Make an informed decision about the best headphones for mixing and mastering based on your specific needs and budget? Here is a list of the best headphones for mixing and mastering. We have created for you to save time and energy. Follow the product links provided to find more customer reviews from each product.
Top 10 of the Best Headphones for Mixing and Mastering
1. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
These are one of the best open-back sets available. Designed for both casual listeners and studio use, the headphones come with comfortable padding but sturdy headband. The Dt 990 Pro produces a rich, deep sound with accuracy and balance producers need when mixing. Beautiful midrange, deep bass, and gliding higher notes make the listening experience a joy. Plus they are very durable and won’t break the bank!
Sample Customer Review… These headphones are the cat’s meow. If you care about accurate sound reproduction in every aspect, look no further. I bought these cans because I needed a good open-back set for mixing and mastering in the studio, and they are the most transparent and accurate set of headphones I’ve ever used. I wouldn’t say they’re flat – that’s almost insulting – they’re extremely vibrant in every part of the spectrum, but there is absolutely zero coloration. What you hear through these headphones is what you’re gonna get. With the 250 ohm option, you’ll need a good amplifier to drive these, they’ll still sound good through your phone but they’ll be quieter and lack the oomph. I’ll reiterate, these headphones have zero coloration. What you hear is exactly what you’re getting. It’s a great tool for novices studying mixing techniques all the way to seasoned veterans. If it doesn’t sound good in these, it won’t sound good anywhere.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
2. Audio Technica ATH-M40x Headphones
The Audio Technica ATH-M40x headphones are an all-black colored scheme. The ear cups are styled with a silver logo inside a circular pattern. The logo is also on the headband, however, they will not draw too much attention. They are very bulky and are meant to be used as everyday headphones. The Audio Technica ATH-M40x headphones have a relatively small size for the ear-cups. The reviews from users have mentioned that most people would opt for using the headphones indoors and not necessarily for commuting. This is due to the bulky design, even though the color scheme is neutral. They have a metal reinforcement that is not carried over to the hinges. The downfall of the design is the hinges are the weak point of the headsets.
They are comfortable and created for long periods of time. They are adjustable to fit all head sizes. They do not provide a tight fit, which adds to the reason why most users prefer not to commute with them. They are made out of PU leather. The Audio Technica ATH-M40x headphones have high-quality sound. They do not include means for a Bluetooth connection. The headphones include a coiled cable that is between 1.2 and 3 meters. People prefer the straight 3-meter cable over the coiled 1.2-meter cable. The BAL-M4oc adapter has more modern features that can be added to the headphones through the Bluetooth system. This design of headphones placed third in the Best Headphones For Mixing and Mastering list.
Sample Customer Review… Man, these headphones are awesome. The sound quality is obviously fantastic, AT knows what they’re doing there. You can tweak the settings using software like “Peace” on windows if you need to, but they’re well balanced out of the box, you can enjoy them right away if you just want great-sounding headphones. I have an average-sized head, and I wear blue light glasses at my desk, and these fit fine. I don’t feel any excess pressure or pain after long sessions. Earpads are soft but make a nice seal. The passive noise canceling is there, but nothing special. That’s expected. Two cables, both detachable, a case, plus they fold nicely. Build quality, though plastic, is very sturdy. I never feel like I need to be extra delicate with them. Worth the price for the sound quality alone, everything else is a nice bonus.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
3. Sennheiser HD 650
Let’s talk about comfort and quality sound! This Sennheiser model is very reputable and strongly recommended by users. Even at their high price point, they consistently give purchases a pleasant surprise with their quality. The headphones are one of the best quality open-back models out there. They are designed to be lighter weight and not press down on the ears. And the great air circulation works to keep your ears cool. You might even forget you have them on! As for sound, the mid-range is impeccable with fun bass sounds and accurate, silky high notes. The wide range of spectrum makes these very versatile, great for many genres.
Sample Customer Review... I’ve been listening to these constantly since I got them and I have to say they are the least fatiguing headphones I’ve ever owned. Compared to other high-end headphones I’ve owned (or do own) – these are not the most detailed, resolving, exciting or dynamic. They do sound “great”, though, and that’s what I wanted in a headphone. The sound is on the smooth side of natural. They’re forgiving to poor quality source materials but can still do justice to better material. Especially with voices, I notice some added bass. They have lots of detail but not so much that I’m distracted by minute incidental sounds – for example, the sound of the rooms as actors move from room to room in a movie. I like to hear that stuff but that’s what leads to fatigue and these are the anti-fatigue headphones. Similarly, with dynamics – they have enough but not so much that you go “wow”. Instead of hitting you immediately with wow-factor, they tend to reel you in as you listen. I’d recommend them if you’re looking for what they offer… a great sounding, non-fatiguing, all-purpose headphone.Read more at Amazon.com
4. Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro is the next-level version of the DT 990 Pro model. The set has incredible sound balance with an open back that creates a more natural sound environment. The major upgrades that differentiate these from the 990 Pros are improved clarity, frequency range, and ear cover design. 1990 Pros have “Telsa Driver” technology that allows the headphones to better produce high frequencies so some users commented that these can emphasize higher notes, so they may not be suited to all listeners. These are definitely on the higher end price-wise but are a fantastic brand with ensured quality and will last their user for a while.
Sample Customer Review… Let me just say that the DT1990s come ready to rumble no matter your tastes. Simply put, they just feel “right.” That is, from the moment I put them on, I had the sense that I was finally hearing the music as the engineer intended. No coloration. No tricks, no treats. Just the straight business (for better and worse, depending on the quality of the original recording). It puts you right in the studio, in the first few rows of the concert hall, or at that corner table close enough to share your drink with the drummer. As transparent a set of headphones as I’ve ever heard. Now, I’ve always loved the HD600s for jazz (personally, far more than the HD650s), but I always felt that something was missing…a more robust low end. In this sense, the DT1990s deliver fully on the promise of the HD600s. Just as neutral, just as precise in terms of imaging, but with a more rock-solid and effortless delivery (and much better built and loads more comfortable on the head).Read more reviews at Amazon.com
5. Sennheiser HD280 Pro
These are great industry-standard, closed-back headphones. While the fit might be a little tight and cups can get hot, they do a good job at isolating sound while not being noise-canceling. The materials are plastic but the phones still feel durable. These produce a fantastic sound–bass very sharp. The frequency spectrum as a whole very well represented and balanced in the sound. Despite their lower price point, they are a favorite of producers in the industry. The Sennheiser HD280 has no frills or extras. It simply comes with an adapter and coiled cable. There’s no case but these offer a quality sound for a great price if you’re looking for the absolute essentials.
Sample Customer Review… These are incredibly comfortable for long periods and sound terrific. They seem sturdy too. I like the availability of original replacement parts (pads, cushions, cable, etc.). Headphones get lots of wear, so nice to be able to repair rather than replace. I got these for studio monitoring while tracking loud electric guitar. They are perfect for that. I need headphones that block out external sound from my amps, so I can hear the other tracks with which I am playing–without having to turn up the volume to ear-damaging levels. I was impressed by the specs that claim HD280 Pro has great sound isolation… I highly recommend these to other guitarists for monitoring while recording—they have the perfect combination of features for it. They would also be terrific for vocalists or voice-over performers since the HD280Pros have sufficient isolation to keep the playback from leaking into sensitive vocal microphones. Also good for general listening, when you want to keep much (but not all) of the outside sounds out or keep your music from being heard by others.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
6. Samson SR850
The Samson SR850 are high-quality headphones with a wide spectrum of quality features that exemplify the experience of use. The Driver’s diameter is 50 mm and the magnet type is rare earth magnets. The frequency response of the Samson SR850 is 10Hz-30KHz. The maximum input power is 200 mW with a sensitivity of 98 dB. The impedance is 32Ohms and weighs only 32 ounces. The cable connector is 1.8’ and in length is 8.25’. The stereo plug is a ¼” screw on the adapter. These are also necessary measurements to make sure the Samson SR850 is the right fit for you and your existing technology for better use. This design is affordable while providing the best features in the market for the best headphones for mixing and mastering.
These headphones can be considered the best beginner pair of headsets. Their price is affordable and includes all of the highly desired features that help the user learn and adapt to new technology all while keeping the bank happy. The response for this design is mostly positive with very few complaints. The unfavorable reviews include complaints about the headset fit being too big and the midrange lacking power and detail. This design of headphones placed second in the Best Headphones For Mixing and Mastering list.
Sample Customer Review… These headphones are nothing to snuff at. Amazing slightly V-shaped sound with sparkly well-extended highs and deep lows that rumble when it is called for. The detail is top notch and edges out a bit over the Monoprice 8323 but doesn’t quite have the same impact as those headphones, so bassheads may be left wanting. The Panasonic RP HTF600 has a bassier sound that is not quite as lean but is more liquid and smooth than these SR850s. The Pannys compete with the Samsons in terms of the width of the soundstage but the Samsons are much more 3D and have better positioning, clarity, and soundstage in gaming than the Pannys. Well worth the price for an extremely comfortable pair of headphones with great detail and amazing soundstage. Works well as an all-rounder pair of headphones. Just be aware that these headphones are semi-open and therefore leak a bit of sound out and let sound in as well. Buy these instead of any gaming headset!Read more reviews at Amazon.com
7. HIFIMAN HE400S Headphone
The HIFIMAN HE400S Headphones are an open-back design with planar magnetic drivers. The response for the frequency stands within a wide range of 20 Hz- 35 KHz. The sensitivity is standard for this type of headphones at 98 dB. The impedance is 22 ohms. They are weighing a little over average with 350 grams. This specific design was rated for its design (3.5), performance (4), value for money (4), and overall use (4). They have relatively large ear pads for comfortability and sizing flexibility. They are much lighter than they appear to be with their larger structure.
The adjustments for sizing are easy to do for a wide variety of users as they have a wide range of sizing possibilities. The plush black fabric covers for the ear pads are removable for different preferences, although the response is that they are very comfortable with the fabric covers for the ears. The headphones come with a variety of accessories that include an adapter with the measurements of ¼” inch and a removable 1.5-meter cable for the cans. This cable has a 5.3 mm plug. The users have the option to swap out the cable.
The sound quality is very good with crystal clear mids and very smooth bass. The sounds do not overpower each other and are recommended for users looking for detailed sounding headphones. The features and quality sound they provide make up for their high price. This design of headphones placed fifth in the Best Headphones For Mixing and Mastering list.
Sample Customer Review… These are incredibly good headphones. I’ve had the Sennheiser hd558, the Phillips Fidelio x2hr, the AKG k702, and these (along with some noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones for airplane flights), and nothing comes close to these. They’re a little bass light out of the box but respond incredibly well to eq with no distortion whatsoever even if you add an unreasonably huge bass boost. They just sound warm and textured like nothing else I’ve tried. The comfort is also excellent. The pads are soft, fit around my ears easily, and never really get hot due to their hybrid design. The headband is also quite comfortable (similar feeling to a Sennheiser headband), although I do get a bit of hotspot soreness on the top of my head after about 3 hours. For gaming the detail is great, and the soundstage is quite wide. The imaging forward and back isn’t nearly as good or wide as it is to the sides, but I find these play really well with virtual surround sound and it fixes the forward/back imaging issue without adding much distortion compared to when I tried it with other headphones. I honestly can’t believe how incredible of a value these are. At this price, they are honestly a must-buy if you can afford them. I think you’d have to pretty much double the price at least to get anything better.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
8. Shure SRH1540 Headphones
The Shure SRH1540 headphones are a closed-back design. They have a 40 mm neodymium driver with superior acoustic performance. This is an expansive soundstage that produces the highest quality sound. The headphones produce crystal clear highs and smooth bass. This design is lightweight and durable. They include Alcantara (right) ear pads and two detachable cables. The cables are threaded ¼’ or 6.3 mm in a gold plated adapter.
They come with a hardcover travel case that opens and is securely closed with a zipper. The Shure SRH1450 headphones come with a two-year limited warranty. They were designed for comfortability and linearity and lower THD. This provides total harmonic distortion. The headphones have dual-axis cables that are gold-plated MMCX connectors. This provides a very secure connection and is also detachable to further aid in the storage and portability features of the headphones. They are for every day. They come with an additional pair of Alcantara ear pads, the zippered hard storage case, two detachable cables, and one threaded 1.4’ adapter. This design of headphones placed seventh in the Best Headphones For Mixing and Mastering list.
Sample Customer Review… Amazing detail, precision, accuracy, soundstage. The best closed-back, over-ear headphone in this price range, I’ve heard or owned. They are better than a lot of the ones priced higher too. I own other headphones/earbuds from Shure, Sennheiser, Bowers and Wilikins and Focal and these are the best.
Very comfortable to wear after break-in, but as with any headphones, this can vary from individual to individual. There may be a break-in period for listening as well. They are not intended to be portable, thus require space if you want to use them that way. I generally always find a way because I like them that much. They seem well built and relatively sturdy. They also benefit from more power, so performance can vary if you are using them with cell phones and no amp. My LG V30 in the high impedance device setting with the quad DAC is quite good. I highly recommend, but especially if you can catch them on sale. Not for those that like heavy accentuated bass or a particularly tailored sound profile, though some of this can be mitigated with an equalizer or digital processing. I listen to mine flat with no EQ adjustment and no preset sound filters.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
9. AKG K701
The price of these headphones is definitely on the higher side of this list, but many consider them to be some of the best money can buy. Surprisingly, the set has lightweight, retro design aspects and is open-back. The sound is quite distinctive and accurate. Listeners enjoy the clearness of higher notes and smooth transitions into lower registers. Bass is high quality, which is expected at this price point. However, these are not the most comfortable headphones. The foam of the cups is comfortable but can make the ears get very hot. And, of course, as they are open-back cans, they are not noise-canceling and even the sound isolation is lacking somewhat. Definitely not an outdoor use option but fantastic for catching even the smallest mistakes in the studio.
Sample Customer Review… These headphones are absolutely genuine AKG K701’s. As an owner of 7 pairs (studio previously), K-240’s from the 90’s – these are the real deal. Much better than my K-240’s – +10dB more sensitivity at 1V, which I needed because I wanted to put my headphone amp away. There are many excellent reviews of these headphones online and I’m pleased to say all are spot on. I bought these to mix music and practice through – but I could easily use them for entertainment purposes, which for me is unheard of in studio monitoring phones. These are, I think – among the most accurate phones I’ve listened to – at least that’s my perception after two weeks. They are very accurate in stereo imaging, transient response, and spectral balance. Accuracy is the key with a note: many folks today have never heard music reproduction accurately. Most consumer-grade sound reproduction headphones and speaker boost bass and treble – so that what people get used to. These phones don’t do that. Last note for me, these are also the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever worn – they are exceptionally light for their size. I wear a 7 5/8 hat and have a hard time with some headphones fitting comfortably – except for these.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
10. ADAM Audio Studio Pro
The ADAM Audio Studio Pro SP-5 has been put to the quality test and has passed. The cables attach with a 2.5 mm jack socket. This locks at the base of the left earcup. The headphones have two cables. One of them is 1.2 m and the other is a 3.5 mm mini-jack. They are coiled 3 m cable with a 6 mm jack at the very end. The ear cups are labeled to assure the user of the correct way from which to use the product. The frames are rigid of a plastic material. They launched at a good price and are exceptionally functional.
They use Ultrasone’s S-Logic technology. The ADAM Audio Studio Pro SP-5 includes a decentralized driver positioning to avoid direct sound into the ear. They have incorporated this to avoid eardrum damage caused by intense noise. This reduces that risk. The frequency range of these headphones is 8Hz to 38Hz. The sensitivity is listed at 95dB for a 1mW input. This is a low-powered amp with high detailed sound. It requires low energy without compromising the quality and potential of the sound translation through the headphones. This design is very particular and not for every taste. This design of headphones placed first in the Best Headphones For Mixing and Mastering list.
Sample Customer Review… This headphone sound amazing the details that comes out of these make nearly all total cans ( except the equally fantastic Stellia )sound like beats, and beats sound like toys. The sheer amount of details in the monitoring room like the sound stage and insane imaging just makes these a treat. They handle everything effortlessly they make my RME adi dac seem like it’s not trying or challenging these headphones in any way. The bass isn’t LCD 2 quantity but infinitely better in quality they make the LCD 2 sound like Sony xb headphones. The bass is on the same level as my Stellia and just a hair from being stax like. The mids are magical nothing is added just clear voice clean, insanely detailed to the point of absurdity and maintain a certain speaker-like feel, focal utopia came to my mind here. The treble is elevated but level and not in spikes that’s why it’s never painful unless the track’s quality is poor. It shows you everything and I mean everything microphones errors or quality issues everything even if some dropped something, and it extends all the way to the stars.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Purchasing the Best Headphones for Mixing and Mastering
Quality of Sound
As with any set of headphones, make sure to look into the sound quality first and foremost. As producers and artists, definitely look for something that will give a sound that accurately represents all frequencies and levels. It makes the listening experience more pleasurable and gives musicians the proper tools to make their music the best it can be.
Comfort should be your second priority simply because of the amount of time mixing and mastering requires. Sets that cover the whole ear and open back styles are definitely going to be the models that are the most comfortable, but they are also more bulky, so you must weigh the pros and cons.
Professional headphones are an investment, of course you want to make sure they will last for a while. All the headphones on this list come from trusted brands and have quality materials. Most of the brands on this list also have replaceable earpads that can be taken off and replaced. This will help a lot with extending the life of your headphones and maintaining their comfort.
Accurate bass representation is an essential must with the best headphones for mixing and mastering. Most models on this list do have this, which is why they are recommended for musicians. However, some headphones will emphasize higher notes and frequencies, so just be aware of your specific needs in the styles of music you produce.
Open vs. Closed Back
For studio work, open-back headphones are the way to go. They output a sound that is reminiscent of an open stereo system and will accurately give the ambiance of natural sound. Open-back sets do leak sound to those around you, so closed-back models are best for when working around others not only to stop sound from leaking out but also to provide noise-canceling. Noise-canceling functions do not exist on open-back models
All 10 of these headphones listed here are the best headphones for mixing and mastering. They vary in price and the features they offer. This is the list where every DJ and aspiring new musician finds the best. The price point range within this list ranges perfectly to meet everyone’s needs and expectations. There is an option for everyone. You can also look at the other recommended headphone ranked lists for further reference. If interested, click on the link to find the current price. There is no excuse to try a new hobby or continue within the music industry.
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Written by Zujeidy Sotelo and Mackenzie Dukes