Updated July 03, 2019 by Daniel Goldstein

The 10 Best Studio Headphones

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Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 8 times since it was first published in January of 2018. Whether you're a musician, a studio engineer, a DJ, a podcaster, or a voice-over artist, you can enjoy high-fidelity monitoring of your work with a pair of these headphones. Ranging from budget-tier to audiophile-grade models, our top picks provide balanced and clean acoustics and accurate sound reproduction. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best studio headphone on Amazon.

10. Noontec Hammo Wireless

9. Audio Technica ATH-M40X

8. Sony MDR7506

7. AKG Pro Audio K702

6. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

5. Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro

4. Audio-Technica ATH-R70x

3. Sennheiser HD 650

2. Shure SRH1840

1. Sennheiser HD 800 S

Special Honors

Focal Clear Made in France, these low-impedance cans can be found in many of the studios responsible for monitoring and mastering some of the world's most renowned music. Their performance is ultra-detailed without any piercing treble or low-end distortion. With these, there's virtually no worry of encountering buzz, interference, or static hum. Their lightweight, micro-perforated headband and ear cushions are incredibly comfortable, not to mention breathable, so you can wear them for extended studio sessions without overheating or feeling any irritation. As you should expect from such a pricy model, luxury accessories are included with the headphones, like a beautiful (and expensive) hard-shell carrying case and three professional-grade cables ranging from 1.2-3 meters in length. They also can be driven by nearly any device, including smart phones. focal.com

Audeze LCD-4 Bearing an enormous pricetag, the elegant LCD-4 is the Lamborghini of the studio headphone world. Made with world-class components, it's of a quality that surpasses anything the average music listener could imagine. Treble-sensitive listeners will be happy to know that the highs are somewhat subdued, though they still stand out for their precise articulation in what is otherwise a somewhat dark — though warm — midrange-heavy sound profile. To say they shine in the mids is not saying enough, though, because they cast their bright light on the entire frequency range; however, mids are what they do best. Vocals sound absolutely superb. While they're quite heavy, they're comfortable — though this should be a given at this price point. The company also offers a 30-day trial when you purchase it from them directly. audeze.com

Editor's Notes

June 27, 2019:

Whereas consumer headphones embellish recordings with color by boosting or muting certain points in the audible frequency range to make the listening experience more enjoyable, studio headphones are engineered with totally different criteria. Our picks are designed to reproduce sound as realistically as possible so that sound engineers and musicians can accurately gauge their work. Having a set of cans that boosts the bass end or significantly dampens the treble range to reduce the piercing harmonic sounds of cymbals, violins, and even high-pitched vocals diminishes an engineer's ability to create a finished product that will sound the way he or she wants. It's important to know this when considering your purchase of a pair of studio headphones.

On this update, we've added the Audio Technica ATH-M40X to our list and placed it at #9. It's a fantastic option for amateur musicians or engineers thanks to the quality it provides at its price. Our previous #1 and #2 picks, the Sennheiser HD 800 S and the Shure SRH 1840, respectively, have retained their positions, though we've made a change to the #3 spot by bumping in the Sennheiser HD 650 where the Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro (now #5) had previously been. Though both are renowned in the community, the Sennheiser HD 650 have the edge — though they'll cost you a bit more.


Daniel Goldstein
Last updated on July 03, 2019 by Daniel Goldstein

Daniel is a writer, musician, and frequent traveler with a bachelor’s in creative writing from the State University of New York. In recent years, his writing chops have developed alongside his musical skills, thanks to a rich double life. During the day, he apprenticed with “Rolling Stone” journalist and critic Will Hermes, and when the sun set, he and his NYC-based, four-piece band gigged at high-end venues across the northeastern United States. His affinity for sharing things he's passionate about has culminated in nine years of experience as a music teacher at elementary schools, where he honed his ability to simplify and elucidate concepts to the uninitiated. All considered, he feels most at home writing about instruments, audio electronics and backpacking gear.


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