Studio headphones are an important monitoring tool whether you are producing music, recording, or mixing and mastering. However, finding high-quality headphones for the studio can often be an overwhelming task. There are several different types of studio headphones and many considerations to be aware of before choosing the right headphones for the job.
There are three main studio headphone design types: closed-back, open-back, and semi-open. Each type has an entirely different listening experience as well as advantages and disadvantages. When choosing a pair of studio headphones, consider which type best fits your monitoring needs.
Closed-back headphones are typically used for both music production and recording. One of the primary advantages of closed-back headphones is noise isolation. Closed-back headphones work amazingly well at preventing sounds from the surrounding environment to bleed through. An isolated audio experience makes it easier to hear more sonic details within the music, especially at lower volume levels.
However, the isolated design prevents sound from leaking out and causes pressure to accumulate inside the cup of the headphone which can give you a false impression of the low-end. Moreover, closed-back headphones are also considered to be less accurate for critical listening. The enclosed sound waves accumulate making everything sound more ‘colored’ because of all the reflections in a small space. However, the isolation allows you to focus on sounds better than open-back headphones and is necessary for the studio or on the stage.
OPEN-BACK AND SEMI-OPEN HEADPHONES
Open-back headphones and semi-open headphones are ideal for mixing and mastering because they are more accurate. These types of headphones typically have vented/perforated or mesh-covered ear cup enclosures that allow air and sound to flow in and out.
Open-back and semi-open headphones also provide a more natural and accurate sound to the listener because the reflections can escape. Having sound waves flow more freely also results in less coloration, and the drivers can respond more quickly and efficiently. It also makes sounds seem larger/wider and more open/airy. These two types of headphones also tend to give you a feeling of being in an environment, much like listening to a pair of monitors.
With the so many available studio headphones in the market today, one might easily get confused with the option to choose between headphones for recording, headphones for mixing or wireless Bluetooth headphones for studio use. Here is a reviewed list of the best studio headphones to buy:
1. Sennheiser HD 650
This is one of the best headphones available. It has an acoustic silk design and the THD is reduced to 0.05 percent. The frequency response is also higher, 10 – 39,500 Hz. The aluminum voice coils used in these headphones are pretty lightweight and are capable of producing a fast transient response. The Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Studio Headphones are one of the best headphone sets you can find on the market. The sound quality alone makes then a fantastic buy.
2. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones are one of the top-rated professional headphones around. When it comes to professional headphones, there are some important things to consider; the frequency range, blocking of external noise, and comfort level. These headphones have them all. If you are after the best cheap headphones with Bluetooth built in, you may want to take a look at the link. It has an amazing circumaural design which offers excellent sound isolation and Exceptional sound quality.
3. Beyerdynamic DT 770
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO-250 ohms Comfortable Headphones blend technology with comfort. Needless to say, this pair of headphones is arguably one of the best as far as comfort is concerned. The bass reflex and the diffuse-field systems installed in it make for great bass reflex. This gives you some seriously excellent sound quality. Comfort and high-quality sound have never looked so good. The biggest advantage of these headphones is their comfort levels. The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO-250 ohms, Comfortable Headphones are perfect for combining comfort with good sound quality.
4. AKG Q 701
The AKG Q 701 Quincy Jones Sig Premium Headphones not only offers incredible comfort but also great sound quality at the same time. The flat-wire voice coil technology gives extremely accurate sound and transient response. The diaphragm is a two-layer patented varimotion. The best part is that these headphones are incredibly durable, so you can take them with you as you go from gig to gig or take comfort in the knowledge that you can get excellent usage out of them, without having to worry that they’ll quit on you after a few sessions. They have specially shaped ear pads for that extra level of comfort. These headphones have a neodymium magnet system to minimize sound distortion.
5. Sony MDR7506
When it comes to closed back headphones, there’s really only one way to go. The Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones is a closed ear headphone that gives real comfort and is really good at blocking the external sound. If you want an enhanced listening experience, these are the headphones for you. The frequency response is 10 Hz to 20 kHz. It also comes with a pretty long cord, which is a real boon in the studio. They Have a soft case for easy portability as well.
6. Shure SRH1540
The Shure SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back Recording Headphones comes from Shure, one of the best brands in the business. With incredibly warm bass, they’re capable of delivering unmatched acoustic performance because of the 40mm neodymium drivers. The design of these headphones is circumaural. This enhances your comfort and also helps in reducing the external noise. The aluminum used in the making of these headphones is the same as the one used in planes, so you know these headphones are ultra-durable. They offer outstanding sound quality due to the 40 mm neodymium drivers.