Best Studio Headphones for 2020
Shopping for the best studio headphones is in our opinion simply as vital as investing in a great mattress — you’re going to make use of it on a regular basis and for those who’re placing a good chunk of cash in a pair that may last you a few years.
Simply because certain headphone models and types say ‘studio’ within the title doesn’t essentially imply they’re the most effective — that is one thing our society has gotten accustomed to with the emergence of super commercialized “best studio headphones” and different mainstream brands using the phrase for advertising and marketing purposes freely.
You might want to actually get right down to the gritty specs, what precisely you want them for, and total worth in addition to what other skilled users of the product have stated about it.
Essential features for selecting the best studio headphones
- What’s your budget? We’ve seen some first-rate pairs at $100 or rather less, but some extremely powerful models past that. Who knows — chances are you’ll find yourself wanting to carry off from shopping for as of now and save up some additional cash.
- Will you be recording, mixing, or both? Merely on the lookout for the best studio headphones to record with? Keep your eye on a particular “sort” (which we’ll clarify beneath). What about mixing? Maybe both? How about other than music and as an alternative on a regular basis use? The fitness center? Your most popular activity will entail which sort of headphones you want — open, closed, or semi-open.
- Are you looking for headphones to simply listen to music? We want closed-back because the sound doesn’t leak and provides you extra privacy and sound isolation. In any other case, have in mind what type of build of headphones you’ll want, which all is determined by your supposed use.
- Extra headphone options? To be sincere, our favorites don’t usually embrace ‘particular options’ other than giving us pure accuracy when listening to our audio sources — the time period ‘best studio headphones’ should at all times give us one concern — no buildup of undesirable frequencies. You’ve received the favored noise-cancellation headphones with nifty options right here and there, nevertheless, we advocate these just for leisure listening or traveling. Proceed on studying if you want some raw, plain, and highly best studio headphones.
Without a solid pair of headphones, you’re lacking one of the vital components when it comes to music-making gear in your studio. Nonetheless, let’s first look into the different headphone builds.
Open-Back Headphones (Mixing)
Open-back headphones are made ‘open’ with some room for noise to leak out for a reason. Studio headphones with open and even semi-open designs are better for mixing as a result of it prevents the build-up of bass frequencies inside the headphone and permit for an extra flat, correct sound.
In the event you intend on principally mixing and mastering professionally and even in your home studio, search for headphones we list with these designs and get a pair of these. For instance, we use Beyerdynamic DT-990 PRO for mixing our music, whereas switching in our pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x after we record.
Closed-Back Headphones (Recording)
Alternatively, closed-back designs have been said to be higher for ‘monitoring’ (recording) because it prevents the exterior sound of the headphones from leaking into the microphone and being picked up on the track. That is additionally the most typical sort of design for a studio headphone.
These are advisable for both recording, on a regular basis use, or producing music in general. A regularly asked question is the definition — it’s merely a full-sized headphone that allows for better sound isolation (better for recording versus mixing). Let’s dive into the two separate models of the best studio headphones you can possess.
Open-Back Headphones Top 5 Picks
1. Sennheiser HD 800 Reference Studio Headphones
You will recognize your favorite music on an entirely new stage with Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Class headphones. This upgrade makes the gold-standard HD 800 headphones even higher than ever with an untouchable frequency response for explosive lows and crisp highs, twin 6.3mm/4.4mm cable connections to assist a wider range of audiophile headphone amps, and new 56mm steel-encased transducers that direct sound to the ears at an angle for an extra pure soundstage.
Mix engineers will admire the complete, un-hyped frequency response and low distortion for outlining bass content material in a track, and even casual listeners will respect the low-fatigue aerospace headband and plush handmade microfiber earpads. If you’re critical about sound reproduction and need headphones that might be true in each element, Sweetwater recommends Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Class headphones.
2. HIFIMAN HE-400I
HIFIMAN is likely one of the highest-rated manufacturers of open-back headphones and this product proves that. These full-sized headphones are geared up with amazing-quality planar drivers that deliver a well-balanced sound of 93 dB. You can even use them along with your smartphone or different transportable music players. The largely sized diaphragm delivers improved treble and bass.
This pair can also be extremely comfy to put on regardless of its large dimension. Normally, these headphones are heavy however they weigh 30% less than the common weight. Additionally, the pads are created from tender leather and velour.
3. Shure SRH1840
Shure headphones are fairly stable as well. The Shure SRH1840 is a monster of a completely different stage. Earlier than you let the price point get in the best way of your resolution, we advocate no less than taking a look at it if it’s a possibility.
Twin-exit cables on both sides of the pair, replaceable velour pads with some custom-forming foam, and most significantly tremendous clear audio quality with high-quality acoustic drivers. Principally every little thing about this pair of open-back headphones is high-quality straight right down to the connectors hooked up to the tip of the cables.
4. Audio-Technica ATH-R70x
Right here’s one other A-T pair of open-back cans and this one was not too long ago introduced so it’s fresh in the market. We’re really wearing a pair of M50x as we write this and the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x is their first reference pair as part of their monitor line of headphones (very well-known now among the many headphone worlds).
You have got the superior 3D-wing support system for excellent consolation, dual-sided removable cable, honeycomb mesh construct, and a total pure-sounding audio output.
5. AKG K 240 MKII
Last but not least now we have another AKG model and it’s one of the more popular pairs of reference headphones within the audiophile world. The one factor we are able to decide on is the “semi-open” design so technically they shouldn’t be in right here, however at number 5 we thought why not for a different option?
Some standard options right here with the AKG K 240 MKII however still wonderful high quality: self-adjusting headband, 3D fit system, a stable bass, and clear excessive frequency in addition to our favorite: a removable cable.
It’s really a bit cheaper than a variety of the headphones in this article, so if you wish to go as little as you can when it comes to worth but still discover a dependable model, this may very well be it for you. They’re very reasonably priced but still offer you very good quality.
Closed-Back Headphones Top 5 Picks
1. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
The DT 770 Pro headphones are available in three completely different impedances: 32, 80, and 250ohm. With that being said, the 250ohm model is likely one of the best audiophile headphones and that is the one I might recommend to serious listeners. It’s much less inclined to damage from blasting music at loud ranges and it has a greater soundstage and superior bass definition.
The projected sound is reasonably balanced. However, there are specific nuances that you just can’t overlook. The high frequencies are vibrant and crisp whereas the midrange frequencies appear very detailed. The bass has a wonderful definition, however, the richness of the general tone will not be reliant on the low frequencies. Those are one of the best studio headphone picks
2. Shure SRH1540
The SRH1540 is the flagship studio headphone from audio giant Shure. These are high-end premium headphones that might be too costly for a lot of home recording studios, however, to cite Robbie Stamp from Future Music who gave them a 5-star score, “It’s often the case that you can think about better sound high quality till you hear it, and the 1540s opened our ears to the possibilities”.
These headphones feature excessive-tech specs like carbon fiber, and aircraft-grade aluminum paired with their best 40mm driver design with proprietary supplies for better linearity and decrease Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). The earpads feature memory foam for enhanced comfort over lengthy periods. Closed-back headphones will not be as commonly to be used with mixing however the soundstage and response of the SRH1540 offsets that.
3. Sennheiser HD 280
The Sennheiser HD 280 specifically is arguably one of Sennys hottest pairs of cans, ever. Their whole HD line of headphones is worth taking a look at, so we really feel a bit bizarre simply mentioning only one however we caught up with these since they’re rated so extremely and are also closed-back. With the 280s, you get a transparent, warm sound that’s flat amongst all frequencies.
They’re additionally collapsible and have rotating earcups for comfort. In terms of comfort, you’re good to go for lengthy intervals of listening and your complete build could be very rugged and won’t break on you easily. If you’d like a fast and easy answer for a pair of closed-back headphones to get, grab this and don’t look back. PCMag’s Sennheiser HD 280 review was rated very excessively as nicely.
4. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
What can we actually say about this pair of headphones? A-T is right here to stick with their gear and for a long time at that. The audio quality is also wonderful and now we have zero complaints in the case of the distribution of frequencies in addition to total clarity. What’s additionally good is it has an interchangeable cable (comes with three choices within the box), and you get a long possibility, brief, and coiled for whatever use you may want.
Adjustable headband, rotating earcups and so they’re additionally collapsible. The question for these is what doesn’t it have? There is a brand new ATH-M70x you may wish to have a look at for a step up, however, the worth is considerably larger. These are among the best pairs of closed-back headphones out there and might be for a very long time. They’re just dependable.
5. AKG K550
AKG is an extremely standard headphone model on the market — we really love their mics, too. This specific closed-back model is rated very highly amongst audiophiles. The AKG K550 is another of the best closed-back headphones out there, and so they are available as light-weight, very comfy, 50mm drivers (larger isn’t at all times better, however, it doesn’t harm), and a really clear sound to them.
They fold for comfort, isolate sound nicely, and aren’t too hefty in the case of fit or worth — they normally float across the point of the M50x’s, however, double-check the websites they’re selling on to verify. These won’t disappoint either if you find yourself grabbing them — audiophiles love AKG for a reason.
We’ve by no means been the type to decide on the precise best of something, particularly with such an ambiguous and large market such as the studio headphone realm. We do nevertheless recommend grabbing one of these ten we’ve listed as we carefully constructed our selections by means of a variety of analyses and private usage. Make sure to keep in mind the points we’ve provided and select which most closely fits your needs and most significantly, your finances.
Get an actual pair of the best studio headphones and also you won’t be disappointed, particularly as many of those include replaceable elements. We just love the honesty of a variety of manufacturers as a result of the key market corporations wouldn’t dare select replaceable part incorporation being they need you to purchase a brand new pair yearly or so if/after they break.
Additionally, they don’t tune their headphones as precisely as attainable just like the brands we’ve talked about at this time. Quite a bit have magnified lows to appeal to the bigger market, saturating the ‘studio’ phrase. We are concern it’ll go out of favor quickly seeing as they’re draining that time period as a lot as they probably can till each cent is made out of it.