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How to Choose Studio Headphones?

How to Choose Studio Headphones?

Here is How to Choose the Best Ones

We can’t imagine having a recording studio without headphones. However, when you need to buy your first pair of studio headphones there are some things you need to know. The following article will guide you through the main key points you need to take into consideration when buying studio headphones. So, let’s begin!

Open or Closed Headphones?

Although it may seem that this is a pretty simple question, it is actually very important. For example, if you plan to use a microphone to record drums, acoustic guitars or voices you will definitely need closed headphones. They simply prevent sound leakage and your microphone won’t catch the sounds coming from your headphones. 

On the other hand, if you don’t need noise isolation and you are only interested in mixing and mastering, then open headphones will be a better choice. They will help you get a more natural and precise sound. However, this greatly depends on the quality of the headphones because we have seen some closed headphones performing much better than open ones. 

Durability

Durability and being able to repair them yourself are important elements when choosing the perfect studio headphones. Most quality studio headphones today come with replaceable headbands and ear pads as well as removable cables. Sennheiser is for example a manufacturer who has made nearly all parts easily replaceable. 

Sound Quality

Maybe it will seem odd why we have placed sound quality at the second place, but the truth is that broken and malfunctioning headphones simply won’t do the job no matter how amazing sound quality they can provide (while they work).  There are several different factors that affect the sound quality so once we decide what we really need we can go further.

Headphone Amps

Some people may ask why would they ever need headphone amps? The truth is that if you buy some high-end headphones you will get the most out of them if you connect them to a separate headphone amp.

Our top recommendation in this case is the Grace Design m920. It is not that cheap but it will easily become the center of your music production. It has all the standard connections, and has a built-in DAP, and you can easily use it as a pre-amp for your main monitor speakers. Listening fatigue is successfully handled thanks to the crossfeed setting.

Entry-level Headphones

If you are buying more than one pair of headphones, then it is important to think more about the price. Ideally you should go with some affordable option but don’t go too cheap or you will definitely sacrifice the sound quality. 

Our top recommendations are the Shure SRH440 headphones They offer excellent sound quality, quite good sound isolation and are definitely worth the money spent. 

Another, but not as affordable as the Shure SRH440, are the Audio-Technica M50x. The sound is detailed and precise and more natural than the Shure model. The additional cables that come with it are an excellent add-on. 

Ant the most expensive model on our “entry-level headphones” list is the Shure SRH840. They are pretty comfortable; the bass frequency response is excellent and they come with some extra earpads.

Mid-priced Headphones

Our recommendation in this mid-priced category are the closed Shure SRH1540 headphones. Their sound isolation will make them your perfect companion in your recording studio.

Additionally, the headphones which give most value for the money are definitely the Sennheiser HD600, HD650, and of course the AKG K712. They are open headphones which will amaze you with the precise and detailed sound. However, you should remember that if you are using a microphone, they may leak some sound, so pay attention to that. 

High-end Headphones

As for the high-end headphones category we would always choose the Sennheiser HD800. They are open headphones they are extremely precise and deliver rich sound thanks to the angled drivers and their patented “ring radiator” driver.

Some other headphones worth investing in are the Audeze LCD-X and LCD-XC and the Fostex TH-900. You will be more than satisfied with them.

We hope we have helped you a little in finding your perfect studio headphones. Simply check the models we have mentioned in this article and maybe one of them will become part of your home studio.

Credit

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by Chris Howard © 2020 crystalwind.ca


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