Best Headphones for Music Production


Best Headphones for Music Production

Music is one of life’s greatest gifts, that’s undeniable. Musicians spend their lives producing masterpieces for us ordinary folk to savour and enjoy.

There are very few things in the world that can take you away in an instant, change your mood, transform your day, and ultimately change your life. There are very few problems that can’t be solved with a good playlist, that’s a fact. 

Getting a pair of headphones that compliments the intricate depths and subtleties of a great song is essential. One of life’s greatest sins is to listen to exceptional music on unexceptional headphones, especially if you are looking to produce music or work in the industry.

Those beautiful low tones that take you on a journey, lost. The clarity of butter-smooth vocals with a cheap tinny reverb as the song reaches the climactic moment of power and emotion. As a music producer, your sole purpose is to listen to all of the sounds exactly as they are, looking out for the issues and fixing them to create a masterpiece.

To do this you need a pair of quality headphones, no question. That shallow tinny face creasing crackle as Tom Yorke hits his high notes, making Radiohead sound like a bad wedding band, this just simply isn’t ok.

In this article we will remedy this problem, so no music will ever be tarnished again. Here we will go through some of the best headphones for music production. 

Best Headphones for Music Production

No.1 Best seller- OneOdio Wire Studio Headphones 

OneOdio Wired Over Ear Headphones Studio Monitor & Mixing DJ Stereo Headsets with 50mm Neodymium Drivers and 1/4 to 3.5mm Audio Jack for AMP Computer Recording Phone Piano Guitar Laptop - Black

With the OneOdio studio headphones, you can expect clear sound with depth and comfort. The large 50-millimetre speaker unit drivers combined with neodymium magnets offer powerful bass, clear vocals, and crisp high tones.

The headphones have a soft material for ultimate ear comfort and sound isolation, with an adjustable headpiece to fit all, headphones that slip off if you move your head too much just isn’t ok!

These headphones also come with a 9.8ft cord so you aren’t always having to figure out ways to get them from your desk to your chair, and they give you plenty of wiggle room! Swivelling ear cups allow you to do one ear monitoring if needed. 

For the price point, these headphones offer exceptional sound quality and dynamic bass. It’s very difficult to notice any difference between these and a far more expensive studio headset.

Where you may notice a difference is in the long term use. If you are a professional music producer giving these a constant thrashing then you may well start to see issues compared to the higher-priced headphones. 

Pros

  • Great dynamic bass sound
  • Great head comfort 
  • Exceptional price point sound quality
  • Adjustable earpieces 

Cons

  • Not the best for heavy daily use by professionals 
OneOdio Wired Over Ear Headphones Studio Monitor & Mixing DJ Stereo Headsets with 50mm Neodymium Drivers and 1/4 to 3.5mm Audio Jack for AMP Computer Recording Phone Piano Guitar Laptop - Black
  • BASS SOUND: Enjoy clear sound and comfort with the OneOdio Studio monitor headphones. Large, 50 millimeter speaker unit drivers combined with neodymium magnets; powerful bass, clear vocal, and crisp high tones form stereo sound
  • BUILT TO STAY COMFORTABLE: The soft padded ear cushions are designed for monitor headphones comfort and noise isolation. The headband is adjustable and stretchable for you to find the desired angle you like to fit in
  • NO MORE ADAPTER: DJ style coiled cord (9.8Ft Stretched) easily reaches from the TV or stereo to your chair. A standard-sized 6.35mm plug and a 3.5mm plug are included. They both are completely detachable, you can plug in the mixer you want to use
  • SINGLE-SIDE MONITORING: 90° swiveling ear cups for single-ear monitoring anytime; self-adjustable and flexible headband delivers a fatigue-free listening experience that can last for hours, ideal for mastering and mixing
  • Works with: All devices have 3.5mm or 6.35mm audio jack. Bass sound, durability, and comfort. These are the headphones you've been looking for

Best for Professionals -Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black, Professional Grade, Critically Acclaimed, with Detachable Cable

Professionals of the industry, look no further. These particular headphones are critically acclaimed by top sound engineers and reviewers around the world. They have 45mm aperture drivers combined with rare earth magnets & copper-clad aluminium wire voice coils. 

These headphones offer exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range and incredibly complex base tone response. 

Fully adjustable earcups combined with carefully designed fabric for excellent sound isolation so you won’t be distracted by annoying background noise. 

These headphones are specifically made for sound monitoring and producing, creating amazing detail from sounds. Bearing this in mind, they are not the best choice for casual listeners looking for something to tick a broader box in terms of what they are being used for. These headphones are specifically designed for audio monitoring and studio production. 

Pros

  • Critically acclaimed by professional sound engineers 
  • Exceptional tone clarity & extended frequency range
  • Great bass tone response  

Cons

  • Not the best for casual use – specifically made for monitoring & production
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black, Professional Grade, Critically Acclaimed, with Detachable Cable
  • Critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers
  • Proprietary 45 millimeter large aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils
  • Exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range with deep accurate bass response
  • Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
  • 90 degree swiveling earcups for easy one ear monitoring and professional grade earpad and headband material delivers more durability and comfort

Best for All-round Listening & Bass-Skullcandy Crusher Evo Wireless Over-Ear Headphone

Skullcandy Crusher Evo Wireless Over-Ear Headphone - True Black

If you are looking for the all-round top of the market headphones with insane bass, these are hard to beat, they even beat the beats 😉 Blowing away the markets biggest competitors across the board, it’s hard to find a negative review about these headphones.

With a personalised sound panel, built-in tile finding technology, crusher base system capable of blowing your hair off, 41-hour battery life for the marathon music fanatics, wireless capability for the late-night room ravers and fully collapsible for ease of storage and travel, they do tick all the boxes for an all-round contender.

Pros

  • Mind rattling sensory crusher base technology
  • 41-hour battery life 
  • Personal Sound customization via Skullcandy App
  • Wireless & Wired
Sale
Skullcandy Crusher Evo Wireless Over-Ear Headphone - True Black
  • Crusher Adjustable Sensory Bass
  • Personal Sound customization via Skullcandy App
  • 41 hours of battery life
  • Built-in Tile finding technology
  • Call, track and volume controls.Connectivity technology: Wired.Included components: User Guide

Best Closed-back Technology-AKG Pro Audio K271 MKII

AKG Pro Audio K271 MKII Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Professional Studio Headphones

These headphones have advanced closed-back technology for ultimate sound isolation, allowing you to get lost in the wonderful world of music. They are perfect for stage and studio performance eliminating any background noise.

They incorporate an extremely comfortable design with thick pads and a self-adjusting headband to fit all sizes and to allow any position on the head for those spending hours in the studio.

The intuitive auto-mute option mutes your headphones when you take them off for that extra bit of magic.

These headphones come complete with a 3-meter cable and a 5-meter coiled cable allowing you to move around relatively easily. 

The AKG K271 MKIIs let you record instruments and vocals in the studio without any unwanted spill or bleed. These headphones are also built to last with rigorous testing to ensure a long-lasting product for its price point. The MKIIs are guaranteed to be a key part of your studio setup. 

If you are after headphones with good collapsibility then there are better options out there, and when being worn around the neck the earcups face upwards which I know can be annoying for some of you out there as it can be uncomfortable. 

Pros

  • Advanced closed-back technology 
  • Exceptional sound quality for vocals & instruments
  • Auto mute technology

Cons

  • Not the best for collapsibility 
  • Ear cups face up when worn around the neck
AKG Pro Audio K271 MKII Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Professional Studio Headphones
  • Professional over-ear closed back headphones perfectly-suited to both the stage and studio
  • Advanced closed-back technology provides exceptional isolation
  • Extremely comfortable design with thick pads and a self-adjusting headband
  • Intuitive auto-mute switch mutes your headphones when you take them off
  • Comes complete with a 3m straight cable and a 5m coiled cable

Best for a Long Life- beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Open Studio Headphones

beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Open Studio Headphones

These headphones are definitely on the more expensive side, but they are built to last, designed by Germans with no detail overlooked. The beyerdynamic DT 1990 headphones will be part of your collection for a lifetime.

These headphones combine decades of expertise in headphone technology with the latest Tesla driver technology in an open-back design. With its high resolution and perfectly balanced sound, these headphones set the bar at a whole new level.

High-quality materials and meticulous craftsmanship, this is a true investment. With a genius open-back technology, the high-resolution Tesla drivers create a full, dynamic and extremely organic masterpiece of transcendent sound.

The carefully optimized sound reproduction makes the DT 1990 Pro headphones a versatile competitor for mixing and mastering, as well as critical and detailed sound engineering.

The one downside for many will be the price, but in this case, you are paying for extreme quality and workmanship. 

Pros

  • Built to last for a lifetime 
  • Tesla driver technology 
  • High resolution and perfectly balanced sound 

Cons

  • High price point 
beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Open Studio Headphones
  • Open studio reference class headphones for mixing and mastering, Made in Germany
  • 250 ohms, 45 mm dynamic Tesla neodymium drivers
  • Single sided, detachable cable with mini-XLR connectors
  • Soft, replaceable ear pads and headband for long studio sessions. Headphone frequency response : 5-40,000 Hz. Nominal sound pressure level : 102 dBSPL (1mW/500Hz)
  • Delivery contents: 2 ear pads with different sound characteristics (analytical and well-balanced), two pairs of cables (3m straight and coiled), premium hard case

Buyers Guide

Buying the right headphones for music production isn’t the easiest task. There are so many options out there all providing different perks. Scrolling through endless audio descriptions can be quite intimidating, especially if you aren’t that clued up on all the technical lingo, it’s easy to glaze over and get lost.

It is a case of what is the right fit for you, all of the headphones listed here are excellent headphones all for slightly different reasons. Below I will outline some key factors to look into before clicking the buy button on your headphones of choice. 

Open or Closed Back

This is a big factor for many. The difference between open and closed back is very self-explanatory. To make the right choice it’s very dependent on where you will be using your headphones and how much background noise you anticipate coming into contact with.

Open-back headphones allow air to flow through the back of the headphones, allowing a more natural feel and some say a more real feel for the music you’re listening to. Open-back headphones are great for critical listening, mixing and mastering high-quality audio files and at home listening with little background noise.

However, if there is noise around you, due to the open back nature, they are not good at cancelling out noise. They also ‘leak’ sound so people around you will be able to hear your guilty pleasures like S Club 7, if you aren’t ashamed of this then no worries! But if you are…. closed-back headphones may be better to keep your secret safe.

If you have a very quiet space with no distracting background noise there is a strong argument for open-back headphones being the better option as they create a very clear sound and are used by many professionals for critical listening. 

Closed-back headphones offer excellent noise isolation. They cut out background noise and allow you to get fully immersed in the music. If you are travelling in noisy places or are surrounded by screaming children then closed back is the way to go.

Lower frequencies may sound louder and less natural in closed-back headphones due to the sealed back. Closed-back headphones are great for casual listening, commuting, listening at the office and recording audio.

It’s worth mentioning that closed-back headphones aren’t great for working out. They don’t disperse heat around the head and ears well due to a lack of airflow. 

Wireless or Wired

Oh, the good old wired or wireless debate. Again, there are valid reasons for both. If being able to move around freely is essential for you then obviously wireless is something to strongly consider.

If you will be working out a lot or simply just don’t like having to untangle wires daily, wireless may be the one for you. The first thing to point out is that wireless and wired headphones receive different audio file signals.

Wired headphones receive a higher quality signal, they receive an analogue signal whilst wireless headphones receive a Bluetooth digital signal which can’t handle as much data. Therefore wired headphones offer better sound quality. Another perk of wired headphones is that they require no charging and are cheaper too. 

The real perks of wireless are the freedom they give you and the compatibility to connect with all sorts of devices wherever you go, but this comes at a higher price. But if you are in one place and listening critically to music as a producer, then wired headphones offer better sound quality. 

Adjustable Headband & Ear Cups  

Something to look for is a pair of headphones with good adjustability and comfort, especially if you will be listening to music for long periods. You don’t want headphones that are constantly slipping off your head or making your ears and head sore after some time listening.

Looking into the comfort offered in the fabric of the earcups and headband is important. Also, the rotation of the earcups is worth considering too. Some offer different rotation options, some of which may be more or less comfortable depending on your preferences. 

Durability

The durability of your headphones is very important in determining their life expectancy. If you are looking for your headphones to be part of your collection for many years to come then looking into build quality and materials used is very important.

Obviously, this usually comes with a slightly higher price point so it depends on what your priorities are. Things like the fabric of the earcups wearing out quickly and internals becoming tired if being used heavily. 

Sound Quality

This seems like a very obvious one but it’s not quite as simple as you think, it’s not just about amazing sound quality, different headphones offer different emphasis to what you are listening to… but people have very different preferences on what sound quality they want from their headphones. There are many different categories of audio quality that people look into, below are some of the most common.

  • Bass-heavy, strong emphasis on the lower ranges to get that deep, mind-bending bass, this is a very popular emphasis for people. 
  • V-shaped, with a strong emphasis on the bass and treble to produce a more alive and dynamic sound throughout the different frequencies. 
  • Flat, a balanced and neutral sound with all the frequencies being balanced, nothing coming through stronger than the other. 

Again, this is a personal preference and depends on what you will be using your headphones for. 

Size

Are you one of those bulky headphones kind of people who think the bigger the better? Or are you the minimalist that likes a streamlined pair of headphones to blend in like a natural extension of your head?

Size is something worth considering before buying. It also makes a difference to how they feel on your head, naturally the bigger the headphones the heavier they will feel which may annoy you after long periods, but maybe offer more durability. On the other hand, the smaller headphones may lack durability but be better for long sessions. 

Over the ear or on the ear headphones

Over-ear headphones go over your ears… As a result, you’ll hear less background noise, which is great in loud environments like aeroplanes or public places. The ear cups are bigger. What’s nice about over-ear headphones is they don’t press on your ears, they’re more comfortable for marathon listening sessions. 

As you’d expect..on-ear headphones rest on your ears. They’re smaller and lighter, making them easier to travel around with and tuck into small spaces. Background noise is more present, making you more aware of your surroundings, which can be a good and bad thing. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of headphones is best for music production? 

If we are talking about production and more creative ventures, there are a few things required in your headphones worth considering.

There are several headphones on the market which claim to be ideal for studio production but it’s important to do your research and find out what is important and what is simply a sales pitch. Different brands and models offer different perks and audio profiles, so figuring out exactly what you want is the first step. 

Are open back or closed back better for production?

This is very dependant on your surroundings, whilst open back offers better clarity and natural sound valued by producers, they also allow external noise to muddy the sound due to the open nature.

If you have a quiet studio then open back could be the way to go as they are excellent for detailed sound monitoring.

If you are surrounded by noise then you may struggle with open back headphones as they allow ambient sound in and they also ‘leak’ sound for others to hear.

Closed-back headphones offer excellent noise isolation for an immersed experience cutting out all ambient sound. However, the audio profile isn’t as accurate due to low tones being amplified in the closed space causing ‘bounce back’ and ‘sound resonance’ in some cases.   

Last update on 2021-12-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Recent Posts