The best studio headphones for mixing and mastering in 2016
The best studio headphones for mixing and mastering are usually the ones used by audio engineers and music producers. To be able to create good music with hopes of a track becoming a hit, one must have the ability to hear the tiniest details and every note that comes out of the speakers. Music professionals know for a fact that beautiful melody and great lyrics are not enough to make a track sound good enough. Each note and all instruments used have their own roles to play and in order to hear every little sound and detail, a good pair of cans especially made for mixing and mastering is essential.
It is worth to mention though that these headphones made for mixing and mastering aren’t necessarily meant for music professionals only. There are many audiophiles and music enthusiasts who opt for this type of headphones because of the great sound quality it can provide. While these usually cost a lot of money as these were originally created for professional use, there are still a number of models that sell at very affordable prices.
Key Characteristics of Best Studio Headphones for Mixing and Mastering
When shopping for a pair of the best studio headphones for mixing and mastering, there are factors to consider and characteristics that are essential. Of course, manufacturers and sellers and can say what they want and advertise a pair as one that’s good for mixing and mastering but it is your job as a consumer to find out if it is indeed a good kind and if it’s worth your money. Some of the key characteristics one should look for in a pair of headphones for mixing and mastering are the following:
- Sound Quality
It is important to remember that listeners use various kinds of earphones, headphones and speakers to hear music and with varying audio equipment, different sound qualities come out. For assurance that the music being mixed and mastered will sound great no matter how it’s being listened to, the producer must be able to hear best sound quality sound that can only be provided by a pair of cans that’s made especially for mixing and mastering. This is also the main reason why music enthusiasts who aren’t necessarily producers opt for this type of headphones as these guarantee the best audio quality one can find compared to others.
Audio engineers and music producers are in the studio for hours on end just to record, mix and master a three or four-minute track. There are many music enthusiasts as well who wear their headphones every waking hour. For these reasons, headphones for mixing and mastering should be very comfortable. The headband should fit most head sizes and the ear pads should cover most ear sizes.
When you’re too busy making music or enjoying your favorite songs, the last thing you want to worry about is your pair of headphones giving up on you. It is impractical to always keep a backup pair of cans so it’s okay to invest on a good pair that can guarantee durability. There are also a lot of people who bring their headphones along with them everywhere they go. These can be dropped, squished, sat on, etc. Natural wear and tear can also be expected; however, if you found a good pair of headphones, you can at least expect your cans to last for many years to come.
- Noise Cancellation/Isolation
Effective noise cancellation is a must for headphones for mixing and mastering. When creating music, you need to minimize or even completely block out outside noise so that this won’t interfere to what you’re hearing while creating music.
- Customer Feedback, Ratings and Reviews
Last but definitely not the least, and in fact a very important factor – customer feedback. Manufacturers will say anything to sell their product. They can promise amazing features and make their product seem unbreakable. When you finally make a purchase, you find out that the headphones you received are nothing close to what’s advertised. It is best to check on reviews by professional audiophiles and critics, and feedback and ratings from actual customers who have already tried the product to at least have an idea on what you can truly expect.
Top 10 Best Studio Headphones for Mixing and Mastering
|1. Sennheiser HD 8 DJ Headphones||$$$||4.8|
|2. Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones||$$$||4.7|
|3. Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones||$$$||4.4|
|4. Samson SR850 Professional Studio Reference Headphones||$$||4.4|
|5. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones||$$||4.4|
|6. AKG PRO Audio k67 Tiesto DJ Headphones||$$||4.1|
|7. Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones||$$||4.1|
|8. TASCAM TH Series TH-MX2 Studio Headphones||$$||4.0|
|9. Behringer HPX2000 Headphones High-Definition DJ Headphones||$$||4.0|
|10. Numark Red Wave Professional Over-Ear DJ Headphones with Rotating Earcup||$$||3.9|
For lack of a better word, awesome is how one can describe the Sennheiser HD 8 DJ Headphones. If you are willing to put in money on a pair of headphones for mixing and mastering and you want to get your money’s worth and even a little more than that, then this pair would be a great choice and it’s highly doubtful for you to feel any regret about the purchase anytime soon. First of all, it looks great. Sennheiser didn’t complicate things and their designers did pretty well by just keeping the body in a simple black color with the logo and the inner part of the ear cups in a lovely shade of blue.
Now onto the more important part – sound quality. The Sennheiser HD 8 DJ Headphones features the legendary sound quality that only Sennheiser can provide that’s matched with impressive noise isolation at 115dB SPL capability. Super dynamic sound with acoustics inspired by the HD 25, these cans allow you to focus on the beats and feel the rhythm – exactly what the pros need in the studio. To come up with the best audio quality, the Sennheiser HD 8 DJ Headphones was made by the designers and engineers of the manufacturer in collaboration with several top DJ’s of the world; hence this pair has been given the title of top-of-the-line DJ headphones by Sennheiser.
There’s nothing lacking when it comes to durability of these headphones. Premium metal was used to craft reinforcements of the body and each component is made rugged. As the satisfied customers would put it – this is probably the sturdiest and most solid pair of cans they’ve held and they expect it to last for a decade or more. In addition, Sennheiser threw in a premium protective case to the package and the headphones get a two-year warranty as well. Comfort has also been given much attention with the cushioned ear cups and the padded headband.
Almost perfect ratings by customers and all-praises from reviews made by professional critics and audiophiles, investing for this pair sure is worth it!
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones takes audio quality all too seriously. It was able to impress so many headphone users through the years so it has rightfully gained one of the top spots on this list. In fact, it still continues to stand strong on reviews as it has received outstanding reviews and ratings from audiophiles and music professionals as well. There’s no shortage of reviews from critics and professional audiophiles as well and they all seem to agree that this is actually a very good pair. Audio-Technica listened to their customers and corrected the minimal flaws of this pair and has since created its younger and a bit more expensive brother, the M50X. It is worth mentioning though that the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones continues to stay as one of the most in-demand pairs of Audio-Technica headphone and there are customers who choose to stay loyal to this model.
These very satisfied customers who are a mix of audio professionals, producers included, and simple music enthusiasts, have all the reason in the world to be so impressed with the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones because of the excellent sound quality this pair offers. Its 45mm drivers, neodymium magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils all play an essential role in keeping the audio quality of these cans topnotch. Sensitivity at 99dB and with solid closed-back cushioned ear cups, outside sound is sealed out almost completely. With added padding on the headband, it allows one to enjoy hours of working on mixes without any feeling of discomfort.
This model has coiled cables but if you prefer straight cables, you can choose to get the M50S model which is pretty much the same with the M50, except for the cable.
If you’re on a bit of a tight budget but would still require an impressive pair of headphones for mixing and mastering, Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones will save your day. Accurate listening and reference monitoring is possible through its 40mm drivers made of neodymium and you can get extended range and better audio quality through its enhanced frequency response. This closed-back pair of headphones does a great job in isolating outside noise which makes it perfect for a no-disturbance mixing session. Music professionals and enthusiasts agree that for this pair, sound quality is topnotch.
It is important to note though that the Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones is quite an affordable pair. What makes this product a true bang for the buck though are the accessories that come with it. Apart from the actual headphones, the package comes with a carrying pouch, a 9.8-foot detachable coiled cable, ¼-inch threaded gold-plated adapter and replacement ear cushions.
When it comes to comfort, the Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones proves to be a matter of preference. The headband and ear cups are cushioned enough for a comfortable fit; however, for a few customers they feel like it lacks padding. Ultimately, there are many who still agree that this pair of cans is suitable for use for extended periods of time without any issues. Shure also lived up to its promise that this pair is durable enough for the demanding user – whether one intends to use this within the four corners of a studio or take it along with them anywhere they go.
Highly rated by hundreds customers, Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones will certainly satisfy any user whether you’re a professional in music or you simply like to listen to your favorite songs.
Samson has been in the business of manufacturing wireless microphones and audio equipment, headphones included, for over three decades now. As one of the trusted names when it comes to superior sound quality and excellently built materials, the brand has gained a huge following of music enthusiasts and audio professionals alike. The Samson SR850 Professional Studio Reference Headphones is one of the best creations of the brand and these cans surely deserves this spot on our list of top ten best studio headphones for mixing and mastering for a reason – it does its job well and it goes way beyond the expectations of consumers at a small fraction of the price of many other overrated headphones.
The Samson SR850 Professional Studio Reference Headphones boasts of superior sound quality that focuses on clarity of the highs and deep bass. It open-ear design doesn’t only provide utmost comfort for extended hours of use but it is also very effective in offering maximum noise isolation. With its 50mm drivers that allow topnotch reproduction and a wide dynamic range with 10Hz to 30kHz frequency response, there’s nothing really to complain about with this pair.
Aside from the comfort that the open-ear design provides, this pair of headphones is created to give that much needed convenience when you use it in the studio or when you’re on-the-go for hours on end. It has a self-adjusting headband for a more secure fit which customers who have already tried it out vouched to be very effective. Its cushioned ear cups also play a vital role in making sure these headphones are very comfortable to use.
Made with durable materials and ruggedly designed for use and a bit of abuse from some users, expect the Samson SR850 Professional Studio Reference Headphones to last in your service for many years to come.
The second pair of Audio-Technica cans that fall on our list and rightly deserves a spot as well is the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones. As part of the M-series line of the trusted audio equipment manufacturer, the ATH-M30x is more affordable compared to its brothers but its features and characteristics will definitely not put this model into shame.
If you’re looking for a pair of headphones for mixing and mastering that generously produces deep bass, the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones is the one you’re looking for. You can get clear and rich sound that’s comparable to other models with higher price tags, thanks to its 40mm drivers that are constructed with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils. Other specs include an impressive 96 dB sensitivity and 15-22,000 Hz frequency response. Its attached straight cable is 9.8-foot long which allows you to move around in the studio or use conveniently as you watch DVD’s on your home theater system. The 3.5mm standard plug lets your enjoy music from most music players, tablets, smartphones and computers but if you need to plug into mixers, home theater systems, receivers and other audio equipment, you can simply use the ¼-inch adapter that comes with the package.
These are made for studio use but there are many DJ’s and music enthusiasts who choose this pair over others because of promising durability and the comfort it offers. In fact, it is the second lightest pair of headphones from M-series line at only 7.8oz. It is collapsible too and comes with a protective carrying pouch to prevent damage when in transit or when kept in storage.
You are getting way beyond your money’s worth with the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones.
Latest Customer Reviews and Prices of Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
Whether you’re a professional or an amateur in music or you simply want to listen to your favorite songs in style, the AKG PRO Audio k67 Tiesto DJ Headphones would be perfect for you. There are so many headphones that we’ve covered already but this one stands out because of its looks. Made in collaboration with one of the world’s number 1 DJ’s, you can be pretty sure that this is more than just a pair of beauties – the AKG PRO Audio k67 Tiesto DJ Headphones can also place a huge checkmark on each criteria that a pair of good headphones for mixing and mastering should have.
While this is made especially for DJ’s, many audio professionals choose to use this pair in the studio because of the topnotch audio quality it offers. This pair of closed-back on-ear headphones does pretty well in noise cancellation which is great if you don’t want to miss small details in the audio while mixing a track. Specs are impressive with an audio frequency bandwidth of 16 to 24,000 Hz, sensitivity at 112 dB and 32 Ohms rated impedance. These easily put this affordable pair alongside other headphones that are more than triple its price.
Since DJ’s are usually on-the-go, they need pairs that are super durable to withstand natural wear and tear and occasional abuse as well. Since the AKG PRO Audio k67 Tiesto DJ Headphones’ parts are made with XRP3 glass-fiber reinforced polymer, durability is playing its A-game on this pair. Its matte black finish doesn’t only make this a good-looking pair of headphones but does its job as well in resisting scratches and bumps. DJ’s can play sets as short as a few minutes or as long as day-long events and comfort is vital. The leatherette ear pads as well as the lightweight built of these headphones can also assure maximum comfort.
Customers agree that this pair is truly one that gives you a bang for the buck.
A list of best studio headphones for mixing and mastering can’t go on without a Behringer on it. Being in the business for so many years now, Behringer made sure that there are great headphones and audio equipment that are affordable enough to stay within the reach of the general population. And thanks to this German manufacturer, one can enjoy great music with a pair of awesome headphones such as the Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones for such a small price! These high-performance studio headphones originally sold below 30 dollars.
Now, price doesn’t dictate the superiority of a product because the Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones is very comparable to more expensive headphones. Features include a wide frequency response, rich bass and transparent highs and a wide dynamic range that can produce such impressive sound. It comes with a 1/8-inch connector and to make it compatible with most studio equipment, a ¼-inch adapter is included in the packages as well.
Durability is topnotch on this pair as it is made for rugged use that’s perfect for the music lover on the go. Listen to your music during your daily commute or even while working out in the gym as the Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones can withstand all that natural wear and tear that one can expect through the years. It has in fact been in the market for over a decade now but customers continue to support the product as it has always done great for them. It is a very comfortable pair too with optimized oval-shaped cushioned ear cups and a lightweight build that will make it easy for one to use for hours on end.
When on a budget, you don’t need to sacrifice the quality of the music you’re listening too. You can enjoy superior audio and have a pleasurable listening experience with the Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones.
Whether you’re a first-time shopper of high quality headphones or you’re a professional looking for a new go-to pair that you can rely on for many years to come, a pair of TASCAM TH Series TH-MX2 Studio Headphones is indeed a very good choice. It is actually a breath of fresh air when one sees how greatly reviewed these cans are by actual audio professionals who use this in the studio. Usually, the audiophiles, sound engineers and producers would keep their chin up and would support overrated pairs that cost hundreds of dollars. However, this pair made a difference because at just below 40 dollars, you can get pretty much what you are expecting from a decent pair of headphones for mixing and mastering.
These closed-back headphones are great for noise isolation and according to satisfied customers, sound leakage isn’t a problem as well unless you turn the volume up too high in unsafe levels. The sound quality is just honest and clear which will allow you to hear small details and every note and beat of the track you’re mixing. It features a dynamic transducer and neodymium magnet 40mm drivers. The cable length when fully extended is at 9.8 feet which is good enough for you to move around the studio or for you to conveniently use it while watching television at home. It comes with a screw-on 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter for easy connection on most audio devices and equipment.
These are lightweight headphones but are made with durable stainless steel frame and tightly stitched ear cups and headband with extra padding. It also comes with a TASCAM travel bag to keep your headphones protected when you’re in transit. Very comfortable to wear for a long period of time, you will definitely enjoy hours on end in the studio with this reliable pair.
Quite similar to the other pair of Behringer headphones that we reviewed above, the Behringer HPX2000 Headphones High-Definition DJ Headphonesis definitely another one that gives you a bang for the buck. It sells at around 20 dollars, you are definitely getting a steal out of this pair. As customers who have used this pair for several years now put it, you have to remind yourself that you’re getting a pair of budget headphones. While it cannot be compared to those that cost hundreds of dollars, it still competes pretty well to those that are double or even triple its price.
When it comes to sound quality, Behringer never fails its supporters as they always pay attention to providing high-definition base and transparent highs combined with an ultra-high dynamic range that gives you that superior audio quality that has become a signature of the brand. So the Behringer HPX2000 Headphones High-Definition DJ Headphones probably cannot give you that quality you’re looking for that you might have heard from a pair of cans created by some famous producer but it does give you that impressive sound that will allow you to enjoy your music.
It comes with the standard 1/8-inch connector so you can listen to tracks from your music players, computer, laptop, tablets, smartphones, etc. and it also comes with a ¼-inch adapter so that it may be connected to audio equipment in your studio. Oxygen-free copper wires were used to build the single-sided cord and all the materials used in this pair of headphones are topnotch to ensure high quality and durability. The rotating and reversible round-shaped ear cups are enjoyed by DJ’s but would have purpose in the studio as well.
Impressive sound quality for its price, comfort and durability proven by hundreds of customers who left satisfied reviews on many online retail sites, you know you’re getting a good deal out of the Behringer HPX2000 Headphones High-Definition DJ Headphones for sure.
The last item on our list is the Numark Red Wave Professional Over-Ear DJ Headphones with Rotating Earcup. It made the cut of top 10 best studio headphones for mixing and mastering despite being created as a pair of DJ headphones because it has successfully met the criteria needed to label a pair a great one. These headphones were created in collaboration with DJ’s. They identified their needs and requirements until they came up with this pair that leaves no room for complaints – it is indeed a good one considering its price!
You will love how its large 50mm driver gives such a punchy beat, rich bass and reduces or even eliminates distortion. Sound quality is top-notch and noise cancellation through its closed-back around-the-ear design is also very effective. This is essential for DJ’s who need to focus on the beat while in a noisy club or a loud event venue. This could also come in handy for the audio engineer or the studio pro mastering and creating the final cut for a track. It can be connected to just about any audio source through the detachable tangle-resistant cables with a 3.5mm connector and 6.3mm adapter.
Durability is also a great characteristic that the Numark Red Wave Professional Over-Ear DJ Headphones with Rotating Earcup can offer. DJ’s are always on-the-go and their headphones are subject to use, overuse and even a little bit of abuse – so a pair that’s durable is very important. The high-quality durable materials used on this pair makes it ideal for that type of use so you can pretty much expect it to be working for you for many years to come. It comes with a storage pouch too so you can store it properly when not in use. Of course, comfort is also a factor to focus on which is why these headphones are made with breathable protein-leather padding which would leave you comfortable even when using for hours on end.