The Best Music Production Headphones of 2018 & buying guide
Studio headphones have become popular over the past decade or so. Although many people have heard about these headphones, most of them don’t know how to choose the best ones.
Before going into the details of some of the best music production headphones, it is quite important to learn more about these headphones and the factors you should consider before buying a pair.
Studio headphones are specially designed headphones that are used for mixing sound, producing sounds, and recording, making the sound the epic across different audio components, devices and technology.
Music producers, musical artists, singers, and sound editors, commonly use these headphones. The best part about these headphones is you don’t need an entire studio to record music or different sounds. With the right headphones and a laptop with the right software, you can produce and mix music at home with relative ease.
Studio headphones are handy when it comes to critical listening. These headphones are a bit different in design than entertainment headphones, such as the ones you normally use to listen to your favorite songs, music, watch films, podcasts, and play games.
Suppose you are a professional music producer, specializing in EDM music, or let’s just say you are recording artist and that you are looking to produce, mix and create some music to be launched as a demo.
Now, this is where you will require headphones that are designed to give a flat frequency sound response. What this means is these headphones aren’t made to mask the true sound of the music by enhancing it by simulating artificial treble and/or bass for that matter.
This is one of the major differences between consumer headphones and the music production headphones.
3 Important Factors for Selecting the Best Music Production Headphones
Before selecting the best headphones for sound production, it is better that you understand some important factors you have to consider when purchasing a pair that suits your specifications and requirements. In light of this, mentioned below are 3 important considerations you should make when searching for quality music mixing and recording headphones:
The Intended Purpose of the Headphones – Do You Want Them for Mixing Sound or Recording it – or Both?
You need to consider the purpose for which you want to use the headphones. For instance, will you be using them when mixing sound or recording sound?
For example, if you are a professional electronic music producer and can easily produce dance music on your laptop and you have to be on the go to different locations, both domestically and globally, it doesn’t make much sense to go for an open-back music recording headphone.
This is where you will require a pair of closed-back, durable headphones.
However, you do need to consider where you will be working on your music. For instance, if you have an in-home studio where you record and produce music, you need headphones that can cancel the sounds. This is particularly important if you prefer working at night, which is the case with some people who feel more creative late at night. If you don’t want to disturb anyone sleeping around or near you, you should go for a pair of open-back professional headphones.
Apart from that, you will have to prioritize what you are best at. For example, if you are good at producing music and recording it, opt for closed-back recording headphones. If you want a pair of headphones for mixing and editing music, go for open-back headphones. But you have to understand that these headphones can be a bit expensive, which means buying too many of them will put a dent in your wallet. This is why you have to make a precise decision.
There is no question that you need headphones that are comfortable and easy on the ears.
This is more important than any other feature If your current model hurts your ears in just 30 minutes of wearing it or if it is giving you shoulder, back or neck pain, you will never be able to record music the way you want to, i.e. in a calm and relaxed manner.
You will only be able to focus on mixing and recording music with a pair of professional and comfortable headphones, so never compromise on this feature.
Affordability is another important factor to consider when selecting good music recording headphones. If you are buying a pair for the first time in your life, go for an expensive model, which will last you a long time, but without compromising on the features and functionality.
The market is riddled with products with prices ranging from $100 to $2,000. Luckily, this is exactly what this review is all about, helping you select the best music production headphones at the best prices.
Best Music Production Headphones Review
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Review
When it comes to recording and mixing headphones, there is nothing better on the market than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50. These are regarded as some of the most popular headphones that are specifically designed for professional music production, mixing, editing and the works. As per thousands of online reviews and experienced music producers, not to mention cult followers, the ATH-M50 series by Audio-Technica is immensely capable and feature-packed. The headphones offer a unique and unparalleled combination of high quality sound and sound building.
The best part of the headphones is that it doesn’t matter whether you are recording at your home or in the studio. The headphones will perform optimally regardless of the environment or location. The ATH-M50 series has also won awards for its features and functionality and as one of the best music production headphones available on the market at present. The ear cups of the headphone are contoured for a comfy fit and tight seal, which is what completely isolates the sounds and has less than minimal sound-bleed.
The materials used to make the headphone are pro-grade and durable. The monitor music production headphone is designed to deliver precision-based audio and over the top comfort, helping you record for hours without having to remove them. Another great quality of the headphones is that they aren’t flat, which is what you need when it comes to a music production headphone.
- Sonic performance. Some of the music industry’s leading sound editors, producers, audio engineers and cult followers, have acclaimed this feature.
- Integrated with 45 millimeter drivers (large-aperture)
- Incorporated with rare earth magnets with copper-clad wire coils
- Closed-back ear cups – the ear cups are cushioned for maximum comfort and topnotch sound seal
- The design is collapsible for easy and safe storage
- The headband is adjustable – which means you can record for an extended period of time
2. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO-80 Review
The DT 770 Pro-80 series are renowned for incredible sound and unparalleled quality when it comes to accurate and precision-based sound reproduction. The technology and features in the headphones are amazing. It is an all-in-one headphone that is designed to help you mix sounds and music, hear music with crystal clear sound, is good for tracking and monitoring and can also be used for gaming. Talk about being multi-purpose!
Incorporated with unique sound technology, the headphones reproduce sound throughout multiple frequencies. The diaphragm are custom manufactured (the diaphragms are made in Germany). With so many applications that you can use the DT 700 pro series, they are comfortable, durable and lightweight, which means you can wear them for hours on end and not feel your ear tiring or throbbing. These headphones also feature a V-Shaped signature when it comes to sound, which is what is required for professional sound production.
- The headphones have a diffused-field design
- Has powerful bass reflex system integrated from enhanced response
- The components are made in Germany
- The headphone comes with a 2-year labor warranty
- Soft padded, adjustable headband
- Convenient to services and has replaceable parts easily accessible in the US
3. Sony MDR-7506 Professional Headphones Review
The Sony MDR-7506 is considered the most versatile and the best music production headphone you can get your hands on. These headphones have been running in the industry for decades, and artists as well as sound engineers and music producers still use them. With a comfortable design, the headphones are engineered for durability and extended use, making it perfect for studio use and any environment with a wide broadcast element.
The headphones have a PET diaphragm measuring 40 millimeters, attached with a neodymium for extreme performance, easily exceeding the prerequisites for general digital audio recording and mixing. With close-ear custom design, the comfort level of the product is amazing and helps considerably cancel outside noise. Plus, it is fitted with a soft, easily adjustable headband with additional padding. In addition, the product comes with two additional accessories, i.e. the carrying bag and the unimatch plug.
- Fitted with neodymium magnets with powerful bass boosting and 40 mm PET drivers for enhanced sound
- The plug of the headphone is gold-plated – it isn’t detachable
- Cord length – 9.8 feet and comes with a ¼ inch adapter
- Can be easily folded for easy storage
- Comes with a storage case
- 10 Hz to 20 KHz frequency response
4. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones Review
When you talk about the headphones that gradually brought a party revolution, enabling people to descend into the world of top performing, high-end music production headphones, it would be unfair not to mention the Sennheiser HD 280 professional recording and mixing headphones. The headphones are designed ruggedly for enhanced durability. However, they are comfortable, fitted with ear cushions covered by soft leather. The headbands allows for quick adjustment for a comfortable fit.
The HD 280 is foldable, which means you don’t have to worry about mishandling them. Just fold them and store them in a safe place when not in use. In addition, the product also comes with a ¼-inch independent adapter, enabling users to plug it in their home stereo systems and get the party started.
The close-end headphones are designed for superior sound and liner tune production. Plus, they are also incorporated with ambient noise cancellation and attenuation technology for precision-based sound monitoring. Plus, with optimum impendence, you will never have issues with computability, which means you can listen to your recordings at home and monitor everything in the studio without requiring any additional components.
Another cool thing about the headphones is they are designed with collapsible ear cups that rotate, ensuring maximum comfort and easy storage.
- Dynamic sound with a custom, close-ear design form topnotch performance
- Cord length – 3.3 ft to 9.8 feet (the cord is coiled)
- Lightweight with rotating ear cups
- Natural sound production and high frequency response
- Ear cups comfortably envelope the ears
- Designed with 32 decibel sound attenuation and extreme noise cancellation
Overall, when it comes to the best music production headphones, it is important to remember that the price does not matter. What matters is the product’s functionality and features. As you can see, a majority of the headphones mentioned above can easily be bought under $150, but have a ridiculous number of features.
Our top 5 headphone picks for sound recording aren’t just restricted to professionals. These headphones are perfect for learning to mix and record music without having to waste money on pricier components. So, if you are buying a music production headphone set for the first time, opt for these models instead.
Keep in mind that not all music production headphones are made equal and therefore, you need to invest sufficient time, effort, and consideration to choose the best one.