Every home recording studio needs a pair of good studio headphones. You need them for listening, recording, mixing, and mastering.
Mixing with headphones is not a bad practice. Although it’s better to mix with studio monitors, you can mix in headphones too. Also, they are more convenient in-home studios.
Also, mixing headphones is good for checking your mixes. When you mix with studio monitors, you can check it with headphones and hear how good it sounds in different environments and speakers.
In this post, I will recommend the best mixing and mastering headphones you can get for your home recording studio. There are headphones for every budget.
What Are Studio Headphones
Studio headphones are designed specifically for mixing and referencing. Works and looks exactly the same as everyday listening headphones. But the main difference is in sound balance.
A good studio headphone must have a balanced, flat frequency response. When you mix or master headphones, you don’t need to hear any boosted frequency. And because everyday listening headphones have some frequencies, for example, low-frequency boost, they are not good for mixing.
That’s why you need to have studio headphones. They have flat frequency response and you know how your mix sounds exactly. No frequency boost or cut. Although some studio headphones have a little curve in the frequency range, they are very little.
So, when you buy a pair of headphones, make sure that it’s made for mixing and mastering. Never use listening headphones for recording, mixing, or mastering. You can have it only for listening purposes.
Closed Back vs Open Back Headphones
Another thing to consider when choosing headphones for your home studio is the type. There are two main types of headphones – closed back and open back. Both have their purpose and use case.
In closed-back headphones, the back of the earpad is closed. It means that no external sound comes through. So, you hear only the audio. This is good because there will be no interference and distraction. But sometimes closed-back headphones sound boomy and have a little bassy sound.
On the other hand, open-back headphones are open and you hear the outside sound and noise. This type is also good for mixing and mastering. You may get more natural sound because air flows more and it tends to be less bass-heavy.
Both types are good for home studios. It’s better to have both types to listen to your mixes in different kinds of environments.
Best Studio Headphones Under $500
Now let’s find out the best headphones you can buy for your home studio. First, let me recommend you the expensive headphones you can get in the $500-$300 price range.
1. Shure SRH1840
Shure SRH1840 is a high-quality, open-back mixing and mastering headphones. They are great for any home recording studio. Shure offers great comfort, sound quality, and accuracy. This pair is also great for live performances.
SRH1840 offers 40mm drivers, detachable cable, and is very lightweight. Has very comfy earbuds. This is an around-the-ear-style headphone that avoids pain on the ear. Has an impedance of 65 ohms and a frequency response of 10Hz-30kHz. That’s a huge coverage of frequency that makes Shure SRH1840 great mixing headphones.
Shure SRH1840 Features:
- Frequency range – 10Hz-30kHz
- 40mm drivers
- Detachable cable
- Astounding sound quality
2. AKG K701
AKG K701 is another amazing headphone for mixing. It’s also an open-back style headphone with 3D foam pads and a self-adjusting headband. Very comfortable to wear and produces very high-quality sound. Has around-the-ear style earbuds which are very comfortable.
K701 offers 45mm drivers, passive noise isolating, and impedance 62 ohms. Its frequency response covers from 10Hz to 39kHz which makes it a great mixing headphone. Very stylish and good-sounding headphones for home studios.
AKG K701 Features:
- Comfortable to wear
- 10Hz-39kHz frequency response
- 45mm drivers
3. Austrian Audio Hi-X55
Austrian Audio Hi-X55 is one of the best studio headphones you can get in the $500 price range. It’s a closed-back headphone with high-excursion proprietary drivers, comfortable foam earbuds, and detachable cable. This headphone fits well, feels well, and sounds good. Also, it is a very durable product.
Hi-X55 has a huge frequency response that makes it great for mixing or mastering. With these headphones, you can hear everything from 5Hz to 28kHz. It is beyond the human hearing range. This is a circumaural, around-the-ear-style headphone.
Austrian Audio Hi-X55 Features:
- Detachable cable
- 5Hz-28kHz frequency response
- Comfortable for long sessions
4. AKG K702
AKG K702 is a great and affordable mixing headphone for its quality and features. It’s an open-back dynamic headphone with circumaural style earbuds, 45mm drivers, and passive noise isolation. Also, it has a very flat frequency range which makes it a great mixing headphone.
K702 headphones by AKG have an impedance of 62 ohms and cover the frequency range from 10Hz to 39kHz. That’s more than enough. Other than that, it is very comfortable to wear and produces extremely good sound. Generates clear high and accurate low frequencies.
AKG K702 Features:
- Flat and clear sound
- Frequency range 10Hz-39kHz
- 45mm drivers
Best Studio Headphones Under $300
Now let’s check out the best mixing headphones in the $300-$100 price range. These are more affordable and quality products that are suited for most home studio engineers.
5. AKG K553
AKG K553 is one of the most affordable studio headphones you can get for your home recording studio. It’s a closed-back style, over-ear mixing headphone, equipped with 50mm drivers. One of the best sounding headphones in this category and price range. Also, it has a detachable cable.
K553 has a coiled style cable, an impedance of 32 ohms, passive noise isolation, and covers 12Hz-28kHz frequency response. It has quite a flat frequency and produces high-quality, accurate sound. Everything you need to mix your tracks without ear fatigue.
AKG K553 Features:
- Detachable cable
- Passive noise isolation
- 12Hz-28kHz frequency response
6. Sennheiser HD 300 PRO
Sennheiser is a well-known brand in the music industry and HD 300 PRO studio headphones are one of the best in this price range. These are professional, closed-back monitoring headphones with great sound. Although it’s branded as a monitoring headphone, it produces a very accurate sound that makes it a great mixing and mastering headphone.
It has one of the best noise-canceling features. Offers noise attenuation of 32dB, passive noise isolation, and 64 ohms. Produces clear sound and has a flat, 6Hz-25kHz frequency response. With Sennheiser HD 300 PRO you can create amazing-sounding songs in your studio.
Sennheiser HD 300 PRO Features:
- Frequency response 6Hz-25kHz
- Great noise attenuation
- Accurate sound
7. Yamaha HPH-MT7
Yamaha HPH-MT7 is a great headphone with astonishing features. It’s a closed-back, circumaural headphone that has 40mm drivers and round ear cups. Very comfortable and great for long mixing sessions. Not only is this a great studio headphone, but it is great for stage too. Reproduces very accurate sound across the whole spectrum.
HPH-MT7 is designed specifically for mixing and you can find issues immediately. It is very comfortable to wear, has an impedance of 49 ohms, and covers the frequency spectrum from 15Hz to 25kHz. Great for any style of music and works great as stage headphones too.
Yamaha HPH-MT7 Features:
- Spectrum cover from 15hz to 25kHz
- Clear and accurate sound
- Great for stage use
8. KRK KNS 8400
KRK KNS 8400 is a closed-back, circumaural headphone with foam earpads, detachable cable, and in-line volume control. This is one of the most affordable and high-quality products you can get in this price range. Reproduce very accurate and great sound. It has very clean highs and an accurate bass frequency response.
KNS 8400 has noise isolation abilities, up to 30dBA. Very comfortable to wear. Has in-line volume controls that make it easier and more convenient to use. Its frequency response stretches from 5Hz to 23kHz which is more than enough. One of the best affordable studio headphones you can find on the market.
KRK KNS 8400 Features:
- In-line volume control
- Frequency response of 5Hz-23kHz
- Accurate highs and lows
9. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Audio-Technica is one of my favorite headphones brands and ATH-M50x is a great example of why. This closed-back headphone with 45mm neodymium-magnet drivers can produce very accurate sound. Has one of the flattest frequency responses among other mixing headphones. Great for mixing, mastering, and monitoring.
Comes with a detachable cable, has an impedance of 38 ohms, and offers passive noise isolation. Its frequency spectrum stretches from 15Hz to 28kHz. Also, it has 90-degree swiveling earcups and is very convenient to use. Comes with two cables.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Features:
- Flattest frequency response
- Very accurate and quality sound
- Great for DJs too
Best Studio Headphones Under $100
If you need a second pair of headphones for your studio or if you are a beginner engineer, then you should check the list of headphones under $100.
10. Sony MDR-7506
Sony MDR-7506 is one of the most popular affordable headphones among home studio owners. This is a closed-back professional headphone for mixing and mastering purposes. Although it’s an affordable product, it has an amazing sound and quality. Perhaps there are no studios that don’t have at least one of these studio headphones.
MDR-7506 has a very flat frequency spectrum, produces amazing sound, and is a great choice for mixing. Has high quality, 40mm drivers, passive noise isolation, 63 ohms of impedance, and covers frequency from 10Hz to 20kHz. You won’t be disappointed by the quality of the Sony MDR.
Sony MDR-7506 Features:
- 10Hz-20kHz frequency response
- Flat and accurate sound
- 40mm high-quality speakers
11. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is a little brother of M50x and is one of my favorite headphones for mixing. I personally own it and it is a great sounding headphone. It’s great for listening, recording, mixing, and mastering. There is nothing that it can’t do. Closed-back design with 40mm speakers, and very comfortable earcups. You will feel no pain during long mixing sessions.
Also, it folds and occupies very little space. Very convenient to use. It has an impedance of 35 ohms and covers the spectrum from 15Hz to 24kHz. You can hear everything. Also, it has one of the flattest spectrums which means you hear everything perfectly. Produces very accurate lows and clear highs.
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Features:
- Produces very accurate sound
- Flat spectrum
- 40mm drivers
- Great for long mixing sessions
12. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is one of the most popular studio headphones among home studio owners. Its affordable and great-sounding headphones for mixing and mastering. Also, great reference headphones. You can use it as your main mixing headphone or have it for occasional monitoring. Also, it works as a great live headphone.
HD 280 Pro is a closed-back headphone with 64 ohms of impedance. Produces very accurate sound thanks to its flat sound design. Covers an 8Hz-25kHz frequency spectrum and is very comfortable to wear. It folds nicely and has 32dB of acoustic isolation.
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Features:
- Very accurate and flat sound
- Comfortable to use and wear
- Frequency response of 8Hz-25kHz
13. AKG K240
AKG K240 is another affordable and great professional headphone for beginners. If you are on a budget and looking for inexpensive, high-quality phones, then you can check K240. It’s a great-sounding and high-quality product from a respected brand. I’ve owned three AKG headphones and all of them are great. One of them was K240.
AKG K240 offers a semi-open style with around-the-ear cups. Has 30mm drivers and an impedance of 55 ohms. Its frequency spectrum ranges from 15Hz to 25kHz. Has a pretty flat response and offers good quality, accurate sound. Works as a mixing or mastering headphone.
AKG K240 Features:
- Frequency range from 15Hz to 25kHz
- 30mm great-sounding drivers
14. Samson SR850
Samson SR850 is the best beginner-friendly professional; headphones you can get for your home studio. Like some of the other headphones on this list, it has semi-open styled ear cups. This is a great pair of headphones when you start a career as an engineer or it can work as a backup mixing headphone.
The open design prevents overwhelming bass frequencies. It’s clear and has a space to breathe. Has 50mm drivers with an impedance of 32 ohms. Covers frequency response from 10Hz to 30kHz which is a great feature. Has a very clear sound and produces accurate highs and lows.
Samson SR850 Features:
- Accurate sound
- Very affordable
- Great for beginners
Studio headphones are must-have gear in every home studio. They are great for mixing, mastering, monitoring, or as a listening device. There are different types of headphones and the price range varies from headphone to headphone. Depending on your budget, you can get any of these mixing headphones and make better mixes.
You can use headphones as your main mixing device or just have them for checking your mixes with it. It gives you the ability to see how your track sounds in different speakers. Also, headphones are necessary for recording and monitoring. So, you must have at least one pair in your home recording studio.