When we as consumers shop for anything…
We want two simple things:
- better quality
- at lower prices
But when you go online to shop for headphones…
And what you mostly find is options ranging anywhere from $100-$500…
You start to wonder…
Is it realistic to think I can find a pair of headphones I actually like for less than $50?
And most will argue…no, you can’t.
But these days, as headphone technology keeps improving…
What was once impossible, is now totally achievable…as long as you know where to look.
Because unfortunately, many of the top headphones in this category are relatively unknown, and few folks have heard of them.
So in today’s post, I’ll try to help you save some money with my list of the top 10 Good n Cheap Headphones with Studio Quality Sound: under $50.
Ready? Let’s begin. First up…
1. Sennheiser HD202 II
Over and over again, Sennheiser has been one of the few companies out there…
Making one impressive headphone after another, without failure.
I’ve probably recommended more of their headphones on this site than any other brand.
And keeping in that spirit…
I’ll start this list by recommending the pair at the very bottom price range of their entire line, the Sennheiser HD202 II.
Is it as great as some of their higher-end models? Of course not.
But it is their TOP selling model, with reviews as good as anything else out there.
Check it out:
2. Audio Technica ATH-M30x
Unlike Sennheiser, who makes many headphones in the higher price ranges…
Audio Technica is a brand that seems to specialize in building quality headphones at low, low prices.
And their current ATH line is among most popular and well-reviewed in the entire home recording industry.
The different models in this line include:
- ATH-M20x – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
- ATH-M30x – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
- ATH-M40x – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
- ATH-M50x – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
- ATH-M70x – (Amazon /GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
So what exactly is the difference between each of these models?
Well first off, as you can see after clicking the links, only the M20x and M30x are within our stated price range, so I’ll limit my recommendations to those.
The most popular model though, is the MX40x. And it’s only slightly outside our price range, so definitely consider that one as well.
3. Sony MDR-7502
When hear the name Sony, you don’t really think of headphones, do you?
But the fact is…
Headphones are DEFINITELY among one of Sony’s many, many specialties.
In fact, the Sony MDR-7506 is perhaps regarded as one of the top studio headphones of all time.
And guess what?
It just so happens that they also make a cheaper ‘junior’ version of those headphones: the Sony MDR-7502, at about half the price.
And as you might expect, and as most reviews will confirm, they aren’t quite as great as the 7506, but there is definitely a clear resemblance to its bigger brother.
Check it out:
4. Samson SR850
In the lower price ranges of studio headphones…
One thing you’ll quickly notice is that virtually every model under $100 is of a closed-back design…
Meaning it prioritizes isolation over sound quality, which is ideal for tracking, but not so great for mixing.
And the cheaper you go, the less likely it is to find any open-back options at all, let alone good ones.
But there’s one exception: the Samson SR850.
As the first and only true open back design on this list, it is the obvious choice for critical listening applications such as mixing.
And if you just want a pair for your casual listening enjoyment, it’s the obvious choice for that as well.
Check it out:
5. Presonus HD7
As the reigning King of quality affordable home recording gear…
Presonus has gradually expanded their line of products over the years to include virtually everything…
Including DAW’s, audio interfaces, mic preamps, headphone amps, and of course…headphones.
Quite honestly though…up until researching this article I had no idea they even made headphones…
And as far as I can tell, the Presonus HD7 the one and only model they offer. So if it’s news to you, you’re not alone.
In the under $50 range, they’re apparently one of the most popular headphones out there, and there are hundreds of rave reviews to back that up.
One notable detail about these headphones is…they have a “semi-open” sound chamber, meaning they are decently suited for a wide variety of listening applications such as tracking, mixing, or casual listening.
Check it out:
And if you want another good option for “semi-open” headphones, check out these as well:
- Superlux HD 681 – (Amazon)
The 3 Honorable Mentions
Now that we’ve gone through each of the more popular (and also more obvious) picks…
I’d like to finish out the list with 3 more picks that most of you have probably never heard of.
And while they may not be as famous, or have the same brand recognition as some of the previous options…
They do have something that matters way more: reviews.
Among the hundreds of cheap crappy headphones you’ll find scattered across the internet…
These are the 3 that have accumulated a massive number of sales based off nothing more than one satisfied user recommending it to another satisfied user, and another, and well…you get the idea.
Anyways, here they are: