10 Best Headphones for Music Production 2021

Are you are on the hunt for the best headphones for music production?  

If that is yes, then you have come to the right place.

headphones for music production

Headphones for music production, a.k.a the Studio headphones, are purposely designed for professional work.

These headphones are a vital monitoring tool for music production, recording, mixing, and mastering, and all you want for tape mixing.

They are more accurate because they have a flat frequency response and a transparent sound. In short, they are designed for accuracy, comfort, and durability.

Studio headphones are probably one of the most often used items in the studio for assessing the stereo image low-end and fine detail within a mix.

The best music production headphones for you will be the ones that you can mix on the produce a result that will sound good wherever you play it. 

 Depending on the design, studio headphones provide isolation from the surrounding environment. They are built for comfort during long sessions. 

The two main types of studio headphones that you will come across are the open-back and the closed-back types. 

Like studio monitors, getting the right pair of studio headphones is a personal choice and depends on the factors that you consider most important when you are mixing. 

 In this article, we have done the heavy workload for you to test and review the best headphones for music on the market right now!

But, for now, let us look at a quick rundown summary of our top 5 picks of the best headphones for music production.

Best Headphones for Music Production

Editor’s Choice

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 pro
4.5
Best Overall

1.Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

These are professional grade cans that anyone will enjoy listening for hours to due to their neutral sound and resolution and they strike a balance between being built like a tank while still being comfortable.

Audio Technica ATH M50X
4.5
Best for Monitoring

2.Audio Technica ATH-M50X

These are a great pair of portable over-ears studio headphones. They are big and chunky, sure, but they also offer some of the best sounds you will find an excellent value for your money.

Sony MDR 7506
4.4
Best Value

3.Sony MDR-7506 

These are great quality immense sounding reference headphones for the money. They are also durable, comfortable, a true workhorse, and very reliable.

Sennheiser HD 650
4.3
Best for Audio Engineers

4.Sennheiser HD 650 

These headphones are versatile, well-rounded, and have been specially designed to offer a natural sound image, making them an excellent choice for audio engineers. 

Sennheiser  HD 280 Pro
4.3
Budget-Friendly

5.Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

These headphones provide professional features, good sound quality, comfort, and noise isolation at a great price.

Best Headphones for Music Production

1. Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro – Best Overall

The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro is a solidly built headphone that delivers detailed, accurate frequency response capable of reaching down for deep low in the mix. 

With removable ear-pads adjusting frequency responses you get both work and pleasure out of the headphones. They are glorious and one of the best headphones you can buy.

Pros

  • Amazing comfort 
  • Excellent build quality 
  • Breathtaking resolution
  • Two detachable cables included

Cons

  • Replacing the ear-pads can be annoying
  • No line remote or mic on included cables 
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 pro

The Beyerdynamic is German audio equipment engineering and manufacturing company that has been family-owned since it was founded in 1924.

This Company has a history of creating some of the best sounding audio devices on the market, their preceding headphones are known for their superb build and sound quality.

The engineers at Beyerdynamic found a way to combine analytical detail and musicality and constructed an incredible pair of cans known as the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro.

These are circumaural headphones intended to be used for recording and mastering. They use thick, replaceable cables featuring high-fidelity connections and an open-design that provides an excellent sense of space.

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro is one of their top-end headphone products and it uses a dynamic style driver which was designed in-house and is called the Tesla driver.

They are quite comfortable despite a massive build with a great audio performance which is remarkably accurate. With a flat response that does not ignore the deep bass mixes but avoids obvious boosting and cutting. 

 A point to note is that these do require a headphone amp, power unit, or mixing desk that can give 250 ohms for them to perform well.

Design and Comfort

The build quality of the DT 1990 pro is simply fantastic and they will feel wonderful in the hands and also on your head.

The metallic logo on the black aluminum cups looks very elegant combined with the black and dark gray tones that give way to small ascents like the white stitches on the leather headband.

In short, the black-color scheme is minimalist and screams serious audio gear.

These headphones do come with a bulky, fully open-back design and huge velour-covered ear pads and feature a lot of metal, from its beefy ear cup forks to its open-back driver grills. 

The driver grills have a silver-colored mesh, breaking up the all-black look and making the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 pro very handsome. 

The headband is made of plush leather and distributes the headphones’ 370-gram weight evenly across the top of your head.

Earpads are made from memory foam and wrapped in gray velour, which is very comfortable for long listening sessions. 

There are two sound profiles available with the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, depending on the ear cups foams you choose to use; you get either a well- balanced tuning or an analytical tuning.

While the design is quite massive the clamping force is pretty neutral and the fit is secure and comfortable, even over long listening sessions.

The connector is also a removable mini-XLR which can only run an unbalanced signal configuration.

Audio Performance 

Since these headphones come with an open-back design, the DT 1990 pro is meant to be used at home in the studio for serious analytical listening. 

Soundstage depth is so good allowing the listener to pinpoint the exact location of where each instrument is playing.

“One thing you have to keep it in mind that these headphones do require a good amp to get the most out of them.”

The bass performance is great for a dynamic driver with the headphones having a pretty neutral sound characteristic, with a slight dip in the mids taking it into a range of V-shaped headphones.

The overall sound signature is bright and clear, with a wide-open stereo image and sense of space. You get the subwoofer like depth of low but it is not necessarily pushed forward in the mix.

Included in the case are two sets of earpads, an A version that features a neutral frequency response and a B version with a slight bass boost.

With the enhanced bass ear pads in place, they deliver a hearty low-frequency response but still sound accurate. 

The DT 1990 Pro comes pre-installed with the B pads out of the box and there is an obvious slightly elevated bass with the B pads which you will not want to use for serious analytical listening.

The bass is the highlight of the headphones, providing great slam, speed, and depth. 

The A pads balanced out the sound signature of the making them excellent studio monitors. 

Highs are equally excellent between the two pads, providing a ton of resolution in the upper frequencies.

There does not seem to be one aspect of the frequency range that is widely favored over another and straight out of the box the DT 1990 pro needs around 200 hours burn-in for it to sound optimal.

When it comes to the soundstage, there is still a large amount of room and space to the headphones that allows for some precision and quality planning of signals.

What we like 

  • Comfortable fit with removable ear-pads that offer slightly differing sound signatures. This gives the headphones a dual personality.
  • The resolution they provide is simply amazing with exceptionally accurate audio performance and rich bass depth with detail and clarity in highs.
  • Its open-back design may not be great for wearing around town, but it provides an expansive sense of space and imaging while you are at home listening to music. 

Key Specifications 

  • Weight; 81lbs
  • Type ; open back
  • Cup style; circumaural
  • Frequency Response ; 5Hz-40kHz
  • Driver ; 45 mm Tesla Neodynamic Drivers
  • Detachable cable/type; yes-mini XLR plug 

Connections and Accessories 

It comes with the usual hard-shell case for transporting the headphones

Two high-quality cables; one cable is 9.8 feet and straight and the other is 16 feet and coiled. Both cables terminate in 3.5mm connections, and there are two screws on 0.25-inch headphones jack adapters in the box.

Two sets of velour ear pads, both with different sound qualities one a detailed set and the other with a balanced sound quality which adds a little more bass extension. 

What is the Bottom-line?

The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro features stunning resolution, soundstage, tight bass, and detail which make them a true reference grade quality headphone. They are not only built like a tank but are also comfortable enough for long listening and gaming sessions.

They also include two sets of different sounding ear pads so listeners can tailor the sound for different tasks. This makes them a great value for money for those looking for audiophile headphones that sound great with all types of music.

2. Audio Technica ATH-M50X – Best for Monitoring

Audio Technica ATH-M50x is a classic headphone given just a little tweak to make them play nice with phones. They are living with an extra hit of bass and make for a predominantly involving listen.

Pros

  • Quality Build 
  • Removable cable
  • Comfortable to wear 
  • Relatively affordable 
  • Excellent punchy bass

Cons

  • Not neutral sound
  • No wireless option
Audio Technica ATH M50X

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio Monitor headphones have been hailed as being great sounding and offering outstanding value. 

They are simply wired headphones that don’t have Bluetooth or active noise cancellation. No-fuss portable over-ear headphones with good sound but they are not exactly neutral.

These are the perfect music production headphones if you want one that is affordable with involving soundstage and plenty of energy and a powerful bass response.

In short, they are a fun, solid, and engaging pair of headphones.

Design and Comfort

The ATH M50x build is mostly out of plastic parts aside from the band of metal inside the headband and a few little metals inside the headband and a few little aluminum highlights.

Although it makes from plastic the headphones feel like quality and strong enough to withstand a lot of punishment.

The padding of the headband and on the earcups is thick and plush and is made from synthetic leather. Overall, the padding material on the headband is soft and decently padded.

The headband also offers a wide range of size adjustment to fit most head sizes, you will get decent clamping pressure and a good fit that will ensure that you get good passive noise isolation.

The headband has metal included which makes it flexible to wear and the earcups can also turn 180 degrees to rest flat on the table or flat on your chest making the headphones compact.

 This Portability feature is a big plus attributed to the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the fact they are comfortable enough to be worn for long periods.

 The ATH-M50x have do have a larger profile than a lot of the urban style headphones but they look stylish in their way with the brushed aluminum ring and the simple logo on the ear cups.

The removable cable is one of the differences between the original ATH-M50 and the newer ATH-M50x.

There are three cables in the box, one for portable use and both coiled and straight longer cables for home listening.

The headphone connector is a 2.5mm and features a groove from a twist-to-lock mechanism which is proprietary.

Keep in mind that these are not wireless headphones and they don’t have active noise cancellation or integrated DAC.

Audio Performance 

The soundstage of ATH-M50X is good for a closed-back headphone. The overall sound is warm, with great bass response, a slightly masked midrange, and decent treble response.

The ATH-M50x is great fun, with a lively and vivid sound that delivers music with heaps of energy. The imaging is also good and you can at least tell the different directions of sound from different instruments. 

There is liveliness thanks to good timing and a full-bodied delivery which gives it a quite immersive listen. The sound quality is warm with a controlled rumble that is just enough without being overpowering.

The midrange is well defined and well-integrated with the treble, which is smooth enough to avoid harshness. There is an extra punch added to the bass, this means that they are not the best choice if you want a neutral pair for a home studio.

There is also a bit of a boost in the higher part of the mids which gives them a brighter sound, even though they don’t have a very pronounced output in the tremble, which helps them largely avoid any challenging harshness.

All in all, the ATH-M50x offers an enjoyable listen where vocals and instruments are given a good deal of texture and are nicely separated on a well-organized soundstage.

What we like 

  • Decent isolation with a powerful bass
  • Outstanding value and cable selection
  • Better than average portability and have a sturdy built 
  • Lively, engaging sound with decent detail, good separation, and overall great sound.
  • Good for EDM and Can be used as a reference headphones or for general listening 

What we don’t like 

  • Materials and durability 
  • Isolation could be better
  • Proprietary headphones connector 
  • Could do with greater clarity and dynamic punch
  • Bass is somewhat overemphasized and they do not have a completely neutral sound signature 

Key Specifications 

  • Sensitivity;98 dB
  • Driver size; 45mm
  • Impedance; 38 ohms 
  • Driver type; Dynamic Driver
  • Headphone weight;285g/10oz
  • Frequency Response;15-2800Hz
  • Headphone type; Over-ear, closed-back 

Connections and Accessories 

The packages come with 3 different cables, ¼ inch adapter, and a drawing string storage pouch you can use to carry the headphones around. 

It comes with 1.2- coiled cable, a 3 m straight cable, and lastly a 1.2 m portable cable 

All the cables feature a 2.5mm TRS connector which has a proprietary design due to the locking groove.

What is the Bottom-line?

They are well built and are sturdy, great sound and also very comfortable to wear. If you are looking for a portable pair of over-ears and you like your sound a little warm for the money the Audio TechnicaATH-M50x comes highly recommended.

3. Sony MDR-7506 – Best value

If you are currently on the hunt for an expensive set of reference headphones, you will have a long search on your hands to find anything as good as the Sony MDR-7506 for the price.

If you are not one to sweat so much about looks, then these are the perfect pair of great sounding headphones for the Money.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great Sound Quality  
  •  Great for beginners
  •  Excellent value for money
  • The long cable is perfect for studio use

Cons

  • 10 foot long  cord not ideal for commuter
  • No Bluetooth connectivity for wireless listening
Sony MDR 7506

The MDR-7506 has been the world’s most popular professional headphones for many decades. Their presence has been constant in recording studios around the world for a long time.

The Sony MDR-7506 headphones have and continue to be highly regarded among audio professional .They are also hugely popular with the average consumer because they are light, small, and rugged, sound pretty good and are is extremely sensitive.

This exceptionally sensitive closed, isolating headphone is great for travel and monitoring professional field recordings and are also good  to use with DSLRs, iPods and portable digital and video recorders.

Best Features

The Sony MDR-7506 are wired headphones and have no Bluetooth or any other kind of modern day connectivity .These headphones are purely built for reference listening and focus purely on this and nothing else.

They only weigh eight ounces, so are lighter than the average full size over ear headphones.

The Sony MDR-7506  are the best and most abuse proof headphones there are for making sure you got good audio while you are recoding it.

 They also do a good job at isolating outside noise and they leak very little sound to the outside.  This makes them excellent for field use to be sure that your audio is clear, that you have no noise or rumble.

They can fold for carrying and you can even flip over the earpieces to use just one side at a time held to your head if you are singing in a studio with live performers, which makes them very portable.

The headphone have slide adjustments on the side which click into place and you do get plenty  of room so they should be able to accommodate anyone no matter the shaped or size of their head.

Design and Comfort

They come with a simple design and are subtle enough on the head that you can wear them outside without feeling stupid.

The build is tank-like, impressive for the price. The cable is metal and it has less plastic but still manages to be lighter.

The ear cups are made of solid aluminum and the headband is metal under the padding.

The housing can be folded for mobility on the go with plastic blue and red “L” and “R “symbol  on the left and right sides and  ear cup padding  is made of some type of synthetic  leather like material and foam.

The headband is plushy padded and springy enough to provide a good clamp without any irritating  pressure which makes the MDR-7506 exceptionally comfortable.

At just 8 ounces, you can put this Sony headset on and listen for hours and hours without ever feeling the need to take if off.

These just fit and the racetrack-shaped ear pads and the headband has just enough padding to feel comfortable without overwhelming your ears.

The headband has a wide range of adjustment, with 11 total levels of adjustment on each side.

The MDR-7506 headphones have always been about studio monitoring, it what they are designed for, the noise isolation is particularly good with these headphones as they do a great job of blocking out the surround noise.

All in all, solid build headphones for the price.

Audio Performance

The Sony MDR-7506 has a consistent, detailed studio- style response and sound awesome for the price range.

The 40mm drivers sound great with the headphones exhibiting 60-ohm rated impedance.

The bass, mid-range and tremble balance is for the most part extremely accurate and just about every music genre from hard rock to jazz to classical sounds great.

They do have a moderate midrange peak, but have unusually clean, deep and extended bass response without any booming.

It is a headphone designed for production. It reveals all the details, and all the flaws

The low end is precise and pleasantly deep. Still, this is not a sound that everyone will find relaxing, especially for long periods or at high volumes.

 A point to note is that these headphones are very sensitive, so don’t plug them into an amp and crank it all the way up.

The tonal balance is almost perfect with no flaws and they are excellent reference headphones which allow you to hear a lot of the nuances in your music.

The bass, mids and tremble are just some of the highlights that Sony has long since perfected on the MDR headphones.

The Sony MDR-7506 headphones do sound great with any genre of music, particularly music with vocals or anything with heavy beats.

The isolation is also surprisingly good for such a small and light headphone. It is not as good as something with Active Noise Cancellation, but a passive isolation goes.

What we like

  • Great sound for reference headphones and excellent audio performance across musical genres.
  • Very comfortable to be worn for extended periods of time and have a proven history of durability and performance.
  •  They are hard- wearing
  •  10 foot long cord is great for the office and home and an included ¼ inch adapter is good for Djs and Hobbyists.

What we don’t like

  • Cable connection limited  to left ear only
  • Low end  favors  booming  bass over accuracy
  • Padding  is not plush  as some competitors and the design is a little old fashioned
  • Ear  pads  require  occasional replacement   and  there  is  Ear fatigue  after long periods of time

Key Specifications

  • 40 mm diameter driver
  • Neodyminium magnet
  • Oxygen copper  wire cable
  • Copper clad aluminum voice coil
  • Around the ear, isolating  closed headphones

Connections and Accessories

The box comes with the headphones, carrying pouch service manual and a warranty card. You also get a coiled cable which stretches out to about 10 feet which is not detachable. The cable terminates in a 3.5mm connector and it includes a 6.5mm screw on adapter.

What is the Bottom-line?

Where Sony MDR-7506 really shines at is giving you a very accurate and smooth presentation of whatever it is you are listening to.

If you are looking for the most accurate reproduction of sound you can get at this price point, whether for professional or personal use, then these are the perfect headphones

4. Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones – Best for Audio Engineers

The Sennheiser HD 650 headphones are great for audiophiles and professional producers because of their amazing frequency response and high- quality build, but they may be priced too high for the average consumer. 

Pros

  • Good Price 
  • Solid build quality 
  • High-quality sound 
  • Comfortable to wear 
  • Sleek, professional design 

Cons

  • Tight, clamping fit
  • Not the Most durable headphones out there
Sennheiser HD 650

Sennheiser is part of the leading group when it comes to the manufacturing of audio equipment and they have since made a reputation for producing undeniable quality for 75 years ever since it has been founded.

 One of their Masterpieces is the Sennheiser HD 650, an open-back headphone that produces unique natural sound and at its core, it prioritizes sound quality above all else with a focus on the construction of the drivers.

These headphones contain dynamic drivers and aluminum voice coils which combine to produce studio-quality, natural sound, and the full full-size open-back ear cups which deliver smooth and accurate sound with a relaxed mellow tone.

The Sennheiser HD 650 headphones are meant for audiophiles and music producers. They are great for mixing and mastering and are well suited for acoustic music of all types and for people who want warm and rich detail.

These do come with a detachable headphone cord means it is easy to upgrade to higher-end cables. 

Best Features

The specially designed acoustic silk ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range and helps reduce total harmonic distortion to an incredible 0.05 % and improved frequency response for a much richer sound.

Hand-selected matched driver elements with high-power neodymium magnets deliver maximum efficiency and lightweight aluminum voice coils for a fast transient response. 

Design and Comfort

The Sennheiser HD 650 is very comfortable to wear because they are lightweight and fit very well with almost any head size. They do not cause headaches by creating too much pressure for your ears and temples making them a great choice if you plan extensive mixing sessions.

These headphones come with massive ear cups that measure also most 4.5 inches at their longest point and are in effect just squashed ovals.

 The headphone tilts them backward on each ear to give a more natural look and a more standard fit. 

On the outside of each cup, there is a metal mesh cage that both protects and shows off the intricate driver construction inside.

 The Sennheiser logo is screen-printed along the top of the headband and the HD 650 model number and the ear cups are a slightly darker shade of gray, allowing for a bit of contrast.

The earpads themselves are made of very soft, velvety materials that provide a nice touch around your ears.

The headband is covered in plastic, mostly to help achieve 0.57-pound weight, but it’s sturdy and rigid, and the inside the headband is the guiding metal band which means that the size adjustment will last a good deal of time.

These headphones are very comfortable, they are open-back meaning the ear cups are not domes of plastic, but rather create larger breathable space around your ears this creates a nice stable fit that clings well and easily stays on your head.

Overall they have a premium build quality to them and the silver titanium finishes both enhances the looks of the headphones, as well as contributes to their durability. 

Audio Performance 

The Sennheiser HD 650 is pretty much the most neutral headphones on the market and the fact they have an open-back design means that you will get a refreshingly realistic sound stage.

Sennheiser is true experts at offering headphones with matched left and right drivers so that soundstage stays consistent across different frequency regions.

Thanks to their neodymium ferrous magnets and lightweight aluminum voice coils, which combine perfectly to offer an accurate and distortion-free sound response.

The accuracy is the key point here because these headphones are designed as studio monitors with a flat response. 

This means you will not have any bass accentuation as you would with consumer headphones, nor will you have cutting highs like you would in earbuds and telephone headsets. 

Even the subtlest audio will be discernible with a naturally balanced sound so you will hear each recording exactly as the musician intended it to be heard.

They have not been tuned to boost low-end notes, so you will not get a heavy, unnatural sounding bass when listening to them.

The sound that the HD 650 affords is distinctive with nice punchy bass, clear midranges, and fantastic tremble. 

Nothing gets boosted, so these headphones give off correct sounding music precisely as they sound throughout studio recording.

The Sennheiser HD 650 has a tendency in the direction of too warm, which means that the highs are slightly suppressed in comparison with different headphones.

They are void of any coloration, there are not any peaks or valleys of their response and they are exceptionally clean. 

The HD 650 headphones drivers are hand-selected matched elements that have precise left and right matching tolerances for a near-perfect sound balance. 

What we like 

  • Handles connection almost perfectly, translates well among different listeners, and is not too sensitive to positioning changes on one’s ears.
  • Great sound out of the box without harsh high frequencies and boosted lows Matched left and right channels 
  • The memory foam ear cushions have been covered in velour and sit comfortably around your ears, offering supreme comfort
  • The price is reasonable considering that getting audiophile headphones of the same standard can cost you a lot more.
  • Excellent transient response from light aluminum drive coils
  • Specially developed acoustic silk keeps harmonic distortion down to 0.05%

They have been turned to offer natural sound which is why they are perfect for studio engineers or audiophiles who want their music to be honestly reproduced, without the artificial of specific tones 

What we don’t like 

  • They are not made to be worn for a daily commute 
  • The open-back design allows for sound to bleed in but since they are designed to give a natural sound, this is not a negative as long as you are wearing them in a quiet environment

Key Specifications 

  • Type; Open back, Over-ear
  • Impedance; 297 ohm
  • Frequency Response;12 Hz to 40.5 kHz
  • Connector; 3.5mm stereo jack 
  • Weight 260g
  • Require headphone amp 

What is the Bottom-line?

Sennheiser HD 650 is made for music producers or anyone with a home studio who is looking for top-quality studio monitoring headphones.

These headphones are an excellent example of why the company is so well-regarded by audiophiles and music enthusiasts around the world.

The HD 650 is one of the most relaxed, best sounding headphones when compared to other similar headphones. If you are on the market for new headphones and want something that will give you many hours of listening pleasure at an affordable price, then these are worth a closer look.

5. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro – Best Budget Choice

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones give great comfort and durability in addition to excellent noise isolation. These are definitely on the top pick for headphones on a budget because they will blow your mind away.

Pros

  • Durable 
  • Comfortable
  • Adjustable headband
  • Excellent noise isolation
  • Professional build quality 
  • Great for monitoring at low volume 

Cons

  • Poor quality cable 
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

Sennheiser is well known as one of the best manufactures of headphones in the world. This is a brand that has been on the market for years and because of their high-quality products and awesome audio solutions over time, they have managed to build a loyal following.

Their headphones have been providing tough competition to those high-end brands.

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones are a redesign of a set of headphones that have been in the Sennheiser product lineup for years and their main focus is on durability, comfort, and sound performance.

These particular headphones are designed for professional studio monitoring, but their high sensitivity and low impedance makes them suited for a range of listening applications, including as headphones for listening to vinyl records.

The core of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a pair of very capable drivers. They do come with a 3.5 mm headphone jack who makes them compatible with different electronic audio devices such as MP3, iPod, DVD, and CD players.

Design and Comfort

Sennheiser has taken comfort into account by designing incredibly lightweight headphones, the soft padding provides a secure, tight fit and snug. They are so comfortable that you will not remember that you have them on.

The padding around the ear cup fully covers the outside of the ear providing a great seal for increased bass response and noise isolation 

 With 32 dB of passive noise isolation, these closed-back headphones have one of the best noise attenuation ratings when compared to other headphones.

They are made from high-grade, heavy duty plastic but have a robust construction and are topped off with a matte finish, for a low profile look.

 The collapsible design which makes for a great user experience allows you to collapse them for safe transport plus the newly redesigned headband takes the comfort level up a notch.

It comes with a compact folding design. The ear cups both pivot to fold flat or they can be folded into the headband for a sturdy package that can be packed in a backpack or gearcase.

The ear cups attach to the headband with a hinge and swivel design that allows extra flexible range. The newly redesigned headband makes this pair very comfortable to wear for long hours 

There are also a couple of pads on the sides of the cutout, both of which are larger than on the previous model and feel very supportive and soft to the touch. The spacious design prevents your ears from making contact with the inside of the cups.

Overall the comfort level is great and it feels like you are wearing a high-quality set of headphones. 

Audio Performance 

The main selling point of the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones is their natural sound despite a few imperfections it beats almost any competing models. 

The soundstage and imaging of the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro are very enjoyable, you will realize that the highs and mids are well balanced and create a beautiful musical experience irrespective of the genre of music you will be listening to.

Wearing these headphones while you are mixing allows you to hear absolutely everything going on within your tracks, your production, or your DJ sets. 

 Every note and response range is crystal clear and includes rich and significant low sounds clean and crisp mids, and highs that resonate and focus on clarity like no other pair of headphones can provide. 

The bass is not too strong which is good for a lot of critical listening environments but not for bass heads plus the highs 

and mids are balanced, articulate, and blend nicely for a wide variety of music genres. 

 This will allow you to make much more accurate EQ changed that will only enhance the quality of your mix.

The closed-back design of the Sennheiser HD 280 also makes them suitable for listening in loud environments, such as your local coffee shop, a recording studio, or during your commute or public transportation since it does provide passive noise isolation.

 One thing to keep in mind is that these headphones do also struggle with bass-heavy tracks at higher volumes but they offer a good frequency response too, ranging from 10 to 20, 000Hz.

What we like 

  • Deliver nice and clean sound 
  • They are designed to be extremely comfortable, durable, and lightweight, they feel like you are not wearing headphones at all.
  • These headphones can be folded away and stored in a protective case to ensure they last and are no hassle to transport around with you.
  • They offer a fantastic frequency response range that allows you to hear all the sounds you are listening too with complete clarity and absolute precision and accuracy 
  • The superior sound isolation technology actively blocks out up to 32db of external sound thanks to the physical design of the headphones. 

What we don’t like 

  • Bass distortion and loud volumes 
  • Lack of active noise cancellation 
  • A heavy coiled cable can stain connectors and the permanent attached cable limits usability when you are on the go 

Connections and Accessories 

  • Sennheiser headphones 
  • ¼ stereo adapter screwed onto 3.5mm plug 
  • Coiled audio cable 

What is the Bottom-line?

Their design allows them to isolate well and makes them more comfortable for prolonged use, good quality soundstage, and are affordable. If you are looking for headphones that use easy to use for home listening then try the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro.

6. AKG K 240 MK II headphone

If you are looking for studio headphones featuring magnificent detailed and highly accurate sound representation and at a great price point then the AGO K240 MKII is an excellent choice.

Its solid design also attracts music lovers, the headphone will not be damaged even when put through you use it frequently for professional work. 

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Spacious delivery
  •  It does not leak as much as the fully open headphone

Cons

  • It needs a little more punch 
  • Too soft to dig –up the finest details and dynamic nuances 
AKG K 240 MK II

There are studio headphones from an established company located in Austria. They are well known to manufacture audio equipment, wired and wireless earphones, headphones, and diversity in quality microphone designs. 

The K240 MKII is one of their most popular and moderately priced contributions geared towards recording studios and critical listening.

The AKG K240 MKII remains a staple of the studio headphone world due to its highly accurate sound representation, versatile use, and incredible value.

The design of these headphones has been around for ages. It’s a semi-open headphone that represents extremely detailed mid and high frequencies, making them the best headphones for mixing and studio listening. 

This headphone remains the solid recommendation for listeners looking to appreciate a more balanced rounded sound with an extra measure of crisp bass.

Design and Comfort

The K240 MKII design is simple, with a combination of black and gold. They come with a self-adjusting headband that naturally fits your head.

This self-adjusting headband works well to prevent the headphones from falling off without putting pressure on the ear on your head. 

The velvet ear pads will absorb your sweat easily. These headphones also ship with a choice of two different pairs of ear pads which are easily interchangeable. 

Overall they are comfortable with ear pads that are large enough to fit over the ear, as opposed to other models of headphones. 

The K240 MKII headphones have springs, so no adjustment or locking features are necessary because they fit comfortably by just placing them on the head.

The build quality is very light, which allows them to remain comfortable for extended periods versus heavier headphones which is a plus. 

They come with detaching cables and you will find two cables of different sizes with the package.

The half-open construction and wise pick of materials mean wearing the K240 MKII for several hours at a time without fatigue. 

They do somehow feel a little weak due to their mostly plastic construction. The tubes over the headband, the adjustment mechanism, and even the metallic looking rings around the ear cups are made of plastic. 

What you need to have in mind is that the K240 MKII is not designed for bus journeys, but serious listening at home. 

Audio Performance 

The AKG K240 headphone produces a clear and well-balanced sound. Offering superbly detailed and highly accurate sound representation at a price point that cannot be beaten, no wonder they are a staple for home studios. 

These are semi-open headphones which means that sound can get in and get out much easier than in closed-back headphones which means they are not the best fit if you are planning to use them in noisy environments. 

The semi-open back design makes it a great tracking headphone for vocalists who benefit from hearing some of the ambient sounds in the room to judge their pitch. 

The AKG K240 headphones provide enough detail to catch small clicks, pops, and other unwanted sound caused by editing.

They offer a very neutral sound representation, meaning the sound you hear is natural sound without any added coloration.

The highs are exceptionally crisp while the mids remain crystal clear and highly detailed and they remain clear and detailed but roll off as they get into the lower frequencies. 

These are designed for studio mixing and active listening, so they may sound a bit bright and flat because they don’t emphasize a certain frequency. 

The vocals are clear and direct, but there is a very pleasant airiness to the overall presentation and the tonal balance is very even.

These headphones have longevity in the sense that it is one of the most used studio headphones in the industry because it is highly accurate and incredibly clear sound reproduction.

The AKG K240 headphones are perfect for home mixing and dissecting audio projects.

Key Specifications 

  • Type; semi-open 
  • Impedance; 55 ohms 
  • Weight; 240 gm 
  • Frequency bandwidth ;15 to 25000 Hz

Connections and Accessories 

It features a self-adjusting headband, it contains a straight XLR mini to 3.5mm cable and 3.5 mm to 1.4 adapters. It includes a coiled cable as well as an additional set of velour cushions.

Both cables have a 3.5mm gold plated audio jack and also ¼ inch screw-on adapter.

What is the Bottom-line?

These are great headphones for anyone that relies on headphones to do their work.

If you are looking for a cheap critical listening pair of semi-open headphones, this is a phenomenal deal.

Its leatherette ear-pads allow you to use the headphone for a long time and the drivers used in these headphones will deliver you mind-blowing audio reproduction.

The AGO K240 MKII is the best choice for the producer who is seeking a solid build, useful features, and balanced sound reproduction.

7. Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro

The Beyerdynamic DT 880 pro headphones are an excellent investment for anyone looking for a precise sound signature, whether for the mixing and mastering process or simply enjoy audio at home. 

The performance is remarkable with the type of flat response that is rarely seen in this category, plus they are awesome in terms of comfort.

Pros

  • Great comfort 
  • Strong built quality 
  • Great audio reproduction
  • Nearly every part replaceable 
  • Dependable sub-bass response 
  • The semi-open design provides a wonderful sense of space 

Cons

  • Cable not detachable
  • Hardwired cable
  • Design leaks sound outward
Beyerdynamic DT 880 pro

 These are the best-suited headphones for those shopping for studio headphones for mixing, producing, and mastering.

It offers a comfortable fit to its adjustable, rugged, and soft padded headband. All parts of the headphones are replaceable, so you can have them fixed without any problem. 

 It come with a foam-padded carrying case, you don’t have to worry about its storage. One of the best studio headphones you can get. 

Design and Comfort

The Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pros come in massive circumaural ear pads that are perfect circles covered in plush velour and offer ample cushioning. 

The overall design feels solid and gives the impression that they were designed with strength in mind. 

The right and left ear cups are adorned with an R and L and Braille and the detents along with the adjustor of the headband guarantee a secure fit.

The large ear cups distribute weight evenly and all points of contact with your head are soft, well-padded, and nothing beat velour ear pads that fit well and offer proper seal.

Since no pressure is exerted on the outer ear, it’s possible to wear DT 880 pros for hours on end without the ear getting hot or uncomfortable. The head does not feel as great as the ear pads but it’s adequate and is not an obstacle for long sessions.

The good thing is that Beyerdynamic stores replacement parts.

The semi-open design of the Beyerdynamic DT 880 means you can enjoy the features of both closed and open headphones.

One of the downsides to the semi-open design is that you can expect the sound to leak through the outer panels of the ear cups at moderate to high volumes and also there is the absence of a detachable cable.

Audio Performance 

The Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro delivers solid, full sounding, and accurate low-frequency response with sub-bass that is powerful. 

These headphones provide ample low end, but it is well-matched throughout the frequency range. In shorts, it achieves the trick of sounding full and powerful in lows, while still ideally balanced throughout the frequency range. 

The Beyerdynamic DT 880 delivers excellent audio quality for symphonic, jazz, acoustic folk, classical, choral, and chamber recordings.

The sound is very bright, high, and gets the cymbals to sit right in the mix and translate well to a variety of playback systems might be a challenge. 

The DT 880 pro doesn’t reduce thumps to thin taps or make them sound heavy and exaggerated.

As we move higher up the frequency range we see the massive boost that is characteristic of nearly all Beyerdynamic models.

A sweet mid-range, splendidly controlled highs, and expressive dynamics make it a well- balanced headphone.

What we don’t like 

  • Bulky for someone and so not ideal for travel 
  • Very sensitive to surrounding noise because of their design 
  • They are not an ideal choice to use with a mobile device, the cable has no inline remote, and impedance makes them a better match for pro gear and stereo systems 

Key Specifications 

  • Type; open back, over-ear
  • Impedance; 250 ohm
  • Frequency response; 5Hz to 35 Hz
  • Weight; 295 g ( without cable )

Connections and Accessories 

The DT 880 pro comes in a nice carrying case that is incredibly protective, but so large 

Weighing 9.5 ounces, the DT 880 comes with a 15-inch headphone extension cable with ¼ connectors, a single side 9.5-inch cable with a mini-plug, and ¼ inch plug that is gold plated.

It comes with a 9.8 foot coiled, thick cable which is designed mainly for studio use and there is no inline remote or microphone for taking calls. 

What is the Bottom-line?

The Beyerdynamic DT 880 pro headphones deliver an accurate, powerful listening experience intended for musicians, sound engineers, and music lovers with stereo systems.

They are highly recommended for anyone looking for headphones that excel in production, mixing, and mastering.

8. Shure SRH 1540

These headphones are an excellent tool for both analyzing a mix and critical listening.

If you have the budget and want a headphone pair that can reach down to the depths of the lowest bass frequencies and deliver them without any amplification, the Shure SRH1540 is an ideal pair. 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Tremendous detail 
  • Supremely comfortable
  • Excellent audio performance 

Cons

  • Not for booming bass lovers
  • No inline remote control or microphone on either cable 
Shure SRH 1540

The Shure SRH1540 is a quality headphone with natural sound performance, clear, full-range sound reproduction forming the highs, midranges to the bass. 

These studio headphones are among the more accurate headphone pairs, delivering low and crisp highs clearly with very little boosting.

They also do provide an extensive soundstage, making them ideal as reference or monitor studio headphones and even a compelling option for mixing and mastering. 

Equipped with 40mm neodymium drivers they also give a crisp acoustic sound performance.

They come in a closed-back circum-aural design that ergonomically conforms to the size of your ears for a comfortable listening experience and also acts to reduce noise leakages.

The Shure SRH1540 has a lightweight construction with aircraft-grade aluminum alloy and a carbon fiber cap for enhanced durability. 

You also get a steel driver frame with a vented center pole piece which eliminates resonance for consistent sound performance.

Design and Comfort

Shure SRH1540 is built using lightweight materials more common in race cars than studio headphones.

The pads are covered in Alcantara a composite material that feels like an expensive cross between velvet and fine leather. 

The very flexible headband is also sufficiently padded and the adjustors on both sides lock in a wonderful effective manner.

The black and silver color manages to throw in a little flare on top of its simple looks with carbon fiber panels on each ear cup.

Despite the massive frame their aluminum alloy and carbon fiber construction mean that they are surprisingly light at only 286 g/ 10.2 ounces.

The lightweight is partially responsible for the very comfortable feel, and also the overstuffed, super-plush ear pads.

Unlike most other over-ear studio headphones designs, the ear cups can swivel. The detachable cables connect to either ear cup with snap-in connections and once they are in they will stay in place unless you are actively trying to remove them.

The Shure SRH1540 has dual-exit cables with gold-plated MMCX connectors which provide a secure connection and detachability for easy storage.

The headphones use oxygen-free copper cables with Kevlar reinforce jacket to prevent tangling and improve sound performance.

Audio Performance

The SRH1540 is a phenomenal pair of headphones for reference listening. 

The sound signature is bright, crisp, and dynamic, you will get to hear all the bass parts clearly down to the deepest lows without the artificial impression that subwoofers are hidden inside the cups.

In essence, the sound signature is all about accuracy and balance and you get to hear even the lowest of bass levels if they are present and the vocals will remain crisp and clear.

It delivers a clear picture of the deep lows without the booming intensity of most headphones with the boosted bass response and they come with a dynamic and diligently detailed sound.

The SRH1540 is more focused on balance throughout the entire frequency.

There is a broad sonic presentation that serves up a nice extend that is easy on ears and their balance never leans either side of neutral. 

The acoustic instrumental auxiliary is clear and textured, and the intricate strings of notes are tangible. 

The 40 mm neodymium drivers provide a relatively good soundstage with clear extended highs and warm bass response. 

They are capable of reproducing the entire audio spectrum in an even and natural way without any artificial enhancements. 

The Shure SRH1540 has the most natural and evenly sounding signature across all frequency ranges. 

What we like 

• Sparkling, resonant tremble
• Improved both low and high-frequency extension
• Comes with two sets of earpads and cables and a sturdy hard case
• Impressive lightweight despite the large size and exceptionally comfortable
• Expansive, open, beautifully balanced, detailed, driven sound, exceptionally flat frequency response and musical bass with excellent extension.

What we don’t like 

  • These headphones are large 
  • High 3rd harmonic distortion in the low end and A little bit on the pricey side 

Key Specifications 

  • Type; closed-back, over-ear
  • Impedance; 46 ohm 
  • Frequency response; 5 Hz to 25 Hz
  • Connector 3.5 mm straight jack 
  • Weight; 286 g without cable 

Connections and Accessories 

The SRH1540 ships with replacement ear pads. 

A dual-exit cable, one wire connected to each ear cup, has a 3.5mm end that fits into your portable device, but a 6.5 mm gold plated adapter for use with higher-end systems come supplied.

A ¼ inch headphone jack adapter is also included, along with the largest, most heavy-duty hard-shell headphone case.

What is the Bottom-line?

If you want neutral sounding headphones and you don’t require pristine bass, and you have some cash to spare.

These quality headphones are a great investment for professional studio applications, home recording, and portable audiophile bliss.

 If you work with acoustic music, classical, rock music, basically anything without prominent sub-bass, the Shure SRH1540 are the best closed-back studio headphones you can buy.

The Shure SRH1540 is analytical headphones designed for those who value high-fidelity sound that is true to the audio recording with crystal clear frequency.

9. Neumann NDH 20s

The Neumann NDH 20s are closed back and have tons of resolution. Due to its more analytical sound character, the NDH 20 performs very well in more demanding listening situations.

They do a great job at the deepest depths of the bass range, while also performing brilliantly when it comes to midrange differentiation.

Pros

  • lovely design 
  • Great soundstage 
  • Superb build quality 
  • Lovely vibe sound for long sessions

Cons

  • Too much bass
  • A slight lift in the lows 
  • Highs that are too hot 
Neuman NDH

This the first release for a renowned German microphone manufacturer and it is their very first venture into the headphone market.

Neumann has always been a premium brand, and their first headphones, the NDH 20s are closed-back, over-ear, moving coils headphones that are intended to balance the sound quality necessary for critical listening duties.

This headphone is nothing less than high-resolution audio and neutral studio sound specs will do here.

The Neumann NDH 20 offers something of a unique sound signature that is different from anything that the Sennheiser Company has put out so far.

Best Features

Neumann NDH 20s was designed specifically for studio monitoring, editing, and mixing. Neumann claims that they offer an astonishingly detailed, well-balanced sound image ‘similar to the company loudspeakers. 

 This is a closed over-ear headphone that offers a high level of sound insulation to keep all the distractions out.

Despite their high impedance of 150 ohms, they are a gentle load for just about any headphones output out there and are fairly resistant to tonality changes due to the output impedance of your audio interface or headphone amp.

 The Neumann NDH 20s also promise exceptional wearing comfort, the finishing, and materials utilized in production are also of a high standard.

Design and Comfort

The NDH 20s adjust to the size of your head in a fairly conventional way, using notched extensions that slide in and out of the main headband to make it longer or shorter. 

 They have a single metal arm on each side that attaches only at the back of the ear cup.

This attachment offers enough freedom of movement in the vertical plane to accommodate most head shapes.

 The hinges at the top of each arm do rotate 90 degrees to allow the ear cups to flatten in the plane of the headband.

 The cups themselves are made of aluminum and are about an inch deep, but the removable pads add another inch or so, making the structure pretty substantial.

The pads themselves are memory foam covered across as somewhere between suede and moleskin. 

These headphones are good at keeping sound out, it follows that they are also good at keeping sound in, headphone spill and click track bleed are both significantly reduced.

They are also comparatively heavy, weighing in at 390g without the cable and build quality. 

 The exterior appearance of the Neumann NDH instantly impresses with its simplicity and eye-catching accents. 

The timeless tones of silver a grey are stylishly contrasted with Neumann orange on the inside of the earpieces. The side of the cans is a bright orange, which as well as fitting the corporate color scheme also breaks up the austere black and silver.

Materials and manufacturing standards are all top tier. 

Audio Performance

Despite their relatively muted tonality, they proved reliable aid to spotting vocal sibilance and other issues further up the frequency response. 

You will get to hear flatness and absence of distortion, these headphones exhibit neutral tonality, and they also possess a cleanness that is unusual in closed-back phones.

These do sound amazing, the character is particularly good with the midrange, vocals, and reverbs presented beautifully.

You really can pick a sound out within a mix with this clarity and detail; you will consequently have the ability to make some great mixing decisions.

The absence of a midrange boost and a relatively moderate 10 kHz frequency curve contour ensure that these headphones truly deliver when it comes to things like speech intelligibility on music tracks.

The bass range above this sound is always powerful and consistently defined and it gives out an impressive wide sound field. 

What we like 

  • They offer much greater isolation than most closed-back headphones 
  • Robustly built, with field-replaceable parts and removable, armored cables
  • A detailed overview of your mix so you can make some great mixing decisions 
  • A well-engineered headphones driver with class-leading THD performance and low-end extension 
  • Very clean, full-range sound make these headphones an excellent tool for analytical listening 

What we don’t like 

  • Earpads can get a little hot 
  • No carrying case supplied 
  • Not the most comfortable headphones ever
  • Upper mid scoop is pleasant but can misguide your mixing decisions 

Key Specifications 

  • Type; closed back, over-ear 
  • Impedance; 150 ohm
  • Distortion ; claimed total harmonic distortion 
  • Frequency response ; 5Hz to 30 KHz
  •  Connector ; 3.5 stereo jack 
  • Weight; 390 g

Connections and Accessories 

The foldable NDH headphone model comes packaged with two exchangeable cables in an elegant product box. 

The NDH 20s ship in a solid cardboard box lined with the foam but although you get a soft leatherette pouch, there is no proper carrying case, nor do they fold into any compact form for traveling.

What is the Bottom-line?

Neumann has top speaker expertise and has transferred it into a very well-specified set of cans for the studio. Its first headphones the Neumann NDH 20s are not flattering. These headphones are great for mixing, mastering, film sound, composing, and tracking.

10. Focal Listen Professional

Focal Listen Professional -This headphone is a great option both for mixers looking for a closed-back reference headphone as well as those looking for high performing headphone to take on the go.

Pros

  • Comfy 
  • Excellent isolation
  • Precision and neutrality
  • Sturdy and comfortable fit 

Cons

  • High bass THD for this price range 
  • Mid coloration makes these unsuitable for critical work
Focal Listen professional

With the Focal listen professional this French headphones manufacturer wants to offer high quality at an affordable price. 

These circum-aural closed-back headphones are an essential work tool for music production. Their tonal balance and precision in terms of audio spectrum make them perfect to evaluate the sound work quality. 

The combination of low impedance and high sensitivity means that the listen pro is more than suitable even for Smartphone headphone output.  Not to mention the attention to detail of these headphones can be also shown thanks to the various patents and technologies which belong to focal.

Best Features

The cone shape was newly designed by focal and is intended to provide particularly high levels of transparency and dynamics.

These headphones feature 40mm drivers Mylar membranes, with a cone made from Mylar and titanium.

The selection of the earpad material and fabric that protects the outlets of the ear cups has been optimized for the best sound possible. 

Thanks to its low impedance levels of only 26.75 ohms, it is excellent for ensuring loud playback even on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.

Design and Comfort

The choice of materials here is a good choice and the workmanship demonstrated with list professional is top-notch.

The ear cups of the focal listen professional headphones are moderate in size, they are made of plastic.

The earpads are coated in a soft velour type material and feel comfortable and breathable on the skin. 

The headphones are relatively lightweight and the memory foam cushions over the driver’s clasp around your ears without being excessively hot. 

They come equipped with a flexible headband boasting a unique design to ensure comfort and durability. 

 A combination of a layer of silicone underneath the headband ensures that the weight is spread out evenly over the head, preventing the user from feeling any pressure in certain areas.

The heat-sensitive memory foam ear cushions covered in microfiber and acoustic tissue provide an adequate level of comfort to give engineers optimal control over their work. 

The closed and ear-enclosing design provides solid shielding against outside noise, without negatively affecting the sound reproduction itself.

Audio Performance 

The Focal Listen Professional is particularly well suited for treble and high frequencies spectrum, the bass reproduction is contoured and differentiating and they sound pleasantly clear in the high-frequency range.  

They exhibit a pretty flat response with very little coloration that we could perceive while still maintaining a pretty good vibe and the soundstage of the focal listen to professional presents with a sense of nuance.

The stereo stage is the acceptable standard level, with equally good signal dynamics and fine detail.

The height feels long and extended across the frequency spectrum, different instruments sit in very accurately placed parts of the vertical domain.

Their tonal balance and precision in terms of audio spectrum make them ideal for critical listening, like mixing or monitoring 

The design of the 22 mm Mylar/Titanium alloy speaker drivers result in sound reproduction that respects the original dynamics of the audio signal with distortion, thus preventing auditory fatigue.

The neutrality of the tonal balance combined with the remarkably high definition ensures the reproduction of all audio signals, even at the lowest of volumes. 

What we like 

  • Good build quality 
  • Compact, rigid carrying  
  • Total control over the audio spectrum
  • Solid sound reproduction at low volumes
  • Exclusive cone technology offering acoustic transparency and excellent dynamics 

What we don’t like 

  • High bass THD for this price range 
  • Mid coloration makes these unsuitable for critical work
  • Silicon cushion on the headband, though comfortable, will attract sweat 

Key Specifications 

  • Weight; 280 g
  • Sensitivity 122dB
  • Impedance; 32 ohms 
  • Type; closed-back, over-ear
  • Frequency response ; 5Hz to 22kHz
  • Type; circum-aural closed back headphones 
  • 40mm paired transducer with Mylar/Titanium cone

Connections and Accessories 

  • Focal listen to professional headphones
  • Zipping protective, semi-hard carrying case 
  • Detachable straight cable with microphone and remote (3.5mm connector

What is the Bottom-line?

These headphones combine comfort, lightweight means accuracy, and longevity for your mixes. The Focal is trying to provide the following, accurate sound quality for mixing, comfort, noise-canceling, and a lively listening experience.

If you are looking for a portable headphone with an even and natural sound, check out the Focal listen professional. The good news is that focal has managed to fix one of the major problems with their spirit pro headphone both comfort and build quality is superb.

They offer great build quality, comfort, and versatile frequency response .with these headphones you are assured value for money.

They offer great build quality, comfort, and versatile frequency response .with these headphones you are assured value for money.

Best Headphones for Music Production Buyers Guide

headphones for music production

The question you might be asking is in your head might be; Are Music production headphones any different?

Yes, they are different is away comparing to regular headphones that tend to improve the audio quality in a way that you get to enjoy your favorite music better.

 When it comes to studio headphones you will tend to get a flat or linear frequency response with far better balance and accuracy.

 A studio set will typically have more extensive frequency response monitoring and be able to work at a higher resolution for better fidelity and to be compatible with the resolutions use in DAWs.

There are so many things that you need to keep in mind when choosing the right headphones for music production.

The other thing to take into account is that there is not just a type of headphones called “studio headphones” other references to them as “audiophile or referencing” headphones 

Your choice is going to be based on a few factors; do you want headphones for Mixing, Mastering, recording, and arranging or what sort of music are you looking to working on?

1. Type of Headphones (Closed vs. Open-back)

Closed-back music production headphones 

If you are to look into closed-back headphones you will realize that they have ear cups that are completely closed off. This makes it able to offer great sound isolation because the soft foam pad forms a seal with your head around your ear; the sound has nowhere to go so it stays inside the ear cup.

 Due to this sound isolation, the overall sound is tighter and more focused and as a result, the bass frequencies might be slightly exaggerated. The soundstage and stereo separation doesn’t sound as wide and open.

Closed-back headphones seal the sound within the ear cups and you can turn these up as loud as you would like and know you are not disturbing other people in the room.

If you are producing in a noisy environment, outside noise will be kept out and people won’t be able to hear what you are listening to.

When it comes to pro audio, closed-back headphones are especially good for recording and arranging music. They also make great sound design tools, since you will be up close and intimate with all the sounds you will design within your DAW.

The downside is that it traps pressure inside the headphone which may cause a false perception of low frequencies.

Open-Back 

Open-back headphones have ear cups that are not closed off. The part of the ear cup opposite your ear, the one that faces the outside is open, meaning that instead of sound staying contained within the ear cup, it can travel outwards. 

When you are in a quiet environment, open-back headphones can sound significantly better. That is because everything will sound more airy and natural, and sound space can seem like it’s huge.

Since they do allow sound to radiate outward this makes them provide a natural “airy’ sound.

When you are listening to open-back headphones it feels like listening to speakers in a spacious environment, like a room. You will generally get a more realistic sound stage and stereo image in them.

For this reason, they are the go-to choice for mixing and mastering engineers. 

2. Design and Comfort

This is something that one has to seriously consider since a professional you are going to stay with headphones on for prolonged sessions.

Padding is the number one solution you need to consider for your safety and comfort, you should choose for headphones with high-quality ear pads that will not only block the surrounding sounds but will also keep your head and ear protected. 

You want comfortable headphones that you can wear for hours at a time. Therefore you will be looking for a comfortable headband. This includes full adjustability, breathable, plush cushioning, and padded low clamp pressure headband with good flexibility, swivel ear-cups, and low sound pressure levels.

Ensure that they provide an adequate level of comfort for those hours you will spend editing. 

When it comes to fitting, first try them on before buying to see if they are what you are looking for. The idea is to choose headphones that are not too tight on your head as they cut off blood circulation and cause fatigue and head pains in the longer term.

If the ear cups can rotate, that is a plus because it is easy to store and transport.

If you are one to easily destroy headphone parts then find a pair with easily removable parts to replace. We suggest you get detachable ear pads; these can be easily replaced with new ones which will dramatically reduce your cost in the long run.

3. Sound Quality

If you are working in music and sound production, the majority of the time you need to hear what something sounds like so you can give feedback on whether or not the sound quality needs to be improved. 

A good pair of studio headphones will render sounds as neutral as possible, being able to show every flaw in a song, in a sound bite, or any other snippet of sound. 

It will also allow you to hear background noise, distortion, the faintest of bad edits and cuts, and other imperfections.

 Sound engineers need to hear all of this stuff because they are essentially building the sound profile for whatever it is they are producing. High resolution with a flattened, natural, linear response is paramount for analytical listening.  

A good sound performance headphone means enjoying good transparency when it comes to sound and receiving a neutral tone. You will want your headphones to offer good frequency range and sensitivity.

Most of the time with headphones the quality delivered is often related to the price you are willing to pay. To get your money’s worth you need to search for a pair that will offer a flat frequency response along with great clarity of sound.

4. Impedance and sensitivity

Impedance refers to the amount of resistance in an electrical circuit. 

Headphones like consumer headphones and earbuds have far lower impedance, meaning that they need more current to run.

The best headphones for music production should present low-value impedance, this is because it will have no issues staying in sync with devices that operate on low voltage. 

When there is high impedance, the sound you will hear will have high distortion which is something you don’t want when you are using headphones for production.

When there is more voltage driving the headphones, there is less electrical current needed to drive the audio signal. The result is a purer sound in the headphones. 

Make a note of the frequency response, but don’t base your buying decision on it. 

Since no headphone has a completely flat response, the curve shows where on the spectrum they have any peaks or dips you need to be aware of.

5. Wireless VS wired 

The biggest problem with cords is they tend to tangle because of the length required within a working studio environment and range of applications.

It is better to consider a single-sided entry cord over a Y-leads, which arguably is less prone to tangling but double the entry points and therefore double and the weak points increasing the potential for damage.

Various items still come with long wires that need to be inserted into your laptop or PC.

 There is the other option of Bluetooth connectivity, choosing depends on your convenience and daily use.

  6. Intended use 

Your intended use of the headphones as well as your level of experience, kind of ties everything together.

If you produce electronic dance music on your laptop and you frequently travel and produce on the go, delicate open-back headphones don’t make much sense. A nice durable pair of closed-back cans is what you should aim to get.

7. Sound Isolation 

One other aspect you need to take into account is the ability of headphones to completely isolate the surrounding sounds. 

This will long a long way in helping you create new sounds and focus on each tonality better but also keep you away from surrounding distractions.

A pair with poor isolation can also interfere with your recordings, causing a distortion. 

Wrapping up!

If you made it this far clap for yourself my dear, I know the review was long but I tried my best to give you all that you need to make the best choice.

If you enjoyed and found this article helpful if you have any comments or suggestions feel leave me them down below.

Have an awesome day!

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