9 Amazing Headphones For Music Production (My Picks 2018)

Headphones

Headphones are ​undoubtedly a ​highly important tool in the studio.

And without them you will be making life much harder for yourself.

Especially if you're ​recording in the same room.

But what headphones are the best?

​Headphones are ​undoubtedly a ​highly important tool in the studio.

And without them you will be making life much harder for yourself.

Especially if you're ​recording in the same room.

But what headphones are the best?

Headphones

In this post I will be going over the 9 best headphones to get ​for your studio today.

Let's Get Started.

More...

​1

​​​Sennheiser - HD 650

​TOP CHOICE!

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$374

Type:

​Open Back

Freq Response:

10Hz - ​​41kHz

Freq Response:

10Hz - ​​41kHz

Price:

$374

Type:

​Open Back

We Like

  • ​Amazing sound
    predecessor
  • ​Extremely comfortable
    isolation
  • Two year warranty
  • ​Deep bass
    detachable
  • Lovely Smooth and flat response

We Dislike

  • ​Requires an amp for best performance
  • ​Not for travelling or public places
    replacement
Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones
predominantly
favourite

Summary:

The Hd 650's are my ​favorite and our top pick out of all the headphones on this list.

The sound you get is phenomenal:

  • The bass is deep and prevalent without being muddy
  • The mids are warm and precise
  • The highs have clarity and sparkle

They are also wonderfully comfortable even for long periods.

They stay on my head really well and I even forget I'm wearing them sometimes.

Bear in mind:

The primary use for these headphones are for studio and professional applications.

They are not used for traveling...

...And even though you can play them from your phone.

It will most likely annoy the people around you, as they do leak being open back headphones.

Also to get the most out of the HD 650's you will want to get an amp to drive these beasts.

But if you want the best of the best while paying less than $1000.

Look no further.

  • Features
  • Specs

Type



Dynamic, ​Open

​​sound pressure level


​103 dB

​Driver Size


​40.0 mm

​Frequency Response


​10 - ​41000 Hz

​Impedance


​300 Ohms

​Cord Length


​9.8 ft

​Weight



​​w/o cable: 260g

HD 650 Sennheiser Open Back Headphones

My Opinion

​I love the HD 650's and I use them all the time when im mixing.

​The way they are shaped fit nicely on my head and around my ears...

...Allows me to wear them for long periods of time when I have deadlines to complete.

I don't use them outside of my studio and they look just as good as when they were new.

Sennheiser are very well known and make some ​phenomenal headphones....

...And the HD 650's are one of them.

phenomenal

​​​2

​​Sony - MDR 7520

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$293

Type:

​Closed Back

Freq Response:

​​5Hz - 80kHz

Freq Response:

​​5Hz - 80kHz

Price:

$293

Type:

​Closed Back

We Like

  • ​Bigger driver than its predecessor
    predecessor
  • ​Wide frequency response
  • ​Comes with a case
  • ​Cable is ​detachable
    detachable
  • ​Crystal clear audio
  • ​Smooth tight bass
  • ​Comfortable

We Dislike

  • Can hurt your ears after long use
  • ​Replacement cables are very expensive
    replacement
  • exclamation-triangle
    Has a boxiness element to them
Sony MDR-7520 Dynamic Stereo Headphones

Summary:

​These headphones are a big step up from the 7506's.

The 50mm driver allows you to ​define every note with much more clarity ​​and helps you to hear every detail.

The cable is detachable which is great for traveling and keeping the wire safe and tangle free.

With being closed back headphones they do have a boxiness element to them, but this was not off putting...​​​​

...Nor would it compromise my decision to getting a pair of these.

​Sony MDR 7520's are brilliant headphones for mixing and give excellent separation for different elements in a mix...

...Giving you the ability to really hear what you mix sounds like from the low bass frequencies all the way to the very high frequencies.

These headphones are really worth the price and one of my ​favorite headphones.

Unfortunately these are not available in the UK anymore as they have been discontinued.

favourite
  • Features
  • Specs

Type



Dynamic, Closed

​​sound pressure level


​108 dB

​Driver Size


​50.0 mm

​Frequency Response


​5 - 80000 Hz

​Impedance


​​24 Ohms

​Cord Length


​9.8 ft

​Weight


​2​69 g

Sony MDR-7506 Closed Back Headphones

My Opinion

​Sony has done an exceptional job with the MDR - 7520.

​They have great clarity thanks to the bigger driver...

​...And a wide frequency response making it a great choice for me when mixing and mastering.

I'm not a big fan of the tightness from these headphones...

...As they do tend to hurt my ears after an hour or so.

But this could be a blessing in disguise.

Because it forces me to take a break for a while every hour.

Unfortunately anyone wanting to buy these headphones in ​Europe are now unable to due to the product being discontinued because of the European safety regulations.

They would have to be shipped from the USA.

Luckily you can do at www.fishpond.co.uk with free shipping at no extra cost! 

https://www.fishpond.co.uk/Electronics/Sony-MDR-7520-Headphones/0027242821842?utm_source=googleps&utm_medium=ps&utm_campaign=UK

​3

​​​Beyerdynamic - DT 880

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$219

Type:

​Semi-Open

Freq Response:

5​Hz - 35kHz

Freq Response:

5​Hz - 35kHz

Price:

$219

Type:

​Semi-Open

We Like

  • ​Comfortable for Extended use
    predecessor
  • Long lasting
    isolation
  • All parts are replaceable
  • Combines both open and closed back headphones into one
    detachable

We Dislike

  • Doesn't block out sound
  • Other people can hear what your listening to
    replacement
  • exclamation-triangle
    ​Might need a headphone amplifier to reach their full potential
    realising
  • exclamation-triangle
    ​Cannot detach cable
Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium Headphones
predominantly
favourite

Summary:

​These headphones are exceptionally comfortable even for extended use...

...This is thanks to the cushiony ear pads and lightweight design. 

They have also combined the closed back and open back design into one to create the best of both worlds...

...And are called semi back Headphones.

Lets get one thing straight:

These won't be your go to headphones for in the office or library...

...As they do not block out much noise and also leak sound.

But, they're amazing when it comes to referencing and mixing.

The high frequencies are clean without being harsh, and the bass and mids are very well balanced.

Here's the kicker:

You might need a headphone amplifier to power these bad boys so they can reach their full potential.

undoubtedly
  • Features
  • Specs

Type


​Semi Open

​​sound pressure level


​96 dB

​Driver Size


​45 mm

​Frequency Response


​5 - ​35000 Hz

​Impedance


​250 Ohms

​Cord Length


​9.8 ft

​Weight


​2​95 g

DT 880 Beyerdynamic Open Back Headphones

My Opinion

The thing I love most about the DT 880's is how comfortable they are.

I can wear these all day with a few breaks and they still feel comfortable...

The build quality is great and if something does break you can easily replace it.

They're not the best when you want to use them in a public environment.

But then again that's, not what they're meant to be used for.

Where they do shine​ however:

Is in the studio.

They produce great high frequencies that are nice and airy, and ​accurate mids and lows.

I ​do enjoy mixing with these headphones.


​4

​​​Sennheiser - HD 380 PRO

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$​149

Type:

​Closed Back

Freq Response:

​​8Hz - ​27kHz

Freq Response:

​​8Hz - ​27kHz

Price:

$​149

Type:

​Closed Back

We Like

  • ​Comfortable for long periods
    predecessor
  • ​Great noise ​isolation
    isolation
  • ​Comes with a 2 year warranty
  • ​Cable is ​detachable
    detachable
  • ​Accurate neutral sound

We Dislike

  • ​Build quality feels cheap
  • ​Cable is heavy
    replacement
  • exclamation-triangle
    ​The connector sometimes comes out without you ​realising
    realising
Sennheiser HD 380 PRO Headphones
predominantly
favourite

Summary:

The Sennheiser HD 380's are a​​​​ fantastic pair of headphones no matter what they're used for.

The closed back design really isolates the sound from the outside world...

...And will produce very little bleed.

The cable is detachable which is a bonus but it can be pulled out a bit sometimes without you realizing...

...Altering the sound and predominantly stopping your productivity while trying to figure out the problem.

They also have a flimsy and cheapness feel.

Despite that:

They do come with a 2 year warranty. (Thumbs up for that)

The 380's get mixed reviews on how comfortable they are, some say they're too tight and some say they're amazing.

For me, I can wear these for hours without getting too fatigued...

...But I guess it depends on the person and the shape and size of their head.

  • Features
  • Specs

Type



Dynamic, Closed

​​sound pressure level


​110 dB

​Frequency Response


​​8 - 2​7000 Hz

​Impedance


​54 Ohms

​Cord Length




​1 m coiled, extendable up to 3m

​Weight



​​w/o cable: 2​20g

​​​Sennheiser - HD 380 PRO Closed Back Headhones

My Opinion

​These Headphones were lovely on my ears and didn't hurt after long use.

They also do a great job at isolating the outside world.

​I didn't like to take them outside too much though...

...As the build quality isn't the greatest.

​But:

They do come with a 2 year warranty.

​Which should give you piece of mind.


​​​5

​​Sony - MDR 7506

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$99

Type:

​Closed Back

Freq Response:

​10Hz - 20kHz

Freq Response:

​10Hz - 20kHz

Price:

$99

Type:

​Closed Back

We Like

  • Clear high quality sound
  • Great mid and high frequencies
  • Comfortable design
  • Has a large diaphragm
  • ​Folds up easily
  • Great quality for the price

We Dislike

  • Can hurt your ears after extended use
  • The long coiled cable can get annoying
  • exclamation-triangle
    Cannot remove the cable
Sony MDR-7506 Dynamic Stereo Headphones

Summary:

​The Sony MDR 7506 headphones are ​Amazing for anyone on a budget.

They have a flat response and a ​nice neutral sound...

...Perfect for anyone wanting to produce music.

Not only that:

They sound great for everyday listening and would be a wonderful choice for someone needing to get work done...

...As they block a lot of sound out from the outside world.

The cable can get annoying as it is quite long ​which isn't great for traveling...

...And they can hurt your ears after long extended use.

​But this shouldn't ​deter you away as the pros really out way the cons with these headphones.

  • Features
  • Specs

Type



Dynamic, Closed

​​sound pressure level


​106 dB

​Driver Size


​40.0 mm

​Frequency Response


​10 - 20000 Hz

​Impedance


​63 Ohms

​Cord Length


​9.8 ft

​Weight


​229 g

Sony MDR-7506 Closed Back Headphones

My Opinion

​These are a great pair of headphones for anyone on a budget.

I mixed a lot of songs with these headphones earlier on in my career.

They are comfortable for about an hour but they do tend to hurt your ears after a while.

Also making them quite warm.

Despite that:

The sound they have is really nice with decent mid and high frequencies.

I recommend these for anyone on a tight budget and looking to get their first pair of headphones.


​​6

​​​Beyerdynamic - DT 1990 Pro

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$599

Type:

​Open Back

Freq Response:

​5Hz - 40kHz

Freq Response:

​5Hz - 40kHz

Price:

$599

Type:

​Open Back

We Like

  • Great build quality
    predecessor
  • Comfortable for long periods
    isolation
  • ​2 ear pads for different sound characteristics
    characteristics
    customisable
  • ​Great for mixing and everyday listening
    detachable
  • ​Lovely clean and clear sound

We Dislike

  • High price
  • Requires an amp
    replacement
  • exclamation-triangle
    ​Not for public enviroments
predominantly
favourite

Summary:

These are by far the most expensive headphones on our list.

But, the DT 1990's are no ordinary headphones.

First:

You get 2 different ear pads.

Both sounding great, one giving you more bass for everyday listening and the other having a flat response for mixing...

...Essentially giving you two pairs of head phones.

And second:

These are extremely comfortable, allowing you to wear them for hours without getting fatigued.

They will require a headphones amp to power them properly and get the best sound...

...And since they are open back they aren't the best to use in public as they don't block sound coming in or going out.

But for mixing and mastering these are hard to beat!

  • Features
  • Specs

Type



Dynamic, Open

​​sound pressure level


​102 dB

​Driver Size


​40.0 mm

​Frequency Response


​5 - ​40000 Hz

​Impedance


​250 Ohms

​Cord Length

​3m str​aight cable


​5m Coiled cable stretched


​Weight



​w/o cable: ​370g

Dt1 990 pro

My Opinion

​The DT 1990's build quality is great and feels like it will last a lifetime.

​They were very comfortable.

So comfortable in fact:

I could wear these all day and forget they were on my head.

I really enjoyed mixing with these headphones as well...

...As the sound was extremely clear, crisp and accurate.

Also, Beyerdynamic includes two sets of ear pads.

And they made it feel like you have two different headphones.

I used the flat response set for mixing...

...and the other set with a bass boost was great for general listening.


​7

​​​AKG - K 240 MK II

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$​1​49

Type:

Semi-Open

Freq Response:

15Hz - ​25kHz

Freq Response:

15Hz - ​25kHz

Price:

$​1​49

Type:

Semi-Open

We Like

  • ​Great dynamic range
    predecessor
  • ​Comfortable for hours at a time
    isolation
  • 2 cables included
  • Flat frequency response
    detachable

We Dislike

  • The Quality feels cheap
  • Not great for travelling
    replacement
  • exclamation-triangle
    Sound bleeds out a lot
    realising
  • exclamation-triangle
    ​They don't offer a lot of isolation
AKG K 240 MK II Stereo Studio Headphones
predominantly
favourite

Summary:

The AKG - K 240 MKII headphones are extremely comfortable even for long extended use...

...The self-adjusting strap helps the headphones to sit nicely on your head without much fine tuning.

The quality feels a bit cheap but I'm sure they will last a long time.

And if one of your cables break.

No worries:

They give you a spare one just for such occasion.

I will say:

These are not the best while traveling in public places.

As a lot of sound bleeds out and they do not block sound coming in.

So I wouldn't recommend these for every day outside use.

But, that's not what they were made for...

...And they work great in a studio environment.

  • Features
  • Specs
  • ​Over ear design allows for comfort with extended use
  • ​Semi open for a greater dynamic range
  • ​Single sided cable
  • ​self adjusting headband for optimum fit
AKG - K 240 MK II

My Opinion

​I do like these headphones as they're very comfortable on my head.

​And I can wear them for a long time without getting too fatigued.

They have a nice dynamic range and are great in the studio.

I wouldn't however:

​Take these in public or to work.

Because they're open back and sound will easily bleed out or get in.


​8

​​​Audio Technica - ATH M50x

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$​149

Type:

Closed Back

Freq Response:

15Hz - ​28kHz

Freq Response:

15Hz - ​28kHz

Price:

$​149

Type:

Closed Back

We Like

  • Good sound isolation
    predecessor
  • ​Detachable cable
    isolation
  • ​3 Cables included
  • ​Deep bass
    detachable
  • ​Solid build quality

We Dislike

  • ​Hurts your ears after long periods
  • ​A little heavier than similar sized headphones
    replacement
  • exclamation-triangle
    ​Not the greatest for professional applications
    realising
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Monitor Headphones
predominantly
favourite

Summary:

These Audio Technica headphones have a solid build quality to them and I feel they will last a long time.

Saying that though, it wouldn't surprise me if the plastic that hooks and swivels the ear cups cracks or even breaks after a while...

They're also a little bit heavier than similar headphones and combining that with the tight grip these give they can hurt your ears after an hour or two.

On a positive note:

They do include 3 cables (more than any other on this list) one coiled and two straight.

And they do have really nice clarity with some excellent and accurate bass response.

The isolation is also satisfying on these headphones, and they would be great for public places like the office for example.

  • Features
  • Specs
  • ​Deep accurate bass response
  • ​Great sound isolation
  • ​Good material for durability and comfort
  • ​Detachable cables
  • dot-circle-o
    ​Good choice for studio tracking, ​DJ monitoring and personal listening
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

My Opinion

​In my opinion the M50x headphones are not the greatest but for the price they do sound great.

The plastic feel does make me wary when traveling with these.

But, the pads give nice comfort and great isolation.

They have good clarity and a nice clear sound with good bass response.

​There are 3 cables included which is a tick in my books.

​The shorter cable is what I always use when I'm out and about with the headphones...

...And it's so much easier than having to deal with an extremely long cable.  ​


​9

​​​Shure - SRH 1840

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$​499

Type:

​Open Back

Freq Response:

10Hz - ​30kHz

Freq Response:

10Hz - ​30kHz

Price:

$​499

Type:

​Open Back

We Like

  • Good Build Quality
    predecessor
  • Great clarity throughout
    isolation
  • Lightweight
  • Perfect for the studio
    detachable

We Dislike

  • Pricey
  • Might require a headphone amp
    replacement
  • exclamation-triangle
    Not for public use
Shure SRH1840 Professional Open Back Headphones
predominantly
favourite

Summary:

The SRH 1840's are highly expensive headphones.

But, you do get what you pay for.

The build quality is at a very high standard...

...And will last you years.

They are also lightweight giving you much more comfort over long periods.

The sound is very detailed and crisp throughout the spectrum...

...And there is great separation between instruments.

These are definitely for high quality studio use but they will also give you a truly amazing experience listening to music in general.

To get the best sound out of these you will want to get a headphones amp (I recommend one below).

Also they are not intended to be used for traveling, outside use or office environments.

This is because they are open back and bleed too much sound out and also allows the outside world to come in.

Saying that though:

They do have a closed back version at the same price called SRH 1540.

These have much better sound isolation with deeper bass and mids but will lack the airy highs and neutral response of the open backs.

  • Features
  • Specs

Type


​Open Back

​​sound pressure level


​96 dB

​Driver Size


​40.0 mm

​Frequency Response


​10 - ​30000 Hz

​Impedance


​65 Ohms

​Cord Length


​2.1m

​Weight


​2​68 g

Shure - SRH 1840 Headphones

My Opinion

​These headphones are super comfy even for long periods of time.

This is great when I'm having a long mixing session using the 1840's.

The build quality is exceptional and feels like it will last forever.

You get really nice separation...

...And the sound quality is very crisp and clean.

​If you do not want the open back version the SRH - 1540's are closed back for better sound isolation.

​I only use these in the studio, in quiet environments.


And The Winner Is...

Sennheiser - HD 650

Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones

Wonderfully comfortable

Extremely robust

And a phenomenal sound throughout the whole frequency spectrum.

Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones

Sennheiser - HD 650

Wonderfully comfortable

Extremely robust

And a phenomenal sound throughout the whole frequency spectrum.


​What ​do you think?

​Did you like this list?

Or would you change it?

Either way let me know right now in the comments below.

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