The industry of headphones has many lucrative properties that attract a customer to get a pair of those cool-looking headphones.
When a customer starts his/her research, they usually have a set of requirements that they look for, and when some brand fulfills those requirements, the customer goes for the headphones provided by that brand.
Now those requirements may be vivid, ranging from looks to performance and from price to build quality. Today we will look into the requirements of a customer looking to get a pair of headphones suitable for studio recordings.
We will enlist them based on certain parameters as to how they stand on their marks and probably help the readers make the most informed choice.
When a customer wants to buy the best studio headphones, he/she has a few requirements in their mind like sound quality, soundstage, sound clarity, pitch etc. Qualities like noise cancellation and sound leakage do not play as important roles as they do in cases of normal use.
This makes proper research in the domain of studio headphones necessary. Here, we attempt to do all that in a single article and also suggest the best studio headphones that stand out based on our research and are a must buy for a studio.
1. Audio Technica ATH M20x
Audio-Technica headphones have a knack of delivering amazing sounds at a budget price, but it is important here to mention, that, sometimes it is best when these headphones are tuned for a particular setting and left there for the same purpose only.
Given that, when you need one of the best studio headphones for musicians to monitor themselves during recording, the ATH-M20x’s offer unbelievable value for a budget-friendly price.
The 40mm drivers are small for mixing headphones which means that the bass response is not as powerful as one might want or hope for, but they do cover the full hearing spectrum running from 15Hz to 20Khz.
Audio Technica has attempted to tune the M20x for an extended bass response in order to make up for the smaller drivers. The 15-degree-rotating ear cups are lined with a nice, soft material which makes it comfortable for long hearing sessions.
They are also very light, which will ensure that the headphones themselves would not get in the way of mixing. The M20x has a fixed wire that is 10 feet long. These qualities make it worthy of being in the list of the best studio headphones.
2. Samson SR850
The Samson SR850s are one of the best studio headphones when it comes to value for the price and the specs offered for the given price.
To be one of the best studio headphones, it is imperative to have a very solid frequency range, and the Samson SR850 has a very wide range of 10Hz-30kHz.
This means that the headphones cover the entire range of human sound perceptibility. The earpieces are fitted with standard 50mm drivers that deliver a wide dynamic range, with 32 ohms of impedance. Because of this, not a lot is needed to drive these headphones.
Since these headphones are semi-open-backed, it is suggested that these be used in only the quiet surroundings of a studio and not many places else, because noise cancellation is not that good in these headphones.
Noise cancellation is not a quality that many studio recorders look for though because they are already sure that the headphones will be used inside in a quiet environment. It has a fixed cable that is quite long and a very attractive design.
All these qualities make it one of the best studio headphones that are currently around for studio mixers and recorders.
3. Shure SRH440
Anyone who knows even a little bit about music and headphones knows about Shure. It is a premier company with tonnes of successful products.
So it is no surprise that one of its products- the Shure SRH440 makes an appearance in this list as well. Shure went with the quality over looks approach with this model when they released an apparently bland looking set of headphones.
But upon frequent inspections and tests, it was found as to exactly why Shure means quality. The SRH440s have 40mm drivers which initially looks a little less, but because of the framework design, it ended up being more than enough when the power deliverance was exactly as was required.
The headphones have a detachable cable, which is by far the heaviest component of these headphones. It has a frequency range of 10Hz-22kHz which means it covers the human range of sound perception.
It has an impedance of 44 ohms, so its usage with small handheld devices becomes somewhat doubtful. But overall, Shure delivers another powerful device which is why the SRH440 is one of the best studio headphones.
4. Audio Technica ATH M40x
Audio Technica’s M40x is one of the best studio headphones because of its flexibility around the customer’s need.
For example, it has an abundance of padding, to make it comfortable for long sessions, it has a detachable cable, and also fully rotating ear cups- so that the headphones can be used in any circumstances as the customer wants.
The sound frequency range is not as wide as it is for some other models in our list, but it is in no way lacking. On the other hand, the Sound Pressure Level or SPL that is offered by these headphones is around 98dB, which is very impressive.
There are 2 cables available, both 10 feet long. The difference is that one of them is coiled and is around 4 feet long with the coiling. The M40x in no way drops the ball when it comes to studio recordings and hence is one of the best studio headphones.
5. AKG K553 Pro
AKG K553 Pro is one of the boldest and good looking headphones out there. It has a humongous earpiece which is supported by an equally large chassis.
But take nothing away from the quality of sound. It is still one of the best studio headphones out there. The set has 50mm drivers that pack some serious power with a frequency range of 12Hz to 28kHz.
The device impedance is 32 ohms, so it can be used both in the studio as well as with handheld gadgets, increasing its multi-utility quotient. It has good noise cancellation, so there is not much of an issue when we are talking about volume.
There is crystal clear clarity which is most noticeable in mid-range. Overall, the K553 Pro has a lot of potential and is one of the best studio headphones.
6. Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro
Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro is one of the best studio headphones. It has a very basic headband and has gone for a very simplistic set of headphones.
In the name of comfort, DT880 Pro has padding all over-front, back, and sides. It has gone for semi-open-backed ear-pieces which affect its sound clarity and optimization in a very positive way.
There are three versions of the same model- the low impedance one, 250 ohms and 600 ohms impedance. Frequency response range goes from 5Hz to 35kHz while the nominal SPL is set at 96 dB.
It has a fixed cable which is pretty long. Performance wise, Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro is very flat. There are almost zero spikes until the frequency of 7kHz.
Bass and treble are balanced very well. Overall, DT880 Pro has almost all the boxes checked, which is why it is one of the best studio headphones in the market currently.
7. Etymotic Research ER4SR
In a world where over-ear headphones are ruling on everyone’s ears, Etymotic Research has risen to fame with ER4SR, an IEM that is a culmination of more than 30 years of technological advancements.
They have a very light build with an anodized metal body. There is a range of ear tips for every need- two pairs of standard 3-flange tips, two pairs of large 3-flange tips, and two pairs of large black foam tips.
They are excellent at noise cancellation- one of Etymotic Research’s best features. The frequency response is in the range of 20 Hz to 16 kHz. It has a very strong 1.5m long braided cable and serves an excellent quality of sound quality and clarity.
It has a computer optimized set of drivers that are made up of lightweight aluminum voice coils and neodymium ferrous magnets. HD 600 has an impedance of 300 ohms, which means one will need a good amplifier in order to work the way it is destined to work.The ear tips are so comfortable that you can actually use these for long periods at a time. All these qualities make the ER4SR one of the best studio headphones and the only IEMs in this list.
8. Sony MDR 7520
Sony has a reputation of bringing out balanced headphones that always hold good value for money.
The MDR 7520 is no different. It has a lot of padding, perfect for long usage with a set of 50mm drivers that pack liquid crystal polymer film diaphragms backed by neodymium magnets and copper voice coils.
All of this amounts to an incredible frequency range that goes from 5Hz to 80kHz at an impedance of about 24 Ohms and around 108dB of SPL.
Looking at all these specs, it is safe to say that the MDR 7520 is one of the best, if not the best studio headphone in the world.
9. Sennheiser HD 600
Sennheiser is one of the most respected headphones manufacturers. It has accumulated vast knowledge in the physics behind this gadget and is now reaping its benefits.
Sennheiser HD 600 is a one-of-a-kind gadget which is one of the best models in the world market. It is very comfortable with a padded and textured headband, and Velour padded earpieces.
It has a computer optimized set of drivers that are made up of lightweight aluminum voice coils and neodymium ferrous magnets. HD 600 has an impedance of 300 ohms, which means one will need a good amplifier in order to work the way it is destined to work.
With that being said, HD 600 has an incredible soundstage and a wide range of frequency. It is a market leader and also one of the best studio headphones.
10. Shure SRH1840
Shure has been in this list earlier. The SRH1840 is the best studio headphone out there right now.
It has everything, from good looks to comfortable padding for long periods of use, from a wide range of frequency (10Hz to 30kHz) to precise sounds and utmost clarity.
The SRH1840 has two 40mm neodymium drivers that have been custom voiced. Shure has built this model with an incredible impedance of 65 ohms.
In conclusion, there is not much to say about these headphones, except that, if one is aiming for the perfect studio headphones, this is it.
Headphones today are built for a variety of purposes, with the open-backed ones being built for mixing. Now, mixing is a very important part of making good quality music, and one needs a good quality pair of headphones to make it happen.
Below is a list of the best headphones for mixing.
1. Sennheiser HD800
It has a very precise sound that is one of the most important things that are required when mixing.It has a silver colored body but is made of plastic. All the parts are made up of the best quality materials and Sennheiser has left no stone unturned to make it one of the best headphones2. Sennheiser HD 650
Another product by Sennheiser. It is also one of the best headphones for mixing. When it comes to sound quality and clarity, HD 650 is surprisingly accurate. This is beneficial for mixers who are looking for a good quality headset while also looking for good looking headphones.
3. Shure SRH1840
It is one of the best headphones, not just for mixing, but overall. It has very good reviews from all its customers because it delivers what Shure has promised to its customers- the best quality sound in the best headphones.
4. Samson SR850
While all the headphones on this list cost a fortune, these pair of headphones do the same work while costing less than $50. It has a surprising tonal balance and clarity. There is also a very crystal-like clarity to the sound which is an ideal requirement for mixers.
5. AKG K240
This model is particularly known in the audio systems community for its audio quality and comfort. Mixers can use these pairs of headphones for a long time without getting tired, and the sound quality never drops, making it one of the most ideal headphones for mixing.
6. AKG K701
These are one of the fanciest looking headphones. But it does not mean that its performance is any less. It has a very rich sound and sound texture that is not artificial. The clarity of sound that it possesses makes it one of the best headphones for mixing.
7. Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro
It has an exceptionally wide frequency range which helps in mixing. Along with that, it has a very strong bass presence and is very comfortable.
8. AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-M50
These are close-backed headphones that are not costly but are really good for mixing. One can use these for hours because of their immense comfort and still not feel tired. The sound clarity is unparalleled in the price range and is a must for intermediate musicians.
9. SENNHEISER HD 598
These headphones are one of the best looking headphones on this list. Apart from that they are very comfortable, have an amazing sound quality, and are not too costly. A pretty good proposition when considering some other headphones on this list.
10. SONY MDR7506
It has a very rugged design, which is appealing. The sound is very bright and rich which helps focus on the clarity and aid in proper mixing. The vocals also do not go haywire at high frequency. It has all the ingredients for a necessary pair of headphones for mixing.
Headphones come in a variety of shapes and sizes and colors and types and it is very easy to get lost when deciding to buy the best pair for the customer.
We had a look at the best studio headphones after which we also visited the best headphones for mixing and came up with lists based on carefully designed parameters and ratings.