Whether you’re a casual musician, an emerging artist, or a seasoned producer, a pair of superb-quality headphones is a must-have for your studio set-up. Having the latest and best headphones in the market can significantly upgrade both your tracks and acoustic environment.
Top-notch sound quality is only one aspect of finding the right set of headphones. Frequency response, sound isolation, and impedance are key considerations in music production as well. You also need to consider ergonomic design and durability if you plan on mixing for long hours.
To help you decide, we’ve put together five of the best studio headphones for mixing, tracking, and everything in between. Our top picks include models across a wide range of prices, features, designs, and manufacturers. Keep reading to find the perfect pair for you!
The Sony MDR-7506 are one of the most popular choices when it comes to professional budget studio headphones. You’ll find these closed back headphones in many broadcast and recording studios due to their exceptional sound quality, flawless sound isolation, and resistance to daily wear.
These headphones are the perfect companion for sound production and analytical listening. At the same time, the model comes at a budget-friendly price that’s relatively cheaper than competing brands. What more can you ask for in a pair of studio headphones?
Upon close inspection, you’ll notice the MDR-7506’s thick and widely spaced earcup design, which prevents sound leakage, provides a consistent acoustic environment, and protects you from ear fatigue. On top of that, the headband is fully adjustable, foldable, and fits most head sizes.
Take advantage of the MDR-7506’s swiveling mounts for single-eared monitoring, and enjoy the seamless sound transmission brought to you by its well-tuned, large 40mm drivers, gold connectors, neodymium magnets, and oxygen-free copper.
Their 10Hz–20kHz frequency response effortlessly covers the entire frequency range of human hearing. The headphones come with a soft protective case and a gold-plated stereo UniMatch plug that’s compatible with ¼ inch and ⅛ inch headphone jacks.
Here are a few more benefits of choosing the Sony MDR-7506:
9.8-foot coiled cord for hassle-free listening
Stunningly clear highs, excellent mid range, and extended low-end sound
Large-diaphragm structure and rugged design
Wide applications, such as studio recording, film production, radio, and newscasting
Another top-tier candidate for best studio headphones is the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. At an affordable price, this high-performing model offers the right blend of style, comfort, and superior sound quality.
Expect nothing but precise audio, a full bass response, and dynamic vocals and instruments from these studio-grade headphones. Their marvelous sonic performance is critically acclaimed by many sound engineers and expert audio reviewers.
The ATH-M50x features proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers, copper-clad aluminum wire coils, and rare earth magnets. They produce breathtaking clarity over a wide frequency range and are ideal for pro audio use in the recording studio, on stage, at home, or on the go!
In terms of design, the ATH-M50x doesn’t disappoint with its circumaural structure that contours around your ears for optimal sound isolation from external noise. Don’t forget its durable and luxurious set of plush earpads and a headband. Plus, its 90° swiveling earcups are collapsible.
These stylish and modern headphones are available in black, white, and deep-sea colors. For every purchase, you’ll get a protective carrying pouch, three interchangeable cables, and a 6.3mm screw-on adapter. Most parts are replaceable via authorized Audio-Technica dealers.
Here are a few exciting details about the ATH-M50x that you won’t wanna miss:
The closed-back structure offers superb isolation with minimal bleeding
The collapsible design saves space and is travel-friendly
Comes with two straight cables and one coiled cable
Frequency response of 15Hz–28kHz
Note: These are also available as Bluetooth headphones.
Related Article: The Top 5 Best Studio Monitors On A Budget
If you’re looking for headphones that’ll elevate your mixes and transform your acoustic environment, the Steven Slate Audio VSX modeling headphones are surely worth considering! This state-of-the-art system offers incredibly detailed sound, impressive durability, and comfort.
While most studio headphones offer just one sound, the Slate Digital VSX offer a plethora of options. What’s unique about them is their ability to accurately model sound across a variety of virtual reference spaces. Whether it’s a world-class studio, popular studio monitors, a nightclub sound system, or a car stereo, the VSX produces an authentic-sounding digital recreation.
Did you know that it also models around $6,000 worth of standard headphones, including Planar models and Apple AirPods? This helps you find and fix mix mistakes easily!
As an all-in-one headphone system, VSX gives you the best value for money. With its binaural psychoacoustics, you’ll hear your tracks in a completely different way. These truly are a sound engineers dream!
Other features worth mentioning are the VSX’s lightweight beryllium hybrid drivers, which offer a linear and detailed response. Plus, these headphones have patented Acoustically Ported Subsonics (APS) that utilize air pressure to recreate low frequencies with stunning clarity.
Now, let’s talk about comfort and convenience. The VSX can withstand sweat, temperature drops, humidity, and the rigors of extended high-volume listening. What’s more, the set has an anti-tangle ⅛ inch cable, a ¼ inch cable adapter, and a handy carrying case.
The VSX comes in two enticing packages, both of which include the VSX headphone hardware.
Check out some of the spaces and studios in the Essentials Edition:
Steven Private Mix Room
Luxury SUV Car
Pod Headphones Model
The Platinum Edition offers significantly more studios and models, including:
Howie Weinberg Studios
LCD Headphones Model
Tip: For the most accurate frequency response, use the HD Linear 2 setting within the plugin.
The DT 900 Pro X belongs to Beyerdynamic’s newly released and highly anticipated Pro X range. This series features headphones that deliver excellent sound not just with an amplifier or interface in your studio but also when plugged into your laptop or phone while on the go.
With their design, these open back headphones are perfect for music mixing, track mastering, and critical listening. They boast an open and transparent soundstage for effortlessly placing and balancing instruments in the stereo field! With these headphones, you’ll never miss a beat.
One of the DT 900 Pro X’s key features is its Stellar .45 sound transducer which delivers out-of-this-world musical performance. The headphones have an impedance of 48 ohms and reproduce powerful, distortion-free, and balanced sound on all playback devices. Nice!
These high-performing studio headphones have a removable mini-XLR cable that you can swap out according to your needs. For maximum comfort, this model features a secure spring steel core, ultra-soft velour ear pads, ergonomic memory foam, and an adjustable headband.
An interesting fact about this model is that it’s sustainably handmade in Germany and built to last many years. Plus, almost all of the headphones’ components are resilient and replaceable. When it comes to looks, the DT 900 Pro X comes in a sleek, black, and minimalist aesthetic.
Take a look at the DT 900 Pro X’s other impressive features:
Natural and vast frequency response
Reliable sound, even at high-pressure levels
Three-layer speaker diaphragm with an integrated damping layer
Neodymium ring magnet and copper-clad high-tech wire
For over 75 years, Sennheiser has been reshaping the audio industry through its impressive lineup of headphones, microphones, and other audio solutions. The company’s ultimate vision is to achieve the perfect sound, and the Sennheiser HD 650 comes close to doing so.
These exceptional open back headphones aim to provide total audio immersion by meticulously reproducing subtle details in your music as excellently as the highlights. They guarantee balanced acoustics, non-fatiguing sound, and high-definition sound quality for optimal music production.
With these studio headphones, you can expect top-notch overall treble, low-frequency presence, and precise midrange reproduction. What’s more, this model is versatile enough to produce mastering-grade sound across a wide range of acoustic materials. Simply put, these headphones sound amazing!
Sennheiser HD 650 features open ear cups that give soundwaves plenty of space to expand. It boasts a 42mm transducer, a 38mm diaphragm, and an aluminum voice coil that allows you to analyze your tracks critically and recognize their true potential in your studio.
Another one of the Sennheiser HD 650’s major advantages is its dedication to listener comfort. Its compact elliptical design accommodates most ear sizes and contours the head for a snug fit. Plus, its lightweight padding makes it comfy to use during long hours in the studio.
Other notable features of the Sennheiser HD 650 include:
Detachable and impedance-matched cable with an ultra-low capacitance
6.3mm stereo connector with an audiophile-standard plug
Specially designed acoustic mesh for precision
Luxurious titanium silver finish
Directly connectible to stationary hi-fi components, such as DVD-A, Blu-ray, and SACD
Related Article: Open-Back Vs Closed-Back Headphones | Which Is Best For You?
The best studio headphones deliver detailed and dynamic sound straight to your ears. They’re capable of transforming your listening environment, almost as if you’ve been transported to a world-class studio without even leaving your home.
In this guide, we’ve reviewed some of the top-selling, best-performing, and highly rated headphones fit for listening, tracking, mixing, and other aspects of sound production. While there are many other headphones out on the market, these 5 are my favorite.
Sony, Audio-Technica, and Sennheiser are some of the most proven and tested brands in the industry. Steven Slate Audio is new to the headphone world but making big waves. Beyerdynamic have a vast lineup of studio-quality headphones, providing you with other related models to choose from.
Ultimately, the right pair of headphones depends on your personal taste, needs, set-up, and budget—so feel free to select the best fit!
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