Can you get good sound on a budget? With so many headphones on the market at such high price points it’s kind of frustrating for the consumer that can’t throw down $400 on a pair of cans.
We have found five really good models at the $100 mark and below that will fit just about every style of listening and budget. Whether you are a wireless fan or looking for something you can even DJ with, we’ve got you covered.
Urban Ears - Zinken DJ Headphone (image above)
Good For: Style conscious music lovers who also have some DJ in their blood.
If you are a music enthusiast or DJ on a bit of a budget then the Zinken from Urban Ears might be your some kind of wonderful. If you are someone that needs a headphone that can handle impromptu gigs at your buddy’s house as well as be your primary iPhone cans (mic / remote on cable) then these are worth considering.
The Zinken model comes in a wide array of colors (we got mint) to fit your vibe and nice basic features like a partially coiled cable and swiveling ear cups. The sound quality leans more on the bass side. This might be what you want if you are DJing, but might not be stellar with other genres of music that lean on the mids/highs. This is really good headphone for hip-hop and EDM, and just whatever for the others.
So if you are looking for stylish design, comfortable fit and something you can DJ with as well, bingo was your name-o. Pick up the Urban Ears Zinken DJ Headphones for around $80.00.
Wicked Audio - Solus
Good For: DJs just starting out that need a cost conscious headphone with punch bass and doubles up as their primary cans.
The Solus is another headphone that also doubles up as both a consumer and DJ friendly headphone. Where this model is really impressive is the sound quality that it delivers for the price point. It's built like you would expect it to be, lots of plastic and probably a shorter lifespan than more expensive models. It comes with a cable extender to give you up to 10-feet and also features swiveling ear cups and adequate padding for DJing, but it's not so great for long term wear.
This model definitely leans more toward DJing but is just fine for listening to your favorite tunes on the plane. The bass and highs are solid, the mids are just ok. For the price you are going to be hard pressed to find anything better. Pick up the Wicked Audio Solus around $65.
Good For: Creative types looking to step up their design and sound game while at work.
We love the wood aesthetic. It’s different and adds a cool element of design that stands out from the heard (in a good way). The Woodtones are really best for the office or kicking back in the house. They are not that great for walking around in. The fit is really comfortable and good for longer listening sessions, but if you move around too much the headband creates a bit of a squeaky noise.
The sound quality is really nice for the price point and they performed well with EDM and hip-hop, giving just the right amount of bass without being annoying. They are by no means perfectly balanced but, for average music fan they will sound great and equally as good as headphones at higher price points.
They come with a detachable 3.5mm cable that also has a mic and controls and come in three finishes (each one is unique, because they are real wood) beech, sapele (aboudikro) and walnut. Pick up the Griffin Woodtones for around $50 - $80.
XQISIT LZ380 (Silver) BT Wireless Headphone
Good For: Techy traveling music lovers that want a good balanced sound, clean design, portability and wireless functionality
The LZ380’s have a lot going for them in the design, comfort and features departments in this price point. The headphones deliver really good sound that’s well rounded across highs, mids and lows. They handle just about every genre with ease and clarity. Even EDM, with it’s bass heavy productions, was good and not too bass heavy like some of the other models.
The bluetooth connectivity is easy to get paired (we used it with the iPhone 6) and has a solid range so you can wander from your source. The audio quality stays pretty solid when in wireless mode too - there was no dramatic difference (although they do sound better wired).
The headphones take about two hours to fully charge and will get you around 9 - 10 hours or so of playback. They also feature a built-in mic and a really cool touch sensitive control on the side panel for volume and playback.
So all in all the LZ380s really deliver for the price and will make any budget conscious music lover happy. Pick up ht XQISIT LZ380 BT Wireless Headphones for around $99.
808 Audio Performer BT Wireless Headphone
Good For: DJ style lovers that are looking for big ear cups, big padding and good noise isolation in consumer headphone.
The new 80 Audio BT (dropping this March) brings bluetooth functionality to their Performer line. The design might be a bit aggressive for some, but it actually is one of the more comfortable headphones we tested, especially for an over-ear model. The Performer line really is emulating a DJ headphone with its rotating ear cups and big, comfy pads, but not something we would recommend using for DJ monitoring.
The Performer BTs have a great battery life as well, going up to five hours longer then other models that only clock in around 10 hours or so. The headphones feel really sturdy and are built really well for the cost, this is rare in $100 and under price point.
When the headphones are wired they sound decent (they come with a cloth cable with mic) but when they go into BT mode there is a louder-than-average hiss which is prevalent in most BT headphones. This can really irritate some people and kind of kill the vibe - just something to be aware of if you have sensitive ears. You also have playback and volume controls on the actual ear cup that are pretty straight forward and easy to use.
So if you are looking for sturdy, big and comfy headphones inspired by DJing, you will love these. Just go for the wired model for better sound if you don’t care about being wireless. Pick up the 808 Audio Performer BT Wireless Headphone for around $99 (non wireless around $79).