The Best Home Studio Headphones- Take Your Recording to a Whole New Level

The value of a good pair of studio headphones cannot be over-estimated. Not only will they allow you to work on your tracks without disturbing others, but you’ll be able to record with a microphone without introducing feedback or recording the output of your speakers.

Not just any pair of headphones will do. A pair of Beats by Dr Dre might sound great when listening to music but they’re not meant for recording and mixing. Consumer headphones like these tend to add some bass and treble frequencies to enhance the music.

Studio headphones should give you a flat, uncoloured sound that is accurate, and that’s what you need when you’re making music.

If you shop smart, a pair of studio headphones should last you many years. As with other audio equipment, you can easily spend hundreds on a high-end pair of headphones.

This isn’t necessary though, and you should be looking at the $150-$250/£100-£200 price range. At this price, you’ll be getting accurate, high quality sound and a good build design that is durable and comfortable to wear for long recording sessions.

The Main Features

We could get very technical here talking about drivers, sound pressure, impedence and so on. But for those of us for aren’t audiophiles, let’s keep it simple and focus on what’s important.

The main features that you should be looking for in a pair of studio headphones are:

  1. Durability
  2. Comfort
  3. Open-back or closed-back
  4. Frequency response

The first two items here are obvious – we want maximum durability and comfort to cope with extended use.

When it comes to open-back or closed-back, the common school of thought is that open-back headphones are better for mixing because they allow some of the bass frequencies to escape, whereas closed-back are better for recording because they don’t let any sound escape into the microphone.

In reality, you can use either type for both purposes. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to get a seperate pair of headphones for each task. However, if you’re recording in a quiet environment, and you just want to get one pair, go for some closed-back headphones – they will cause you fewer problems when recording.

If you’re really worried about using closed-back headphones to mix, then you could consider some semi-open-back microphones, which are kind of a halfway house – a bit better than closed-back headphones for mixing, but there will be some sound leakage when you record.

Frequency response is simple – the broader the range, the better. Bear in mind that the human ear can only hear between 20Hz and 20kHz – anything above and below this is inaudible. Nevertheless, having a little extra at either end can have an effect on the perception of sound quality.

The following pairs of studio headphones are some of the best on the market at the $150-$250/£100-£200 price range. Choose one of these and you’ll not have to worry about buying another pair again.

Nothing feels better than listening to music and feeling every low beat any booming bass with a great level of clarity and precision, every detail so noticeably, that when you listen your music in a studio while it was mixed and recorded.

When I think of the Best Studio Headphones this is the class of dynamic sound feeling you can expect.

Sample in conjunction with Best Studio Headphones that developed over the ear headphones was so normal people like you and I would be able to listen to music the way producers and artists. Every instrumentation, and voice so crystal clear-cut that a whole new feel.

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Types of Studio Headphones

1. Pioneer HDJ-2000

This Pioneer HDJ-2000 sound device is a high-end, high-quality set of headphones ideally suited for professional mixing and is excellent for personal music listening as well.

These headphones resonate with sounds that clearly and accurately reproduce the original audio. The output is solid and the HDJ-2000 delivers a great low frequency range.

The level of comfort and durability are first class. The ear pads are made from NASA-graded memory foam for maximum comfort and superb noise isolation.

Some users report no experience of discomfort even for long-period use. Pioneer HDJ-2000 headphones feature light-weight magnesium alloy components yet yield high durability that withstands demanding conditions and frequent touring.

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The price of these headphones may be a put-off for some. The price is matched by the high standards of sound reproduction and the quality of material used. The headphones can travel tough with you, get dropped by you – and they will still hold up well.

The price of these headphones may be a put-off for some. The price is matched by the high standards of sound reproduction and the quality of material used. The headphones can travel tough with you, get dropped by you – and they will still hold up well.

Typically, DJ headphones are so fragile that they are the first items of a DJ’s gear to break. But the Pioneer HDJ-2000 is an exception. If you believe in getting the best and are willing to spend, these are the headphones worth investing in.

2. Shure SRH840 Headphones

Shure SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones are the flagship model of the Shure family. They are designed for professional audio engineers and musicians, who require quality studio headphones for their studio recording and critical listening.

What you get is some beefy closed-back headhones with memory foam cushions on the earcups. While this does add some extra weight to the headphones, they offer supreme comfort and isolation of external sound.

The frequency response is 5Hz to 25kHz, which isn’t the broadest on offer here, but the sound is accurate and flat.

Other features are the replaceable cable, large earcups for those with larger ears and the headphones are collapsible for portability.

The main reason for choosing these, though, is the supreme comfort – not a feature to be overlooked.

For sound quality, they deliver deep bass, detailed mids and sweet treble that suit any style of music, and even movie watching.

For comfort, these SHR840 studio headphones’ memory foam ear pads are designed for the super comfort and increased sound isolation.

The headphones come with replaceable cable and a set of replacement ear pads to ensure a long-lasting lifetime of use. They also include threaded 1/4in (6.3mm) gold-plated adapter for perfectly connected music.

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SRH840 studio headphones are closed and foldable, and the sound provides uniform experience across all uses. Shure has a good reputation for rugged durability and great sound at a reasonable price.

To sum up, these are the headphones that most suitable for anyone looking to get serious about their mixes. But even if you don’t record or mix music, these are still great for simple audio playback of MP3′s.

3. Shure SRH440 Headphones

Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones reproduce sound to an incredible clarity with a bass that is a tad bit heavy without being overbearing.

The low end of the audio spectrum was handled beautifully, with only a tiny hint of distortion at very high volumes.

The built quality is great. The soft ear cup cushions felt extremely comfortable to wear over extended listening hours. The cups feature a single-sided detachable coiled cable which extends to 3m.

When it comes to audio quality, the Shure SRH440 is a great pair of headphones for the price under $100.

The quality of this studio headphones is on par with other higher priced professional studio headphones on the market, and although they don’t have electronic noise-cancelling, they do a great job of physically isolating you from other sounds.

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I simply cannot hear anyone that is trying to talk to me with them on which makes it perfect for either casual listeners or audiophiles.

The bottom line, for the price of these headphones, you won’t go wrong.

4. Audio-Technica ATH-M50s

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 studio headphones are designed especially for professional monitoring and mixing.

Highly recommended, the ATH-M50X from Audio Technica are arguably the best pair of headphones, studio or otherwise, that you can buy at this price.

Sturdy and collapsible, and with a solid metal adjuster on the cups, these can take a beating. The leather-like material on the over-ear cups and headband is rugged and very comfortable.

Most importantly, the sound quality is phenomenal with booming bass and sparkly detail in the treble. The frequency response range of 15Hz to 28kHz is more than enough to give a highly-accurate account of your music.

These are closed-back headphones, so they are not perfect for many hours of continuous mixing and you’ll need to give your ears a rest every hour or so to let the bass out. Don’t let that put you off though – these are a fantastic choice in every respect.

Their driver technology and great components ensures exceptional power handling and high SPL capabilities while they maintain a great clarity of sound throughout their extended range, with deep, accurate bass and outstanding high-frequency extension.

These headphones feature collapsible design ideal for easy portability and convenient storage. The adjustable headband is generously padded for ultimate comfort during long mixing sessions.

These studio headphones are outstanding not only for professional monitoring and mixing but for all-around listening too. They do require a period of burn-in before they deliver even more incredible sound.

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Overall, these are fantastic bang-for-the-buck studio headphones that are all you need and you will not regret purchasing them.

5. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO-80

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO-80 is a pair of closed dynamic headphones and has been designed for critical music and sound monitoring.

They are lightweight (approximately 9 ounces) full-sized earpads intended mainly for studio and monitoring use. But they can be used at home as well.

The DT 770 is truly circumoral headphones that completely cover the ears. The specially designed cushion system allows the DT 770 PRO-80 to be used comfortably for long periods of time. The single-sided cable also makes handling the headphone easy.

To conclude, while they may not be the most compact headphones on the market, the sound and performance you will get from these Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO-80 headphones is fantastic.

Order a pair if you’re looking for an extremely comfortable, very clear, and accurate listening experience. There are better headphones out there, but you will pay a lot more for them.

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In terms of sound and quality, the DT 770 PRO-80 headphones are as good as one can get for only about $200.

6. Beyerdynamic DT 770-PRO

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 model is a set of closed dynamic headphones specially designed for critical music and sound monitoring in an open environment.

These high-end headphones deliver exceptional sound quality suited for the most demanding of professional and audiophile applications.

Its adjustable sliding earpiece and soft ear pads, with a single-sided connecting cable, ensures a complete listening comfort during extended periods of use. This extended comfort and accurate performance make the DT 770 PRO a perfect monitoring headphone for recordings, post production and broadcasting.

The sound you get from these DT 770-PRO headphones is so natural and articulate that you can clearly distinguish depth with the music. The bass is great and full. Even at a low volume, depth and clarity are still prevalent.

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So, if you are looking for super-high quality headphones for sound reproduction, mixing or casual listening, these headphones are just what you need!

7. Sony MDR-V900HD Studio Monitor Type Headphones

The Sony MDR-V900HD Headphones HD Driver is designed to really make use comfortable even in long hours. And if ever you have had a part like the earcups unintentionally torn off or worn out because of heavy use, you can simply buy new replacements parts. The headphones also deliver high-quality sound matched with the right level of noise cancellation to fit your listening needs.

There will be many headphones with high functions but most of them will also cost you very high. That is why the MDR-V900HD headphones are made; to make sure what you have paid is just right for the quality of the headphone you will receive. Having them around will kick your listening experience to the front.

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The best feature of which are the drivers and neodymium magnet systems that makes sound highly distinct and clear. The reversible ear cups are also there for those times wherein you only need an ear to hear and monitor sounds for comparison. Also, the cord used is concealed to make sure it still has that great style for multi-purpose use.

8. AKG K240MKII – AKG Semi Open 55OHM HP

In a very long list of studio headphones, the AKG K240MKII – AKG Semi Open 55OHM HP would surely be one of the top choices for professional and non-professional music lovers alike.

A cheaper semi-open-back alternative to the DT880 Pro’s would be the AKG K240 MK II studio headphones.

With a frequency response from 15Hz to 25kHz, you do lose a bit of range compared to the DT880 Pro’s, but don’t let that put you off – these are the updated version of the popular K240 headphones found in studios across the world, and they’re popular for a reason!

Accurate sound and comfortable to wear, these also have an interchangeable cable which you can replace if you ever need to – a nice feature that extends the life of these headphones.

These high-end headphones have the best quality for headphones pricing, just above a hundred dollars. These headphones will shatter your expectations as its features are way above what one would normally expect.

Money used for purchasing is more than worth it as the AKG K240MKII – AKG Open 55OHM HP offers only the best sound to be heard with its high-fi stereo headphones and speakers.

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The headband and the ear pads are designed to fit your needs along with the earcups to provide you both comfort and the best listening experience.

9. Sony MDR7509HD Professional Headphone

In a world of where music evolves with technology, surely you will never miss to use a Sony MDR7509HD Professional Headphone. With the whole music industry getting bigger, use of headphone has extended from just listening to music to critical monitoring of songs in studios.

If you’re looking for an alternative to the HD380 Pro, the Sony MDR-7506 are worth looking at. Not as solid as the ATH-M50X or HD380 Pro, but these produce excellent clarity and detail that is comparable.

The frequency response range is 10Hz to 20kHz, so not as broad, but more than adequate for home studio use.

These are another closed-back pair of headphones, so they are ideal for recording, but taking breaks from mixing applies again.

Consider these if the ATH-M50X are over your budget and you don’t fancy the HD380 Pro, but don’t bother looking at the Sony MDR 7509HD. These should be a step up in terms of sound quality, but other reviews universally state that this isn’t true.

These headphones with all its features will surely fit all your headphone needs as it can be used almost anywhere a headphone is needed. Use it while remixing songs, while having fun as the DJ, or as a forensic audio analyst. These earphones are more than just flexible in use.

The headphones can be observed to be bigger and bulkier than its predecessor which some find to be unnecessary, but, others do say it is durable. It is probably highly dependent on the extent of use and care of the product.

10. Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro

If you’ve got a little bit more to spend, consider the Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro.

These are semi-open-back, making them a bit better for mixing than the previous pairs in this list, and they have an impressive 5Hz to 35kHz frequency response, giving superb accuracy to your music.

The soft velvet-like padding and flexible headband give superb comfort and you can easily forget you’ve got them on! Just be aware that this padding and the semi-open design means that some sound will leak from these. This might be a problem if you’re wearing them while recording vocals close to a sensitive microphone.

The DT770 from Beyerdynamic offers a closed-back design, which are great headphones, but not worth the extra that you pay for these over the ATH-M50x’s or the HD380 Pro’s. The Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro, on the other hand, are well worth the extra money and can be picked up for $379. However, these are open-back, so not ideal for recording, and although one of the best for mixing, require a headphone amp to power them.

Conclusion

The Bottom Line

That rounds up the list of recommended studio headphones for the home recording studio. There is a lack of open-back headphones here and this is intentional.

Yes, open-back headphones are better for mixing, but you can learn how to use closed-back headphones to get good mixes.

Open-back headphones leak sound. If your microphone picks this up, you won’t be able to remove it from your recordings without compromising quality.

Not only this, but further down the line, you’ll want to add some studio monitors to your studio to mix upon. Your open-back headphones become a bit redundant then, but your closed-back headphones will always come in handy.

As usual, look at your budget, see if you like any of the unique features of those featured here and make your decision. There are loads of other headphones out there, but you will not be disappointed with any of the studio headphones on this list.

When finding a headphone, look for the functionality of each and compare them among others to see which fits you best.

If you want a headphone for many purposes, then purchasing a Sony MDR7509HD Professional Headphone would certainly be a good choice.