Being a casual listener, you wouldn’t mind using an average headset which satisfies you in terms of thump, rumble, bass, and quality. You can go for cheap headsets even for the price tag of under 50. However, if you are a professional and looking for a headset best for full-time mixing and production with minimal interference or imperfections in sound, then you really want something well-made. Having said that, let’s have a look at the best headphones for music production.
Best Music Production Headphones 2021
- Best Overall: Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Headphone
- Best for Music: Sennheiser HD 650 Headphone
- Best Value for Producers: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
- Best for Critical Listening: Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
- Best for Beats: AKG K 240 MK II Headphone
- Best for Electronic Music: Sony MDR-V6
- Best for Studio: Sennheiser HD 800 S Headphone
- Direct Sound EX29 PLUS Headphone
- Audeze LCD-2C Headphone
1. Best Overall: Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Headphone
Ratings: 4.6/5 | Type: Wired
The DT 1990 Pro has a premium and sturdy build quality along with well built-in critical listening. They look premium with sufficient tightness around your ears, not pushing too hard, which makes it suitable for longer sessions unlike other headsets its perfect for outdoor use as well. The ear cups are well padded with soft microfiber fabric, and the dark gray color scheme provides excellent contrast.
Moreover, the headset does seem a bit bulky but is really comfortable. The headband is well cushioned as well, which feels great and is highly adjustable too. Also, the breathability of the headphone is above average due to its design and makes it suitable for extended sessions. It might not be best for activities such as sports as it’s designed for indoor use and critical listening. The headset is not very portable, like many other headphones, but it comes with a hard protective case which enhances the durability and protection from scratches, drops, and water damage.
Furthermore, the stability is impressive around the head due to its compact design. The cable is 10 ft in length and is detachable as well. In the box along with DT 1990 Pro, you will get 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter, two audio cables, a manual, a carrying case and additional ear cup pads.
It is an incredible sounding pair of open-back over-ear headsets. The bass is deep and punchy with well-balanced mids and the treble as well as low distortion, is impressive. The low-frequency extension (LFE) is at 10Hz and low-ass is within 1.5dB of the target, which is excellent.
There is a boominess in bass response as well. Meanwhile, the mid-range has a flat response throughout the range, making it bright and well-balanced. The treble is even, flat and detailed, making the reproduction of vocals and lead instruments balanced. The frequency response consistency and imaging are fantastic.
Moreover, the soundstage is slightly larger and decent. The imaging is terrific; however, the noise isolation and leakage are not excellent but more on the average level. It doesn’t support the microphone, and the connectivity mode is wire. The connection of DT 1990 Pro has negligible latency and overall, it’s one of the best-built headphone for music production that you can get today.
|Drivers:||45mm dynamic Tesla Neodymium|
|Connectivity:||1.25 m Cord | (3.5mm Plug)|
|Frequency Response:||5-40,000 Hz|
|Sound Pressure Level:||102 dBSPL (1mW/500Hz)|
|Product Dimensions:||7 x 4 x 8.5 in|
2. Best for Music: Sennheiser HD 650 Headphone
Ratings: 4.6/5 | Type: Wired
The headset is built for critical listening with the comfortable design, but you might not find it suitable for casual uses as its specifically designed to assist in productions. The dark gray and black tone along with a glossy coating gives it a premium look. The ear cups are well padded, and headband is adjustable with comfortable padding.
The suede-like fabric gives it a unique feel on the skin and adds an extra layer of comfort. It doesn’t push too hard on your ears, which makes it suitable for extended sessions.
Moreover, the breathability is impressive due to its design, which doesn’t obstruct the airflow. The design is not very portable, and the headset doesn’t fold. The headset is relatively stable; however, it isn’t suitable for intense use. The cable is detachable and is of 9.84 ft in length. In the box along with HD 650 headphones, you will get 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter, an audio cable and a manual.
The HD 650 is an excellent sounding pair of over-ear headphones. The bass is consistent, punchy and it has clear as well as well-balanced mid-range. The treble is impressive along with incredible thump. It sounds excellent on folk, rock, classical and vocal-centric genres. The frequency response consistency is above average with superior imaging.
Additionally, the total harmonic distortion of headphones is, but you might feel a bit disappointed with soundstage as it may feel spacious. Just like 1990 Pro it doesn’t have impressive noise isolation and sound leakage but does the job well. Due to the wired design, the headphones don’t have latency. Overall it’s one of the best headphones to consider for the music production purposes due to its specific use.
|Drivers:||45mm Dynamic Drivers|
|Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):||0.05%|
|Contact Pressure:||2.5 N|
|Connectivity:||9.8′ / m | 1/8″ / 3.5 mm|
|Frequency Response:||10 Hz – 39.5 kHz|
|Sound Pressure Level:||103 dB at 1 kHz / 1 Vrms|
|Product Dimensions:||12.4 x 10 x 4.3|
3. Best Value for Producers: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Ratings: 4.5/5 | Type: Wired
The style of M50x is similar to that of M40x, but it feels more sturdy and durable. The ear cups are large with a decent fit. The headband, as well as the ear cups, are well-padded. The larger space of ear cups comfortably accommodate larger ears and provide a better fit and feel.
Also, the silver accent around the branding of the company gives it a unique look. The color scheme is eye-catching with metallic finishes. In terms of breathability the headset is behind the two reviewed earlier but provides sufficient airflow, still isn’t suitable for workouts. Just like the rest of earphones in the category, this one isn’t very portable as well.
However, it comes with a carrying pouch which protects it from scratches and minor damages. The build quality is impressive, and it can withstand a few drops without taking much damage. The cable of the headset is detachable and is 10ft in length. In the box along with ATH-M50x, you will get a carrying pouch, three audio cables and 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter.
The closed-back over-ear ATH-M50x is great sounding pair with deep, punchy and thumpy bass and outstanding as well as neutral mid-range. Moreover, the treble is well-balanced along with impressive imaging and distortion performance.
All of this collectively makes it one of the best choices for all genres. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 15Hz, which is excellent; meanwhile, the sub-bass is overemphasized by less than 1dB. The low-mid is underemphasized by 2dB. The response of the headset is uneven, but overall, it’s very well-balanced. The frequency response consistency is above-average with the mediocre soundstage.
It performs well in terms of noise isolation and sound leakage. Due to wired connectivity, the latency is non, but it also limits the range. Overall it’s one of the best headset for the price to consider when it comes to music production.
|Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):||0.05%|
|Connectivity:||1.2m – 3m (3.9′ – 9.8′) Coiled Cable|
|Frequency Response:||15 – 28,000 Hz|
|MAXIMUM INPUT POWER:||1,600 mW at 1 kHz|
|Product Dimensions:||11.4 x 10 x 4.1 in|
4. Best for Critical Listening: Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
Ratings: 4.4/5 | Type: Wired
Along with the dominance by ATH-M50x as a prime example, the DT 770 Pro remains firmly pro in the studio category. It comes in three variants 32 Ohm, 80 Ohm and 250 one. The rigid ear plastic ear cups are well padded along with the headband, which is adjustable and as a whole provides a firm grip.
The headset has a solid and premium feel while being lightweight. The circular frame, along with the thick metal frame and removable cushion strap gives it a bit extra. The soft, microfiber fabric feels pleasant on the skin. The breathability of the headset is above average but not as good as ATH-M50x.
Moreover, the headset is compact, but it’s not very portable as it can’t be folded. However, you will get a carrying pouch along with the earphone to keep it protected from scratches and minor damages. It’s pretty stable and stays well tight on the head, which is upside as compared to the ones mentioned above. Meanwhile, the cable is not detachable and is 3.9ft long. In the package along with the DT 770 Pro, you will get a manual, 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter and a carrying pouch.
The headset has an impressive and extended bass with nearly flawless mids. The low-bass is flat and extended down to 10Hz, which is fantastic for the virtually perfect reproduction. Moreover, the high-bass is slightly underemphasized, which could make lead thin. The treble and imaging of the earphone are impressive.
Furthermore, the frequency response consistency is above average with the excellent total harmonic distortion, which doesn’t change even under heavier loads. The soundstage and noise isolation are mediocre with minimal sound leakage. The connection is wired, which means no latency.
|Plug Size:||1/8″ (1/4″ Adapter Included)|
|Connectivity:||9.8′ Coiled Cable|
|Product Dimensions:||7 x 4 x 8.5 in|
5. Best for Beats: AKG K 240 MK II Headphone
Ratings: 4.2/5 | Type: Wired
The MK II comes with a cable-headrest suspension system, the two sheathed cables on a top assist in achieving the desired fit. The retro headband creates a comfortable listening experience along with the circular ear cups which provide firm grim.
The build quality might not feel that premium, but it is unique in design. The ear cups are well padded, and the headset is lightweight. It doesn’t push too hard on your ears, which makes it suitable for extended sessions.
However, the headband is not padded like many other headsets which might not feel comfortable to some due to its fit. The airflow is, making the headset breathable. In terms of portability, it’s not foldable so its not very portable, and it doesn’t come with any protective case. The cable is detachable and is 9.45ft long. In the box along with AKG MKII, you will get 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter, two ear-cup cushions, two audio cables and a manual.
The audio is natural and well-balanced along with extraordinarily smooth and textured mids, but highs could get muddy at instances. The treble is impressive, and the sound could be sharp on particular tracks.
Moreover, the frequency response consistency is relatively right along with terrific imaging. The soundstage and total harmonic distortion of the headset are tremendous. It doesn’t perform well in terms of noise isolation and sound leakage, so its a good idea to use it indoors and avoid crowded situations for better results. There is no latency due to a wired connection and overall its an excellent choice to consider.
|Maximum input power:||200 mW|
|Connectivity:||9.45 ft Cable|
|Sensitivity:||104 dB SPL/V|
|Frequency Response:||15 – 25000 Hz|
|Product Dimensions:||8.8 x 9.2 x 4.3 in|
6. Best for Electronic Music: Sony MDR-V6
Ratings: 4.6/5 | Type: Wired
The design of MDR-V6 is portable as it can be folded, and it makes it easy to carry. The headset is lightweight and is mostly built using plastic. However, the outer ear cups are metallic with replaceable ear pads. The ear cups are well-padded, and it comes with a non-detachable 10ft long cord which terminates with 3.5mm nicely-finished plug.
The headset seems reasonably durable and has good airflow, which results in impressive breathability. It also comes with a protective pouch to avoid scratches and minor damages. Moreover, there is a 90-day warranty, and in the package, you will also get a 1/4″ adapter.
The headset is extremely sensitive and the sound quality is relatively good. The noise isolation is impressive and cuts out signficant amount of ambient noises.
Also, the sound leakage is minimal so you don’t have to worry much about the surroundings. It produces deep and solid bass with well-balanced mids. The total harmonic distortion and frequency response consistency is above average with mediocre soundstage. Furthermore, the imaging of the headset is impressive, along with a great treble.
|Power Handling Capacity:||1W|
|Connectivity:||3m Coiled Cord|
|Product Dimensions:||9.8 x 10.8 x 21.9 cm|
7. Best for Studio: Sennheiser HD 800 S Headphone
Ratings: 4.3/5 | Type: Wired
HD 800 S is a full size and relatively large open back headset. It has a sturdy build quality and well crafted for comfortable for critical listening. The headset is bulky in format and is suitable for indoor use and certainly not made for intense activities such as sports.
Moreover, the suede-like padding on the ear cups along with the cushioned headband provides you the comfort for extended sessions. It doesn’t push hard on your ears and fits as well, which makes enhances the comfort level. The reinforced headband has a metallic frame along with high-grade plastic used which upgrades the quality. The ear cups are spacious, and the material feels good on the skin.
Furthermore, the headset might feel a bit heavier than other headsets, but it’s worth it. Due to bulkiness, it’s not portable, and the cable is detachable, which is 10.7ft in length. In the package along with HD 800 S, you will get 1/4″ to 1/8″ adapter, two audio cables, a carrying pouch to protect it from scratches and minor damages and a USB memory drive.
The sound quality of the headset is, along with fantastic treble and imaging. The bass is punchy and consistent while the LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 47Hz. The mids are well-balanced, and the response throughout the range is virtually flat, and very even as compared to rest of the headsets, this one has the best frequency response consistency along with much better soundstage and total harmonic distortion.
However, it lacks the noise isolation and sound leakage. The latency is negligible due to the wired connection. Overall it’s one of the best headset for indoor critical listeners and I’ve used it for recording as well as mixing and mastering purposes. So, i’d say if you want a decent music production headset give it a go.
|Sound Pressure Level (SPL):||102 db (1 kHz, 1 Vrm)|
|Frequency Response:||4 – 51,000 Hz (-10 dB)|
|Contact Pressure:||~ 3.4 N (± 0.3 N)|
|Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):||<0.02% (1 kHz, 100 dB)|
|Product Dimensions:||10.7 x 5.7 x 13.8 in|
8. Direct Sound EX29 PLUS Headphone
Ratings: 3.5/5 | Type: Wired
The headset designed specifically for studio purposes has a bulky size and is suitable for indoor use. The large ear cups cover your ears easily no matter they are big and endorse a unique comfort level. Meanwhile, it doesn’t exert too much pressure on your ears and sits comfortably making it suitable for extended sessions. The padding on the ear cups and headband enhances the comfort level.
Moreover, the headset is portable as it can be folded into a compact form, which makes it easy to carry. In the box along with EX29 Plus Extreme, you will get a premium 96” cable extension, 3.5mm plug and 6.3mm screw-on adapter.
The sound quality of EX29 Plus extreme is excellent along with consistent and punchy bass. The midrange is well balanced, and the treble is impressive.
Moreover, the total harmonic distortion and frequency response consistency of the headset is excellent. The soundstage is mediocre, along with great imaging. The noise isolation and sound leakage are excellent due to its design. Overall its a great option in the studio list.
|Plug Size:||1/8″ (1/4″ Adapter Included)|
|Sensitivity:||114 dB at 1 KHz 1 mW|
|Rated Input Power:||1000 mW|
|Passive Attenuation:||36.7 dB|
|Product Dimensions:||7.5 x 5.5 x 4.5 in|
9. Audeze LCD-2C Headphone Headphone
Ratings: 4.3/5 | Type: Wired
The headset comes with crystal-infused nylon ring ear cups and a lightweight suspension headband. It contains a huge driver and is specially designed for critical listening. The LCD 2C is a premium looking headset, and it feels solid with heavy braided cables and metal yokes. It has the high-end build quality and is not suitable for outdoor use. It’s bulky in size and is not lightweight as well. The headband contains the branding of the company.
Moreover, the ear cups are well padded, and the material feels great on the skin, which enhances the comfortability of the headset. The breathability is excellent due to consistent airflow. However, due to the bulkiness and non-foldable design, the headset is not portable. The cable is detachable and is 6.2ft long. In the package along with LCD2C, you will get USB flash drive, audio cable and a manual.
The sound quality of the headset is excellent with punchy, deep, and consistent bass. The mid range is flat, even and well-balanced. Moreover, the LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10hz for LCD2C. The treble is impressive; however, the dip around 4KHz might hurt brightness and details of vocal.
Furthermore, the imaging is excellent with above average frequency response consistency. The soundstage and total harmonic distortion are the best for LCD2C as compared to the other headsets mentioned in the category. The noise isolation and sound leakage are mediocre. Due to the wired connectivity, the latency is negligible.
Overall its a perfect option as its specially designed for studio purposes but its the most expensive one in the list as well so if you are really up for this only then you should go for LCD2C.
|Magnet Type:||Neodymium N50|
|Maximum Power Handling:||5W RMS|
|Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):||<0.1% @ 100dB|
|Frequency Response:||10Hz – 50kHz|
|Minimum Power Requirement:||>100mW|
|Recommended Power Level:||>250mW|
|Product Dimensions:||12.1 x 10.2 x 7.2 i|
Koss QZ-99 Headphone
Ratings: 3.9/5 | Type: Wired
An American company that has been producing cheap electronics especially headphones from decades. QZ-99 is one of the cheapest headset in the list with amazing noise isolation and performance. Along with that it has a unique and comfortable design but lets have a deep look in to it whether it fits your needs in the price range or not.
The headset has a compact design with oval shaped massive earcups. The ear cups are cushioned well, and same is the case with a headband. The ear cushions and secure headband seal minimizes sound leakage and also help in the cutting of ambient noises.
The breathability of the headset isn’t top notch which limits its use for longer sessions. The volume control on earcups allows you to control it better. It’s not very stable for intense physical activities but stays typically tight on your head. The earcups contain the branding of the company. The headset comes with standard packaging.
In terms of performance, it marked its presence due to the noise isolation with a decent price tag. The bass and mids are pretty stable and balanced. Meanwhile, the highs are clear for the most part. The frequency response consistency and total harmonic distortion are mediocre.
Moreover, the soundstage is average with decent imaging. The noise isolation of the headset is fantastic due to its compact and well-maintained design.
|Structure:||Neodymium Magnet Structures|
|Cable Length:||8 Foot Coiled Cord|
|Dimensions:||8.63 x 4.13 x 8.38 in|
FAQs – Music Production Headphones
- Are music production headsets good for gaming?
This is the most common question I’ve come across on different platforms; that’s why I’d like to address here. In short, yes, you can, but it depends. If you are a passionate gamer and want to keep yourself on the top, I wouldn’t recommend you using music production earphones for gaming. As for gamers, immersion is very important and not the other aspects which professionals look for. The technologies, including Surround Sound, enhance the overall gaming experience, which is not available in the studio headphones. So I’d say if you are not a passionate gamer, then it’s fine to use your music production headsets for gaming, but if that’s not the case, you can get an excellent gaming headset at a reasonable price.
- Which headphone brand is the best for music production?
You’re not alone when it comes to the best of the best. I also look for the top brands in the industry, but it’s not always the case that you’ll find the best headphone from the top brand of the industry. Sometimes you can find something great for the price from a brand that you might never heard of. I’m not saying that’s the case always, but it has happened to me several times. When it comes to music production, you’ll see top brands such as Beyerdynamic, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, and AKG, etc. quite often.
Furthermore, in case you are looking for top studio gadgets or headsets for drumming, then visit the linked guide. You’ll find brief reviews, specifications, and features of the headsets, which will make it easy for you to choose the right earphone for the use.