Top Headphones For Music Production Review – Top Rated Models in 2020 with Buying Guide
If you work in the music industry, you cannot do your job without a professional pair of headphones. And if you’re looking for the best headphones for music production but don’t have the time to search for them on your own, we got you covered. After we conducted our own thorough research, we have concluded that a reliable item is the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x. It features a robust construction with adjustable pads for a comfortable wearing, 90-degrees swiveling earcups that allow one-ear monitoring, and a durable design to last you many years from now on. If this item is not available for purchase right away, a good alternative would be the AKG K 240 MK II Stereo.
Our Top Choice
Quality headphones should provide you with an audio experience you’ll want to relive again and again yet also with comfort. That’s the idea behind this model. Featuring a lightweight yet robust build as well as quality materials, the product ensures both durability and comfort. What’s more, the item was designed to help you enjoy a high-quality sound even in loud environments.
Durability might be an issue according to a few buyers who tried this model. They say a few parts broke after short use.
If you’re a music producer or a sound engineer looking for quality headphones to provide you with clear sounds, this product might be right up your alley.
Featuring a timeless design, this pair of headphones is also worth considering if you want to enjoy the sounds you produce clearly. Preferred by many professionals, the unit features an over-ear design that will provide you with comfort even when using it for a long time. The materials employed promise to reduce fatigue. The semi-open technology used ensures a high-quality sound.
Despite the adjustment system featured, the item did not provide a comfortable fit, as one user says.
Take your audio experience one step higher by going for this pair of headphones. The product was designed to ensure sonic clarity.
Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, this model should not be ignored. The product is committed to delivering high sound quality and clarity without breaking your budget. The headphones were designed to make sure you don’t get any pain even when wearing them for long sessions. The adjustable headband will further help you enjoy the comfort you need.
The cable these headphones come with proved to be unstable as one buyer mentions in an online review.
Give this product a try if you want to up your audio experience without spending much. The headphones promise to deliver high sound quality.
8 Best Headphones For Music Production (Reviews) in 2020
Although there are countless products on the market worth mentioning, it would be impossible for us to cover them all. Therefore, we have selected some of the most popular items according to the customers and we showcased all their important features below.
- 1. Audio-Technica ATH-M40X Professional Headphones
- 2. AKG K240 MKII Professional Semi-Open Over-Ear Studio Headphones
- 3. AKG K240 Studio Professional Semi-Open
- 4. Shure SRH440-E Professional Headphones
- 5. Shure SRH1840 Professional Open-back Premium Headphones
- 6. Sony MDR7520 Professional Studio Headphones
- 7. Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO Headset – 250 OHM
- 8. Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Over-Ear Wireless Headphone
- Yearly Guide & Report
- Frequently asked questions about studio headphones
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M40X Professional Headphones
These professional and affordable headphones are definitely a good acquisition for every sound engineer and music producer. The robust construction is lightweight and easy to wear the entire day without causing headaches or pains. The high-quality earpad and headband material provides increased durability and comfort.
Thanks to the circumaural design that contours around the ears, the sound is completely isolated so you’ll be able to hear it crystal clear even in the loudest environments. The product is delivered with top-quality accessories that include two detachable cables, a coiled cable, and a straight cable, as well as a protective carrying pouch and a screw-on adapter.
Most customers who ordered these headphones were pleased with their construction, durability, and qualities, saying these help to deliver a high-quality sound without interfering with the other sounds in the environment.
They are also flexible and adjustable, which makes them perfect for all people, regardless of their head dimensions.
Designed with music producers and sound engineers in mind, these headphones are committed to boosting your audio experience while making it comfortable for you to wear them all day.
Due to the circumaural design, you will get to enjoy crystal clear sounds even when using the headphones in loud environments as the sound is completely isolated.
To make sure your comfort is not affected even if you wear them for hours, the headphones feature high-quality headband materials and earpads.
Even if the construction is lightweight, it is also robust and the materials employed promise to ensure durability.
Thanks to the adjustable and flexible design, you will get a comfortable fit regardless of your head dimensions.
The unit comes with various accessories including cables, a pouch, and an adapter.
Given the product’s dimensions, they might feel a bit too big despite their adjustable design.Buy from Amazon.com for ($99)
2. AKG K240 MKII Professional Semi-Open Over-Ear Studio Headphones
The brand is known for delivering high-quality headphones at affordable prices for over two decades, becoming the number one choice of many professionals. You can now benefit from an improved sound quality while still remaining on a budget, which will allow you to invest more money in additional pieces of equipment.
This pair of headphones is available in a timeless and classic black and grey color that will match the rest of your outfit and your freshness. The over-ear design offers improved comfort that will reduce fatigue when dealing with prolonged work sessions. It won’t lead to pains and aches in time.
The semi-open technology provides a solid base and airy highs, allowing you to enjoy a high-quality sound. The headphones are delivered in a universal size with an adjustable headband to ensure maximum comfort and a great fit, regardless of your head dimensions.
Engineered to boost the quality of the sounds you listen to, this pair of headphones is ideal for a variety of sonic purposes thanks to their features.
Due to the semi-open technology employed, the sound quality is enhanced as it provides airy highs and a solid base.
The over-ear design promises to provide you with comfort even if you wear the headphones for a long time.
The materials and design used won’t just make sure you don’t get any aches or pain when wearing the unit but will also make for a nice visual addition to your audio gear.
The Varimotion 30mm XXL transducer used promises to ensure a great dynamic range.
The universal size and the adjustable headband are committed to ensuring a comfortable fit regardless of the user’s head dimensions.
Even if the headband is adjustable, the headphones might still not provide all users with a comfortable fit.Buy from Amazon.com for ($78.95)
3. AKG K240 Studio Professional Semi-Open
These headphones are perfect for beginners and professionals alike. The affordable price doesn’t interfere with the quality standard, so you can rest assured you’ll enjoy the same crisp and clear sound as you would with a much more expensive pair of headphones.
The company is known for delivering great sound quality and clarity but, according to some of the customers, it may take a while until you get used to these headphones. Most of the customers agreed that after wearing them for some time, you won’t want to change them ever again.
The detachable cord measures approximately 10 feet in length, allowing you increased freedom of movement whether you use them on your laptop, PC or portable music device.
The adjustable headband will ensure you the right fit regardless of your dimensions and will prevent fatigue and pains during prolonged sessions.
Ideal for professionals and beginners alike, this pair of headphones promises to enhance your audio experience by delivering high-quality and crisp sounds.
The unit features the Varimotion 30mm XXL transducer, which means that you will get to enjoy a great dynamic range.
The over-ear design and the materials used ensure enhanced comfort even when wearing them for a long time.
To further boost your comfort and keep any pain or ache at bay, the product comes with a headband that can be adjusted for the right fit.
The cord included is not only detachable but it is also 10-foot long so you can enjoy greater freedom when employing the headphones.
Besides the headphones and the cable, the pack also includes a 3.5mm to 6mm adapter.
The build is comfortable yet it might not be robust enough to keep up with extended use.Buy from Amazon.com for ($66.98)
4. Shure SRH440-E Professional Headphones
This pair of headphones is suitable for both professionals and beginners. They are specifically optimized for home and studio recording, delivering a clean, clear, and sharp sound. Using them won’t require an additional amplifier as they will maintain the same sound clarity even when listening to high volumes.
The closed-back and collapsible design make them slender and extremely convenient to carry around with you wherever you are, without occupying too much space in your luggage or bag.
The product is delivered with numerous useful accessories, including a gold-plated adapter, a user guide completed with full instructions, and a carrying bag.
The 10-foot long detachable cable ensures maximum freedom of movement, while the replaceable ear cup pads will prolong the lifespan of your product. The headphones are slightly adjustable so, according to the customers who purchased the product, you might want to make sure they fit you first.
If you’re interested in enjoying a clean and sharp sound whether you’re at home or recording in a professional studio, this pair of headphones should not go unchecked.
Thanks to the way they were built and the technology used, you won’t have to use an amplifier as the headphones promise to deliver a high-quality sound even when you go for high volumes.
The collapsible and closed-back design ensure ease of storage and transportation whereas the materials featured will keep you comfortable.
The ear cup pads can be replaced, which means that you can thus prolong the lifespan of this unit.
The cable provided is detachable and has a length of 10 feet to provide you with greater freedom of movement when using the headphones.
The headphones are only slightly adjustable, which means that they might not fit all users.Buy from Amazon.com for ($99)
5. Shure SRH1840 Professional Open-back Premium Headphones
If you’re willing to invest in a high-quality and secure pair of headphones that will last you many years from now on, the Shure brand is definitely the starting point of your research.
The item is extremely lightweight as it is made of an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy and stainless steel that increases its durability. The steel driver frame will not only make your product more resistant in time but will also remove any internal resonance so you’ll be able to hear the clearest sounds.
The headphones are also matched with 40mm neodymium drivers that deliver an incredible acoustic performance with a high-end and accurate bass. In addition, the product also benefits from an ergonomic dual frame and a padded headband that is not only lightweight but also extremely comfortable to wear. Thanks to its adjustable size, you’ll get endless hours of listening without damaging your ears.
Committed to delivering a remarkable acoustic performance and accurate bass, this product is worth adding to your list of options.
Due to the way they were built, the headphones won’t just help you reach superior sonic realms but will also keep up with frequent and extended work sessions.
To provide you with durability, the product boasts an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy and stainless steel.
The materials employed also make the unit lightweight, which means that wearing it for a long time won’t affect your comfort.
Thanks to the steel driver frame, you will enjoy greater resistance as well as enhanced sound clarity as all internal resonances will be removed.
The headphones come with a padded headband and ergonomic dual-frame for enhanced comfort.
The unit might be a bit light on the bass; therefore, it might not suit all sound preferences.Buy from Amazon.com for ($499)
6. Sony MDR7520 Professional Studio Headphones
Sony is a reputed brand with over 70 years of experience in developing high-end technologies. The company is one of the most trustworthy and popular choices when it comes to creating new-age headphones, and the particular MDR7520 is no exception to the rule.
This reliable tool is designed to meet your demanding professional standards and can be successfully used by music producers all over the world. These headphones feature a strong and trustworthy construction, designed to last for many years from now on. The item is perfect for critical listening professional applications, as well as broadcast monitoring.
The ear pads are made of soft synthetic faux leather to ensure maximum comfort and reduce ear fatigue when wearing them for prolonged sessions. They don’t wear out in time but can be replaced whenever you need.
In addition, the detachable cable offers improved freedom of movement and can be easily replaced if it wears out.
Whether you’re a professional music producer or just a music buff interested in high-quality sounds, this model from Sony is worth taking into account.
The unit is designed to meet various professional needs that involve critical listening applications and is also ideal for broadcast monitoring.
In order to keep up with frequent work sessions, the headphones boast a strong and reliable construction that will make sure extended use won’t be a problem.
Thanks to the soft synthetic faux leather used for the ear pads, you can wear the headphones for hours without your comfort being affected or experiencing ear fatigue.
The cable included can be detached and thus replaced when it wears out; also, it ensures enhanced freedom of movement.
If the cable provided wears out and a new one is required, you need to buy it from Sony in order to get the exact model and the one available from this manufacturer might be a bit pricey.Buy from Amazon.com for ($291.89)
7. Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO Headset – 250 OHM
The headphones are available in two different color choices – the regular black and a cool shade of silver grey. The design is semi-open and offers an analytical sound.
The rugged and adjustable padded headband provides a comfortable fit while still being strong and reliable. What we really liked about these robust headphones is that all the parts are replaceable, meaning you won’t have to buy a new pair whenever the pads or the cable need to be changed. The headphone frequency response is of -35.000 Hz and the nominal sound pressure level measures 98 dB.
The product is delivered with a protective case to keep it away from dust and extreme weather conditions. It was specifically designed for studio use, therefore it is suitable for mixing and mastering. It also represents a reliable tool for sound engineers and producers.
Most of the customers who ordered the product were pleased with the sound quality and the high resolution.
If your various sonic applications and needs require a pair of headphones that will provide you with a high-quality analytical sound, this product shouldn’t go unchecked before buying.
Thanks to the 250 ohms impedance, you can easily use the unit for different studio applications such as editing, mastering, and mixing.
The product is committed to delivering sounds that are natural, clear, and spacious and to ensuring a frequency response of 5-35.000 Hz.
The headphones feature a reliable build that will withstand the test of time as well as quality materials for enhanced comfort.
The cable and the pads can be replaced while the headband can be adjusted so you can enjoy the right fit.
The pack includes a protective case to make sure dust or extreme weather conditions won’t affect the unit when traveling or not using it.
The headphones were specifically designed for studio use; therefore, keep this aspect in mind before ordering.Buy from Amazon.com for ($188)
8. Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Over-Ear Wireless Headphone
This pair of wireless headphones provides maximum freedom of movement and allows you to stay within a reasonable distance from your mixing board or PC. You can connect them via Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX and enjoy an exceptional sound quality.
The NoiseGard feature reduces ambient sounds and noises to a minimum so that you can enjoy an improved listening experience without any interferences from the outside world.
The product comes with intuitive ear-cup mounted controls that allow you to easily switch between tracks, make phone calls or adjust the volume level with minimum effort. When both technologies are activated, the battery lasts up to 19 hours. The headphones are delivered with a protective case, as well as with a connecting cable and other useful accessories.
In addition, the adjustable ear pads offer maximum comfort and will help reduce ear fatigue.
Built to take your comfort one level higher, this model enables you to listen to your favorite music or mix your tunes while moving around as it is wireless.
The headphones can be connected via Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX, which means that you will get to enjoy high-quality sounds even if you distance yourself from your computer or mixing board.
The product comes with the NoiseGard feature to reduce ambient sounds and improve your listening experience.
The item boasts intuitive ear-cup mounted controls so you can easily switch between tracks, adjust the volume, or even make phone calls.
The pack also includes a protective case to keep the headphones safe when traveling or not in use, a cable, and some other accessories.
Even if these headphones are wireless, the freedom of movement you get to enjoy is limited as you can’t use them too far away from your computer or mixing board.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Yearly Guide & Report
Searching for some reliable headphones for music production available for sale is not an easy task, especially since there are many items worth mentioning on the market. So, if you want to make sure you purchased the right product for your own needs, here are some of the most important aspects you should consider.
Probably one of the most underestimated aspects when searching for the best studio headphones, comfort is, in fact, extremely important. Keep in mind that working in the music industry and especially in a studio will have you staying with your headphones on for prolonged sessions.
So, no matter if you’re listening to a new banjo sound or the divine harmony of acoustic guitars, you need to be prepared to use your headphones for many hours in a row.
Wearing headphones will inevitably lead to fatigue and, if you’re not careful enough, to more complicated health affections, including migraines and hearing difficulties. Therefore, padding is the number one solution you need to consider for your own safety and comfort.
You should opt for headphones with high-quality ear pads that will not only block the surrounding sounds but will also keep your head and ears protected from the harmful effects of loud music.
And, if you want to stick to the same pair of headphones for as long as possible, we suggest you look for some with detachable ear pads. These can be easily replaced with new ones after they have served their purpose, which will dramatically reduce your costs in the long term.
Size and fit
The comfort that your good studio headphones provide is also directly linked to their size and overall fit. Most products come in a universal size but with an adjustable headband to ensure a fully customized experience.
We would strongly suggest you to first try the headphones before buying them to make sure they are what you’re looking for. Keep in mind that if the ear pads don’t exactly sit on your ears, you won’t get the same sound clarity, which could interfere with your overall studio music experience.
There is no guarantee that a high-end pair of headphones will provide a clearer sound than your regular cheap studio headphones, but there will certainly be a noticeable difference in the design and the overall fit of the product.
Some items come in different sizes, meaning you’ll have to carefully measure the circumference of your head to make sure you pick the right size. Items with adjustable headbands are more popular precisely because they offer a customized fit but only if your head circumference is within standard measurements.
As a general rule, the headphones shouldn’t be too tight on your head as they could cut off blood circulation and cause fatigue and head pains in the longer term. Similarly, they shouldn’t be too loose either because otherwise they will fall off your head easily and interfere with the sound quality.
If you’re not sure which product would best suit your needs, we suggest you go through some online studio headphones reviews and read the opinions of other customers. They may also have useful insights on how to find the perfect fit for you, according to your budget and expectations.
Wired or wireless design?
In your search for the best headphones for making music, you should also address the problem of wires.
There are various items that still come with long wires that need to be inserted in your laptop or PC while others benefit from the wonders of modern technologies.
The latter are often connected via Bluetooth which ensures maximum freedom of movement and won’t have you glued to your laptop each time you’re using them. Reputed brands like Sony, Bose, AKG or Beats by Dre already deliver most of their high-end headphone models with the Bluetooth connectivity.
Another important aspect to take into account is the ability of your headphones to completely isolate the surrounding sounds. This will not only help you create new sounds and focus on each tonality better but will also keep you away from surrounding distractions, especially if you deal with newbies.
Therefore, a reliable pair of headphones will protect you from the crunching sound of a piano for toddlers or the endless mistakes of those using a beginner electric guitar.
A high-performance pair of headphones also means enjoying a good transparency when it comes to the sound and receiving a neutral tone. Moreover, you will want headphones that offer a good frequency range and sensitivity.
Last but not least, the quality of your headphones is another decisive factor you should take into account. When it comes to tech pieces, the quality delivered is often related to the price you are willing to pay. Therefore, an affordable pair of headphones could take you a long way when you are a struggling producer, but you will have to invest more if you want true quality.
The quality of this product doesn’t only refer to the sound but also to the materials used for manufacturing. Depending on the price tag, you can get items made of plastic, leather or steel. Needless to say that plastic is the most affordable version, similar to what you would pay for a beginner drum set option or an affordable beginner bass guitar.
Plastic is also quite rigid and can easily break or chip if you don’t pay attention to the way you choose to transport and store your headphones. Thus, just like in the case of sturdy and reliable violin cases, you will also need a special case or bag to store your headphones.
Frequently asked questions about studio headphones
Q: How much are studio headphones?
Although you cannot put a price on quality, you’ll be happy to find out that professional headphones can be affordable as well. Depending on your requirements and your level of expertise, a good pair of headphones will cost you anywhere between 100 dollars and several hundred.
If you wish to opt for high-end brands, you’ll have to be ready to take up to a few thousand dollars out of your pocket. Keep in mind that in this case, the quality of your product is dictated by a series of factors, including the item’s design, durability, and ability to isolate the sound.
Q: Why use studio headphones?
As we previously mentioned, the quality of a pair of studio headphones is not comparable to the one provided by a regular pair of earphones. First of all, the sounds are much clearer which can lead to an entirely new interpretation of the music you’re listening to.
Secondly, a professional pair of headphones will also manage to isolate the rest of the surrounding sounds perfectly, ensuring you a moment of full silence whenever you want to log off from the world. Thus, these tools can also be used as a form of relaxing your body and mind after a stressful day at work and help you regain your inner balance.
Q: Are studio headphones good for gaming?
This type of headphones is mainly used by professional sound engineers, composers, and musicians, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to need a license to handle them properly. On the contrary, we recommend you invest in a good pair of headphones that will serve your daily purposes, whether it’s for soundproofing, listening to music on your own, or even enjoying online gaming.
And speaking of the latter, quality headphones will help you clearly listen to all the gaming sounds and improve the communication with the rest of your team members. It also helps you enjoy a more accurate gaming experience.
Q: Can you use studio headphones with an iPod?
When it comes to answering this question, the opinions of professionals and music junkies are divided. Some state that there isn’t too much of a difference between studio headphones and regular ones, meaning you can use them with any portable devices, including smartphones, tablets or iPods.
On the other hand, there is the connectivity problem. Most headphones come with a regular 3.5 mm jack input which is different from the ones used by Apple devices, including iPods. If you purchase a pair of headphones that fit these products, you could try and listen to music using them. However, if the portable device isn’t powered by batteries, the quality of the sound may be inferior.