Underrated Studio Gear You Need! (Under $200)

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Underrated studio gear you need for your home recording setup, all under $200! Find out about the best budget-friendly audio interfaces, microphones, headphones, and more. Perfect for beginners and experienced producers alike.

1. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm

STUDIO MASTERCLASS.

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2. Sound-Town DIY 8U Studio Rack

CUSTOMIZABLE BEAST.

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3. Pyle 4-Channel Pro PMXU46BT

BLUETOOTH POWERHOUSE.

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4. Armocity 47 Music Studio Desk

ERGONOMIC HUB.

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5. ART TubeMPSTV3 Tube Mic Preamp

WARM TONE.

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6. Wanan Multiple Guitar Stand

SPACE-SAVING SUPPORT.

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1. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm

STUDIO MASTERCLASS.

1. Wide soundstage & precise imaging.Detailed, accurate sound reproduction.
Comfortable for long periods.Durable construction for long-lasting use.
Picture by Beyerdynamic

Picture by Alesis

PROS

  • 1. Wide soundstage and excellent imaging. These headphones have a very open soundstage, allowing you to hear sounds from all around you, making them ideal for studio monitoring. They also offer excellent imaging, allowing you to pinpoint the location of sounds within the soundstage, which is perfect for gaming.

    2. Detailed and accurate sound. The DT 990 Pros are known for their detailed and accurate sound reproduction. They deliver a wide range of frequencies with clarity and precision, making them suitable for music, movies, and games.

    3. Comfortable to wear. The DT 990 Pros feature large, soft ear cups made of velour and a padded, adjustable headband. This design ensures that they remain comfortable even during extended listening sessions.

    4. Durable build quality. Crafted from high-quality materials, including aluminum and steel, the DT 990 Pros are built to last. They exhibit a high level of craftsmanship, with tight tolerances and no loose parts, guaranteeing their durability.

    In-depth details for each of these pros:

    – The open-back design of the DT 990 Pros allows sound to escape, resulting in a wider soundstage and improved imaging. The soundstage denotes the perceived space between the left and right speakers, while imaging refers to accurately identifying the position of sounds within the soundstage.

    – Boasting a frequency response of 5 to 35,000 Hz, the DT 990 Pros can faithfully reproduce a broad range of frequencies, from deep bass to sparkling treble notes. Additionally, their high sensitivity of 96 dB/mW enables them to be used with various devices.

    – The large, velour ear cups and padded, adjustable headband of the DT 990 Pros guarantee exceptional comfort even during long listening sessions. This feature ensures that they remain easy to wear over extended periods.

    – The DT 990 Pros are constructed using premium materials such as aluminum and steel, resulting in a robust build quality. With meticulous attention to detail and no loose parts, these headphones are designed to withstand the test of time.

    Ultimately, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm headphones are an exceptional choice for studio monitoring and gaming under $80. Offering a wide soundstage, excellent imaging, detailed sound reproduction, comfortable design, and durable build quality, they deliver an immersive and accurate listening experience.

    However, it is important to note that these headphones have a high impedance of 250 ohms, potentially limiting their loudness when driven directly by a computer or phone. To maximize their performance, a headphone amplifier may be required.

CONS

  • 1. High impedance. The DT 990 Pro 250 ohm has a high impedance of 250 ohms, requiring a powerful amplifier. This may be problematic for budget users or those without an amp.
    2. Treble-heavy sound signature. The DT 990 Pro 250 ohm has a treble-heavy sound, which can be fatiguing over extended periods. Not ideal for long studio sessions.

    3. Open-back design. Sound leakage and external noise intrusion are possible due to the open-back design, inconvenient in a noisy environment or for others nearby.
    4. Non-detachable cable. If the cable gets damaged, replacing the entire headphones is necessary.

    So… The DT 990 Pro 250 ohm is great for studios but has limitations to consider.

2. Sound-Town DIY 8U Studio Rack

CUSTOMIZABLE BEAST.

Affordable!Well-made, high-quality studio gear.
Wide range of equipment compatibility.“Easy assembly instructions included.”
Picture by Sound-Town

PROS

    • 1. Affordable. The Sound-Town DIY 8U Studio Rack is priced at approximately $150, making it an extremely affordable option for musicians and producers on a budget.

      2. Sturdy and well-made. Constructed using high-quality materials such as 5/8″ MDF and furniture grade walnut laminate, this studio rack is built to last for years. Its durability ensures that it can withstand the demands of a professional studio environment.

      3. Versatile. One of the key advantages of the Sound-Town DIY 8U Studio Rack is its ability to accommodate a wide variety of studio equipment. Whether you need to house mixers, compressors, effects pedals, or other gear, this rack has you covered.

      4. Easy to assemble. The Sound-Town DIY 8U Studio Rack comes with all the necessary hardware and clear instructions, making assembly a breeze. Even if you are not particularly handy, you can confidently put it together yourself.

      In addition to these pros, there are several other benefits of adding the Sound-Town DIY 8U Studio Rack to your studio setup. It helps maintain an organized and clutter-free space by providing a designated spot for your equipment. Furthermore, the rack’s design promotes improved airflow, preventing overheating and protecting your gear. With easy accessibility and connection, the rack streamlines your workflow, allowing you to focus on creativity rather than struggling with cables. Lastly, its sleek design adds a touch of style to your studio, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal.

      In conclusion, the Sound-Town DIY 8U Studio Rack is an excellent option for musicians and producers seeking an affordable, durable, and versatile solution to studio equipment storage. Not only does it offer practical benefits, but it also enhances the visual appeal of your workspace.

CONS

  • Firstly, it is not as sturdy as some other studio racks. The Sound-Town rack, made of MDF with walnut laminate, lacks the strength of metal or solid wood, posing a problem for mounting heavy equipment.                        
  • Additionally, it requires assembly, meaning you’ll have to put it together, which can be time-consuming and challenging if you’re not familiar with DIY projects. Other underrated studio gear under $200 includes a patchbay, power conditioner, reverb pedal, delay pedal, and a microphone stand which are all essential for creativity and convenience.

3. Pyle 4-Channel Pro PMXU46BT

BLUETOOTH POWERHOUSE.

4-channel mixer with Bluetooth connectivity.Effects and EQ for polishing.
USB recording interface for DAW.Durable metal construction for longevity.
Picture by Pyle

PROS

  • 1. The Pyle 4-Channel Pro PMXU46BT is a 4-channel mixer with Bluetooth connectivity. This means that you have the flexibility to mix and blend up to 4 audio sources, while also being able to wirelessly stream audio from your phone, tablet, or computer. Whether you’re using it for live performances or playing backing tracks in the studio, this mixer offers great convenience.

    2. Another great feature of the PMXU46BT is its built-in effects and EQ. With a built-in effects processor that includes reverb, delay, and chorus effects, you can add polish and depth to your recordings or live performances. Additionally, the 3-band EQ gives you precise control over the sound of your mix, allowing you to fine-tune it according to your preferences.

    3. The PMXU46BT doubles as a USB recording interface. This means that you can easily connect it to your computer and record your mixes or performances directly to your digital audio workstation (DAW). By eliminating the need for extra equipment or complicated setups, the PMXU46BT saves you time and effort when it comes to recording your music.

    4. Built with durable metal construction, the PMXU46BT is designed to withstand the rigors of live performances and studio use. This ensures that your investment will last for years to come, providing you with reliable performance and peace of mind.

    Overall, the Pyle 4-Channel Pro PMXU46BT offers a range of features that make it a versatile and powerful mixer for various applications. With Bluetooth connectivity, built-in effects and EQ, USB recording interface capabilities, and durable metal construction, it is a great option for those seeking an affordable mixer under $200. Whether you’re a musician, DJ, or podcaster, the PMXU46BT offers convenience, versatility, and reliability for your audio mixing needs.

CONS

  • 1. The sound quality is not as good as some of the other mixers in its price range. Some users have reported that the sound quality of the Pyle PMXU46BT is muddy and lacks clarity. This is likely due to the fact that the mixer uses a less expensive audio chipset than its competitors.
  • 2. The build quality is not as good as some of the other mixers in its price range. The Pyle PMXU46BT is made of plastic, making it susceptible to damage and some users feel that the knobs and faders feel cheap and flimsy.

4. Armocity 47 Music Studio Desk

ERGONOMIC HUB.

Sturdy, large work surface desk.Multiple storage compartments and shelves.
Built-in power outlet and cable management.Adjustable height prevents fatigue.
Picture by Armocity

PROS

  • Firstly, the desk boasts sturdy construction and a large work surface. Made of high-quality materials, it is built to last. The spacious work surface provides ample space for your computer, monitors, instruments, and other gear, allowing you to set up your studio in a clutter-free manner.

    Secondly, it offers multiple storage compartments and shelves. With two shelves and a pull-out keyboard tray, this desk ensures you have enough storage space to keep your gear organized and within easy reach. It is essential for a productive and efficient workflow.

    Thirdly, it features a built-in power outlet and cable management system. This thoughtful addition allows you to keep all your devices charged and eliminates the headache of tangled cables. Your workspace will remain tidy and free of clutter, promoting a peaceful and focused environment.

    Lastly, the desk boasts an ergonomic design with adjustable height. This feature enables you to find a comfortable working position and minimize fatigue. The ability to adjust the height from 29.5″ to 37.4″ offers flexibility, ensuring that you can work for longer periods without discomfort.

    To delve into further detail, the desk is constructed using MDF and steel, providing excellent sturdiness and durability. Its large work surface measures 47″ x 23.6″, offering sufficient space for most music production setups. Additionally, the two shelves and pull-out keyboard tray provide extra room for your laptop, books, paperwork, and MIDI controllers.

    In conclusion, the Armocity 47 Music Studio Desk with Power Outlet is an outstanding choice for musicians and producers seeking an affordable and versatile desk. With its sturdy construction, large work surface, multiple storage compartments, built-in power outlet, and ergonomic design, it caters to the specific needs of music production. This desk is truly a hidden gem within the under $200 price range.

    I hope this comprehensive explanation helps you in your decision-making process!

CONS

  • 1. The desk lacks sturdiness. Being made of particleboard, it lacks the strength of solid wood, resulting in potential wobbling or shaking when heavy equipment is placed on it during music production.

    2. The cable management system is inadequate as it only includes a small piece of velcro tape. This insufficiency proves problematic for individuals with numerous cables, requiring the purchase of additional cable management solutions for proper desk organization.

    Other cons not mentioned in the blog post include the desk’s shallow depth of only 20 inches, which may not suffice for users requiring ample equipment space. Furthermore, the non-adjustable height may cause discomfort for some.

    Overall, the Armocity 47 Music Studio Desk is a reasonable choice considering its price. However, it does possess drawbacks that should be taken into account prior to purchasing. If you seek a solid and well-designed desk with extensive features, this may not be the optimal option. Nevertheless, if you are on a budget and require a basic desk for music production, it could prove suitable!

5. ART TubeMPSTV3 Tube Mic Preamp

WARM TONE.

1. Affordable price.2. 3-band EQ with sweepable mids.
3. Built-in DI for direct recording.4. Versatile and durable.
Picture by ART

 

PROS

  • 1. Affordable price. The ART TubeMP is very reasonably priced, making it an accessible option for budget-minded musicians and producers. At under $200, it offers excellent value for the features and sound quality it provides.

    2. Warm and smooth sound. The ART TubeMP uses a single 12AX7 tube to add a touch of warmth and richness to your sound. This is especially noticeable on vocals and acoustic instruments. The tube technology enhances the audio signal, resulting in a more pleasing and professional sound.

    3. 3-band EQ with sweepable mids. The ART TubeMP features a 3-band EQ with sweepable mids, giving you precise control over your sound. This is a great feature for dialing in the perfect tone for your recordings. Whether you need to boost or cut specific frequencies, the EQ on the TubeMP allows you to shape your sound to your liking.

    4. Built-in DI for direct recording. The ART TubeMP also has a built-in DI, which makes it ideal for recording electric guitars and basses directly into your DAW. This saves you the hassle of setting up additional equipment and ensures a clean and strong direct signal.

    In addition to these pros, the ART TubeMP is also very easy to use. It has a simple, straightforward design with all the controls you need right at your fingertips. You don’t need to be a technical expert to operate this preamp effectively. It’s also built to last, with a rugged metal chassis that can withstand the rigors of studio use.

    Overall, the ART TubeMP is a great choice for musicians and producers looking for an affordable, high-quality tube mic preamp. It’s perfect for adding warmth and richness to your sound, and it has the features you need to get the job done.

    Here are some additional thoughts on how the ART TubeMPSTV3 can be considered an underrated studio gear under $200:

    Firstly, despite being often overlooked by more popular brands, the ART TubeMPSTV3 offers comparable sound quality. Its single 12AX7 tube provides that classic warm and smooth tone that many musicians and producers seek in a mic preamp.

    Secondly, its versatility is a noteworthy aspect. This preamp can be used with a variety of microphones and instruments, making it a versatile tool for different recording scenarios. Whether you’re recording vocals, guitars, or even drums, the TubeMPSTV3 can handle it all, providing excellent results.

    Thirdly, the build quality of this preamp is impressive. It is solidly constructed with a rugged metal chassis, ensuring its durability and longevity. It is designed to withstand the demands of professional studio use and will serve you well for many years.

    Lastly, the ART TubeMPSTV3 is a great value for the price. For under $200, you get a reliable and high-quality tube mic preamp that can significantly enhance your recordings. It’s a worthwhile investment for any musician or producer on a budget.

    If you are looking for an affordable, high-quality tube mic preamp, the ART TubeMPSTV3 is a great option to consider. It is sure to give your recordings a warm and professional sound while offering versatility and durability. Don’t let its underdog status fool you; this preamp packs a punch and delivers outstanding results.

CONS

  • 1. Limited channels: It only has two channels, which can be limiting if you need to record more than two sources simultaneously.
    2. Noise at high gain: It can be noisy at high gain settings, which may affect the quality of recordings, especially for quiet sources like acoustic guitars or vocals.

    Other cons of the ART TubeMPSTV3 not mentioned in the blog post include the lack of built-in EQ or compression, limiting its versatility for various recording applications. Additionally, it lacks a DI input for electric guitars or bass signals, and its build quality isn’t as robust.

    Overall, the ART TubeMPSTV3 is a versatile budget microphone preamp, but its limitations make it less suitable for certain recording scenarios. Consider alternative options for a more versatile preamp.

6. Wanan Multiple Guitar Stand

SPACE-SAVING SUPPORT.

Sturdy and adjustable guitar stand.Adjustable neck rests prevent damage.
Space-saving design for studios.Affordable option for budget musicians.
Picture by Wanan

PROS

  • Firstly, the stand boasts a sturdy and durable construction. Crafted from heavy-duty steel, it offers a reliable hold for up to 5 guitars of varying sizes and shapes. This secure design ensures that you need not worry about your precious instruments tipping over during use.

    Secondly, the stand features adjustable neck rests. These adaptable rests allow you to position your guitars comfortably and securely, safeguarding them from potential damage. This aspect is particularly crucial for maintaining the longevity and integrity of your instruments.

    Thirdly, the Wanan Multiple Guitar Stand presents a space-saving design that is ideal for compact studios or home recording setups. By efficiently utilizing vertical space, it enables you to optimize the limited area while keeping your guitars easily accessible. This unique design ensures that your studio remains organized and clutter-free.

    Lastly, the stand offers an affordable price point, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious musicians. Despite being wallet-friendly, the Wanan Multiple Guitar Stand does not compromise on quality or functionality. It provides excellent value for money and meets the needs of both amateur and professional musicians.

    In addition to these pros, there are several other considerations that make the Wanan Multiple Guitar Stand an underrated studio gear under $200. By keeping your guitars organized and protected, it enhances the overall aesthetics of your studio. Moreover, it frees up valuable floor space, allowing for more room to move around and play. For individuals with multiple guitars, this stand is an absolute must-have to maintain a clean and convenient studio setup.

    Overall, the Wanan Multiple Guitar Stand offers an excellent set of features that make it an underrated gem among studio gear under $200. Its sturdy construction, adjustable neck rests, space-saving design, and affordable price point make it a highly recommended investment for musicians of all levels.

CONS

  • First, it can be unstable if not properly balanced, especially if heavier guitars are stored on it. To prevent tipping, ensure even distribution and place it on a level surface.
  • Second, adjusting guitar height can be difficult as the Wanan stand lacks this feature, requiring stand movement for a comfortable playing position.

    And!

    Here are some other underrated studio gear options under $200:

    1. MOTU M2: With two mic preamps, two line inputs, and two headphone outputs, this audio interface offers great value. It also features a built-in DSP mixer with effects.
    2. iFi Zen DAC: Enhance the sound quality of your computer or mobile device with this DAC, equipped with a high-quality headphone amp and support for various digital audio formats.
    3. KRK Rokit 5 G4: These budget-friendly studio monitors provide accurate sound reproduction and a wide frequency response.
    4. Rode NT1-A: A popular microphone for recording vocals and acoustic instruments, known for its warm and natural sound quality.
    5. Shure SM57: Another versatile microphone choice for recording vocals and instruments, celebrated for its durability.

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