Best Studio Headphones For Music Production | The Ultimate Guide
AKG Q 701 Quincy Jones Signature Studio Headphones
Much more than a celebrity endorsement, the AKG Q 701 are a highly accurate pair of semi open-back studio monitor headphones designed for the studio engineer who requires a flat frequency response for post-production applications. They have a very wide frequency response of 10Hz-39.8kHz and a noticeably expansive soundstage, making them the perfect fit for any genre of music.
They do tend to sound rather bright and have a peak in the high mids but they are by no means sibilant or piercing. The AKG Q 701 reveal tons of character and allow for precise fine-tuning and their low end allows for sculpting of lower frequencies. They’ve got an impedance of 62 ohms so they’ll produce plenty of volume on any playback device.
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Grado SR80e Prestige Series Studio Headphones
The Grado SR80e are a fantastic pair of consumer headphones that have found their way in many audio professionals toolkits for their expansive soundstage, incredible detail, and great price. We see them as a sort of hybrid between a studio reference monitor headphone and consumer-grade headphone which is an excellent way to be checking a mix. They are open-back, dynamic headphones that are easy to adjust and offer a distortion-free transient response across 20Hz-20kHz. They offer a hearty low end free from any hyped bass and rich, detailed mids that the Grado line of headphones have become well-known for.
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Studio Headphones
Beyerdynamic are a highly-trusted audio brand with many of professionals worldwide using their products to achieve world-class results. Their DT 990 PRO studio headphones are the open-back model to their DT PRO series and come in a selection of 32, 250, and 600 ohms. They are praised for their immaculate soundstage that allows for surgical stereo imaging and precise mixing. Though a bit bright, this translates well and could be considered more detailed and revealing than shrill.
They have a very wide frequency response of 5Hz-35kHz that allow you to work effectively within the range of human hearing. The bass carries a lot of punch that is very workable and coherent with extremely low harmonic distortion. The soft velour padding is as comfortable as it looks and doesn’t trap as much heat as one would suspect.
AKG Pro Audio K702 Studio Headphones
Engineers working with acoustic music will especially like the AKG K702 for their revealing soundstage and ability to sufficiently reproduce the tone that they work so hard to create. They have an open-back design and a wide frequency response of 10Hz-39.8kHz that is relatively flat with some brightness between 6kHz-20kHz that is revealing, making working with effects very simple. The AKG K702 have an excellent lower mid range that is certainly punchy, but a roll off at around 80Hz could maybe cause some engineers to overcompensate on the sub frequencies. Depending on what you’re working on, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These have a impedance of 62 ohms so they’ll crank just fine out of anything you’re listening from.
Sennheiser HD 650 Studio Headphones
The Sennheiser HD 650 are one of the most popular pairs of studio headphones that are often the pair against which others are compared. People love these for their articulate low end, vast soundstage, and pristine clarity after many hours of use. They are non-fatiguing and ultimately highly revealing of every aspect of your mix. While some people claim that the highs are too tame, many also often have the issue with a muddy mix and we notice mixes with the HD 650 translate extraordinarily well across all listening devices.
They have an open-back design and a frequency response of 10Hz-39.5kHz. They do have an impedance of 300 ohms so be sure to be plugged into something with a sufficient preamp as to drive them to your ears content. They fit and feel like a luxury product and certainly live up to their many years of praise.
Sony MDR-7506 Studio Headphones
Audio professionals working in music, film, and broadcast media use the Sony MDR-7506 regularly and they are easily one of the most popular pairs of closed-back studio monitor headphones out there. They are an excellent choice for field recordings, podcasting, live sound, and for tracking instruments in the studio. This is due to several peaks in frequencies between 100Hz-2kHz where much common audio information resides. These peaks make it challenging for critical mixing decisions so if your work is in post production then try something open-back with a flatter response. That being said, if you’re producing or recording music the Sony MDR-7506 could be just what your looking for to provide you with lots of vibe to get you into your productions during the creative process.
They have a wide frequency response of 10Hz-20kHz and an impedance of 63 ohms so they’ll drive quite nicely off anything.
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Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Studio Headphones
Many musicians love the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x as they are a studio workhorse that also perform well for everyday use. They are closed-back with an impressive amount of noise reduction and provide punch and sizzle that offer plenty of vibe for the tracking musician. Their frequency response of 15Hz-28kHz sounds lively and detailed. For a closed-back design they have a surprisingly wide soundstage, though not what you would get from an open-back pair of studio headphones.
The ATH-M50x have a strong reputation that has much been word of mouth from happy customers using them for all sorts of audio applications. With an impedance of only 38 ohms these things crank of literally anything.
Sennheiser HD 380 PRO Studio Headphones
The Sennhaiser HD 380 PRO are an amazing closed-back choice for tracking in the studio as they’ve got 32dB of noise reduction. They have a strong sub bass response that provides tons of pump and the highs are clear and roll off up at the top. This makes them great for tracking at a loud volume without working about high frequencies bleeding into the mics. They’ve got a wide frequency response of 8Hz-27kHz, they are comfortable to wear and fit snug, they provide tons of vibe, and are totally affordable. Definitely a great pair to have around the studio.