The 6 Best Headphones For Music Production


You might be wondering whether you need specific headphones for music production. While a regular set of headphones is great for enjoying music, they often have features to enhance bass and treble for an improved listening experience. But when you’re working on music production, you want an authentic and original sound, so you need a set of headphones with a high resolution and proper balance.

Fortunately, with so many headphones on the market, there’s always an option to fit your budget and needs. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional music producer or a newbie playing with recording software. However, when you have the opportunity, getting a more expensive set of headphones that are likely to last for decades is probably your best option.

This guide will look at factors to consider when purchasing the best headphones for music production. We will also examine the various pros and cons of some of the most popular headphones on the market.

In a hurry? Here are our top picks:

How To Choose Headphones For Music Production

There are many things to consider when buying a pair of headphones for producing music. You want to pick the set that will offer you the most bang for your buck, from design and comfort to sound quality, frequency range, and compatibility. However, you also don’t want to break the bank on a single pair of headphones.

Finding the right headphones to fit your needs can be time-consuming. So, we’ve saved you some time by preparing this buyer’s guide to help you know what to look for in the best headphones for music production, from design and sound to comfort and durability.

We will also look at various sets of headphones at many different price points. Many have the same basic features, but you will undoubtedly favor some factors over others.

Design

Most headphones for music production have the standard “old school” look that resembles a pair of earmuffs. When using this style, you’ll want to find a set of headphones with good adjustability options for maximum comfort. You don’t want your headphones to slip around, so they need to be adjustable to make them small or big enough to stay on your head comfortably.

You may also want to consider the fabric used on the earcups and whether the headband is made of plastic or has fabric around it for comfort. You’ll also want to decide ahead of time between open-back and closed-back headphones.

Open-back headphones allow for a more natural sound and are perfect for critical listening as well as mixing and mastering audio files. Closed-back headphones, on the other hand, are ideal for sound isolation, and they make an excellent option for singers and musicians to monitor their sound as they perform in the recording booth.

Related article – Why Do Singers Wear Earpieces?

Professional music producer with headphones on

Sound Quality

Every set of headphones will have a different sound quality, and some offer features that others don’t. While many headphones will be heavier on bass or lower range sounds, production headphones usually provide a more flat and balanced sound and frequency range.

Personal preference will undoubtedly come into play when ordering a pair of headphones. But overall, you want headphones that will offer the most authentic and high-resolution sound possible for producing music.

Some factors to consider when it comes to sound quality are:

  • Whether the headphones emphasize bass and treble
  • Whether they offer balanced and natural sounds
  • How much sound they block out to help improve what you hear

Related article – How To Balance Bass And Treble

Connectivity

Something else you’ll need to consider is whether you want wired or wireless headphones. Of course, like anything else, there are advantages to both options, and in the end, your choice will mostly come down to personal preference.

A pair of wireless headphones is probably the best option for those who can’t sit still (because of their job or just in general). Since most wireless headphones use Bluetooth, they easily connect to most phones, tablets, PCs, and other devices. This gives you the ability to walk around freely without worrying about snagging the cord.

On the other hand, wired headphones typically have a higher quality signal, allowing for better sound quality. You won’t experience being disconnected or having delays because you walked too far away. They also offer a more responsive listening experience in most cases. Generally, people prefer wired headphones for critical listening.

Male mixing music with headphones on

Comfort

Size is something you’ll likely factor into comfort when picking a pair of headphones. After all, while great for sound quality, bulky headphones can be uncomfortable. Some people would rather forgo the sound quality for something smaller, such as in-ear headphones like AirPods.

If you’re going to be up and wandering around while listening, then something wireless and lightweight might be best. However, if you’re producing music, you might be more inclined to purchase a pair of “earmuff” style headphones that will cancel out other noises and let you focus on the music.

The materials used and the design style will play a vital role in comfort, so finding the style that fits your preferences the best is essential to choosing the best headphones for music production.

Durability

Along with comfort and sound quality, the last factor you should think about is durability. While it might come with a higher price tag, a more expensive set of headphones is likely to last for years to come.

Usually, bulkier headphones are more likely to withstand constant use without losing their sound quality. On the other hand, budget in-ear headphones often see one side or the other stop working within a year of purchase.

Music production equipment with headphones

Our Pick For Best Headphones For Music Production

Now that we’ve looked at what makes a great set of headphones for music production, let’s look at some popular headphones by some of the most recognized brands. We’ve taken all the above criteria into account while making this list.

You’ll find a combination of budget-friendly and durable pricey long-term options to consider. Having so many options means that you can choose the headphones that will serve you the best based on your current needs, no matter where you are in your music production journey.

ONEODIO WIRE STUDIO HEADPHONES

This popular and budget-friendly set of headphones brings all the quality you would expect of a more expensive brand. They offer a robust base and tend to enhance lower frequency sounds. With the adjustable headband, you’ll get clear sound quality and a comfortable and customizable fit.

The OneOdio Wire Studio Headphones are interchangeable with most headphone cords and compatible with any device with a 3.5mm or 6.35mm audio jack.

Pros
  • Enhanced bass and clear and crisp vocals
  • Comes with standard 6.35mm and 3.5mm plugs, so you don’t need an adapter
  • Soft padded ear cushions and adjustable headband
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • Wired means restricted movement
  • No way to turn bass off/on
  • No noise canceling

SONY MDR-7506 PROFESSIONAL

The Sony MDR-7506 Professional is an industry-standard closed-back headphone and one of the most popular professional headphones worldwide. These headphones are where quality and budget-friendliness meet in the middle from a well-known brand.

Adjustable to provide a great fit, you can use these headphones for monitoring, recording, tracking, and more. Often found in broadcasting and music studios, this trusted brand offers sturdy and high-quality headphones at an accessible price.

Pros
  • Closed-back headphones
  • True sound
  • Comes with a 9-foot charging cable
  • Low cost
Cons
  • Wired means restricted movement
  • The sound frequency may be too “honest”
  • Not comfortable for long-term wear

SENNHEISER HD 599 OPEN-BACK HEADPHONES

These open-back headphones offer a focus on high-quality performance. Oval-shaped and on the smaller side for comfort, the design is unique. The oval shape directs the audio more naturally and professionally. Meanwhile, the stitched headband and the earcups use velour fabric.

Overall, you should consider the Sennheiser HD 599 Open-Back Headphones when you can spend a little more for comfort, quality, and durability but don’t want to sacrifice sound quality to get any of those things.

Pros
  • Unique shape and sound
  • Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement Design
  • Velour cushions
  • Premium drivers
Cons
  • Issues connecting to some computers
  • Not ideal for isolating sounds
  • Uncomfortable to be worn for long periods
  • Higher price tag

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-M50X PROFESSIONAL STUDIO MONITOR HEADPHONES

These are highly rated and fully immersive closed-back headphones. Created to provide a professional listening experience, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones use 45mm drivers and oversized copper voice coils to optimize and enhance sound reproduction. Features like rotating earcups, professional-grade padding, and well-balanced sound are excellent options for professional quality at a reasonable price.

These headphones come with the possibility to be both wireless and wired. The wireless option functions via Bluetooth, while the set also comes with two options for cords, both straight and spiral. However, the lines are brand specific, so you can’t just replace a lost cord with any 3.5mm cables.

Pros
  • Extended frequency response
  • Choice of cords (straight and coiled)
  • Bluetooth option
  • Sound accuracy
Cons
  • Brand-specific cables
  • Thin headband
  • Shallow earcups
  • Bass and low sounds overemphasized

BEYERDYNAMIC DT 880 PRO

This set of headphones offers a unique style with a semi-open back. These are excellent for mixing and mastering and have sound quality comparable to many expensive but similar sets.

A unique benefit of the Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro is that all the parts are replaceable, allowing you to order pieces when you need to repair a much-loved outfit. Considered to have one of the best sounds around, this is a comfortable and durable set of headphones that could be a great addition to your collection for years to come.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Solid, durable design
  • Good bass response
  • Spacious sound
  • Semi-open back
Cons
  • Wired means restricted movement
  • Not suitable for recording
  • Poor for enjoyment listening

PRESONUS HD7 PROFESSIONAL MONITORING HEADPHONES

Another budget-friendly option, the PreSonus HD7 Professional Monitoring Headphones offer a semi-open back with realistic sound reproduction. Lightweight and comfortable, these are an excellent option for those looking for easily adjustable headphones.

Offering a high-resolution neodymium driver, this low-frequency responsive set of headphones has a detachable cable and can connect to most computers and smartphones. This entry-level set performs as well as many models that are almost twice the price.

Pros
  • Semi-open back
  • High resolution for drivers
  • Self-adjusting technology
  • Affordable price tag
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Not comfortable for extended periods (more than two hours)
  • Brand-specific cords
  • Fair sound quality

Final Verdict

There’s no one-size-fits-all choice for the best headphones for music production. When trying to pick the right headphones to use when producing music, be sure to keep your preferences and specific needs in mind. 

Do you want to find a quality set of budget-friendly headphones, or can you afford to go “all-out” to make sure you get a durable pair that’s comfortable with excellent sound quality?

Don’t forget these factors when you’re shopping:

  • Design
  • Sound quality
  • Comfort
  • Connectivity
  • Durability

It may be hard to find a pair of headphones that tick all the boxes. However, chances are, at least one of the sets of headphones on this list will meet your needs in all the above criteria without breaking the bank. Affordable doesn’t always have to mean cheap.

If we had to pick one, we’d go for the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones which is a great balance between design, sound quality, and price tag.

Be sure to consider the brand you’re looking at and whether they meet your primary needs with reasonable sound quality and comfort level. No matter your goal or your budget, there is a pair of headphones out there to fit your needs.

Jayden Smith

Hi, I am Jayden. I have a strong interest in the latest hearing electronics including headphones, earbuds, headsets and speakers. I love to research and write information about them on a part-time basis sharing some tips for beginners looking for the perfect device.

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