If you find yourself passionate about music production, you will need to invest in a good set of studio headphones.
But with so many popular brands on the market, it can get pretty difficult to pick one that is best for you.
In this article, we are breaking down the best 6 studio headphones on the market in 2020 based on price, comfort, sound quality, and situations they will be used in.
We will be taking a look at the headphones in every price range so whether you are looking for a great value set of cans or one with top-notch sound quality, we will have an option for you.
So, if you are interested in finding out which studio headphone will be the best for you, read our complete article.
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Excellent build quality
Long cords provided
Balanced sound with tight bass
No integrated microphone for making cell phone calls
Soundstage is lacking
First, we have the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, our pick for the best value for dollar studio headphones.
If you are looking for great multi-purpose headphones that you can use for both studio purposes and additionally with other devices, then the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is an absolute gem.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x presents one of the best values on the market for beginners, enthusiasts, and professionals alike.
When it comes to studio headphones, there are some important things to consider. The frequency range, comfort level, and blocking of external noise.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x studio reference headphones have them all. The design of these best studio headphones is very premium and sturdy.
Along with the different sizes of cables, you get a carry bag that matches the color of the headphones.
The 90-degree swiveling earcups of these over-ear studio headphones are extremely versatile and can be used for single cup DJ styling and are also collapsable when worn around your neck or to save space when transporting in your bag.
The cushion padding on the ear cups and the headband is soft and shouldn’t cause any issues and the headphones are pretty lightweight, coming in around half a pound.
The best studio headphones have an extended frequency range plus a circumaural design that contours around your ears for excellent sound isolation in louder environments and, of course, you get exceptional sound quality.
The vast majority of studio-specific headphones lack bass since they need to keep the frequency flat for better sound engineering.
But to note, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is not completely neutral and its lower end frequencies are boosted to make the music you listen to sound better.
But with that said, unless you are a commercial audio engineer, you should not have a problem with that and the slightly boosted bass sound makes these studio headphones versatile for regular everyday music listening tools.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is critically acclaimed by some of the best music gurus and audio engineers in the industry and is by far one of the best closed-back studio headphones for music production and casual listening.
Plus its affordable price point and versatility make them good studio headphones and an excellent bang for the buck and ideal pick for just about anyone.
2. Sennheiser HD 650
Great balance of sound
Very good details
Bass is not for bassheads
Up next is the Sennheiser HD 650, our pick for the best studio headphones under $500.
The Sennheiser HD 650 have been specially engineered to offer a natural sound image.
Priced under $500, they are an excellent choice for audio engineers, professionals, or anyone with a home studio who is looking for a top-quality set of studio monitoring headphones.
The Sennheiser HD 650 open-back studio headphones are created to be used by both audiophiles and audio professionals.
The sound offered by the Sennheiser HD 650 is in a league of its own. It covers everything from 10Hertz to 39KiloHertz.
The range of human hearing is theoretically 20Hertz to 20KiloHertz. What this means is that these studio headphones provide a little extra below the 20Hertz range to ensure all bass.
Even subharmonic frequencies are presented to you.
No matter what genre of music you listen to, you will find that these best reference headphones provide you with the sound quality you want.
The natural sound is balanced which is why they are perfect for studio engineers or audiophiles who want their music to be honestly reproduced without the artificial boosting of specific tones and you will hear each recording exactly as the musician intended it to be heard.
The open-back design of the Sennheiser HD 650 studio headphones allows for sound to bleed in, giving you a more natural higher-quality sound and are meant to be used in a quiet environment such as in a recording studio or at home.
Outside of sound quality, comfort is the other most important feature and because of this, the earpads of these studio headphones are made from exceedingly soft memory foam that offers supreme comfort even for a prolonged period of studio listening.
Not only are the ear cushions comfortable but they are also breathable which means they won’t contribute to overheating in the studio.
The Sennheiser HD 650 studio quality headphones are great for audiophiles and professional producers because of their amazing frequency response and high-quality build.
Its premium price tag may be a bit too high for the average consumer but if money is not an issue, the Sennheiser HD 650 will not disappoint.
3. Sony MDR7506
Comfortable to wear for hours
Sound Excellent at this price point
Lack of an inline microphone/remote
Next, we have the Sony MDR7506, our pick for the perfect budget studio headphones.
The Sony MDR series has been around for years with decades of daily use in the recording and broadcast sector worldwide.
If you are looking for a good budget studio headphone that performs exceptionally well then the Sony MDR7506 is a brilliant combination of comfort, practicality, and value.
Introduced way back in 1991, the Sony MDR7506 has been a top studio headphone and a favorite headphone for recording engineers and other sound professionals.
The mostly plastic design doesn’t feel at all flimsy and it helps that the outer ear cups are metal.
Inside, you will find 40-millimeter drivers, and the headphones have a 63 ohm rated impedance.
The race track shaped earpads and headband aren’t as thickly padded as the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones but since head clamping pressure is moderate, you should find them still quite comfortable to wear for extended periods of studio listening time.
Unlike the Sennheiser HD 650, the Sony MDR7506 are closed-back studio headphones. They do block a good amount of external noise and no one nearby will hear much sound escaping from it.
To note, the Sony MDR7506 recording headphones comes with an extra-long coiled cable that lacks a mic or remote, so it may not be ideal for use with phones or portable music players.
When you listen to the Sony MDR7506, you will know why it’s still remained in the Sony lineup for 22 years.
Nothing about the sound is out of place. The bass, mid-range, and treble balance is accurate and every music genre sounds great.
However, when directly compared to the Audio Technica ATH-M50x, the Sony MDR7506 is slightly thinner and brighter.
While the M50x studio headset is richer and weightier in tonal balance.
But in all fairness, the Audio Technica ATH-M50x does cost nearly twice as much. If you can afford it, it’s worth stepping up.
Overall, the Sony MDR7506 best studio headphones performs well above the competition in its class, works well with all music genres, and are comfortable to wear for hours at a time and sound excellent for their relatively modest price point.
If you are an audiophile on a tight budget, you will find a lot to love about these studio headphones.
4. Beyerdynamic DT 1990
Comfortable ear pads
Top-notch Build quality
Great sound quality
Pretty much requires an amp
Highs can be fatiguing
Not for portable use
Next, we have the Beyerdynamic DT 1990, our pick for the best overall studio headphones.
If you are looking for a pair of premium studio headphones for sound tracking and mixing, then the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 is one of the best options for semi or professional producers.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 are German made premium build quality and have innovative technology for amazing sound quality. With their own transducer design that better handles sound at higher volumes.
Once you have the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 studio monitoring headphones in your hands, you will immediately notice the weight and the quality of the build.
The leather padded headband sits comfortably on your head and the velour wrapped memory foam earpads envelop your ears in breathable comfort.
You will be quite amazed by the sound quality. The drivers work together with the titanium coated acoustic fabric on the open-back ear cups to produce an amazing balanced sound with natural ambience with incredible clarity.
They also bring an excellent soundstage to the mix. Seal every touch that the artist intended and be able to fine tune your own productions to match professional level fidelity.
You will notice the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 studio headphones come with two sets of earpads for what Beyerdynamic says is for balanced or analytical listening.
The earpads give a slightly different sound signature and are wrapped in a plush feller that makes them as comfortable as they look.
These best headphones for studio recording come with balanced earpads preinstalled. But you will want to switch to the analytical earpads for sound accuracy and comfort that is plusher and softer. Making it easier to wear for longer periods of time.
The 45-millimetre dynamic Tesla neodymium drivers and heavy duty metal leather padded headband with large velour wrapped memory foam ear cups makes these studio headset comfortable to wear.
The sound quality and noise isolation of the headphones allows for deep, analytical listening for finding the subtle details of tracks.
Replaceable ear cups for different listening experiences and Bluetooth or wired connections for high flexibility are great for listening.
However, switching out the earpads can be convoluted but for studio work, you will likely just use the analytical listening earpads.
If you are a semi or professional producer or sound engineer looking for a pair of premium studio headphones then the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 with renowned German engineering is a great option for you.
These studio recording headphones produce amazing sound with natural ambience with incredible clarity.
5. Sennheiser HD 820
Powerful, agile bass
Robust and Detailed
Next, we have the Sennheiser HD 820, our choice for a premium high-end set of studio headphones.
If you are a professional producer or sound engineer looking for one of the best studio headphones available, then the Sennheiser HD 820 is one of the best options for you.
The Sennheiser HD 820 is Sennheiser’s flagship studio headphone.
And like the Beyerdynamic, features incredible German engineering and design that delivers vivid, incredible sound with a closed-back design that keeps you immersed in the music and your work.
These best quality studio headphones feel weighty in your hands at just under 3 pounds. Lending them that premium feel.
As soon as you put them on, you can feel the plush, synthetic leather surround your ears, creating the seal that is vital for accurate and precision work.
Despite their weight, you will find they are really breathable and comfortable. Even for long uninterrupted use.
You will love the stylish, high-quality and solid feeling build of these top studio headphones and the glass driver covers certainly at the premium visual appeal.
You will definitely notice how the Sennheiser’s unique 50-millimetre ring radiator driver technology retains their coherence and literal translational ability that faithfully reproduces the recorded event without artifice or flourish.
The Sennheiser HD 820 best studio headphones keeps it real with one of the most linear frequency responses available.
You will find the bass is tastefully elevated versus neutral. While the mid-range has a modest bump that helps maintain presence and balance.
And a little extra energy in the treble goes a long way to keeping things open and airy.
What you will also appreciate is that there is no bass bleed into the midrange which is a common issue with closed-back studio headphones.
Overall, the 58-millimetre ring shaped drivers with curved dampening design are great for sound and sturdy padded metal frame with huge synthetic leather padded closed-back earcups.
The closed-back design and powerful drivers of these studio headphones bring a rich, textured sound and weighty premium builds comfortably for hours while promising durability.
The bass, mids and treble all sound incredible. Complementing instead of competing.
However, the Sennheiser HD 820 are definitely expensive but these are premium professional headphones for studio work and not for casual music listening.
If you are looking for a well balanced, highly resolving, technically excellent and musical closed-back headphones for professional use then the premium Sennheiser HD 820 is one of the best options for you.
6. Sennheiser HD800
Top-notch build quality and engineering
Detachable headphone cable
No included adapter for 3.5mm mini jacks
Next, we have the Sennheiser HD800, our choice for perfect audiophile headphones.
Sennheiser HD800 is a studio headphone that exceeded the standard of personal musical reproduction at the time of its release back in 2009 and so to this day it is still considered and well regarded as one of the best studio headphones.
The Sennheiser HD800 are open-back music production headphones so they are not really meant for casual music listening and so they are not a lifestyle product.
Their physical aesthetics are very futuristic in sci-fi and a more desire to showcase its technical ability as opposed to being purely stylish.
This is a headphone that entirely favours function over form. The massive ear cups pivot and swivel to accommodate the subtle angels on the head to achieve that perfect fit.
The Sennheiser HD800 ear cups offer the most room with not only a wide diameter to completely go around the ear but incredible depth and distance from the speaker.
The earpads are supple and feel soothing on the skin. Sennheiser calls the material Alcantara. Which is also found in the materials of the high-end sports cars.
The sound of the Sennheiser HD800 has been loved and hated but there is no denying the surreal sense of clarity and resolution in the presentation.
The microscopic detail retrieval capability and the pinpoint accurate image projection and separation of this headphone is great.
The sound that emits from the HD800 sound as if they simply appear out of nowhere and you can reach out and touch it.
The Sennheiser HD800 are very analytical and the bass presentation is steller with impeccable levels of control and refinement that simply just allow a subtle texture to flow off into the ambience.
The Sennheiser HD800 treble is accurate but not natural. Accurate in that is insanely detailed and resolving and helps power the immensely open and wide soundstage that recreate everything in a 3D venue with laser position and that just redefines what listening to headphones is all about.