As a music producer, you know how important it is to have a good pair of studio headphones. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which ones are worth your money. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best studio headphones for 2023, so you can make an informed decision when it comes time to purchase new headphones for your home studio. Whether you’re looking for comfort, sound quality, or durability, we’ve got you covered. So read on to find the perfect pair of studio headphones for your needs.
Which are the best studio headphones for me?
Before we get into our seven expert picks, it’s essential to know that the best headphones for you may not be the best studio headphones for everyone. Your preferences and needs will help you determine which headphones fit you best.
Budget is probably the first thing that’ll eliminate most of your options. Fortunately, even budget-friendly headphones are extremely good these days, so don’t think you’re missing out on sound quality or comfort with a more affordable or mid-range pair.
Luckily for us, the studio headphone market is very competitive. Meaning that other deciding factors like comfort, sound quality, frequency range, noise isolation, and durability are all essentially equally as good among headphones in the same price range.
1. Sennheiser HD 800 S
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are some of the best studio headphones you’ll find. They offer a precise soundstage with detailed resolution, allowing you to accurate mix and master your music. They simply deliver unparalleled accuracy and clarity – and the open-back design ensures that you get a wider and more accurate sound stage. Even though they are competitively priced at this tier of headphones, they are not that affordable for most producers. If these are in your budget range, it’s a no-brainer to pick them up. However, if you’re looking for more affordable studio headphones, we’ve got some options for you below.
Frequency range: 4 Hz – 51.000 Hz
Impedance: 300 Ω
Pros: Super accurate, detailed sound and soundstage
Cons: Out of budget for most producers
2. beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro
The probably best studio headphones in the lower budget range that you can pick up today are the beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro. These are absolutely iconic and can be found in many studios and home studios. They are closed-back studio headphones with a wide frequency response range and good sound isolation. Thanks to beyerdynamic’s diffuse-field equalization, these provide excellent sound quality when mixing, mastering, or recording. On top of that, the big soft cushions also ensure these stay comfortable even for longer sessions.
⭐ Our expert recommendation for the best studio headphones in the lower budget area.
Frequency range: 5 Hz – 35.000 Hz
Impedance: 32, 80, 250 Ω options available
Pros: Top-notch sound quality, fantastic accuracy at this price range
Cons: Non-detachable cable
3. beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro
The beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro are essentially the same as the DT-770 Pro above and worth mentioning in our best studio headphones list just as much. They offer the same best-in-class sound quality, frequency range, comfort, and sound isolation as the 770s. Effectively the only difference is the open-back design of the 990s. With that, you of course get the slightly less powerful low-end but a much greater sound stage and all the other pros and cons of open-back headphones. So if this is your budget area and an open-back design is what you need, these are a solid pick as the best open-back studio headphones.
Frequency range: 5 Hz – 35.000 Hz
Impedance: 250 Ω
Pros: Top-notch sound quality at this price, open and broad soundstage
Cons: Non-detachable cable, less deep low-end due to open-back design
4. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x have been around for a very long time now and are still some of the best studio headphones in its price range. They offer excellent sound quality with a well-balanced frequency response range. The ear cups provide good isolation, and the large cushions ensure these stay comfortable for longer sessions. In addition, the ATH-M50x are exceptionally compact thanks to their foldable design. So if you’re a producer who’s always on the go, consider getting these.
Frequency range: 15 Hz – 28.000 Hz
Impedance: 38 Ω
Pros: Compact design (good if you’re traveling a lot)
Cons: No high Ω option, high-end can be a bit blurry sometimes
5. Sennheiser HD 660 S
The Sennheiser HD 660 S are an excellent mid-range pick and definitely one of the best studio headphones you can grab. They provide precise and balanced sound, making them a great choice for mixing and mastering. On top of that, the open-back design adds some extra spaciousness to your recordings. Not only do they look great, but they are also very comfortable to wear for a long time.
If you’re looking for one of the best studio headphones that provides exceptional sound quality in the mid-range price range, then the Sennheiser HD 660 S is absolutely something you should consider. The combination of comfort and soundstage makes them an excellent choice for any producer willing to pay for good sound quality without taking it too far.
Frequency range: 10 Hz – 41.000 Hz
Impedance: 150 Ω
Pros: Excellent build quality, accurate and detailed sound, wide soundstage
Cons: Low-end can be hit or miss due to open-back design
6. beyerdynamic DT-1770 Pro
The beyerdynamic DT-1770 Pro are the top-of-the-line studio headphones from beyerdynamic in the mid-range budget area. These are effectively the bigger and stronger brother of the 770s and it’
s by far one of the best studio headphones for mixing and mastering. They offer a wide frequency response range and excellent sound isolation for accurate recordings thanks to beyerdynamic’s Tesla technology. So if you’d like to spend a little more for greater sound quality but do depend on a closed-back design, these should be the ones. Additionally, you get comfortable velour and leather cushions, and the build quality is simply top-notch.
⭐ Our expert recommendation for the best studio headphones in the mid-range budget area.
Frequency range: 5 Hz – 40.000 Hz
Impedance: 250 Ω
Pros: Very accurate low-end, exceptional soundstage for closed-back headphones
Cons: Hard to find any real cons here
7. AKG K702
The AKG K702 headphones are another great pick in the lower-budget area. With these, you get long-lasting comfort through the lightweight construction while the semi-open technology amplifies bass frequency response to bring out deep, dynamic sound from all your music. Open-back headphones are known to struggle with the low-end a bit, but at this price range, the AKG K702 deliver. That said, it’s no surprise why these headphones are a staple for many professional music producers.
Frequency range: 10 Hz – 39.800 Hz
Impedance: 62 Ω
Pros: Good low-end for open-back, light-weight design
Cons: Comfort can be hit or miss, high-end can be a bit too bright
Overall, there’s a wide variety of excellent studio headphones on the market right now. Whether your go with Sennheiser, beyerdynamic, Audio-Technica, AKG, or other reputable brands’ most popular models, it’s hard to make a wrong purchase nowadays. So unless you have any unique wants and needs, figure out if you’re going with an open-back or closed-back design first, and then find a pair in our list that fits your budget.
If you’re serious about your recording sessions and music production process, then investing in a pair of high-end studio headphones is worth considering. By doing so, you can ensure that every mix or master will sound as good as possible – no matter what type of music you make.