There’s something fun about discovering a good-sounding pair of cheap headphones. It’s really satisfying to pick up a pair of $30 headphones and get much of the musical satisfaction you get from a $300 pair of cans.
That’s probably why the Koss KPH30iK are so popular. For $29.99, you get a nice engaging headphone with a big, open sound and decent detail.
Today I’m looking at another inexpensive headphone marketed towards DJs, Creators, and Audiophiles. It’s called the OneOdio Pro-50 Studio, and it retails for just $49.99 on Amazon.
Disclaimer: The Pro-50 Studio was sent to us from OneOdio in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. They do not have to be returned.
It’s a full-sized pair of over-ear cans with the classic studio/DJ headphone design made popular by Sony and Audio-Technica back in the day. It has some stylish touches like the chrome around the earcups and the red stitching around the earpads.
There are also some cool rubberized surfaces on the outside of the earcups that look like records. I dig the look, and I can definitely see a DJ rocking them out at a club.
As OneOdio’s wired flagship, the Pro-50 Studio is Hi-Res certified and has upgraded 50mm drivers designed for a quote “accurate sound with a detailed high-end and well-tuned mid-range, plus a clear low-end with a slight boost.”
The build is pretty lightweight, but overall they seem pretty sturdy compared to other headphones in this price range. I wouldn’t recommend tossing them around, though.
As far as wearing comfort is concerned, the pillowy protein leather earpads and padding at the top of the headband makes them pretty nice to wear, especially since the clamping force is pretty low.
With the thick earpads around my ears, they did block out a fair amount of noise, albeit nowhere near what a pair of Active Noise Cancelling headphones would. But that’s to be expected.
The cups swivel 90 deg so you can move them away from your ears, a common feature that DJs use to hear the outside world. The earcups also fold up for easier storage.
As far as accessories go, you get two cables, one coiled 3.5mm to ¼” cable for connection to a DJ mixer and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm straight cable (with a mic) that you can use with portable devices. Both are on the thin side. You also get a plastic carrying pouch.
Since the headphone has both ¼” and 3.5mm connectors, you can use both cables simultaneously and listen to two sources at the same time. I’m not 100% sure why you would do that, but hey, it still sounds pretty cool.
The two connectors also allow you to share music with another person by plugging another headphone into the second jack. That’s not something I would be interested in, but again, it seems like a pretty cool feature.
I tried it out, and I was able to get nice volume and good sound quality on the second pair of headphones I connected. So the feature works well if that’s something you’re interested in.
Listening to the OneOdio Pro-50 Studio
So for my sound tests, I hooked up the Pro-50 Studio to my LG V60 smartphone with the ESS hi-fi Quad DAC engaged. I used the mobile microphone cable connected to the 3.5mm side of the headphones.
For my music selections, I played a bunch of tracks from the “Audiophile 101-MQA Masters Edtion” playlist via the Tidal App.
According to the company, these headphones are balanced with a detailed high-end and accurate midrange. The low-end is described as deep with a slight boost.
I don’t know about balanced, but they do have decent detail in the highs, and the mids, while recessed, are more accurate than some other headphones I have heard at this price. I would say the low-end is definitely deep, but there is a midbass elevation that I would call more than slight.
The sound actually reminds me of Beyerdynamic headphones with their peak in the mid to lower treble, dip in the midrange, then a bass boost around 200hz somewhere. It results in a somewhat crisp sound, punctuated by an elevated yet tight bass.
However, the dip in the mids makes them sound a little thin. Plus, the roll-off in the upper highs removes a lot of air, making things sound a little closed in, which isn’t out of the ordinary at this price.
On the song “Babylon Sisters” by Steely Dan, the overarching bassline was nice because it was deep without being boomy or sloppy, but there was just a little bit too much of it for my taste. If it was toned down a bit, I think it would’ve allowed the mids to breathe a little more, but as such, the bass tends to bleed into the mids and kind of takes over the mix.
On the parts of the song that were lighter on bass, the Pro-50 sounded more balanced, but once the heavy bassline came in, it tended to run the show, making it hard for me to concentrate on anything else.
That said, despite the heavy dollop of bass, Dan Fagen’s vocal was pretty natural and clear, as were the background singers. The electric piano also sounded pretty realistic. There wasn’t much depth to the imaging, and the soundstage seemed to be just outside the earcups.
Listening to the song Clique by Big Sean, Jay-Z, and Kanye West, the bass was still a little too elevated for my taste, but it was very detailed and far from one note. It drove the rhythm really well, even though it colored the vocals just a bit. With the detail up top and quality bass on display, I can see bass lovers enjoying the Pro 50’s sound.
Compared to the Koss KPH30i Headphones
I didn’t have any other closed-back over-ear headphones around this price, so I compared them to Koss’ KPH30i, which is considered one of the best-sounding headphones under $50.
Compared to the Koss, the OneOdio sounded more closed-in and bass-focused, while the Koss was more expansive and mid-centric. The KPH30i’s forward midrange made the presentation sound fuller and rich.
The Pro 50 won in the bass department, as it not only had more bass, but it also had deep, tight, articulate bass, which added more boom and punch to the presentation. I wish it were dialed back a hair to let the mids breathe.
Speaking of mids, I liked the mids on the KPH30i better, even though the mids were actually more detailed on the Pro 50 Studio. That’s because the warmth and richness of the midrange on the Koss sounded more natural to me, plus it wasn’t colored by the upper bass as it was on the OneOdio.
When it comes to the highs, the OneOdio came out on top there for me because even though it was a little edgy at times, it was more detailed and accurate than the Koss headphone, which has fairly rolled off highs. Strings just had that extra zing when listening on the Pro 50.
As far as soundstage and imaging go, neither one is a world-beater, but I would say the KPH30i forward midrange makes them sound more spacious.
At the end of the day, I liked the Koss better for the types of music I enjoy the most, like Jazz and acoustic. The richer mids made vocals and instrumentation more musical and lively, which I loved. The mids on the OneOdio sounded a little cold and recessed in comparison.
However, if you listen to a lot of hip-hop or electronica, maybe classic rock, I can see you preferring the boosted bass and elevated highs of the OneOdio headphones.
Also, keep in mind that the OneOdio is closed back to provide some noise-isolation the Koss doesn’t, plus the thick over-ear cushions make them a bit more comfortable than the Koss headphone, which is an on-ear design.
The Wrap Up
Overall, the OneOdio Pro 50 Studio is a fun-sounding headphone with thumping subwoofer-like bass and decent sparkle in the highs. It’s not overly veiled or muddy, which is a win at this price range. I wouldn’t call it an audiophile headphone, but it has enough detail throughout the audioband to keep things interesting.
By the way, it’s also quite comfortable and provides a good amount of noise isolation. They look pretty good as well. If you’re looking for an inexpensive pair of headphones (under $50) with crisp highs and deep, detailed bass, then you should check out the Studio Pro 50.
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I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My thirst for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.