One of the most important aspects of both studio recordings and live music is the mixing and mastering process, during which each individual track must be scrutinized to check for any imperfections or adjustments which need to be made.
In order to do this, it is vital that you are equipped with the best studio headphones, based on the style of music you are mixing, and how much of each pitch you would like to hear.
(Disclaimer #1: This post uses Amazon affiliate links).
(Disclaimer #2: These headphones have been picked by a professional musician).
To help you decide, here is a list of the 5 best studio headphones for mixing and mastering, based on performance, value for money, and popularity.
5. Shure SRH840 Professional Headphones, $129
Whilst Shure tend to stick to the lower end, more affordable headphones, the SRH840 are their step into the higher quality, studio standard headphones.
Equipped with 180-degree swivel ear cups, a removable coiled 2.4mm cable with a twist to lock mechanism, and a closed-back design, these features really help them to block out unwanted interference from outside.
Sound-wise, these headphones bring out crisp, bright pitches perfectly, making them perfect for mixing drums and guitars.
Despite some reviewers criticizing the chunkiness of these headphones, their main function is studio monitoring, so if you were looking for a pair to double up for every day, out and about use, you may want to look elsewhere.
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4. Sennheiser HD 300 Pro Closed Back Studio Headphones, $199
The HD 200s are good, however, the Sennheiser 300’s are a step up if you are willing to spend a bit of extra money, and offer a neutral sound perfect for both studio work and leisure listening.
Using highly sensitive transducers, which convert the electrical current of the sound into sound waves, these headphones offer you the most accurate sound you could ask for, with reduced movement to the diaphragm of the headphones ensuring you get a nice, clean output.
When it comes to the build of these headphones, the overall weight is very light, and the earpads are very soft and elasticated, meaning that you will barely notice them during long sessions in the studio.
3. Audio Technica ATH-M50x Headphones, $169
Despite these headphones coming from a lesser-known company than the rest of the products on this list, they still hold up as a great piece of audio equipment.
Not only do these headphones come in a variety of colors, including blue, purple white, black, and grey, they come with professional-grade headband pads and earcups, allowing for comfortable listening for hours on end.
Designed with DJs in mind, the low-end response of these headphones is brilliant, and the fold-up design of the headband which collapses into itself makes them convenient and portable.
Perfect for mixing bass or drums, these are definitely a hidden gem, and a pair I recommend if you want a mix ready for the club.
2. AKG K371 Over Ear Closed Back Studio Headphones, $132
These headphones offer one of the best ranges of sound on the market at this price, with a crazy frequency response of 5Hz to 40KHz, making these headphones suitable for any kind of project, whether it be live recording music, mixing, and mastering, or just practice.
In my opinion, these headphones also have the most attractive design, with square ear cups catering more to the shape of the ear, plus swivel cups allowing for single-ear monitoring, which may be especially useful if you are panning a track.
Included with the headphones are 3 cables, one coiled and two straight, plus a carry case, which really shows you AKG are trying to appeal to both the professional and casual customer.
1. Beats By Dre Solo 3 On-Ear Wireless Headphones, $115
For years, Beats by Dre have been far ahead of its competitors when it comes to headphone engineering, and the Beats By Dre Solo 3 headphones are no exception, utilizing the signature Dre fine-tuning to its full potential.
Introducing Apple’s W1 technology to these headphones has been a game-changer, with most people choosing to mix and master on Macbooks or iMacs, it just makes the whole experience of switching between devices and charging seamless, eliminating the temperamental nature of Bluetooth connectivity so many other pairs of wireless headphones face.
If you don’t own any Apple products, these headphones are also compatible with android devices and are a great all-around pair of headphones for any type of use.
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Hopefully, this list will help you to pick the most suitable pair of headphones for your needs, and each pair is available from a number of different retailers (not just Amazon) so that you are able to pick the best price for your budget.