The 10 Best Headphones for Music Production 2017

There is nothing worse than tinny or scratchy music from a cheap pair of headphones. Investing in a quality pair can dramatically improve your listening experience. And, for an audio technician this is absolutely critical. Whether you are a professional, an amateur audiophile, or just another Joe on the bus, finding that pair of headphones can be challenging. Here we will look at the best headphones for music production.

Features And Design Elements to Consider

  • Design. Headphones come in many shapes and sizes. Consider the length of the cord and the plug style of your headphones. Or perhaps you will want something that incorporates wireless capabilities. The best headphones for music production will go over the ear for comfort. Even this seemingly bulky design can fold up for portability, and some professional headphones are lightweight despite the size. Open or closed back headphones also provide different listening experiences.
  • Specifications. The technological components of the best headphones for music production also play an important role in sound reproduction capabilities.  The size of the drivers, frequency range, impedance, and power handling are important considerations when purchasing a new pair of headphones specifically for music production.
  • Budget. The best headphones for music production can range in price quite a bit. Keep this in mind as it is worth taking the extra time to do true comparison price shopping for this product.
  • Usage. All the above considerations must be approached with the style of use in mind.  Do you use your headphones strictly for recreational listening?  Are you using your headphones in a professional capacity such as mixing or recording on a laptop?  There is something out there for everyone and every budget. Purchasing professional headphones to be used with music production software is an investment that should be made accordingly.

10 Best Headphones for Music Production Comparison Guide

PictureNamePriceRating (1-5)
PictureNamePriceRating (1-5)
1. Sony Studio Monitor Headphones$$$5.0
2. Fostex TR80$$$$5.0
3. Superlux BLUE HD661 Closed Back Circumaural Headphones$$5.0
4. Status Audio CB-1 Closed Back Studio Monitor Headphones$$4.9
5. Samson Z55 Closed Back Over-Ear Professional Reference Headphones$$$$4.8
6. AudioMX HS-5S Studio Monitor Over Ear Headphones for Recording$4.8
7. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones$$$$4.5
8. Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones$$$$$4.4
9. SHiROSHiTA SW-HP10US Professional Studio Monitor Headphones$$$$4.1
10. Akai Professional Project 50X | Over-Ear Studio Monitor Headphones [Amazon Exclusive]$$4.0

Reviews of the Top Rated Headphones for Music Production

1. Sony Studio Monitor Headphones

Marketed as a system designed for audio professionals, the Sony Studio Monitor Headphones recreates accurate sound through a wide range of frequencies. The dynamic audio driver unit features a wide surface area for sound production of 40mm and the huge frequency range of 5Hz-30kHz delivers crystal clarity during playback and monitoring.

The circum-aural design and a wide padded headband allow for hours of comfortable listening in relative isolation from outside noise. The collapsible, folding construction and included pouch make for safe storage and easy portability. A reasonable price tag completes the package, making these headphones a great addition for any music production aficionado.

2. Fostex TR80 Music Production Headphones

Fostex offers versatility and customizability with its TR series of headphones. The TR80 features a closed back design and is the most popular. Open and semi-open designs are also available to meet the varying demands of the market. The savvy consumer may also select the impedance most suitable to their needs from the TR line.

Each headphone system features 40mm dynamic drivers, and the 96-dB sensitivity rating provides a worthy listening experience. The entire line also comes with two sets of ear pads for user customization and two detachable and interchangeable cords of different styles. These headphones are an excellent choice for even the discriminating listener.

3. Superlux BLUE HD661 Circumaural Headphones

The Superlux HD661 features a precision tuned acoustic chamber and a high definition design for excellent depth of sound. They are fully capable of handling any application in the studio or during live sound monitoring. The sensitivity of these headphones is fantastic. Expect clear highs and solid bass tones. The frequency range may not live up to the bar set by Sony but it covers the range into which most music will fall.

The self adjusting headband and nice ear pads make these headphones comfortable to wear for hours at a time. This is one of the best headphones for sound production applications if you are a listener on a budget. A great package for the aspiring sound engineer.

4. Status Audio CB-1 Studio Monitor Headphones

The next best headphones for music production, from Status Audio, may not be fancy but they sound great and will get the job done. Great technical specs and an oversize dynamic driver of 50mm deliver a neutral sound signature ideal for studio professionals who depend on accurate audio reproduction.

Good dynamic range of 15Hz-30kHz and sensitivity at 96 dB ensure no loss of sound quality and these headphones do not lack for power. And while they are not small headphones, they do collapse into a manageable parcel for portability. The next studio workhorse, these headphones are sure to please the finicky audio tech and a reasonable price point make this monitoring system a safe bet for any application.

5. Samson Z55 Professional Reference Headphones

Designed for professional mixing, monitoring, and audiophilic listening habits, the Samson Professional Reference Headphones will provide a high end listening experience. Samson has created a lightweight and comfortable headset for superior comfort and versatility. 45mm drivers, rare earth magnets, and a copper clad aluminum voice coil yield depth of sound and extended low end response so you will not miss a beat.

Once again, excellent frequency range and sensitivity ensure clear sound production and there is no lack of power handling by these impressive headphones. Detachable cables, a collapsible design, and an included carrying pouch make this system as portable as it can be. A great investment at this price, these quality headphones for music production will certainly satisfy your need for a superb listening experience.

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