Instruments

Best Studio Headphones

The Samson SR850 Professional Studio Reference Headphones is our best studio headphone and the headphone uses driver magnet speakers made of neodymium material with a diameter of 50 mm each so it is very dynamic in its range of sounds. Isolation from noise is at maximum levels due to the open ear design so it also gives you a lot of breathability and it has an impedance of 32 ohms for its quality as a studio headphone. It can also be used as a gaming headset for its high quality and audio clarity other than being a mixing headphone or monitoring headphone for studio use and it uses 5.1 stereo surround sounds for a great quality with privacy.

Our step-up pick is the Audio Technica ATH M20x Professional Headphones and the voice coils are made from aluminum wire material that has been copper clad for durability and sound quality overall with its superb engineering as well as durable quality build. The cable is also very easy to manage and uses a single side mechanism for exit purposes to give you convenience and a tangle free operation and its drivers are made from high quality rare earth materials and magnets and the speaker driver magnets have a diameter of 40 mm. The drivers used by this awesome step-up pick as the best studio headphone have a great build quality and it can also be a great headphone for DJ use due to its unprecedented quality.

The budget pick is the Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones and this budget pick is very amazing as a studio headphone because of the capsule part being made from high quality cobalt that is equipped with good efficiency as a headphone part. The cord is also single sided for convenience and a tangle free design and the ear cups are also oval shaped for convenience and comfort on the go. The internal components are also very good in providing a great mixing level for the headphones and the construction of the headband is very rugged for added durability.

Table of Contents

A Little Background

Studio headphones are not like the regular market headphones out there because of the very fact that these headphones have a higher sound quality in terms of impedance and noise cancelling. Headphones that are used for studio purposes are usually the ones that are heavy duty and have good specs compared to market and commercial standards.
Studio headphones, in a general sense, do not have to actually be as portable as sporting headphones but they have to be very comfortable so you can use the headphones for a longer period of time. They should have comfortable pads so that the producer will focus more on mixing the music rather than the comfort level of the headphones.
Meticulous sound ranges are needed when it comes to the best studio headphones and this is why whether you are a bedroom producer or own a real studio or work on one, having reliable studio headphones is very important so that the producer or composer will be able to make fuller sounds out of the current mix.

How We Picked

When it comes to choosing the best studio headphones, we considered the following parameters:
Impedance of the headphone – this is measured in ohms and the typical impedance of the studio headphone that you should use is greater than 32 ohms so you can get amazing sound quality and great sensitivity with the headphone so you can hear every single detail of the sound that you are listening to and you can hear even the tiniest bit of instrument.
Noise cancelling – outside noise is not an option for the headphone so it must have noise cancelling capabilities. It is usually in ANR or automatic noise reduction which uses batteries to run along with its possible Bluetooth or RF wireless technology in effectively reducing and blocking the noise outside of the headphones, whereas PNR or passive noise reduction focuses more on the build and the conceptual design of the headphone’s ear cups to effectively block out noise from the outside world to help you enjoy your favorite music better.
Frequency range – this is also highly important when it comes to determining the best studio headphones. This is measured in hertz and the ideal frequency range is from 10 to 20 Hz up to 20,000 to 30,000 Hz so that you can hear even the finest details in every step of the way. It is highly important for any producer or engineer for recording on hearing even the smallest details of the mix to be truly high quality and to do their job or hobby better.
Comfort level – of course, you will be wearing the headphones for long hours of studio monitoring and this is why you absolutely need comfort for the head band part and the ear pad muff cup cushion parts which should be made from protein cushion material to protect the ears or soft memory foam for extra comfort during long hours of use. There should also be enough adjustability on each of the parts of the studio headphone. A big plus point would be the very fact that it is portable such that the ear cups can be rotated to a certain level of degree so you can pack it up on your bag or included travel case.

Our Pick

samsonsr850
Samson SR850 Professional Studio Reference Headphones

Our best studio headphones, the Samson SR850 Professional Studio Reference Headphones, have an impedance of 32 ohms for its quality as a studio headphone. Isolation from noise is at maximum levels due to the open ear design so it also gives you a lot of breathability. Moreover, the headphone uses driver magnet speakers made of neodymium material with a diameter of 50 mm each so it is very dynamic in its range of sounds.
Moreover its frequency response as a studio headphone is from 10 Hz up to 30 kHz. Also, the adapter includes is 1/4 inches other than 1/8 inch in its connections and the connections of this studio headphone are also gold plated for a high quality audio experience without the loss of signal. Moreover, the headband can also adjust itself so it will keep you very comfortable while you are listening to your favorite music without the worry of the headphone falling off.
The pads are made from high quality Velour for comfort and the Samson SR850 Reference Headphone uses 5.1 stereo surround sound for a great quality with privacy. It can also be used as a gaming headset for its high quality and audio clarity other than being a mixing headphone or monitoring headphone for studio use.

Flaws but Not Dealbrakers

The Samson SR850 Professional Studio Reference Headphones has its own flaws but not entirely deal breakers so it is still our best studio headphones. For example, the studio headphone has a couple of adjustments that lack in design quality but nonetheless workable.

Step-up Pick

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Audio Technica ATH M20x Professional Headphones

The Audio Technica ATH M20x Professional Headphones is our step-up pick and its drivers are made from high quality rare earth materials and magnets and the speaker driver magnets have a diameter of 40 mm. The voice coils are made from aluminum wire material that has been copper clad for durability and sound quality overall with its superb engineering as well as durable quality build and the drivers used by this awesome step-up pick as the best studio headphone have a great build quality.
The low frequency performance is very good because of the tune enhancement features and the cable is also very easy to manage and uses a single side mechanism for exit purposes to give you convenience and a tangle free operation. Even if you use the headphones in loud and crowded situations, it can be able to provide you with ample amount of sound isolation that is very excellent in its quality and good for your ears because of the contoured design that is going around your ears due to the over the ear or circumaural design of the professional studio headphone. As a matter of fact, each of the ear cups can be rotated for up to 15 degrees each for portability and easy storage when you need it.
The headphone is very sturdy because of its durable metal build so it is a great step-up pick for a great studio headphone to consider and it can also be a great headphone for DJ use due to its unprecedented quality. Moreover, you can also use it for TV headphones while watching Netflix and the like while the cord is also quite portable and the whole things is very easy to take with your while traveling. The ear cups have a nice fit so that you can hear the sounds more properly and there is also an adapter for a 3.5 mm audio cord at 1/4 inch.

Budget Pick

hps3000
Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones

This budget pick, the Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphone, is very amazing as a studio headphone because of the capsule part being made from high quality cobalt that is equipped with good efficiency as a headphone part. It also belongs in the studio because of its amazing sound quality with highs that are super and greatly transparent to hear and the bass with a high quality and a high definition sound thanks to the frequency response that is very wide in its range.
The internal components are also very good in providing a great mixing level and the dynamic range is very much pleasing for a pair of studio headphones because of the very wide range and a great mixing level for the headphones. In fact, the headphone is so convenient for mixing, mastering and the like.
The ear cups are also oval shaped for convenience and comfort on the go and the copper wires are also free from oxygen so you can feel at ease with durability. The cord is also single sided for convenience and a tangle free design while the construction of the headband is very rugged for added durability.

Convenient Studio Headphones with Detachable Tangle Free Cable

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PreSonus HD7 Professional Monitoring Headphones

The highly detachable cord of the PreSonus HD7 Professional Monitoring Headphone is very convenient for keeping the headphone very neat in its design and clean up and setting up and the drivers are made from high quality neodymium material and provide high resolution audio like no other. The fact that the monitoring studio headphone is meant for abuse and rough use makes it good for its value due to its sophisticated and durable design. It is also surprisingly light weight even despite the bulky looks.
The head band can automatically fit onto any person’s head because of its high adjustability and the ear pads are also very soft and durable for its build so you can definitely wear the headphone for a longer period of time. The cable has a single side design other than being detachable so you can enjoy using the headphone with peace without the tangle problems while the acoustic chamber has been patented and works great for tuning purposes and in delivering high quality audio.
The overall bass response of this monitoring studio headphone is very good and the cord spans at a total length of 9 feet for convenience. The built-in microphone is also very good for recording vocals due to the flat frequency response of the headphone and you can also use them as a headphone for electronic drums because they provide you with great sound quality.

Professional Studio Headphones with a High Impedance

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Beyerdynamic DT-990-Pro-250 Professional Acoustically Open Headphones

With high impedance, the rdynamic DT-990-Pro-250 Professional Acoustically Open Headphones are a high quality set of headphones for studio purposes which have a great impedance of 250 ohms, which is definitely very high considering other models and products only have 32 ohms. There are also bundles for the amplifier and the converter and the headphones are also very high quality in its design. They are very adjustable and comfortable despite the rugged design.
The construction of the headband is made from high quality and soft padding to give comfort to your ears and the ear pads are made from high quality and high density soft Velour material for comfort for hours. The diaphragm is also very light weight for your convenience and the sound reproduction of this headphone is superb in its quality and audio clarity. Its design is also acoustically open so you know you can easily monitor the right amount of sounds without sacrificing comfort for quality and it also comes with an adapter for a 1/4 inch stereo jack. In fact, all of the adapters and connections are gold plated to avoid signal loss and to give good sound details and audio quality and clarity in its build. The unit is backed by a manufacturer’s warranty of 2 years.

Best Over Ear Designed Studio Headphones

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Sony MDRV6 CCAW Studio Monitor Headphones

The Sony MDRV6 CCAW Studio Monitor Headphones has a CCAW voice coil or copper clad aluminum voice coil in its build and its design for superior comfort and durability all in one package and the frequency response of this high quality studio headphone is from 5 Hz up to 30 kHz so it is very wide in its response in frequency. The Sony MDRV6 Headphone comes with an adapter for the 1/4 inch jack for audio and also has the needed 3.5 mm audio plug that is coupled with the copper cord which is free from oxygen to avoid rusting and corrosion while the cord also spans at a length of 10 feet.
A detailed sound quality can be felt with this monitor studio headphone. Also, the magnets used for this studio headphone is made from high quality neodymium material. The neodymium magnet driver speakers measure 40 mm in diameter for a powerful sound quality and you can also get noise reduction instantly using the over ear design of the studio headphone. Its PET diaphragm is also enhanced by the voice coil so it can be very good in transmitting and receiving sounds professionally and you can also use it at home for high fidelity sound use because of the fixed mini plug, the Sony UniMatch plug.
As for the specs, its sensitivity is at 106 dB per mW and the cord spans at a length of 3 meters or 10 feet. The impedance of the headphone is at 63 ohms in total and the ear cups can also be folded for your convenience so it is very portable in its build. The ear cups can also be highly adjustable and have a wide design for giving comfort to the user and heavy duty use is not a problem because of its rugged design. In fact, it can stand for decades of durability due to its ingenious and tough design. The power handling capacity of the studio headphone is at 1 watt so it is an energy saver. Overall, the Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones are great headphones with a flat or true sound which makes them ideal for monitoring and mixing songs in the studio.

Ideal Studio Headphones with a Supra-aural Design

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CAD Audio Sessions Closed-Back Studio Headphones

As supra-aural headphones, the CAD Audio Sessions Closed-Back Studio Headphones are great. This studio headphone has a convenient closed back design so that you can listen to your favorite tunes or mix songs without disturbing other people and keeping your playback as private as possible without compromising the comfort level of the headphone. It is also available in various designs to choose from for personalization and it comes with one straight cable plus a coiled cable for your convenience and adaptability. And because there are also two sets of ear pads which are included in the package, the headphones provide you with great versatility and great value in the long run.
You can also use it for live performances as a DJ headphone and it has a supra-aural or on the ear headphone so it is also ultra comfortable and breathable without sacrificing noise cancelling capabilities. It comes with a carrying bag for the convenience of traveling with your headphone and it is also highly compliant with the safety standards of RoHS for superior reliability as music equipment. Its impedance is at 26 ohms and is sound pressure level or SPL sensitivity is at 103 dB. Its adapter is a 1/4 inch and a 3.5 mm and the neodymium speaker magnet drivers are made from high quality materials with a diameter of 50 mm. Its max input power is at 300 mW and its coiled cord spans at 3 1/2 feet or more while its straight cord spans at 10 feet in length. In fact, it is used by a wide range of famous artists and producers such as (including the producers of) Britney Spears, 3 Doors Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beyonce, Hilary Duff, Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, The Band Perry, Eric Clapton and much more.

Ideal Studio Headphones with a Rugged Construction

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M-Audio HDH50 High-Definition Professional Studio Headphones

The M-Audio HDH50 High-Definition Professional Studio Headphones are a good rugged set of studio headphones. This high definition studio headphone has a great quality for its audio and the driver speaker magnets have a neodymium material that measures 50 mm each, which are bigger than standard studio headphones out there. There is also a built-in microphone and microphone cable with this headphone and the padding on the ear cups are very comfortable and have an around the ear design which makes them very comfortable in the design and can be used for long hours of recording, mixing or monitoring.
In fact, you can also prevent the studio headphones from leaking out sounds because of the closed back design of the headphone while the steel construction of the studio headphone makes it very sturdy in its design. The aluminum material of the headphone is made from gun metal quality material so it is very durable yet light weight in its construction and the audio detail is not sacrificed by its light weight build.
The drivers used are made from high quality magnets and the frequency response, tuning and audio quality are all very precise with this professional grade studio headphone. The circumaural design also makes it effective for blocking out noise from the outside world to let you focus more on your music and you can also control the studio headphone from various phones. The ear pads have a leather material that is very comfortable to wear and the impedance of the headphone is 16 ohms. The max SPL sensitivity is at 114 dB at 1 kHz. With only 12 ounces of weight, it is very light weight considering it is a rugged designed studio headphone.
Its frequency response as a studio headphone is from 12 Hz up to 24 kHz and the security and the durability of the studio headphone can let you wear it for long hours of monitoring or mixing. It comes with the needed carrying case for protecting your studio headphone and it also includes an adapter for 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch audio cables. Its inline microphone lets you communicate clearly so you can also use the studio headphones for Skype and live DJ sets.

Unique Studio Headphones with Wood Construction

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Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Premium Wood Headphones

The Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Premium Wood Headphones are very unique because of its quality and its unique build because it is made from genuine wood of high quality. In fact, you can also choose the type of wood construction – from walnut, maple and cherry. It also has a unique voice control capability as a premium studio headphone and the microphone is inline and built-in which makes it easy for using it for making calls hands-free or for speaking and making video calls or you can use the controls for answering and ending calls.
Moreover, the strong and deep and rich bass quality of the audio output makes this genuine wood headphone one of its kind as a unique studio headphone. Also, the built-in microphone offers great quality that matches the high-end quality of the headphone speakers as well. In fact, you can also skip tracks and control your music using the microphone. The ear cushions have a luxurious padding for its build to provide comfort for long hours of music.
In fact, the Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Headphones can also work for various mp3 players, smart phones, tablets and the like, whether it is Android or Apple in its system and even desktops and laptops such as Windows or Mac. Moreover, the authentic design of the wood makes it very aesthetic and pleasing to the eyes and it also works on various CD players. Overall, it has good noise isolation because it is a great studio headphone and it also has volume levels that have absolutely no distortion at all due to its high grade acoustics and high fidelity audio.

Best Closed Back Designed Studio Headphones

tascam
TASCAM TH02-B Closed Back Stylish Headphone

The TASCAM TH02-B Closed Back Stylish Headphone has a closed back design so it does not leak out sounds in its build and design so it is perfect for private listening as a studio headphone and the compact parts make this studio headphone one of a kind to maintain a level of portability due to the foldable design of the headphone. The bass response is very good because of its rich sounds and the highs that have a crisp and clear audio quality to hear each and every small or big detail of the sounds from the headphone and the headband has a padding that is very comfortable and easy on the head and is also stitched tightly for extra durability.
Adding to its comfort features is the ear cuff set with soft yet durable materials to alleviate ear strains for a long time of usage and the ear cups are also highly flexible and can be rotated fully up to 90 degrees for storage purposes. The sensitivity is at 98 dB +/- 3 dB and its max power is at 600 mW.
It has two audio adapters at 3.5 mm and 1/4 inch and its impedance is at 32 ohms. Its driver diameter is at 50 mm so it delivers rich sounds and its frequency range is wide at 18 Hz up to 22 kHz. The cable can fully extend for up to 3 meters or 9.8 feet in length.

The Competition

Other studio headphones were not meant for the studio because they had low impedance and they did not provide user comfort, portability and did not have good durability for long hours of use and years of usage. It is highly important for any studio headphone to have clear audio without sacrificing the comfort features and have flat and balanced sound for mixing, mastering, recording or monitoring.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the advantages of using a studio headphone for mixing?
A: According to Petrucci Forum , they are very precise in hearing all of the sounds in various frequencies, especially on the fact that regular headphones do not have the capability to mix with proper bass sounds. Studio headphones also usually have a flat sound which makes it easier for you to balance sounds and mix them together.

Q: What should I consider for a studio headphone?
A: According to Digital DJ Tips Forums , consider the size of your head, ears and your preference between supra-aural and circumaural headphones. Comfort level is entirely user defined and the studio quality depends on your needs or the needs of the industry.

Wrapping It Up

Overall, the Samson SR850 Professional Studio Reference Headphones is our best studio headphones for studio work, mixing, mastering, recording and the like.

Leave a Comment

3 Comments

  • Wonderful article, thanks for sharing your pick of the best studio monitoring headphones. I have been looking for the best monitor headphones for a while now and I’m having trouble making a decision. I’m a total newbie so I don’t know much about mixing headphones, but apparently the Beyerdynamic DT 990 are pretty awesome according to your list, and to other articles on the best studio monitoring headphones. Now I’m considering getting them, but I’d also like to know if a cheaper alternative would be better for me, like the Sony MDR 7506 or the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro. Hope you can help me out with this.

  • Hello, thanks for the article.
    I believe all of the models above will work perfect in any home recording studio.

    Sennheiser HD600 is a great pair of studio headphones that might convince me to purchase it very soon!!
    Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO looks very comfortable for long sessions. And i also believe it will offer better sound isolation.
    I have the Audio Technica ATH-M50X and i use it for over 5 years in my studio and so far I’m very satisfied. Nothing excited with sound or comfort but for it’s money i believe it worth the investment.

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