Having a pair of the best studio headphones in 2018 is just as important as having a microphone for studio recording period.
Considering the fact that music production is an industry that depends on quality audio production (speakers, amplifiers, headphones etc).
The choice of choosing the best studio headphones for your mixing and sound mastering for an improved quality audio production becomes unavoidably important.
But there is just a little problem. What are the best studio headphones for mixing and mastering in 2018? OR what studio headphone should I buy for quality recording and solid rock performance?
With choosing an audio gear comes different factors to consider. With studio headsets, you have the option to choose between an open back studio headphone or a closed back studio headphone.
Some people even go for studio headphones wireless because of comfort and freedom of movement. Whichever the case might be, I and my fellow reviewers have taken time to detail everything here on this page, to guide you on what studio headphone is best for you.
Quick Navigation for the best studio headphones of 2018.
Comparison Chart of the best studio headphones 2018
If you are going to be mixing and mastering music in your studio, you sure will be in need for a quality studio headphone since they make the job a whole lot easier. After all, these two devices (speakers and headphones) are your only real connection with the music you are mixing.
With the so many available studio headphones in the market today, one might easily get confused with the option to choose between headphones for recording, headphones for mixing or wireless bluetooth headphones for studio use. However, we have taken the time and trouble to do that for you. Here is a reviewed list of the best studio headphones to buy in 2018.
The senneheiser is our top pick for the best budget closed back studio headphone with great performance and the good part is: its a cheap studio headphone you can buy under $100.
Type: Wired. | Design: Closed, around-the-ear. | Weight: 7.8 ounces. | Drivers Diameter: Not provided | Frequency response: 8 – 25,000 Hz. | Impedance: 64 Ohms | Cord length: 3.3 – 9.8 ft. coiled.
Click to compare prices From – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Best Buy.
Senneheiser, the popular German audio company has been around since 1945 producing nothing short of top notch and great sounding headphones. While some of their headphones can be really pricey, the HD 280 pro strikes the balance between quality sound and price.
These premium headphones from Sennheiser includes all of the makings of a great audio product which has further made them our top pick for the best studio headphones to buy in 2018.
While most lines of the HD headphones is quiet famous in the studio headphone world because they have mixtures of all types of builds and headphone types.
This particular pair has been praised by virtually almost every professional and upcoming music makers out there. The HD 280 Pro leans on the affordable side of the spectrum and provides a balanced and flat sound representation.
The Build and comfortable feel. The classic design of this pair includes very comfortable and an easy to replace earpads, headband padding, and an audio cord for an extended product lifespan. To add to this, the HD 280 Pro was built to be an around the ear headphone which makes it much better for recording and sound isolation.
The collapsible and rotating earpieces with a very light weight makes these headphones very portable and ideal for easy movement. The closed-back, circumaural design allows you to enjoy high quality audio anywhere, with up to 32dB of background sound attenuation.
Drawback but not a deal breaker. A closer look at this pair reveals the headbands had a strong initial clamping force which might not appear to be very comfortable and causes some level of discomfort – even with the ample padding on the cups and headband, it’ll take a week or so for these to loosen up.
Also, they aren’t the most attractive headphones we’ve seen though, but who cares about beauty in the studio? Its all about sound. However; it’s a thick plastic that feels and looks tough resulting in a lightweight and durable piece of kit.
Performance and Sound production. During our testing and performance check, the Senneiser HD-280 Pro pair of headphones gave out a very clean and clear signal with a precise bass and no report of hissing in the highs.
Also, there was no trace of any sound coloration which further makes it a perfectly neutral sounding headphone that treats the lows, mids and highs all equally.
Sennheiser HD 280-Pro Studio Headphones PROS and CONS.
Excellent noise isolation, lightweight and portable folding.
Durable thick plastic design and a great value for the price.
Initial clamping may bother some wearers but will loosen up.
As with other quality headphones, this wireless pair of headphone features an amazing active noise-cancelling technology perfect for any situation without any of the traditional drawbacks usually associated with some other wireless bluetooth headphones.
Having sound quality as well as other interactive features at heart, this pair of bluetooth headphone also come packed with in-built microphones in and outside the ear cups which senses unwanted noise and completely blocks them out.
The Build and Sound Performance. The Bose quietcomfort 35 series II wireless headphone has a large staring, oval ear cups and a headband which are both plumped with padding.
The frame and headband are made of a thick and durable plastic, while the outer ear-cups are metal built which completes the closed-back design. Alcantara covers the headband and provides a great deal of comfort along with the synthetic leather ear-cups.
A Great deal of comfort. The headband does offer 12 separate steps to provide maximum comfort, as well as allowing the earcups to rotate up to 90 degrees one way and five (5) degrees the other way. Thus, extended listening sessions feels comfortable with the oval shaped design of the earcups which tends to fit over the whole ear to provide a heightened level of comfort over fully round earcups.
Drawback but not a deal breaker. As with the active noise cancellation, it is impossible to turn off the active noise cancellation when using the headphones in wireless mode.
Although this is not a deal breaker, it does mean needless batter power is lost to something that you might not want to even use.
Sound Production. Using its new digital equalizing system, it is able to balance sound accordingly. While carrying out a test on these over ear headphones, we found music from Drake, Frank Ocean sounding fantastically vivid, with the vocals being distinguished from each other. Acoustics does also sound lively as well and showcases a level of clarity that we would expect at this price range.
Bose Quietcomfort35 Series II Wireless Studio Headphones PROS and CONS.
THE GOOD STUFFS.
Extremely comfortable with industrys best standard active noise cancellation.
A great sound producing audio in both wireless and wired mode.
THE BAD STUFFS
Active noise cancellation automatically turns on with bluetooth (this although wont be a problem for studio users but for regular music listeners.
See Latest Price on Amazon.
Overall, if what you seek is a studio headphone with an active noise cancellation technology and comfort which you can carry about everywhere, even outside of the studio, there could hardly be a pair which we would recommend outside the Bose Quietcomfort 35 Series II wireless headphone.
On the other hand, if you would love to go the wired way (the wired version of this headphone), you can find it here.
We know Audio-Technica makes a variety of great audio gear and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X is no exception. Which is why it ranked high in our top pick for the best closed back studio headphones of 2018.
Siting in the middle of quality audio sound production and budget, the Audio technica ATH-M50X is a steal for the money. It features a pair of 45mm rare earth drivers which helps it deliver superb sound. Because of the closed ear design, audio reproduction has repeatedly been applauded by critics and users alike.
Although this pair is regularly used by professionals, its still an average consumer set of headphones.
One of the best parts about the ATH-M50X is its exceptional noise isolation in noisy environments. The sound is accurate among the lows, mids and highs with a tight bass to boot. Music and voice sound incredibly lifelike.
The Build and Design. The modern design which makes sound isolation possible, features 90 degree swiveling earcups for usability and convenient storage. The soft earpads (made from durable yet soft material) makes this pair comfortable enough to take on a long studio session and are built to last.
Also, the 45 mm aperture drivers were built to produce a wide range of frequencies and precise bass response for the best possible listening experience.
Drawback but not a deal breaker. One thing we found with these headphones as compared with others were the sound isolation. Although it gets the job done, we found deep sounds like you may hear on a highway or on public transport able to penetrate the ear cups a little bit more, as in the other models.
While this might be a problem to those who likes to take their headphone everywhere for everyday use, you’ll have no issues in a studio, office or home environment.
Sound production and Performance. With the Audio-Technica’s new ATH-M50X, the company indeed show why the brand is often referred to as a world-leader in headphone technology. They offer an exceptional listening experience and pro-level audio. The sound quality that you get from these pair is excellent, as they are able to reproduce music performances and soundtracks with great accuracy and clarity.
Even with the pretty high volume, there is no form of distortion which is great. The highs are crisp and well defined and definitely present throughout the music, with detailed mid-range that sounds natural and organic. The bass that you get from these headphones is true bass that stays exactly where it should be.
As the most critically acclaimed model in the M-Series line, the ATH-M50X is praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers.
The M50x comes with detachable cords including a 1.2 m coiled cord which stretches and contracts to give you freedom of movement. The benefit of this is: a broken cable can be easily replaced.
Audio Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones PROS and CONS.
THE GOOD STUFFS.
World Class leading sound production with detachable cords including a coiled cord.
Collapsible design for added portability with very soft ear pads. The headband and ear cups are comfortable to wear.
THE BAD STUFFS
Although the big fat pads of the ATH-M50X offer lots of isolation from outside noise, the thinner cases share a little leakage to the outside.
See Latest Price on Amazon.
As far as the term “professional mixing and mastering” goes, there are not very many gear heads that are high on these. The Audio-Technica ATHM50X falls between the line of pro mixing and mastering as well as the consumer-based listeners.
The sony MDR-7506 is our top pick for the best studio headphones under $100 (closed back, perfect for djs and studio recording). Infact, its just a few dollar added, else, it would have been tagged a one of the best studio headphones under $50.
Just Like most of the Sennheisers, this pair of headphones has entered legendary status in the sense that they are affordable and produces top notch sound, likened to the more expensive models.
The produced from these cans are really very good and doesn’t over or under-perform in any aspects of the musical range. There is no portion too loud or very soft, and we can say it a well done headphone.
The Sony MDR7506s are arguably among the top few best studio headphones you can find on a budget and are highly valuable for the money. Sony’s MDR7506 combines the company’s excellent track record for high quality audio production coupled with a well built design.
This particular pair of headphones offers 40mm neodymium magnets that delivers fantastic sound quality and offers a dynamic frequency range of 10-20,000Hz. The low, distortion-free bass and the high, crystal-clear treble will awe and delight your ears. Audiophiles will especially love this as it makes the job of equalizing and mixing a lot easier.
The Build. Soft headbands and a nice foamy ear-cups makes these amazing studio headphone comfortable enough for longer sessions.
The tonal balance of these headphones leans towards a brighter sound signature with a nice emphasis on the highs and upper midrange. This is great because the sound really brings up the finer details in the music that other headphones will not normally pick up.
Drawback but not a deal breaker. As with other products out there, they do not have to be 100% great for everyone. What we found some users not happy about with these pair of studio headphones was the plain design and un-attachable cable. Also, you might find the ear pads to be lacking in durability, but as a hassle less fix, they can be easily replaced here.
Sound Production and Performance. The Sony MDR7506 has an incredibly detailed and accurate sound with a generally flat frequency range and thus produces very clear midrange, crisp highs and a smooth low-end with a well balanced bass not overpowering or muddying into the mid range.
With these pair of headphones, you do not get a very heavy bass, but rather, what you get is a headphone that can produce solid low-end frequencies with great bass impact that stays exactly where it should be as bass.
Sony MDR-7506 Professional Studio Headphone PROS and CONS.
THE GOOD STUFFS.
Solid noise isolation coupled with a fantastic sound quality.
Comfortable and durable design that doesnt cost less. A great value for the price.
THE BAD STUFFS.
Design is plain with a fixed cable..
See Latest Price on Amazon.
Arguably, these are one of the best pairs of studio headphones we have used and heard of that wont cost you to really dig dip into your budget.
Open Back Headphones: The Sound Balancing and Mixing Engineers Headphones.
Open back headphones are the the holy grail and go to resource for music mix engineers of all types, because open-back headphones provide a much more greater sound quality and comfortable to wear for longer sessions, which is what every mix engineer needs when it comes down to soundtracks balancing, fine tuning the sound and adding effects to boost the original recording.
In a traditional open back headphone, sound is able to go in two directions – towards the ear and outwards – creating a more realistic experience.
Sound Clarity: Open-back headphones offer an exceptional quality of sound unmatched by other available designs. The ear cups are also open and allows background sound mixes with the music being played.
The result? A natural, resonant audio matched to the projected sound in a traditional recording studio. They generally give everything a “wide-open” sound.
Ear Fatigue: Because of their build and style, which spells comfort all the way, open-back headphones are the headphones which will create the least amount of ear fatigue
Critical Listening: One of the things we could not resist in these set of headphones are their ability to give you a closer listening very similar as in the real world. As opposed to listening in a soundproof room, open-back headphones will basically give you a nice diffusion of sound mixed with the outside life, and stay true to the frequencies that are actually in a recording.
Tuning Vocals: You wouldn’t want to tune the vocals in a soundtrack to be somewhat too high, low, thick or thin right? That is where an open back headphone further excels, with its ability to produce and give you the real sound (background included) so you are able to hear and balance everything properly. With their frequency range; harmonics are everything.
The Best Open Back Studio Headphones of 2018.
The best open back headphone of 2018 is the Senneiser HD 800, with a hefty price tag of $1,400 USD. When considering the price, one can easily tell it is not just a headphone for any studio operator. If you have got such amount to spare on a studio headphone like this, we highly recommend you go for it. You can check out its Review by first hand buyers and latest price over at amazon here. Perhaps, a discount may have been added.
Although the Senneiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System outperforms the HD 600 and the rest other Senneiser headphones beneath it, it does not consider itself a headphone for just anyone or any studio operator when you take it price into consideration. With that out of the way. Here then are the best open back studio headphones you can buy in 2018 for great sound and performance.
Having known that. Here are the best open back studio headphones of 2018 for real studio mixing and mastering.
Our Pick:Sennheiser HD 600 – Best Studio Headphone For Mixing and Mastering with Quality Sound
The Sennheiser HD600 is our top pick for the best studio headphones for audio mixing and mastering with solid rock performance and affordable for any studio operator.
Just between the HD 580 and the 650 lies the Sennheiser HD 600 open back headphone with a state of the art sound and yes, comfort. You probably will agree with me when I say: the Sennheiser HD 600 is a headphone every sound craving person should obviously consider. Lets see the reason why below.
Comfort. Outside sound, the Senneiser HD 600 was also built with comfort in mind. Because of the plush velour materials covering the earpads on this cans, you can wear them for hours (long sessions) and not even notice a single sweat developing. While this is a feature usually associated with leather padded ear cups, you can see them live in action on this pair of headphones.
The Build. For the most components in the construction of this open back studio headphone which includes the earpads, cable and grill are all removable. When you conider the benefit of this, it can be traced down to a long lasting pair of headphones, durable and with lots of life.
Drawback but not a deal breaker. As with every product out there in the market, there are bad sides. The bad sie to these pair is: most of the construction is plastic which is a bit disappointing but nowhere near a deal breaker.
Sound Production and Quality. Coming down to the sound production of the Senneiser HD 600 open back headphones perfect for studio use, the 600 pair are top notch and no doubt – one of the flattest and neutral sounding headphones you can find under $400.
Having gone through series of testing and side by side comparisons, they have always emerged top and has further been described as “one of the best buys in the world of audiophile headphones” – Tyll Herstens of inner-fidelity and “Dollar for dollar, the HD600 is among the best sounding headphones I have ever heard.” — David Mahler in his battle of the flagship headphone comparison.
Senneiser HD 600 Studio Headphone PROS and CONS.
THE GOOD STUFFS.
Solid audio sound quality with great comfort, perfect for long studio sessions.
Detachable cables and easy to replace components.
THE BAD STUFFS.
Not foldable, due to lots of plastic in its constuction.
Depending on your head size, it can sometimes take a while to adjust for maximum comfort.
See Latest Price on Amazon.
Whether you are an audiophile or just a regular user or studio operator who takes mixing (or music) seriously, the Sennheiser HD 600 is a perfect fit for you.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pros are no doubt one of the best studio headphones you can buy in 2018 and not regret a single thing. They have an open over-the-ear design for an impressive spacious and wide stereo imaging.
Specially made for studio applications. they are able to produce a transparent and spacious sound with good bass response and high sensitivity which is able to pick up virtually every single detail in the audio recording. This further makes them ideal for studio mixing and music production.
The Build. The build quality and design of the DT 990 Premium pro-250 is top notch. Starring a large ear cups wide enough to fully cover your ears, coupled with the leather like headband which provides an extremely comfortable wearing experience, the beyerdynamic DT 990 premium studio headphones is comfortable enough to take on long listening sessions.
The headphone is made entirely of ABS plastic while the headband and forks holding the cans are made of durable aluminium. The plush memory foam ear pads feels like pillows on your head and the open-back design means sound production isn’t bad either.
Drawback but not a deal breaker. As with other products out there, One thing we noticed on this model though is they are made of mostly plastic, which makes moving them anyhow not too cool. Also, they have an impedance of 250 ohms so you probably need an amp to listen to your music at a decent level. Like we earlier said – perfect for studio use, so the additional stuffs are likely to be there in the studio already.
Performance and Sound Production. Listening to vocal performances on the Beyerdynamic DT 990-pro premium studio headphones felt like sitting in a real life concert hall with very good attention to detail.
The sound performance is well spacious and dynamic enough to produce very good details and clarity with a good degree of imaging. They produce decent bass impact without sacrificing the dynamics, and have a good mid-range speaker with good imaging.
With regards to frequency range, these pair of fully open back studio headphones have a V-shaped sound signature and are tuned to emphasize the low-end and high frequency ranges.
When compared to other studio headphones, we found that the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Professional studio headphones have a much better low-end response and has more extended smoother highs; this means that you would be able to hear an instrument or subtle note that you may not have noticed in the recording before.
Beyerdynamic DT 990-Pro Premium Studio Headphone PROS and CONS.
THE GOOD STUFFS.
Extremely comfortable with ample cushion with a durable design coupled with a completely metal headband.
Sound production is crisp with with solid bass, which makes this pair a a great sounding studio monitor that is a pleasure to wear.
THE BAD STUFFS.
It comes in a basic packaging with no storage case.
See Latest Price on Amazon.
Overall, the beyerdynamic 990-pro premium studio headphones are one of the best performing open back studio headphones we recommend you buy in 2018. They are a pair of studio headphones perfect for sound mixing and mastering. The DT 990 premium is a great sounding studio monitor that is a pleasure to wear.
Buying Guide to get the Best Pair of Studio Headphones.
If you are serious about buying a great pair of studio headphones for your mixing and sound balancing needs in the studio, then you should know a little, at least, of what to look out for when shopping for your next headphones for studio work.
Things to look out for in a pair of Studio Headphones.
Studio headphones can sometimes be overwhelming, because of the features, name and design they carry.
Although there are so many old and new studio headphones models today in the market, the whole process of choosing one of the best studio headphones for yourself all boils down to three major things: Build and comfort, sound quality and how much you are willing to pay for a pair of over the ear studio headphones or earbuds.
Performance. When we use the word “performance” in studio headphones, we are actually referring to a whole lot of things. But for the major of them are their transparency or ability to give you a neutral tone. On top of that, you want a good frequency range and good sensitivity.
Comfort. If you are going to be spending a whole lot of your time in the studio, mixing and balancing acoustic and digital sound tracks, it only makes sense that you treat yourself to a great deal of comfortable studio headphones. Wearing headphones inevitably leads to fatigue.
Your ears start to hurt, your head starts to ache, neither of which are something you want to experience when working in a studio.
With regards to comfort, padding is very much essential here. You want headphones with sufficient padding on the headband, as well as ear pads. Ear pads are a lesser issue considering that most headphones allow you to swap them out, but headband can be problematic. Clamping force also comes to mind as some models out there can really be aggressive in this regard.
Build Quality. Although the build quality of many headphones today heavily depends on their price tag, (higher end headphones are usually made to last much longer). If you can find something that has a metal frame and fits your budget, you just struck gold.
The Cables: As with standard of operation these days comes cables. Having detachable cables is a whole lot better, considering the fact that it allows for a bit of versatility in terms of cable length. That aside, the main benefit of detachable cables is: they are replaceable and can easily be switched if one goes bad. With fixed cable headphones, that is not an option.
Budget. You wouldn’t want to spend all of your hard earned cash on a single pair of studio headphones will you? This is mostly the case for those on a budget. While the price of a headphone correlates with its performance and build, it still only make sense that you go for something within your budget. As time goes by, and things starts kicking in, you can always replace them.
Other Related Buyer's Guide and Best Products Reviewed List.
Below are some other music and audio gear related buyers guide and best products reviewed list of 2018 by Echolakeband we think you might find useful.