Who are audiophiles? Basically, audiophiles are people who value music a bit more than your average Joe. They really like their music and pay attention to details, hence they crave best-quality tech in order to enjoy in their music with a lavish taste.

Since most “audiophile-level” headphones cost a ton, we’ve decided to scrounge the market for more affordable options right before we came up with the list of hand-selected picks we’re offering you today.

Buying guide

Sound quality

One, and only one thing is on the mind of each audiophile before they buy their headphones (for the hundredth time) – how will they sound?

The quality of sound is what makes the difference between casual and audiophile headphones, and you’ll know how to understand this difference once you get acquainted with different models. Quality drivers (among other features) ensure quality sound – it’s plain as that.

Versatility

Versatile headphones will allow you to switch back and forth between the plethora of music genres and sub-genres. A balanced sound-stage is the only pre-requisite – if your headphones can blast rock tracks right after mellow ballads, you can be sure that you can call them “versatile” true to form.

Noise cancelling features

It’s pretty hard to imagine a situation where you’re relaxing with your favourite music if you hear constant buzzing coming from the outside. It can be a pesky, needy roommate, the ugly sounds of traffic one never seems to get used to, or plain sounds from the Mother Nature herself.

In order to preserve your peace of mind, look for headphones that come with a variant of noise cancelling features.

This is not mandatory, though – there are audiophiles who like to experiment by enjoying in nature while their favourite tracks (usually ambiental music) are playing, so if you consider yourself as such a person, you can skip the noise cancelling part.

Neutral sound signature

If the track appears “altered” in any way, an audiophile rejects it and loathes it. What “alters” the audio in most songs is the device we use for the reproduction of sound of the song in question.

Neutral sound signature is a must when we’re speaking about audiophile headphones, regardless of how much they cost. In fact, the majority of models in the budget section feature neutral sound signature, but you should still keep an eye out for bass-heavy or bright headphones and avoid them.

Here’s Our Selection of the Best Budget Audiophile Headphones

Beats Studio 2.0

Beats Studio 2.0 Wireless Over-the-Ear Headphones Gold
Monster Kingdom - Electronics
$350.00

Last update on 2018-12-18 / Source: Amazon

Brief overview of key specs and features:

Let’s start with Beats Studio 2.0. Generally, Beats (Beats by dr. Dre) is a famous brand, and it’s only normal that we decided to open up with a big hitter such as this.

The Studio 2 features the patented Beats Acoustic Engine which disposes of any and all ambient noise. What’s more, you can activate the ANC (adaptive noise cancelling) switch to mute or un-mute the environmental sounds and voices.

On top of that, they’re very light and exceptionally comfortable to wear – the earcups are sized just perfectly, and the headband isn’t as invasive as with some other models in the price range. Studio 2 headphones come supplied with a rechargeable battery which can last for up to 20 hours on a single charge.

Why are these headphones good for audiophiles?

The adaptive noise cancelling feature make Studio 2 ideal for every audiophile – shut yourself off in your world when you need to, open up when you desire. Apart from that, the renowned Beats quality is affirmed through premium-quality drivers and sound emission.

What we thought could be improved:

Beats Studio 2 are decently durable altogether, but certain joints are flimsy and will crack after a while if you’re not careful with how you handle them.

Our verdict:

Plainly put, Beats’ Studio 2 stand for one of the best audiophile headphones in the budget category. With exceptional audio quality and the exquisite ANC feature (atop the proprietary drivers), they’re worth every single cent.

Pros:

  • Amazing sound quality
  • Light and very comfortable to wear
  • Adaptive noise cancelling
  • Rechargeable 20-hour battery

Cons:

  • Moderately durable

Beyerdynamic DT770

Sale
beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Studio Headphone
beyerdynamic - Wireless Phone Accessory
$148.79

Last update on 2018-12-18 / Source: Amazon

Brief overview of key specs and features:

Now, Beyerdynamic is an underdog brand, true, but we’ve decided to recommend their DT 770 Pro to you as we felt like it didn’t get the attention it deserved so far. These headphones are plain awesome, featuring a closed design, soft circumaural ear pads, and exceptionally strong drivers.

These headphones are very versatile – they are originally intended for studio recording or monitoring applications, which means that you’ll get nothing short of smooth audio at all times.

Why are these headphones good for audiophiles?

Aside from the exceptional audio quality, we really liked the robustness and versatility of Beyerdynamics DT 770 Pro. These headphones provide high-fidelity sound, and feel exceptionally comfortable to wear due to muffled earpads.

What we thought could be improved:

There’s a common thing that every studio headphone set tends to provoke – they neutralize ambient noises in a natural way by pressuring the ears (with the earcups), so you should expect some fatigue after prolonged usage.

Our verdict:

Beyerdynamic’s DT770 Pro are definitely different from any other budget audiophile headphones. They boast superior versatility, they’re outfitted with unique drivers, and boast full-spectrum sound transmission. Suffice to say, they’re well worth the money, and that’s a major understatement.

Pros:

  • Highly versatile headphones
  • Full-spectrum sound
  • Studio-grade features
  • Natural ambient noise reduction
  • Comfortable overall

Cons:

  • Possible fatigue after extended usage

Sennheiser’s RS120

Last update on 2018-12-18 / Source: Amazon

Brief overview of key specs and features:

Next up is Sennheiser’s RS120. Though they usually make boutique-level audiophile headphones, they also make budget models occasionally. The RS120 features a lightweight build, two rechargeable batteries, and frequency response that spans between 22 Hz and 19,5 kHz.

Even though they’re wireless, they’re not Bluetooth compatible – you’ll get an exquisite Sennheiser transmitter which can work up to three hundred feet away. The transmitter is, on the other hand, compatible with most similar headphones, and allows you to wire up multiple devices simultaneously.

Why are these headphones good for audiophiles?

The quality of Sennheiser’s headphones is undisputable, and the reason why we want you to give this one a shot is because it offers a new, unique way to enjoy your music with your fellow audiophiles.

The transmitter receives the reception through ceilings and walls, and given that you can pair up several devices, you can host a “silent party” of sorts with it. As for the traditional features, the drivers are decently powerful (although not as powerful as the one Beats Studio 2 comes with), and the ambient noise reduction is optimal, to say the least.

What we thought could be improved:

Sennheiser’s RS120 headphones are decently comfortable, but there’s the end of it. They’re not very, or even “quite” comfortable, especially when compared to our previous picks. The headband and earcup areas, however, feel quite nice.

Our verdict:

If you’re looking for a way to improve your listening experience and take it up a notch at a bargain price, don’t skip out on Sennheiser’s RS120 headphones.

Pros:

  • Comes with a wireless transmitter that works up to 300 feet
  • Outstanding drivers and ambient noise reduction
  • Deep bass and all-around soundstage
  • Exceptional value for the money

Cons:

  • Not compatible with Bluetooth
  • Moderately comfortable

Bose’s SoundLink II

Sale
Bose SoundLink around-ear wireless headphones II Black
Bose Corporation - Electronics
from $199.00

Last update on 2018-12-18 / Source: Amazon

Brief overview of key specs and features:

Let’s wrap things up with one of the best budget audiophile headphones ever made – Bose’s SoundLink II. These headphones provide deep, full-spectrum sound and feature a greatly improved equalizer when compared to the original model (SoundLink I).

They feature Bluetooth connection which covers the range of 30 feet, and we guarantee you’ll like the extended battery lifetime – you can use them for approximately 15 hours while they require 3 hours to get back to full charge.

Why are these headphones good for audiophiles?

The battery lifespan is great, the soundstage is awesome, and the integrated microphone system makes them quite versatile. What makes them so good for audiophiles on a budget is the fact that they provide excellent sound quality and don’t cost an arm and a leg.

What we thought could be improved:

Even though they can last up to 15 hours, they require a lot of time to get the charges back up. That’s the only problem, though.

Our verdict:

Bose makes some of the finest headphones on the market, and it’s easy to see why SoundLink II is one of their finest models. It holds a huge value for the cash and we highly advise that you give them a shot.

Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • Latest Bluetooth connection tech
  • Balanced soundstage and EQ
  • Practical and portable
  • High battery lifespan

Cons:

  • Takes a while to recharge

Conclusion

If you’re feeling sick of your old headphones and the poor audio quality that keeps declining by the minute, there’s a strong chance that an inner audiophile in you wants out. Since the transition can be painful to your wallet, we hope that you like our selection of the best budget audiophile headphones and wish you good luck in your search.

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