Best over the Ear Studio Headphones Guide for 2017 [Guide]

Best Studio Headphones For RecordingOpen or Closed Back Monitoring

You’ve probably got that engineer or enthusiast friend bragging about…

…how awesome his set of “Beats by Dre” sounds.

But when you truly have “Dre ears”, you might find it sounding a bit unnatural.

Yes they are entertaining!!!


…”crappy” for using it in the studio.

For some reason…

…listening to a pair of AKG open back cans is a better and more affordable alternative for studio work.

Best Studio Headphones 2015/2016

The AKG K712 Pro

AKG K712 Pro

AKG K712 Pro

AKG’s a prominent name in the audio business. Say AKG and they’ve got synthesizers, mixing boards, DJ racks, monitors and of course, headphones.Read more...

But maybe you want something from Germany…

The Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro

Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Headphones

Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro

Beyerdynamic came from Germany to give you some top-line audio equipment.Read more...

The Sennheiser HD 380 Pro
Sennheiser HD 380 Pro

Sennheiser HD 380 Pro

Sennheiser’s 380 has a closed design that locks in your ears completely. That’s called a circumaural design. Read more...

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

Yes, it’s that German brand again and yes, it’s something top-performing, bang-for-your-buck gear you won’t find from any other manufacturer.Read more...

The Shure/Rode SRH 940

Shure Rode SRH 940

Shure Rode SRH 940 MK II

Official marketing says the Shure/Rode SRH940 Professional Reference Headphones have an accurate frequency response with a smooth high-end extension and a quick and responsive bass.Read more...

The Beyerdynamic DT250

Beyerdynamic DT250

Beyerdynamic DT250

And, we’re back to Germany with the Beyerdynamic DT250.

Unlike the DT 770, the DT 250 is cheaper and only needs 80 ohms to operate. Read more...

The CharterOak SP1 Studio Phone

CharterOak SP1 Studio Phone

CharterOak SP1 Studio Phone

This headphone was more well-known as the German Maestro GMP 450 Pro headphones.Read more...

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

Sennheiser is well-known for its ATH-M50 delivering some top-quality, high-fidelity sound, but many forget Sennheiser has more headphones that aren’t too expensive but have wide applications.Read more...

The AKG K271 Open and Closed Back
AKG K271

AKG K271

AKG has its classics and the AKG K721 open and closed back headphones are worth anybody’s while, definitely.Read more...

The AKG K44 and K99

AKG K44 and K99

AKG K44 & K99

  • Compare Prices AKG K44: Amazon
  • Compare Prices AKG K99: Amazon

The last best headphones on my list is from AKG (I’m not a fanboy, but I really love their works).Read more...

Grado SR80i

The Grado SR80i isn’t exactly one of the best headphones to take outside and jam with on the bus or train.Read more...

Grado SR325i

Grado is a brand I trust given these guys pour out their hearts into making the best open-back headphones possible.Read more...

AKG K702

Everyone knows AKG and everyone praises the existence of the AKG K702.Read more...

Seinheiser HD 600

Seinheiser is a brand synonymous with quality headphones manufacturing and their HD600 is no exception.Read more...

ATH R70x

When I first tried the ATH-R70x, I had confidence that it would deliver something different than the Grado, AKG and Seinheisers I’ve found to be impressive.Read more...

Superlux HD662F

The Superlux HD662F is actually a re-branding of the CAD MH310. I know everyone doesn’t like how these cans look like.Read more...

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

Seinheiser’s HD 280 Pro delivers purely clean performance. But consumers looking for non-analytical headphones are looking in the wrong place.Read more...

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

The design is urban enough to wear around the city but underneath that flashy frame and cups is a powerful isolation close back headphones. Read more...

AKG K550

AKG has made it into plenty of my lists and for good reason; they deliver value-for-money for the items they deliver. The AKG K550 delivers immensely to the discerning ear and the travelling audio engineer.Read more...

V-Moda Crossfade M100

The Crossfade M100 simply looks and feels as if made of high quality materials. It’s closed design contributes heavily to its boomy, thumpy bass that has enough impact that is tight and controlled.Read more...

Essentials for purchasing Headphones

Jump to section by clicking on any link

1. Monitoring | 2. Preference | 3. Durability | 4. Portability | 5. Ease of Use
6. Mixing | 7. Open Back | 8. Closed Back

Headphones? Why When You’ve Got Monitors?

High-quality headphones aren’t just for your listening pleasure.

They’ve been tuned to give you the best and most faithful sound experience possible.

Oftentimes, engineers and manufacturers behind the design are all about teaching your ears about the right way to listen to music and decipher sound waves.

But for mixing, you’ll want a room with great acoustics and a great pair of mixing monitors.Read more...

What Do You Prefer?

No engineer can blame you.

Every person has his or her own preference when listening to music.

It’s possible your friend prefers the neutral bass but with something that’s accurate and well-balanced,

while you prefer something that’s warmer when it comes to the mid frequencies.Read more...


Over ear headphones aren’t the cheapest products you buy for your studio. Rack-mount effects and overall tuning your studio room can be more expensive but headphones aren’t a dime in a dozen.

I’d want them to be durable. Ergonomically-designed with just enough clamping force and headband strength is what I’m looking for.

If they aren’t any of these, they stay in the studio and if they’ve got replacement parts they rate higher on my list.


There could be a time you’ll need to bring along your MacBook or computer on a flight, on a private ride or even on a semi-empty train and work on a project while you’re in transit.

It’s possible you have less than 30 minutes to make fixes to the final song or album mix and it’s impossible to rush back to the studio.

That’s when headphones work their magic for you.

You could wear them anywhere and listen or fix your mix without bothering your seatmate.

Now tell me if your headphones are easy to use?

The checklist:

  • Can you listen to them for a long period of time, before your ears fatigue.
  • Do they need a external amp to make up for impedance
  • Are the cables detachable and replaceable
  • Are they foldable for portability
  • Do they fit over the ear
  • Are all parts replaceable

Cons When Mixing

Now, you might say there’s lots of advantages when using headphones for mixing.

It doesn’t always work out as we might intend it.

You see, the way our ears interpret the sound from loudspeakers depend on more than just the speaker.Read more...

Open-Back Headphones

Open-back ‘s weren’t built to be taken outside.

But should you do that, I don’t think you’ll find it pleasant.

With lots of external noise coming in from passing vehicles, people conversing and operating machines, it’s highly likely frequencies from those can mask details you’re trying to hear from your mix.Read more...

Closed Back/Noise Cancelling

Closed-back or noise cancelling headphones aren’t cheaper than their open-back counterparts.

Most consumers would go for these headphones because they have better noise cancelling capabilities compared to open back headphones.

However,

Final Words

Still, the use of headphones depends on you.

As much as possible, always make use of your monitor speakers to mix effectively.

But if you’re on the go and there’s no other choice, pick one of the headphones listed right here!

You could drop me a line and tell me what you think right there in the comments section. Happy mixing!