The Best Studio Headphones Under 100 USD for Sound Engineers

Eric Chan

"Music is the soundtrack of your life." It fuels the endorphin, and adrenal rushes that make our hearts souls soar and our hearts skip a beat. Conversely, if you want to start a studio, you need headphones for recording and sound design dutiesThe good thing is that these headphones' price has gone down gradually over the last few years, so you can now buy some of the best studio headphones under 100 USD price range.

When looking for the best studio headphones, you need to understand the different specifications of various models. Think about the material quality and sound quality as well, to mention a few.

Since being on a budget may mean settling with an average product, it is essential to do in-depth research to prevent this from happening. Though, don't worry. These reviews will provide an overall vision of the best studio headphones under 100 USD in the market.

1. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Studio Monitor Headphone

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Studio Monitor Headphone, Black,...
  • Cutting edge engineering and robust construction
  • 40 millimeter drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils
  • Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud...
  • 90 degrees swiveling earcups for easy, 1 ear monitoring
  • Professional-grade ear pad and headband material delivers more durability and comfort

The ATH-M40x are closed-back studio headphones that come with a padded headband for comfort and full-sized cups. The headphones can lay flat against the chest when inactive, thanks to the convenience of the 90-degree rotating ear cups. Furthermore, the ear cups are an excellent feature for a disc jockey (DJ) or anyone who prefers to monitor with one ear.

This headphone offers more subtle bass reproduction than the ATH-M50x model, which is perfect for mixing and makes it much easier for any sound engineer to register and remedy overemphasized treble. Besides, it shows an imposing ability to cancel noise, while the 40mm drivers offer a well-balanced audio profile for the best performance.

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphone comes with a circumaural design, which contours around the ears for perfect sound isolation in loud surroundings. If you are a serious music producer wanting to monitor your tracks in the studio, grab ATH-M40x headphones and enjoy the experiences. Besides, the frequency response of the headphone varies from 15 to 24,000Hz, a pleasant experience.

It is worth mentioning that this type of headphones has convenient features, including a folding design and a carrying bag that makes them ideal for portability. The package also comes with two detachable cables, one straight and one curved.


  • Has extra padding on ear cups.
  • Comfortable design.
  • Offers a well-balanced neutral sound.
  • Effective for music production.


  • Gets hot when uses for long.
  • Tight headband.

2. Sennheiser HD280 PRO Headphone (new model)

Sennheiser Professional HD 280 PRO Over-Ear Monitoring Headphones
  • High ambient noise attenuation
  • Accurate, linear sound reproduction
  • Soft earpads for a comfortable fit
  • Folding and rotating earcups for space-saving transport
  • Tough, single-sided cable

HD280 PRO has a circumaural design, which contours around the ears for perfect sound isolation in loud surroundings. It is also designed for durability with a collapse and swivel feature, making it one of the best headphones under 100 USD for DJs who prefer to monitor with one ear and on-the-go musicians. Besides, the frequency response of the headphone varies from 8 to 25,000Hz, a fantastic experience.

Sennheiser HD280 pro studio headphones also can fade high ambient noise allowing you to enjoy flawless, accurate, and linear audio tracks with warm reproduced sound. Furthermore, the audio performance is well-balanced.

The HD280 model features soft ear pads made with synthetic leatherette, a decently padded, self-adjustable headband, which offers ultimate comfort for prolonged use. Additionally, a single-sided 10ft detachable coiled cord. We can't forget to mention that the ear pads, audio cord, and headband padding are replaceable.


  • Durable design.
  • Has self-adjustable headband.
  • Comfortable pair of headphones.
  • Offers great sound.


  • Gets hot when uses for long.
  • Tight headband.

3. AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO Professional Studio Headphones

AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO Over-Ear, Semi-Open, Professional Studio...
  • Professional studio headphones
  • Semi-open
  • 3 m replaceable cable
  • Audio Interface type: Stereo plug – 3.5mm (1/8-inch) with 6.3 mm (1/4”) screw-on...

If you are looking for studio headphones that you can use to mix, master, or playback, you found one; AKG K240 studio headphones. Their over-ear padded headbands provide comfort for extended wearing sessions. Besides, the semi-open design delivers clear highs and solid bass.

AKG K240 headphones have transducers and patented diaphragms, which provide good sensitivity, accurate frequency response, and a wide dynamic range. They provide lighter and more responsive transducers than other affordable headphones.

AKG K240 studio headphones are the best under 100 USD if venturing in music production, but you can't afford studio monitors yet. However, they are not fit for tracking or recording vocals since they have less sound isolation.

The package comes with a detachable 3-meter replaceable cORD. The length of the cables is excellent for an on-the-go listener.


  • Ideal for people with a big head.
  • Affordable headphones.
  • Has a replaceable cord.


  • Has sound leakage.
  • The thin padding on the headband makes it uncomfortable when worn for long.

4. Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones

Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones, Enhanced Frequency...
  • Optimized for home and studio recording
  • Closed-back, circumaural collapsible design
  • Detachable, coiled cable
  • Includes SRH440, Threaded 1/4" Gold-plated adapter, carrying bag, and user guide
  • Enhanced frequency response delivers accurate audio across an extended range

For the tremendous live audio, such as recording in a studio, DJing, or mixing live sessions, get Shure SRH440 studio headphones. These headphones are very comfortable because of the cups' padding and the headband capability to adjust the possible fit size. Also, they offer a crystal clear sound from audio across an extensive range, making them ideal for monitoring and accurate listening.

Shure SRH440 features a 10- meter detachable coiled cable and replaceable ear cup pads. For the detachable coiled cable, you can easily replace it if you feel the length is not enough for you. Conversely, you can replace the ear cup pads if they are damaged.

Shure SRH440 studio headphones have a frequency response of 10 Hz to 22Hz, which delivers accurate and crisp audio and produces clear mids and highs. Due to its circumaural design, it is perfect for audio isolation in busy, loud surroundings.


  • Comfortable headphones to wear for long.
  • Has detachable coiled cable.
  • Effective headphones for DJing.
  • Has replaceable ear cup pads.


  • The cup folds up under the headphones.
  • The big ear cups tend to stress the ears.

5. Sennheiser HD 200 Professional Studio Monitoring Headphone

Sennheiser Professional HD 200 PRO Over-Ear Studio Headphones
  • Closed, around-ear headphone design to reduce ambient noise
  • Sennheiser’s proprietary transducers that deliver an outstanding stereo sound...
  • Soft ear cushions and ergonomic design that provide enhanced fit and comfort
  • A robust 2.0 meter singled sided cable
  • 6.3 millimeter (1/4 inch) stereo jack adapter included

The Sennheiser HD 200 studio headphone is a sibling to the Sennheiser HD280 model. It is a cheaper model when compared to HD280. Besides, they have some varying features.

The HD 200 model has a closed, around-ear headphone design that reduces ambient noise. The audio performance is well-balanced for a casual audience. However, the headphone suffers from a slight emphasis on bass and treble frequencies. If you are a casual listener, you won't even realize it, but it will bother you for music production purposes.

As far as physical features go, this studio headphone features a strong 2-meter single-sided cable and a ¼-inch stereo jack adapter. Nevertheless, the cable is not detachable, and the ear cups don't rotate.


  • Great noise isolation.
  • Comfortable design.
  • Affordable headphones.


  • Slightly off-balance performance.
  • The cable is not detachable.

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Studio Headphones Under 100 USD

1. Frequency response of the best studio headphones under 100 USD

Studio headphones are used for critical listening; therefore, frequency response should be a prioritized factor. Although your studio headphones have transparent trebles or clear bass, that is not enough for high-quality. It should have a flat frequency response to set and compare sound levels for achieving an accurate sound.

Most studio headphones have a 20 to 20,000 Hz frequency range; however, the wider the range of frequencies, the better the responses, tone, and handling in the highs, mids, and lows.

If you produce or record instruments with many basses, it will be better to go for headphones that offer a low-frequency response. However, if the headphone is meant for monitoring, mixing, and tracking, go for headphones with flat frequency response.

2. Versatility and portability

Of course, the studio headphones are portable but are they convenient to carry or store? Well, we can have studio headphones that offer top-quality sound performance. Still, they are troublesome when carrying or storing due to their sizeable unfoldable headband or long non-removable cable.

You should prioritize the studio headphones' portability before buying if you tend to bring them for movement more often. Additionally, the headphones should have swivel ear cups for people who usually work one-ear monitoring.

3. Cable length 

For daily use, a 3-meter long cord might be a bother since it gets tangled up in the way. Studio headphones with a detachable cord are the best option since you can replace them in various lengths.

Apart from the detachable cord, there are coiled cables that are more versatile for studio use since they are more flexible and less likely to tangle up than long straight cables. However, they tend to be less appropriate for everyday mobile listening.

4. Comfort & durability

It may take time to record, mix, or master a track, meaning you have to wear the headphones for long hours, which may cause too much pressure on your head or your ears. Therefore, it is vital to look for studio headphones with a comfortable fit. Consider other factors like headband comfort, pad comfort, and the total weight of the headphones. Ensure the headband is tight enough to keep the ear cups at the proper position over your ears. However, they should not be so firm that they won't hold on properly to your ears. Also, the ear pads should be made of soft materials, which are well-ventilated for prolonged usage.

Lighter over-ears headphones are more comfortable than heavier ones. You will still feel better with these lightweight headphones ever over long hours of usage. They will help you reduce the pressure on your head.

5. Sensitivity 

The best studio headphones have higher sensitivity so that you can concentrate and edit minor details. When we talk about sensitivity, we refer to how efficiently earpieces transform the electrical signal into sound.

The recommended maximum sensitivity is 120 dB. According to America's occupational safety and health administration, people should not exceed 85dBs sensitivity headphones for long-term music sessions. The European Union also encourages users to use less than 100dB of sensitivity headphones to avoid damaging hearing.

A musician is the main person who considers his headphones' sensitivity since he needs to hear every detail while mixing music or recording tracks. Although higher sensitivity can sound good and enticing, it might end up damaging your ears.

6. Noise isolation ability and Sound Leakage

Every closed-back headphone offers noise isolation features but at different levels. Some are great, while others are only good enough for neutral sound blocking. Besides, not all open or semi-open back headphones have intense noise blocking features.

Semi-open or open back has headphones bleed that why they are not recommended for recording and tracking vocals. However, it doesn't mean that all closed-back headphones can work well at preventing audio leaks.

7. Price 

Price is one of the key factors we consider before buying anything. In this case, we are looking for budget studio headphones. The headphones are available on the market; however, we want to remind you that you should not expect too much on these under 100 dollars headphones. They may have some plastic build materials that may reduce the durability in long-term use. Nevertheless, if you take good care of these headphones, they will serve the purpose. Don't let your tight budget make you feel like you are spending money on shoddy gadgets. You can still use them to mix, record, and record tracks.


Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is our best studio headphones under 100 USD. We recommend anyone who loves music. ATH-M40x offers more subtle bass reproduction than the ATH-M50x

model, which is perfect for mixing, monitoring, and recording tracks. It also shows an imposing ability to cancel noise, while the 40mm drivers offer a well-balanced audio profile for best performance. Finally, it features a folding design and a carrying bag that make them ideal for portability. The package also comes with two detachable cables, one straight and one curved.

The choice is yours now. You can choose any of the above studio headphones and make a purchase. However, don't forget to check out the key factors to consider when buying headphones.

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