Studio headphones are the headphones for mixing, recording, and producing quality music. Many people recognize these headphones as either having an open or closed back. However, some people don’t know how to choose studio headphones.
Don’t worry. This article will give you a list of the best studio headphones for mixing, recording, and music production. Here, you will find tips to choose the best studio headphones.
- Part 1: Best Mixing Headphones 2022
- Part 2: Best Studio Headphones for Recording
- Part 3: What Is Studio Headphone
- Part 4: What You Should Know about Studio Headphones
- Part 5: More Choices of Studio Headphones for Musician
Here are the 12 best studio headphones for mixing and recording for a quick look.
- Beyerdynamic DT Studio Headphone
- Audio-Technica Audiophile Studio Headphone
- AKG Pro Professional Studio Headphone
- Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 650 Open-Back Headphone
- Philips Fidelio X3 Wired Over-Ear Studio Headphone
- AKG Pro Audio K702 Studio Headphone
- Tascam TH-02 Closed-Back Studio Headphone
- OneOdio Wired Over-Ear Studio Headphone
- Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO X Closed-Back Studio Headphone
- Focal Listen Professional Closed-Back Headphone
- Status Audio CB-1 Closed-Back Studio Headphone
- Massdrop x Beyerdynamic DT 177X Studio Headphones
Part 1: Best Mixing Headphones
1. Beyerdynamic DT Studio Monitor Headphone – Under 200
Image credit: Beyerdynamic
The Beyerdynamic studio headphone is one of the best studio headphones for mixing from Germany. So, it is well-known for its durability and robustness.
- It has a 250-ohm impedance that most studios prefer for mixing sounds.
- The headphone’s open design permits airy, spacious, deep, and ambient sound.
- The headset has a secure fit thanks to the steel s sturdiness.
- This headphone can sustain a sound pressure level of up to 96 dB.
- The ear cups are soft, adjustable, and comfortable to wear.
- It may not be the best choice for traveling purposes.
2. Audio-Technica Audiophile Open-Back Headphone – Amazon’s Choice
Image credit: Audio-Technica
This one of the best studio headphones is your answer to all-wired open-back headphones. It is compatible with desktops, laptops, and iPhones.
- The Audio-Technica headphone is complete with the bobbin-wound CCAW voice coils for handling the power resources.
- It has a lightweight aluminum honeycomb casing with some considerable acoustic properties.
- The sensitivity level is 100 dB, which is considered a high level.
- The bass and overall sounds are excellent for mixing game sounds.
- A 45-ohm impedance is considerably low compared to similar products.
3. AKG Pro Professional Studio Headphone – Under 100
Image credit: AKG
Accuracy is the middle name of AKG Pro professional studio headphones. No wonder music producers and engineers use it a lot.
- The advanced 30 mm XXL transducers and the patented Varimotion diaphragms can produce high-quality sound levels with a wide dynamic range.
- This headphone s semi-open design provides a robust bass range and vivid high tones.
- The maximum input power is high at 200 mW.
- We can detach the cable and/or replace the earpads.
- The microphone is sensitive to catching outside noises while mixing sounds.
Image credit: Sennheiser
Sennheiser has been the leading brand for studio headphones, and this headphone product is no exception. As one of the best studio headphones, Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 650 Open-Back headphone has many features to consider.
- This Sennheiser headphone has a unique magnet system that minimizes harmonic and inter-modulation distortions.
- It has acoustic silk that can encourage precision dumping and reduce the THD level.
- It can reduce the THD to only 0.05 percent.
- We cannot question this studio headphone s durability to various climate changes.
- The 118-inches long cable can trap us if we are not careful.
5. Philips Fidelio X3 Wired Over-Ear Open-Back Headphone – Comfortable
Image credit: Philips
The Hi-Res Audio certification in Philips Fidelio X3 Wired Over-Ear Open-Back Headphone makes it become one of the best studio headphones. It also comes with other features in its designs, finishings, and other aspects.
- It has a 50 mm multi-layer polymer with dampening gel diaphragms to deliver smooth middle-ranged voices.
- The Kvadrat speaker fabric supports the open-back design to produce immersive and spacious sound.
- The 3 m oxygen-free cables are both detachable and unique.
- This open-back headphone has optimal accuracy ratings due to the tilting neodymium drivers.
- The bass sounds are not so robust.
6. AKG Pro Audio K702 Open-Back Headphone – Professional
Image credit: AKG
AKG Pro Audio K702 Open-Back Headphone may not only be the best studio headphones. It is also one of the most stylishly-looking best studio headphones for mixing with plenty of supportive features.
- The combination of over-ear designs and the sophisticated open technology permits non-compromising spacious and airy sound outputs.
- This headphone s flat-wire voice coil is not unique, but also has better treble responses and higher sensitivity rates.
- It includes the Varimotion two-layer diaphragm to improve high-frequency ranges.
- The 105 dB SPL/V sensitivity rate is high in the industry.
- It comes with four diverse design choices.
- No detachable cable or earpads in K612 Pro and K701 models.
Part 2: Best Studio Headphones for Recording
7. Tascam TH-02 Closed-Back Studio Headphone – Budget Choice
Image credit: Tascam
This one of the best studio headphones for recording may have closed-back designs like any other best studio headphones. Yet, Tascam TH-02 Closed-Back Studio Headphone has many first-class features that you should consider.
- Tascam studio headphones have designs that are easy to fold.
- This headphone has great width rooms to produce vivid sounds and rich bass responses.
- The sensitivity and frequency responses are magnificent.
- This studio headphone is the recording tool you can carry while traveling.
- The earmuffs may not be large enough.
8. OneOdio Wired Over-Ear Headphone Studio Monitor – 3.5mm/6.35mm Plug
Image credit: OneOdio
Many things you can do while recording with OneOdio Wired Over-Ear Headphone Studio Monitor. It is because this one of the best studio headphones for recording has many lovable features.
- The DJ-styled coiled cord can reach far distances that we no longer need any adapters.
- The combination between the 50 mm speaker unit drivers and the neodymium magnets produces one-of-a-kind bass sounds.
- The dynamic bass sounds have almost no rivals.
- The microphone permits crystal-clear sounds during calling sessions.
- The price is slightly higher than other similar studio headphones.
9. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO X Closed-Back Studio Headphone – Powerful
Image credit: Beyerdynamic
Beyerdynamic does not only produce the best studio headphones for mixing purposes. This DT 770 PRO X version is an ideal choice for recording purposes due to its features.
- This closed-back headphone has sturdy, durable, and sustainable design structures.
- It also features 100% closed earcup housings to eliminate ongoing noises.
- We can detach the mini-XLR cable or exchange it with other cable types.
- The vibrant powerhouse sounds it has made it suitable for any recording purposes.
- The tuning is decent for recording games or movies.
- The cushions may not 100% cover the user’s ears.
Image credit: Focal
Precision, neutrality, and exclusive are three characteristics that shape Focal Listen to Professional Closed-Back Headphones. Indeed, this one of the best studio headphones for recording has plenty of boosting features.
- It has one-of-a-kind cone technology properties that offer outstanding sound transparency and dynamics.
- It permits us to have complete control of the audio spectrum.
- We can be comfortable using the headphones for a couple of hours non-stop.
- The recording output is astonishing.
- There are only thin layers to cover the headband part.
Image credit: Status
The CB-1 version becomes the studio standard for many reasons. It does not only have a minimalistic and unbranded aesthetic but also comes with several other features.
- This closed-back headphone comes with a pair of overstuffed earpads to listen for recordings for a long time.
- The CB-1 closed-back studio headphone is complete with two nine-foot audio cables and the adaptor plug for professional audio equipment.
- The expansive sounds remind us of famous artists’ and musician’s voices.
- We can adjust the headband and seal with the clicking ridges.
- We doubt these studio headphones can resist any form of water.
Image credit: Massdrop Beyerdynamic
Beyerdynamic collaborates with Massdrop to create DT 177X, a studio headphone with a closed-back setting that is unique and genius. The DT 177X comes with sheepskin and velour earpads and other top-notch features for recording.
- The DT 177X model comes with the most updated version of 45 mm Tesla drivers to deliver wide frequency ranges and controlled bass voices.
- The premium Dekoni sheepskin earpads become some of the smoothest-feeling in the industries.
- The combination of sheepskin and velour earpads makes the comfort unrivaled.
- The mini-XLR connections are compatible with a wide range of cables.
- The prices are insanely high.
Part 3: What Is Studio Headphone?
True to its name, a studio headphone is a headphone for music studio purposes. Such things mean studio headphones are ideal for creating, recording, mixing, and mastering music.
Electronic music producers who wish to produce tracks or demo songs are examples of the studio headphones consumer profiles. As a result, critical listening becomes a must-have aspect for any studio headphone product. Only then we can regard them as the best studio headphones for music production purposes.
Honest, nice-sounding and balanced are three characteristics to describe the best studio headphones. In other words, the frequency should not be under or overrepresented. The best studio headphones for mixing, recording, or doing any music production processes should also produce decent bass and treble qualities.
So, flat frequency responses are the ideal studio headphone characteristics. We will delve into the frequency responses (and other considerable aspects, such as sensitivity and comfort) over the next parts of this article.
Part 4: What You Should Know about Studio Headphones?
1. Do You Need Recording or Mixing?
Ideally, you would need at least two best studio headphones for music production. Each of the headphones will be the primary tool, and the rest will be the back-ups when the primary does not work.
However, owning more studio headphones means not only expensive. It also means your studio (or room; whatever you decide to call them) will be less practical. So, that’s why narrowing down your intended headphone uses is a crucial step in choosing the best studio headphones.
For instance, closed-back studio headphones are all you need to consistently produce upbeat music like electronic dance music (EDM). Alternatively, closed-back headphones are the wise choices for recording or mixing music while traveling.
On the other side, open-back studio headphones may be for you if you record or mix music inside a calm and serene studio. We will discuss more choosing open-back or closed-back headphones over the next point in this article.
2. Open-back VS Closed-back Headphones
In general, open-back or closed-back headphones refer to how closed are the studio headphone driver s backside.
As a result, closed-back headphones are studio headphones with full-covered backs. At the same time, open-back headphones are headphones with (some) revealed parts on their backs.
Such things become our consideration when it comes to both headphone’s appearances. However, choosing open-back or closed-back headphones is more than the outer appearances.
Closed-back headphones are fantastic if you need the best studio headphones for music production in quiet settings. Nonetheless, many studio-standard headphones fall into the open-back categories due to their accurately-represented three-dimensional sounds.
Another aspect that is crucial to consider when choosing which of the studio headphones back styles is the purpose.
Earlier in this article, we mention closed-back headphones are wise choices because of their ability to protect the wearers from outside noises. Many music professionals refer to such abilities as noise-cancellation. Therefore, most of the best studio headphones for recording are closed-back studio headphones.
At the same time, many of the best studio headphones for mixing and monitoring tend to be open-back studio headphones.
Such things happen because these studio headphone types record all surrounding sounds without any exceptions. That way, recorders, musicians, and producers can produce musical pieces with richer and more diverse sound types.
3. How to Choose Studio Headphones?
Sensitivity, drivers, frequency responses, and comfort are four crucial factors we should consider in choosing the best studio headphones. So, we will delve deeper into each factor in this third point.
We will start with the most abstract (yet, also the most considerable) factor, which is comfort. Over-ear and on-ear are three studio headphone earcup settings to consider when thinking about how comfortable we will wear and use them.
Generally, over-ear headphones have better noise cancellation abilities than on-ear headphones. In particular, over-ear studio headphones with closed-back settings tend to cut off surrounding noises from around 8 dB and up to 25 dB.
So, the former becomes the more comfortable choice. However, there are times when we prefer on-ear headphones. When such things occur, additional tools like amps or some limiter plugins become the must-haves.
We’re talking about a unit consisting of magnets, voice coils, and diaphragms when we talk about drivers. These units are the studio headphones elements that convert electrical signals into sounds.
We will frequently see something similar to 45 mm or 50 mm when we observe e-commerces selling studio headphones. Such measurements are the indicators of how loud the potential maximum voice outputs from the drivers.
We divide the drivers themselves into five types. The dynamic drivers with their large-sized diaphragms to produce robust bass sounds are the most common ones. The rest are the balanced armature drivers, the planar magnetic drivers, the electrostatic drivers, and the hybrid drivers.
The balanced armature drivers are smaller than the dynamic drivers, but, they have more driver units. The planar magnetic drivers (or the morphodynamic drivers) are the drivers with large membrane sizes and the coils that form a serpentine pattern when going through the diaphragms.
Next, we will look at the electrostatic drivers. These driver types are the high-end drivers with thin diaphragms that we can charge through electricity. These drivers also often need extra amplifiers. On the other side, hybrid drivers refer to the combination of dynamic and armature drivers.
Sensitivity is yet another abstract studio headphone characteristic that you should consider. In the studio headphone world, sensitivity refers to how efficiently the earpieces convert the electrical signals into sounds.
The higher the sensitivity rate, the more the studio headphones concentrate to edit the tiniest possible details. An amplifier is an additional tool that contributes to the studio headphones’ sensitivity rates.
Each country has different sensitivity limitations when it comes to choosing the best studio headphones for music production. For instance, the United States occupational safety and health administration advise not to exceed the 85 dB limits.
Such limits are slightly lower than the European Union s requirement of 100 dB. Music companies in other countries may have up to 120 dB as the limitations.
Essentially, frequency responses refer to the studio headphones’ capability of reproducing the entire tones within a given range.
On a typical basis, the ranges are between 20 Hz-20 kHz. Some studio headphones even have inhuman ranges of around 5 Hz-30 kHz. The latter is the headphones you should avoid at any cost.
Seeking the best studio headphones for mixing and recording means aiming for the frequency responses that fall into the typical ranges. The closer they fall into around the minimum and maximum frequencies, the more accurate the sound outputs will be.
The frequency response curve is another aspect to consider. There are no headphones with 100% flat responses. Hence, the curve refers to the output speaks or dips that let the headphone reproduce bass, mids, and trebles.
Part 5: More Choices of Studio Headphones for Musician
This open-ear studio headphone becomes one of the best studio headphones for music production because of the acoustically-invisible Stealth Magnet. Unlike conventional magnets, the one-of-a-kind HIFIMAN s Stealth Magnet dramatically reduces wave diffraction turbulence.
The planar drivers are not only covering the entire diaphragms. These drivers work with the Stealth Magnet in reducing distortions. These entire interactions result in an unspoiled, accurate, and full-ranged sonic output. Such things happen because HIFIMAN s unique technology preserves the integrity of the sound wave.
This one of Audio-Technica studio monitor headphones does not only come in wired or wireless options. Instead, it has a 45 mm aperture driver with a decent combination of rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils.
So, no wonder top audio engineers and professional audio reviewers consistently praise Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Studio Monitor Headphone. After all, this closed-back headphone does not only isolate noises in a boisterous environment. It is not only providing exceptional voice clarity through the extended frequency ranges.
The 90-degree swiveling earcups are another impeccable feature of this studio headphone. Such features permit customizable listening, mixing, and recording experiences. So, it is up to you to listen with both ears or with only one ear.
First of all, this Sony-made closed-back headphone provides the magnificent ability to cancel the surrounding noises. Hence, it provides the comfort we require for mixing, recording, or doing any music production activities.
The rugged diaphragm construction boosts the studio headphones’ security and effectiveness. The connectors are from gold materials, so we cannot question the signal connection and transmission abilities.
The MDR7506 s driver may only be 40 mm. Yet, it is complete with neodymium magnets to produce robust sound outputs with amazing details and precisions. Furthermore, this product comes with a soft case to protect the abilities and features while traveling.
The earpads, headband paddings, and audio cords are this studio headphone s part that you can detach at any time. It gives Sennheiser Pro Audio HD280PRO Headphone longer life expectancies to produce outstanding frequency responses and warm and natural sound outputs.
The ability to produce warm and the natural sound gets support from dynamic, closed-back constructions. The back parts can sustain up to 32 dB. Hence, the back part s 32 dB capacities complement well with the sound pressure level (SPL) of 113 dB.
Furthermore, such features result in this Sennheiser-made headphone having accurate and linear sound reproduction. Additionally, the folding and rotating earcups mean we can listen with one ear while using these headphones.
This OneOdio over-ear headphone also becomes one of the best studio headphones for many reasons. The one-of-a-kind bass sound is the primary reason why A71 becomes the most recommended studio headphone for musicians.
The neodymium magnets are suitable complementary to the 40 mm driver units to produce vivid bass sounds and crisp high tones. The soft ear pads will sustain the voices for a long time, which provides you with maximum levels of comfort.
OneOdio A71 Wired Over-Ear Headphone is also a rare studio headphone with two plugs on each end of the audio cables. The plugs’ presence makes it unnecessary to use adapters.