, it has nice noise isolation if you consider the closed-back design, the result is impressive. The bass is gentle and gives a satisfying boost and at high notes, there is a slight hissing sound due to the extremely high impedance. Just like i said in my beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro review, these headphones can compare to some high end studio monitors. Definitely a great sounding headset.

Technical Specs: 

  • Headphone Style: Closed-back
  • Dimensions: 7 x 4 x 8.5 inches
  • Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Driver Size: 45mm
  • Maximum SPL:96 dB
  • Frequency response: 5Hz – 35kHz
  • Impedance: 250 Ohms
  • Connectivity: Wired

Why Should You Buy It?
Very spacious, transparent, detailed Sound
Master Degree for Mixing, and DJing
Comfortable Ear Cups
Stable fit and Durable
Clear Vocals and Instruments

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4. SENNHEISER HD 569- Best Noise Isolation

It wouldn’t be fair if Sennheiser HD 569 wouldn’t be on the list. The super-lightweight design is accompanied by soft and replaceable ear pads for enhanced comfortable use hours. The premium components end up with high efficiency, high dynamics, and low sound coloring.

The around-ear closed-back body construction manages to drop the ambient noises and improves the small details throughout listening times. You can listen to or produce the music in noisy ambient without getting neither distracted nor bothered by people around.  

The sound pressure level is high (115dB) and low impedance reaches that impressive point where headphones respond aggressively at higher frequencies. Well, again, it depends on the music genre and what kind of amp you will use. The trebles on the other side are so sharp and precise, that the stereo sounds sound almost like in a real life.

The bass production at low frequencies isn’t that noticeable, but the best performance is at mid-range frequencies. The vocals and instruments can be heard perfectly without any hissing sound.  

Technical Specs: 

  • Headphone Style: Closed-Back
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 3.95 x 10.25 inches
  • Weight: 1.65 pounds
  • Driver Size: 38mm
  • Maximum SPL: 115 dB
  • Frequency response:10 – 28,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 23 ohms
  • Connectivity: Wired

Why Should You Buy It?
Clear Vocals and Instruments
Great for Soundstage
Highly sensitive (High SPL)
Great Noise Isolation
Accurate Bass Production

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5. M-Audio HDH40- Best Budget

Here comes the gold quality at a dirt-cheap price headphone, the M-Audio HDH40 mixing headphones. This is the budget price within the budget price list. The rugged design and premium elements like faux leather cushions are thought to make your work hours more comfortable. Plus, the adjustable headband and stainless steel arms complete the comfort part. Moving into the sound quality.

The frequency range is wide enough to compose a masterpiece for creating, mixing, and monitoring your work. It manages to maintain a wide stage in accuracy while you are busy mixing the sounds and instruments. 

I highly suggest you record in a really quiet environment because even a single footstep can be heard in the recording. If you sing and play an instrument at the same time, this wouldn’t be an issue. However, you may occur some latency while recording, use the USB to get over this problem too.

M-Audio HDH40 picks up so much detail and clarity, so the overall sound quality won’t disappoint you. Definitely some of the best studio headphones under $200 for those that are on a budget.

Technical Specs: 

  • Headphone Style: Closed Back
  • Dimensions: 3.6 x 6 x 7.92 inches
  • Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Driver Size: 40mm
  • Maximum SPL: 95dB
  • Frequency response: 15-22kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms
  • Connectivity: Wired

Why Should You Buy It?
Instruments and Bass are Impessive
Great Sound Quality
Dirt-cheap Price for Offered Value
Performs Best at Quieter Environment

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FAQ’s

Are Studio Headphones Necessary?

Studio headphones aren’t just necessary, headphones seem to be a piece of must-have equipment if you are a producer and want to create, mix, or monitor your own work.

Yes, it’s true that studio headphones aren’t for everyone, especially if you are a casual listener and don’t care about the details and precision of the sounds, you just simply want to enjoy your music in peace.

What’s the Difference Between the Studio and Regular Headphones?

First and foremost, the Studio headphones refer to the audience who use headphones for professional matters while recording, mixing, and mastering their work. The precision and sound clarity are at that point where you can notice small background sounds if the environment isn’t quiet enough. 

On the other hand, regular headphones are used by normal people who cannot live their lives without listening to music, or use them for work-related manners such as meetings, conferences, and sports. 

Read about this topic more in our article Studio Headphones Vs Normal Headphones .

Can Studio Headphones be Used in Everyday Life?

Yes, of course, studio headphones can be used for casual music listening. They produce high-quality sounds as well punchy bass and vocal clarity. However, their design is usually taking up much space, plus, they are large and unwieldy. Portability can be difficult, but there are foldable constructions and a carrying case to make the headphones easier to port. 

Things You Should Consider When Buying Studio Headphones

1. Open-back vs Closed-back Headphones

The starting point when you get a pair of studio headphones is the design. You might wonder what design has to do with the topic. Don’t say that because open-back and closed-back designs have an impact on sound (that differs from the user’s perspective).

Open-back headphones ensure a little bit less sound isolation letting the audio flow outside the headphones. This process is called sound leakage and most people might be distracted or annoyed by it. So if you are one of them, you may want to avoid the open-back design.

Sound leaking isn’t a bad thing after all because the sounds are more natural and don’t overemphasize low frequencies. Besides Open-back headphones are the best for mixing and mastering your work. 

Closed-Back headphones are vice versa, because of the design, they do not leak the sound and provide extreme precision which makes them perfect for recording times.

There is another type of headphone called semi-open. This is a mixture of closed-back and open-back headphones.

2. Comfort & Durability 

If the headphones can be broken in a single drop, why would anyone pay hundreds of dollars for it? be sure that the built material is premium like leather, velour, and metal grille. Don’t avoid the comfort because you will be keeping the headphones on your ears for a long time and if it’s not comfy, not only your ears will hurt, but also can be distracting.

3. Look at Key Specifications

  1. Impedance
  2. Frequency Response
  3. Sensitivity
  4. Transducer Size

A Brief Summary 

Studio headphones are specifically designed for professional use, to be more precise for composing, creating, mixing, and monitoring. There are other features to consider while buying a pair such as design (open-back, closed-back, and semi-open design), comfort and durability, and most importantly the technical specification.

The technical specification is where you have to put the most effort, and look for the number because those numbers determine the overall sound quality of the headphones. Look for well-known and reliable brands, don’t go for cheap products. To be honest, if you don’t invest in yourself, don’t expect people to like your work because professionalism is what we talk about, not mediocre performance.  

Further Reading

Just in case the list above didn’t meet your expectations, here are some other headphones like studio monitors for voice-over. To complete your studio equipment you might want a studio monitor. I have studio monitors for video editing and the budget price of studio monitors that are under $500 combined with monitor stands. Lastly, you can follow the music between Beats Studio3 or Solo Pro, and for retro types, I have Koss Porta Pro and KPH30i. 

Happy hunting.

Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!

 
 
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