An Evaluation of the Best Headphones for Studio Recording and Mixing

Every week I come across someone asking about the best headphones for mixing and recording on the SOS forums. It is not very easy to answer this question because you have to look at a wide range of features. There are several headphones recommended for studio use such as Audio Technica ATH-M50X,  Audio Technica ATH M35,  AKG K702, AKG K240,  Beyerdynamic DT150, Beyerdynamic DT 250, Fostex T50RP, Sennheiser HD600, Shure SRH840, and the Ultrasone Pro 900 headphones just to name a few.
The design you choose depends on your personal preferences and your singing style. The advantage you have as you read this post is that you are dealing with a person who has tested several headphones in the studio.

ATH-M50X-blackThere are two broad categories of headphones namely the closed-back and open-back headphones. Each model has distinct advantages and disadvantages.

For example, closed back headphones are the best viable option for tracking because you have to prevent external noise from affecting the perceived monitoring signal, and controlling spill from reaching the microphones.

In the past, closed back headphones had a tendency of sounding pretty dreadful. However, they were very applicable in checking that recording was taking place and cue feeds. Mixing was done using the open-back cans, and they still sound far more natural and open especially at the high end.

The technology of closed-back headphones has now moved on, and they are quite good for mixing nowadays. However, the preference of using open-back headphones for studio recording is still viable. You need to consider what you require from each can and the compromises you will find acceptable.

During the purchase of your studio headphones, you should notice that you will always get what you pay. In most cases, the quality of any electronic machine improves with cost.

For example, the Sennheiser HD800s is among the best studio headphones but is very expensive. Some headphones that are exceptional to this rule are the Beyerdynamic DT250.

ATH-M50x-brownThis model demonstrates a relatively small cost to quality ratio. Another design that you could find disappointing when it comes to delivery in the studio is the Fostex T50RP.

It is very hard to come to an agreement on the best all-around headphones for studio recording.

Best headphones for tracking and mixing depend on your personal preferences and the style of your music. Some of the most plaudits headphones for mixing are the Beyerdynamic DT88s and Sennheiser HD650.

However, the AKG K702s and other Beyer and Sennheiser open-backed or semi-open-backed designs are also excellent mixing headphones.

The Sennheiser HD 251 11 is suitable for location and recording in very noisy environments.

ATH-M50X-whiteThey bring out an outstanding combination of build quality, good performance, and exclusion of external noise. For closed-back headphone designs, the Sony MDR 7509HDs is ranked among the best.

The Sony MDR 7509HDs appears to be among the best closed-back headphones. The Audio Technica ATH M50x and M50s are also very excellent for recording purposes. Mixing on headphones offers a very different experience from mixing on speakers irrespective of the quality of the earphones.

There is a broad range of studio headphones, and you need to undertake an in-depth review before you purchase yourself a pair.