What would you guys suggest for studio headphones under $100? Currently I have a pair of about five or six year old skull candies that cost me $55 (over ear). They still work and I think they sound fine but I’m wondering what I might be missing in the next price bracket. All the major stores seem to have gimmicky headphones and I know you need to look out for artificial boosting of certain frequencies. So what do you all suggest?
You should go to an audio store and try several pair out. Try the more costly versions too. You’ll see what a huge difference there is.
A big part of what you want to consider is how comfortable the headphones are going to be after hours of use in a session. Over ear style are better for this, typically.
I own an old ass pair of Sennhieser phones that sound amazing, and are so comfortable I can wear them all day, but the construction is shit, and they’ve fallen apart pretty badly over the years, even though I am very careful with them (they were like $300 at the time).
I used to have a pair of Shure earbuds (another $300 set) and they sounded unbelievably good. Even low end bass was outstanding. But one hear bud completely stopped working after one year. So stay away from Shure.
Somebody told me that KRK headphones are great, and specifically for listening to “dance” music (assuming that means deeper bass response, and sparkly highs).
Lots to choose from out there. You may want to try several out.
Alessandro MS1- best 99 USD I ever spent on anything gear related!
Well, at 100 Bucks you won’t find any decent headphones - at least not new.
Check out AKG K271 MK II, Shure SRH840 or Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro, they offer really great quality and more important linear sound and you should find them used at about your budget.
But bear in mind that especially the bass frequencies and the stereo image is challenging to mix proper on headphones… at least this is what I have experienced.
I was in a similar position a year or so ago, and after extensive research and trying them out at Guitar Center, I settled on the KRK 6400. They are 100 dollars, sound amazing, and according to headphone.com have a remarkably flat frequency response. Especially for the price. I actually couldn’t find a pair for less than 300 that had as flat as a response as they do.
I won’t say they are the most comfortable headphones in the world, the two foam pads on the headbar would be much better if they were one longer, full pad. However if you get them adjusted right lengthwise to your head they are comfortable for long enough.
Sound wise, I would absolutely recommend them. I’ve owned quite a few budget studio headphones and these sound better than everything. Even in the test I did at Guitar Center, they were easily better than most of the headphones they had, but I’m unsure what sort of impedence situation was going on. It felt like some of them weren’t being driven hard enough.
Having said all that I think the KRK 6400’s are great, especially for the price.
If you can’t go above $100 then the KRKs for sure. If you can hit $150 then the ATH50x.
Industry standard. I also use a pair of Urban Ears headphones that i really like.
Another vote for the Sony MDR-7506. They are teh best bang for your buck by a mile. I record sound for film and I use microphones that cost more than anyof the Elektron boxes. The MDR-7506 is the only headphone that delivers a completely natural sound. I’ve been using them for 15 years and really hate wearing any other kind at this point. If something happens (damage/loss), I just buy another pair without even thinking about it. There’s a reason everyone in the film industry uses them.
Another +1 for the Sonys. I have the MDR-V6 model (earlier 7506 but identical other than the stickers). Also had mine for about 15 years, they can take some abuse!
after having to deal with a small head and trying on tons of headphones I settled for bayerdynamics dt 770 pro 80 Ohm … were bout 130 Euro
the metal frame made me think they will survive a trip to spain and the cushion will make me feel good if it is raining and since they are closed my honey wont mind me messing around with the OT in the hotel.
first “pro” grade headphones I ever owned, so I didnt want to get into the 450 euro AKG line…
sound fine, fit well, comfortable waring (but not loud on my samsung s3 mini)
I have a hate for sony (and nike)
Past a certain point of quality, there isn’t the “best” IMO, just “The one you like the most”
I love my DT 770s, because I’ve had them such a long time, and I know the frequency response so well I know when it sounds good there, it’ll reproduce well.
I’ve worked out that my pair have travelled more than 100,000 miles with me and they look and work as well as the day I bought them.
Only downside is they’re not loud enough for using at gigs.
Try everything out! But try the DT770s or Sennheiser HD25 first
AKG K240 Studios for me. I’ve had mine for about 7 years and they are great.
I personally can’t stand closed headphones for very long - the K240s are a semi-open design and I can wear them all day without fatigue, sometimes forgetting I have them on!
i would recommend spending a little more money and getting you a pair of beyerdynamic headphones. there are many models of the dt series that are below $200 on amazon. you won’t be disappointed.
You make music with your ears, so treat them well and get some proper monitors/headphones. seriously. You can make good music with cheap equipment, if you can make it sound good on proper reference devices.
I for one also like those AKG 240s very much, and they aren’t far off to your price range. They lack a bit transparency in the lower end but you have a very good hi/midrange response and that’s one of the most important parts when it comes to monitoring.
But the most important advice always has been: train your ears! When getting better headphones your ears, or more precisely your brain will have to adjust to the loads of new information it has to process. Also use those headphones to listen to your favorite music as much as possible. That way you’ll learn a lot about sound design, mixing and the depth of putting your stuff together as you really want it sound.
A recent article in emusician on the subject.
cool thanks for posting this dubathonic. interesting read for sure.
I (personally) started liking my Sony MDR 7506. they go for just under a 100 USD and it took me a bit to learn to “read” them but am very happy with the purchase