If you are someone who is either a veteran in electronic music production, just a garage producer or someone who is enamored by the music production arts and wants in, one of your primary concerns would and should be which studio headphone to get. Studio Headphones are by no means the same as regular headphones you use to listen to music or headphones that are used in live settings. The best studio headphones should ideally have a flat frequency response so that the music you’re producing isn’t ‘colored’ or artificially influenced by the headphones.
While there are a lot of great studio headphones out there in different price ranges, to pick the one which is ideal for your individual needs there are several factors you need to look into. These factors may include several things which we’ve taken into consideration to create this list as well.
Best Studio Headphones 2016 – The Ultimate Guide
Below are the best studio headphones available in the market and also a guide to buying them.
These important factors of consideration are as follows:
- Budget: While there are a few decent models available at less than $100, you should ideally save up and buy a more powerful model because if you are serious about producing music, you’re gonna’ be using those headphones for a long time to come, maybe for several hours a day.
- Purpose: Will you be recording music, mixing them, or doing both? Whether you should get open, closed, or semi-open headphones will be determined by where you use them and to what end.
- Features: Features here don’t mean sound effects for the purpose of studio effects is to minimize any embellishments. However, the features here does entail the sound quality, its power, whether it’s noise cancellation, etc.
Below you’ll find listed some of the best studio headphones out there.
#1. Sony MDR7506 – $100
These are great affordable and consumer-friendly headphones from Sony that can be bought for a little more than $100. It features a closed around-the-ear design. This is the ideal design for ‘tracking’ aka recording purposes as it prevents excessive noise from the headphone from spilling outwards and being picked up by the microphone.
Ideally suited for studio use as it offers extremely accurate sounds, with the right lows, miss, and sharp highs. It comes with comfortable padding as well which makes it good for daily use.
#2. Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones – $200 – $300
This is one of the best headphones to buy and has almost universal popularity from general listeners and producers of music. It’s the ideal headphone at the price bracket of $200-300. It has a very clear flat response which is good for production as it doesn’t interfere with the music you’re producing.
However, it is somewhat lacking in the comfort department, as it can get a little tight, needing some adjustment, and the pads may get worn with time. They’re ideally suited for dance music as they have powerful lows and are well balanced overall.
#3. Sennheiser HD-280 Pro – $1oo
One of the greatest things about these is the fact that if handled with care these can literally last you for years to an end. This is a great buy for those who need good tools for production but are terrified of the idea of their headphones breaking or malfunctioning after a while. It is collapsible, thus offering great portability, and is extremely lightweight and comfortable for long hours of continuous listening.
All these pairs make it the perfect tool for those who edit for over 6 hours a day straight, or those who like to travel often. It’s an around-the-ear headphone, which, as we mentioned earlier is better for tracking. Another feature which is sure to sway a lot of buyers is that of the replaceable features, so if one of the parts gets damaged you don’t need to buy another headphone, just that individual part. As far as quality is concerned, all levels of frequency are reproduced with clarity and there’s no static or hissing towards the highs.
#4. V-MODA Crossfade LP – $100 – $200
This looks like a tank, is built like a tank, and works like a tank. That is a compliment. If you don’t mind the weight of 9.5 ounces on your head then these can last you years and years to an end with rough usage even. This is a solid investment and comes with 50mm drivers, accurate and flat tuned sounds and a strong design.
The memory-foamed ear pads are great for comfort as they settle onto the curves of your ears well, offering complete comfort, and they are also replaceable should they wear out. While they aren’t very popularly known, the true headphone aficionados are all praise for them.
#5. Grado Prestige Series SR80i – $170
They can last about 4 to 5 years, and if you are careful they can last even longer, which is pretty awesome for a headphone which only weighs 5 ounces, the lowest on this list, by quite a margin.
The light weight also offers great comfort, allowing you to use them for long stretches of time. These headphones are also quite a hit amongst people who enjoy rock music, though it can work really well with all other genres as well.
So these are some of the best studio headphones out there in a diverse price and quality range. Do let us know which one you prefer the most, or if you feel we ought to have included some other pair in this list, let us know down in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!
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