Getting into more refined monitoring requires the right gear. We are talking high precision speakers as well as headphones. Today we’re going to show you some models which fit this description. The price range we’re looking at is considered the mid-range in the industry, which means that you are getting a very good balance between price and performance. First we’ll go over our picks for the top 7 best studio headphones under $300. Afterward, we will talk about why some of these are among the best studio headphones, period. If you’re after a good set of cans, stay tuned.
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M70x
The entire Audio technica ATH-M series were an instant success. This line of headphones has put AT on the map when it comes to headphones. However, there’s a difference between the M70x and the rest of the pack. Where the M50x and the rest are all about that bang for the buck ratio, M70x is all about performance and transparency.
These feature a very simple frame which is optimized for comfort. Padding is applied tactically where it is needed the most, which reduces weight and improves aesthetics as well. Performance wise, you’re looking at a pair of 45mm drivers. These offer 5Hz to 40kHz frequency response range with no bias. Compared to many of their competitors, M70x is truly flat.
2. Focal Listen Pro
If you have explored the realms of higher end headphones, chances are that you have heard of Focal. Their designs are usually considered to be solid quality stuff, which also applies to their studio headphones. Focal Listen Pro showcases what this brand is all about. You are getting the performance, the style and the unique character of this awesome brand.
The hardware, much like it is the case in other Focal cans, is impressive. There’s so much headroom that you simply won’t feel limited by what these have to offer. Being a closed design, these are perfect for real time monitoring and mixing. Flat, responsive and transparent, Focal Listen Pro offer good performance with high levels of comfort and consistency.
3. Sony MDR7520
Sony’s professional series of headphones are truly on a whole different level compared to their other stuff. One look at the Sony MDR7520 reveals that not much effort went into aesthetics. Instead, they have poured all of their time into making these as efficient as possible. The result is a set of cans which is comfortable but also incredibly accurate.
This accuracy comes from the impressive hardware. We are talking 50mm drivers which feature LCP diaphragms and a very wide frequency response range. On top of a super flat sound, you are getting great comfort which reduces fatigue quite a bit. These are the type of headphones you can wear for hours on end without actually experiencing any real discomfort.
4. Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO
Beyerdynamic’s DT 880 PRO studio headphones offer everything you would want from a professional set of cans, in a somewhat different package. Semi open headphones are often designed to combine the best of both closed and fully open worlds. This makes them suitable for all kinds of applications but the fact remains that they are an acquired taste for most.
DT 880 PRO offer impressive hardware with a frequency range that spans from 5Hz to 35kHz. These have impedance of 250 Ohms, which means that you will need a preamp if you really want to get the most out of them. Overall, the performance and the comfort DT 880 PRO offers is definitely too good to ignore at this price.
5. Beats Studio Wireless
Even though Beats by Dre never really took off among producers, they do offer a fairly decent way for users to experience decent audio in a wireless setup. As always, many will argue whether your can expect good audio quality from a Bluetooth set of headphones or not. That is up for discussion although Beats certainly make a good case.
The hardware itself is nothing special. You are looking at a good set of drivers sitting behind a comfortable set of ear pads. The frame is stylish and offers good comfort. With a battery life of 12 hours per charge, you won’t be offline for too long. Truth be told, these are a good compromise for those who need agility.
6. Beyerdynamic DT-100
Last but not least we have another awesome model coming from Beyerdynamic. This time around it is the DT-100. Right off the bat you will notice that these headphones feature a very unusual design. That is probably one of their most obvious drawbacks. Looks alone don’t really matter that much but the design is affecting comfort and that is problematic.
On the other hand, such a light weight design is great if you’re after performance on a budget. These pack a great set of drivers rated at 400 ohms. Being pretty flat, you can expect good accuracy and plenty of transparency. Overall, if you can get past the wacky design, these will serve you quite well in the long run.