Best Headphones

Best Studio Headphones 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

Are you searching for Best Studio Headphones for 2018? Check out our top pick.

A great pair of best headphones can make all the difference in producing quality recordings and overall listening satisfaction. Especially this goes for home recording environments where acoustically treated rooms are less common, often limiting the accuracy of soundings speaker systems. For most people, and the highest quality listening experience available at home is a pair of best studio headphones.

best studio headphones 2018It is not conformity that most of the musicians also love listening to music, and these headphones are great for that too. So we have also added information relevant for your listening pleasure. There are also usable Cheap Studio Headphones available on the internet, but when you consider all the use you will get out of them and your likely investment in other music gear, then it makes sense to get really good headphones. We have set our price range for headphones in this guide at $100 to $500 to focus on higher quality while remaining affordable for most music lovers.

Here what you want is the best headphones possible that will get the job done.

Before we dive into it, let us take a step back and understand that there are two types of headphones for two different purposes:

Closed-Back Headphones – Perfect for recording purpose. What you want is sound isolation…you do not want sound bleeding into the mic, do you? A design of closed-back prevents the sound from escaping into the outside world.

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Open-Back Headphones – Perfect for mixing purpose. Why? Because open-back headphones provide higher sound quality which is what you need when you are balancing the tracks, fine-tuning the sound and adding effects to boost the original recording. The sound is able to go in two directions – towards your ear and outwards – creating a more realistic experience.

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Best Studio Headphones To Buy In 2018

ModelWeightFrequencyImpedancePrice
Top 10 Best Closed-Back Headphones
1. Sennheiser HD-280 Pro 285 g 8Hz – 25kHZ 64 ohms
2. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x 285 g 15Hz – 28kHZ 38 ohms
3. Sony MDR-7506 229 g 10Hz – 20kHZ 63 ohms
4. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 270 g 5Hz – 35kHZ 32, 80 or 250 ohms
5. Bose QuietComfort 35 (Wireless Mode) 234 g N/A N/A
6. Focal Spirit Professional 280 g 5Hz – 22kHZ 32 ohms
7. Shure SRH1540 286 g 5Hz – 25kHZ 46 ohms
8. V-Moda Crossfade M-100 280 g 5Hz – 30kHZ 32 ohms
9. Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 (Wireless Mode) 289 g 20Hz – 20kHZ N/A
10. Beats Studio Wireless (Wireless Mode) 260 g 20Hz - 20kHz N/A
Top 10 Best Open-Back Headphones
1. Sennheiser HD 600 263 g 12Hz - 39kHz 300 ohms
2. AKG K240 236 g 15Hz - 25kHz 55 ohms
3. Sennheiser HD 598 270 g 12Hz - 38.5kHz 50 ohms
4. AKG K702 236 g 10Hz - 39.8kHz 62 ohms
5. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 249 g 5Hz - 35kHz 32, or 250 ohms
6. Grado SR8oe N/A 20Hz - 20KHz 32 ohms
7. Sennheiser HD 800 S 333 g 4Hz - 51KHz 300 ohms
8. Samson SR850 273 g 10Hz - 30kHz 32 ohms
9. Audio Technica ATH-AD900X 265 g 5Hz – 35KHz N/A
10. Shure SRH1840 258 g 10Hz - 30kHz 65 ohms


Closed-Back Headphones

As its name implies ‘closed-back’ are those headphones whose cups have a hard enclosure. It means that the sound is primarily directed towards your ears instead of towards outside world.

Music is more inside your head, and less like it is coming from a room.

The main advantage is to isolate noise a lot better than open-back headphones, which also makes them great for recording. It means other people will have a hard time hearing what you are listening to.

After all, no one wants to hear distractions from the outside when recording a track. You also do not want to get the sounds you are listening to jumbled up in your recordings!

Closed-backs are extremely popular because their tremendous applications also stem outside the studio. Including ourselves, you will find many people use closed-back headphones for multimedia usage and gaming as they keep outside disturbances to a minimum while offering a good level of the hang-up.


Open-Back Headphones

Ok, now we have gone through the best picks for closed back headphones it is now time to show a bit of love and taste to the open-back variety.

Open back are headphones with the back of the headphone cup open so that the sound travels towards your ears as well as towards the outside world.

Now if compared to closed-back, they provide superior sound quality and better soundstage music sounds more natural like it is part of the environment rather than only in your head. And the bad news is that everyone in the room will be able to hear what you are listening to.

Open-back headphones are better for two things:

  • If you are recording instrument which does not require any microphone. Therefore there will be no issue of sound leakage.
  • If you are mixing then you want to hear the best possible sound quality – open back headphones provide superior quality. Now you know better why you need open back headphones, so without more ado let’s begin the count.


Best Studio Headphone Buyer’s Guide

Here is a simple informational guide that will give you some much-needed information regarding purchasing a new set of headphones. Now let go over some of the basics:

Tech Specification, what do they mean?
When it comes to headphones, there is usually a recurring set of features that come up describing them. Let us see what they mean:

Frequency response: The range of sound produced by the headphone is known as a Frequency Response. The audible frequency for most of the people is 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (20 kHz), and basically, all headphones cover this frequency range, and then some. The range covers the bass, mids, and highs. For practical purposes, over 20,000 Hz is inaudible and below 20 Hz is usually felt rather than heard (like a deep vibration).

Impedance: Impedance is a technical term but breaks it down simply, it means how much power is required to deliver an audio volume. For example, low impedance of say 35 ohms, means little power is needed (perfect for phones and other portable devices). A vast impedance such as 250 ohms requires more power, and finally, they are protected from overloading.
E.g., if you were to connect a low impedance headphone to a high powered amplifier or a DJ mixer, chances are you will blow them out. Hence, it is essential to know what type of equipment you intend on using your headphones with.

Similarly, if you were to connect a high impedance headphone to a phone and play a music, you would find that the volume would not be a loud as a low impedance headphone.

Drivers: The driver consists of diaphragms, voice coils, and a magnet and works by converting an electric signal into the sound pressure that creates sound by vibrating the diaphragm.
The measurement is given for a driver, usually in millimeter, is actually the diameter of the diaphragm. The rule is (though not always correct) that the larger the diaphragm, the greater the bass and better the sound. Hence, larger over-ear headphones typically house larger drivers which creates a better sound experience.

Sensitivity/Sound Pressure Level (SPL): This measurement is given in sound pressure level per milliwatt, or dB SPL/mW. It basically means how loud the headphones go. A typical range is 80 to 120 dB SPL/mW.

To give you some context 80 dB is about as loud as a dishwasher while 120 dB is like hearing a chainsaw. Anything above 80 dB has the potential to cause the hearing loss after prolonged exposure.

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): Higher volumes are equal to faster diaphragm vibration, and so THD occurs when a diaphragm is unable to vibrate fast enough. This measurement is represented with a percent(%) and the lower this number is, the better.

Noise-Cancellation: Two types of noise cancellation – active and passive.
i. Active noise cancellation (ANC): These headphones work by producing inverse sound waves to the ambient sound that effectively cancels the sound. They actively block outside sound which is already combined with their natural PNC capability.
ii. Passive noise cancellation (PNC): This refers to the earphones or headphones with a natural ability to block ambient noise. Hence, all headphones provide some block against outside noise, but certain types like closed-back or in-ear designs excel in this area.

Summing Up
There are hundreds of headphones available on the market, and so it can be very confusing to figure out which headphone is best for you. Hence, after a lot of research, we set out to create this list to inform you of the best studio headphones to buy in 2018. Whether you intend to use them in the studio, in the office, or at home, we feel that there is a headphone here(mention in above list) that will suit your needs.

If you have any question/comments, feel free to leave them below. We will do our best to help answer any of your questions.

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