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10 Best Headphones for Studio Recording, Mixing, & Mastering

10 Best Headphones for Studio Recording, Mixing, & Mastering

Choosing the right pair of studio headphones is crucial for achieving professional results. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top studio headphones for 2024, including renowned models like the Audeze MM-500, Neumann NDH 20, and Sennheiser HD 650.

Whether you’re a seasoned audio engineer or a budding music producer, our expertly curated list covers the best headphones from high-end professional options to budget-friendly choices, ensuring you find the perfect pair for your studio needs.

What Makes a Studio Headphone?

Unlike regular headphones, studio headphones offer a clear and uncolored sound reproduction, crucial for making fine adjustments during mixing and mastering. They provide a neutral and linear sound profile, allowing you to hear the music exactly as it was produced.

In both home and professional studios, studio headphones are indispensable. Closed-back headphones are ideal for recording due to their excellent isolation, preventing sound leakage into the microphone.

They allow you to work precisely even in less-than-ideal acoustic environments, making them vital for capturing intricate details in your music.

Types of Studio Headphones

  • Closed-back headphones offer superb isolation from external noise, making them perfect for recording sessions.
  • Open-back headphones allow sound to pass through the ear cups, creating a more natural listening experience. They are ideal for long mixing and mastering sessions.
  • Semi-open headphones provide a balance, offering some isolation while maintaining a more open soundstage.

Top Studio Headphones for 2024

1. Audeze MM-500 (Open-back)

Audeze MM-500 (Open-back) Best Studio Headphones Recording Mixing Mastering

Known for their excellent soundstage and natural audio reproduction, the Audeze MM-500 is a dream for engineers who prefer open-back headphones. They offer unparalleled detail and clarity, making them a top choice for professional mixing and mastering. Featuring Fazor elements and ultra-thin Uniforce diaphragms for precision audio reproduction, the Audeze MM-500 also boasts a robust magnesium housing that ensures durability while maintaining comfort during long studio sessions.

Main Features:

  • Driver Type: Planar Magnetic
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz – 50 kHz
  • Impedance: 18 Ohms
  • Weight: 495 grams

2. Neumann NDH 20 (Closed-back)

Neumann NDH 20 (Closed-back) Best Studio Headphones Recording Mixing Mastering

The NDH 20 delivers Neumann’s signature precision and sound quality. They provide a balanced and neutral sound, perfect for reference listening during mixing and mastering. Despite their heavier build, they offer an impressive neutral and precise reproduction. Known for their high-comfort memory foam ear pads and foldable design, the NDH 20 ensures both comfort for long sessions and portability.

Main Features:

  • Driver Type: Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 30 kHz
  • Impedance: 150 Ohms
  • Weight: 390 grams

3. beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro (Closed-back)

Beyerdynamic DT-1770 Pro Best Headphones Mixing Mastering

An upgrade from the DT 770 Pro, the DT 1770 Pro features Tesla technology for enhanced driver performance, offering superior resolution and sound depth. Ideal for detailed mixing and mastering with outstanding build quality. Equipped with replaceable ear pads and headband pads, the DT 1770 Pro also includes a straight and coiled cable, making it versatile for various studio setups.

Main Features:

  • Driver Type: Dynamic (Tesla 2.0)
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 40 kHz
  • Impedance: 250 Ohms
  • Weight: 388 grams

4. Steven Slate Audio VSX (Closed-back)

Steven Slate Audio VSX Platinum Edition Best Studio Headphones Recording Mixing Mastering

These headphones allow you to simulate different listening environments and speaker systems, making them revolutionary for mixing and mastering in non-ideal acoustic conditions. The VSX Platinum Edition includes a headphone and software bundle, offering a versatile mixing experience. The included software suite provides access to multiple virtual studio environments and listening positions, giving you the flexibility to test your mixes in various simulated settings.

Main Features:

  • Driver Type: Custom-Designed Dynamic Drivers
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 37 Ohms
  • Weight: 330 grams

5. beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (Closed-back)

beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (Closed-back) Best Studio Headphones Recording Mixing Mastering

A studio classic known for its comfort and excellent isolation. The DT 770 Pro offers detailed and clear sound reproduction with precise bass response, making it a versatile all-rounder for recording and editing sessions. Known for its rugged build quality and replaceable parts, the DT 770 Pro ensures a long lifespan. The ear cups are well-padded and provide excellent comfort.

Main Features:

  • Driver Type: Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 35 kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms, 80 Ohms, or 250 Ohms options
  • Weight: 270 grams

6. Sennheiser HD 650 (Open-back)

Sennheiser HD 650 Best Headphones For Mixing Mastering Home Recording

Renowned for its natural sound and comfortable fit, the HD 650 offers exceptional transparency and warmth, making it ideal for critical listening during mixing and mastering. Featuring an acoustic silk design that ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range, the HD 650 reduces THD to an impressive 0.05%.

Main Features:

  • Driver Type: Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz – 41 kHz
  • Impedance: 300 Ohms
  • Weight: 260 grams

7. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x (Closed-back)

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Best Headphones For Mixing Mastering Home Recording Studio

Highly popular for its impressive sound quality and comfort, the ATH-M50x is versatile for recording, mixing, and everyday music listening, offering a robust build and outstanding audio performance at an affordable price. The ATH-M50x has 90-degree swiveling ear cups for easy, one-ear monitoring, and the detachable cable system adds to its versatility.

Main Features:

  • Driver Type: Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 15 Hz – 28 kHz
  • Impedance: 38 Ohms
  • Weight: 285 grams

8. beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (Open-back)

beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Headphones For Mixing Mastering Home Recording Studio

A favorite among mixing and mastering engineers for its wide soundstage and balanced sound. The DT 990 Pro is lightweight and comfortable for long studio sessions. Featuring a robust spring steel headband and soft ear pads, the DT 990 Pro ensures durability and comfort. The open-back design provides a spacious soundstage.

Main Features:

  • Driver Type: Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 35 kHz
  • Impedance: 250 Ohms
  • Weight: 250 grams

9. KRK KNS 8402 (Closed-back)

KRK KNS 8402 Headphones For Mixing Mastering Home Recording Studio

Designed for professional mixing and mastering, these headphones are known for their flat sound profile and comfort, making them a reliable choice for critical listening. The KNS 8402 offers a detachable and replaceable cable, as well as replaceable ear cushions and headband padding, ensuring longevity. The adjustable, foldable design makes them convenient for transport and storage.

Main Features:

  • Driver Type: Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 23 kHz
  • Impedance: 36 Ohms
  • Weight: 227 grams

10. AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ (Closed-back)

AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ (Closed-back) Headphones For DJing

While optimized for DJs, these headphones also serve producers who prefer a stronger bass response. They offer a robust build and excellent sound isolation. The modular design allows for the customization of different parts, such as ear pads, headbands, and cables, to suit personal preferences. The reinforced headband and durable construction make them ideal for heavy use.

Main Features:

  • Driver Type: Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms
  • Weight: 270 grams

In Conclusion

Studio headphones are a vital tool for anyone involved in music production, vocal recording, or audio post-production. They allow you to analyze your audio material precisely, independent of your acoustic environment, and reveal fine details that might be missed even on best monitor speakers.

Investing in a high-quality pair of studio headphones can be a game-changer in your production workflow. Choose a pair that fits comfortably, offers neutral sound reproduction, and suits your specific studio needs.

Whether you opt for the reliable Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro or the innovative Steven Slate Audio VSX, your studio sessions will benefit from these top-tier options.

Also read: 5 Essential Tips for Mixing on Headphones

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