Studio headphone enquiries are becoming more and more common, especially with people being able to set up their own home studios on a low budget and with limited space. Depending on what you will be using the headphones for, there a few qualities you should look for.
For mixing, the best would be a neutral headphone which doesn’t colour the sound – this way you will get a clear representation of your mix. You will also want good separation and a wide sound stage, this will help with panning and getting an accurate stereo image.
For recording, the main quality to look for is isolation – better isolation will stop sound from leaking and will also block out other sounds from the studio. Comfort and a secure fit is also important, you may be using the headphones for long periods of time and you don’t want them slipping off (mainly for drummers).
Either way you want them to sound great! Here is my choice of the best Studio Headphones:
These Headphones are quite possibly the best you can get for mixing. They are extremely accurate, they have a very wide and natural sound stage and they are very comfortable – you barely realise that they are even on your head!
Beyerdynamic is one of my favourite brands, and the T1s are their flagship model. They are superb for mixing. Slightly darker sounding than the HD800s, they are very popular as a studio headphone. Having a darker sound just means that they are a bit smoother and not quite as bright, which can be a good thing as some people don’t like headphones being too accurate. The T1s are also very comfortable and will get more so over time.
The Ultrasone Signature Pro is possibly the best all round studio headphone we do. The Signature Pro has great isolation due to it being a closed back headphone and having high quality leather pads, they are also extremely comfortable so you can have them on your head for long periods of time. Not only are they great for recording, they are also great for mixing. Ultrasone use S-Logic technology to give the listener an open back headphone experience, giving you a wide sound stage and superb separation.
If you are looking for a mixing headphone on a budget then this is the one to go for! The DT880 has a very neutral sound and being a semi open headphone, they have good sound stage and separation. The sound is very detailed and uncoloured, bass notes are clear without being muddy and the top end sparkles. The velour pads supplied also make the DT880 very comfortable.
TOP PICK! – In my opinion, GermanMAESTRO have created the best value for money studio headphone you can get. The GMP 8.35 D has the best isolation I have experienced and it is practically indestructible. They can also be used for tracking and mixing due to them having great detail, punchy bass that doesn’t bleed into the rest of the mix and very crisp midrange.
The DT770 is an old studio favourite, they have a very clear, airy sound with a wide sound stage. Great separation and imaging lets you hear the most complex recordings with great detail and warmth. They have great isolation and are very comfortable. Very hard to fault at this price.