Best Studio Headphones for Recording

The ideal headphones for your studio recording depend on a few factors, here we touch on those.

The foundations of a killer metal song is heavy, powerful bass along with mid-range vocals and guitar. Speaking from experience, terrible sound quality during recording is a horrible distraction.

The recording artist faces an even greater hurdle; they are looking for the best flat sound frequency. Studio headphones have a clearer, real-time sound quality, whereas regular headphones are created with a “tuned” approach.
However, a musician’s life is often one of investment, so cost is of utmost important. With an urge to read this article with the acceptance of the idea that headphone “quality” varies with preference, and a strong suggestion to try before buying, here are my top five picks for the best studio headphones for recording, from least to greatest cost.

And, I feel it necessary to clarify that, from a thoroughly subjective position, over-the-ear headphones are by far the best experience. On-ear headphones allow outside noise to penetrate your rocking. In-ear headphones allow an experience that is comparable to the musicians being present, which is not terrible, by any means. However, over-the-ear headphones make it feel like the music is pulsing from within, and nothing beats that soul food.

Sennheiser HD 201 Lightweight Over Ear Headphones

Price: $30-$40

– Comfortable pair of inexpensive headphones
– The bass, when pushed slightly against one’s ear, is quite well done
– Decent flat frequency for the price
– Very lightweight

– An “audiophile” may not be thrilled with the need to push headphones against ear to appreciate bass
– Lacks depth of sound
– Volume is a bit on the low side

Audio‑Technica ATH M30X Over‑Ear Headphones

Price: $60-$70

– Extremely comfortable
– Inexpensive
– Delivers a more-than-decent flat frequency that gives a full range of sound
– Lightweight

– The higher frequencies are a little overwhelming. It’s a bit distorted and a little too harsh.
– EQ (equalizing) is overdone.

Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones

Price: $99

– Does a really great job at blocking out most outside noise. For no declaration of “noise-cancelling,” they do more than expected.
– This pair of headphones comes with a detachable, and easily connectable cable that moves to only one side. (I find this incredibly convenient.)
– Sound quality is fantastic. It’s very crisp.
– Allows for lower listening volumes due to great quality.

– The bass is a little bit weak.
– They move around on one’s head a little too easily.
– (Maybe.) They’re creaky. This might stop over time.

AKG K 171 Studio Over‑Ear Headphones

Price: $100-$150

– Clean, clear sound
– Sounds almost perfectly EQ’d
– Probably the most comfortable pair of headphones I’ve ever put on my head
– Accurate and sharp timing
– Rocks the house with the use of Pro Tools

– Sound is too quiet without Pro Tools
– Could use a volume control option
– Slightly heavy

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone

Price: $200-$320

– Close to flawless in terms of a “live performance” scale, and the sound will make you cry if you’re as picky as I am.
– Able to listen at ridiculously high volumes without leakage to the outside world
– Coiled cable: durable, and untangled

– Mediocre noise cancelling ability
– Band is slightly uncomfortable (easily remedied with a cover)
– They are uncomfortable on the ears after a long period of time.
– Long cable

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