- Max Kuehn
Still searching for the best headphones for music production and you’re not sure which model to pick up? Then, you have come to the right page. So, let’s get started!
Top Best Affordable Headphones For Music Production
These are top-rated headphones for music production. If you do not see your favorite listed, please let us know in the comments!
Closed-Back Studio Headphones
Sony’s MDR7506 headphones have been around for a long time and do not seem to be leaving anytime soon. They are often seen in broadcast studios, where isolation is a significant concern.
Could you imagine headphones bleeding on a podcast or radio program?
They are closed-back headphones, but most users find them accurate enough to listen critically. Sonys are an excellent choice for music production, mastering, all-around recording, mixing, and mastering.
They are also affordable at less than $99 on a good day, making them one of the most cost-effective headphones for music production.
- Decent sound isolation
- Neutral coloration
- Cord measures almost 10 feet in length
- Some users may find it difficult to use.
We are the first choice for headphones that can produce music in 2020. Audio Technica is a leading brand in professional sound.
The brand’s ATH-M50x headphones have been a constant in their lineup. They are used in professional and home studios all over the globe.
These closed-back headphones do a fantastic job keeping outside sounds out. You can lose yourself in the music with the thick foam padding surrounding your ears.
The dynamic driver will make your music sound crisp and accurate to life, thanks to its clarity. You can reduce muddiness by adjusting the frequency response in the middle range.
- Good sound isolation
- Foldable design
- Flat response is excellent
- Comfortable to wear
- Some people can feel heavy
- Sound bleeds at higher volumes
Focal Listen Studio Headphones
The best over-ear headphones to meet all your music production needs
Focal Listen Professionals do precisely what they claim. They are ideal for listening and pro duties. They are the best all-rounder in their class.
The fit is not too tight to make extended periods in the mixing saddle unbearable.
They were quite comfortable. We used them for around three hours. The main problems were back pain and lack of blinking.
Open-backed designs are preferred by many audio professionals and engineers for their fatigue prevention, but the closed Listen Pros excel in this area.
These cans had a perfectly balanced response. They have an apparent, neutral bass, with lots of extensions and full, clear mids.
The highs are bright, crisp, and smooth. We don’t believe there is a better studio headphone at this price than the X-Sonic Studio Headphones.
- Comfortable and sturdy
- Solid sound reproduction at low volumes
- Distinctive looks
- Silicon headband attracts sweat
Sennheiser HD-206 Studio Headphones
The best studio headphones to make music for less
This product is an excellent choice for anyone looking for headphones that are affordable for studio use.
The HD-206 headphones are highly durable and comfortable, with the Sennheiser brand on the headband.
The HD-206’s are a remarkable value for money and perform better than their more expensive counterparts. The bass response is vibrant and crisp, with lots of detail in the highs and mids.
These hypoallergenic earpads are great for blocking noise, whether in the studio or on the go.
They also come at a handy price, so you don’t have to worry about putting them in your bag. Get a pair now before Sennheiser HD realizes how great they are and increases the price.
- A balanced response
- It’s great for tracking
- Lightweight and durable
- Cord is a little long
If you are looking for a DJ favorite, these studio Dj headphones will be the best.
Pros love the HD-25’s for their sound quality and ability to handle high levels of sound pressure.
The HD-25 is a classic booth staple thanks to its split headband, rotatable earpieces, and reputation for reliability. It delivers punchy, accurate sound in an easy-to-use, lightweight package.
The HD-25 can be classified as an on-ear headphones design because the pads rest on the outside of your ear instead of enclosing it completely.
It is currently available in three flavors (Light, Standard, and Plus) at three price points. For general studio/DJ duties, you cannot go wrong with a pair of Sennheiser HD-25’s.
- Earpads are not the most comfortable
These headphones are the best studio headphones if you’re looking for open-back reference cans.
Long mix sessions are more comfortable with professional open-back headphones like the ATH R70x.
They are lighter and less fatiguing, which is great news since this model was designed as one of the reference headphones for mixing.
We have seen models that have more apparent air at this price or higher. However, we don’t consider it a problem. It just means you are less likely to get a dull mix.
The other end is smoother with no boom or false fatness.
The low mids are unwrinkled and free from cheap scooping back, a voice often used to hide an uneven response. You can hear the real story, whether it is good or bad.
The R70x is all about the low and mid mids. Everything flows easily with no complications.
This model is high-impedance, so you will need a suitable amp to connect them to get the best results.
- Good stereo separation
- Unique headband design
- Exceptional clarity and detail
- There is no coiled cable
Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO
Studio headphones that mix low-end frequencies
The Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro is a classic pair of studio headphones for music producers. They are durable, reliable, and highly comfortable.
These have a much broader frequency response than the ATH-M50x, and they sound a lot better. Although the bass is not as intense, it is still powerful enough to produce electronic music.
People also believe that they are more secure on the head but with a stronger clamp.
These headphones might prove to be more tiring if you are prone to getting tired quickly. However, you should wear them first as the more prominent ear cups might be helpful, and the isolation is sound.
The strong steel frame makes them more durable than other pairs in the same price range. However, it is a little more difficult to transport and lighten due to the fact that the cable cannot be detached.
- A technology called “Bass reflex” for better bass response
- Replaceable velour earpads
- Includes drawstring bag
- 5-35000Hz frequency response
- 25 – 80 ohms or 250 ohms (depending upon the model)
The closed-back design is standard on most studio headphones under $300. The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro is an alternative if you want similar features in an open-back model.
- Excellent sound quality
- Built well
- Amazing low-end detail
- Not cheap
Austrian Audio Hi-X65
Ex-AKG employees get high-performance studio cans with open-backed support
Austrian Audio, a newcomer to the professional headphone market, launched its latest open-back, studio-centric design in July 2023. They have been a massive hit with customers and critics alike.
A balanced, neutral sound that is still highly detailed yet remains neutral, combined with the solid build quality, makes for a pleasant listening experience regardless of the environment.
The appeal of this product is enhanced by its foldable design, twin detachable cables that can be adjusted in lengths of 1.2 and 3 meters to suit different tasks, and soft, long-retention memory foam earpads that provide extended comfort.
The Hi-X65 headphones are a great choice if you are looking for headphones that can be used for critical listening and mixing.
- Neutral sonic signature
- Comfortable fit
- Great detail and separation
- Two detachable cables (1.2m / 3m)
- Sennheiser et al are less well-known than Audio Technica.
One of the premium headphones for producing music
Shure has a long history of being a trusted name in pro audio.
Professionals and audiophile headphones alike will be pleased with the SRH1540, a premium model that delivers exceptional acoustic performance, comfort, and durability.
This product has a large soundstage and excellent transient detail. They are made with lightweight alloy and carbon fiber architecture and feature Alcantara leather headphones for maximum comfort and sound isolation.
Although the model is not the most affordable option, they offer a great return on investment.
- Extraordinary clarity and detail
- Comfortable and light fit
- Incredible low-end extension
- Alcantara ear pads
Samson SR850 Headphones
Last but not least, we have the SR850 headphones from Samson. Samson is a brand that’s known for producing some good gear at consumer-level prices.
These headphones are a perfect example of that. Despite the low price tag, the headphones are well-suited for studio use.
The dynamic drivers utilize rare-earth magnets. They help to reproduce sound accurately while minimizing distortion.
The final product is a flat frequency response with minimal coloration. The bass sounds tight and punchy without being overbearing. Meanwhile, the highs are airy and transparent without that annoying tinny coloration.
- Cozy velour ear cuffs
- Good size adjustability
- Tight bass response
- Good overall tonal balance
- Build quality isn’t the best
What Are Production Headphones?
A vital component of any music production setup is the use of studio headphones. They are the primary monitoring source for some engineers who work in their home studios or while on the go.
Others can use professional studio headphones to check a mix before it is called finished.
Studio ‘phones are built for accuracy and critical listening. On the other hand, consumer cans are designed to be enjoyed with EQ curves that are more in line with your tastes.
Studio headphones generally fall under one of these two categories:
Open-Back Studio Headphone
Open-backs have vented ear cups that allow air to flow in and around your ears and the driver freely.
Because they reproduce the soundstage very naturally and accurately, these models are ideal for mixing, mastering, and critical listening.
They are comfortable enough to wear for extended sessions without feeling fatigued. The open headphone is close to mixing on studio monitor headphones.
You will not experience any frequency buildups in the headphones due to the airflow, but you won’t have as much isolation in noisy environments.
This model will make your listening experience louder than closed headphones. If that is a problem, the sound will be transmitted to your surroundings.
Engineers will not use headphones as their primary monitoring source, even if they have an open-back option.
This is due to three main reasons open-headphones attempt to minimize: unnatural stereo field, colored frequency response, and lack of crossfeed.
Headphones have such a high-end, low-end response because frequencies travel through the drivers and build up in the cups.
Mixing is all about accuracy and flatness. If you don’t know your headphones well, this could be a problem.
The stereo field on headphones is much wider because each speaker is directly piped into your head.
It can be challenging to create a stereo image because the center-panned elements sound more like they are between our ears when we use headphones than on speakers.
On headphones, slight left and proper adjustments are very obvious. However, speakers will not be as noticeable.
You might be surprised at how subtle the movements are when you create stereo images on headphones.
Crossfeed occurs when two stereo speakers are placed in front of you. It happens that the left ear hears one speaker and the right ear the other.
Then, each ear hears what the other side is saying milliseconds later. Our brain then processes the information in microseconds.
Crossfeed refers to a combination of two sound sources which our brain interprets together as one coherent whole.
Crossfeed is not possible with headphones. Our brains only hear the left and right side of the headphones, sometimes confusing our brain into believing that some sonic information is missing. This can lead to a distorted soundscape.
Closed-backs provide the closest equivalent to noise cancelling headphones for music production. Because they do not bleed into your microphone, they are the best headphones for tracking.
These monitoring headphones are fabulous for lower levels of music, as you can still hear the details and not be disturbed by outside noise.
This model can be inaccurate for critical listening, mixing/mastering, and mixing/mastering because of low-end frequency buildup.
They are also less natural-sounding and more colorful than open-back headphones. They are still the best choice for music production and tracking when privacy/discretion is required.
These headphones are a mix of open-back and closed-back, as the name implies.
These models allow for just enough airflow to keep low-end buildup at bay but retain some of the isolation of closed headphones. Although you get some things like a closed or open pair, it is not quite as much.
Headphones For Professional Studio Buying Guide
How Are Headphones For Music Production Different From Regular Headphones?
They are not regular headphones, but they can enhance the audio quality of your favorite playlists in a model-specific way.
These headphones boost the bass and treble frequencies, but authenticity in a studio setting is necessary.
Studio headphones will have a linear or flat frequency response, which is better balanced and more accurate.
Studio headphones will have more frequency response monitoring and work at higher resolutions for better fidelity and compatibility with DAW’s.
They will be better equipped to handle a more significant workload and have lower latency.
These headphones are more durable and comfortable than others, as studio work can require more from a headphone set and more hours.
They are usually more comfortable, but they can be expensive. However, it is essential to have an ergonomic design concept.
Most headphones are closed-back in nature and are intended for private listening. Studio sets can be open-back to give a spatial reference and allow for critical listening.
Open-back Headphones Versus Closed?
This topic is undoubtedly one of the most controversial in the studio headphones industry.
Although mixing with speakers is better, headphones can be a valuable production tool. A lot of work is done by listening privately.
Closed-back designs provide better isolation. If you are looking for a set that musicians or singers can wear while studio recording, then closed back is the best choice.
They act as shields between the outside and the ears and are less likely to leak sound (top models have zero).
If you record a vocal track, you do not want any echos from the playback being recorded in the background.
An open-backed set is necessary if editing or listening analytically.
They add parameters to the sound you hear, creating a sound image (or spatial sound) that can be used to critique and adjust your work after recording.
The argument is subjective and pragmatic. Some people don’t like the airier, weaker sound of an open-backed set.
However, it is undisputed that they produce a more natural reproduction that matches your studio-monitor output. Editing is also easier with accuracy.
Types Of Cord
Although many wireless headphones excel in music production, you will need an input-output option. This will avoid problems such as latency/lag.
Cords can become tangled due to the length of cords required for various applications and working environments.
They also become a target for long-term wear and tear because their entry point is subject to rough handling, leading them to break.
It is usually better to choose a single-sided entry cable over a pair of Y-leads. These are more prone to tangling but have double the entry points and thus double the risk of damage.
Although a detachable pull-out plug-in cord system can eliminate the weak point, it will still cause tangling if handled incorrectly.
You can reduce entanglement by choosing a straight cord with proofing or protection. This can be done by using an outer covering, which may include woven textiles and synthetic plastics.
Double-twisting and braiding are two options to strengthen the cord. Many people prefer a coiled cord for studio use because it is less tangled and allows more motion.
However, it retracts quickly and maintains its original length.
What Should You Look For In Professional Headphones For Music Production?
We hope that you have gained some insight from our opening section. It highlighted the differences between headphones designed for studio use and regular headphones.
It depends on how you set it up and what level of work you do.
The intended use is another factor. Many producers have multiple headphones to listen to critical music and then switch between them during the tedious editing, mixing, and engineering process. However, this rule will help you prioritize.
High-resolution with a flattened/natural/linear response is paramount for analytical listening. Comfort and durability are equally crucial as audio reproduction, so make sure you get the best for your money.
You should ensure that they offer enough comfort for users who spend hours in DAWs editing.
You will find full adjustability, plush cushioning, breathable, plush padding, a low-clamp pressure headband with great flexibility, swivel ears-cups, and low sound levels.
We have set sets below twenty dollars if you need a smaller amount. However, you must remember that the low-end models cannot compete with the top-end models.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does The Frequency Response Affect Studio Headphones?
Contrary to popular belief, a super-wide frequency range does not affect sound quality. Humans can only hear between 20 and 20 kHz, so anything beyond that is pretty useless!
What you should be paying attention to is a headphone’s frequency response curve instead.
Can I Use Studio Headphones For Listening To Music Or Gaming?
Absolutely! It is a great way to hear what the original creators intended. Just keep impedance levels in mind. You may need an amplifier if you have high-impedance headphones.
Can I Mix Or Record With Just Studio Headphones?
It is possible to mix and record with nothing but headphones. However, you are not doing yourself any favors.
Most professionals will utilize headphones and speakers to ensure that music sounds good in any setting.
This guide is an ongoing effort to bring you the best headphones for the studio. Remember to test them before you buy! Besides, we also provide some of the best headphones for only listening to music if you are concerned. Fidlar hopes you found this post useful and share it with your friends.