Best 5 headphones under $50

If you’re after a new pair of headphones on a strict budget, your best choice varies based on what you need them for. We’ve picked some of the best headphones you can get for under $50.

We’ve decidedly stuck with wired headphones, as going under $50 for wireless can cause issues with battery life, connectivity, bluetooth range, build quality and sound quality. So if you’ll mostly be looking for headphones to pair with your 3.5mm jack-less phone, you may want to look elsewhere.

Over-Ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones need to be comfortable to wear for all day desktop use.

over ear
Panasonic RP-HT161 – $15

Soft padding ensure they’ll sit on your head for hours on end without causing any discomfort. While the long cable makes them perfect for a PC under the desk in the office or gaming.

  • Powerful sound
  • Comfortable
  • Long cable
On-Ear Headphones

On-ear headphones should be fantastic for day-to-day use and easy to travel with.

On Ear
Sony MDRZX110 – $15

The Sony’s are one of the best rated pair of headphones on Amazon and for good reason. They achieve everything on-ear headphones should at a bargain price.

  • Great sound
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
In-Ear Headphones

Much like on-ear headphones, in-ears need to be great for day to day use while being even smaller to fit in a pocket or under a hat.

in ear
Panasonic RP-HJE120 – $10

The Panasonic earbuds produce an impressive sound for such a small set. Their changeable in-ear tips provide a great seal for all ear sizes and block out a decent amount of noise.

  • Sleek
  • Multiple colours
  • Three tip sizes
  • Good seal
Closed Back Studio Headphones

There are two types of headphones you’ll want to look into when building your home studio setup. Closed back and open back headphones. Closed back are perfect for recording. If your budget can stretch to $100 checkout out our ‘Top 10 tools for music producers’ for some truly professional grade headphones.

closed back
Tascam TH-02 – $20

These studio headphones provide a tight fit, leaking virtually no sound, while producing a flat frequency response, perfect for recording.

  • Balanced frequency response
  • No leaking
  • Great for recording
Open Back Studio Headphones
open back
Samson SR850 – $50

Choices are very thin on the ground when it comes to open back headphones when your budget is limited to $50. These semi-open back choice will be the best you can get for the price.

  • Super comfortable
  • Wide frequency response
  • Great for mixing

None of these choices are the best headphones you can get in each category, but if limited to $50 you get some surprising good cans.

The 5 best free plugin synths available now

There’s no better time to load up your DAWs and get creative with a selection of brand new and exciting plugins.

These are the 5 best synthesiser plugins that we have found that are completely free for you to download and use. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other amazing digital synths out there or that you have a personal favourite that doesn’t appear.

Share your best free finds in the comments below. Here are ours:

Voltage Modular Nucleus

This whopping modular synth package has been made free for the “foreseeable future” (sorry to any readers in a potential future where this no longer applies) to keep you isolators entertained and creative. With 22 modules and over 130 presets to play from you’re not short of fun here.

VK-1 Viking Monophonic Synth

This synth present a promises of authentically emulating a classic monophonic analog syntheseizer. Whilst you try to guess which classic synth it’s based on you can play with the incredible array of control on offer through this powerful yet free synth VST.

Tal-Bassline

For all you low-end lovers out there this wonderful synth gives you bass sounds with heaps of customisation on top. Featuring a -18dB low pass filter it has been designed to feel warm and analogue. Oh and, of course, it’s free.

Dexed

You won’t be short of potential with Dexed with more potential for custom sounds than you could discover in a lifetime. It’s a brilliant plugin to spend an evening with exploring the potential and working out just how it all works!

TyrellN6

Want to get a truly unique sound form a synth? Try TyrellN6 for a new, warm experience that puts you in mind of indie game music and sound effects – so if your creativity lies near that then do try this synth.

Marshmello, A$AP Ferg and others curate brand new artist playlists on Pandora

Pandora have launched a new series of playlists with some major artists sharing the music they love right now.

Listen In… Pandora have recruited some beloved artists to come on to their streaming service and share the music they love. Each playlist is entirely curated by a different artist and resembles the music of the moment for them. They’re sharing it with Pandora so that their users can Listen In.

They’re planning to get even more artists to come and share the tunes they want you to Listen In to. Future artists creating personal playlists include All Time Low, Broken Social Scene, Fitz and the Tantrums, Jeezy, Jim James, Prince Royce, amongst many others.

Here are all the artists you can Listen In With right now:

A$AP Ferg: Rapper and songwriter A$AP Ferg put together a playlist packed with bangers to have you jamming from sun up to sun down (and beyond). “I’ve got a lot of music I’m listening to, artists I’m loving, artists I’m discovering,” the musician explained to Pandora, promising that his picks get a little “crazy.” From Bad Bunny to Kendrick Lamar, crank the volume on Ferg’s choices, ahead.

DaniLeigh: Singer, dancer and rapper DaniLeigh is making sure you get through this strange situation with a jam-filled soundtrack to keep you going. Her picks include her own collab with DaBaby, “Levi High,” as well new bops from Lil Uzi Vert and Megan Thee Stallion. “I hope everyone is safe and spending time reflecting on life right now,” she told Pandora. “Wash your hands, stay inside and enjoy your downtime!”

Godsmack: Godsmack’s Shannon Larkin and Tony Rombola want to make sure we all jam out together, even if we’re doing it from afar. “We picked a bunch of songs that pretty much represent our musical styles,” the hard rock musicians said of their playlist, which is packed with plenty of guitar solos and killer riffs from bands like Steely Dan, Led Zeppelin, Oasis and AC/DC. Hear a message from Rombola and Larkin ahead, as well as their musical choices.

H.E.R.:Grammy-winning R&B singer-songwriter H.E.R. put together “a mid-day, mid-tempo playlist for days in quarantine,” featuring Snoh Aalegra, Rihanna and Frank Ocean. As H.E.R. says, she hopes to “keep the mood light” with “easy vibes.”

Kiana Lede: Singer, songwriter, actress and pianist Kiana Ledé is making sure you get through this unusual situation with a jam-filled playlist featuring R&B picks by Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Baby Rose, Daniel Caesar and more.

LeAnn Rimes: Singer, songwriter, actress and author Leann Rimes pulled together a playlist full of songs that she promises will “uplift the spirit and remind us of the beautiful days we have ahead.” Her selections span multiple genres and include tracks by an eclectic group of musicians like U2, Andra Day, Bon Iver and more. Rimes added that “music can speak for us in moments when we can’t find the words, and remind us of lighter days in dark times,” so take a deep breath and press play, ahead.

Marshmello: Electronic music producer and DJ Marshmello curated a pulse-pounding list of 20 of his current favorite tracks to keep your energy up while you’re staying in. From Galantis to Slushii to his own collaborations with Kane Brown and A Day to Remember, find out what Marshmello has been listening to lately ahead.

Meghan Trainor: Fresh off of the release of her third album, ‘Treat Myself,’ singer Meghan Trainor created an exclusive playlist for Pandora packed with pop hits from Lennon Stella and Harry Styles, as well as high-energy tracks by Summer Walker, SZA and more. “I chose these songs because these are the jams my husband and I bond over,” Trainor explained. “They get me happy and excited, and remind me why I love music.” Hear her picks ahead!

Rod Wave: Singer, rapper and songwriter Rod Wave put together a playlist packed with both rap classics and contemporary bangers. From 2Pac’s “Staring Through My Rear View” to Drake’s “Weston Road Flows,” crank the volume on Wave’s picks, ahead.

Tate McRae: Singer-songwriter Tate McRae, who you might know from her viral pop performances on YouTube, put together a list of the top 10 songs she’s listening to right now, including two tracks from Summer Walker and a single off of The Weeknd’s new album. “There are so many different genres in these 10 songs,” she explained, noting that her playlist are always “all over the place.” Listen to McRae’s picks, ahead.

The Chainsmokers: The Chainsmokers — aka DJ duo Alex Pall and Drew Taggart — have joined the cause, sharing an exclusive Pandora playlist full of uplifting, energetic bops that they hope will “transport” fans from their living rooms to somewhere a little more exciting. Ahead, hear songs by Christian French, The Weeknd and more.

Tommy Vext of Bad Wolves: Hard rock singer and songwriter Tommy Vext, who fronts the band Bad Wolves, is making sure we rock out together. “It’s a good time for us as a community to share music with each other,” he says of his exclusive playlist, which he describes as “all across the board” thanks to mellow tracks from Lana del Rey, as well as pulse-pounding songs by Suicide Silence, Korn and Ozzy Osbourne.

Endless offers a virtual hang out for collaboratively jamming out music with loops

Endless is the perfect companion to those itching to get creative with others but stuck socially distancing themselves with only a smartphone for company.

Jamming with people around the world has become shockingly plausible with the internet and there are many ways to go about achieving this in entirely different and creative ways. One that has been newly brought to my attention is mobile app Endless.

It offers a loop-based creative space that allows its users to collaborate in jams together. Using drum shots, melodious notes, effects and more contributors can bring their additions in the form of loops for others to riff off of or as their own segment of someone else’s jams.

You can link up with friends and jam together or explore Endless’s wider community and discover new creators. It’s simple to hop into but excitingly broad in its potential under your control. It can be connected up to Ableton Link for use with external instruments as well.

If you’re really into what you’re creating then there’s an export option that uses .aiff files to convert it to your DAW of choice. The app is free and is available to enhance with many more additional sounds and effects for a monthly subscription cost.

The app is available for iOS devices now and is hopefully coming to more platforms soon.

How to add music to an Instagram story

People love sharing snapshots of their day on Instagram’s Stories, but did you know you can easily add music to your otherwise silent photos?

Step 1

Swipe to the right of the main Instagram screen or tap the camera in the top left corner to create an Instagram story.

Step 1
Step 2

Choose CREATE, NORMAL, BOOMERANG, LAYOUT, SUPERZOOM or HANDS-FREE. Create, take, film or upload your story.

Step 2
Step 3

Swipe up or tap the face icon in the top right corner.

Step 3
Step 4

From here you can add stickers, gifs, location, etc (you can add multiple stickers). Tap MUSIC.

Step 4
Step 5

Scroll through music ‘For you’, ‘Browse’ through popular playlists or search.

Step 5
Step 6

Tap the play beside the track to preview it, then tap the track when you’re ready to add it.

Step 6
Step 7

Choose a font for your lyrics or display the album art and title by swiping across the ‘Aa’ circles. Tap the colour wheel at the top of the screen to change the text colour. Tap ’15’ to ‘Choose clip duration’ between 5 and 15 seconds. Swipe across the vertical bars to choose where the music starts. Hit ‘Done’ when you’ve finished making music edits.

Step 7
Step 8

Drag, rotate and pinch-to-zoom to position the text or album art.

Step 8

That’s it! Tap ‘Your story’ to instantly share with all of your followers, ‘Close Friends’ to share with a select group or ‘Send to >’ to DM specific people.

To get your own music on Instagram stories for free, click here.

These 200+ Roland TR-909 samples are available for free

Get your hands on over 200 delicious sounding samples to enliven your music at a cost of absolutely zero.

We could all do with a little treat considering the current consideration. Few are the gifts we love more than fuel to fire our musical engines in brand new ways.

BVKER have made a new pack of samples from the iconic and beloved Roland TR-909 and are offering it to all of you self-isolaters, and I suppose to any of you who aren’t as well, absolutely free.

They say themselves of the TR-909’s defining punch and saturation which stood it apart it’s famous predecessor the 808. They say: “The drum machine is most famous for its dirty kick drum and open hat which is usually placed between the kick hits.”

They promise a faithful and high quality replication of this in their huge sample pack containing 100 drum loops and over 100 drum shots.

You can download it for free right now here: bvker.com/free-909-samples/

Huawei gets the approval of all 3 major labels for Spotify rivalling music app

Huawei Music has launched in Europe to take on the plethora of music streaming services with over 50 million tracks.

Chinese phone, tech and software developers Huawei have launched a brand new music streaming service for Europe. They face fierce competition from Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon, and the rest but they’re not worried.

They’ve got the support of the 3 major labels: Universal, Warner, and Sony who have all licensed their music catalogues for the new service. Overall Huawei Music offers European customers over 50 million tracks and 1.2 million albums.

The service has been live in China for years and, according to them, 160 million people around the world using their music app. It’s now available in 16 European countries and they’re planning further launches across Europe in the coming months.

Huawei Music is being offered for a 3-month trial period before users need to pay their €9.99 monthly subscription costs. Huawei’s Vice President of Mobile Services, Jervis Su says that they “hope it will bring some joy at this time”.

Su continues to say: “Huawei Music is [just] one of the mobile services we are rapidly building to offer the first real alternative to smartphone users in ten years.” These services, of course, work seamlessly with Huawei brand smartphones and tablets.

Whilst Huawei Music resembles what we’ve come to expect as standard from music streaming apps for the most part, it does feature a unique Party Mode. This mode makes listening social by connecting with others and playing the same songs at the same time wherever you are to the others.

Huawei Music is available now in the UK, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy Germany, Sweden and France.

How to add music to TikTok from Spotify

Unfortunately TikTok does not let you seamlessly port music from Spotify to their app, however TikTok has a wealth of music on their platform to choose from.

TikTok is the most popular social media app in the world right now. For this reason it’s important for all artists to be on the app, earning revenue for every play. TikTok works with all major labels and distributors to ensure their music library is full to the brim with all the new music and playlists you’d find on all stores and streaming services.

Step 4

It’s super easy to add music to your TikTok videos.

You can get your own music on TikTok for free with RouteNote distribution.

How to send music fans to streaming services and stores

Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Facebook, YouTube – which should you share on social media to maximise clickthrough rate? Fanlinks with Push.fm allow you to share all of them and more with one URL.

Our partner site Push.fm offers tools designed to help you promote your music in new and creative ways.

Fanlinks give you a way to share all of the places your music lives, be it streaming services, stores or social sites, in one handy link. With over 40 stores to chose from, we cover all major platforms. Fanlinks are fully customisable, link to one site or all of our partner stores.

Push.fm also offers Pre-Saves and Content Unlocks for artists and creators.

All of the these promotional tools are free. Get 30 Fanlinks, 1 Pre-Save and 10 Content Unlocks for free, or go premium for unlimited everything at just £4.99/month.

Head to Push.fm to get started today.