Studio headphones are an essential tool for mixing and mastering audio. Headphones are as important for a studio as the other instruments. Even if you have monitors, a quality headphone is handy in mixing and tracking references.
There is an unlimited number of studio headphones available in different price ranges but choosing the right headphone is important.
You may already have some options in your mind, but in this buying guide, we will share the top 6 best studio headphones that cost under $500 and works well for any studio setup.
Best Studio Headphones Under $500 in 2021
Buying new headphones is nice. Below are the best options available that can be handy to reveal important details in mixes
|#||Best Studio Headphones Under 500||Price|
|1||Master & Dynamic MW65|
|2||Sennheiser HD 660 S|
|3||Bose Headphones 700|
|4||Sennheiser HD 650|
|5||Bose QuietComfort 35 II|
Buying Guide: How to choose the Best Studio Headphone
In our research, we gathered a wide list of popular studio headphones, and to find the best ones, we follow the below-given points and recommend you as well.
1. Sound Quality
In the range of $500, you can get a pretty fantastic pair of headphones that delivers excellent sound and performs brilliantly.
All the headphones in this buying guide are well known for producing high-quality sound and have solid build quality. Also, these are extremely comfortable for longer sessions.
2. How You’ll Use Them?
The list includes both open-back and closed-back options. For recording purposes, closed-back models are better options as they provide noise isolation and privacy. On the other hand, for monitoring, mixing, mastering, and listening to more neutral and wide soundstages, audio open back are ideals.
I’m telling this so you have an idea for which purpose and in which environment you will use the headphone, so you choose the right type.
3. Wireless & Wired
Both options are fine, but as the studio work doesn’t require a cool look, neither the managing the cables are a problem, so wired headphones with detachable cables are recommended. Moreover, wired headphones cost less and offer better sound quality, and more ideal for studio works than wireless headphones.
Headphone impedance is another important factor to consider. Impedance measured in ohms, and in simple words, it is power requirements to drive a headphone. Impedances go from 8 to 600 ohms, and 32 ohms are considered as the standard.
For studio purposes, the higher the impedance, the better it will be, but it requires more power to drive the headphone.
If you have portable devices, 32 ohms or less than 50-ohm impedance headphones will perform well. For higher impedance, you should have a dedicated amp.
While looking for other specifications, consider impedance as well as it is an important factor while choosing a headphone.
As here we’re talking about studio headphones under 500 dollars, you can find excellent options in this price range.
Quality studio headphones cost around $100 to onwards, and you can find awesome deals.It’s up to you and your budget. If you can afford then buying headphones between $200 to $500 will be great.
Top 6 Best Studio Headphones Under 500 dollars
Good: Master & Dynamic MW65 headphones have premium materials that makes them super comfortable and lightweight. 65+ feet Bluetooth range along with 24 hours of battery life.
Active Noise-canceling technology cancels all ambient sounds and allows you to focus on the music without increasing volume. Sound quality is like butter smooth and clear and has built-in microphones for calls and voice assistants.
Bad: It is not a foldable headphone.
Bottom Line: While the price is high, which is around $500 but these are very attractive and one of the best headphones for music production, offer good sound, comfortable for longer use, and come with very useful features. Overall these are one of the best over-ear wireless studio headphones for mixing and mastering.
Master & Dynamic MW65 is an over-ear wireless headphone. It is available in four different colors. The design of MW65 is beautiful, stylish, and has a premium look. I like the combination of Silver Metal and Brown Leather.
The build quality has Premium materials and offers superior comfort as well. That makes the DW65 pair of headphones and comfortable. The headband and ear pads have soft leather, and both are replaceable. The headband is adjustable, and you can adjust it according to the head size.
Connectivity: You can connect MW65 with both Bluetooth and Wired. They have built-in microphones. They came with a 3.5 mm audio cable, which is detachable, and you can connect with any supported studio device. These are wireless as well, and you can pair them with any Bluetooth device.
They have a power toggle and Bluetooth switch on the left cup, and on the back of the right ear cup, they add three buttons to make calls and control volume. Furthermore, you can connect it to google assistance.
Noise-canceling: In MW65 Over-Ear Headphones, they include Active noise Cancelling technology.
On the right ear cup and the opposite side of the power toggle, you’ll see a button that has three modes (High, low, and turn off).
You can use high mode for louder environments. For example, you can activate high mode in an airplane, train, etc., and low mode for lower noises.
The third mode is turn off, which means if you want to stay aware of the surroundings, you can use it.
Sound quality is the most important thing that you never compromise and especially if you buy headphones for studio work that cost you 500 dollars. Luckily Master & Dynamic MW65 does not lack here. The 40 mm beryllium driver provides a smooth and clean sound.
In short, they have a very balanced and butter sound. I mean, any track you play, they will deliver the same. For example, If a track contains extra bass, you’ll feel extra bass.
Overall Master & Dynamic MW65 Active Noise-Cancelling (Anc) Wireless Headphones sound good, they are comfortable, and 32-ohm impedance is compatible with mobile devices and studio instruments.
If you’re investing $500 in a headphone, you shouldn’t compromise on its build quality, sound quality, and performance. I tried 3 to 4 different headphones, but MW65 is one that makes me say WOW. The price is slightly high, but it is the best studio monitor headphones under $500.
Good: Sennheiser HD 660 S is a beautiful, lightweight open-back over-ear headphone. Adjustable headband wrapped in leather, removable and replaceable ear cups and cables makes them comfortable and durable. 150-ohm impedance and 10 to 41,000 Hz deliver a very well balanced sound.
Bad: Open back design leaks a significant amount of sound.
Bottom line: Sennheiser HD 660 S are lightweight, good build quality, comfortable pair of studio headphones available for under $500. These are ideal for quiet rooms listening and studios.
They are available in black color, and the design of Sennheiser HD 660 S is beautiful and interesting. You can see inner components, drivers through grilles.
It is a very lightweight and comfortable fit headphone because it is made of plastic material. The plastic material provides extra flexibility. Don’t worry about plastic. It is strong, durable, and can stay a long life.
Ear Cups are over-ear and have an open back design. The dia of ear cups is enough to fit on larger and smaller sizes of ears. Sennheiser HD 600 S has microfiber earpads, which is an excellent feature because it provides excellent comfort.
The headband is also made of plastic and wrapped in leather. Headband fits and stays on the head very well, which helps the wearer to wear for a longer time, and for studio works, it is an important thing.
HD 660 S has a 150-ohm impedance and 104 decibels of sensitivity rating, which is easy to drive on any device.
Connectivity: These are wired headphones, and they don’t support Bluetooth. You can only connect them through cables. In the box, you’ll get two cables of almost the same size, but one terminates with a 6.35-millimeter stereo plug other 4.4 mm Pentaconn balanced stereo plug. The cables are detachable, so you can easily change them.
Sennheiser HD 660 S sounds fantastic. Low, mid-range, treble are accurate and on the point. Also, imaging performance is excellent. Their frequency response is between 10 to 41,000 Hz.
There is no problem with sound. The only thing that you may don’t like is that they leak sound. But this is okay because of the open back design. For mixing and editing, you need to find a quiet place like a studio.
Sennheiser HD 660S is worth buying for this price tag because they are lightweight and specially designed for professionals and studio mixing and editing works. In their lows, mids, and treble have enough clarity that drives the excellent and detailed sound.
The third headphone that I pick in the list of best studio headphones under $500 is Bose Noise-canceling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 700.
Good: Unique, beautiful, and futuristic design along with clean and reliable build quality. Ear cups are rotatable, and adjustable headband slides on-ear cups. Sound quality and 0 to 10 levels of active noise cancellation are outstanding. Call quality, touch, and button controls are superb. Each ear cup has four microphones.
Bad: Bose app is necessary to enable all functions, didn’t feature EQ setting in the app.
Bottom Line: Bose 700 noise-canceling headphones offer excellent sound quality, noise cancellation, and comfort. They need to improve their app; otherwise, it is one of the best headphones that you can get for calls, listening to songs, and studio works.
Bose 700 headphones are packed with amazing features. It is available in three different colors, including black, silver, and Soapstone, at the same price. The silver color looks good and feels premium pair of headphones.
The build quality is outstanding. On the top and bottom of the headband, it has very soft padding and headband slides on the ear, which is a unique feature Bose 700 headphones have.
Ear cups also have very nice and soft padding that provides excellent passive noise cancelation. When you wear Bose 700, you’ll feel excellent comfort, and after turning it off, you’ll hear the remaining battery life of headphones.
Control system: Bose 700 headphones have excellent control systems. They have only four buttons on both ear cups, which perform the following actions.
- Turning on/off the headphone.
- Bluetooth pairing mode.
- Turn on/off active noise cancellation.
- Accessing google assistance, Alexa, Siri.
You can perform other functions, including volume adjustment, accessing google assistance, etc., using a touchpad that is available on the backside of the right ear cup.
Battery Life: The battery life of Bose 700 is up to 24 hours. If you enable active noise canceling, the battery will stay around 20 hours, and if you don’t enable active noise canceling, it will stay more than 24 hours.
Connectivity: Bose 700 is a wireless over-ear headphone, but you can use audio cables as well. In the box, you’ll get an audio cable with a 2.5 mm and 3.5 mm jack.
To connect, you need to install the bose app on your mobile device. Pressing the pair mode button, which is available on the right ear cup, you can connect with the device. And then, using the bose app, you can perform different functions.
Sound Quality: The sound quality of bose 700 is excellent. Bass, midranges, and treble are up to mark.
Active Noise Cancelation: Bose is popular because of bass and active noise cancelation. Similar to other products, bose 700 offers excellent active noise cancelation. Using the app, you can adjust it from 0 to 10 numbers, and on number 0, they also offer good cancelation because of ear pads seals.
Bose 770S features excellent features that can be accessed via Bose app. Moreover, these are ideal for people who’re serious about audio and travel as well. Using a laptop and boss 700, you can edit, mix, and produce amazing sounds, and also, you can save lots of time. That’s the reason I add bose 770 to this list of best studio headphones under $500.
4. Sennheiser HD 650 (Open Back Professional Headphone)
I already reviewed Sennheiser HD 660, which is almost similar to Sennheiser HD 650. HD 650 is also an excellent professional studio headphone that you get in under $500.
Good: The bass response of HD 650 is impressive, and they offer excellent comfort. 300 ohms impedance provides unique sound on studio audio equipment.
Bad: 300-ohm impedance is not the right choice if you plan to use them directly on android devices.
Bottom Line: Sennheiser HD 650 provides incredibly good sound and comfort for longer use. They have an open-back design, so if you’re planning to buy headphones for the studio under $500, this can be the right choice.
I’m not going to make this review long because Sennheiser HD 650 and 660S have almost all the same features, and 660S is an upgrade of 650.
The major difference that I notice is HD 660s has better comfort, better and detailed sound stages compared to HD 650. You may see minor changes like a little bit of change in design, much soft padding, and so on.
Please don’t take me wrong here. Sennheiser HD 650 also delivers excellent sound and has excellent build quality, and also it cost you $100 cheaper.
Both have an open-back design, which means the sound will be a leak but also Remember open-back headphones provide you accurate sound.
If you can afford an extra $100, then go for HD 660s; otherwise, HD 650s is also not a bad choice for mixing and editing, and consider it as the best headphones for music production.
5. Bose QuietComfort 35 II (Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones)
Good: Bose Quietcomfort 35 provides 3 levels of active noise canceling and sound isolation. Google assistant and lots of other features. Comfortable, and the sound quality is impressive. These are wireless over-ear headphones, and you can use audio cables to join studio components.
Bad: You cannot replace the battery.
Bottom Line: Bose QC 35II is a super flexible pair of headphones with excellent sound and design. They are closed-back over-ear headphones that you can use for listening and mixing songs for under $500.
I already reviewed Bose 700 Noise-canceling wireless headphones, which is an upgrade of this(QC 35II). At the same price, you can also get Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, which is mentioned below.
The design of the Bose QC35II is shiny and impressive. It is available in three different colors, including black, silver, and Rose gold.
They are made of very flexible and strong plastic. You can even stretch it to an extreme level. The total weight of QC35II is 235, which is considered very lightweight.
They are super comfortable and have excellent build quality.
The headband and earpads are removable and replaceable, and they have soft padding that allows them to wear for a long period.
Active Noise cancellation: They have quality active noise cancellation that you can adjust according to the environment and your interest. On the right ear cup it has an ANC control button that has 3 levels (High, low, and on/off ANC).
Connectivity & Control: You can use Bose QC35II in both ways, wireless and wired. It came with a detachable cable. The cable usually helps when you want to connect them with devices that do not support Bluetooth, for example, studio equipment.
They provide excellent control systems. On the side of the right ear cup, they add three inline buttons. The up and down button used to increase/decrease volume, and the middle button is used for multifunctions play/pause or next/previous tracks.
The range of Bluetooth is between 50 to 60 feet.
Battery life: The claimed battery life of BC35II is 20 hours, but it stays longer than this. Also, if batteries end, you can rapidly charge it. If you charged for 15 minutes, you could listen to tracks for 2.5 hours.
The only problem with the battery is it is not replaceable. On the left ear cup, it has a USB 2.0 input that you can use to charge the Bluetooth battery.
They deliver enjoyable sound. It has heavy bass and mids, and trebles are detailed, and on the louder volume, they didn’t overwhelm.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II best studio-quality over the ear Headphones under $500 with an excellent balanced audio performance at lower and high volumes. Different levels of noise-canceling, google assistant, and lots of other features worth buying Bose QC 35 II.
6. Beats Studio3 (Best Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones)
Good: Modern and stylish design, available in 15 different colors. Impressive Bluetooth range and connective. Adaptive noise-canceling constantly blocks noise around you. Excellent build quality and Perfectly fits on your head no matter how you move — premium sound quality on almost all types of songs.
Bad: Case doesn’t fold flat
Bottom line: Beats Studio3 headphones look beautiful and available in multiple colors. Their battery life and Bluetooth range are amazing. Also, you can attend and reject calls by the “b” button. Excellent build quality, and you’ll listen to a premium song on all tracks. Beats Studio3 is one of the best studio headphones under $500, and it supports iPhone and Android devices as well.
Beats Studio3 is a stylish headphone that is available in 15 different colors.
The overall build quality is good. It is super flexible and lightweight. At this price, their build quality does not look premium or luxury like QC 35II.
The headband of studio3 is plastic and has soft padding. The ear cups are over-ear and large enough to cover all ears. The earpads are also soft and comfortable. You can wear them for a long time, and ear pads will not fatigue your ears.
The clamping force of earpads and headband is not too much; it is tolerable. The total weight of Beats Studio3 is 260grams.
Similar to other wireless headphones, you can control them using buttons that are available on-ear cups. Buttons are very responsive and clicky, so you’ll hear a clicking voice when you’ll press the button.
On the left ear cup, you’ll see a button that you can use to increase or decrease volume, play, pause, or skip a track, and by pressing the “b” button, you can connect to google assistant.
You can also pick calls using beats studio3 headphones. The call quality is evident, but during calls, you will listen to background noises.
You will get all the details about control from the instruction copy as well.
You can use the audio cable as well. On the left ear cup, it has a 3.5 mm input so you can connect it with devices that don’t support Bluetooth. Furthermore, you can connect a 6.35 mm adapter to a 3.5mm jack as well.
On the left ear, using the button, you can turn on and off Noise canceling. Also, a USB port to charge headphones.
An excellent feature that you may not see in other headphones is the Bluetooth range. They include new technology, W1 Chip signal strength, that increases its Bluetooth range up to 100 ft.
It also increases battery life, and the battery life of beats studio3 is now up to 22 hours with ANC turn on, and if you turn it off, it goes more than 24 hours.
Also, if the battery dies, you can charge it for only 10 minutes, and it will provide you 3hrs of listening playback.
They have pure ANC that blocks external noises pretty well.
The sound quality of Beats studio3 is also amazing. They have real-time audio collaboration, which means they can provide the best audio performance according to the song.
These are the best headphone you can use them in studio and travel.
These are the best studio headphones that you can use for the studio for under $500.
Whether you’re mixing, recording, or editing songs, these products will help you to produce impressive audio.
In this list of best studio headphones under 500 dollars, I include open back and closed back over-ear wireless and wired headphones.
I hope this review will help you to make a purchase decision.