Best Music Production Headphones for Tracking and Mixing

Eric Chan

Sound quality is a non-negotiable for a music producer. Music production entails more than just creativity. Quality sound and a well-balanced mix will take you and your music places. To become a great producer, you require some tools to make your craft easier and spot on. One of those tools is headphones for music production, and we are here to give you all the information you might need. Furthermore, we have provided a comprehensive list of the best music production headphones you can find in the market currently.

What are Music Production Headphones

Consumer headphones are made for listening to music. On the other hand, music production headphones have features that can produce/mix without necessarily being in a studio setting. The features include a great frequency response that is wide enough to mimic the experience you will have in the studio. Production headphones are meant for mixing. Hence their bass response is more enhanced. In addition, the headphones have a flat frequency response, giving an accurate representation of what you would experience in the studio.

Production headphones are great for producers because they keep the mixes consistent because of the familiarity that personal headphones create. In addition, you can immediately tell what needs to be changed in an audio track if you are used to the headphones. For this reason, most producers rarely change headphones.

Which are the best music production headphones?

Best Music Production Headphones

1. OneOdio Wired Over-Ear Headphones

OneOdio Wired Over Ear Headphones Hi-Res Studio Monitor & Mixing DJ...
  • BASS SOUND: Enjoy powerful bass and comfort with the OneOdio Studio headphones. Large...
  • BUILT TO STAY COMFORTABLE: The soft padded ear cushions are designed for monitor...
  • NO MORE ADAPTER: DJ-style coiled cord (9.8Ft Stretched) easily reaches from the TV or...
  • SINGLE-SIDE MONITORING: 90° swiveling ear cups for single-ear monitoring anytime;...
  • WORKS WITH: All devices have a 3.5mm or 6.35mm audio jack. Work with Condenser Microphone,...

OneOdio has pushed the limits of accurate sound representation with their highly reviewed wired headphone. The cable is detachable, making it possible to replace it whenever damaged. OneOdio is the best music production headphones for anyone on a budget because the headphones are a fraction of the cash you would have spent on other headphones. For that reason, this pair of headphones is great for an entry-level pair of headphones.

OneOdio is comfortable over-the-ear headphones with impressive sound quality. The bass response on the headphones is great, with 50mm drivers to ensure you of good sound. The headphones are built for comfort with swiveling ear cups up to 90-degrees. The ear cups do not have sound leakage, making them great for use in a recording session. In addition, the headphones significantly reduce the fatigue that comes with wearing headphones for a long time. OneOdio is the best entry-level headphones that you will find in the market.


  • Best entry-level headphones
  • The headphones come with a detachable cable
  • The studio headphone is compatible with most devices
  • 90-degree swiveling ear cups for maximum comfort
  • Affordable headphones
  • Long cable for convenience


  • The headphones are very entry-level.

2. Audio Technica ATH M50X Professional Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black,...
  • Critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio...
  • Proprietary 45 millimeter large aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad...
  • Exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range with deep accurate bass...
  • Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud...
  • 90 degree swiveling earcups for easy one ear monitoring and professional grade earpad and...

The Audio Technica ATH M50X studio headphones are probably the best, most popular headphones for music producers. Audio Technica ATH M50X are the best headphones for studio headphone options. Top sound engineers highly review these headphones, and it is a brand you can trust. The headphones have 45mm drivers that deliver quality sound, eliminating a headphone amp.

Audio Technica ATH M50X has a wide frequency range with exceptional clarity and deep bass response. In addition, the closed-back headphones have the best audio quality and are great for both tracking and mixing. As a result, the Audio Technica ATH M50X is a critically acclaimed professional headphone set that we highly recommend as the best music production headphones.


  • Closed-back studio headphones that are good for tracking
  • Detachable cable for easy storage
  • Audio Technica is a trusted brand among top producers and sound mixers
  • Best professional studio headphones with clear audio and a wide frequency response
  • Comfortable headphones
  • Foldable ear cups for convenient storage and transportation
  • Swiveling ear cups for comfort


  • Closed-back headphones exaggerate the low frequencies.

3. Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro Headphones

beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones in Gray....
  • Closed over-ear headphones, ideal for professional recording and monitoring
  • Perfect for studio and stage recordings thanks to their pure, high-resolution sound
  • The soft, circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort
  • Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship Made in Germany. Innovative bass reflex...
  • Practical single-sided cable (3.0m cable) . Comfortable fit due to rugged, adjustable,...

Nothing beats a set of Beyerdynamic DT 770 over-ear headphones. The headphones are great for monitoring and tracking because no sound will leak out of the headphones. In addition, Beyerdynamic headphones have the most comfortable ear pads you can find anywhere. The ear pads are replaceable, and you do not have to worry about the ear pads wearing out.

Beyerdynamic headphones have a 3-meter cable long enough to serve your needs in the studio. In addition, the frequency range is enough for all your production needs. So get Beyerdynamic today for a high-end experience and professional results.


  • Affordable pair of headphones
  • Great frequency response
  • Replaceable ear pads
  • Long, three-meter cable


  • The headphones have a non-detachable cable.

4. SONY MDR7506 Professional Headphones

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
  • Neodymium magnets and 40 millimeter drivers for powerful, detailed sound
  • Closed ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises
  • 9.8 foot cord ends in gold plated plug and it is not detachable; 1/4 inch adapter included
  • Folds up for storage or travel in provided soft case
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hertz to 20 kilohertz

SONY MDR series is a loved brand in the music industry because they are the best headphones for music producers. The headphones have a great sound quality that surpasses the industry standard for professional headphones. SONY MDR headphones will always be among the best studio headphones, and rightfully so. The headphones have a design that is made for critical listening. In addition, the headphones are affordable for their capabilities.

SONY MDR7506 has a large diaphragm with 40mm drivers for powerful output. The frequency response ranging from 10Hz to 20KHz is unmatched because most pro-grade headphones reach as low as 20Hz and not lower. The headphones have great isolation while maintaining comfort. SONY MDR7506 is the headphone that will take you through your career for the next decade.


  • Best studio headphones with the largest frequency range of 10Hz to 20KHz
  • Swiveling ear cups that ensure comfort
  • Professional sound
  • Long 9.8-foot cable
  • The headphones fold up for storage and transportation


  • The cable is not detachable.

5. Beyerdynamic Over-Ear Studio Headphones

beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones For Mixing,...
  • Open over-ear headphones, ideal for professional mixing, mastering and editing
  • Perfect for studio applications thanks to their transparent, spacious, strong bass and...
  • The soft, circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort
  • Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship - Made in Germany
  • Practical single-sided cable (3.0m coiled cable)

Open ear headphones are the best studio headphones for music producers because of their sound quality and comfort. In addition, you can use an open-back headphone set for longer periods than you should use closed-back headphones. Therefore, you can count on Beyerdynamic to be the best studio headphones a producer can use.

The sound quality of the headphones is true compared to their closed-back counterparts. The low frequencies are accurate and are not exaggerated, as happens in closed-back headphones. In addition, the open, over-ear headphones are comfortable and suitable for the producer who spends the night in the studio.


  • Best studio headphones for long periods of use
  • Comfortable over-ear cups
  • No false low frequencies
  • Long cable
  • Best studio headphones for listening to ambient sound


  • The headphones have a non-detachable cable.

6. AKG Pro Audio K24O

AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO Over-Ear, Semi-Open, Professional Studio...
  • Professional studio headphones
  • Semi-open
  • 3 m replaceable cable
  • Audio Interface type: Stereo plug – 3.5mm (1/8-inch) with 6.3 mm (1/4”) screw-on...

There is no way this list would not have AKG headphones on it. AKG has the best studio headphones for tracking that you can ever come across. In addition, AKG headphones are arguably the most comfortable headphones you will ever try on. The semi-open headphones give the best of both worlds, making them the best studio headphones for tracking and mixing.

The AKG Pro Audio is a well-known brand among professional engineers. The headphones have a self-adjusting headband that creates a perfect fit, making them a very comfortable option. The headphones have a detachable mini-XLR connector, making AKG the best-wired headphone you can find. In addition, the headphones deliver a real-time audio signal that has zero lag. AKG has been around for 65 years, making them a trusted, successful brand that you have to try out.


  • Comfortable with a perfect, adjustable fit
  • Best studio headphones with no lag
  • Perfect headphones for monitoring and tracking
  • The headphones have a long cable
  • The headphones are perfect for critical listening


  • The headphones are bulky.

7. Audio Technica ATH M20X

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black
  • Advanced build quality and engineering Designed for studio tracking and mixing
  • 40 millimeter drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils
  • Tune for enhanced low frequency performance
  • Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud...
  • Convenient single side cable exit Magnet neodymium Designed for studio tracking and mixing

There was a chance Audio Technica would make it back to this list. The headphones have 40mm drivers, making them one of the best headphones that deliver a transparent sound for mixing and monitoring. The headphones have large ear cups that are comfortable and can fit everyone's head comfortably. The headphones have ear pads to ensure you use the headphones for long periods without any fatigue.

The frequency response on the headphones is great and combined with the isolation that the headphones have, you are assured of a professional experience. Audio Technica has the best headphones for music producers, and if this list were longer, more Audio Technica headphones would be here.


  • Comfortable headphones
  • Large drivers for a powerful output
  • Enhanced for low-frequency performance
  • Best design for tracking


  • The cable is non-detachable.

Producing/Mixing on Headphones Vs. Studio Monitors

You have often asked yourself whether mixing and producing headphones is better than on studio monitors. While these two modes are great ways of music productions, studio headphones have more advantages than studio monitors. While most recording studios prefer monitors, music producers are better off having studio headphones over a studio monitor. One important feature you need when monitoring during production or mixing is the flat frequency response, and most studio headphones can easily give you that. Here are some features that place the studio headphones ahead of studio monitors.

a) Portable

This goes without saying. If you are a producer who is always on the go, you will use the studio headphones over the studio monitors. Most producers work on the fly, sometimes literally. If you are on tour with your artist and have shows lined up back to back, studio headphones are exactly what you need to get the job in motion whenever you need to make something.

Making stems minutes before a show is a very common occurrence among producers. But, things happen, and sometimes you have to get to work when you are at a place with no studio environment close by. You would not have to worry if you had your headphones with you. As a producer, you have to get yourself at least one pair of the best studio headphones you can place your hands on.

While portability is an advantage, you should not sacrifice good audio quality for portability. The best headphones will give you a crisp sound quality to work with without messing up a production. However, having great headphones does not mean that you can use them in noisy environments without caring about how they affect your volume levels. So unless you are going for DJ headphones, know all the downsides of producing somewhere similar to a studio environment.

b) Affordable

Would you rather have the best studio monitors at all costs? Having headphones eliminates the need to have an acoustically treated room with soundproofing and correct construction materials. Of course, by the time you are using studio monitors, there are a lot of factors that will come into play. However, when you get your hands on the best headphones for music production, that is almost always all you need. Headphones will give you an accurate soundstage and a natural sound at a way lower price than having to set up a home music studio to use monitors.

Monitors require a lot of accessories to function. You need to have a studio setting, as we have mentioned above. Setting up a studio is not a matter of just picking some monitors and placing them facing you. It would help if you had the right measurements and place to have a balanced sound. Wherever you will sit in the studio has to be well calculated if you want to get the natural sound that will mirror what you want to achieve during production.

Other accessories that might set you back when using a studio monitor include an audio interface, an amplifier, cables, a mixer, a computer and other items that monitors would require to use. When you have monitors, the one thing you will need to have is a sub. Subs are a key component in mixing. You could substitute that function by simply getting studio headphones with good frequency response.

c) Consistency

Once you put your hands on a good pair of studio headphones, you can be sure of getting consistent mixes on your projects. Regardless of whether you change locations, the headphones will have little nuances that you are used to and know how to work around. For this reason, most producers can use the same headphones for more than five years.

Producers are very flexible and sometimes do not work with the same studio or artist at any given time. No studio has the same acoustics as another studio, and therefore the work of any producer is greatly affected. Think of this: you are mixing or producing a song, and the plugin you are using is based on Abbey Road Studios's acoustics. If you use the same plugin in separate studios, it will sound different than if you use it in two different locations with the same pair of studio headphones.

d) Convenience

Production is a continuous process. When an idea hits your head, sometimes you need to act on it on the spot when it is still on fire. When you listen to music producers tell stories behind their greatest hits, you will realize that they conceived them at the oddest times and the strangest of places. Rarely will it be that the producer was sitting in the studio during a production session that they came up with a killer track.

You can always work wherever you are in this modern world, regardless of the time or place. Many apps have come out that make it possible for you to enjoy your production process without the limitations of having to be in a studio. Studios, especially commercial studios, will press you for time and rid you of the mental space you need to think creatively. Instead, you could simply pick your headphones and PC, head to the rooftop and create some jams while you look at the city skyline.

e) Privacy

Production is a very solemn process that requires a great deal of privacy. Sometimes when y0u are working on a new idea, the last thing you want is someone snooping around, interfering all the time. If you have a roommate, they might get sick of your unfinished and endless projects, giving you unwanted energies in the process.

Critical listening is one of the most vital processes for a producer. You might need more than one session with a song to make the right decisions before releasing the song to the public. Studio headphones allow you to listen in different settings and environments that the songs would naturally be played in. You can have more reference points when using studio headphones compared to when using monitors. The sound quality on studio headphones is very close to good monitors, making music production a personal and fulfilling process for you.

f) Bass Response

As you may know, when you are setting up a studio, one of the vital components you require is a sub for the bass frequencies. Many studio monitors do not do well without a sub. Studio headphones will give you the best bass response while sufficiently covering the other frequencies in the process. When buying studio headphones, you will realize that most have a wider frequency range than the typical studio monitors lacking in the lower end of sound.

g) The Downside...

The one reason you would need studio monitors over studio headphones is when mapping sound in stereo. Studio headphones tend to give a less accurate stereo image compared to monitors. Monitors are great for mixing because they will give you a more accurate soundstage compared to the studio headphones that typically give you sound only from the sides of your head. On the other hand, it could be more complicated to pan and play around with the sound design if you have studio headphones.

The mistake that most producers make is hard-panning. This happens even without the producer knowing how close the studio headphones are to the ears. You will only realize your pans are slightly off when you start monitoring what you did with studio headphones on external monitors.

A trick would be to mix the same audio using studio headphones and listen to the outcome on a monitor and vice versa.

h) Fatigue

This is arguably the most dreaded reason for using studio headphones. Once you are out from a long session, your hearing will be interfered with to a degree. Have you ever gotten out of a movie theater after a long movie and back into the world and noticed how warped reality is, the same thing happens with your hearing. We tend to glorify studio headphones with the best and strongest drivers. Well, your ears do not feel the same towards the most powerful drivers. Learn to take breaks in between sessions every time you use studio headphones.

Most of the time, you will crank up the volume on your headphones. This hurts your ears and is something you want to avoid at all costs. You should hear someone talking to you whenever you are on your headphones. If not, then you might want to reduce the volume on your studio headphones.

How to Protect Your Ears When Using Studio Headphones

What good is an accurate sound stage when your ears will let you down when it counts the most? Closed or semi-open headphones offer a high ambient noise attenuation, and you are probably enjoying that feature. However, you might not know that in an attempt to hear the bass and treble frequencies clearly, you sometimes end up adding the volume unknowingly. Naturally, when we do not hear something when using headphones, our first response is to increase the volume. Fatigue is real, and you have to master healthy ways of using the studio headphones. Here are some tips to help you care for your ears.

i) Avoid Extended Hearing

When working on a project, we might be tempted to work overtime for various reasons. Maybe you want to finish a project on time or have a deadline to beat. The temptation to work overnight can be overwhelming sometimes when you have the creative juices constantly flowing. However, the one thing that we forget is that regardless of how good the studio headphones are, our brains tend to adapt to things after long exposure.

Take light, for example. Your eyes adapt to light depending on the amount of time it is exposed to the source of light. So if you were in total darkness, a bright light would blind you at first, then gradually, your brain will adapt to the amount of light you are exposed to.

Similarly, if you had not used your headphones for a while, you will be able to hear the very high frequencies more clearly, and all the little variations will be quite obvious. However, your brain will have adapted to whatever you are listening to after a while. You will realize that you will start doing things that excite your brain after the adaptation. When you listen to a piece of music you mix for ten hours, most of the time, you will be left wondering what it is exactly you were doing.

ii) Take Breaks

There is nothing more important to a creative process than taking breaks. Breaks give you the chance to have an outsider's perspective. More importantly, breaks give your brain the chance to relax and recalibrate. Regardless of how important the critical listening session is, you will not listen critically when you have been listening for hours on end. For instance, if you are in a session for electronic music production, the frequency dips and dynamics are a huge part of the genre. Therefore, you have to take breaks to have clear judgment and get the desired results.

Here is how you can take breaks. For every hour you have the studio headphones on, take ten minutes off. For every 90 minutes, take 20 minutes off the studio headphones. Your ears will be much more relaxed, especially if you use over-ear studio headphones. Wearing headphones can be a tremendous strain if you do not cultivate healthy practices while at them.

iii) Have a Workflow

Create a workflow that automatically sorts out your listening habits. Set some rules for yourself and stay away from noisy environments when you are about to get into a mixing session of detailed listening. While having studio headphones with great sound isolation will sort out a lot of your production challenges, the immersive nature of such headphones might end up being detrimental to you. Your workflow can be in stages, between which you can take breaks. If your workflow has no breaks in between, you risk major burnout and fatigue. Avoid such risks by having a simple workflow that guides your processes and gives you a healthy practice.

iv) Watch Yourself

We all know ourselves when we start getting fatigued. When you get fatigued, you will start looking for distractions most of the time. Either you will look for something to eat, or you will find something to distract your mind from the discomfort that could simply use a break. The worst habit that producers and mixing engineers have is to increase the volume somewhere in the middle of their session. When you catch yourself doing this, you know it is time for the break. Learn yourself and know the habits you exhibit when fatigue is setting in.

How to Produce/Mix Effectively on Studio Headphones

The best studio headphones will not get you far if you do not use them properly. If you want to achieve the best outcome possible, rules are to play by. If you misuse the headphones as a tool, your results will greatly be affected. These practices are standard and are common among top producers who have spent years on the marketplace and have everything it takes to bring the best tracks to the game.

1) Know Which Headphones Suit Your Process

Studio headphones come in different forms that have their strong and weak sides. Some headphones work great for certain parts of a production process, while other headphones for specific parts. For instance, closed-back studio headphones are great for tracking because they create maximum sound isolation and prevent sound leakage. However, using open-back headphones for tracking would be counterproductive because all the sound from the open-back studio headphones will bleed into the mic.

On the other hand, open-back studio headphones are great for mixing because they do not create an exaggerated low-end thump on your ears. However, in some instances, closed-back studio headphones will give you false low frequencies simply because of the headphones' pressure created on your ears by the closed nature.

If you are going to be tracking, producing and mixing, all you need is a pair of high-quality open-back studio headphones. Budget headphones will not do you any good in the long run. The best studio headphones have a flat frequency response and are great for applications such as mixing. Production is a very interactive process, and sometimes you need to listen to the peopled around you when working. You no longer have to worry about exaggerated frequencies when open-back studio headphones.

2) Avoid Hard Panning

Crossfeed is difficult to achieve when producing headphones. When you use headphones, you tend to do a hardpan that pushes the sound entirely to one ear. A crossfeed sounds natural because a bit of sound is pushed to both ears but at slightly different levels. Music producers know that one must avoid hard panning when using studio headphones to mix. One of the rules we will talk about is using a different monitor to reference the work you had done on your headphones.

The best thing to do for your ears is to cultivate a culture of not going overboard with things, especially when mixing or producing.

3) Headphone Amplifier

The monitoring chain is how you extract gold from the music and audio coming in. The better the signal chain, the better the outcome. If you monitor all the right things incorrectly, you will process the signal wrongly. The studio headphone amplifier works the same way an amplifier works, just to enhance the audio coming into your ears.

With a studio headphone amp, you can get a wide frequency response on your headphones, giving you more options to work with. Your decisions can be more informed than when you use headphones without an amp. The audio signal is an electric signal, and if you know exactly how signals behave, you are on the winning path. While in most cases, if you have low impedance headphones, you will not necessarily need an amplifier. However, if you have high impedance headphones, an amplifier is a must-have.

4) Headphone Optimization Software

Using headphone optimization software helps you create a virtual space to control and emulate different situations. Imagine how advantageous it is to listen to your mix in different scenarios. Headphone optimization softwares allow you to have virtual speakers that you can move around and change the distance to get a wide stereo image and even change the phantom center level.

Studio headphone optimization softwares let you do more things like solo channels and reverse the polarity of the audio coming in. You can do so much audio processing with softwares that are getting creative by the day. Natural reflections are one thing that makes mixing and producing more practical because of the spaces in which the audio will be used. Music production is about practicality. Even the best studio headphones do not have the capability of emulating a room. This softwares help you achieve the different practical situations that you would only get when using headphones.

5) Secondary Reference

Do this simple experiment. Take a photo of your mic with your phone, then send it to someone with a different phone. Place the two phones with the images side by side and look at the image. There is a huge difference in the colors because the two phones have different displays. The same thing applies to monitors and headphones. The same track will sound differently on your headphones and the monitors. Two headphones for music production from two different brands will be different in the audio output.

For this reason, have a habit of cross-referencing your audio. Play it on every audio output you can put your hands on. Try the same track on closed-back headphones, studio monitors, normal front-of-house speakers, or sneak it into some line arrays with sick subs during a concert setup. You will truly have a clear perspective on your mix.

A secondary reference, which is very important, can be a second ear. Have another producer/mixer listen to your track. They can almost always tell the vital parts and the weak parts. Whenever my producer friend asks me what I think about a track, my input is very important because I can hear the things his brain overlooked. When the brain has listened to the track repeatedly, it starts glossing over or assuming some things.

To prove that the brain is made for adaptability and comfort, you can see the tip of your nose right now. However, your brain has adapted your vision in such a manner that you almost always never notice your nose even though it is clearly within your vision. The brain will do the same thing with your audio. So while your brain will do its best to hide your nose for your comfort, someone else will see it. You need a second opinion.

6) Plugins

Plugins are really helpful. Plugins give you the visual element of audio so that when you doubt something about your mix, you could simply pass it through a plugin and have a visual representation. For instance, the Ozone's plugin is very useful for mixers that do not have a perfect mastering room. Other plugins like EQs and limiters will tell you what the frequency curve looks like and the thresholds for the audio signal.

A visual representation is very helpful in helping you make the right decisions. You could not possibly tell what a track's gain is by listening to it, nor can you tell the lowest frequency that has been achieved. Some frequencies are inaudible to the ear unless you use a heavy sub. For such kinds of situations, a plugin will do the job of letting you see what is happening with the audio.

7) Protect Your Ears

This is a very underrated practice. You do not need to be any kind of an expert to know how to protect your ears, but your ears are your most important asset even as an expert. Avoid cheap earbuds that are intrusive and that go into your ears. Instead, get the best studio headphones with comfortable ear pads for extended listening sessions.

Do not crank up the volume to listen to the entire frequency range. Otherwise, you will do the same with all the headphones you encounter, which is detrimental to your ears. Remember, loud does not mean quality. If you want to listen to a quality, transparent sound, simply look for quality studio headphones. You can find some headphones that have an affordable price as we have provided the best you can find anywhere in this article.

Best Music Production Headphones Features

When buying headphones, you want the quality sound and the best sound reproduction you can find. Here are some considerations you have to make before buying headphones.

a) Open Back or Closed Back Studio Headphones

This is a feature you have to get right from the word go. Having open-back headphones or their closed-back counterparts will affect your production and mixing in the period you will use the headphones. Let us look at both options in more detail.

i) Open Back Headphones

The open-back headphones are built with a similar design as the closed-back headphones but with a mesh back on the headphones that allow air to flow freely through the headphones. The perforated housing eliminates the pressure in closed-back headphones, giving more accurate frequencies. The open design prevents exaggeration of the low frequencies, which is a major challenge with the closed-back options. The open-back over-ear headphone is great for preventing fatigue when working for extended periods.

Open-back headphones are great when used in an interactive environment with other people around. You do not have to keep removing the headphones to try and listen to what someone has to say. The headphones allow ambient sound and are great to use in public, where you should always be alert.

The downside to these open headphones is that they are not great for tracking because the sound might bleed into the mic when recording.

ii) Closed-Back Headphones

Closed-back headphones are great for privacy and focus on whatever you are working on. You can work silently without interrupting those around you. You can enjoy your production process easily in the library, on the plane or on a public bus. The biggest advantage of using closed-back headphones is that you can use them for tracking. You are not worried about sound bleeding into the mic when recording in the studio. You can record using multiple headphones and end up with clear audio tracks.

The downsides of closed-back headphones include the faux low frequencies formed due to the pressure build-up under the headphones. While you get great isolation, you risk making decisions that are a bit on the extreme when mixing. In addition, closed-back headphones lead to faster fatigue on the ears when using the headphones for extended periods.

You can get semi-open headphones to enjoy both worlds.

b) Wired and Wireless

A lot will depend on whether the headphones are wired or wireless. Mostly, your freedom is at stake when making this decision. However, wired and wireless headphones have some functional differences to them.

i) Wired Headphones

Wired headphones are arguably the most convenient studio headphones. In most cases, wired headphones will be compatible with most devices compared to wireless headphones. You can simply plug and play when you have wired headphones. How many mixers have you come across that are compatible with wireless headphones? Very few, if not any, that you have encountered. Wired headphones will only require adapters to attach to the different connection points.

Wired headphones come with two detachable cables in most cases so that you do not encounter issues with broken cables that ruin the whole headphone. In addition, studio headphones can have long, helix cables that do not limit you at all. So you can move freely on your chair without worrying about restrictions.

Wired studio headphones do not encounter lagging issues of any kind. You do not have to keep relying on any kind of connectivity and the strength thereof to get the audio through. You will no longer worry about charging the headphones or running out of power.

The downside with these headphones is that some headphones do not have detachable cables. When the cable gets destroyed, the whole set is rendered useless.

ii) Wireless Headphones

Wireless headphones are a convenient option when choosing headphones. The headphones do not use cables that tie you to a single point. You can link the headphones to a device and forget about it. These headphones come in handy in most situations, including the gym and other places that involve you moving around a lot. Music production is a continuous process that hardly requires a break because of its random nature. If you are a music producer, wireless headphones are for you.

Wireless headphones have some downsides that are hard to ignore. When working in the studio, the last thing you want is impedance or delay. A half-second delay is quite significant when using headphones. Wireless connection tends to experience sometimes lagging, especially when the battery is low. The other downside is that you have to keep charging the device after eight hours. This can cause great inconvenience if you are out somewhere with no power.

c) Frequency Response

Frequency response is arguably the main determinant of the sound quality of headphones for music production. The human ear has a given range that it can accommodate. Therefore, most headphones can do between 20Hz to 20KHz. If you get headphones for music production with such a range, you are in luck.

While frequency response is a huge factor, remember that closed-back headphones exaggerate the low frequencies because of the sound isolation and the ear cups.

Extended frequency response is a feature that is difficult to find in consumer headphones; that is why we went ahead and gave you the best studio headphones for music production.

d) Design/Comfort

Your experience with headphones with an on-ear design will be different from the one you will have with over-ear headphones. Popular studio headphones have over-ear designs because that is the more comfortable option. On-ear headphones are not the most comfortable after long periods of use. This is because they sit right on your ears. Over-ear headphones offer better sound isolation, hence better sound quality. Music production will have you wearing the headphones for long periods. Therefore it is better to go for the more comfortable option.

Other features that matter include soft ear pads. Ear cups are essential when using headphones for extended periods. You do not want headphones whose padding is rough or hard. If you can get studio headphones with memory foam padding, the better for you because you will experience maximum comfort.

Headphone frames are more comfortable if they are flexible. You will not feel too much strain on your head. The frames should have soft padding for comfort. Look for lightweight headphones if you will use them for extended periods. Headphones whose ear cups fold are easy to store and transport.

e) Driver

In most cases, the larger the headphone driver, the better the sound. Look for the specifications before buying headphones. You want headphones that give a more natural sound that everyone will enjoy once you produce your content.

Final Take

Every producer needs a set of headphones that will aid in producing work that may include tracking, mixing, and mastering. A producer has to avoid the normal consumer headphones at all costs to have a quality outcome. There are some standard features that every headphone has to get right. When all is said, the things that matter the most are your ears. You have to make the best decision for your ears when getting studio headphones. You have to watch out for the design and the weight, especially if you use the headphones for elongated periods.

Almost all parts of your production process will involve studio headphones or monitoring. If you get the headphones right, you will get your production right.

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