Beyerdynamic’s T1 is among the finest set of wired cans the current market has to offer. The first version of these exceptional headphones came over a decade ago, and the brand recently introduced the third, vastly improved T1 version.
Powered by high-impedance Tesla drivers and cushioned with ultra-smooth velour pads, these headphones are comfortable to wear while offering top-grade sonic performance. However, they’re exceptionally expensive and far beyond the budget of all but the most committed die-hard audiophiles.
Although exact replicas with drastically lower price tags don’t exist, there are more than a few models that could offer a relatively similar level of performance while being more approachable money-wise. Today we’ll take a gander at the best affordable alternatives to Beyerdynamic’s T1, so without any further ado, let’s dig in:
Beyerdynamic T1 Affordable Alternatives
Audio Technica Audiophile ATH AD2000X Open-air Headphones – Best Overall Value
Let’s open up the review with one of the finest T1 alternatives – Audio Technica’s ATH AD2000X. Essentially, the brand’s been around for more than half a century, and aside from relying on state-of-the-art technologies and some of the most renowned artisans in the industry, they’ve made a massive catalog full of top-quality headphones and audiophile gear.
The ATH AD2000X has been their flagship for several years since 2012, and it still holds up to some of the best studio cans on the market. Its over-ear design and audiophile-grade soundstage make it an excellent choice for people who want their loud music to be accompanied by clear sounds and minimal distortion.
It’s powered by large-aperture drivers and excellent-quality CCAW coils, it packs a very dependable built-in DAC unit, and feels remarkably comfortable to use. However, it’s also decently expensive, although it’s certainly not as pricey as the high-end Beyerdynamic T1.
- Phenomenal audio quality
- Built to last
- Very comfortable to use
- Perfect for critical listening and studio settings
- Vibration-proof 3D wing-support
- Fairly expensive
- Relatively shallow earcups
Sony WH 1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Overhead Headphones – Premium Pick
Sony had launched the WH 1000XM4 last year, and they instantly became the brand’s fan favorite. Sporting a classic design and wireless convenience paired with a variety of convenience features and a remarkably strong soundstage, these headphones offer a level of performance that comes pretty close to that of T1 cans.
These Bluetooth-powered headphones offer up to thirty full hours of battery lifespan, which can easily be jolted back to life with the 10-minute quick charge feature. Furthermore, WH 1000XM4 rocks Speak to Chat technology, which instantly reduces the overall volume whenever the user is having a conversation.
The precisely-engineered drivers offer surgically precise tracking and balanced performance at all volumes, being able to handle both high-gain and top-end frequencies with ease.
It sports the DNS technology (dual noise-sensor tech) that cancels almost all ambient noises while the touch sensor governs the control volume, voice assistant features, phone calls, and track controls.
Its sound quality is terrific, although it’s not on the same level as ATH AD2000X. The majority of the features these headphones are outfitted with are meant to provide as much convenience to the user as possible.
- Remarkably practical and convenient
- Sturdy construction
- Comfortable to wear for extended periods
- Bluetooth method of operation
- Thirty hours of total battery lifespan
- Impeccable ambient noise-suppressing features
- Non-padded headband
Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone – Budget Pick
Next up we have Sony’s MDR7506 Professional headphones as our top budget pick for the affordable T1 alternatives. In a nutshell, these closed over-ear cans offer very flexible features, high comfortability, and a decently balanced soundstage for its price range.
They’re powered by 40mm neodymium drivers that offer strong sonic performance with a bit of extra punch in terms of treble. Sony’s MDR7506 packs a decent frequency response range spanning from 10 Hz to 20 kHz, meaning that it provides audible lows and crisp, bright highs.
There are a few things that make it dissimilar to T1; first and foremost, they’re not as versatile in terms of features, but they are decently well-balanced. Secondly, they don’t offer as many convenience functions, but they’re still very easy to use. Finally, they’re drastically less expensive.
- Great for casual and critical listening
- Decently broad frequency response range
- Foldable rugged design
- Powered by strong 40mm Neodymium drivers
- Non-detachable cord
- Somewhat high clamping pressure
Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Series 2 Gaming Headset
Bose is one of the leading names in the headphone industry, and their QuietComfort series is home to their finest works so far. The QC 35 is often labeled as a “gaming headset”, which essentially means that it packs amped bass performance, super-comfortable cups, and a variety of onboard features that govern calls and volume.
The QC35 utilizes premium-quality ambient noise reduction technology, which is perfect for both gaming and listening to music, be it critical or casual in nature. The cups are made of exceptionally comfortable material and present minimal clamping pressure despite their size.
The onboard microphone is detachable and features noise-rejecting technology as well, offering pristine sonic performance when it comes to calls and conversations. Moreover, the Quiet Comfort 35 is compatible with various voice assistant apps, such as Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.
It’s much cheaper than T1, but its soundstage isn’t as strong and versatile. Even so, it sounds absolutely amazing for the money, and its performance can be boosted with a decent DAC upgrade.
- Excellent overall sound quality
- Detachable noise-reducing microphone
- Exemplary ambient noise reduction technology
- Highly comfortable to wear
- Various onboard controls
- Relatively narrow soundstage
- Possible glitches in performance when they’re charging
Sennheiser HD 660 S HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphone
Sennheiser’s HD 660 was a long-standing fan favorite for audiophile cans in the lower bracket of the boutique category; it’s fairly cheaper than most of the models we’ve covered so far while offering exceptional performance and well-rounded features.
What makes these headphones different from the rest is the selection of hand-picked transducers they are outfitted with. These transducers offer matching tolerance on both magnets, offering remarkably precise and contained sonic characteristics.
The frequency response range of HD 660S is extended in both directions, spanning from 10 Hz to 41,000 Hz, offering a broader spectrum of crisp, distortion-free sounds.
Furthermore, the durability of the cable is phenomenal as it is reinforced with para-aramid plating, further augmenting the ability of HD 660S to tackle low-frequency noises at all gain stages.
The fairly high nominal impedance rating of 150 Ohms offers a clearer bass, richer soundstage, and more transparent sonic performance in general, but you may need a headphone amp for it to shine at its brightest.
- Minimal distortion and high tolerance to gain
- Clear, vibrant bass response
- Extended frequency response range
- Para-aramid plating on the cable
- Exceptionally sturdy frame
- Vibrant soundstage
- It May require a headphone amp to tackle its high impedance
- Relatively pricey
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Over-ear Studio Headphones
Even though T1 is currently the best-performing model in the Beyerdynamic catalog, DT 770 Pro is certainly not too far behind. This set of cans offers excellent sound quality at a fraction of T1’s price, high comfortability, and a set of decently flexible features.
One of the best things about DT 770 Pro is that this model is available in 32 Ohm, 80 Ohm, and 250 Ohm variants. Obviously, higher impedance implies the need for a quality amp, but it also means that you’ll get a better sonic performance in turn.
All three variants feature a sturdy single-sided cable, soft and thoroughly padded earcups, a leather-padded headband, and an eclectic soundstage. This particular model isn’t as well-rounded as T1 (or most headphones from Sennheiser, Sony, or Bose on the list), but it’s significantly cheaper while offering a similar value for the buck.
- Sturdy 3-meter cable
- Thoroughly padded earpads
- Durable construction overall
- High-quality sonic performance
- Available in three impedance-based variants
- Bass-Reflex system enhances low-frequency sounds
- Better for studio work than for casual listening
- Flimsy pad connectors
Arctis Pro Steel Series
Arctis’s Steel Series Pro is widely considered as one of the best mid-range gaming headsets, and the reason why its performance can go toe to toe with T1 lies in its powerful built-in GameDAC system.
The sonic capabilities and characteristics of Arctis Pro far exceed those of most similarly priced models, mainly due to the fact that it’s equipped with a set of Hi-Res speaker drivers that are backed by DTS Surround-Sound technology.
These headphones are supplied with a variety of inline control features, allowing you to have conversations while gaming instantly. The emphasis on sound quality did not come as a compromise in terms of durability – all Steel Series cans are phenomenally robust, and Pro is not an exception.
- Decently affordable
- Outstanding sonic performance
- Dual batteries
- High comfortability
- Compatible with most gaming platforms
- Potential static problems when the microphone is on
Philips Fidelio X3 Wired Over-ear Open-Back Headphones
Fidelio X3 is the sonic equivalent of Arcis Steel Series Pro; its soundstage is broad and well-rounded, powered by 50mm multi-layer drivers. Its open-back design dampens the clamping pressure, but it also bleeds some of the sounds in the atmosphere.
The headband of Fidelio X3 is reinforced with ethically sourced Scottish leather; even though it’s slightly less comfortable (to some) for extended periods, it’s substantially sturdier than average.
Although Philips’s Fidelio is wired, it’s also compatible with Bluetooth technology. Its sonic characteristics are the same regardless of preferred connection mode, although some people have reported that they’ve had problems disconnecting their set.
- Fairly inexpensive
- Top-grade sonic performance
- Durable Scottish leather on the headband
- Large 50mm magnets
- Comfortable earpads
- Potential Bluetooth disconnection problems
Beats Studio 3 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones
Plain, simple, and packed with top-grade features, these wireless headphones are excellent for people who are looking for an affordable T1 alternative.
Beats Studio 3 offers 22 full hours of continuous operating time, and then some with the 10-minute recharge feature that could yield three extra hours of battery lifespan.
These headphones are powered by Apple’s W1 chipset and are compatible with most versions of Bluetooth. Another interesting feature of Studio 3 is the pure adaptive noise-canceling technology, which actively blocks ambient sounds and noises.
- Highly comfortable to use
- Pure ANC technology
- Compatible with Bluetooth
- W1 chip
- 22 full hours of battery lifespan
- Low customizability
Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless Headphone System
Sennheiser’s RS 175 is a set of professional studio headphones that pack a variety of phenomenal features, including the bast boost, surround-sound listening modes, high customizability, Bluetooth compatibility, and more.
They’re among the cheapest headphones on the list, although their performance is significantly higher than that of most similarly priced models.
RS 175 cans are easy to install and can be controlled when put on the charging station (which features a number of built-in control features). They’re simple, practical, and excellent for casual and critical listening.
- Terrific sonic performance
- Bluetooth compatibility
- High customizability
- Decently affordable
- High battery lifespan
- Potential charging issues
- Requires setup
Senior editor for Ultimate-Guitar, passionate about good music and quality gear. Bassist. King Crimson fan. Travel enthusiast. Compulsive buyer of Bose headphones and old Fender amps.