9 Best Budget Audiophile Headphones under 300 Review
There are headphones for almost everyone and all ages. Everyone who loves music wants the best headphones to enjoy the best quality and groove to their favorite beats. With the on-going trend of getting into the music industry, people look for different types of headphones to serve the purpose of listening to quality audio, and for reproducing it. Good quality headphones enable music enthusiasts and composers to reproduce masterpieces which people can enjoy.
Music enthusiasts keep looking for headphones which can give them accurate and quality sound. Audiophiles are those enthusiasts who require excellent quality headphones at all stages of music reproduction. From the initial audio recording, the production process, mixing and the playback process, audiophiles are in search of headphones that can give high-fidelity and maximum accuracy.
The purpose of having audiophile headphones is to create music without any distortion and coloration. They not only provide high-fidelity and high-quality sounds, but they offer a luxurious experience which can put you in a trance while you try to work on your masterpiece. Audiophiles are very passionate about music, and they keep looking for the best headphones which can satisfy their craving for high-quality sound music.
Proficiency in work requires the best gear, and that includes headphones. For that matter, we have compiled a list of the 9 Best Budget Audiophile Headphones under 300 which are going to help you in providing error-free results. There are so many options available in the market that it can get confusing to select the right choice. Through this list, you will get to know the best options available, and you can choose the right one according to your requirements and budget.
We have created a comparison table to help you know the features of the products we have selected. It will enable you to know which brand offers the best features.
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Sennheiser HD 600 Open-Back Professional Headphones
Sennheiser is a leading brand in the headphones industry. They have a wide range of some great products. The HD-600 is another good product by them. This open-back pair of headphones have been designed especially for professionals who have to work for extended hours. It keeps the ears cool because of its excellent ventilation, and the lightweight is ideal for using it for longer hours.
The mesh grills are made up of high-quality open metal which successfully delivers transparent sound. For an excellent transient response, extremely lightweight aluminium coils have been installed in it. These headphones provide spatial and accurate sound that is exceptionally natural.
Coming to the design of this headset, it has a very sophisticated design and looks very classy. The headband is adjustable and padded to give you comfort and a good grip at the same time. The ear cups have been padded with incredibly soft cushion, which does not let your ears feel weary after a long working session. The open-back keeps your ears cool and relaxed while you work.
The OFC copper cable is Kevlar reinforced and is detachable. You don’t have to worry about the cable getting damaged as you can replace it easily. It comes with a 2-years international warranty, so no matter where you are, you are fully covered. These are designed for audiophiles and are a favourite among them.
Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro Over-ear Studio Headphones
Beyerdynamic is another brand which leads the headphones industry. They have a product for everyone and every age. The DT770 Pro has to be the best closed-back headphones which give you audiophile-quality sound and are available at an affordable price. So, if you are on a budget and looking for quality sound, this product is your best bet.
This pair of headphones delivers high-resolution sound, which is perfect for studio and stage recordings. It is ideal for professionals who want the best recording and monitoring experience. It provides an extremely transparent sound tremendously detailed resolution, which is simply perfect for studio use.
The DT770 Pro is a favorite among sound technicians, music composers and broadcasters because of its fantastic sound volume. It is also famous among non-professional music lovers. It provides detailed music which the music professionals look for monitoring purpose. It delivers remarkable spatial reproduction which results in crisp, clear and distinguished sound. It blocks out external noises effortlessly.
The design is durable and sturdy with an adjustable headband cushioned softly to give you a comfortable experience. The ear cups are cushioned with soft pads and covered with soft, breathable fabric for added comfort. It comes with an attached single-sided cable which is 3.0m long. All in all, it is the right product with excellent sound quality.
HiFiMAN HE400S Over-Ear Full-Size Planar Magnetic audiophile Headphones
Headphones industry got renewed attention towards the Planar Magnetic Technology after HifiMan launched this product. The HE400S is a good option for people who want to try their luck with the Planar Magnetic Technology. It comes with a very basic design, nothing fancy or elegant. The headband is adjustable, and there is a leather band underneath the headband arch. It has open-back ear cups which are solid and robust. The earpads have been cushioned with memory foam and covered with plush.
The design is not fancy, but the sound delivery is top-notch. Usually, the planar headphones are bulky and heavy, but the HE400S is lightweight. The ear cups are large enough to accommodate even large ears. Coming to the sound quality of this model, it can give serious competition to big brands. It delivers lifelike clarity along with a very detailed and extended bass.
It gives a very smooth and good quality mid-range. The highs are detailed and precise, but they are on the softer side. The highs won’t come as harsh to the ears. The bass has a good impact, but it might come as flat. All in all, it is a good product if you want to opt for planar magnetic technology.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
If you are looking for high-fidelity at a reasonable price, then this product is for you. This product is highly recommended it is handy, comfortable and foldable. This is a good-looking headset which is sturdy and durable. This product has been acclaimed by top audio engineers and audio critics for its sonic performance.
These headphones provide you with studio-level monitoring. The clarity is exceptional, and it provides a wide frequency range. The bass is deep, punchy and accurate. The treble response is good enough, and it is delivered with clarity. Even though it is a closed-back headset, the soundstage produced is attractive. The midrange comes with transparency, but it is a little apathetic.
The built of this headset is robust and of good quality. The adjustable headband is fully padded for a good grip and comfortable use. The ear cups are round and well-padded for creating noise isolation. The ear cups are swivelling, which makes it easy to use with one ear.
This headset is ideal for monitoring. However, these cannot be considered for mixing or mastering purposes. The sound quality of this pair of headphones is good enough for audiophiles.
Sennheiser HD 569 Closed-Back audiophile Headphones
You will see quite a lot of products of Sennheiser on our list because they have such an amazing range. The HD 569 has a lot to offer including good looks, exceptional sound quality and comfortable use. The best part about this product is that it is pocket-friendly and it will not cost you an arm and a leg for the features it has to offer.
The design of this closed-back headset is very simple. Though it is mostly made up of plastic, yet it has a strong built and can last long if properly taken care. The headband is padded with soft cushion and is adjustable. The ear cups are designed ergonomically and are big enough to cover the ear and provide sound isolation. The ear cups are cushioned with memory foam and covered with a soft fabric.
The sound quality is good and gives a very natural touch to it. The bass is loaded and gives a punchy feel to it. The sound range is free from all kinds of distortion. The sound is clear and crisp and does not come out as harsh. The treble is a little on the lower side, but it gives a very smooth and subtle impact. Overall, it is a good option for audiophiles who do not wish to spend much on a pair of headphones.
GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open-Back Stereo Headphones
Next in our list of 9 Best Budget Audiophile Headphones under 300 is Grado headphones. Grado is a renowned company famous for its hand-made headphones. They strive to deliver better quality with each model they launch. The SR80e is a good product for audiophiles who are looking for a budget-friendly pair of headphones.
The SR80e is an on-ear headset with an open-back. The antiquated design might not look attractive enough as compared to the fashionable hi-fi headphones available in the market. But they give good results. This pair of headphones are lightweight, and the build quality is not very sturdy. The headband is adjustable and made up of leather. The ear cups swivel 360 degrees enabling the user to use them with one ear as well. The cable is non-removable and is of excellent quality. It is solid, and the best part is that it does not tangle.
The earpads are not very comfortable and might hurt after a few hours of usage. The sound quality for this price is impressive. The bass is punchy but smooth enough to come out without garbling other frequency bands. It gives out a clear and natural sound, which is hard to get at this price tag. The treble, instrument separation and imaging are tremendous. Overall, it provides good sound quality. However, the quality needs some improvement.
Meze 99 Classics Over-Ear audiophile Headphones
The 99 Classics is a gorgeous headset which became popular in no time because of its price tag and amazing features. Many people want quality sound with good looks, and this pair of headphones does not fail in providing both. This design is a classic as the name depicts. It is unique and can be distinguished from others easily.
The main feature which catches the attention is the ear cups. They are made from wood and have been given a conical shape. The ear cups are hand finished and polished, which gives it a very natural look. There is a small gold ring on the bezel of each ear cup which provides it with a very classy look. The headband is self-adjusting and padded with a soft cushion to give maximum comfort. The ear pads are large and incredibly soft, which gives an amazing fit around the ears.
The sound is impressive. It is well-balanced and gives a very detailed listening experience; the bass is also good and gives a smooth impact. The treble comes out balanced, and it integrates well with the overall sound. The soundstage is commendable with wide effect and outstanding depth. This headset is not only pleasing for the eyes but the ears as well.
Sennheiser HD 558 Headphones
Sennheiser is ruling our list with its amazing products. The HD 558 is an open-back headset though it doesn’t seem to be like one. It’s hard to tell if it’s an open-back due to its design. This model is robust and lightweight even though it is made from plastic. It gives a premium feel while looking at it and even while touching it.
Sennheiser does not fail to impress us with its level of comfort. The headband and ear cups are padded with the softest cushion and covered with plush. The headband is adjustable and gives a perfect grip. HD 558 provides remarkable sound. The bass is not very impressive, but the sub-bass is pretty good.
The midrange is superb. It gives a very smooth and relaxed feeling without making it blatant. The highs are a bit sharp, which makes the sound intense. The soundstage is amazing. The small loopholes can be ignored for the sound quality this product provides.
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Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro audiophile Headphones
The last on our list is this fantastic headset by Beyerdynamic. The DT 990 Pro is an open-back headset which has plastic ear cups and metal headband. Both ear cups and headband are padded with soft cushion. The design is stylish and gives a premium look due to the plush covering. It is lightweight and does not compromise on comfort.
The bass is very prominent and consistent keeping in mind it is an open-back headset. The mids are weak, but they provide impressive clarity. The highs are incredible, but they can become harsh at high volumes if you use these headphones for extended hours. All in all, it is a good product which provides clear and crisp sound.
Buying Guide of 9 Best Budget Audiophile Headphones under 300
Buying the right pair of audiophile headphones can be very tricky, especially when there are countless options available in the market. To help you through it, we have prepared a buying guide which will let you know what features to look for while purchasing a pair of audiophile headphones.
To work efficiently, the external noise has to be blocked. Audiophiles can focus on their work only when the sound they are listening is free of any disruptions. Check out the headphones which are capable of cancelling out the external noise. There are various companies which provide this feature under two categories, i.e. noise isolation and active noise cancellation.
The method varies for both techniques, and the results are somewhat similar. For noise isolation, there are over-ear headphones and earbud headphones. They don’t let the external noise come inside and provides a noise-free experience to the user. On the other hand, active noise cancellation (ANC headphones) comes with ANC technology which cancels out the external sound waves resulting in a noise-free experience.
Volume and Playback controls
You want a handy headset which is equipped with volume and playback controls. This can enable you to control your headphones easily with one touch. Most of the brands offer this feature either on the cable or over one of the ear cups. The fancy ones have these controls on a touch-pad on the ear cup.
The volume controls let you control the volume, play your music, pause it and change the soundtrack with previous and next buttons. Some of the headsets also have the feature of answering calls through the phone button on the headset. These controls are essential and enable you to work without getting disturbed in an attempt to control the volume and playback.
Bass is an essential component of music, especially while reproducing it. It is the lower frequency vibration of the sound, which is felt more from large speakers. You cannot get the exact result from headphones, but good brands manage to provide better bass. Open-back headphones lack in bass, so if you are looking for good bass, then you should opt over-ears headphones or on-ear headphones with a closed back.
Comfort is the foremost thing whenever you decide to buy a pair of audiophile headphones. Your headphones ought to be comfortable. Audiophiles have to work for extended hours and for that they have to get comfortable headphones. While selecting the type of headphones, ensure that the headphones which you have short-listed are comfortable.
An uncomfortable pair of headphones can cause headaches and fatigue while you are using them, or sometimes after you are done using them. The headband should be adjustable and padded to ensure a comfortable grip and the ear cups should be cushioned with the softest foam that should not hurt the ears.
All brands do not offer this feature, but it is essential, especially if you are always on the go while using the headphones. Working on your audio pieces, especially in summers, can cause sweating, and the headphones might malfunction due to the sweat. Sweating can be caused while exercising as well. You don’t want to limit your usage because of your routine; hence getting waterproof headphones is a better option.
Waterproof headphones will protect you from other accidents as well like rain, spilling liquid on the headphones or dropping your headphones in water. The cost is more or less as that of regular ones. So, you don’t have to worry about them being expensive.
Microphones are a need in the current times. People like to talk on the phone while they can do some other work. Headphones with microphones are beneficial. They enable the user to attend calls without removing the headphones. The microphone lets the user give voice commands to the voice assistant in smartphones. Headphones with microphones make the communication easy, clear and comfortable.
Weight is an important feature which affects your comfort directly. If any pair of headphones feels heavy on your ear and head or cause pain after using for an hour, then it’s not the right one for you. Headphones with lighter materials are recommended. Large drivers add on more weight. On-ear headphones have been reported to cause fatigue and pain after continuous use.
Small drivers are convenient for use, but they might have compromised sound quality. You should select the type of headphones according to your personal preference.
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Portability is an essential feature if you are on the go and you want to carry your headphones along. The weight and size of the headphones matter a lot when it comes to portability. Over-ear headphones are large and bulky so they might not be the right option if portability is a priority feature for you.
Some brands do offer collapsible design and a carry pouch, making it easier to carry around. You can opt for one of those brands if portability is of primary concern for you.
No one wants to invest in a product which might stop working after some time.Durability is one feature which should not be ignored at any point. Avoid getting headphones with lighter materials as they don’t last long, especially if you drop them accidentally. If you are not tight on budget, go for renowned companies and good brands so that you get the best quality at the price you are willing to pay.
Battery life & Charging
If you want to work freely without being wired to your system, you need to get wireless headphones. For that, you have to check the battery life of the headset you wish to get. The charging time also matters a lot when you are looking for a wireless headset. The battery should give you good playback time, and charging should not take long.
Quality of the Cable
While buying a pair of wired headphones, check the quality of the cable. The cable is an important component of durable headphones. If the cable gets damaged, the whole set will go to waste if it is an attached cable. Detachable cables are better as you can purchase extra cables separately. The able should not be delicate. It should be flexible and bendable.
The length of the cable also matters a lot. It should be long enough to make you mobile while you work so that you can reach to grab something from around the corner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is there any sound leakage in audiophile headphones?
Ans. If you have an open-back headset, the sound will leak. If you want to work in isolation without getting disturbed by external noises, then closed-back headphones are better for you. Also, if you think people around will get bothered, then you should definitely go for closed-back headphones.
Q2. How often should the ear pads be changed?
Ans. As long as you are comfortable with them, you don’t need to change ear pads very often. Good quality ear pads can serve you for over six months. If you think you should change the ear pads due to hygiene, then you should do it after every six months.
Q3. Are open-back audiophiles better than closed-back audiophiles?
Ans. We cannot compare both. If you want noise isolation and good bass, then you can get that only with closed-back headphones. If you are looking for comfort and more ventilation, then open-back headphones are better.
Q4. Do we need to use an amplifier with these headphones if we want to use them with a PC?
Ans. Some of these headphones might require a mid to high-level amplifier to power the headphones’ drivers. This will take out the maximum capacity of the headphones. Generally, a PC or a smartphone does not have the power to operate these kinds of headphones.
Q5. How much sound leakage is experienced with the open-back audiophile headphones?
Ans. Open-back audiophile headphones do not leak sound at a low volume. They tend to leak sound at a high volume and mid-high. With these levels, the sound can be heard clearly by the people sitting around.
Q6. Can I connect audiophile headphones directly to a computer or do I need to get an adapter for it?
Ans. You cannot connect them directly to a computer. You have to get a ¼ inch or 1/8 inch adapter for connectivity.
Q7. Are these headphones comfortable to be worn with glasses?
Ans. That depends on the size of the drivers. You might not feel comfortable wearing headphones with glasses on with large size drivers. Medium to small size drivers will keep you comfortable with the glasses on.
Q8. What if the headband hurts after wearing for extended hours?
Ans. You need to adjust the headband if you think it is causing you a headache. Usually, people prefer tight headbands as they give a better grip, but that can lead to a headache. We recommend you to adjust the headband according to your head size to keep you comfortable. The grip will still be as good.
Q9. Can the ears get warm due to extra-long usage?
Ans. It depends on the climate and your working conditions. Your ears should not get warm if you are working in an air-conditioned room. If you tend to sweat more, the ears are more likely to get warm.
Q10. Which type of headphones is best for cancelling extra noise?
Ans. Closed-back over-ear headphones are the best when it comes to noise cancellation with comfort.
In conclusion, We recommend trying the headphones before purchasing them so that you get the idea about the sound quality. The products mentioned above are the best we found for Best Budget Audiophile Headphones under 300, and we hope you will be able to decide on going through this article. Keep the features in mind which we have mentioned in the buying guide. You don’t want to get your hard-earned money wasted by selecting the wrong product.