In this post I’m going to share with you a blind buy I did on Amazon a while back that resulted in owning the best pair of headphones under 50. When I’m searching in the market for a great pair of headphones, I always try and aim for that perfect balance of audio quality and comfort. Considering the fact that most of my computer sessions involve spending upwards to 16 hours doing various tasks on my computer. Including producing and mixing music, and video editing. With that being said, I couldn’t help but write out a full review to extend this recommendation to other music producers out there. What if I told you that these $50 headphones, contend with headphones well above the $100 or even $200 price point? Here’s why these are the best headphones under 50.
Best Headphones Under 50 – Superlux HD681 Headphones
($34.95 – Amazon)
- Fit: Over Ear.
- Type: Dynamic, Semi-Open.
- Driver Size: 50 mm, dome type, neodymium magnet.
- Frequency Response: 10Hz-30KHz.
- Impedance: 32 Ohms.
- THD: <0.25%
- Maximum Input Power: 300 mW.
- Cord: Single Sided, Straight. 2.5 meters (8.2 feet)
One thing to note is that the outside packaging for these headphones are rather….obsolete. Meaning, these headphones are not encased in a plastic enclosure of some sort. It comes in this nylon-like black bag with a paper packaging. At-least that’s how I received it. However, the bag itself is nice and and the headphones fit nice and snug should you’d ever need it for travel purposes. I didn’t have the paper packaging at the time of this photo as I was too excited to use them and threw it away immediately. (It happens)
Back before I bought these headphones, I had actually owned a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x’s and did not like them whatsoever. The build quality was superb, but the audio clarity was nowhere near what I wanted, especially in the low end. It just sounded too weak for my tastes. I produce electronic music heavy so it’s very important to get that tight, low end punch without suffering from distortion. So I ended up returning them and settled for another pair of headphones made by a Swedish based company called “Coloud”- “Coloud Boom” Headphones to be exact. It ended up being a random blind buy when I was ‘window shopping’ in the electronics department in Target many years back. Interestingly enough, those ended up being the best damn pair of headphones I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned headphones ranging from $30 up to $200. They costed me no more than $50 and if I ever came across another pair online I would buy it without question! Sadly, the headphones are now at a very limited production and you’d be lucky to find a pair online. I’m holding on to mines for dear life.
Build quality 3/5
So the build quality for the Superlux HD681 Headphones is not the best, but it’s certainly not the worst I’ve experienced either. It has the build quality that you’ll either love and appreciate from the start, or hate but learn to get used to it. I must say, these headphones are very lightweight, so one would have the automatic presumption that the headphones have a very ‘cheap’ feel to them. Now that is a valid presumption, but sometimes lightweight can actually workout for the better- especially for users during those long-term studio sessions. It’s the weighted headphones that actually press more against your temples and give rise to discomfort and potential headaches. But I have found that the denser the headphones, usually, the better the quality. These headphones are the only exception so far.
The leather headband, which has it’s brand name “Superlux” etched across the band, is actually quite comfortable and durable. In fact, it’s so comfortable and light that I often forget it’s even on my head. It also has a slot on both sides that extends the metal frame up and down to adjust to your head-size, which makes it more of a universal fit. This helps avoid having to deal with the more old-school, plastic or metal extension that would run through the headband itself; that you’d have to manually adjust. Those things actually give out and eventually break after so many manual adjustments. So this is a plus in my book.
Cord Length 5/5
One of my favorite features of these $35 headphones is the cord length that reaches out to a max of 8.2 ft. In the picture above you can see it laid down and stretched out across my entire kitchen floor. Everyone knows how bothersome it is to own a good pair of headphones with a short cord length. Need to turn around and reach to grab something or turn a knob or push a button? The headphone jack comes yanking out the audio interface, sometimes WITH the audio interface. Very frustrating indeed and doing that a number of times can actually cause damage not only to your headphone jack, but your audio interface headphone port as well. It also helps to have a high quality, durable 6.35mm to 3.5mm headphone jack. I highly recommend the Fospower 24k Gold Plated Headphone jack. I bought a pack of three over two years ago, and I am still on my first one. With 8.2 ft. of cord length, you can literally walk around your studio with the chord perfectly in-tact. It’s great.
Sound Quality 4/5
The Superlux HD681 paired with my Audient ID4 gives me the best of both worlds without having to dish out too much money to achieve above average results. With every pair of new headphones, a ‘burn in’ phase has to be done in order for the headphone to exercise it’s diaphragm and reach it’s peak audio quality. Now I’m not sure if this is fact or fiction, but I think there is some truth to it. I know for me, I would swear that after thousands of hours of use, my headphones sounded completely different that when I bought them factory fresh out of the box. Aside from that, when you’re using the Superlux HD681 for the first time, you will undoubtedly be greeted with a flat frequency response. But of course, there are many factors that modifies the frequency response such as your own audio interface and computer processing power.
Lows: The lows are one of the most crucial aspects of electronic music creation as it relies on a steady kick drum, parallel to a pulsating baseline. Music producers know good and well that owning a pair of headphones that can handle low’s without a hitch is important to avoid distortion. These headphones are decent performers for $35 in the low-end. Not the best, and not the most powerful, but it’s great for monitoring sessions. Not so much the all out, crank-up- head banging sessions. I’ve also noticed that I can crank the volume up on my audio interface with these headphones slightly louder than other headphones before they start to distort. That in itself is HUGE.
Mids: Warm and smooth mids is what you can expect with these headphones. This is especially important when working with various vst instruments and doing any kind of sound design within your DAW. Also makes it easier to mix-down snares and other percussive elements in your track.
Highs: I am a huge fan of hi’s in electronic music. There’s nothing that moves me more than a set of intricately placed hi-hats to layer over and compliment a track. I’ve owned headphones in the past where the hi-hats would be too piercing and harsh on the ears. Listening to piercing hi-hats for long periods of time can really put a beating on your ear drums! More-so than any other frequency range to be frankly honest. It triggers a sensitive area of the ear drum that other frequencies cannot. The Superlux HD681 are really good at ducking the tail end of the hi-hats to prevent them from perforating through the headphone speakers.
I mean let’s be real, for $35 you have a pair of headphones that can really outperform other more expensive pairs in the market. I’s important to note that over the years I’ve observed that these headphones sale pretty darn fast so you might want to secure yourself with a copy when you have the chance. I give all the kudos and glory to the company Superlux for creating such an amazing product with the quality and affordability that music producers worldwide desperately seek. Get yourself a pair of Superlux HD681 headphones and you’ll be glad you did. You might want to check out their other line of products as well. I would also like to add that these would be great headphones for a DJ as well to use in unison with their music. I am sure that that they would be of great use for that as well. Whether you need another pair of headphones to add to your collection, or you’re a beginner music producer looking to get involved. Check out the reviews for these headphones and you will see that many others have come to this same conclusion. These are seriously the best headphones under 50 that money can buy.