Great Headphone Choices For Professional Recording And Mixing Applications

Whether you are a home recording enthusiast or an aspiring mixing engineer, the right headphones can make a difference in your recordings. If you are tracking a vocalist or a musician, you’ll want to look for a good pair of recording headphones. Look for a closed back design to allow for minimal leakage when tracking. The better quality the headphones, the less leakage you will get. For most people, an inexpensive set will be just fine if they are just used for basic tracking. But if you need a set to check your mixes on, you’ll want to get something with a better frequency response. The beyerdynamic DT 770 are a popular model found in many hobby and professional studios around the globe.

Recording Headphones

All headphones mentioned below are great choices, so you can find which one suits your budget best. The Beyerdynamic DT 770 is probably one of the more popular ones that can be found in many studios, but you can’t go wrong with either from the list below.

Sennheiser HD 280 PRO $99.99

Technical Specifications

* Connection cable: Coiled cable (min1m/max 3m)
*Contact pressure: 6 N
*Ear coupling: Around-the-ear
*Frequency response (headphones): 8 – 25,000 Hz
*Jack plug: 3.5 / 6.3 mm stereo
*Load rating: 500 mW
*Nominal impedance: 64 Ohms
*Sound pressure level (SPL): 102 dB (IEC 268-7)
*Total harmonic distortion (THD): 0.1%
*Transducer type: Dynamic, closed
*Weight: 7.8 oz (220 g)

Sennheiser HD 280 PRO

AKG K 240 Studio $99.99

Technical Specifications

* 55 ohms impedance, plug-in cable
* Self-adjusting headband for optimum fit
* Single cable for ease of use
* Semi-open, circumaural design
* 15hz to 25khz frequency range

AKG K 240 Studio headphones

Sony MDR-7506 $99.99

Technical Specifications

* Magnet Type: Neodymium
* Driver Size: 40.0 mm
* Frequency Response: 10Hz – 20 kHz
* Impedance: 63 Ohms
* Sensitivity (db): 106dB/mW
* Power Handling Capacity: 1000mW
* Plug Type: Gold, Stereo Unimatch plug 1/4″ and 1/8″
* Cord Length: 9.8 feet
* Weight: 8.1 oz.

Sony MDR 7506 headphones

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO $229.99

Technical Specifications

* Transmission type: Wired
* Headphone design (operating principle): Closed
* Headphone impedance: 250 ohms
* Headphone frequency response: 5 – 35.000 Hz
* Cable & plug: Coiled connecting cable with mini-jack plug (3.5 mm) & ¼“ adapter (6.35 mm)
* Net weight without packaging: 270 g

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO headphones

Sony MDR-7520 $399

Technical Specifications

* Headphone Type: Dynamic. Closed
* Magnet Type: Neodymium
* Driver Size: 50.0mm
* Frequency Response: 5-80kHz
* Impedance: 24 Ohms
* Sensitivity: 108 dB/mW
* Power Handling: 4,000mW
* Plug Type: Gold, Stereo Unimatch plug 1/4″ and 1/8″
* Cord Length: 9.8 ft
* Weight: 9.5 oz

Sony MDR 7520 studio headphones

If you need a set of headphones for mixing or critical listening purposes, then get a set that is a semi-open design (music will leak but that is part of the characteristics of such headphones for a more accurate representation). You should also buy a set with the flattest frequency response you can afford. Prices can vary greatly.  A good entry level pair suitable for mixing is the AKG 701 or 702. On the higher end of the spectrum you have the Sennheiser HD 800.  If you have a studio with no treatment and are forced to mix on headphones, it would make sense to buy a great pair so your mixes will translate well. Budget wise, keep in mind that once you get into the $1000 and over price range, you will likely need to purchase a separate headphone amp to power and drive your headphones properly (a good amp can cost upwards of $1000 as well). As with any purchase, it’s best you walk into an audiophile store and test the various models. Don’t go for a set of headphones that will colour your sound in any way or boost any frequencies as they will be detrimental to your mix.

Mixing Headphones

Akg 701/702 $349

Technical Specifications

* Frequency Response: 10Hz – 39.8kHz
* Maximum Input Power: 200 mW
* Input Impedance: 62 ohms
* Sensitivity: 105 dB SPL/V

Akg 701 mixing studio headphones

Sennheiser HD 600 $399

Technical Specifications

* Headphones Type Headphones: Binaural
* Headphones Form Factor: Full size
* Headphones Technology: Dynamic
* Connectivity Technology: Wired
* Frequency Response: 12 – 39000 Hz
* Sensitivity: 97 dB
* Impedance: 300 Ohm
* Magnet Material: Neodymium

Sennheiser HD 600 professional headphones

Sennheiser HD 650 $499

Technical Specifications

* Frequency response (headphones): 10 – 39500 Hz
* THD, total harmonic distortion: 0,05 %
* Contact pressure: ca. 2,5 N
* Jack plug: 6,3/3,5 mm stereo
* Cable length: 3 m
* Transducer principle: dynamic, open
* Weight w/o cable: ca. 260 g
* Nominal impedance: 300 Ω

Sennheiser HD 650 mixing headphones


Beyerdynamic T1 $1399

Technical Specifications

Transmission type: Wired
Headphone design (operating principle): Semi-open
Headphone frequency response: 5 – 50.000 Hz
Nominal sound pressure level: 102 dB
Construction: Circumaural (around the ear)
Cable & plug: Straight connecting cable with ¼“ stereo jack plug (6.35 mm)
Net weight without packaging: 530 g

Beyerdynamic T1 beyer headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 $1499

Technical Specifications

Frequency response (headphones): 14 – 44100 Hz (- 3 dB)
Frequency response: 6 – 51000 Hz (- 10 dB)
THD, total harmonic distortion: ≤0.02 % (1kHz/1Vrms)
Contact pressure: 3.4 N (± 0.3 N) approx.
Jack plug: 1/4″ (6.3 mm) stereo
Cable length: 3 m
Weight Without cable: 330 g
Nominal impedance: 300 Ω

Sennheiser HD 800 audiophile headphones

Audeze LCD-2 Rev 2 Bamboo $1699

Technical Specifications

* Style: Circumaural – open
* Transducer type: Planar magnetic
* Magnetic structure: Proprietary self-closing design, acoustically transparent
* Magnet type: High-grade Neodymium
* Diaphragm excursion: 2.5 mm peak to peak
* Transducer active diaphragm area: 6.17 sq in
* Sound pressure level (SPL): 130 db (maximum)
* * Housing: Renewable Bamboo composite or Caribbean Rosewood
* Ear pads: Specially designed acoustically shaped foam inserts with premium lambskin or super suede cover
Frequency response: 5 Hz – 20 KHz, usable high-frequency extension of 50 KHz
* Total harmonic distortion (THD): Less than 1% throughout entire frequency range
* Impedance: 60 Ohms, purely resistive
* Efficiency: 90 dB/1 mW
* Maximum power handling: 15 W (for 200 ms)
* Optimal power requirement: 1-4 W
* ADZ6SE Cable (single-ended): ¼” TRS to 2×4-pin mini XLR
* Cable length: 2.5 m or 8.2 ft
* Weight: 490 g (without cable – Bamboo Composite)
* Weight: 522 g (without cable – Rosewood)

Audeze LCD 2 Rev 2 audiophile headphones


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