Top 10 Headphones for Music Production
Music is an integral part of our lives now. It is therapeutic, as well as a tool for expression. Producing music takes a lot of effort and time. One has to be creative enough to come up with good music so that others can benefit from it. For producing the best quality of music, composers require to have the best set of headphones, which enables them to work more efficiently.
Music composers need to invest in studio headphones, which are used for composing, recording, and mixing music to create their masterpiece. Gone are the days when people would require having a separate set-up for a studio. With the advanced technology now, you only need to have a laptop, advanced software for music production, and a good pair of headphones to create music. It can be done anytime and anywhere without even being in isolation.
Music composers and editors need to have good quality headphones as it makes their work more accurate. It enables them to be more proficient in their work as well deliver error-free results. There are many types of headphones available in the market for studio use. We have compiled a list of the 10 best headphones for music production to make it easy for you to make a choice. You will be able to create your masterpieces with any of these headphones.
Here is a comparison table containing all the details about the features of headphones for music production.
|Product name||Driver Diameter||Impedance||Sensitivity||Frequency range||Headset Cable||price
|Audio-Technica ATH-M50x||45 mm||38 Ohms||98 dB||15-28,000 Hz||Detachable 1.2m-3.0m coiled cable & 1.2m straight cable||
|Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro||45 mm||250 Ohms||102 dBSPL||5-40,000 Hz||3m straight cable &3m coiled cable||
|Sony MDR 7506||40 mm||63 Ohms||106 dB/W/m||10-20,000 Hz||9.8 ft||
|Sennheiser HD 650||40 mm||300 Ohms||103 dB||10-39,500 Hz||118 inches||
|Audio-Technica ATH-A990Z||53 mm||44 Ohms||100 dB/mW||5-42,000 Hz||3.0m||
|Neumann NDH20||38 mm||150 Ohms||114 dB||5-30,000 Hz||5-10 inch coiled and 10 inches straight||
|SendyAudio Aiva||97x76 mm||32 Ohms||96 dB||20-40,000 Hz||Balanced cable with 4.4mm plug||
|Shure SRH1440||40 mm||37 Ohms||101 dB||15-27,000 Hz||Detachable 6.9 m||
|Fostex RP T60RP||38 mm||50 Ohms||92 dB/mW||15-35,000 Hz||1.2 m||
|PreSonus HD7||50 mm||32 Ohms||98 dB/mW||10-30,000 Hz||2.50 m||
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
Audio-Technica is on the top of our list due to its spectacular features. This pair of closed-back headphones have been critically acclaimed by the top audio reviewers as well as top audio engineers. They have been engineered to provide a professional listening experience to the aspiring music producers. If you want to build a career as a successful music composer, then you would want to have these on board with you.
The M50x has large 45mm aperture drivers, which include copper-clad aluminium wire voice coils to give you the premium experience of listening. These headphones deliver an extended frequency range, which results in exceptional clarity and accurate bass response. These headphones never fail to deliver well-balanced audio.
The ear cups have been designed to fit around the ears and make a firm yet comfortable grip, cancelling out the external noises. These headphones work best for isolating the sound in loud environments. The ear cups can swivel to 90 degrees enabling the user to monitor with one ear. They can be collapsed as well to save space for storage.
The M50x has a strong and sturdy built. The ear-pads have been cushioned with soft foam. The headband is self-adjusting and padded as well to keep the grip soft and comfortable. You will not have a headache after a long session of music composition. These are best used for mixing, DJ, tracking and can also be used for personal listening.
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Open Studio Headphones
We have kept open-back headphones on our list as well as they make great options for mixing and mastering. The DT 1990 Pro manages to be the top choice for music composers, broadcasters, and sound engineers. This product comes with an open-back design and the latest Tesla driver technology.
Quality sound reproduction requires power and precision, and DT 1990 does not fail to deliver these requirements. The frequency range response is impeccable, and it performs promptly. The Tesla driver technology delivers vivid highs, an ornately meticulous mid-range, and accurate bass together, which results in magnificent sound quality.
Beyerdynamic is a brand that is in business for decades, and comfort comes first for them. This model comes with high-tech memory-foam earpads, which does not make you feel that you are wearing headphones. The headband is self-adjusting and padded as well, ensuring comfort from all aspects. The open-back circumaural design adds dimension to sound reproduction and ensures the user is not fatigued while working.
It comes with two cables i.e., 3m straight cable and 5m coiled cable. Both are detachable and lockable. They prevent tangling; hence you don’t have to worry about a bunch of tangled cables. We highly recommend this product as it has some excellent features and good quality build.
Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones
Sony has been one of the leading brands in the market since long. Sony MDR7506 is another impressive option that can be considered for purchasing. This model is a closed-back headset that successfully blocks out external noises while you work on your masterpiece. The ear cups are comfortable, yet they make a good grip around the ears, which enables them to block external sounds. They can be rotated for comfortable single-ear use and can be collapsed for easy storage.
MDR7506 comes with a 40mm PET diaphragm with a neodymium magnet, which produces crisp definition audio. The frequency response is impressive. This product delivers quality sound with clarity and high definition, and it is capable of detecting even the most delicate tones in a soundtrack.
This pair of headphones is ideal for studio environments and broadcasts where external noises can create disruption. The ear cups have been mounted with good quality foam, which creates a comfortable grip. The headband is adjustable and can be adjusted to any head-size without hassle.
It comes with a 9.8 feet cord, which has a gold plated plug. The cord is not detachable, but it can be folded easily. It comes with a soft carry pouch, which makes it easier to store and carry around while travelling.
Sennheiser HD 650 Open-Back Professional Headphones
Sennheiser is a good brand when it comes to open-back headphones. HD 650 is another good option for music production. It is a premium headset built from premium materials inside and out. It reproduces a balanced and transparent sound. If you want to experience unique and natural sound, then this model is the right one for you.
Coming with an elegant titanium-silver finish, this product has a neodymium ferrous magnet system that produces optimum sensitivity and provides a brilliantly dynamic response. This model has a much deeper bass as compared to other open-back headphones. The bass is eloquent and detailed. It will give you the most accurate results of your recordings.
These headphones are sturdy and durable yet lightweight. You will not feel any burden on your head when you are using them. The headband is easy to adjust, and it stays where you have adjusted it. The ear cups are cushioned with soft foam to keep your ears sweat-free and comfortable. You will not feel fatigued after a long jamming session with these headphones. It is the best option for professional use as well as personal use.
Audio-Technica ATH-A990Z Art Monitor Closed-Back Dynamic Headphones
Audio-Technica never fails to impress us. Introducing ATH-A990Z, which is yet another great product by the Audio-Technica. This product has been designed to analyse your soundtracks critically and enables you to find faults in your work. It is a closed-back headset that features large-aperture drivers with OFC bobbin-wound voice coils installed in them.
It provides high-resolution performance, which has a superior transient response to the precise diaphragm movement. This model produces a wide spectrum range due to the superior transient response. The lightweight aluminium housings are designed to reduce any unwanted character and integrate their Double Air Damping System to form deep bass.
ATH-A990Z comes with a 3D wing support system to ensure great comfort and suitable fit. The ear cups have been cushioned with premium quality ear-pads, which do not let you feel fatigued at any point while working. It includes a good length 3.0m tangle-free cable, which is wrapped in a cloth for long-lasting performance. All in all, it is a great product to be invested, which will not disappoint you.
Neumann NDH20 Close-Back Monitoring Studio Headphones
The Neumann NDH20 is here to provide a solution to your mixing and monitoring problems. This headset is ideal when you want to work in isolation to carefully balance the sound. It makes the engineering process more effective and efficient. With this product, you can get the sound of Neumann’s studio monitoring speakers in headphones.
It is capable of providing linear sound balance, which helps in keeping the audio neutral for the engineering process. No matter if you are sitting in a loud place, you can easily engineer your tasks because it creates isolation as if no noise is around you. The drivers come with neodymium magnets to provide high sensitivity and reduce the distortion around.
The Neumann has brilliant high-standard mechanical construction, which is robust and durable. The headband is adjustable and made up of flexible steel, which ensures a comfortable fit on any head-size. The ear cups are constructed from lightweight aluminium and cushioned with the softest foam to ensure luxury and ease while working. The headphone is foldable, and it can be stored in the carry pouch provided.
It comes with two detachable cables; one is straight, and the other is coiled. To give this headphone versatility, the manufacturer has included a ¼ inch adapter. One thing which has to be noted is that it has 150 Ohm impedance. The manufacturer recommends a preamp or headphone amp for this model.
SendyAudio Aiva Black Beauty Series 97x76mm Planar Magnetic Headphones
Aiva is a beautiful set of headphones. Its design is not only elegant and pleasing to the eyes, but it also serves as an excellent medium for effective listening. Aiva is a product of SendyAudio who never compromises on the quality and always deliver something extraordinary. Aiva is constructed using metal, wood, and leather. Plastic is nowhere to be seen in this product. It is has a well-built because it is handcrafted and labor-intensive.
Aiva has an open-back design. It is not entirely open but semi-open. The transducers are made up of zebrawood and are equipped with a 97x76mm ultra-nano composite diaphragm. The sound which it reproduces has discrete layers of transparency and clarity. They exhibit natural lucidity across the frequencies with a vivacity, which results in clear and crisp sound.
The headband is made up of metal and is adjustable. It has leather suspension, which makes it comfortable to be used for extended hours. The ear cups are cushioned with incredibly soft foam and have breathable fabric over it, enabling the ears to stay relaxed and comfy. The package includes a hard case for storage and a naked braided cable, which is detachable. It is an excellent investment and can be shortlisted for the final decision.
Shure SRH1440 Professional Open Back Headphones
Next on our list is Shure SRH1440, which is another open-back design and is a great option. They have 40mm neodymium drivers that deliver audio with rich dynamics and controlled bass. Thisopen-back has a circumaural design that gives an outstandingly natural sound. A natural soundscape is created, which makes it easier for the user to analyse.
Shure is a strongly built pair of headphones with a sleek ergonomic design to ensure comfort for more extended hour’s usage. The headband is fully adjustable and is padded for a comfortable listening session.The ear cups have been designed in an oval shape to deliver better audio quality. They have been padded with soft foam to prevent the ears from getting fatigued during or after a listening session.
They come with a copper cable with Kevlar jacket around it to enhance the durability and to prevent it from tangling. This product is very well built and has an appealing design along with features. It is altogether a premium package which can make it your final list.
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Fostex RP Diaphragm Stereo Headphones (T60RP)
Headphones with wooden housings look very attractive. They not only add to the beauty of the headphones but also improve the sound quality as well. Fostex T60RP is one example of such headphones which has been made from wood and gives excellent results. The housing of this pair of headphones is made from African Mahogany. It helps in providing clarity to the sound reproduced by the RP diaphragm and giving depth to it.
Fostex RP diaphragm is formed by using polyimide film along with copper foil impression. This product provides super transient characteristics due to the materials used in them. The headband is made from genuine leather to provide comfort. The ear cups are big and cushioned with soft foam and covered with genuine leather to keep the ears cool and comfy. Their size is big enough to cover the ears entirely so that the ears stay fatigue-free and relaxed.
The users are given a choice between a standard cable and optical fibre cable to make a selection according to their preference for high-resolution or fidelity. Both the cables are detachable and 1.2 meters long to ensure mobility as well.
PreSonus HD7 Professional Monitoring Headphones
The last product on our list is PreSonus HD7, which is good value for money and provides features that are on par with some of the expensive brands. This model is semi-open back, and it gives natural and realistic sound reproduction. They are lightweight yet sturdy enough to endure wear and tear.
The high-quality results come from high-resolution neodymium drivers along with the patented precision-tuned acoustic chamber. It provides an extended bass response, which is commendable for the price they are offering. HD7 has a flexible headband, which is adjustable to create the perfect fit. The ear-pads are soft and ensure comfort for long hour sessions.
This model is perfect for mixing, monitoring, tracking, and even for personal use. They deliver deep low frequencies along with clear, natural, and warm sound, which are of professional-quality.
Buying Guide of Studio Headphones for Music Production
Choosing to invest in the right pair of headphones is challenging. There are several factors which can affect the decision you make. To ensure that you have purchased the right pair of headphones according to your needs, you need to keep the following aspects in your mind while making a choice.
Comfort comes before anything and everything. While creating music, music composers have to use headphones for extended hours. For this, the headphones have to be comfortable; otherwise, it can get complicated for composers to work for long hours. The headband should be adjustable, and the ear cups have to have a good grip around the ears. They should be padded with soft foam, which doesn’t let the ears hurt and keeps them dry all the time.
No one wants heavyweight on their head and ears when they are working. Heavyweight adds extra stress while working and makes it difficult to focus on the music. You need to look for a pair of headphones that are light in weight so that you don’t feel fatigued when you are done working. Lightweight headphones ensure comfort and ease while working for longer hours. The perfect ones don’t even let you think that you are wearing headphones.
One of the main features which need consideration is the sound clarity of the headphones. Obviously, while creating music, the clarity of the sound has to be crisp and top-notch. The sound accuracy can enable the music composer to create music without errors. The output should deliver balanced bass and treble. Buy a pair of headphones that can give good transparency of the sound and a neutral tone. It is recommended to try on the headphones before purchasing them just to be sure about the sound clarity.
The headphones designed for studios have to be soundproof to cancel out all the external noises which can disrupt the music session. This helps the composers to focus on the tones of the music and create an epic soundtrack. The external sounds distract the composers, and they find it difficult to concentrate on their creation. Hence headphones with soundproof construction are what you need to have to compose good and error-free music,
The quality of the headphones matters a lot, especially when you are paying a hefty amount for them. Typically the quality of the technical gadgets depends on the amount you are willing to pay for them. A higher price will deliver more top quality goods. A reasonably priced pair of headphones can guarantee you a reasonable number of years to follow. The headphones have to be sturdy and durable so that they can serve you for a long time.
Length of the wire
The length of the cable should be long enough to ensure mobility and comfort. There are wireless headphones available in the market which can be connected via Bluetooth. While the wireless ones deliver more mobility, the wired ones are also not a bad option. They come with wires which are long enoughto let you feel free to move around. The quality of the wires should be good enough so that they can stay for long.
The cost of the headphones is subjective and varies from person to person according to their preference. High-end brands cost more, but then they deliver spectacular features and quality for the price they ask. If you don’t want to invest in an expensive product, then it’s better to assign a budget and search your options according to that. The cost should be reasonable, and features should be outstanding.
While you weigh your options for the right pair of headphones, make sure you keep the warranty into consideration.Studio headphones are not cheap, and you don’t want to risk your money with something which does not have a warranty. Ask for the warranty from the sales staff of whichever brand you finalize. It’s always better to have security for repair with gadgets. It takes a massive burden off the mind primarily when you have invested a good amount.
Are headphones for music production always expensive?
Ans. Not necessarily. You can find affordable prices as well in the market. It depends on the features you are looking for and your level of expertise. For a beginner, a good pair of headphones can cost for a hundred dollars, and a pro one can cost thousands of dollars.
Is it necessary to get studio headphones for music production?
Ans. Yes, it is necessary to get studio headphones for music productions because you cannot get the required quality and result from regular headphones. Sound clarity is the main element to interpret music, and you can get that only with studio headphones.
Can we use studio headphones for regular use?
Ans. Yes, you can use them otherwise. It’s not necessary to use them for music production only. The only you might face will be compatible with different platforms. Otherwise, these headphones are designed to isolate you from the noise around; hence, you can use them to listen to music and unwind after a long stressful day.
Are open-back headphones better for music production or closed-back headphones?
Ans. Open-back headphones and semi-open back headphones leak sounds. They are not able to cancel out the external sounds altogether. They can be a lousy option while recording due to leakage of sound to the microphone. Closed-back headphones are more recommended for recording, but for mixing, open-back headphones are better off as they provide a more natural sound.
Can mixing of tracks be done by using headphones?
Ans. Yes, it can be done. Many composers mix tracks on the go using headphones. It doesn’t matter where you are, and you can mix tracks easily by using headphones. The quality cannot be compared to that of the monitor speakers, but headphones are not bad either.
Why are there detachable cables with headphones?
Ans. Detachable cables have been added with the headphones so that if the cable breaks, you can get a new cable and continue using your headphones. In case the cable is attached to the headset, you will either have to send the set for repair or purchase a new set altogether.
Can the headband of the headphones be adjusted?
Ans. Yes, they can be adjusted according to any size. Most of the brands offer self-adjusting headbands that are comfortable and be adjusted without any hassle.
What if the headphones stop working?
Ans. In such a scenario, you can always claim the warranty if the warranty is still valid. All the good brands offer a warranty against their products. Any damage to the repair can be catered against a valid warranty.
Can we replace the ear-pads?
Ans. Extra ear-pads are easily available in the market. You can purchase them when you feel the ear-pads needs to be changed. Otherwise, some companies include extra pads in their packaging; you can change them without any hassle.
How to store these headphones?
Ans. These headphones are fragile; hence try not to drop them on the floor. Some companies include carrying pouches in their package. You can use them to store the headphones. Else, you can keep them safe in any drawer or in a box that is big enough to keep them.
For aspiring music producers, the headphones, as mentioned earlier, are good options to start with. You can opt for professional headphones once you have gained enough experience to handle expert level gears. We have listed some impressive models which can help you in building a small studio set-up. Just make sure you try out the headphones and then make a final decision.
Keep the points in your mind, which we have mentioned in our buying guide while you list down your options. The number of products we have recommended comes with some outstanding features; hence, you can consider them for purchasing. Weigh your options according to the price, durability, and comfort. The rest is up to your personal preference. We hope our list was helpful enough for you to make up your mind.