5 Best Mixing Headphones Under $200

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You’re on the go and need to do a quick mix on your laptop, or maybe you don’t want to disturb your neighbors when mixing your music.

Whatever the reason, I’m here to help you find a quality pair of studio headphones that will help you get the job done.

But remember, mixing only with headphones is not a good idea. You should always try to finish your mix using quality studio monitors in an acoustically well-treated room.


Because you might miss out on some crucial aspects of the sound.

Headphones provide a more isolated and up-close perspective, ideal for checking details, and stereo.

However, they can also lead to overemphasizing certain frequencies and overlooking issues that may be more noticeable in a room with speakers.

Now, let’s get into it.

The following are the best mixing headphones under $200 that are tried, tested, and beloved by many music producers, including me.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

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Sound: 4.5/5
Build quality: 5/5
Comfort: 4/5

These were my first studio headphones, and I still use them today. They have a nice, flat response that is perfect for mixing any kind of music.

They come with a detachable cable, so you can easily replace it if it ever breaks. Mine have lasted for 5+ years and I’ve never had a problem with them.

You get 3 different cables with these headphones: a coiled one, a straight one, and a shorter one.

They also come with a carrying pouch, which is perfect for traveling.

Comfort is 4/5 for me, I can wear them for hours without any problem; however, my ears get sweaty after a while due to nonbreathable leatherette ear pads.

In addition to audio quality and decent noise isolation, I love how foldable they are and how easy it is to carry them around.

Overall, it’s hard to find any downsides with the ATH-M50x. For the price, they are an incredible value and will serve you well for many years.


  • Extra cables included
  • Reasonably flat frequency response giving you an almost neutral sound
  • Very good build quality
  • Portable
  • Relatively lightweight


  • Some people would expect more bass
  • Earpads tend to wear out fairly quickly and need to be replaced

Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro

No products found.

Sound: 4/5
Build quality: 4/5
Comfort: 5/5

Let’s move on to the German headphone manufacturer, Beyerdynamic.

The DT-770 Pro closed-back studio headphones are a bit different than the ATH-M50x in that they have a more pronounced bass response, which some people prefer when mixing music.

They are also very comfortable and have a nice, tight fit on your head. Velour earpads make them very breathable, so you can wear them for long periods without your ears getting hot and sweaty.

For the price, I think these are great headphones for mixing, however, some people consider these to be more Hi-Fi than studio headphones.


  • A wide range of uses from mixing to monitoring and general listening
  • Does not cause sweating
  • Replaceable ear-pads
  • Decent sound isolation


  • The cable is not detachable or replaceable
  • Highs can sound a bit harsh for some people
  • The frequency response is not that flat

Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro

No products found.

Sound: 4.5/5
Build quality: 4/5
Comfort: 5/5

The DT-990 Pro is the open-back version of the DT-770 Pro, and they are my second favorite studio headphones on this list.

I like them because they have a very nice, wide soundstage that helps with mixing music and you get this real sense of space that is lacking in closed-back headphones.

They also have a very good bass response, but not too much that it colors the mix.

Highs can be a bit harsh for some people, but some EQing can fix that, and some actually like that about these headphones.

Comfort is 5/5 for me, but keep in mind that open-back headphones do not have very good sound isolation, so if you’re looking to use these in loud environments, you will be disappointed.


  • Nice soundstage with a real sense of space
  • Replaceable ear-pads
  • Clear low-end
  • Extremely comfortable


  • The cable is not detachable or replaceable
  • Highs can sound a bit harsh for some people

Sony MDR-7506

No products found.

Sound: 4.5/5
Build quality: 5/5
Comfort: 3.5/5

These headphones are an industry standard for home studios on a budget, offering a great balance between price and performance.

The closed-back design provides decent sound isolation, but not as great as ATH-M50x, for example.

Comfort, well, depends. For me, the ear cups are too big and don’t provide a snug fit. But that might not be the case for you.

Durability is 5/5 for the price, as they are built to withstand heavy use and have a reputation for lasting a long time.

Sound. Excellent! They have a forgiving EQ curve which allows for long listening sessions without ear fatigue.

However, I noticed weird treble peaks on some tracks and found the highs to be a bit harsh at times. But considering the price, which is less than other models on this list, it’s a compromise that many are willing to make.

They’re foldable, and come with a long coiled cable but unfortunately, the cable is not detachable or replaceable which is a con for many.

Finally, the only reason these are not my favorite budget studio headphones is the comfort issue. Besides that, I highly recommend them for mixing, tracking, and anything in between.

Shure SRH840

No products found.

Sound: 5/5
Build quality: 4.5/5
Comfort: 3.5/5

Shure is mainly known as a microphone manufacturer, but they definitely know how to produce high-quality headphones as well.

I’ve had the pleasure of trying out the Shure SRH840’s and I must say they exceeded my expectations.

Soundwise, the frequency response is quite well-balanced, giving you a nice, fairly flat sound that doesn’t overly emphasize any particular frequency range. The bass is accurate and punchy, not boomy or muddy.

What I like the most about the Shure SRH840s is they come with a range of accessories including an extra set of replacement ear cup pads, a leather carry bag, and a detachable/replaceable coiled 10 ft. oxygen-free copper cable terminated with gold-plated plugs.

What I don’t like is that they’re quite heavy and if dropped, the drivers could easily break. Also, because of the weight, they can feel uncomfortable to wear for extended periods.

Overall, these headphones pack a lot of value for the price and should serve you well for years to come. If they were lighter, they would be my top choice.

What is the difference between mixing headphones and regular headphones?

Well, you might ask – aren’t all headphones the same? Not really. There’s a significant difference between mixing headphones and your everyday pair.

Let’s break this down: 

Mixing headphones are designed specifically for professional audio work – think music production, mixing, mastering, and so forth. They deliver flat frequency response, meaning they don’t artificially boost or cut any frequencies. This gives you a real representation of what your mix sounds like.

On the other hand, regular headphones – the ones you use for casual listening, are usually tweaked to enhance certain frequencies. They often boost bass or treble to make the music sound more appealing to the average listener, which is not ideal when you’re trying to create a balanced mix. 

Are closed-back or open-back headphones better for mixing?

It’s a dilemma that’s as old as the hills in the audio community. But having tried and tested both varieties extensively, I’ve gathered some insights that might help you make a more informed decision. 

Let’s start with closed-back headphones 

  • Sound Isolation: These headphones are great if you’re in a noisy environment. The closed-back design isolates your ears from external noise, allowing a better focus on the mix.
  • Bass Response: Closed-back headphones generally have a better bass response, offering a more vibrant and punchy sound.
  • Leakage: They also prevent sound leakage, which is ideal if you’re in a shared space and don’t want to disturb others.

Now, shifting gears to open-back headphones 

  • Sound Quality: Open-back headphones often deliver a more natural and open sound quality, offering a wider soundstage which is ideal for identifying minute details in a mix.
  • Comfort: They are generally more comfortable and cooler to wear for long periods due to their open design.
  • Leakage: However, they do leak sound, which might not be ideal in a noisy workspace.

Bottom line – It’s not a question of which is better all-round, but rather which is better suited for your specific needs and environment.

Do I need a separate amplifier to use with my mixing headphones?

Let’s clear something up – you don’t necessarily need a separate headphone amp for your mixing headphones.

But here’s the kicker – an amp can provide that extra oomph, boosting your mixing game with cleaner headroom. It’s not a must-have, but it sure can amp up your sound, provide more control over volume, and bring out those subtle details. 

So, why would you want to bring a dedicated headphone amplifier into your studio? Here are two compelling reasons: 

  1. Got an audio interface that can’t quite drive your headphones to reach the sound pressure level (SPL) you need? A more robust amplifier might just be the answer.
  2. Dealing with a noisy headphone output from your laptop or audio interface that distorts at high volumes? A dedicated headphone amp could be your sound quality savior. 

Final words

So there you have it, folks. These are, in my opinion, the best studio headphones under 200 dollars. They’re not perfect, but they will definitely do the job and help you produce great-sounding music.

Do you have any experience with any of these headphones? Or maybe you have a different pair that you think should be on this list? Let me know in the comments below.

I hope this article was helpful and that you found the best headphones for your needs.

Happy mixing!


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