For producers just starting to put together a home studio set up, the biggest road block is often cost. Lets not pretend its cheap to buy production gear, even when its used it still adds up. Whilst many spend their money on rack mounted analogue gear, or expensive synths. What many people forget to invest in is a good set of headphones. When monitoring and mixing down its important to have a good set. All the work and expensive equipment means nothing if your final mix doesn't sound right or if you have noise leaking from the headphones when you record.
Lets take a look at the Top 5 Budget Studio Headphones that won't break the bank:
5. Sennheiser HD200 Pro
The HD200 Pro's are light weight and simple in design. A great set of budget closed back headphones. These have very little noise leakage and for just £62 have great sonic characteristics. The bass is nice and full but not over driven. You get a nice long 2m cable which is a huge advantage when recording, giving you more freedom. Sennheiser are renowned for the sound quality of their headphones and the HD200 PRO's keep this tradition at a budget.
4. Audio Technica ATH-M40X
While they may not have the most catchy name, the ATH-M40x's are a brilliant pair of headphones. Coming in at £89 they are a great set for the studio and for casual listener too. Each ear is nicely padded so they feel really comfortable. The sound is very clean and detailed. The bass is maybe more emphasised than on the Sennheisers however it is very well controlled and doesn't seem too much. Audio Technica may not have a reputation for headphones but they have been in the HiFi Game and also make great studio microphones so they have plenty of expertise.
3. M-Audio HDH50
M-Audio have been building some great budget monitors and studio gear for a while and have used their expertise to create the HDH50's. At £125 they are a little pricier than the previous two. These headphones feel like they can take a knock or two yet have some really high quality components inside. M-audio claim you will get a full frequency response meaning you can mix and master through just headphones and be able to hear all the details for a more accurate mix. The headphones are really well padded so feel super comfortable and you can listen for a long period without feeling fatigue.
2. Pioneer HRM-7
Pioneer have been running riot in the DJ scene for years and they have been delving into the world of music production recently. The HRM-7's are a great set of really accurate detailed headphones. The hybrid memory foam and velour padding on the ear cups makes these one of the most comfortable headphones to wear. Fully enclosed meaning no sound leakage. The 3 layers of acoustic dampening means you get clean bass without the extra resonance. At £169 you do get alot of headphone for the money.
1. Sennheiser HD25 Plus
Yes these are DJ headphones however for mnitoring and listening back these are brilliant for a few different reasons. Firstly they are super light, barely weighing a thing so can keep them on for long periods of time without any fatigue. Secondly you can angle the ear cups which means for people who don't like recording with both ears covered can easily adjust. The ear cups are well padded and the sound quality on these is great. At just £169 the HD25 Plus's are tough to beat in terms of built and sound quality.
As much as it might seem tempting to spend all your money on gadgets however a good set of headphones is gold dust and one of the most important aspects of making music. Even if you can't spend an arm and a leg, the above list will give you a good level of quality at a more budget price.
All of the headphones listed are available to order