Best Music Production Headphones Reviews 2021

Which headphones are best for music production?

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-M50X are the best music production headphones.

Best Music Production Headphones

How do I choose headphones for music production?

These are the stuff need to check before buying the headphones for music production,

  • Check comfort level
  • Choose the option between Closed one or Open or Semi-open model
  • Check if it supports Wireless connection
  • Match with the monitor to check the quality
  • Take notes from other headphones to determine the originality and performance of the headphones.

Are Beats headphones good for music production?

No, the principal causes are they colour the mix and do not provide accurate sounds which are the necessities. While creating music, you need to hear every subtlety in your mix. Beats sound bass-substantial with next little detail on the midrange and trebles. The chief key to audio production headphones is to get the most neutral sound to have control of what is within the mix.

Can you produce music with headphones?

Headphones are used for music production, still, the song being produced will sound much altered when played in speakers. It is better than headphones because the preponderance of music that sounds good in speakers will sound good in headphones.

Best music production headphones

When it comes to studio use and more creative exploits, there are a few extra capabilities and refinements required in a set of headphones, whilst you are going to need a set of studio monitoring speakers you are also going to need to consider investing in one of our top 10 best headphones for musicians, music production.

Several headphones are masquerading on the market as ideal for studio application. For the average aspiring producer, there are some which undoubtedly provide impressive audio, but for those in the know, they are not exactly true to input, which makes editing questionable.

headphones for musicians

What is a Studio Headphone?

If you are wondering what studio Headphones are, then you are in the right place. Studio headphones are the necessary accessory for music production, music recording, mixing, and mastering. But, still, there is a difference between standard and studio headphones.

The key importance of audio production headphones is accuracy, durability, and comfort. Whereas standard or producer headphones are considered, they accentuate frequencies like treble and bass. It won’t give you the exact output of the music or an audio signal.

So for music production or music mixing, it is ideal to use studio producer headphones. You may wonder, why studio headphones are high-in-accuracy. The thing is, it holds a flat frequency response and transparent sound profile. It means you can determine the fault or difference in the sound profile accurately. It has high impedance, which is an important factor for studio headphones. It will amplify the audio signal and gives you accurate and clear audio details. If you are into sound mixing, it is a crucial factor to consider. If you hold a clear mixing then you can translate to different speaker systems.

Depends on the design, and style, the studio headphones will give isolation feel from the surrounding, means it holds noise cancellation feature. Distracting noises and sounds will affect the sound mixing or music production process. So to prevent such occurrence, noise cancellation is effective.

And another important feature about the studio headphone is, it is built to produce comfort for an entire long session of music production or sound mixing and mastering. It holds big and cosy earpads and adjustable headbands. The studio headphone built is strong and durable, so it can withstand long usage.

 Types of Headphones

May be you like :Best Budget Headphones for PC or Best audiophile headphones for gaming

As far as headphones are concerned, there are three main types of headphones are available.

  • Open-back type
  • Closed-back type
  • Semi-open type

For each type, it holds different listening experiences, and also it holds advantages and disadvantages simultaneously.

Before choosing the studio headphones, first, know your monitor configuration and pick according to your monitor requirements.

headphones for producing

Open-back type headphones

By definition, open-back headphones contain sound-generating drivers that are open to the world outside. You can usually see the driver when you look closely.

The main benefits of an open-back design include, Space to breathe. If you are planning to leave the headphones on for a long time, you won’t have to worry about heat and moisture buildup inside the earcups. Your ears can “breathe,” so you will be more comfortable during extended sessions.

The soundstage experience is awesome. Your music will sound bigger. When listening to open-back producer headphones, it feels like music is emanating from all around you, it sounds wider and deeper. The sensation is known as “soundstage,” and it is one of the primary reasons to choose an open-back model. Hearing a true soundstage is fun, especially if you are used to simple earbuds or closed-back headphones. If you are a music lover who values the experience of a quality home stereo system, open-back headphones are for you.

Getting a pair of open-back headphones is a clear sign you are advancing from a casual listener to someone who thinks a little harder about music. “How do I want to feel when I listen to music?” “What kind of listening experience do I want to have?” If you are starting to ask these sorts of questions, open-back headphones will be a great assortment.

The downsides to open-back headphones? Context, for one thing. Remember that where you listen can affect whether you opt for an open-back or closed-back design? Well, open-back headphones probably are not the best choice for the library. They are open to the world around you, so others might hear your music.

Granted, it all depends on how loud you crank it. If you listen to relatively low volumes, you may get away with open-back headphones at the office.

The other drawback is that you will still be able to hear noises from your external environment. If you are at the bus stop, you will still hear traffic whizzing by. If you are at the coffee shop, you will still hear the baristas clinking and clanging away, and so on.

  • Perfect choice for mastering and mixing
  • The soundstage is open, natural, airy, and accurate
  • Accurate and clear sound/audio
  • Minimum frequency buildup, colouration, and sound reflections.
  • The openness permits the drive to respond quickly and effectively.
  • Monitoring is the same as pair of studio monitors
  • Comfortable to wear.
  • The minimum noise cancellation feature
  • Audio leakage
  • Not an option for monitoring at low volume.

Closed-Back Type headphones

When you slip a pair of closed-back headphones over your ears, you are sealing yourself off from the outside world. In many cases, it is especially true if you are using over-ear or noise-cancelling headphones. You are isolated from the surroundings with your music.

Solitude? Check. If you are trying to reach a place where it is just you and your tunes, closed-back headphones are the way to go.

But maybe you are not aiming for solitude. Maybe you just need to ensure that nobody can hear your music in an otherwise quiet environment. Closed-back headphones provide that benefit as well. Nobody will know what you are listening to or how loud you are listening to it.

In noisy places, a closed-back design also ensures that sounds around you do not detract from your listening experience. It can come in handy if you are frequently busy at airports or crowded train stations.

Compared to open-back headphones, you do not get the same live music or soundstage effect. Instead, closed-back headphones take on the character of the enclosure itself. That is why many designs use anti-resonant materials, to reduce the negative aspects of hearing music inside such a small environment and make the closed-back listening experience more pleasant.

  • A perfect pick for music production, recording, and sound design
  • Best privacy for noisy environments
  • Isolation permits you to focus on details
  • The sound won’t bother others nearby
  • You can control at lower volume levels
  • Improvement of lower frequencies
  • Frequency buildup reduces clarity and accuracy
  • Sound pressure and reflections grow inside the earcups
  • The soundstage is concise open and airy
  • The audio holds colouration and sounds less natural
  • Your ears will become hot and sweaty

Semi-Open Type Headphones

Semi-open back headphones are headphones that are more or less closed-back but don’t completely seal the speaker elements, allowing the passage of some air in and out of the chamber. While this does allow the headphones to have some of the advantages of open-back headphones, they will have all of the disadvantages as well. Semi-open-backed headphones will leak sound and let noise in, though not as much as open-back headphones.

  • Prototype for music production, mixing, and mastering
  • Insignificant sound leakage than typical open-back headphones
  • Concise frequency buildup and sound reflections
  • The soundstage is extensive and more natural than closed-back
  • Limited ear fatigue than closed-back headphones
  • Limited isolation from noisy listening environments
  • Audio leak
  • The soundstage is scarce open and airy than open-back
  • Sound reflections can still grow inside the earcups

Best music production headphones

Headphones are probably one of the most often used items in the studio setting. They are essential for assessing the stereo image, low-end and fine detail within a mix. Like studio monitors, getting the right pair of studio headphones is a very personal choice.

For studio use, the best monitor headphones for musicians will be the ones that you can mix on and produce a result that will sound epic wherever you play it. With this in mind, your choice will be entirely subjective. You might be looking for a pair solely for mixing purposes or something that can pull double duty and tackle everyday music-listening duties too. Or perhaps you are in the market for a pair of workhorse cans sturdy enough to cope with life on the road.

To help you make the right choice, the round-up of the best studio headphones includes our top picks, with reviews that highlight the strengths, weaknesses, and suitability for different musical disciplines. Our price comparison software has also found the best prices on the web right now. If you are looking for more guidance, hit the ‘buying advice’ button above.

If your budget is smaller, take a look at our guide to the best budget studio headphones. And if you spend more time in the booth, these are the best DJ headphones for producing music.

List of Best Music Production Headphones Reviews 2021

Pick #1 Audio-Technica ATH-M50X – Closed-back Studio Headphones

They are a critically acclaimed, fully immersive, closed-back set of circumaural headphones that are engineered to provide a professional listening experience.

They harbour well-designed 45mm drivers with oversized copper-clad voice coils that optimize and enhance their performance.

They have an extensive frequency response that delivers well-balanced audio. They have a larger than the average surface area which enables them to efficiently cope with bass frequencies. They have a good transient response and ideal for studio in-ear monitoring.

The ear-cups can rotate 90 degrees keeping them comfy and allowing users to monitor with a single ear as and when needed. They are comfortably decked out with professional-grade padding for longer listening periods.

They serve up great sound with well-balanced, authentically accurate dynamics the high frequencies are very bright giving well-defined details and drawing attention to subtleties.

They utilize a detachable cord and come with a straight and a coiled option provided for versatile use.

Key features to know!

  • Critically praised for performance and build quality
  • Frequency response – 15Hz to 28kHz
  • 45 mm large-aperture drivers with limited earth magnets including copper-clad aluminium wire voice coils
  • Exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range and solid bass response
  • Circumaural design outlines around the ears for full sound isolation in loud environments
  • 90-degree swivelling earcups for easy, one-ear monitoring
  • Professional-grade earpad and headband material gives durability and comfort
  • Collapsible layout for space-saving and portability
  • Three detachable cables (3.9-9.8-inches coiled cable, 3.9-inches straight cable, and 9.8-inches straight cable)
  • Adds a carrying pouch for storage
  • Top option for tracking, mixing, DJ monitoring, and personal listening

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Pick #2 Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250OHM – Closed-back Studio headphones

The DT 770 Pros are based on a design from the mid-80s. They have large circular over-ear ear cups, a metal headband with a replaceable pad, and a permanently attached cable. The 250 Ohm version has a coiled cable, and it is supple and good, just like the straight cable on the 80 Ohm. It will easily flex and bend into any shape you need.

On the backs of the earcups, there is a simple placard with the name of the headphones on it, and that is about it for frills in the design. Although the cups are rather massive, they still sit close enough to the head to not look too silly in public. It is an ideal all-rounder studio headphone.

Key features to know!

  • Frequency response – 5Hz to 35kHz
  • Spawns a natural sound that is transparent and detailed
  • Circumaural headphones for producing pro sound in the studio including on mobile devices
  • A closed-ear design by excellent isolation
  • Innovative-bass-reflex-system
  • Large comfortable ear pads you can replace
  • A strong and flexible spring steel headband assures a secure fit
  • All the components are replaceable
  • A single-sided cord
  • Includes drawstring bag and 1/4-inch adapter

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Pick #3 Sennheiser HD 650 – Open-back Reference Headphones

The Sennheiser HD 650 headphones are meant for audiophiles and professional music producers. There is no getting around that fact, if you want to pick up a pair of HD 650s, you have to consider just how specialized they are, and just how their performance can be under-utilized or, at worst, completely misaligned. At their core, they prioritize sound quality above all else, putting most of their money into the construction of the drivers and the open-back design. They are not flimsy, that is to ensure, but if you are looking for flashy bells and whistles and extra features commonly found on consumer-grade headphones, you should look elsewhere.

It is for these reasons that we give the HD 650 a solid thumbs-up, but with the caveat that you need to know what you are using them for, and when.

Key features to know!

  • Best dynamic hi-fi stereo headphones
  • Frequency response – 10Hz to 39.5kHz
  • A simple, spatial, and accurate sound
  • Composed with acoustic silk to secure accuracy damping over the entire frequency range
  • Neodymium ferrous magnets keep optimum sensitivity and dynamics
  • Lightweight aluminium voice coils give an excellent transient response
  • A convenient elliptical design adapts to the shape of your ears
  • High-quality carbon fibre, titanium, including silver finish
  • Detachable Kevlar-reinforced, oxygen-free copper cord
  • Gold plated 1/8-inch stereo jack with 1/4-inch adaptor

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Pick #4 Shure SRH1540 – Closed-Back-Premium Headphones

The SRH1540 are over-ear, closed-back headphones, which Shure recommends especially for “professional engineers, musicians, and audiophiles”. They are the flagship headphones in Shure’s product line-up of closed-back cans, which have gained a good reputation on the market. Try to investigate if the SRH1540 can fulfil the high expectations which one automatically associates with headphones in their price range.

Since their market launch not quite two years ago, the Shure SRH1540 has been positioned in a price segment where there was almost no competition. At a price point of roughly $500/£380, they were well above the $300 mark, under which you can find most music studio headphones, but also considerably lower-priced than some flagship models of other manufacturers, like Beyerdynamic’s T1 or the HD800 by Sennheiser.

Since then, several new models have been introduced in this price segment, like the recently released Beyerdynamic DT1770 PRO, which shares a similar price point with the Shure SRH1540’s. I embrace the development since it means that more people can have access to first-grade headphones without having to break the bank.

Key features to know!

  • Frequency response -5 Hz to 25KHz
  • 40 mm neodymium drivers produce superior acoustic performance
  • Closed-back, circumaural design rests snugly over the ears and decreases background noise
  • The lightweight construction emphasizes aircraft-grade aluminium alloy yoke and carbon fibre for improved durability
  • Steel driver frame with vented centre pole piece develops linearity and eliminates internal resonance
  • Ergonomic dual-frame for a comfortable fit
  • The padded headband is lightweight and flexible for hours of listening comfort
  • An oxygen-free copper cord with a Kevlar-reinforced jacket
  • Detachable, dual-exit cables amidst gold-plated connectors
  • Replaceable earpads feature Alcantara and low-density, slow-recovery foam
  • Rugged design will endure the rigours of everyday use
  • Adds zippered hard case, 1/4-inch adapter, two detachable cords, and Alcantara earpads

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Pick #5 AKG K240 MKII – Semi-open Studio Headphones

It comes from the reference line of products from AKG and unlike most reference “grade” products, this AKG one is used in studios along with the other popular model in the series.

The AKG K240 MKII a true blue reference set from the AKG stables. Being studio monitors they have got everything that we have by now come to expect from cans in the class, long replaceable cables, and superlative comfort. Not the prettiest looking headphones thanks to the mostly plastic housing, but they have got a fairly functional look at least. They are quite light and the self-adjusting headband does its job of propping the K240 on your head for those extended listening sessions. The K240 is semi-open, unlike K271 which is fully closed. There is also another gimmicky difference between the two sets: there is an auto-off mechanism on the K271 which switches off the music as soon as you take them off.

Key features to know!

  • Frequency range – 15Hz to 25kHz
  • Semi-open with circumaural design
  • 30 mm XXL transducers including patented Varimotion diaphragm
  • A self-adjusting headband affords an ideal fit
  • Leatherette and velvet earpads for persisting comfort
  • The wide dynamic range produces crisp, detailed sound
  • Detachable 10-inch straight cord and 16-inch coiled cord
  • Includes 1/8-inch stereo mini-plug with 1/4-inch adapter

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Pick #6 Neumann NDH 20 – Closed-back Studio headphones

“Neumann declares, while many other closed-back headphones produce “nasty resonances” in the mid-band, the NDH 20 produces an “astonishingly detailed, well-balanced sound image.” With newly-designed high-gauss neodymium magnets providing both high sensitivity and minimal distortion, the result is a superior sound that you can trust, similar to Neumann’s high-end monitors”

The frequency response is rated at 5Hz to 30kHz

The NDH 20 implements a newly designed 38mm driver with high-gauss neodymium magnets for high sensitivity and low distortion. According to Neumann, these drivers eliminate the need for a dedicated headphone amplifier as they can be just as easily powered by mobile devices like smartphones and laptop computers.

Key features to know!

  • Frequency response – 5Hz to 30kHz
  • 5-inch drivers including high-gauss neodymium magnets
  • Extended sound balance, like Neumann’s acclaimed studio monitors
  • Splendid isolation permits working in noisy environments
  • Transparent sound by the high sound quality
  • Excellent comfort for extended listening concourses
  • High-quality metal frame
  • Foldable design for easy transportation
  • Adds soft cloth bag, two detachable cords (straight/coiled), and a 1/4-inch adapter

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Pick #7 Focal Listen Professional – Closed-back Studio Headphones

The Listen Professional studio headphones from Focal describe the only closed-back headphones in the French company’s ‘professional’ range, replacing the now-defunct Spirit Pros.

It is impressive in the all-around performance of the Spirit Pro phones back then, with, perhaps, the only misgiving being the fit. It is pleasing to see that the design of the Listen Pros has changed somewhat when compared to its predecessor, but of course, the proof is in the pudding.

Fresh out of the box and there are the LPs neatly encapsulated within a rigid case, which also includes a 5m coiled cable and a 1.4m cable, with an Omni-directional microphone and remote control. Of course, the obligatory 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter is present, as is a handy little elasticated strap for your iLok dongle, which is a thoughtful touch.

Key features to know!

  • The replacement to the acclaimed Spirit Professionals
  • frequency response – 5Hz to 22kHz
  • The smooth, stylish folding device
  • Universal smartphone compatibility including remote and mic
  • 40 mm Mylar and titanium drivers present a memorable listening exposure
  • Heat-sensitive earcups give a custom fit
  • A silicone-layered headband spreads the weight evenly across the head
  • Closed-back, circumaural design calmly isolates noise
  • 22 mm memory foam ear cushions including microfiber lining
  • Holds rigid case, 1/4-inch adapter, and two cords (16-inch coiled and 4.5-inch straight cord including remote and mic)

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Pick #8 Avantone Pro MP1 Mixphones – Closed-back Reference Headphone

Many Sweetwater musicians and engineers depend on the Avantone Mixcubes as a “real-world” reference. Now, Avantone puts a new spin on headphones with the MP1 MixPhone Triple Play Personal Monitor. The multi-mode MP1 MixPhone features Vari-Voice, which lets you switch between normal neutral-voiced stereo, mono, and a Mix mode with a special contour that emphasizes midrange to replicate the sound of Mixcubes, so you can focus your attention on these crucial mix frequencies. Constructed from premium materials, the Avantone MP1 MixPhone sports cushy, pivoting earcups, and a padded head strap for many hours of comfortable, continuous use in professional settings.

Key features to know!

  • Reproduces the sound of MixCube monitors
  • Frequency response – 18Hz to 25kHz
  • Large-format 50 mm drivers accouche a transparent sound
  • Vari-Voice permits you to switch between stereo, mono, and mix mode
  • Mix mode focuses your concentration on the critical midrange sweet spot
  • Cushy, pivoting earcups and a padded head strap for comfort throughout the long sessions
  • Adds soft carrying bag, two removable cords (straight/coiled), and a 1/4-inch adapter

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Pick #9 Audio-Technica ATH-M70X – Closed-back Monitor headphones

For headphone enthusiasts and people with even the slightest thought of the happenings of the headphone industry, Audio Technica is a big name. It produces a wide range of headphones and earphones at various price points, and its wildly popular M-series has achieved cult rank. The former flagship of the range, the Audio Technica ATH-M50x, is still an instant recommendation in its price section. It is for these reasons to review the Audio Technica ATH-M70x. The Japanese headphone manufacturer’s ‘M’ series of studio monitors have been targeted at professional users, although a lot of personal audio users have also been opting for these models. Because of rugged construction with metal parts on it to guarantee high-performance.

Key features to know!

  • M-Series flagship model, harmonized for exact reproduction
  • Frequency response – 5Hz to 40kHz
  • Metal elements for enduring durability
  • Proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers including rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminium wire voice coils
  • Extended response reflects extreme low and high frequencies while keeping a perfect balance
  • Circumaural design contours around the ears for complete sound isolation in loud environments
  • 90-degree swivelling earcups for easy, one-ear monitoring
  • Detachable ear pads give comfort and convenience
  • Fold-flat design for space-saving portability
  • Holds three detachable cables (3.9 – 9.8-inch coiled, 9.8, and 3.9-inch straight)
  • Adds carrying case and 1/4-inch adapter
  • Ideal for studio mixing, tracking, mastering, and critical listening

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Pick #10 Sony MDR-7506 – Closed-back Studio headphones

Good for neutral listening. The Sony MDR-7506 has a well-balanced sound with a punchy bass that does not drown the excellent mid-range. Instruments and vocals sounded good if a little lacking in detail and clarity compared to some other neutral listening models like the DT 770 and the ATH-M50x. However, they have a decent soundstage, for closed-back headphones, and their sound quality is good enough to please most listeners.

Key features to know!

  • Ideal headphones for musicians, studio monitoring, detailed listening, DJing, or enjoying music
  • Frequency response – 10Hz to 20kHz
  • 40 mm drivers produce deep bass, low distortion, including a wide dynamic range
  • The closed-back design affords superb sound isolation and regular listening conditions
  • The completely flexible headband extends maximum comfort
  • Enduring folding design provides lasting quality
  • Compact, foldable design for easy portability
  • Stereo UniMatch plug permits you to plug into both 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch headphone jacks
  • Gold connectors and oxygen-free copper cord provide you with high-quality sound transmission
  • Adds a handy soft case

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It is hard to recommend a specific model without knowing your budget. But in general, mixing and mastering a track is a more technical skill that requires more detailed critical listening, as opposed to producing or recording where you might be in a more creative state of mind.

For this reason, open-back headphones do not exaggerate bass frequencies as closed-back headphones do, and they create a more wide-open soundstage so you can more accurately place instruments in the stereo field. Mixing and mastering should preferably be done on studio monitors, and open-back headphones get closer to that experience than closed-back headphones do.

Hopefully, by now you have a few choices for music studio headphones that you can check out. And remember – ensure to try them out before buying if possible!


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