Trying to replicate the sound of a live performance with a headphone? This wouldn’t be possible some years ago. However with the advancement in technology today, you can experience the same sound. After tons of trial and testing, we have listed some of the best budget audiophile headphones.

Good sound doesn’t come cheap however, that does not necessarily mean you need to spend a fortune. We aim to help you by suggesting some of the best budget audiophile headphones.

When we tried and tested numerous audiophile headphones we found some headphones that provided premium audio and they were available at affordable prices.

Hence we curated a list of the best budget audiophile headphones that you should consider in 2020.

Top 3 Best Budget Audiophile Headphones

1. Sennheiser HD 600

best-budget-audiophile-headphones

What We Like

  • Wide sound stage
  • Detailed and clear audio
  • Premium sound experience

What Is Missing

  • Sound leaks

2. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

best-budget-audiophile-headphones

What We Like

  • Bass is good
  • Wide soundstage
  • Passive noise cancellation

What Is Missing

  • Sub-bass is a bit low

3. Philips SHP9500

best-budget-audiophile-headphones

What We Like

  • Bass is good
  • Value for money
  • Amp not needed

What Is Missing

  • Metal headband

Best Budget Audiophile Headphones

  • 1. Sennheiser HD 600
  • 2. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 
  • 3. Philips SHP9500 
  • 4. Hifiman HE400S
  • 5.Audio-Technica ATH M50x
  • 6. Grado SR80e
  • 7. Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR 
  • 8. V-MODA Crossfade

1. Sennheiser HD 600 – Best Budget Audiophile Headphones

best-budget-audiophile-headphones

Key Highlights

  • Wide sound stage
  • Detailed and clear audio
  • Premium sound experience

These HD 600 headphones are one of the best headphones for audiophiles because of the quality of sound.

Due to the open circumaural design, aluminum voice coils and computer-optimized magnets the stereo sound is crisp and clean.

The premium metal mesh grilles are open which offer transparent sound thereby making it one of the best budget audiophile headphones.

The foam of these headphones are comfortable which makes these headphones ideal for regular use.

There is a sound leak that occurs with these HD 600s since they are open ear headphones however, the sound leak is noticeable when the volume is above 80 percent.

Sound Quality

The audio quality on these HD 600’s is premium with precise bass.

The mids on these headphones are clear without being recessed which makes these headphones the best budget audiophile headphones.

The mids on these headphones are the best compared to any other headphones in this price range.

The audio is detailed and clear without any screechy noises on full volume as well.

The instrument separation and detail on these headphones are premium which makes these headphones the best budget audiophile headphones.

Furthermore, it would be advisable to use an amp to get the best audio experience on these headphones.

The sound is more natural and realistic without any boost on the bass.

The sound quality on these headphones is unique, providing great sound with any genre of music.

Although acoustic and jazz sound best on these headphones since they focus on the mids.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Wide sound stage
  • Detailed and clear audio
  • Earcups are comfortable
  • Premium sound experience

Cons

  • Sound leaks
  • Amp needed for best experience

2. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO – Budget Audiophile Headphones

best-budget-audiophile-headphones

Key Highlights

  • Bass is good
  • Wide soundstage
  • Passive noise cancellation

These Beyerdynamic headphones are one of the best bass audiophile headphones available in 2020.

The passive noise cancellation on these headphones is premium blocking most of the background noise.

These DT 770 PRO’s don’t need an amplifier however it would enhance the audio experience on these headphones.

The cable of these headphones is 10feet long however they are detachable which could be a let down for many users.

The build quality of these headphones is premium with crews that can be replaced.

The leather band is comfortable and can be replaced as well which makes these headphones one of the best budget audiophile headphones.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of these headphones is premium with sub-bass that provides an enjoyable experience.

If you hear music that is bass oriented then these headphones should be your ideal pick because the bass on these headphones is punchy.

Although the bass is high, it does not overpower the vocals or the mid-range which makes these headphones one of the best budget audiophile headphones.

If you prefer bass you should explore skullcandy since their headphones are more bass oriented. You can check our post on the best skullcandy headphones.

These DT 770 PRO’s can be used for gaming as well. Although these headphones cannot be compared with open ear headphones however they do a really good job for their price range.

These DT 770 PRO’s include detailed highs which makes these headphones ideal for many audiophiles.

However, if you prefer hearing music which includes more vocals then the Sennheisers should be your ideal pick.

The sound stage on these headphones is wide without having the music being thrown at you.

Overall these headphones are worth the dollar.

Pros

  • Bass is good
  • Wide soundstage
  • Premium build quality
  • Can be used for gaming
  • Passive noise cancellation

Cons

  • Sub-bass is a bit low
  • 3.5mm jack cannot be detached

3. Philips SHP9500 – Best Cheap Audiophile Headphones

best-budget-audiophile-headphones

Key Highlights

  • Bass is good
  • Value for money
  • Amp not needed

These Philips headphones are one of those headphones which offer way more than their price range.

In addition, these Philips headphones do not require an amp which makes it convenient to use these headphones.

Furthermore, these Philips headphones are made of premium quality which makes these headphones highly durable.

Moreover, these Philips headphones include a 3.5mm jack which is detachable which competitors in this price range don’t offer.

These headphones are lightweight and the earcups are highly comfortable which allows you to wear these for long hours without any sweating.

Sound Quality

The sound quality on these headphones is plush which provides an enjoyable experience.

These audiophile headphones are geared towards mid-range vocals and provide crisp refined audio without any screeches even on high frequencies as well which is impressive.

The vocals are rich and the bass response on these headphones is strong which makes it one of the best budget audiophile headphones.

These headphones can be compared to some of the best audiophile headphones because of the detailed instruments and high notes which makes these headphones popular.

These Philips headphones can be used for gaming as well since they provide decent imaging as well.

The headphones hold the mid frequencies close to the ears without any screechy noise. The bass on these headphones is punchy and provide that oomph to your music.

In case you power these headphones to an amp, the sound on these headphones get even better making them one of the best budget audiophile headphones available in 2020.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Bass is good
  • Value for money
  • Amp is not needed
  • Can be used for gaming as well

Cons

  • Metal headband
  • Shaky at the earcups

4. Hifiman HE400S – Cheap Audiophile Headphones

best-budget-audiophile-headphones

Key Highlights

  • Bass is good
  • Value for money
  • Amp is not needed

These Hifiman’s headphones are one of the most popular headphones in the audiophile community.

These headphones are lightweight with soft ear pads which makes it ideal for regular use.

Moreover, the straps can be adjusted for the perfect fit and the earcups are large which will fit any ear size.

The Hifiman’s can be used for long music sessions without sweating.

Furthermore, the headphones include a detachable 3.5mm jack which makes it easy to replace the chord in case the chord wears out or stops working, unlike other headphones where the chord is not detachable.

Sound Quality

The sound quality on these headphones is plush with detailed and clear audio which is why these headphones are one of the best budget audiophile headphones that you should consider in 2020.

Even the plucks of the guitar string were evident on the headphones, that’s how detailed the sound on these headphones is, making them one of the best budget audiophile headphones.

The bass on these headphones is strong without overpowering the vocals or the mid-range.

Since they are open ear back headphones there is a considerable amount of sound leaks on high volume.

In terms of price to value, these headphones offer way more than their price.

The fact that they can be compared to most of the best audiophile headphones speaks volumes in itself for them.

Pros

  • Extended bass
  • Detailed sound
  • Premium build quality
  • 3.5mm jack is detachable.

Cons

  • Not portable
  • Sound leaks on high volume

5.Audio-Technica ATH M50x – Best Affordable Audiophile Headphones

best-budget-audiophile-headphones

Key Highlights

  • Bass is good
  • Soft Ear Cups
  • Noise cancellation

These M50’s were released around 2014 and they are still relevant today, which is a clear indication of how good these headphones are.

Moreover, these headphones are one of the most common headphones in the audiophile community because of the sound quality they provide at affordable prices.

These M50’s were designed as professional monitoring headphones however with the hype about these headphones, people soon began using them just for hearing music.

The cables of these headphones are detachable which makes these headphones one of the best budget audiophile headphones.

The earcups are soft and plush which makes these headphones ideal for regular use.

The headband of these headphones is well foamed which provides a comfortable experience.

The cable to connect these M50’s is a bit larger than the standard 3.5mm jack which can be a let down for many users.

To connect these headphones, you would need the proprietary cables designed by the company.

Sound Quality

The sound isolation on these headphones is impressive blocking off background noise which provides a better audio experience.

The bass on these headphones is plush without distorting or overpowering the vocals or mid-range.

The sound quality of these headphones is stunning with punchy bass, clear mids and crisp highs making these headphones one of the best budget audiophile headphones.

The sound quality is premium without being harsh to the ear on full volume as well.

If you hear rap, hip hop, house or dubstep then these headphones are your best bet.

While hearing music for long hours, your ears won’t get sweaty which makes these headphones ideal for regular use.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Bass is good
  • Comfortable
  • Soft Ear Cups
  • Noise cancellation

Cons

  • Ear Cups are a bit small
  • Proprietary cable needed

6. Grado SR80e Prestige – Budget Audiophile Earphones

best-budget-audiophile-headphones

Key Highlights

  • Clear and detailed
  • Wide range of sound
  • Mild echo for audio enhancement

These Grado are lightweight which makes it convenient to hear music on these headphones for long hours.

These headphones do not need an amp which is another reason why these headphones are in demand.

If you hear music which is more classical, then these headphones should be your ideal pick since they are crisp and clear.

The bass on these headphones is present without overpowering the mid-range. These headphones provide more emphasis on the mids.

If you hear songs which are more geared towards vocals or instruments then these headphones should be your ideal consideration since the sound is distinct.

Sound Quality

The treble on these headphones can be a little bright to some users.

The mid-range is smooth which provides a pleasant experience thereby making these headphones one of the best budget audiophile headphones.

The bass on these headphones is well balanced providing a realistic experience.

The high frequencies on these headphones are clear. Instruments on these headphones are well detailed and clear.

Moreover, these headphones include a low level of echo which makes the hearing experience unique.

These Grado headphones are ideal if you plan to use these for regular use with your mobile device.

The headphone cables are non-detachable which can be a let down for many however in terms of what it has to offer, these headphones are well worth the price.

The Grado sr60e another variant which is 20 dollars less which could be ideal for you if you find this variant above your budget, check our post on Grado sr60e vs sr80e.

Pros

  • Amp not needed
  • Clear and detailed
  • Wide range of sound
  • Mild echo for audio enhancement

Cons

  • Average build quality
  • Cable not detachable

7. Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR – Best Budget Audiophile Headphones

best-budget-audiophile-headphones

Key Highlights

  • Value for money
  • Wide sound stage
  • Premium build quality

These Fidelio headphones engineered by Philips are one of the most comfortable headphones with premium build quality.

The mesh pad included is breathable which makes it ideal for regular use

Moreover, these Fidelio headphones include detachable cable which can be replaced in case the cable stops working.

In case you want to add a mic you can do so by replacing the cable.

The ear pads of these headphones are soft and can be replaced which increases the lifespan of these headphones.

If you hear edm, hip hop or house then these headphones should be your ideal bet.

The music on these headphones is warm without any screechy noise on high frequencies as well making them highly popular in the audiophile community.

Additionally, these Fidelio headphones do sound better with an amp however that is not a compulsion here.

These headphones work well for gaming however you can’t compare these headphones to high-end gaming headphones as it would be unfair considering the price difference.

Sound Quality

The bass on these headphones is good however it does not overpower the vocals.

Furthermore, the sound quality of these headphones is smooth with a good punch of bass making it one of the best budget audiophile headphones.

For budget headphones, these headphones are one of the best budget headphones.

The build quality of these headphones is premium which makes these headphones highly durable.

Overall these headphones are highly versatile and for what they offer they are worth the dollar.

If you need headphones just to listen to music and you don’t monitor sound, then headphones should be your ideal budget audiophile headphones.

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Wide sound stage
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Premium build quality
  • Earpads can be replaced
  • Detachable 3.5mm audio jack

Cons

  • Cable is short
  • Bass lacks depth

8. V-MODA Crossfade – Best Audiophile Budget Headphones

best-budget-audiophile-headphones

Key Highlights

  • Mids are clear
  • 12 hours of playback
  • Premium build quality

These Crossfade headphones are rugged and highly durable which makes these headphones ideal for regular usage.

In addition, these Crossfade headphones are lightweight and the metal shields on the headphones are customizable which provides every user a customized experience.

These headphones are wireless and can be used for up to 12 hours on a full charge.

The volume, play, pause and many other functions are available on the earcup of the headphone itself which makes it easy to control music without having to use your phone.

The earcups provide a snug fit which is designed to enhance the music experience.

Sound Quality

The sound quality on these headphones is premium with good bass that provides a plush hearing experience.

The mids on these headphones are pushed forward with crisp sound.

On high frequencies, they do tend to get a little blur however this is not easily noticeable.

The Crossfades can be used as wired headphones as well which makes these headphones one of the best budget headphones audiophile headphones.

There are slight sound leaks observed when music is played at high levels which can be a let down for some users.

The audio signature on these headphones are unique which makes these headphones one of the best budget audiophile headphones.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Mids are clear
  • 12 hours of playback
  • Premium build quality
  • Can be used as wired/wireless

Cons

  • Bass is low
  • Sound leaks on high volume

What Is An Audiophile

Most people term audiophiles as people with extra money or people who don’t prefer regular headphones.

An audiophile is basically someone who prefers better quality music over the brand. Hence, most audiophiles would opt for headphones that provide the most realistic experience.

Audiophiles prefer headphones, earphones or sound systems which provide music as pure as possible without being recessed or filtered.

It’s more about the quality of music than the brand of the sound system.

Why Should You Consider Audiophile Headphones

Audiophile headphones provide a lot more detail and purest form of music. This may be hard to notice at the start but once you hear music with these headphones there is a significant difference.

The audiophile headphones stated in this post are some of the best budget audiophile headphones available in 2020.

Nuances – Best Budget Audiophile Headphones

Audiophile headphones do not recess sound or music thereby providing the purest form of music.

While looking for audiophile headphones ensure that they can at least reach up to 40,000 Hz which is a vital feature to provide high-resolution sound.

Most of the headphones convert the audio to a low form of audio due to which may sound better but will not provide the purest form of music.

Apart from that, audiophile headphones provide the depth of the music which is normally recessed in regular headphones.

A note to mention here is audiophile headphones provide every detail of the music which means even the negative aspects of the sound will be highlighted.

Sound Difference

While major brands try to develop their own signature sound. In this process, the natural quality of the music gets tampered with.

For instance, headphones that provide extra bass land up reducing the quality of songs which are high on bass.

This reduces the natural experience for the user thereby providing a stable music experience for all songs which degrades the hearing experience.

The same music when played on an audiophile headphone provides music in a detailed, crisp and clear manner where even instruments played in the background are evident.

Price – Best Budget Audiophile Headphones

While it may seem that better quality sound would be expensive. However, this is a myth. Most of the audiophile headphones are priced the same as regular headphones.

In some cases, audiophile headphones are cheaper than regular headphones since most people use generic brands of headphones.

It is true that the finest quality of audiophile headphones are expensive due to which we have listed the best budget audiophile headphones in this post which most people can afford.


Best Budget Audiophile Headphones

  • 1. Sennheiser HD 600
  • 2. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 
  • 3. Philips SHP9500 
  • 4. Hifiman HE400S
  • 5.Audio-Technica ATH M50x
  • 6. Grado SR80e Prestige 
  • 7. Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR 
  • 8. V-MODA Crossfade

Conclusion – Best Budget Audiophile Headphones

This was an in depth review about the best budget audiophile headphones available in 2020.

Although purchasing audiophile headphones should be considered as an investment.

A good audiophile headphone can last you anywhere between 5 to 15 years depending on how you take care of them.

The headphones listed in this post are highly durable and are the best budget audiophile headphones that you should consider in 2020.

If you are someone who wants to get started out with audiophile headphones then these are your best budget audiophile headphones to start out with.

Let us know your views about the best budget audiophile headphones in the comment section.

Check out our recent content on headphones, soundbars, speakers and earphones.