Studio headphones are generally used by audio and sound engineers and play a critical role in the production, recording, and mixing processes. These gadgets will allow the user to review his or her mixes in isolation. Studio headphones also assist musicians, sound engineers, and producers who are always on the road most of the time. You cannot use a set of low quality headphones or your iPhone earbuds to evaluate the quality of your recordings or mixes. To be honest, such gadgets will offer a false and unrealistic version of how your record sounds. You need an excellent set of headphones that will present your mixes with a lot of precision.
For those in a hurry you can skip the rest and take a look at our best picks here:
The first elements to put into consideration are the ohm and watt ratings. These two elements define the ‘power’ of any audio device. These interdependent specifications determine the ability of any electronic device to release audio signals at varied levels over a particular period. The ohm rating of the device basically describes its impedance. It determines the amount of power the device will require to operate efficiently.
As a sound engineer, you must understand that studio headphones that have high ohm ratings will require more power. The good thing is that they will give you access to more natural, high-quality, and accurate sounding signals than using devices that have lower impedance. Any headphones whose impedance is more than 150ohms may require the sound engineer to use a headphone amplifier. You can find these amplifiers in high quality sound interfaces. The advantage is that they add more sound quality and accuracy to your productions and mixes. This article presents a review of top five headphones for audio and sound engineers. These include the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, Sennheiser HD-280 Pro, Sony MDR7506, AKG K 240 MK 11, and Shure SRH840. You need to put all these factors into consideration while choosing the best studio headphones for use.
Sennheiser HD-280 Pro
The ear pieces are collapsible to enhance portability, has swiveling earcups and an ergonomic design. Most audio designers love this model because it is lightweight and hence comfortable for use over expended periods.
Sennheiser HD-280 Pro presents a very durable set of studio headphones that can last for several years. It is worth investing in these headphones as they can last you more than six years. The around the ear design makes it an ideal option for sound isolation and recording.
The set delivers a very clean sound signal with a pretty base that is precise and you will not detect any hissing in your highs. The headphones have a passive noise attenuation that makes them fit tight. This feature helps to block external noise from getting into your ears.
Audio Technica ATH-M50x
The Audio-Technica headphones have been one of the leading brands in the market for some time now. One of the most popular models you will find out there is the original Audio Technica ATH-M50x. This version of studio headphones comes with an exchangeable cable to give the user some options of connecting the device. The model also comes with a 90 degrees rotating ear cups to enhance its portability and mixing.
The ATH-M50x is as technologically sound and stable as its predecessor M50. The headphones are also very comfortable and you can put them on for a long time without feeling the effect. Individuals with big heads have a reason to smile because these overhead earphones are a bit wider. Another attribute you will love with these headphones is that color options that comes with it. Apart from black, you can also get the blue and white versions. Given that the earcups can rotate at 90 degrees, it makes these headphones travel friendly and more compact. The set also comes with a travelling pouch to make it more compact.
You can also detach the cables given that they are interchangeable so that you don’t roll them round the headphones. This will protect the cables from breaking or tangles which enhances their durability in the long run. The frequency range of these headphones is 15 to 2800 HZ. It has a sensitivity of 99 dB with a total weight of 258 grams or 10 ounces excluding the cables. The maximum input power of these studio headphones is at 1Khz or 100mH and the set has a dynamic closed back. The drivers have a diameter of 45mm and is an ideal option for audio and sound engineers.
The package also comes with a quarter inch adapter and you can fold it for easy storage and portability. The 40mm drivers and neodymium magnets deliver a detailed and powerful sound. The closed-ear design brings about an outstanding reduction of noise from the environment and also provides comfort. The large headphone diaphragm has a rugged construction that make is secure for everyday use.
One attribute that you will discover with these studio headphones is that their impedance tends to be higher than some models that will cost you more money. Sony MDR750 is not only comfortable but also comes with an accurate sound that has very nice lows, crisp highs, and decent Mids. These characteristics render it as an all-around accurate studio headphone. You can use it for recording everyday as it has a closed design, and a comfortable headband and pads. The package also comes with a soft travelling case but it is wise to buy a hard shell to offer maximum protection to your gadget just in case you wish to travel.
Shure SRH 840
One feature that makes this model to stand out from the market is its impedance and standard drivers. Most audio engineers love these monitoring headphones because they have a clear treble and deep bass that give a good balance. You can be sure of getting an accurate and clean sound with these headphones. Shure SRH 840 has one of the best reviews among other studio headphones out there.
AKG K 240 MK 11
This brand has a great following in the market place. The headphones allow a small amount of sound to leak but this prevents it from building up. Their ear pads are very comfortable and they provide an ideal option for mixing. The cushions of these headphones are more soft and the set comes with one extra cable. It also produces an all-around sound that is very accurate and flat. There is an excellent match between the treble and base sound and this gives the user the value for his money. AKG K 240 MK 11 is reasonably priced this makes it to be one of the best semi-open studio headphones you can find in the market.