Cheap Good Headphones | 4 great options!

Hey Guys!

Before we get started, check out my guide on how to build a home studio, and the importance of headphones & monitoring!!

Cheap. Good. Headphones.

Cheap. Good. Headphones.

Lol, Imagine a caveman talking to you and he’s like “Headphones. Yeah. Good.

Cheap. Like.” In that caveman voice. Well today I’m gonna be a caveman and tell you all of some good cheap headphones. In a caveman voice. 😀

So, without further ado, here goes:

1) Sennheiser HD 280


Cheap Good Headphones

I have to include these on almost every short list of good cheap headphones. I received a pair from a friend in May of 2015 and couldn’t be happier with the quality and sound they provide!

I had heard so many good things about these puppies, but what stood out most to me was longevity. Many reviewers have had these for upwards of 10 years! They also provide a true, flat, rich sound which I have come to appreciate over the years.

I want the sound to be as uncolored as possible, and by all accounts these do just that.

The only gripe I found was that they wear down over time, which is understandable. my Audio Technica ATH M50’s have slight crackage on the ear cups, and I’ve had them for over 2 years.


See my official review!

2) Audio Technica ATH M30x


Cheap Good Headphones

No, these aren’t the M50x’s, but they’re pretty darn close by all accounts. They are also under $100, and are very similar to the 50’s and 50x’s in terms of build quality and sound.

The 50’s and 50x’s are slightly louder and have a deeper bass response. That’s really about it. Aside from all that, these are comfortable as well and provide a full, rich, uncolored sound. I’ve always been attracted to the design of this particular line of headphones as well. They are slick and not too bulky. The 30x’s are even a bit smaller than the 50x’s as well, so you get even more portability.

They also come with a case and adapter, so you can plug them into virtually anything as needed (a mixer, an audio interface, your ipod, etc.).


3) Sennheiser HD 201

bang for your buck chuck

Cheap Good Headphones

If there were ever a $20 set of cans you should buy that don’t sound like $20 cans, these are it! I’ve heard so many good things about them. Another reviewer said that if he just picked them up off the street he would have thought they were worth around $50.

They’re sturdy and comfortable, and the sound is flat and even. They don’t feel as if they would break with a simple twist, and that is something that has become really important to me over the years (I’ve broken more $20 Sony’s than I can count).

The bass isn’t as heavy as some would like, but they are definitely crisp and clear. Just don’t expect to be blown away by loudness. 😛

*Update as of 5/11/15*

Just received a pair of these in the mail, and they sound really really freaking good for $20. Reports of them not being very loud are true. In comparison to my 50x’s they are really quiet, but then again I’ve been extremely spoiled these last couple of years.

After prolonged listening (3-4 hours) I can say without a doubt these are really solid and even across the spectrum (albeit a little loud & tinny in the highs and mids). Also it is true that the bass isn’t in your face, but it’s definitely there, and sounds pretty good.

A couple of flaws:

  • They are comfortable, to an extent. After awhile you can really feel them and they start to get a little uncomfortable and need a slight adjustment.
  • The bass response at extremely low levels has a bit of trouble registering. You will start to hear some frequencies that sound a bit raspy and scratchy (I’m trying to think of a better word).

Overall they are really solid for the price and a great value. If you’re on a budget they are perfect. They are light-years better than any crappy ear bud or standard issue crappy headset that comes pre-packaged with some other crappy gear. Lol. They are a great entry level option.


4) Sennheiser HD 202

Bang for buck chuck II

Good Cheap Headphones

Boy it’s a Sennheiser sausage fest in here isn’t it?

Haha. Anyways, these and the 201’s are probably the best “bang for buck” options out there in this price range. They are a huge step up from your standard ear bud outfit, and are really portable and durable.

They provide good bass and mid tones, and the sound isn’t too muddled like you’d come to expect out of those nasty colored cans. (cough Beats by dre cough).

Anywho, the only gripes people had with these generally, is that the chord is cheap and long, and seems to be prone to breakage. You can tell in the picture it looks kind of emaciated. Lol 😛 People also reported discomfort after long periods (that’s semi normal me thinks).


Also while you’re at it, Check out my official review!!


Anyways, that’s about it for today folks!

Out of these, which do you feel is the best value??

Let me know down below what you think about these Good Cheap Headphones. Lol. If you have any further specific questions, please ask me! I love headphones, and I love talking about them and anything else music related. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

All the best,

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  1. You clearly know what you’re talking about! I prefer my headphones a little bass-forward with a around-the-back-of-the-neck construction. There’s no place in my life for earbuds! I have tried the Sennheiser HD 202 and I loved them. The cord was thin, but I had no problems with it. The only reason I changed my phones was that I would use them for hours at a time, and they really did become uncomfortable. There would be no problem for about 2 hrs, but after that my ears would start to feel smushed and a little sweaty (and I’m not a sweaty person). An option with more fabric instead of leather that still has even tones would be great!

    • I highly advise you try the Audio Technica ATH line. I have a pair of M50’s and they are by far the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever had. They are a bit pricey (mid range) but they are worth every penny. I’ve had mine for over 2 years and I’m spoiled by them.
      I just impulse bought the HD 201’s and 202’s, as well as the HD 280’s. Looking forward to comparing 4 sets of headphones lol.

      Thanks for dropping by as well!

  2. I absolutely love your site. It’s very helpful for anyone looking for a reliable and cost efficient pair of headphones. Everyone ones to grab the beats because of how popular they are. They are great headphones though, but I like how you break down the quality of different headphones. Makes it easier for someone shopping and looking for the perfect pair. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks April I appreciate you dropping by and checking out my site. Please check back in the future, I’m always furiously writing!

  3. Hi Stu, great site you have here. I have always liked kickin back with good headphones and listen to my kind of music.
    Thanks for the info.

  4. Very informative article! Which of these headphones do you think would be the best as far as comfort goes?

    • Audio Technica’s hands down. If they are anything like my M50’s, then you could probably never take them off and be comfortable. Okay that’s an exaggeration but seriously I forget I’m even wearing them. I JUST took them off now because I’m about to eat some spaghetti, but normally I would never take them off. Lol. Sometimes I just sit around with them on while I’m browsing, even when music isn’t playing! Check out the M30x’s though if you want something a little more affordable. The two are very comparable so you can’t go wrong!
      Thanks for dropping by man!

  5. Those headphones look slick. I’m going to have to get me a pair and go to you as a resource before I buy. Thanks for such a well laid out review!

    • Please do man! I’d be ecstatic if you clicked through to be honest.. 🙂 I actually just impulse bought the Sennheiser HD 201’s and 202’s! the 201’s used are 13 bucks! I also bought the Sennheiser HD 280’s because I honestly want to see how solid they are. So now I’m gonna have 4 sets of cans lying around.. It’s gonna be pretty sweet. Lol .. Thanks for dropping by!

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