10 Best Studio Headphones for Recording in 2022

You might also like

Set a sensible headphone volume when monitoring. It’s a common mistake for people to record as loud as possible without clipping so that they can better hear themselves in headphones. Doing so will only take away any headroom that you need in the mixing stage. If your audio interface’s volume control doesn’t get you where you want to be, consider a headphone amp or even using a limiter plugin on the track.

James Nugent


Studio Headphones Buyers Guide

A well-informed decision is always a better one. Keeping this in mind, we’ve carefully devised a detailed buying guide on headphones, which will help you understand the science behind their workings and different parts.


When it comes to specs for studio headphones, we see values measured in ohms. These values are the impedance of studio headphones. Basically, the impedance value of a pair of headphones increases when more voltage at a specific current is required to drive it and the loudness of the headphones at a given voltage decreases.

The higher the impedance value, the greater power is needed by the headphones to produce volume. In recent years, headphones are offering a quite low-value impedance for being more in sync with lower voltage devices. This means that headphones can work more efficiently with everyday electronic devices without compromising quality or power.

Impedance is a key factor behind the output limitations of amplifiers. Amplifiers also have an output impedance that limits the amount of power they provide. In an ideal situation, an amplifier’s output impedance should be the 8th quarter compared to the headphones. If the output impedance is high, it will produce higher sound distortion. Lower impedance headphones will present a significantly larger load than high impedance headphones. High impedance studio headphones will be limited by their amplifiers, resulting in less volume for a given output level.

Be sure to consider impedance values while buying your new studio headphones as a poor choice can cause harm down the line.


People prefer studio headphones with higher sensitivity so that they can concentrate and edit the smallest details. Sensitivity is the measure of how efficiently earpieces convert the electrical signal into sound. It shows how loud a sound the headphones will produce with a given electrical drive level.

Sensitivity is measured in decibel level per volt. Some musicians use power amplifiers with headphones already marked with higher sensitivity to produce high volumes and this can be damaging to their headphones and ears. Many companies recommend no higher sensitivity than 120 dBs. Likewise, America’s occupational safety and health administration advise that people should not use more than 85dBs sensitivity headphone for long-term music sessions.

The European Union also warns not to use over 100dB of sensitivity headphones in noisy surroundings to avoid damaging hearing. The same warning goes for amplifiers; they should not be more than 3.162, 1.0 and 0,3162 RMS volts at max settings to avoid hearing damage.

Sensitivity is the major consideration for musicians to look for in their studio headphones since they need to hear small details while recording tracks or mixing music. It’s important to keep in mind the safety side of things when looking at sensitivity levels in headphones. Higher sensitivity can sound good but can result in damaging your ears.


A driver is an element that converts an electrical signal into sound. A driver unit is made up of the magnet, voice coils, and a diaphragm. Their size is usually measured in millimeters. What makes a driver unit able to produce a powerful sound? Essentially, the bigger the driver unit, the bigger a sound it produces. For instance, a 45mm driver unit will produce a louder sound than a 30mm driver unit. But this doesn’t mean you’ll get better output with big driver units. Better output relies on the quality of the components that makes up a driver unit. There are many types of drivers used in headphones. We’ll look at some of them below.

Dynamic Drivers

The most common drivers are dynamic drivers. They use larger diaphragms to produce powerful bass and the right level of pressure with a low amount of power. These type of drivers are often used in mid or high-ranged studio headphones.

How do they work?

Dynamic drivers are also known as moving coil drivers. They have a fixed magnet at the frame of the headphones to provide a static magnetic field. There are two types of magnets in dynamic drivers, neodymium or ferrite. A wire known as a voice coil is stretched in the magnetic field and attached to a diaphragm.

This coil is made up of lightweight yet stiff material like carbon, polymer, etc. When a change in the current of an audio signal is passed through the coil, it creates a change in the magnetic field. This then reacts against the uniform magnetic field and further exerts a changing force on the coil (which is attached to the diaphragm). This causes both the coil and diaphragm to vibrate, producing sound waves.

Balanced Armature Drivers

These types of drivers are used in earphones as they are comparatively small than dynamic drivers. But why consider buying them? Because they have more driver units for producing good sound.

How do they work?

These drivers are designed to increase the electrical efficiency of elements by cutting off the stress on the diaphragm which is characteristic of many other magnetic systems. Driver units consist of a moving magnetic armature that is hinged so it can move around the field of permanent magnets. They are precisely centered in the magnetic field to balance the net force on the armature; hence their name, balanced armature drivers. When an electric current is passed through the coil/wire, it magnetizes the armature so it can rotate slightly. This makes the diaphragm move which creates sound waves. It’s hard to make these type of drivers as the slightest mistake can cause the armature to become unbalanced and only be attracted to one pole of the magnet. It consumes less power and produces more sound compared with other drivers.

Planar Magnetic Drivers

This type of driver is used in studio headphones. The diaphragm is set between two magnets, a coil is set to go through the diaphragm in a serpentine pattern to create an electromagnetic field which further interacts with the magnetic field to produce sound. Mostly mid-range studio headphones feature this type of driver, so if you’re on a bit of budget, but can still afford to spend a little bit more, look out for planar drivers.

How do they work?

Planar drivers are also known as orthodynamic drivers. They consist of a large membrane which contains a fix wire pattern. The membrane is stretched along two sets of permanent and opposite magnets. When a current is passed through the fix wire pattern, the magnetic field produced by the current reacts with the field produced by the oppositely aligned permanent magnets. This creates an induced movement in the membrane which creates sound.

Electrostatic Drivers

Electrostatic drivers are a less common type of driver; they’re mostly found in high-end studio headphones. These drivers use thin electrically charged diaphragms which are placed between two electrodes or conductive plates. A special amplifier is also needed for further amplification.

How do they work?

These drivers consist of a thin electrically charged diaphragm which is attached between two electrodes. The electrical sound signal is applied to the electrodes which create an electrical field. Air is forced through the perforations, combining with a changing electrical signal. This generates sound waves from the membrane. They require special amplifiers to amplify the signal. They amplify the signal to bounce against the membrane which requires around 100 to 1000 volts.

Hybrid Drivers

This driver features a combination of dynamic and armature drivers for providing a deep dynamic bass and treble. These drivers output exceptional quality sound but will dig deep into your bank account.

Electret Driver

This type of driver is very uncommon but are relatively cheaper. They are lower in capabilities compared to other electrostatics drivers.

How do they work?

They function along the same electromechanical terms as electrostatic drivers. However, this driver has a permanent charge built in while an electrostatics driver’s charge is variable, applied by an external generator.

Bonephones driver

These type of drivers work via the transmission of vibrations to the side of the head via bone conduction. This is helpful for folks who are deaf as they do not affect hearing aids. As far as headphone drivers go, planar magnetic and electrostatic drivers are the go-tos for the most refined sound quality. You may find hybrid drivers in some expensive studio headphones as well.

A musician looks for the studio headphones that isolate the unwanted surrounding sounds at its best. So what is this isolation called?

Ambient Noise Reduction

Outside sounds can be a real pain to professional musicians when they’re trying to concentrate on their work. Closed back headphones offer a solution to cut off this sound. They isolate the noise by using their body known as ambient noise reduction.

Typical closed-back headphones cut off around nearby sounds from about 8 to 12 dB. Some headphones are specially designed to cut around 25dB of outside sound. When choosing your next studio headphones, you should keep in mind the ambient noise reduction factor.

Dangers Surrounding High Volume

Using studio headphones at a high volume for long music sessions can cause temporary or even permanent deafness. Many companies have introduced safety circuitry to limit the output volume or warn the consumer when loud volumes were becoming dangerous, but this idea has largely been rejected by the public. In France, the government imposed a ban on all music players sold in the country that has more than 100 dB sensitivity. Avoid listening to loud volumes for extended times to prevent possible hearing damage.

Keeping in mind all scenarios and component’s functions, we have picked the three best products for your next studio session.

Our Top Pick

Sennheiser HD 650 Professional

With a truly amazing natural sound experience, the HD 650’s are specially crafted for long yet comfortable music sessions so you don’t have to sacrifice comfort while concentrating on your work. On the outside, these headphones have high-quality titanium/silver finishes which give them a fantastic yet old school look. The specially designed acoustic silk guarantees precision damping of the overall frequency range and helps to reduce THD to an unmatched 0.05%. Circumaural design offers comfort and sound isolation.

The driver elements are hand-picked to ensure the richest sound quality. They deliver maximum efficiency, sensitivity, and dynamics thanks to the high-powered neodymium magnets. The lightweight aluminum voice coils ensure an exceptionally fast transient response. The frequency response is also improved, ranging from 10 – 39,500 Hz. With improved its frequency response, outstanding, look and comfort, the HD 650’s are one of the best headphones you can buy.

The Premium Choice

Sennheiser HD 800

Got money in the bank to burn on some sick headphones? Meet the HD 800’s by Sennheiser. These headphones were created for anyone who has been in pursuit of perfect sound.

On the outside, your comfort is guaranteed by a damped headband which is made up of metal. It is in between several layers of dampening polymers so you get the real joy of music without any hassle of unwanted vibrations. The luxurious ear cushions are made up of microfiber and provide extreme comfort for those long studio sessions. The open back design contributes to clarity, enhanced detail, and rich dynamics.

Patented ring radiators no doubt lie at the heart of such an exceptional quality of sound. It has a 56mm diameter driver which is one of the largest you’ll find in dynamic headphones. The 40mm aluminum voice coil is automated by a 42mm magnet structure. The driver’s diaphragm has two contact points instead of one, one inside and one on the outside of the ring. The greater surface area with enhanced control of the two contact points provides a truly amazing performance.

From rich bass lows to exceptional high’s these headphones are providing the most natural sound. If you are looking forward to a high-end headphone with natural sound quality than HD 800’s by Sennheiser can be your new go-to.

Great Value for the Money

Audio Technica ATH M50x

Looking for the perfect pro pair of studio headphones as a beginner? The ATH-M50X by Audio Technica is a no joke. These headphones are praised by top audio engineers and audio reviewers. On the outside, the product is finished in black for a professional, attractive look. It has professional high-quality earpads and headband, which deliver comfort and durability. The ear cups can be rotated up to 90 degrees for easy one-ear monitoring. Circumaural design maps around the ears for the best sound isolation in loud environments. They can be folded and the cables can be detached for storage purposes.

The M50’s have 45mm large-aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils. They have exceptional clarity, superb highs and lows, an extended frequency range, and solid bass response. If you are looking for some seriously detailed sound with a reasonable price tag than M50’s by Audio-Technica are the headphones to go for. A quality product by one of the best in the business, if you’re trying to tow the line between great sound quality and not wiping out your credit card, you can’t go wrong here.

What are The Different Types of Headphones?

We all want a good pair of headphones. The most important thing to know before buying are the different types of headphone. This will allow you to buy the best headphones for your needs.

Click here for more headphone reviews.

Studio headphones are divided into three main types, closed backed, open backed and Semi-open backed headphones. There’s a lot of choice on the market, but never fear! We’ve covered everything you need to know about each type below. We’ll guide you that what purpose each type actually serves you. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Closed Back Headphones

With this type, the headphones are closed off from the outer part which means that the headphone cups are hardly closed. You might be wondering what’s the purpose of closing the outer parts, right? This is done so the headphone drivers output sounds in both directions, towards and away from your ears. Closed back headphones block the sound going away from your ears so you don’t hear sounds from the environment. Closed-back headphones cut away the outside world and let you concentrate on your work. The adverse effect of having closed back headphones is that they can harm your hearing if you use them for long periods of time.

Open Back Headphones

Open back headphones are opened from the outer side which means that the headphone cups are open to the world. Open-back headphones don’t block the sound going away from the ears. The benefit of having open back headphones is that your head is mixed with what’s going on in the real world. The ear cups are significantly larger than closed back headphones which give your ear a comfortable feel. Open-back headphones aren’t always ideal when you want to concentrate on your music.

Semi-Open Back Headphones

These headphones are designed to be a compromise between open back and closed back headphones. They tend to partially block the sound coming from the outside while letting some in through vents or openings at the outer ear cup. If you want to concentrate on your work while still knowing what’s going on around you, definitely pick semi-open-back headphones.

We’ve introduced you to three types of headphones which each offer unique features to the user. All you need to do is decide what will work best for your needs.

Which Headphone is Best for You?

Making music and recording tracks is not an easy job. It requires dedication and concentration. Different voices from the environment can affect your music quality. Closed back headphones have sealed air cups which cancel almost all noise from around you. Closed air cups don’t let the music escape into the environment, which means you can carry on with your work without disturbing others. These are the headphones you need for those jobs that require total concentration.

If you prefer to know what’s going around you and can still concentrate with minor distortions, you might consider buying an open back headphone. These headphones have open outer cups which means that you can hear what’s going on around you. The air cups are also larger which gives you the most comfort as well as a rich sound.

Now that you know the difference and what each type has to offer, you can choose the best headphones to suit your needs.
For over 60 years Sennheisers are engineering headphones to provide true soul given to the music. The same they have done with HD 660’s.

Natural spatial imaging, exceptional transient response, and high-quality open metal mesh earpieces are the main reasons behind the achievements of HD 600’s in the best open back headphones.

Best affordable close back headphones?

The more money you add the more the quality you get. Many users struggle to get a good headphone as they are lacking in bills. It’s hard to find a good headphone in a less flexible budget but doesn’t worry as we have got the best in less package for you guys!

ATH-M30x by audio technical is a closed back headphone within an affordable price column. The price range doesn’t really affect the product’s quality boundary. It’s equipped with 40mm drivers with rare earth magnet and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils for the crispiest yet clearest sound quality. Similarly, the headphone is tuned for enhancing details which provide an excellent mid-range definition.

Speaking of design, it has an advanced build quality and it can be folded for space-saving while traveling or for putting it in a case. Similarly, ear cups will cover your ears for the best noise cancellation to keep you going for what matters you the most. Headphones have an attractive design with a black finish giving them a neat and professional look.

These headphones are designed for studio tracking, mixing and field recording.

With an affordable price range, good specs and portability they are a great bang for your buck.

Best affordable open back headphones?

There are many options available in the market for open back headphones but you need a helping hand for choosing the best in less as open back headphones don’t have closed outer part which predicts that a bad choice can destroy your experience with open back headphones.

ATH-700x by Audio Technica is the real bad boys in the market. These headphones are specially designed for long listening sessions.

They are designed with light-weight honeycomb casing which guarantees no sense of pressure on the ears, it also provides excellent acoustic properties. Earpads are made of fabric and raised which offers wearing comfort. It also has self-adjusting 3d wing support which automatically adjusts itself to your head size for providing a cozy listening experience. The cord is highly conductive with elastic TPE sheath for preventing tangles.

Inside it is equipped with newly designed 53mm drivers that produce clear and midrange treble. Similarly, Bobbin-wound CCAW voice coils deliver spacious sounds with supreme highs and mids. Likewise, it has also got a wide range of frequency from 5-30,000Hz.

With the likes of 53mm drivers, self-adjusting wings, and lightweight aluminum honeycomb casing makes the ATH-AD700X the perfect choice for producers and music lovers of all types.

Allow us to introduce you to the ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones by Audio-Technica. These are superb performers as far as headphones go. It rocks proprietary 45mm large-aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils which provide outstanding clarity, a wide range of frequency, and a deep yet accurate bass response.

To provide a professional closed back environment, it has circumaural contours around the ears which guarantee the best sound isolation, even loud environments. The ear cups can be rotated to 90 degrees for easy access to one-ear listening. The ear pads deliver the most comfortable feel and these headphones are also very durable.

With its 45mm drivers, excellent external sound blockage, and many other features, theses top our list of closed back headphones.

Best Open Back Headphones?

The HD 600 by Sennheiser features an open-air, circumaural design which makes them one of the best open-back headphones for mixing engineers. Some people may complain about sound leakage but that’s what they are made for. They feature lightweight aluminum voice coils to give the best transient response. Neodymium ferrous magnets maintain the best sensitivity and dynamics. It has a computerized optimized magnet system which minimizes harmonic and transient responses.

Speaking of design, it has high-quality metal-mesh earpiece covers which provide a comfortable feel. Natural spatial imaging, an exceptional transient response, and the high-quality open metal mesh earpieces are only a few of the reasons why these are such outstanding open back headphones.

Best Affordable Closed Back Headphones?

The more money you’re able to spend, the better the quality you get. Many users struggle to get a good set of headphones due to a lack of funds. It’s true this can be hard to do when you’re on a tight budget, but not impossible. The ATH-M30x by Audio Technica is one of the best closed back headphones available at an affordable price. It’s equipped with 40mm drivers with rare earth magnet and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils for crisp, ultra-clear sound quality. These headphones are tuned for enhancing details which provides an excellent mid-range definition.

It has an advanced build quality and it can be folded away to save space when traveling. The ear cups will cover your ears, giving you excellent noise cancellation. These headphones are designed for studio tracking, mixing, and field recording.
With an affordable price range, good specs and portability, they are a great bang for your buck.

Best Affordable Open Back Headphones?

There are many options available in the market for open back headphones but the ATH-700x by Audio Technica is the real bad boys on the market. These headphones are specially designed for long listening sessions. They’re designed with lightweight honeycomb casing which guarantees no sense of pressure on the ears. They also have excellent acoustic properties.

The earpads are made of fabric and raised which offers even more comfort while wearing them. It also has a self-adjusting 3D wing support which automatically adjusts itself to your head size for providing a cozy listening experience. The cord is highly conductive with an elastic TPE sheath for preventing tangles.

Inside, it’s equipped with newly designed 53mm drivers that produce clear, midrange treble. The bobbin-wound CCAW voice coils deliver spacious sounds with supreme highs and mids. It also has a wide range of frequency from 5-30,000Hz.
As far as we’re concerned, the ATH-AD700X is a perfect choice for producers and music lovers of all types.

Which Type of Headphones is the Best for All Purposes?

Open back headphones have opened outer parts which mean that you are still connected to the outer world when wearing your headphones. Apart from the connection to the real world, open back headphones are comfortable, which is perfect for longer sessions. Open back headphones are also better for your ears compared to the closed one which can damage your ears in long usage sessions.

If you’re a DJ looking for some quality DJ headphones, take a look at our full review right here.

The K-240 MK II Stereo studio headphones by AKG Pro Audio are a good choice. It is available in two attractive black and gray finishes. It features an over-ear design for comfort during long sessions. It has the semi-open technology for solid bass and airy highs. For great dynamic range and accurate signal transfer, it is packed with a patented variation 30mm XXL transducer which also provides warm and clean highs and mids. The best part is that with these headphones, you’ll never get spikes in the sound or any harshness.

Should I Go For Expensive Studio Headphones?

Many beginners think that the more costly a product is, the better its quality. While this is true, when you’re a beginner it’s best not to blow your entire budget on expensive gear. This is also true for studio headphones. They should look for good, affordable headphones and focus on developing their skills rather than spending a lot of money on headphones with many features or ultra high-end specs.

Before jumping into the pros and cons of ambient noise reduction let’s define the term. Picture that you’re listening to your favorite song or mixing music and you hear unwanted sounds from the surrounding area which distracts your concentration. To get rid of this effect, some studio headphones (especially closed back headphones) are designed to reduce outside noises by closing the outer earcup or using special ear pads. This reduction of sound is known as ambient noise reduction.

So let’s figure out some advantages and disadvantages of this feature.

When you’re recording music tracks or mixing music, you want full concentration so you can pick up on even the smallest mistakes. In order to make it sure you can hear every little sound, you need this feature. If you want to practice beats and don’t want your audience to ruin it for you, then you might also consider this feature in your good books.

Well on the other hand, this feature can also be harmful to your ears as all the sound is directed into your ear without any leakage. This can cause temporary deafness if overused. Likewise, this feature cuts you off from the things happening around and leaves you deaf and dumb to the surroundings, which can be dangerous if you’re out and about.

If you have a controlled studio environment, you might consider this feature on the top of your list of must-have features, but if you want to stay connected to your surroundings, consider leaving this feature for studio applications.

Which is the best portable studio headphone?

Many musicians tend to travel a lot and are worried their headphones might get damaged in transit. They don’t want to buy a good pair of studio headphones again and again – this expensive and easily avoidable.

The ATH-M50x by Audio Technica is a reasonable choice if you need a portable headphone option. It has a foldable, stretchy design for easy yet space-saving portability. The cables can be detached and put aside for avoiding damage while packing up the headphones in a suitcase or bag. These headphones come with a travel case that looks neat and properly protects your headphones so you don’t have to look for extra space for storing them. Considering their portability, you also get good sound as these headphones are equipped with a 45mm large driver unit for exceptional clarity, deep and accurate bass response, and extended frequency range.

As this studio headphone is praised by the top audio engineers, don’t be surprised that it also has earcups which can rotate up to 90 degrees for easy one-ear monitoring. Professional grade air-pads allow you to continue long music sessions with comfort.

If you’re recording tracks or mixing music and want full concentration so you can hear every little detail, you’ll want this feature. On the other hand, this feature can also be harmful to your ears as all the sound is going directly to your ear without any leakage. This can cause temporary deafness. This feature also cuts you off from your environment, which is not always desirable. Buy according to your needs.

What Should My Budget Be For Buying Studio Headphones?

Studio headphones are available in a wide range of prices. How much to spend depends entirely on your needs and financial abilities. If you’re a beginner, don’t spend a ton of money on your first pair of studio headphones. Pick up a set of mid-range studio headphones and hone your skills before splashing out the big bucks. In our opinion, the M50s by Audio Technica are the ones for you. Apart from their price tag, they provide great sound quality with amazing clarity, superb high and mids, controlled bass response and a wide range of frequency. They are the best choice for you if you’re just starting out.

If you’re seasoned in the studio and have polished up your skills to a professional grade, you can feel comfortable spending more on a premium set of headphones. Go off of what your requirements are and buy accordingly. You can spend a bit more and we recommend getting your hands on the HD 800s by Sennheiser. They provide a massive 56mm driver unit for delivering the most natural and rich sound without any distortion. They offer rich bass lows to definitive highs. For providing your work with a natural soul you might consider buying HD 800s by Sennheiser. Just be sure to do a little shopping around first to get the best deal.

Recommended For You

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Related Articles

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
CHP Adblock Detector Plugin | Codehelppro