Whether your budget is $500 or $100, we will offer you with 3 best budget audiophile headphones in this updated guide.
I fully understand how hard it can be to get a good pair of headphones within a tight budget. The market is flooded with a wide range of expensive choices which don’t address your needs.
But the truth is that you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy your favorite music.
Here opens your gateway to premium devices at an affordable price:
Best Budget Audiophile Headphones At a Glance
Sennheiser HD 600 Wired Headphones
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Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Wired and Wireless Headphones
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Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Wired Headphones
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Who Are Audiophiles Anyway?
This is a very popular question yet largely unanswered. Before we dive deep into detailed reviews of the choices listed above, let me sort out this query here:
An audiophile is a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction. An audiophile seeks to reproduce the sound of a live musical performance, typically in a room with good acoustics. If you want to read more about audiophiles, you can get them here.
When you are an audiophile (Pssh: do you like swimming too?), life seems challenging when you are trying to find a pair of decent headphones to replicate that glorious audio experience of a live performance at home.
Technology has come a long way to meet our desires head-on by producing some fabulous headphones fit for even picky audiophiles.
With affordable audiophile headphones, one usually can’t expect world-class audio performance, but nowadays, you can get several models that get you pretty close to your destination. However, budget and durability are also valid concerns.
Generally speaking, fabulous headphones (even drummers need them) don’t come cheap.
However, it doesn’t mean you have to burn a hole in your pocket to get your hands on a decent pair of audiophile headphones at a hefty price.
We have dug deep into the market and created this list of the best budget headphones for audiophiles.
- Best Budget Audiophile Headphones At a Glance
- Who Are Audiophiles Anyway?
- Sennheiser HD 600: For True Audiophiles!
- Audio-Technica ATH-M50x: Best Affordable
- Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm: The Legendary Headphone In 2023!
- A Helpful Buying Guide For Audiophile Headphones
- Our Final Verdict!
- Time To Answer Your FAQs
Sennheiser HD 600: For True Audiophiles!
The Sennheiser HD 600 is an audiophile-graded open-back headphone with dynamic professional stereo.
The superior diaphragm design eliminates standing waves resulting in a clean sound free of artifacts and acoustical troubles. This headphone is a fantastic addition to your dedicated listening room and is a favorite among mastering engineers worldwide.
Its engaging sound performance is engineered for the audiophile community.
Thanks to an open circumaural design, computer-optimized magnets, and aluminum voice coils, you won’t find cleaner, crisper stereo sound quality anywhere else.
Built & Style
The headphones’ aesthetics are generally not a priority for me, but Sennheiser always does a great job in styling and designing their headphones.
I admit that’s a secondary concern, but if they sound good, there’s no harm in looking good. Agree?
Sennheiser’s HD 600 headphones have been in the market for a long time, and initially, they had a bit of a quirky appearance. Luckily, Sennheiser has given these headphones a modernized facelift that will lead to a better music performance.
If we look forward beyond the color, the most noticeable design feature is its open-back earcups.
I agree that having an open-back design is more about sound, but it also lets you see the headphones’ inner mechanics, which looks pretty cool. Isn’t it?
The extra design feature typical to Sennheiser headphones is the elongated oval-shaped earpieces rather than circular ones. Aesthetically, the earpieces give the HD 600’s a sleek, smooth, eye-catching remarkable appearance.
Hence, the Sennheiser HD 600’s professional-grade one of the best budget audiophile headphones, and they look like it. So, as far as styling goes, they are passed from our end.
When I choose open-back headphones, I always consider and prioritize the comfort level because that’s a primary thing if you are using them for a long time; it should not give you pain.
Most people often think that if the headphone is within the budget, puts up great audio performance, and looks good, that’s the end.
But in reality, it doesn’t matter how good they sound if you can’t comfortably wear them for an extended period. The problem is that it makes the fit a little tight.
However, you can carefully bend the band into a better fit; after some use, it’s no longer an issue.
The HD 600’s headband’s USP is its smart memory foam cushion design, making it great. Adding to it, rather than having a continuous pad from one end to the other, it is divided into four smaller sections.
It looks like a design element at first sight, but it will help you to reduce the pressure on your head by allowing the foam to be more flexible and comfortable.
Finally, they have a neutral sound profile without being too precise. They are incredible, comfortable, easy to repair and maintain, and not so hard to drive in the long run. They would only be average on tracks with loudness in their sub-bass response.
For the rest, We can’t stop recommending them. The general trend of highly-priced new-generation open-back headphones makes them even more appealing than a few years ago.
Go get it; for an enjoyable experience for many more years to come!
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x: Best Affordable
Excellent Audio Experience
- Professional-grade studio monitor headphones with a detachable cable
- Exceptional clarity and detailed sound throughout an extended frequency range
- For in the Studio and on the Road
- Sound-isolating ear cups and robust construction
More often than not, you want something that gets the job done; that’s why you are here searching for the best affordable audiophile headphones.
That is the case with the Audio Technica ATH-M50x, a portable audiophile budget over-ear headphone with amazing audio quality, and it doesn’t look like a cheap audiophile headphone.
It is the most critically acclaimed model in the M-Series. The Audio Technica ATH-M50x, the best audiophile headphones under $150, is a professional monitor headphone recommended by the top audio engineers and the audiophile community in general.
Now, the headphones ATH-M50x feature the same coveted sonic signature, with detachable audio cables as an added feature.
The ATH-M50x offers an unmatched experience for most audio professionals, from the large aperture drivers, sound-isolating earcups, and robust construction.
Built & Style
Beyond the most basic wave (silver ring and a logo), there’s a lot of plastic, but it’s of excellent material: it feels strong enough to withstand a lot of day-to-day work.
On the other hand, the cable consists of a twist-and-lock mechanism to prevent accidental removal. The ear cups can swivel up to 180 degrees and also fold inwards too.
The build quality on the M50x is, for the most part, no issue. The plastic feels strong, sturdy, and relatively thick, and the headband is made of metal, leading to an overall robust-feeling headphone that won’t break unless you try to.
They fold up, and the ear cups flip all the way backward, so portability is perfect. The headphone also has a detachable cable, adding stars to its excellent compact design.
These headphones also offer a pleasant sound experience. Vocals and instruments are furnished with a good deal of texture and are nicely separated on a spacious sound stage. It blocks background noise like no other.
There’s vivacity thanks to the right timing and full performance. It’s an immersive and impressive listen.
It’s a warm, controlled rumble that’s more than enough without overpowering. The midrange is well-defined and well-integrated with the treble, which is smooth enough to avoid harshness, even when cranked up.
Finally, if you are looking for a portable pair of the best audiophile over-ear headphones on a budget and you like your sound a little warmer for the money, the Audio Technica ATH-M50x is well worth putting your hand on.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm: The Legendary Headphone In 2023!
I’ve been curious about Beyerdynamic’s under $200 DT770 Pro 80 Ohm for a long time. It has a legacy of several decades in the audio world. Many producers and studio professionals trust it.
If you’re a budding musician or a music lover, a set of the best audiophiles headphones is a must-have.
If you are going to college, on tour, or even hanging out in a studio, you need to have your hands on durable and sturdy headphones like the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 ohm.
DT 770 Pro are well-built, great-sounding closed-back headphones that are hard to ignore. They are a bit more versatile and have slightly better bass than the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO.
Build and Style
With every minute difference to notice, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro look like a closed version of the DT 990 Pro. They have the same circular ear cups and a thick metal frame with a removable cushion strap, which is good to go.
They have a practical approach that may not stand out in a crowd but still looks good enough to wear outside, despite being slightly bulky.
The ear cups are strong enough to handle drops, weirs, and tiers without getting maligned. They isolate you efficiently from external noise.
However, the ear cup feels a bit plastic, especially compared to the premium build and feel of the other Beyer dynamic’s DT series ear cups.
The DT770 Pro 80 Ohm is well built, like a robust beefy thing designed in the ’80s. Because that’s kind of what it is. The headband is substantial metal, covered by a replaceable pad attached with snaps.
The ear cups are made of stiff composite textured plastic, akin to a musical instrument case. The ear cups are massive and covered with giant soft velour pads that give you a lot of isolation with comfort wearing for long hours.
Unfortunately, the Beyerdynamic 770 Pro is slightly too tightly on the head. The cable is straight, ten feet long, and non-detachable. It’s terminated in a 3.5mm plug with a 6.3mm adapter included in the box.
The cable is made from an excellent, pliable material, and it’s pretty easy to work with actually. I’ve had no issue using these headphones at a coffee shop by just coiling the cable a bit.
A Helpful Buying Guide For Audiophile Headphones
Before selecting your other sets of headphones, keep these points for tips on finding the best match for you.
It will help if you are looking for a suitable material that will guarantee comfort. The headband and ear cups should be padded for comfort.
Audiophile headphones tend to be a bit absurd. So, you must anticipate them to stay with you for a little while.
Choose a set that has long-lasting material, whether metal or high-quality plastic.
There are many different styles to choose from: closed-back, open-back, and, less frequently, half-open-back.
Closed-back headphones serve good isolation from outside noise. That makes them more suited to hearing in environments with ambient noise, namely in public situations. They are known to be better with more minor and mid-range frequencies.
Open-back headphones don’t stop outside noise since there isn’t any seal on the driver. Because of this, It also has a cleaner sound and is known for high frequencies.
As you may assume, half-closed-back headphones are a sort of mix between open and closed-back headphones. Due to this, they also perform well with lesser and higher frequencies.
Capacity for Frequency
Audiophile headphones have more comprehensive frequency ranges than other headphones. Also, some can even reach frequencies that are barely audible to human ears, if they’re audible at all.
While headphones that can reach more comprehensive ranges of frequencies do not necessarily guarantee better output, they also give you more listening choices. The more frequencies your headphones can reach, the more variety of music you will enjoy the music.
Our Final Verdict!
If you’re looking to build a recording studio, look at the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio 80 Ohm.
Seriously: they’re purpose-built for this situation, and you’ll be happy you took the plunge.
Beyerdynamic’s DT770 Pro 80 Ohm is a great closed-back headphone with a wide sound stage, clearer sound, good bass, and treble performance, block external noise, and long-wearing comfort.
Is it the best-value headphones? No. Is it the most consumer-friendly headphone? No.
But you might still love it.
Time To Answer Your FAQs
Is Wired Better Than Wireless?
Wireless headphones permit you to move freely while listening to music. You would be able to play, pause, and skip your music right from your headphones.
While they serve good convenience when busy or working out, they need to be recharged, or you will have to buy batteries often. Wired headphones have much better sound quality too.
Shall I move for Over-Ear or In-Ear Headsets?
In-ear headphones can be very excessive. They can be used discreetly, and they can be stored easily. Plus, they isolate noise from the surface because they fit perfectly inside your ears.
Although they’re bulkier and heavier, they’re easier than in-ears once you hear the music for long hours. The padded ear cups will not make your ears feel sore.
How Can I Test My Headphones?
You need to check the sound quality. You can try tracks from your playlist; some experts recommend listening to old music.
Should I Select Open-Back or Closed-Back Headphones?
Open-back and closed-back headphones have discrete features and use.
Open-back headphones provide a great soundstage and clear sound quality. You will feel immersed in the music that leaks from the drivers surrounding you.
Outdoors, and closed-back headphones keep the disturbance out and stop the music from leaking. That’s why they are best for noisy places. However, they provide a smaller soundstage and fewer audio quality.
Well, we have given you the Top 3 audiophile over-ear headphones ideas, and you will not make any mistakes by buying any of these.
But here is our suggestion: go through your requirements before you buy because different audiophile headphones cater to different needs.
And when you are done, leave a comment below so I can know your take on my affordable choices listed here. Thanks!
About the Author
Rach Wellard is the driving force behind Sound & Solitude. Her mission is to help you discover the profound impact of sound in your daily life and to explore the beauty of solitude. With a deep passion for the connection between soundscapes and emotions, she brings a unique blend of expertise and personal dedication to our platform.
Rach understands that every individual's auditory journey is unique, and she’s here to guide you every step of the way. As a devoted audiophile, Rach’s discerning ear carefully selects the most exceptional products that align with your desires for Sound or Solitude. In a world filled with noise and chaos, Sound & Solitude serves as your sanctuary.
Rach’s journey as an autistic individual with a heightened sensitivity to sound fuels our commitment to creating an inclusive space where everyone can find solace while enjoying the meaningful sounds in their lives. Her understanding of diverse sensory needs enables us to offer personalized recommendations and insights, ensuring that your chosen audio equipment not only meets technical criteria but also resonates with your unique sensory preferences. And if you simply seek the best sound possible, Rach has you covered.
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