Hi friend and Welcome!
Today I’m comin’ at you with the best headphones under $100! These are generally great options when first starting out, as they won’t break the bank but are good enough to mix with or just listen to your favorite tunes!
These are in no particular order, but I will order them anyways according to what stands out as most significant in my mind.
1) Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
I’ve heard so much about these and most everything’s been extremely positive. A few people that have reviewed them have had these things for 5-10 years! Pretty amazing when you think about how much abuse headphones can go through. I know first hand 😛
- Clean, clear, and precise sound. detail previously unheard in consumer grade models comes out in these.
- Minimal to no background noise. perfect for mixing.
- Good padding, conducive to eliminating outside noise.
- Reliable and durable (one reviewer commented that he still has them after 6 years!).
- Great channel separation.
- Flat sound, true to mixing.
- Plastic headband is prone to developing cracks and sometimes breaking after prolonged use.
- Some reviewers have complained of a somewhat tight, uncomfortable fit.
- Too bulky, not good for portable use.
At just under $100 these are a steal. Check out my Sennheiser HD 280 Pro professional review!
2) Sony MDR 7506
Honestly what can I say about these that hasn’t already been said? I used to own a pair until I broke them after a Call of Duty match (my own fault).
You can read my official Sony MDR 7506 Review here!
These really helped me step up my mixing game when I first got them. It was truly a life changing purchase!
But I digress…
- Amazing clarity.
- Perfect mixing headphones (these really improved my mixes ten fold).
- Flat sound.
- Excellent reproduction from bass to mid to high end.
- Sturdy and rugged.
- Come with case and adapter.
- Coiled cable (a personal gripe of mine).
- Ear cup fell off after pro longed use.
Can’t really go wrong here, these are the industry standard for a reason. They are simply the best, and definitely worth much more than their price tag.
3) Audio Technica ATH M30x
If these babies are anything like my M50’s, then you all are in for a real treat. The M30’s got amazing reviews, as did my M50’s, and it seems Audio Technica upgraded all three models (30, 40, 50) to 30x, 40x, and 50x.
Basically what you get with the M50x’s is simply an upgraded version of these.
Some comparison notes:
1. The M30x has a 40mm driver compared to a 45mm driver in the M50x.
2. The M30x has a frequency response of 15-22,000Hz compared to 15-28,000Hz with the M50x.
3. The M30x has a maximum input power of 1300mW at 1kHz compared to 1600mW at 1kHz with the M50x.
4. The M30x has a sensitivity of 96dB compared to 99dB with the M50x.
5. The M30x has an impedance of 47 ohms compared to 38 ohms with the M50x.
6. The M30x weighs 7.8oz compared to 10oz with the M50x.
7. The M30x has a built in cable compared to detachable cables with the M50x. The straight cables are both 9.8′.
One reviewer noted that the main difference between the 30x and 50x’s is that the 50x’s are a little louder. They have a slightly better bass response and sound fuller with more channel separation.
The M30 however is a great bang for buck option.
and also check out my Audio Technica ATH M50 Review!
4) AKG K 240 Semi-Open Studio Headphones
Next up we have the AKG K 240’s, designed in Austria and made in China.
- Deep bass response.
- Good tonal balance.
- Amazing longevity.
- Very comfortable.
- Not for small heads (if you consider that a con, it just depends).
- Manufacturing quality has suffered with various reports of parts breaking, etc. (one reviewer mentioned that after they moved from Austria to China, the quality went down).
- Shoddy customer support.
- No case.
You can read the reviews for yourself on Amazon. A lot of people have been disappointed with the sound and build quality since they relocated. I would say buy at your own risk. They are still a good option, just not as good as they were a few years back.
5) Sennheiser HD 202
This model could be the best “bang for your buck” set of cans out there, and a great introduction to the wonderful world of audiophiles. They come in at a very modest price.
They are a true entry level set, and are light years better than any crappy ear buds, or anything you would find in a general retail store (think Walmart, CVS, etc.).
- Good bass and mid-tones (not too muddled).
- Affordable and durable (you won’t be able to find much that competes with this set in this price range).
- Quality (such a huge step up from the aforementioned crappy ear buds :P).
- Portable and compact.
- If you’ve owned a much better pair, then these will sound like crap. Haha.
- Discomfort after wearing them for long periods.
- Cheap wire (too thin) and a bit too long.
One reviewer said that he’s had 6 pairs of Sennheisers (various models) and all of them have had the sound in one ear go out. Just a word of warning. It may be an isolated case as I haven’t come across that reading any other reviews of Sennheiser products.
Check out my official Sennheiser HD 202 headphone review!
All in all these are probably the best budget set you can buy in this price range.
Well folks, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed my long-winded run down of some of the best headphones under $100!
Which of these suits your fancy more? Let me know!!
If you have any more specific questions, please don’t hesitate to leave them below. I very much look forward to speaking with you.
All the best and God bless,