When it comes to buying studio headphones, one hundred and fifty dollars is the perfect sweet spot. The market is filled with countless studio headphones and each promise to deliver the best-quality sound. While standard headphones are manufactured to listen to music and are designed in a manner that the music is sweetened before reaching the listener’s ears, studio headphones are expected to deliver a true sound or as the professionals call it, ‘a flat frequency’.
In $150 you don’t only get semi-professional hybrids that come with a large number of options but you also receive exceptional comfort without spending a bulk of money. Now we understand how important it is for you to end up with the most suitable piece of audio equipment. Therefore we’ve prepared a mini guide to help you with this daunting task and make an informed decision. Let’s start with some important factors you need to consider before buying studio headphones:
Things to Consider When Buying Studio Headphones
Wireless or Wired
With the rapid development in technology, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi tech has gained popularity as being a great alternative to wired connections and the means of wirelessly pairing devices. But when it comes to studio headphones, it is recommended to buy the wired ones. When signals are transmitted wirelessly, they tend to get compressed and thus your studio headphones might not be able to produce the most accurate sound. Moreover, while working in a studio, you don’t need to move much; therefore the inconvenience that comes with wires is automatically eliminated.
The standard human audible frequency range is between 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Good-quality studio headphones should be capable of reproducing frequencies within this given range.
Generally, studio headphones are to be worn for long periods, making comfort a necessity, therefore you must not overlook and compromise on this factor. Ensure that the headband and ear cups of your headphones are properly padded so that your head and ears don’t get exposed to extreme pressure. However, comfort doesn’t come without a price and thus the padding may cause your ears to heat up more quickly than usual.
Commercial use of headphones requires constant shifting of equipment from the hands of one person to another’s. You need to opt for audio gear that isn’t sensitive to wear and tear and comes with easily replaceable parts in case of any damage. This will save you from buying new studio headphones every time one of its parts becomes faulty.
Driver Size and Quality
The quality and size of the driver determine the volume of the sound headphones produce. The bigger the driver is the better the volume will be. Therefore consider the material that the driver as it plays a vital role in determining the sound quality.
Impedance is the effective resistance of an electric component or circuit to alternating current that arises from the combined effects of ohmic reactance and resistant. But let’s not let this technical jargon confuse you. In simple words, the lower the impedance of your headphones, the better sound quality they will produce regardless of the power of the device they are powered by. Headphones with high impedance need extra power to produce quality sound.
Choosing the best pair of studio headphones to upgrade your audio equipment collection can be an overwhelming task, especially when there are unlimited brands and models to choose from.
Best Studio Headphones Under $150
To help you with this daunting decision, we’ve conducted relevant researches and after carrying out the necessary comparisons, we’ve come up with a list to assist you with the process. Here is a list of our picks of the best studio headphones under $150 available online:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones is the perfect choice of equipment to be bought for under $150. Not only is it praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers but the exceptional clarity of the sound it produces throughout an extended frequency range provides you with an unmatched experience. It features the coveted sonic signature with the added feature of detachable coiled and straight cable. Its circumaurel design contours around the ears to provide you with extraordinary sound isolation even in extremely loud environments. Lastly, the durability and the comfort that the ear pad and headband provide, completes the package.
Key Features of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Studio Headphones
Critically acclaimed sonic performance
- Circumaurel design (excellent sound isolation)
- Extended frequency range with deep, accurate bass response
- 90° swiveling ear-cups
- Professional-grade ear pad and headband material
- Includes accessories such as detachable coiled and straight cables
Specifications of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Studio Headphones
- Brand Name: Audio – Technica
- Item Weight: 10.1 ounces
- Shipping Weight: 2.25 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 11.4 X 10 X 4.1 inches
- Item Model Number: ATH – M50x
- Driver Size: 45 mm
- Sensitivity: 98 dB
- Maximum Input Power: 1600 mW
- Impedance (Ohms): 38
- Frequency Response: 15 – 28, 000 Hz
Pros of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Studio Headphones
- Clear sound for studio, live, DJ, and personal use
- Offers excellent sound isolation in loud environments
- Allows easy one-ear monitoring
- Collapsible eat cups for portability
- Ultra durability
- Includes accessories
Cons of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Studio Headphones
Fostex T50RP MK3 Professional Studio Headphones
Fostex T50RP MK3 Professional Studio Headphones use proprietary Regular Phase (RP) diaphragm driver using copper foil etched polyimide film and powerful neodymium magnet to achieve sharper audio reproduction for more accurate monitoring. The housing, head pad, and ear pads are also designed in such a manner that they can derive the maximum performance of the RP driver. The maximum input level of 3000mW allows the device to comply with various professional applications. Lastly, the headphones are semi-open so that they can deliver flat and clear sound.
Key Features of Fostex T50RP MK3 Studio Headphones
- Redesigned low-repulsion ear pad and head pad
- Detachable cable
- 3.5mm stereo mini jack cable also included for portable audio player
- Regular Phase (RP) diaphragm driver using copper foil etched polyimide film and powerful neodymium magnet
- Maximum input level of 3000mW
- Semi-open for flat and clear sound
Specifications of Fostex T50RP MK3 Studio Headphones
- Brand Name: Fostex
- Item Weight: 11.4 ounces
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 X 4.1 X 7.1 inches
- Item Model Number: AMS-T50RPMK3
- Driver: Regular Phase (or Orthodynamic)
- Sensitivity: 92 dB
- Maximum Input Power: 3000 mW
- Impedance (Ohms): 50
- Frequency Response: 15 – 35, 000 Hz
Pros of Fostex T50RP MK3 Studio Headphones
- Maximum comfort
- Detachable cables increase portability
- Helps achieve sharper audio reproduction
- Excellent performance
Cons of Fostex T50RP MK3 Studio Headphones
AKG Pro Audio K612PRO Studio Headphones
AKG Pro Audio K612PRO Studio Headphones come in an open-back design. They use the patented Varimotion diaphragm technology and come with an over-ear headphone fit. They also come with an addition feature of high fidelity (term used by audiophiles, home audio enthusiasts and listeners to refer to high-quality reproduction of sound). Features like aluminum arches and solid rivets, and self-adjusting real leather headband provide a lightweight, maximum-comfort fit. Moreover, it has a flat frequency response within the human audible range and produces minimum distortion.
Key Features of AKG Pro Audio K612PRO Studio Headphones
- Patented Varimotion diaphragm technology
- Open-back design
- Delivers natural sound imaging for professional monitoring
- Self-adjusting real leather headband
- Aluminum arches and solid rivets
Specifications of AKG Pro Audio K612PRO Studio Headphones
- Brand Name: AKG Pro Audio
- Item Weight: 1.46 pounds
- Shipping Weight: 1.72 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 9.8 X 8.8 X 4.3 inches
- Item Model Number: 2458X00100
- Sensitivity: 101 dB
- Impedance (Ohms): 120
- Frequency Response: 12 – 39, 000 Hz
Pros of AKG Pro Audio K612PRO Studio Headphones
- Lightweight, maximum comfort fit
- Advanced open technology
- Approximately 10-feet long cord
Cons of AKG Pro Audio K612PRO Studio Headphones
- Shallow ear pads