Best Recording Studio Headphones

Best Recording Studio Headphones

With home recording gaining just as much popularity as professional studio recording, investing in the right recording headphone becomes an important task. These headphones must be able to record with the finest clarity by eliminating any form of distortion, especially if you opt for a home studio. Last but not the least, the kind of recording that you are planning to do is essential in choosing the right recording headphone. For example, if you are recording as part of a group, it is a good idea to invest in closed-back headphones, because they put off sound from other sources and help you to concentrate on your recording alone. However, if you want to do mixing and mastering as well, their open-back counterparts are worth considering. The following list can help you with some headphones that you can give a try.

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diagram Headphone

This diaphragm headphone from Sony features a rugged design with 40mm drivers and neodymium magnets that can record the best quality, detailed powerful sound. It has a wide frequency response range of 10Hz to 20KHz. The recording headphone comes with a 9.8’ non-detachable cord that has a gold-plated plug at the end and a 0.25” adapter. The easily foldable design allows you to take it with you in the soft case provided, when you are on the move and remains compact in your bag. The closed ear design gives you the dual advantage of keeping your ears comfortable with the padding and reducing interference due to external noises.

Who should buy this?

  • This black headphone from Sony is a great choice for home recorders who want both looks and performance in a single unit. The black color gives the recording device a classy look, while reproducing high quality and clear sound at the same time.
  • It is also an excellent choice for monitoring sound in other fields such as film production, radio, professional recording studios and video recording.

Tascam TH-03 Studio Headphone

This professional grade studio headphone gives you an enriched recording experience with its ability to deliver a rich bass response and crisp highs. The closed back earpiece design puts off interference because of external noise, when you are recording your favorite track.

The padding on both the headband and ear cups makes the headphone both easy and comfortable to wear especially when you have to use it for a long time. The gold tipped snap-on 1/8” to 1/4″ adapter comes with a 9.8’ cable and ensures that the headphone is compatible with all devices like soundboards, stereos, phones and computers. The lightweight sleek design allows you to fold the headphone and makes it very compact to keep in a bag. Additionally, the adjustable arms allow the headphone to fit everyone. The stainless steel body also assures you of the headphone’s durability.

Some other highlights of the headphone are; a dynamic transducer, impedance of 32 ohms, frequency response of 18 Hz to 22 kHz, a maximum power rating of 600 mW and a 50 mm neodymium magnet driver.

Who should buy this?

  • The Tascam TH-03 headphone is ideal for music connoisseurs and audio engineers who are looking for affordable headphones, without compromise in quality.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphone

The Audio-Technica professional studio monitor headphone has 45 mm large aperture drivers that encompass voice coils made of copper clad aluminum wire and drivers that have rare earth magnets. The headphone has two cables and deep accurate bass that ensure excellent quality throughout the extended frequency range. The detachable 3.9’ to 9.8’ coiled cable and 3.9’ straight cable ensure that there is no hassle of tangles.

The circumaural contour design surrounding the ear areas keep unwanted sound at bay in loud environments by isolating it. The ear cups are rotatable at an angle of 90° that make it easy to monitor sounds with just one ear. This feature also allows you to collapse the headphone when not in use to make it portable and to save space.  The professional grade material used for the headband and ear pads makes them very durable.

Who should buy this?

  • The studio monitor headphone is ideal for those who want the same recording experience in their homes as in a professional studio.
  • It is also a great choice for those who want a change from the traditional black color for their headphones. Apart from black, the headphone is available in color choices of white, gun metal and blue.

OneOdio Adapter-Free DJ Headphone

The OneOdio headphone integrates a Japanese technology based diaphragm and voice coil to produce high quality sound with its noise isolation facility and 50 mm driver units. This helps you to record very accurate mid to high tones even at very high volumes. The dual duty cable eliminates the need for an adapter with a gold-plated 6.3 mm plug on one side and a 3.5 mm plug on the other side. The adapter-free headphone also offers sound isolation and mixing functionalities.

The soft leather ear cups and headband help to make the ears feel comfortable when you wear the headphone for a long time by preventing the formation of heat and pressure on the covered areas. The leather material also ensures super isolation. The right angle rotatable housing allows you to monitor sounds effectively with only one ear.

Who should buy this?

  • The adapter-free headphone is the right choice for budding DJs who would love to record some music in the comfort of their homes.
  • It is ideal for those who want variations to their favorite traditional black color. Apart from plain black, black lovers can choose between a matte black and a glossy black headphone.
  • For home recorders who want color options other than black, there are red and blue headphones as well.

AKG K240STUDIO Semi-Open Studio Headphone

The semi-open studio headphone has a classic design that gives it a stylish look. It has a low impedance of 55 ohms that produces high volumes when you use it in home studios and along with musical instruments such as drums and guitars. The single cable makes the headphone very easy to use. The XXL transducers placed in acoustically tuned vented enclosures deliver high sensitivity and dynamic range. The circumaural pads cover the ears perfectly and help you to record well-balanced, solid bass, articulate and smooth mids and highs. The inbuilt Varimotion XXL capsule makes it just the right choice for producing sound at home.

The headphone comes with a 3 m replaceable cable and a 3.5 mm stereo plug with a 6.3 mm screw-on adapter type audio interface. The black and copper ear cups give it a classy look, while the non-twisting headband and rugged construction allows you to bend it for using it on just one ear, or over your head, covering both ears. The self-adjusting headband allows all people to use it comfortably. The padding on the earmuffs and headband ensure that you are at ease wearing the headphone for long hours.

Who should buy this?

  • This AKG headphone is one of the best options for DJs and musicians who would like to record albums, mixes and hit songs in their home studios.
  • The headphone is a good choice for those who would like to have a single unit that they can connect to various output devices like computers and CD players.

Fostex T20RP MK3 Professional Open Studio Headphone

The Fostex studio headphone has a regular phase diaphragm driver that makes use of powerful neodymium magnets and a copper foil etched polyamide film. The earmuffs and headband feature padding and low repulsion to ensure maximum comfort. The black headphone includes a 1/4″ detachable 3 m cable and a 1.2 m mini plug cable for use with portable audio equipment. It has a very high input level of maximum 3000 mW to make it suitable for different professional uses.

Who should buy this?

  • The Fostex open type headphone is suitable for those interested in deep bass sound recording.

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Professional Studio Headphone

The Beyerdynamic studio headphone has a closed over ear style. The pure high-resolution sound ensures that the headphone offers the same results as in a professional studio. The unique design and Bass Reflex technology allow the reproduction of excellent sound in all frequencies. The durable headphone makes it a good choice for rough use and during travel.    

The adjustable soft ear cups make sure that your ears feel very comfortable when you wear the headphone for long periods. The spring steel headband gives the user a perfect fit and comfortable feel. The single-sided cable allows the user to put on and take off the headphone without entanglement. The studio headphone is primarily gray in color.

Who should buy this?

  • The studio headphone is a great choice for enthusiasts, artists, producers and recording engineers who would like to carry out recording, mixing and tracking with a single unit.

Panasonic RPHT480CW Headphone

The Energy Star certified headphone has 50 mm diameter drivers and a single-sided rugged 9’ flat cord that avoids tangling when you remove it. The lightweight unit delivers superior rich and natural sound with powerful bass for any genre at the same time. The headphone has an integrated inline mic controller and remote that gives you the power to adjust volume, skip tracks in both directions, pause and play tracks and change, rewind or fast forward playlists. The switch on the side helps you attend phone calls without having to reach out for your handset.

The soft flexible earmuffs and wide headband ensure maximum comfort and proper fit. The flat-fold design helps you to keep the recording unit compact when not in use. It comes with a high-quality classy pouch to keep the folded headphone and other music related accessories. 

Who should buy this?

  • Apple lovers must consider buying the Panasonic headphone due to the compatibility of the remote and controller with iPhone, iPad and iPod.
  • Available in white, silver and glossy black colors, the headphone is suitable for those who are looking for color options.

Sennheiser HD 205-II Studio Grade DJ Headphone

The studio grade headphone is capable of reproducing frequencies of both high and low ranges and putting off unwanted distraction. It also renders smooth reproduction of audio, dynamically and produces deep bass effect at the same time. The rotatable ear cups maintain ear pad contact for stability without leakage of noise,even when you listen with just one ear.The single-sided cable with a 1/4″ adapter eliminates the hassle of tangles. 

The hypoallergenic ear pads can be cleaned easily and are replaceable. The headphone has a rugged design that allows you to take it with you when you are on the move. It comes with a protective pouch to keep the recording unit safe when it is not in use and to carry it with you wherever you go. The headphone comes in two color choices of black and gray.

Who should buy this?

  • The studio grade headphone primarily serves the needs of DJs, home recorders and studio recorders who would like to give a professional touch to their recordings.

Ammoon TAKSTAR PRO 82 Professional Studio Dynamic Monitor Headphone

The dynamic headphone has 40 mm NdFeB drivers with a wide response range and high frequency that ensure it is ideal for both listening to music and monitoring the recorded music. The high polymer coating diaphragm features penetrating mids, exquisite highs and pure bass. The headphone supports three bass adjustment levels to set the right bass for the right music and getting the best music. The ergonomic design ensures that the unit fits perfectly on all head types. The padding on the headband and ear pads makes them comfortable and soft, so that you do not have any stress even when you wear the headset for a long time.

The headphone includes a 2.2 mm audio cable with a gold-plated 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter. It comes with a cloth bag to keep the unit safe after use and an aluminum alloy case to take it with you when you are on the move. It comes in two color variants of fully black and a combination of silver and gray.

Who should buy this?

  • The professional style over-ear headphone is ideal for those who would like to set different bass levels depending on the music recorded.

Yamaha HPH-MT5W Monitor Headphone

The sealed over-ear dynamic headphone has 40 mm drivers with a CCAW voice coil and a 3 m straight removable side cable. The cable has a 6.3 mm stereo standard plug and a 3.5 mm stereo mini plug at its terminals. It can reproduce a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. You get a nylon bag along with the monitor headphone, to keep the unit safe and free from damage when it is not used.

The white colored Yamaha headphone is ideal for different types of monitoring environments and renders really high fidelity levels. It gives great importance to various factors such as the overall design, material used, overall fit, comfort and connectivity to help you focus on sound, without getting distracted.      

Who should buy this?

  • This headphone targets home recorders who would like to have the same effect of recording as in professional studios.
  • It is also very helpful for people who are trying to give their live mixes a final touch.

Samson SR850 Semi-Open-Back Studio Reference Headphone

The studio reference headphone renders ultra-clear highs with a solid bass response.It has 40 mm drivers with rare earth magnets that offer a wide dynamic range and excellent sound reproduction. The recording unit also has a large frequency response of 10 Hz to 30 kHz, an impedance of 32 ohms and an attached side cable with a 1/8” to 1/4″ gold-plated adapter. 

The over-ear design of the high fidelity headphone helps in isolating unwanted sound from the surroundings to the maximum extent possible. This design, combined with padded ear cups, lessens ear fatigue and allows you to use the headset for long sessions. The self-adjusting headband assures you of a comfortable and secure fit.

Who should buy this?

  • The Samson studio reference headphone is a good choice for musicians, recording artists, general music enthusiasts and sound engineers.

Shure SRH1840 Professional Open Back Headphones

Shure has a strong brand image among professionals and sound engineers. The Shure SRH1840 stands true to its tradition in terms of sound and build quality. 40 mm neodymium drivers power the open back headphones. The over-ear headphones are sturdy and long lasting, made possible by its steel driver frame, yet is surprisingly lightweight and comfortable to wear for long hours. It is not a bass heavy headphone, but it is focused on providing balanced sound and most users comment that it sounds much better right out of the box without demanding extended burn-in hours.

The Shure headphone uses dual-frame, padded headband that sits comfortably on your head and is fully adjustable. An open back design allows great soundstage and by pairing it up with the right DAC, you can easily get neutral sound combined with a laid-back bass for accurate recording. This model is also ideal to listen to a wide range of music genres and has its uses outside of professional recording. It is easy to store or carry these headphones as the package includes a carry case. You can also easily swap the pads using the bundled pads to improve its life and the extra cables always come in handy for easier connectivity.

Who should buy this?

  • The Shure SRH1840 is designed for professional sound engineers and composers with a neutral sound, especially when considering the fact that it carries half a grand price tag
  • The sound signature is excellent and is on par with more expensive headphones, making it great value for money

Sony MDR7520 Professional Studio Headphones

A large 50mm driver powers the Sony MDR7520 and it uses the LCP diaphragm design. Sony has some strong competition in the professional headphone market with bigger brands like Sennheiser and Audio Technica, but they have done a great job with this model. The MDR7520 features a closed back design, which is ideal for studios where multiple people work at the same time and open back headphones may create some hindrance. The headphone offers wide frequency response and is capable of handling power capacity up to 4,000mW. They sound quite responsive and have a neutral wave pattern without having to rely always on adjusting your equalizer to get the best output.

The product strongly belongs to the professional category because it is capable of enhancing perfectly mixed audio while poorly mixed sounds may sound really bad on these headphones. The build quality is reliable and cushions are quite comfortable. It might take some time for users to get used to the clamping force or you may have to take breaks in between. The Sony MDR7520 has a very simplistic design but it can last longer. The bundle includes stereo unimatch plug, gold connectors and OFC cord. It also includes a soft case for carrying and protecting your headphones.

Who should buy this?

  • If you are on a budget and would like to go for professional headphones for sound mixing or recording, this Sony model is a great choice
  • The detachable cable and comfortable cushions make it easy to wear for long hours. It’s another feature that makes it geared towards studio use

Focal Spirit Professional Over-Ear Closed Back Circum-Aural Studio Headphones

The Focal Spirit is an exciting pair of headphones with a versatile sound that brings the best out of every music genre. While the manufacturer refers to it as studio headphones, it sports a stylish build and can be used by music lovers who are willing to spend more to experience impeccable sound quality. The brown variant of the Spirit is more appealing in its design, with thick cushion headbands and foamy ear cups that provides a plush, comfortable experience while you listen to your favorite music. The closed back headphones can also be used for studio monitoring.

Besides the sound quality, the Focal Spirit has a comfortable design and the head clamps don’t exert too much pressure on your head. They will eventually loosen up to provide a better fit. The plastic hinge at the bottom is fragile and it should be handled with care. If you are planning to use these headphones outside while working out or during a commute, you should probably consider a more portable pair. While most users can’t stop praising its brilliant sound quality for daily music listening, they add that it may show some build issues after a year or so. They’d better suit a static desktop environment where you can sit and listen to.

Who should buy this?

  • The Focal Spirit is made for music lovers at a moderate price point and should be your choice if you are looking for a stylish, impressive sounding headphones
  • It can also be used as a studio monitor, but it’s best for enjoying music of any genre and the details produced by the drivers are simply on par with premium headphones that costs double the price

Shure SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back Headphones

The Shure SRH1540 has a 40mm neodymium drivers, a trademark technology found in many Shure headphones and is capable of delivering an excellent widespread soundstage. The soundstage is impressive considering the fact this is a closed back headphone. The circumaural design has the right amount of pressure, so that the soft ear cups reduce background noise. The headband has additional padding to provide the most comfortable fit and you can listen to music for hours without any kind of discomfort.

While the SRH1540 looks large in appearance, the headphone is very lightweight and is made using aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. The cable length is very generous, measured at 6 feet. The steel driver frame has vented center pole allowing users to enjoy music at any volume level without distortion or internal resonance. The cables are Kevlar enforced to provide it maximum durability. Its impedance is measured at 46 ohms and it produces a very neutral sound. The ear pads are made using Alcantara leather with slow recovery foam. If you are looking for high-end headphones that are capable of reproducing the entire soundwave spectrum and love to have lots of accessories bundled in the box, the Shure headphones rightfully checks all the boxes.  

Who should buy this?

  • The overall build quality of the Shure headphone is large and feels sturdy. If you are a rough user who likes to have lots of headroom, these are designed for such a purpose and would last long if you use it in a desktop environment
  • The bass balance and neutral sound on this headphone is perfectly done, such that any studio professional can go for it without giving it a second thought

AKG K701 Open Back Reference Headphones

AKG K701 is a premium headphone with an open back and similar to many other headphones in this category. This one stands out in terms of sound quality and wide soundstage. The product is made using flat wire voice coil technology which improves the accuracy of the sound. The varimotion two-layer diaphragm, a patented technology that AKG uses, leads to accurate bass response and better highs, making it easier for any sound engineer to carry out mixing tasks with the highest level of precision. The pricing of the headphones are perfectly balanced as they sit below the $500 mark, yet is capable of offering impressive sound and build quality.

The K701 has its focus on sound and the comfort level. The headband is padded with extra cushions to make it easy to wear for hours, while it is also made using genuine leather that lasts long withstanding wear and tear. The 3D form ear pads snuggly fit in your ears. The AKG headphones are capable of handling audio frequency ranging from 10 to 39800 Hz, while it has 62 ohms that require a powerful amplifier to deliver it properly. While the headphones are designed for professionals, they are stylish and can be used by music lovers who seek perfection.  

Who should buy this?

  • A stylish open back headphone that is a perfect choice for music lovers who are not happy with the sound pattern found in other popular brands
  • The sound it produces is bright, with a tighter reproduction, which should make it appealing for people who listen to a lot of EDMs, techno, pop and other vibrant music genres

Shure SRH1840 Professional Open Back Headphones

The Shure SRH1840 is top of the line open back headphones powered by 40mm neodymium drivers. The powerful drivers are capable of reproducing the best sound signature and when it is manufactured by a reputed brand like Shure, you can hardly question its overall quality. The headphones are large in size with an open back, a circumaural design capable of producing amazingly natural sound. This pair of cans is strongly geared towards professionals and serious audiophiles as they are hard to drive. Besides, open back headphones always require a dedicated space to listen to your favorite tunes.

The SRH1840 is similar to the other Shure models as it sports reliable build quality and is constructed using aircraft-grade aluminum. The materials can last long for years before it needs a replacement, yet are lightweight, making it easier for you to use them without straining your head or ear. With a long list of positive reviews, the headphones are exceptionally good in terms of producing a neutral sound, which is vibrant to listen to. The soft ear cups are ergonomically designed to perfectly fit on most ear types. The bundle includes additional cables and many users add that its sound quality is on par with more expensive headphones, making it a great value for money.

Who should buy this?

  • Shure is a professional audio brand and the SRH1840 is made for audiophiles and sound engineers looking forward to neutral sounding headphones for mixing
  • Aural nirvana, if you are looking for the best pair of cans and already own a high-end DAC, AMP to drive it, this should be on your list

Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone

The Sennheiser HD 650 is a popular choice among professionals as it provides a fine balance between sound quality, pricing and long lasting durability. As a brand, Sennheiser has a strong fan following and they continue to release products in every category to make buyers happy. The HD 650 is an open back professional headphone made to produce the most natural sound. The manufacturer claims that they have used acoustic silk precision damping spread over the entire frequency range to reduce THD. The frequency response is equally impressive as it spans between 10 and 39,500Hz. The drivers are made using neodymium magnets.

With an exceptionally positive customer and critic review, the Sennheiser HD 650 should be your top choice because it is priced at an affordable range and is an all-rounder product, rather than focusing on one particular frequency. Some vibrant headphones could hurt your ears by being high on the treble, but this one is more laid back and relaxed, even though it doesn’t produce a warm sound with a strong focus on bass. Apart from being the best sounding headphones, you can also rely on the brand to provide excellent customer support. Popular models like this one are usually easy to replace when your components wear out which should further boost its overall life.

Who should buy this?

  • Open back headphones for both audiophiles and music lovers especially if you are willing to invest in a powerful DAC to drive it
  • The new updated model has chrome colored drivers and even though this is not impressive in terms of design, the sound quality can make up for it

Sennheiser HD 800 Reference Dynamic Headphone

The Sennheiser HD 800 reference headphone is the king of them all and has been enjoying an undisputed victory in the world of headphones for a couple of years now. Most audiophiles would immediately recognize this model, which is known for its impressively good open soundstage made possible by its open design. The product is by no means cheap as it was close to two grands and is now available for a slightly lesser price, especially after being in the market for so many years. The nominal impedance of the product is at 300 ohms and it needs an extremely powerful, dedicated amplifier to drive it to its full sound.

The wired open back headphones have a frequency range between 6 and 51,000Hz. It is powered by a patented Ring Radiator transducer and is handmade every time to ensure the highest level of precision to each model the company makes. The ergonomic ear cups are very comfortable to wear and the steel headband has been dampened to avoid any unwanted vibrations when listening to songs. The cables are insulated and ear cups are made using microfiber material. The sound quality is one of the world’s best according to many professionals and it might require a solid 200 hours of burn-in to bring the best out of these pair of HD 800 cans from Sennheiser.

Who should buy this?

  • If you don’t mind the premium price tag, which when paired with an amplifier, could cost more than three grands, you should definitely buy it
  • Being the world’s best headphones, you can listen to sounds you might have never heard before and these are made for audiophiles than for just recording artists

Bottom-line

Today, headphones are becoming an indispensable part for recording even at home. There are many brands like Sony, AKG and Panasonic with different models that you can take your pick from in today’s market. Although they come with different price tags, most headphones of the same model have the essential features that you would want when you are ready to get started with your recording.

However, some technical parameters that you would like to look into before investing in one are: frequency response, power capacity and impedance. Of course, comfort on extended use is another vital factor that you must give due consideration. The right headphone should not keep slipping off or apply too much of pressure on your head or ears when you are in the midst of recording. Another point that you must bear in mind, is the ease of repair of the headphone in case of any unexpected damage. 

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