Which headphones are good for music production in 2020?
If you are looking for good studio headphones for music production there are quite some choices to be made. Do you prefer open back or closed back? How much noise-canceling do you need? What is your budget? Do you prefer Sony, KRK, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, or something completely different for your home-studio setup?
In general, you will want to look for over-ear headphones for music production, since they have proven way superior over on-ear headphones.
It’s an ever-expanding market and I will try to give you an as complete as possible overview without overloading you with information you won’t need.
Here are the criteria we have been looking at to pick the possible candidates for this list:
This is, as it should be, the single most important characteristic of good headphones. If the sound is trash, you don’t need them.
Of course, like with all buying decisions, the price is the main factor.
Especially if you are working in loud or busy environments you need the ability to focus as much as possible.
You will be wearing your headphones for multiple hours straight, so you need them to be comfortable. Simple as that.
If you are using your headphones with a mobile setup, they will have to be at least kind of sturdy ad resistant. Imagine having to buy a new $150 headphones every 2 weeks…
The best headphones for music production
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80
The DT 770 headphones from Beyerdynamic deliver exceptional sound quality.
They fit the ear perfectly and are very comfortable to wear. Thanks to their adjustable bracket construction, the Beyerdynamic headphones have an excellent hold. All components used can be exchanged if necessary, making these headphones very durable. For me, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 headphones generally offer the best complete package. Clear purchase recommendation if they are in your budget.
Audio-Technica has made a name for itself in the last few years, especially in the low budget sector, but it can also keep up with the middle class of headphones.
The foldable design is particularly convincing in terms of mobility. So if you are often on the go and want to take the Audio-Technica headphones with you, this is the best solution. I do not recommend the headphones presented here for fine-tuning, as they slightly emphasize the bass and high frequencies and therefore do not provide a realistic picture of the actual sound. However, if you are looking for rock-solid headphones for (almost) all occasions, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 X is the right choice.
The Sony MDR-7506 is the cheapest closed-back headphone presented here. I personally have trusted in him for years. The headphones hardly distort the sound. This makes it an excellent choice for virtually any occasion. Whether in the studio for mixing or on the go for quick sketching – the MDR-7506 convinces all along the line. Don’t be fooled by the price, the headphones can definitely keep up with the big names (and budgets). All in all, I find the combination of quality and price unbeatable. I still use the headphones every day and they impress me with their durability.
KRK KNS 6400
Even if KRK is more known from the field of studio monitors, these high-quality headphones should not be underestimated. You get superbly built gear for a very affordable price. The KRK are neither the biggest name in the list, nor are the KNS 6400 headphones particularly eye-catching in design. The technology and above all the price-performance ratio are convincing here. If you are looking for efficiency, you have come to the right place and you can safely buy these headphones.
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 headphones are always a good choice if you opt for open-back headphones. Believe it or not, the cult headphones have been around since the 1980s. The wearing comfort is just as excellent as the sound quality. So if you are looking for headphones that you can easily use at home, where there is no annoying background noise, you can’t do anything wrong with the DT 990 Pro. Of course, the open design gives the headphones a particularly spectacular sound with a sense of space.
Sennheiser HD 660
The Sennheiser HD 660 are classics in the open-back area. Relatively expensive but most likely worth every penny once you had it on. These headphones are clearly the first choice for audiophiles around the world. If you have the appropriate budget, you can’t ignore this outstanding model. The wearing comfort stands out particularly here. After a while, you won’t even notice that you’re wearing the Sennheiser HD 660. The design is in no way inferior to the excellent sound quality and the great overall impression of the headphones.
Half Open Back
AKG Pro Audio K240
The half-open back is an endangered species. For this reason, the AKG Pro Audio K240 headphones are the only ones on this list. These headphones have been a permanent fixture in many professional music studios for decades. Nevertheless, the AKG K240 still convinces today with its excellent sound quality as well as its extraordinary design. The wearing comfort is also first class. All in all, a complete package at an unbeatable price.