If you spend about $200 on a set of studio headphones, you come to that fantastic place. In other words, you get the optimal bang for your money. Anyone who has ever thought about setting up a studio of any kind knows that an optimal bang-for-the-doll is the right choice. Today we are going to show you our top selection for the best studio headphones under $200. Some of these are among the best studio headphones, period.
After we have gone through our choices, we will discuss what good studio headphones are. These offer a lot of performance, clarity, and general transparency, which is sufficient for both enthusiasts and professionals. The key is to find the design that suits you best. The models that we mentioned above are some of the best on the market. Whichever you choose, you will not be disappointed. This segment is very flexible and diverse, which means that there are a few cans for everyone.
List of the best studio headphones under $200
Beyerdynamic is a brand known for producing high quality microphones, headphones and other audio systems. You can always expect good quality from this brand. A good example of the quality this brand offers is the DT 990 PRO. This is a solidly built over the ear professional headphone. The chassis is made of ABS, which is quite strong, while the headband is well padded to provide real comfort. This is complemented by the ear pads, which are very comfortable thanks to the velour pads, which the brand decided to use here.
Behind all this we find two large drivers with their large coils. These drivers deliver a nominal sound pressure level of 96dB over a frequency range of 5Hz to 35kHz. As we mentioned, this is a professional headphone, so you can’t power it with a mobile device or a smartphone, because it has a nominal impedance of 250Ohms, which indicates that it requires some professional amplification.
These are open-back headphones, so they are not suitable for tracking vocals. He offers an impressive sound stage and sound transparency that professionals seek in studio monitoring. Thus, he is well suited for mixing and critical listening. Overall, this is one of the best studio headphones under $200.
There is no argument that AKG K702 is one of the most popular studio headphones of our time. Their classic, simple, and very efficient design is partly the culprit. AKG went with a low profile frame that ultimately makes the whole setup very light. Of course, it is mainly about the execution. We are talking about transparency that is hard to beat. Here is the thing. These are open-back headphones. That in itself is not the best choice for mixing when you get those spatial dimensions. However, if you know how to compensate for that in your workflow, you will be treated with one of the best studio headphones under $200 you can get. The comfort is also on a different level.
When it comes to studio headphones, Sony is in a unique position compared to the rest of the market. Unlike most other brands, Sony owns a music production department. That means building a good set of studio headphones amounts to consulting their top producers. One of the fruits of such efforts is the excellent Sony MDR-CD900ST. You can see that professionals have designed these for professionals by merely viewing them. There are no sticky details or flashy aesthetics. Instead, you get a comfortable but straightforward frame that has everything to do with supporting two impressive drivers. In terms of performance, these are among the best studio headphones under 200 dollars.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250
What the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro series offers is something exciting. There are three different versions of these headphones, each optimized for a specific purpose and use. Those we have chosen for this list are of the 250 Ohm type. We believe that these offer the best performance in the entire series and allow you to experience your mix well. What this means is that you can expect a lot of clarity, detail, and finesse while you work. You will, however, need a good preamp. The problem is that a headphone pre-amplifier is only a part of the deal when you set up a studio. Despite their higher entry price, these are more than worth it and are one of the best studio headphones under $200.
Audio Technica is a brand that is best known for its affordability. This fact does not mean that Audio Technica is unable to compose premium headphones. On the contrary, they offer a good number of great models that are competitive in this price range, but that produces the same result for the dollar we are used to. That alone makes it interesting. Audio Technica ATH-M50x has found a balance between functionality, performance, and comfort. These are filled in the right places, while the powerful 45 mm drivers offer all the precision you need in a studio. Combined with two detachable cables and a hard shell, this deal is just too good to ignore. Audio Technica is undoubtedly one of the best studio headphones under $200.
AKG K 240 MK II
AKG’s more affordable models are just as respected as their more high-end stuff. The K 240 MK II is a semi-open set that combines the best of both worlds. The frame design and the padding resemble the rest of the AKG series and are often copied by different brands. In general, these offer a lot of transparency. As far as hardware is concerned, they fall behind the competition with their 35 mm drivers. In reality, the difference in the size of the driver is not so noticeable during actual use. The clarity is excellent, and so is transparency. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but these are anything but reasonable. If you are looking for a semi-open set, these are worth a look.
KRK KNS 6400
KRK is a brand that associates much more with studio monitoring than with anything else. However, they also offer a decent set of studio headphones that follow the same KRK ideology when it comes to performance. KRK KNS 6400 is designed to deliver the maximum bang for the buck at a very competitive price. That deduction is impressive in itself. What you get for your money is a pair of headphones with suitable hardware and a reasonably flat sound. The most significant disadvantage is the frame. It is comfortable thanks to all the filling, but it is no different than arousing confidence. It feels a bit cheap compared to what is there.
AKG K553 MKII Pro
We look at another product from AKG, further proof of the brand’s position in the audio solutions industry. The headphones we are now considering from this brand is the K553 PRO. These are professional studio headphones with a streamlined design. A quick look at the headphones shows that it has not gone the route of most headphones. Instead of covering much of the headband with padding, it has simply concentrated on the areas where it is needed, reducing much of its size.
The entire headphone folds down for easy storage and carrying, while the earcups can rotate on their axis, which is useful for monitoring one ear. When you look at these headphones, you’ll see that they look so expensive that you’ll think they cost a lot more than they do.
The headphones have two 50mm drivers that can produce 114dB of sound pressure over a frequency range of 12Hz to 28kHz. You will enjoy plenty of headroom, clarity and definition from these drivers. This is in addition to the flat response it offers. Overall, this is one of the best studio headphones under $200.
Fostex T50RP MK3
Fostex International has been in the business of pro audio solutions for over 70 years. It provides professional equipment for studio and live recordings, among others. Today it offers us the T50RP MK3. This is a semi-open back, over the ear professional headphone. It is solidly designed and will probably look a bit different from the regular headphones available.
Adjustability is achieved via the sturdy external metal rail to which the headband and earcups are attached. The headband can be slid back and forth to achieve the right fit. The ear cups are large and well padded, as is the headband. This adds to the comfort, especially for extended listening.
Now on to the drivers. Here we find two 50mm Refined Fostex Regular Phase (RP) diaphragm drivers that use a neodymium magnet and copper foil etched polyimide film. These have a sensitivity of 92dB at 1kHz, 1mW and deliver pure sound over a frequency range of 15Hz – 35kHz. Overall, this is one of the best studio headphones under $200.
It would have been almost shocking if we did not include a single product from Shure in this list. This brand has built itself into a pillar in the music industry with its consistency and quality of product delivery. Shure offers us here the SRH840. This is a closed over-ear headphone designed to fold down for easy storage and carrying. It is solidly built and the headband and earcups feature extensive padding that provides increased comfort, especially for extended listening.
A look inside the ear cups reveals 40mm drivers with a sensitivity of 102 dB/mW SPL and a frequency range of 5Hz to 25kHz. It also has a nominal impedance of 44 Ohms, which means that the best can only be gotten out of it if it gets enough power. When you supply this headphone with the right voltage, you get a clear and accurate sound reproduction that is refined and transparent. These headphones are great for tracking, monitoring and mixing. Overall, this is one of the best studio headphones under $200.
Things To Know Before Buying Best Studio Headphones Under $200
Before we go further into this subject, let us quickly remember that one rule that applies to everything that has to do with music technology. If you can get the higher things, get it. It is as simple as that. If you can afford a $500 headset, do it. Especially if you are serious about producing music in the long term. If that is not possible for you right now, get the best thing. According to that logic, best studio headphones under $200 is a great place to start, but that also applies to $100 studio headphones.
What this specific segment offers is more reach and better frequency response in general. You look at more particular designs, such as the Beyerdynamic model that we have shown you above. Some of these headphones require a pre-amplifier to achieve their full potential, while some have a wireless connection. The idea is that you can choose the functions you want or need for this price range, and you do not feel limited in any way. In our view, that’s the most significant advantage that $200 models have more than $100.