Our Best Budget Headphones: Quality and Affordability
As the cost of basic necessities continue to rise, many conveniences once taken for granted are easily done away with. Fortunately, the sound quality of your headphones does not need to be among the list of cutbacks. There are plenty of notably inexpensive headphones that deliver high fidelity sound without breaking the bank. The following list highlights some of the most noteworthy models that offer great sound at low costs.
No list of budget headphones would be complete, or even worth considering, if it failed to feature the legendary Grado SR60i from the notable Prestige series. Carefully crafted in Brooklyn, New York, the Grado SR60i perform marvelously in nearly every category. Featuring an open-back design and a unique vented diaphragm design, the SR60i have a broad sound stage that offers three-dimensional sound. The open-back design helps imaging by allowing the sound waves to develop naturally in space, each voice and tone to be distinctly placed and detailed. Each housing of the Grado SR60i is is designed to reduce unwanted vibration distortion. Moreover, each driver is matched within .1 dB to maintain consistent imaging.
The tonal character of the SR60i is balanced and smooth throughout the frequency range. The bass is not “boxy” and blends well with higher frequencies without muddling the clarity and ringing richness of the treble. The resulting overall reproduction is the distinguished and famed Grado warmth with a transparent and present midrange.
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro feature a closed-back design and are known for their exceptional versatility in reproducing various musical genres and for their superior sound isolation.
The versatility of the HD 280 Pro is often attributed to their neutral response. The reproduction is not artificially fabricated to unnaturally emphasize particular frequencies, this allows the HD 280 Pro to deliver the recording as it is originally engineered. For the critical listener or studio engineer who appreciates exploring every layer of the recording, the accuracy of the HD 280 Pro is simply indispensable. With proper equalization, these headphones can perform just as well as other units in a much higher price range and deliver complexity and detail in the bass and treble frequencies.
Lastly, the Sony MDR-V6. Initially introduced in the 1980s, the MDR-V6 has remained a popular model among studio engineers and avid listeners for over two decades. They are durably constructed and are reputed for their long lifetime. Aside from their construction and physical reliability, the Sony MDR-V6 are famed for their neutral reproduction and focused accuracy throughout their expansive frequency range.
While the tonal character of the MDR-V6 can tend to be slightly emphasized in the bass frequencies, they do not muddle the upper frequencies which are produced with clarity and fidelity.