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Buying the best studio headphones and skimming through all the fluff all over the internet is not an easy task.
We all want to get that amazing sound in a miracle box, built up with the best in durable tech and stylish to look at. But we end up making a compromise on one of these factors to just get the others right.
This is the exact problem I was trying to combat when I decided to do some extensive research and narrow down to a list that works for me. I have tried to consider: price, build quality, quality of sound, and what actual users of the product had to say about it, and I’m sure this list will help all of you pick the best studio headset for yourself.
The Best Studio Headphones
We have only added the best headphones in 2017 to this list. While neglecting some which might be overpriced or carry a lot of hype and less value.
|Audio-Technica ATH-M50x||Over the ear||2.1 lbs||9.8 ft|
|Sony MDR7506||Over the ear||8.1 oz.||9.8 ft|
|Audio-Technica ATH-M40x||Over the ear||2 lbs||9.8 ft|
|Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones||Over the ear||1 lb||9.8 ft|
|Sennheiser HD 201||Circumaural||1 lb||9.8 ft|
|Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO||Over the ear||0.64 lb||9.8 ft|
|Sony MDRV6||Over the ear||1 lb||9.8 ft|
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x – Best studio headphones
- Excellent build quality
- Superbly detailed and balanced sound with amazing bass.
- Comfortable for long usage with improved cushions for ear cups, and over the ear design.
- Detachable cord Design.
- Both cups can rotate 180 degrees and fold up vertically, hence improving portability.
- The absence of an integrated mic for making calls on the go.
- Bulky design for off studio or mobile usage.
The Audio Technica ATH-M50x is an improved design of an already superb all-rounder ATH-M50. Not only you get one of the best sound for this price tag, but you also get extra comfort for longer usage, a detachable cord design with three pairs of cords included in your package. All in all these headphones are well suited for high energy music or gaming needs, apart from your studio work.
Audio Technica’s ATH-M50 got very popular when they first came out, as they were superior sounding and better built compared to the then dominant ‘Beats’. People using the Beats were often looked down upon by the users of the M50 as they referred to themselves as the smart user. The headphones were built for studios and “M” stands for “monitor”, but a lot of people were using them on the go, thanks to the lower price tag and superior sound quality.
The ATH-M50x model seems to be that very much needed mobile version of the headphones, with improved padding for earcups and a detachable-cord design. As the name indicates, these headphones are monitor headphones, and they carry the looks of a headphone you’d find in a recording studio mostly. And with a weight of around 10 ounces, these headphones are definitely not light and definitely not the best you want to carry around for mobile usage. However, improved cushions and the detachable cord design helps you make the best of mobile usage where you can.
This pair not only produces an amazing quality of sound but also does an amazing job at isolating you from the outside world. While Audio Technica has been claiming, there’s no real difference between the sound of ATH-M50 and this updated version, we believe the bass in ATH-M50x is more detailed and the sound is a bit clearer.
Sony MDR7506 – Best reliable Studio Headphones
- Closed-back Design.
- Best for all music genres.
- Comfortable for long usage.
- Excellent sound for low price.
- Extreme Reliability in all conditions.
- Coiled Cable.
- No inline or remote microphone.
- Not mobile friendly.
Sony’s MDR-7506 have been around since 1991, and yet sound great and place well among all the latest competition. A very fitting and Comfortable Design, at such a low price tag. All in all, a superb pair for such low price.
These headphones have been around since 1991 and yet can easily beat some of the latest headphones. Most sound professionals almost always go back to MDR-7506 for the reliability at such a modest cost. These headphones are best suited for sound monitoring in recording studios, radio, film production, video production, and any other usage suitable for a great pair of headphones. The closed ear design with a rugged shape and convenient folding build, the pair offers an amazing range of choices for both the casual user to the studio professional and is very popular in both pro and home recording studios.
These headphones have proven to be reliable in extreme situations and weigh no more than 8 ounces which is slightly less heavy than other headphones in this category. The sound isolation mechanism does an amazing job at isolating unnecessary noise. The ear cups and headband are not as thickly padded as some of the latest designs out there, however, the low pressure from head clamping helps extended usage with a great deal of comfort.
The cable is long and durable, however, it lacks a microphone. The “L” and “R” markings are color-coded and hence very useful in low light situations. The Sound of this headphone is superbly clear and up to par with the latest gadgetry out there, the only reason these headphones have survived in Sony’s line up for so many years. Every genre sounds superb on these Sony headphones and you can expect some of the most natural sounds coming out of this pair, hence easily putting them in the list of the best studio headphones.
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x – Best Studio Headphones under $100
- They offer a very clear sound
- Very comfortable due to the soft ear pads and headband
- Highly durable
- Ideal for monitoring due to the swiveling ear cups
- Affordable compared to other monitoring headphones
- Ideal for traveling because of its folding and swivel capabilities
- Lack a heavy bass
- You cannot use cables from other brands
- Earcups can only swivel at 90 degrees
This headphone has had so many positive reviews because of the greatness in its features. They are among the most affordable and quality sound monitoring headphones you will get on the market. It can last for a long time, and on top of that, it is highly portable to use when traveling.
ATH-M40x is an improved version of the Audio Technica’s other monitoring headphones. It is an ideal headphone for professional monitoring. They are tuned flat, and this helps them to monitor on a wide frequency range accurately. They are one of the most affordable headphones that one can use in a studio because they give the user a perfect experience due to their ability to isolate noise.
It is convenient due to swiveling ear cups and are compact making it ideal for traveling. The headphones are made with robust materials. The producers also follow the same techniques used to make studio headphones, and this makes its build quite outstanding.
These great headphones are ideal to use for studio tracking, professional sound mixing, and DJ monitoring. You can use it in any imaginable setting that you prefer. This is one of the best headphones Audio Technica headphones. There is just nothing as great as having a cheap studio monitor headphone which gives you the same features with other expensive headphones in the market.
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones
- Accurate and clear
- Full frequency range
- Clean performance
- Reduced ambient
- Strong and durable
- Very comfortable
- Maybe too professional for some users
- Lack of detachable cable
- A little bulky and not ideal for traveling
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones offers a high sound quality and comfort even when you use it for a long period in studio recording sessions. They are an ideal solution for people who love music as well as gamers. It has a precise and a clear audio but what it will not give you is a blasting sound. It is equipped with top-notch drivers, and thus you will not have any problem with the drivers.
These headphones were designed in 2003, and they were designed for use by professionals. This accurate and powerful HD 280 pro is a good choice for mixing and recording applications. It is also quite comfortable for gamers, and they can use it all day. Its high quality cannot be compared to its affordable price. The best thing that the headphone is known for is its ultimate comfort, irrespective of how long you will have them in a day. One thing that makes people not to keep their headphones on the day is discomfort, but this headphone is doing wonders to overcome this problem.
The other thing is its high-quality sound. This is as a result of the high-quality drivers installed in the headphone. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones will give you the loudest sound that you desire. Irrespective of your choice of volume, the headphone will produce accurate and clear sound. The designers of the headphones designed an impedance of 64 Ohms and low-end frequencies to give the user a high-quality sound. This, however, did not disappoint them because it resulted to clear and high-quality sound with a much smaller velocity.
They have a tough build, and they will last for a long time and especially when well taken care of. They may be a little bulky compared with the others, but they will serve you for a long time. They are made of tough plastic, and you will feel their solidity even when holding them. You can contort and fold them in many ways, and this makes them more durable.
The headphones are an excellent choice for anyone who wants to use them in a studio. They are not the best of headphones to use when traveling because of their bulky nature. The long and coiled cord makes it inconveniencing to walk around with the headphones. They will, however, give you complete value for your money.
Sennheiser HD 201 – Best Cheap Studio Headphones
- Durable due to their minimalist design
- Build quality solid
- Excellent features for a low cost
- Nice clarity
- Deep bass
- Loud sound
- Need to adjust regularly
- Trouble registering some bass frequencies
- At times the sound can get muddy
- Does not come with a case
The HD 201 is an excellent headphone developed by the Slant community. It is an ideal option for people looking for a budget pair of headphones for casual listening and with a closed design. It gives the listener a passive sound isolation. Some people, however, claim that there is a little sound that seeps in as they listen to music.
The headphone has an over the ear, circumaural, full size, headset design. The swivel is limited which allows the ear cups to move forth and back slightly. The black intact ear pads are made with foam padding making them comfortable for the user to use for a long time. The headphone is lightweight, and the black and silver oval shaped design makes it have an excellent appearance. They are made with a good fit but can at times slide from the head. The headphones may seem flimsy but are quite durable.
These great headphones have an impedance level of 24ohm and thus do not use a lot of power, and thus the batteries last for long. You can use the headphones with cell phones, MP3 players, iPods, and other devices. Get a strong bass sound by plugging it with a strong headphone jack and amp. They will provide you with harmonic distortion of below 0.7%, 108 dB sound pressure level and a 21- 18000Hz frequency response range. The headphones are not perfect but they are likable, competent and they give good value for the money.
The headphones are spectacular but just like anything else they have their flaws. They do not leak any noise when used with an MP3 player or with an AV receiver thus others will not hear what you are listening to. The sound may not be like that of other highly priced headphones, but they are good for the price. It is not a high-performance model and it not a good option for professionals. Casual listeners will, however, enjoy the performance of the model.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
- Come with a carrying case
- Great soundstage
- Startling clarity with consistent sound production
- Great bass
- Strong and durable
- Good sound isolation
- Comfortable to use for a long time
- Long and Durable wire
- Lacks sub bass
- Non- existent mid-range
Beyerdynamic has been making high-quality headphones for a long time. They have a good reputation, and it is among the most trusted audio companies. Beyerdynamic DT 770 is among its most notable headphones. They are perfect for anyone looking for something versatile. They are well built, durable and have a fantastic sounding.
The headphones are made with a circumaural design and thus cover the whole ear. The headband is soft padded, and ear pads are covered with velour enhancing its comfort. They have been designed in a manner that professionals can use them for long without suffering from listener fatigue. It has a 3-meter non-detachable cord which may be a little too long for some people. The cord is however long enough to use in offices and at home.
Beyerdynamic headphones are designed to be used for years. The speakers, hinges, steel headband can hold extreme abuse levels. They are also removable and can thus be changed when they get worn out. The study built however makes them bulky and thus not good to carry around.
The sound quality of the headphones is topnotch. The bass is heavy, firm, and rich and it will not disappoint you. It is precise and punchy, and it is more relaxed and accurate compared to other average consumer headphones. The bass response is focused on both midbass and sub-bass frequencies.
Some people claim that they have sibilance when using upper ranges, but this does not stop them from being an impressive pair of headphones. They do not have any sound leakage and thus a perfect choice to use in the office. You can improve the sound quality even more by using a portable amplifier. Apart from the bulkiness and the long cable, they are an awesome choice for professionals and also for casual listeners who need office and home headphones.
- Loud enough and you do not need an amplifier
- Very comfortable
- Metal plug that contributes to its built and reliability
- Fold quite nicely
- Used for both casual and critical listening
- Perfect for gaming
- Solid and nearly indestructible
- Ear cushions may need replacement after some time
The headphone is made with a closed back design and is highly regarded for studio environment use. In overall, the headphone is flat and balanced and it is quite impressive. Its mixing has a neutral presentation and signature. It features a heavy bass and pristine clarity. The V6 headphone gives their listeners a controlled clear and tight bass which many music fans enjoy.
The MDR V6 weighs 0.5lbs, and it is, therefore, one of the most lightweight headphones. It is mostly plastic, but it gives you a modern look. Though the ear pads have a thin padding, they can be replaced at a small cost. They are surprisingly comfortable, and you can use them for a lengthy time. It may not be good for mobile users since it does not have a microphone. Its lightweight makes it ideal for traveling, and the earpieces fold perfectly under the headband giving it a compact feel. The sturdy design tolerates moderate and heavy usage.
The sound quality of the headphones is surprisingly exceptional. You can use it for mastering, mixing and studio recording. It gives a superb bass level without overemphasizing. The lows and the highs are magnificent, but the mids are a bit poor.
Despite the fact that this headphone has been existence for a long time, it has managed to give users value for their money. Its isolation is superb considering its age. Different features have been changing since it was first released in 1980. Sony has tried to make major improvements on the sound and the portability of the headphone. If you are looking for a studio headphone and you are on a tight budget, then Sony MDR V6 is an ideal option.
Getting the best studio headphone is as important as any other investment you do. Professionals will use their headphones daily, and they will need something that will last for long. Different headphones on the market today claim to be studio headphones, but this does not mean that they are ideal for studios. It is crucial to know the exact specification of a headphone that will fit your needs. The models we have discussed above are some of the best you should consider for use in the studio.
There are different things to consider when picking a studio headphone. The first thing is your budget some models have a lower price than others but poses almost the same features with the more expensive ones. The other thing is to consider the specific activity you will use it for. Do you need it for mixing, recording or both? Where are you planning to use the headphone? This will direct you whether to buy a semi-open, closed or open headphone. A closed back headphone is good for sound isolation and thus gives you privacy. Take time and research before you decide on the one to buy.