Best Budget Audiophile Headphones (for Any Budget) in 2021

With the number of headphones on the market, it has become very easy to get a decent couple of headphones.

For a few hundred bucks or less, you can get an excellent headphone of your choice.

Sometimes you might have to deal with a tight budget, however.

Well, you may not need to break the bank to get a great headphone.

Whether your budget is $500 or $100, we are going to present you the absolute picks of the best price range audiophile headphones.

How We Select

We have tried a dozen headsets, and though most are audiophile high quality, their prices are hefty for some of us to get them.

Therefore, it would be so easy to populate this list with costly headphones. But value can be a critical factor on our list.

We have tried to continue to keep things sane with budget-friendly consumer earphone options.

We have also tried to break the list down into classes making it easy for you to choose a set that correctly fits your needs.

We have combined both shut and open headphones since we know there are great items on both sides.

Sound quality was paramount in this case because we all know that’s what audiophiles will value most.

Other factors regarded as in this list are the ease and comfort and the ease of use.

Or you disagree with our list, please leave a comment listed below, if we have missed a fantastic headphone you have enjoyed.

Compare Table: The Best Budget Audiophile Headphones

HEADPHONESIMPEDANCESENSITIVITYDRIVERSTYPEEAR COUPLING
Price
#Sennheiser HD 600300Ω97dB40mmDynamicOver-Ear
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Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Ohm 80Ω96dB45mmDynamicOver-Ear
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Hifiman HE400S Headphones 22Ω98dB60mmPlanarOver-Ear
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1MORE Triple Driver in-Ear Earphones32Ω99dBUnknownHybridIn-Ear
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Sennheiser HD 569 23Ω115dB35mmDynamicOver-Ear
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Grado SR80e Prestige Series32Ω99.8dB40mmDynamicIn-Ear
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Meze 99 Classics32Ω103dB40mmDynamicOver-Ear
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Sennheiser HD 558 50Ω112dB40mmDynamicOver-Ear
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Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO 250Ω96dB45mmDynamicOver-Ear
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Audio-Technica ATH-M50x38Ω99dB45mmDynamicOver-Ear
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Our Top 10 Best Budget Audiophile Earphone Picks

1. Sennheiser High-definition 600 – Our Best Price range Audiophile Headphone

Category: Dynamic/ Open-Back again

Impedance: 300O

Sensitivity: 97dB

What We Like: , and comprehensive soundcomfortable and simple

What We Do not: Needs an amplifier to sound its best

The Sennheiser HD 600 is the best bargain we could learn that satisfied our hearing buds if you are looking for a cheap audiophile headphone.

The Sennheiser High definition 600 is the type of headset that makes you re-listen to everything you’ve ever listened to again to get the way should sound. This headset has been in the scene for a while.

I know there are a lot of evaluations on it already, so I’ll skip the origins, who it was made for and go straight to the sound, build and luxury quality.

The vast majority of material of the Sennheiser Hi-def 600 is plastic.

The plastic is hard and features a speckled-stone design.

The plastic surrounds the earcups and it is used for the headband.

This, however, is not going to make the headphone feel lightweight or cheaper in any way.

Apart from plastic, the headphone also offers memory foam that is used inside the headband and the earpads with velour covering them. Becoming a member of the headband to the earcups is a metal band and this can be adjusted to fit your head size.

The Sennheiser Hi-def 600 is slightly tight when worn at first but with time the clamping force gets pretty much spot on. The headphone fits flawlessly and the oval-shaped earpads are some of the most cozy.

The earpads are lush, soft and feel very good on your ears. The headband that has bumps that sleep on your head.

Both the pads and the headband are comfortable even after long listening sessions and do not feel hot.

When evaluating this headphone, we utilized a variety of power sources.

What I can tell you is the Sennheiser HD 600 requires a good amp to shine.

So, if you are looking at the Sennheiser High-definition 600 it would be good to budget for a good amp.

The HD600 is overall an effective sounding headphone. Now first of all the bad: the sub-bass.

Though I would not term it as necessarily poor, however, if there is one thing I might work on to make this the most effective headphone, it would be the sub-bass.

The sub-bass is somehow weak but good.

Overall the bass of the headphone is clean, tight and punchy.

In comparison, the bass is not really too weak like the K701 and not too fat like the Fidelio X2, it is anywhere in between.

The midrange and treble would be where the Sennheiser High definition 600 excels.

The midrange: , you name it; the Sennheiser Hi-def 600 reproduces the details with clarity enough to be research quality.guitars and vocals The treble, I found to be very good although it has been a reason for controversy among audiophiles.

I think the Sennheiser Veil contains no grounds especially when talking about the Sennheiser HD 600…read our in-range review.

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2. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Ohm – Best Closed-Back Audiophile Headphone

Classification: Dynamic/ Closed-back

Impedance: 80O

Susceptibility: 96dB

What we like: Extremely comfortable, the overall sound quality is good, Nice bass

What We Never: Non-detachable cable tv

The Beyerdynamic brand has an excellent reputation in the headset world.

I have come to count on great things when it comes to Beyerdynamic audio gear or headsets.

Whether you are looking for a studio headphone or a portable type, Beyerdynamic has something you can check out.

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (80 Ohms) is one of the best closed-back headphones you can get in a cheaper price and still get audiophile quality sound.

For your design, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Ohm looks very similar to most of the Beyerdynamic headphones.

The design features largely metal and a few plastic parts.

The outer case from the earpads (mostly plastic), is very high quality and sturdy enough to withstand a fall.

The headband is made of metal, which can be covered by pleather. The headband is soft padded and can be easily bent to accommodate your face shape.

Joining the headband to the earcups are the steel bands, they are high quality and feel very rigid.

If you are not cautious, the hinges are built with plastic and might break, nevertheless.

The overall weight of this earphone is negligible for a circumaural headphone.

The headband is comfortable, and as earlier reported, it can be adjusted easily yourself to fit your head shape.

The earpads are well padded and covered by a cloth fabric that is very soft and breathable.

After periodic use, they get quite comfortable, even though at first, the earpads are stiff.

The clamping force is quite excellent, it is not noticeable, and you can get the headphone for long hours with out getting fatigued.

For a shut down-back headphone, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Expert 80 Ohm is good with passive noise isolation.

I would personally not call it great simply because, in very noisy conditions, they do leak in noises a little, but in a normal placing, they are fine.

Now to the seem, and let’s start with the bass. The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (80 Ohm) for me excels in the lower-end notes.

At first, when listening to the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Ohm, the bass would seem uncontrolled but give it serious amounts of burn-in, and the bass gets tighter and punchy.

As for the mids, they seem neutral and are not coloured, but they are not very impressive.

Not to say the midrange is terrible having said that i think they could be much stronger.

The mids are a tad recessed but noticeable.

The treble of the DT 770 Expert I found to be easy about the ears.

They are clear, as well as the instrument separation is quite beneficial to a closed-back again headphone.

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3. Hifiman HE400S Earbuds – Best Open-Back Audiophile Headphone

Classification: Planar Magnetic/ open-Back

Impedance: 22O

Sensitivity: 98dB

What We Like: A cheap planar magnetic headphone, comfortable, great mids

What We Don’t: inexpensive construction supplies

After the release of the HE-5 (discontinued) during 2009 by HiFiMan, planar magnet technology saw a restored interest in the headphone world.

HiFiMAN has quite a lot of expertise in planar magnetic technology because of their discontinued planar magnetic headsets models (HE-500, HE-5LE, HE-4, HE-400, HE-5) still attracting many followers.

The Hifiman HE400S is a very solid choice for any individual looking to try out planar magnet technology, as one of the cheapest planar magnetic headphones.

The choice of resources of the Hifiman HE400S is certainly not to get excited about.

The headband pad is made of pleather and apart from the headband arch and side grills which are metal; all the other visible materials of the earphone are plastic.

The create of the Hifiman HE400S is however solid.

The earcups are well angled and fairly strong.

The back of the earcups and the earpads are delicate, well made and while they may not look fancy like high-end models, they do the job well, and that is what counts.

The earpads are memory foam padded and velour covered.

The Hifiman HE400S is light particularly because planars are mainly related as being bulky.

The spherical earcups are large enough and may accommodate most ears.

The headband is made of pleather and is also very comfortable.

The headband can be adjusted to fit most head sizes, and the clamping force is very good to be donned for extended use.

The earpad’s velour cover adds a breathable layer, which is storage foam padded for utmost comfort.

The HE400S is a wonderful sounding open-back again headphone.

The bass in planar magnetic headphones is probably the most discussed aspect after their weight.

The Hifiman HE400S has good bass with punch and impact, but it is also toned in terms quantity.

It is worth to bring up that the changing of the hearing pads to better ones will noticeably improve the bass.

The midrange of the HE400S is released as smooth with high-quality.

The midrange, I would say is simply superb! Fromviolins and vocals, or guitars, the mids come out with great quality and presence.

The mids are the best part of the Hifiman HE400S. The highs of the HE400S are on the softer thorough, side and clear.

The highs/ treble however, not greatly extended, they do not sound harsh or dark.

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4. 1MORE Triple Driver in-Ear Earphones – Best In-Ear Audiophile Headphone

Category: Hybrid/ Closed-Back

Impedance: 32O

Sensitivity: 99dB

Whatever We Like: incredible value for your build and sound quality, outstanding packaging

What We Don’t: bass quality could be better

Making an audiophile quality In-ear headphone is not really that easy.

Especially for a lower value, sacrificing the sound quality, develop and quality of materials is even harder.

But, one organization has managed to pull this challenge off. 1More, a Chinese company in the USA is behind the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Earphone, a cheap In-Ear headphone that offers excellent quality at a price.

The packaging of the 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphone is on position, before we get into the build quality. Everything from the box down to the flip top case offered feels very luxurious to the price.

Now to let’s get onto the review.

First, the 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphone has a premium design that features a metallic design.

The housings have a flared conical form and feature a downward pointing metal cylinder extension at the end of the earphones.

The nozzle is metallic and features an opening up with a wax guard filtering.

The cable of the 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphone is of sufficient features and length a plastic-type material coating above the Y-splitter.

After the Y-splitter, the coating include is replaced by braided nylon.

Both the Y-splitter and the 3.5mm jack’s housing are made of metallic.

The cable comes with a efficient and straightforward 3 button in-line control remote.

The buttons give a user the main functions such as play/pause, track skipping, and volume adjustment.

I had no problems with the comfort or the match of this earphone.

They are very lightweight and angled in a way that they do not penetrate deep inside the canal to cause discomfort.

The earphone also comes along with nine ear tips (6 silicon ear tips and three foam tips) that one could choose from to find your best fit.

The 1MORE Triple Vehicle driver In-Ear Earphone uses a hybrid driver.

By using a dedicated dynamic driver for that bass, you would expect the bass to be excellent, and they are generally.

The sub bass is well presented while the midbass is more forward but fails to seem to bleed into the midrange,

The midrange is very good and exhibits a neutral flatness, which means a rich, detailed, and textured presentation of instruments and vocals. Going into the treble, the signature of the noise is warm and seems relaxed overall.

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5. Sennheiser HD 569

Category: Vibrant/ Closed-Back

Impedance: 23O

Sensitivity: 115dB

What We Like: Comfort, balanced sound, detachable cable

What We Don’t: Irritating wedges in the earcup

The Sennheiser’s High-definition 5XX series has seen a very rich selection of very good audiophile headphones that are effectively above their price school.

The Sennheiser HD 569 is no exception, offering the finest in comfort, looks, and quality of sound. Moreover, the best part, all for a very cheap price. So, what’s not to love with the Sennheiser HD 569?

Well, not a whole lot.

The design of the Sennheiser High-definition 569 is very simple.

It functions the Sennheiser traditional look but less has gone into making it look like a luxurious item.

Most of the materials used in the Sennheiser HD 569 are mostly plastic except for the cushioning.

The headphone is even so very sturdy built and must last longer with proper care.

The headband features a thick padding strip that is centrally located to rest on the head.

The earpads are big enough to pay the characteristic and ears a 3.5mm headphone jack in the bottom.

The earpads are storage foam padded and included in a very soft material.

An unsatisfactory quality issue I found was a wedge/ ridge inside the earcups that makes the headset uncomfortable when worn for too long sessions.

The comfort of a headset is one of the important aspects most will be into when selecting a good headphone.

The Sennheiser HD 569 falls in line with the other Sennheisers from the 5XX line.

The Sennheiser Hi-def 569 earpad’s are far better and feel comfortable, however.

Even the current design does the work right, though the headband, I think could have been done greater.

The headband can be altered by pulling the headband arch.

The clamping power is just right and enough that the headphones do not fall off my head.

The sound signature of the HD569 leans more towards the simple zone.

Being a closed-back headphone, the largemouth bass is present; it has a good excess weight and punch to it.

General, I think the bass is well balanced has a very few flaws that can be forgiven.

The mids are smooth, slightly hot, and free of distortion or compression.

Both vocals and instruments are well represented for fulfilling listening experience.

The treble is slightly low but has a very nice presence without sounding harsh or screechy.

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6. Grado SR80e Status Series

Category: Dynamic/ Open-Back

Impedance: 32O

Sensitivity: 99.8dB

What We Like: good Soundstage, clarity, durable cable, replaceable earpads

What We Don’t: Small clamping force, build quality not good enough

The Grado Laboratories business has been around for many years.

The family unit-owned company usually takes pride in hand making each of the Grado headphones to ensure a much better quality product for its shoppers.

The Grado SR80e is a great starter headphone for any individual looking to get an audiophile top quality headphones low price.

The SR80e is an improvement from the SR80i which both fall under Status series.

The Grado SR80e is an on-hearing, open-back headphone.

The design of the SR80e is exclusive in the market.

The headphone appearance antiquated, but don’t be fooled by the design.

The SR80e is part of the Classic headphone series by Grado also known as Prestige range.

Here at Sound gear research laboratory, we like it. It is excellent to see this type of design with today’s science fiction and extremely fashionable looking headphones.

The headphone is light, however the build quality is a little disappointing.

The perfectly rounded earcups are made of plastic and swivel 360 degrees while the headband is made from leather.

A metal goes through the headband to give it shape and maintain it from collapsing.

Two metal rods one on each earcup join around the headband.

The aluminum rods can also be used to adjust the headphone to a size that suits you.

The earcups also feature a non-easily-removed cable.

The cable feels solid (you can probably tow a car with the cord) and even more importantly does not tangle on use.

As far as comfort goes, the Grado SR80e’s were a little bit comfortable than we got expected them to be.

The clamping force is high, and the headphone could use a little stretching out or be worn occasionally.

Normally, the headphone becomes unpleasant after using them for a very little over 1 hour.

The earpads of the SR80e are also not the most comfortable and should be improved, especially to remove the roughness.

The good news is you can get a cozy pair of replaceable earpads for your SR80e and swap them.

This improves not only enhanced comfort but the audio quality of the headphone.

For a headphone this affordable, there is an overall balance inside the sound frequencies.

The Grado SR80e impressed us with the sound they put out.

Initially, these are not bass monsters, but the bass is present and comes out clean and punchy without distorting the other frequency bands.

The midrange is one of the finest we have heard from a earphone that costs less than $100.

There is clarity, and the available-back design of the headphone gives naturalness on the sound which we liked.

The treble is effectively extended and has great details. Imaging and instrument separation is also first class.

Grado is deservedly a samurai in the headphone world.

Overall, to get the sound quality of this headphone for less than $100 is nothing short of Awesome!

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7. Meze 99 Classics – Sophisticated and Comfortable

Category: Dynamic/ Closed-Back

Impedance: 32O

Sensitivity: 103dB

What We Like: Serviceable build and beautiful design, lightweight, great cozy

What We Don’t: None at this price

In 2015, Meze Audio entered the headset market with storm by releasing their first headphone created in house, the 99 Classics.

The Headphone got the market by storm and sooner than later it was all over the place, and just about every site examined this headphone. What produced the 99 Classics so attractive and popular?

There are diverse reasons, but to us, it is the appealing and basic style, a very affordable price tag and the rest you can read in our simple review below.

For many earphone appearance, design and style and buyers play an important factor when purchasing a headphone, and in the market, we have different headphone designs.

Now enter the Meze 99 Classics, even though as an example, take the retro Grados or even the no-nonsense Beyerdynamic by the Germans. Their design is so distinguishable, unique and good through the rest.

The first time you see the 99 Classics and the earcups will draw your interest.

The conical shaped earcups are made from wood, in this case, walnut, which is not only aesthetically appealing but also has natural resonating properties.

On the bezel for each earcup, there are 3.5mm headphone ports which include a small gold ring all around the holes.

The self-adjusting headband is vast and well padded and is also attached to a steel group via cast zinc enable cross structure.

The metal band extends down and connects to the earcups.

On the earpads and we have top reasons to believe they have been improved considering that the early versions of the Meze 99 Classics.

They are thicker like the ones that come with the Neo and also plusher.

The 99 Classics have big earpads, and their fit throughout the ears is very awesome.

The depth is also good, so ears stay fine without getting squashed in the middle.

The headphone’s clamping force is light-weight enough to stay on your mind without falling.

Add a comfy headband that sits n the head without causing any pressure points, and the Meze 99 Classics gets leading marks for their comfort.

So how do the Meze 99 Classics sound?

For a start, they are soft smooth and also give out an engaging sound.

The sound signature is well balanced from the lows, mids to the levels, but not in a neutral referencing style.

Considering the earcups are made of timber one would assume the sound is colored or cozy.

But far from that, the headphone brings out a more musical and engaging overall presentation.

Beginning from the bass, the level is good and extends quite low.

Though the bass is the weakest area in the 99 Timeless classics sound signature, it integrates well with the sound to give a good listening experience.

The midrange is superb and probably the most favorable characteristic of the headphone.

They are come, dynamic and musical out with clarity.

The treble comes out as balanced as well as integrates with the overall sound seamlessly.

For a closed back again headphone, the soundstage is good with good depth and wider effect.

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8. Sennheiser HD 558 Headphones – Best Headphones for Sound-stage

Category: Dynamic/ Open up-Back

Impedance: 50O

Sensitivity: 112dB

What We Like: Extremely comfortable, long cable (10 ft), great soundstage

What we don’t: bass may be more powerful

The Sennheiser High-definition range features some of the renowned headphones in the market, the HD650, HD800 and our best finances audiophile headphone, the HD600.

These are among the most highly regarded headphones in audiophile communities around and now enter the Hi-def 558.

The headphone has a cheap price tag, and it was good enough to satisfy our likes and make it on this listing.

The Sennheiser HD558 is undoubtedly an open-back above-ear headphone.

First, if they are open supported, look at the headphone, and you could not tell.

The design of the headset is good, good enough that we have read about it being reused by the guys at Sennheiser for the 598’s.

The earphone is made from plastic.

The only thing from your design we could point out which had been not plastic were the big earcups and the padding around the headband.

However, the plastic material build does not take make your headphone any less greater.

The HD558 are solid, light-weight and have a premium sense in the hand.

There have been problems about the durability of this headphone, and although we have owned or operated the 558 for a couple of weeks, there is no doubt they will last a long time for comparison.

Sennheiser HD25-1 II is finished plastic but is renowned because of its durability.

There were reports of cracking in earlier kinds of the HD558, but it has been addressed in modern models.

However, if you continue to feel adamant about getting these, Sennheiser offers a 2-year warranty, nicely that is enough time for you to “break” them in.

The comfort from the Sennheiser HD 558 is what you would expect from Sennheiser headphones.

The thick and lush padded velour earpads are incredibly comfortable.

If you have big ears, the earcups are also huge making them an easy fit even.

The headband padding is also heavy and also covered with velour making the headphone extremely comfy.

These will disappear on your own head. The headband hands also extend longer to match even a big head.

The clamp is good, and the earphone can sit very secure without falling off, save for implementing your hands.

The sound of the HD558 is just phenomenal, and we adore it.

The Sub-largemouth bass of this headphone is good to complement up with most music styles, but if you are really into bass eccentric genres like EDM, this headphone is not going to suffice.

The bass, we might point out it is there but is not that impressive; overall, we may have preferred to have slightly more bass for a cleaner audio.

The midrange is where the HD 558 takes this cake.

The mids are the place you would want them to be, comfortable, smooth and never feeling obtrusive.

Lower string and guitars seem clear and laid back.

We found this headphone pleasant with classical music or lyrical emphasized songs which require warm sound that lets you relax and clear your ideas.

The smoothness of the mids is carried over in to the highs.

It is not totally clean and has a slight sharpness that makes the sound much more intensive.

The soundstage on this headset, to say the least, it’s fantastic.

These have a good sense of instrument, width and depth separation.

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9. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Professional – Comfortable and Built to Last

Category: Dynamic/ Closed-Back

Impedance: 250O

Sensitivity: 96dB

What We Should Like: comfortable velour pads, superb build quality, Deep and well extended bass

What We Should Don’t: Treble can get unpleasant at high volume

Considering that 1924 Beyerdynamic has been in the organization of handcrafting premium headphones.

The German professional music electronics manufacturer is synonymous with giving out hi-fi audio, and it should not appear as a surprise to see two Beyerdynamic offerings in our collection.

Beyerdynamic is a renowned brand name in the audiophile world, and we highly recommend their headphones.

The design of the DT 990 is almost identical to the DT 770.

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro is an Open-back over-ear canal headphone.

The DT 990 PRO build features plastic-type material for the earcups, the headband is made out of metal which is covered with a soft pillow. The plastic used is of high quality and built to last.

The headphone has a clean looks and finish like a top-notch product.

The earpads are velour covered and feel very smooth and soft which adds a premium look to the headphone.

The earpads and the vinyl headband pad are both replaceable.

The headband and earcups are connected by a steel yoke which also enables the earcups to move.

The headband at first has a tight clamp, but because the headband is made of steel spring, you can bend it out slightly to loosen the grip.

The match and comfort of the DT 990 PRO are great.

The velour covered, and thick padded earpads are fantastic.

In the event you spend long sessions on your PC listening, recording, or doing nothing, the DT 990 is actually a headphone you can try.

It is noticeable right after in long sessions of usage, though compared to the DT 770, the 990 Pro is far more comfortable.

This could be because of the 990 lighter and more breathable. Compared to the High definition 600, which is 10 gr lighter,

but less breathable earpads, we found the HD 600 more comfortable but this was huge because of the earcups of the HD600 have more place for the ears, and the headband support is excellent.

Among the 3 headphones from the most comfy to the least comfortable, it might be HD 600, DT 990 and finally DT 770.

Such as the HD600 on our collection, to sound best the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Expert needs a dedicated headphone amplifier.

In our setup, we utilized the Schiit Audio Magni 3 which is a relatively inexpensive headphone amp.

You can check out our recommended list of cheap headphone amps.

Overall, we identified the DT 990 Pro a very good sounding headphone.

Starting with the bass, it is properly extended and consistent.

For the open-back headphone, the bass is really prominent and creates a powerful impact.

The mids are the weakest stage for the DT 990 Pro and feel a bit recessed; clarity, however and splitting up is impressive.

The levels are the DT 990 Master excels at.

Though you can feel a little sibilance from afar which can become harsh at high volumes over a prolonged time, the details and clearness are great.

The soundstage is wide and the positioning also accurate which adds to constitute an engaging listening expertise.

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10. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x – Excellent Starter Selection

Category: Dynamic/ Shut

Impedance: 38O

Sensitivity: 98dB

What We Like: Punchy largemouth bass, decent soundstage, isolation

What We Don’t: Ears can get just a little warm, Proprietary detachable cables

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is most likely one of the most recommended headphones about as a cheap alternative access into the world of high audio fidelity.

Why? Because these are versatile.

They look good, are foldable, and their comfort is good.

The ATH-M50x is also well built and appears quite sturdy, so these will certainly last a long time.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is good for listening to music; nevertheless, these are not neutral adequate to be called studio tracks as their name suggests. Discover more on that below.

The ATH-M50X is undoubtedly an over-ear shut back headphone.

The headphone is well built, and though most of the material is plastic, it seems to be of high quality.

Few steel parts are used in the making of the headband.

From our earlier experience with the earlier ATH-M50, the ATH-M50X is also durable.

Audio Technica has also spiced up this a little bit by providing light blue, white and red variations of this model.

In comparison to the previous M50X, the new version features a removable cable, unlike its predecessor.

The earpiece earphone connectors also come with a sealing mechanism which ensures the cable does not detach while using the the headphone.

For ease and comfort, the M50x headband’s is plusher and the earpads really feel softer.

Though the headphone comes with a tight clamp, using the headphone frequently or stretching them out a little makes them much more comfortable.

On the brighter side, the ATH-M50x will not likely fall off your head effortlessly when walking around, which makes excellent for portable use.

The isolation of the ATH-M50x is good, and these would be great for walking in the streets with music playing.

The earpads are well padded though not thick enough we never ever felt strained when using the headset.

A problem we experienced is definitely the earpads tend to get a tad warmer when using the headphone for very long sessions.

While audio Technica brands these headphones as “Monitoring” headphones, to us the M50s are not a reference monitor.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x lacks the pizzazz to be considered mixing or understanding headphones.

With that said, the overall, noise quality of the headphone is good enough to be considered audiophile quality.

The bass is punchy and full. The bass of the ATH-M50x is it is the best attribute. Works well for digital and bassy music.

The midrange is a little laid back, while there is clarity, so the headphone enjoyable for long listening sessions.

The treble response is quite great and also comes out with quality.

The soundstage is quite attractive considering this is a closed-back can, but there are better headphones in this checklist with an upper hand with all the soundstage.

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Budget Audiophile Headphones Purchasing Advice

Headphone Design Discussed: Over-Ear compared to. On-Ear vs. In-Ear

Over-Ear Headphones

Most audiophiles prefer over-Ear headphones because in comparison with other headphone types they offer numerous advantages.

First, over-the-hearing headphones are more comfortable in the long term than on-ear canal or in-ear headphone models.

An over-ear headphone will not immediately translate to it being comfortable, however.

You should look out for the headphone’s build quality, construction components, and the overall weight in the headphone.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO – Sound Equipment Lab

Apart from being cozy, when it comes to pure sound quality, a very high-end over-ear headphone is the best you could get.

Which equates to more sound with far better audio reproduction, this is because a big size translates to a larger sized and powerful speaker. However, this may also depend on a closed or open type.

But, all in all, if you want the most effective sound in a headphone, an over headphone is the best choice.

On-Ear Earphones

On-ears are the most versatile headphones type in the market due to their capabilities and dimensions.

While they are not discreet like In-Ear headphones, the compact design of on-ear headphones plus their weight makes them very portable.

On-ear headphones will, however, differ drastically inside their prices.

You can get cheap on-ear headphones which can be well built and sound okay, or you can spend more on a good pair that will blow you aside.

1MORE Triple Driver in-Ear Headphone – Sound Gear Lab

In-Ear Headphones

Of all of the three headphone types, In-ear headphones are generally the cheapest on average.

But, this is simply not to say you cannot find expensive models out there.

I prefer in-ear headphones since you can discreetly use them anywhere.

Which will even offer more discretion, these days’ cables are not an issue because you can get a true wireless earbud.

Because they are super light and very portable, in-ear headphones are perfect to use when working out or enjoying sports.

Read more about in-ear headphones compared to. on-ear earbuds vs. over-hearing headphones

Closed-Again vs. Open-Back again Headphones

Over-ear, on-ear, and also in-ear headphones, all have open-back and closed-rear design variations.

Open-back headphones have open backs usually mesh taken care of.

Because of the openings in the headphone casing, open-backs deliver a more immersive and natural sound quality.

However, though the open design makes them more deep and natural sounding, they are prone to sound leakages in and out from the headphone. See our best wide open-back headphones.

Meze 99 Classics closed-Back headphones – Noise Gear Lab

Closed-back headphones are earphones with a closed earcup layout, which keeps sound from seeping from the environment into the headphone.

They offer good isolation for use in loud and noisy environments, because of the closed back design.

Closed-back headphones are favored because they tend to have a better and deeper bass response.

See our best closed-back earphones.

 

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 250 and Ohm Ohm

Impedance Explained

Measured in Ohms, the impedance of a headphone lets you know how hard the headset driver hinders the stream of electrical current.

A low impedance headphone will be quicker to drive and not require additional power from an amplifier.

A low impedance headphone according to their sensitivity will also deliver high audio levels with very little power.

Low impedance headphones are also better suited for portability as they can work with poor amplification sources like cell phones, portable music players, and other portable devices.

A high impedance headphone on the other end will need more power to deliver better audio levels.

As a result, high impedance headphone models are more suited for a home setting rather than use on the go.

A high impedance headphone like the Sennheiser HD-600 or the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Ohm on this list requires an amplifier to seem better.

Sensitivity Explained

The sensitivity of a headphone may be the measure of how effectively a headphone will convert the supplied electrical signal into an audio signal.

Measured in Decibels of sound stress level per milliwatt abb. dB SPL/mW, sensitivity indicates how loud a headphone will be from your particular power source.

The higher a headphone’s sensitivity, the better the headphone performance will be without the use of a lot of power.

On the other hand, the reduced the headphone sensitivity value, the more power it will require hitting better performance.

Read more about headphone sensitivity.

Headphone Driver Types Explained

In our list of the best budget audiophile earphones, there are three types of drivers mentioned.

These are planar powerful, magnetic and hybrid drivers.

All of these drivers come with their disadvantages and benefits.

Below I have discussed these drivers for a quick understanding.

Planar Magnetic Drivers

And their price is pleasant, planar magnetic headphones are slowly becoming more popular because of their ability to reproduce better sounds.

For example take the HifiMan He400S; it is a cheap planar magnetic headphone and delivers better sounding audio quality.

Planar individuals have two magnets as opposed to one like in dynamic drivers and do not rely on a transferring coil to displace oxygen and create sound.

Alternatively, a thin diaphragm with slender electrical wires is sandwiched between the two magnets, and once an electrical signal is unveiled,

they induce a magnetic field, which interacts using the electromagnetic field in the diaphragm causing the diaphragm to vibrate and the sound is duplicated.

Read more about planar magnetic drivers or check out our very best planar magnetic headphones.

HiFiMAN HE400S

Dynamic Drivers

Active headphones are the most popular from the headphone drivers.

You can find them in cheap in-ear headphones and even higher-end headphones much like the Focal Utopia.

Dynamic car owners use a voice coil inside a magnetic field to move the diaphragm.

When the coil receives current, it creates a magnet field that attracts or repels it from the magnet field.

The movement in the coil moves the diaphragm, displaces air, and reproduces sound.

If more atmosphere is displaced, a dynamic driver will sound even louder.

Since the working principle of dynamic headphones is so simple, vibrant drivers will not require much power to reach reasonable volume.

Hybrid Drivers

Crossbreed drivers are a new modern technology that combines dynamic drivers and balanced armature drivers.

As a result, hybrid drivers deliver an equilibrium of good bass response linked to dynamic drivers and a excellent treble.

A hybrid driver is usually connected with in-ear headsets like in our case the 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphone.

Learn more about the six different earphone drivers.

Do I Need A Individual Headphone Amp?

A earphone amp increases the level of the signal from a playback device to improve both the volume and particulars of the audio.

There are various factors why you may require a headphone amp to use with your headphones.

In other cases a headphone amp will not be required.

Below are some of the good reasons you need an external headphone amp:

If the existing inbuilt amp in your playback device is beneath-powered and not delivering enough power to the headsets.

If a pair of headphone carries a high impedance rating, e.g. like the Sennheiser HD 600 on our list.

Even at their full volume if a pair of headphone sounds quite quiet when paired with your playback device. This is generally associated with low sensitivity.

Factors why you may not need a headphone amp:

If a pair of headphone provides the noise-canceling attribute.

If you use In-ear canal headphones.

Read our in-depth guide on headphone amplifiers to learn more. You can also check out our best headphone amps under 100 dollars.

Do High Prices Mean Better Quality?

The short answer would be No.

In reality, it is intended to look that you always find more for a high price tag; greater construction, better quality sound, or perhaps additional and splendid accessories.

Though most of the times this is certainly always true, it is not always true.

A good example would be the Surpasses by Dre headphones, which can be overpriced.

You can get the same or even a better quality headphone for half the price or even less.