You may think "hi-fi" means "expensive" but as far as headphones are concerned, you can get great sound without breaking the bank. Sure, you might have to sacrifice modern conveniences, such as Bluetooth and a dedicated button for Alexa. But if you're OK with wires, you'll find a whole bevy of options. Below you'll find some of our favorite high-end headphones that cost $150 or less. All are wired. And all great for at-home listening.
(Pro tip: you can pick up a headphone DAC/amp for pretty cheap and make these wired headphones really shine.)
Beyerdynamic is one of the biggest names when it comes really high-end (and usually pretty expensive) studio headphones. That said, its DT 240 Pro are excellent closed-back headphones that push well ahead their modest price. They're well built, comfortable to wear and boast a detailed sound.
Released in 2021, the Grado SR60x is a new and improved version of the company's previous SR60e headphones. They have the same industrial design that's straight out of the 1940s, and come with the same heavy duty cord; but they've have been upgraded with the company's new "X Driver," which promises superior soundstage. The cherry on top is that they're made in the USA - Brooklyn, in fact. The only catch is that they're open-back headphones, so they're not ideal if you have work in close quarters with others.
The Sony MDR-7506 are a blast from the past — originally released in 1991 — but these iconic headphones are still worth your money. Their sound is still vibrant and warm. They're surprisingly great at blocking out outside sounds even without active noise-cancelation. And their soft earcups and lightweight design make the Sony MDR-7506 some of the most comfortable headphones you can find.
The Grado SR80x are identical in almost every way to the company's SR60x that are already on this list. They have the same exact design — same earcups and headband — but SR80x has a slightly higher-end X driver thats sound a little more detailed and punchy. If you're truly value sound quality and the extra $20 isn't a big deal, we recommend upgrading these bad boys.
You can probably tell just by looking at Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X what they sound like. These open-back headphones are rather large, swallowing your entire ears, and boast a huge and detailed soundstage. They're ideal for enjoying hi-fi music at home when nobody else is around.
Audio-Technica's ATH-M50x are an entirely different beast from the company's previous mentioned ATH-AD700X. The ATH-M50x are closed-back headphones that support the company's signature design and solid build quality. So while the ATH-AD700X are ideal for listening in quiet environments, the ATH-M50x are studio-quality headphones that are good for just about any situation.
V-Moda makes some of the most conspicuous headphones in the world, and they're the headphones of choice for some of the most popular DJs in the world, such as Martin Garrix and Kygo. The company's flagship Crossfade headphones have side panels, called "shields," that you can swap out and customize. The Crossfade LP2, specifically, are several years old but they have excellent 50mm drivers that produce vibrant and punchy sound. They're also surpassingly rugged and well built, so these are perfect for the person who usually just tosses their headphones in their backpack.