Do you want to get started with a recording studio?
Are you looking for the best Headphones for Music Production?
...then we've got you covered with our list of Top 10 Best Headphones for Rock Music that will be a perfect fit for either you home-studio or professional recording studio.
We have digged deep and made sure you get the best bang for your buck.
The mentioned headphones are some of the best headphones that are used by professional recording artists in their studio to get the flattest sound as possible for the right budget.
So without wasting much time let's get started.
The 11 Best Music Producing Headphones In 2020
KRK KNS 8400
Koss Pro DJ 200
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Price not available
#11: M-Audio HDH50
M-Audio isn’t a renowned brand when it comes to studio headphones; however their Studiophile AV40 have a great name in the Active Studio Monitors scene and have been featured in our list of Best Audiophile Desktop Speakers.
At first look anyone would be able to notice that M-Audio HDH50 are big... and strongly built; and hence have been featured in our list of Best Headphones for Music Production.
- Studio-grade quality, tuning, and frequency response
- 50mm neodymium drivers provide critical audio detail
- Gunmetal aluminum and steel construction
- Closed-back design prevents sound from leaking in or out
- Around-the-ear padding remains comfortable during long sessions
Having large 50mm drivers inside makes them look huge and at the same allows them to produce accurate sound required during Music Production.
"Studio-grade quality and tight frequency along with Gunmetal aluminum and Steel Construction makes them best choice for anyone looking for best Music Production Headphones."
These over-ear closed back headphones provide critical noise isolation due to heavy padding around ear cups and strong reinforced body.
For price under the belt of $150; they offer excellent build quality, sound quality and great design allowing you to look professional when you’re deep inside your work.
Earcups swivel vertically just like the Beats Studio Pro allowing these beast of a headphone to be portable and stored easily.
With frequency response between 12 – 24,000 Hz; there’s a slight emphasis on the bass with respect to a normally used Studio Headphone.
For people just starting out and looking for Best Headphones for Music Production, M-Audio HDH50 seems like a sweeter deal.
#10: Sennheiser HD 558
Well; if you just want to get your hands into Music Production and have a max budget of just $100, then Sennheiser HD558 is your best bet.
You cannot go wrong with Sennheiser Headphones as the German Company has 6+ decades experience of building Audio Equipments and their headphones are seen in high regards.
For starters, the headphone comes in a Blister and Cardboard packing helping it keep the overall price down; inside we only get a 6.3mm adapter as an accessory.
- Connectivity Technology: Wired
- Audiophile grade over ear, open back headphones
- Twist and lock single sided cable eliminates tangles and simplifies exchanges
- Gold-plated 1/4 inch plug with 1/8 inch adapter
- Highly optimized, field strengthened neodymium ferrous magnet system
Coming to build quality then let me quote it this way:
Even it’s highly popular and Professional Over-Ear Headphones, the Sennheiser HD202 II have an unparalleled built quality for price of just $20.
Coming to HD558; they have a strong, sturdy built quality...
...even the earcups and headband has velour padding making them feel extremely comfortable for longer audio sessions.
At Rated Impedance of 50 Ohms; Sennheiser HD 558 are easily driveable without requirement of a headphone amp, however if you do need one... make sure to check out this cool guide about budget Headphone Amps.
"Open-back design, makes the sound feel more natural and Music Recording a breeze and it fits in the budget of amateur Audio Professionals looking for Best Headphones for Music Production."
#9: KRK KNS 8400
KRK is popularly known for its Active Studio Monitors which always get rave reviews and find applications only in Recording Studios and Sound Mixing.
KRK KNS 8400 is one of their proud productions and is mainly targeted at studio recording and music mixing guys; rather than average consumers, and hence is featured in our list of Best Headphones for Music Production.
- Detachable in-line volume control
- Voiced to remain true to the character of KRK’s class leading studio monitors, developed with 25 years of years of experience in studio sound.
- The latest reference quality frequency response for closed-back, circum-aural dynamic headphones.
- Newly developed headphone acoustical system bringing a new level of headphone performance for the first time.
- Utilizing the latest in acoustic memory foam technology this ensures class leading performance in both reproduction and isolation.
The KNS 8400 are audiophile-grade, closed back headphones that offer incredible acoustic response all within a weight of just 230 grams.
Their blacked out matte finish and solid plastic construction gives them a great look and offer excellent built quality.
Specifications wise, the KRK KNS 8400 hold inside 40mm drivers producing Nominal Impedance of 36 Ohms with Frequency response of 5Hz-23kHz making them nice buy for accurate listening.
If you look at KNS 8400’s Frequency response, one can see it has good emphasis towards the bass which extends it way till the mids, trying to maintain flat response towards the treble allowing no distortion at high volume.
Due to such deep low end, they seem to be an ideal fit if you’re audio recording involves genres like Hip-Hop, Rap, Electronica and so on.
"At a price of just over $100; KRK KNS 8400 are an ideal buy for someone who’s into Producing Bassy Songs and require accurate response to such genres, otherwise the end product may not be that flattering."
How would our Best Hedphones for Music Production list be complete without featuring the Holy Grail of all headphones i.e. the Audio Technica ATH-M50X?
These are one of the most popular Studio Recording Headphones that are meant for both Average Consumers and Recording Artists too.
For the price it sits at; Audio Technica ATH-M50X comes in box that has the headphones along with three types of Cables.
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A long coiled cable, long straight cable and short straight cable for normal use. Moreover it also includes a faux leather carrying pouch.
Even with a plastic construction, the build on these headphones is excellent.
They offer a premium feel for a not-so-premium price.
Feature wise, they include 45mm drivers with rated impedance of 35 Ohms.
Looking at the frequency response, one can see that the M50X aren’t as bass heavy compared to previously mentioned KRK KNS 8400, however they do have a slight bass emphasis.
At high volumes, the Sound doesn’t distort at all.
Collapsible design makes them easy to store and carry wherever you go.
"Weighing at 10 ounces, these Best headphones for Music Production are an ideal option for larger Studio Recording sessions and producing accurate music."
#7: Fostex T50RP
Fostex has been a highly regarded Japanese audio equipment manufacturing company that spans a life of 4 decades and has been able to produce some of the finest headphones.
Even their T50RP is one hell of a headphone that comes in 3 variants:
- Closed Back
- Semi Open
- Damped Semi Open
And the one I’ll talk about is the Damped Semi Open variant.
- Damped semi-open headphones with 15Hz - 35kHz frequency response
- Max input 3000 mW; impedance 50 ohm
- Patented RP Technology
- Features single entry locking cord, padded ear cushions, and wide self-adjusting headband
- Compatible with all analog and digital formats
Just like Toyota Supra is known for its modding abilities; Fostex T50RP is known for the same.
On Youtube, you can find tons of videos explaining about how to mod the Fostex T50RP and how to get more juice out of it.
These headphones are seriously not meant for usual listening, they are critical listening over-ear headphones and meant only for studio use and to get more transparency out of your sound.
Even the RP in the headphone name stands for Regulated Phase, which is Fostex proprietary technology used to manufacture these products.
Specification wise they offer impedance of 50 Ohms within a frequency range of 15Hz – 35kHz allowing it to produce larger and more clearer sound.
Design wise they look extremely unique, with Brass-Colored Adjustment bars which may look similar to cooling coils used in Air-Conditioners or Refrigerators.
It has an industrial kind of look with a flexible metal infused headband and overall plastic construction.
"The Fostex T50RP definitely deserve a place in our list of Best Headphones for Music Production and that’s what they have been meant to be used for. Its looks may not be as likeable as you want... however sound-wise they pack a big punch."
#6: Koss Pro DJ 200
Personally if you ask me, I do not like headphones from Koss brand even if they have great sound...
...because their design isn’t normal and looks weird
The only reason I’ve featured the Pro DJ 200 from Koss is because they have a decent design ideology and are the best Electronic Music Headphone.
- Noise isolating headphones. Connectivity Technology: Wired
- Koss Touch Control (KTC) remote and microphone technology made for iPhone iPad and iPod
- Ear cups feature stereo/mono switch and swivel for single/ double ear listening preference
- Detachable cords include 4 foot KTC cord and 8 foot coiled cord
- Fold flat into a convenient case for portability
To tell the truth, even the Koss cheapest headphones like the Porta Pro and KSC75 have incredible sound for the price... but the design makes me not want to buy these.
Coming back to Koss Pro DJ 200; it is a decent looking Studio Headphones that’s even meant for average consumers.
From pictures it may look like the back of earcups have plastic body, however in reality they are machined metal headphones that offer excellent build quality.
For the price you pay, you’ll get sound and build quality that you get in headphones thrice its price.
The Koss Pro DJ 200 is highly targeted at DJ’s since it features 180 degree swivel cups which help in single ear monitoring.
At the base of earcups there’s a switch to change from Stereo to Mono, which helps to do Left and Right side music mixing.
Koss Pro DJ 200 come with detachable cord that features inline microphone and control pod for iPhone and iPad.
"These are not the kind of headphones you’d go around showing off your friends, however the DJ 200 have excellent sound and surprisingly for the price offer marvelous design and machined metal built."
#5: Samson Z55
Samson Z55 is the latest edition to a wide range of Reference-grade Professional studio monitoring headphones available right now.
Banking on the success of a closer rival ‘Audio-Technica’, Samson too has launched 4 different types of professional studio headphones that eerily match to the kind of headphone-series launched by Audio-Technica few years ago.
The Samson Z55 is lightweight and pretty portable studio monitor headphone that features and over-the-ear design.
- Designed for professional recording, mixing and audiophile music monitoring
- Wide soundstage with extended low-end response
- Lightweight, low-profile design with genuine Lambskin cushioning
- Collapsible, closed-back design with 90 degree rotating ear cups
- Premium 45mm drivers with rare earth magnets
Samson Z55 is touted as the best headphones for edm and electronic music and they do happen to have a slight colored response compared to other flat response headphone in our list.
To keep the price low, the headphone comes in a very stripped-down box, however it isn’t short on accessories though.
You get this stylish headphone along with three different cables: a long straight cable, coiled cable and a cable with in-line microphone, there’s also included is a 3.5mm to 6.3mm converter as well.
Talking about the design, this best professional monitoring headphone from Samson has a design, which is quite similar to ATH-M70X.
The earcups on these swivel 90-degress and stay flat, it can also move in Y-axis that offers a single headphone-monitoring feature. It however tends to fold in an odd manner, which I’m not a fan of.
Outer side of the earcups features a metallic-finish plastic plate that has the Samson logo, while you can see a big ‘Samson’ logo on top of the headband too.
For me, there are some irks in the design department but built quality is top notch and no complains about it.
Moreover Samson hits a homerun too with the sound quality, since it is a good headphone for reference and professional monitoring, there’s plenty of punch in the sound for novice, and great response for a professional to notice. However, I’d do recommend to get new earcups for long hours listening.
“Samson Z55 is an excellent headphone for music production that has increased the competition, and is a competent competitor that offers a great sound, good built quality and comes from a respectable brand for the price it’s sold at”
#4: Brainwavz HM5
Brainwavz HM5 are an extremely popular Studio Monitor headphones that have more of an analytical sound rather than musical sound.
It has a neutral sound signature that helps a lot while Studio Monitoring.
- Neutral sound signature - Your music will sound how it should!
- 1.2m and 3m detachable cables included, use with your portable rig or home rig
- Large, comfortable over the ear cups
At first look, one can definitely say the HM5’s earcups looks extremely big compared to other similar Studio Monitors.
Out of the box, they come tucked inside a Hard Shell carry pouch which includes:
- Extra Earcups replacement pads
- 1.2m and 3m straight cables
- 6.3mm headphone adapter
- Airline Adapter
Coming to design, they have a headband similar to one seen on Shure SRH440 and have a metal headband adjuster. One problem that plagues metal headband adjuster is that with heavy pressure out of the blue, the metal body tends to bend miserably... rendering the headphones useless.
They come with detachable cord, however it comes with a Y-cable and you’d need to attach wire to both earcups which does gets irritating at times.
Soundwise they have high emphasis on bass and less on treble, making rock music sound not as good as compared to Audio Technica ATH-M50X.
"However for the overall package, the Brainwavz HM5 deserves a high position on our list of best headphones for music production and one cannot go wrong with these."
#3: HifiMan HE400S
Well if you want to experience extremely accurate sound with highly detailed response, then look no further than HifiMan HE400S planar magnetic headphones.
- Sounds terrific on your smartphone or most any portable audio device
- Superb Hi-Fi Quality with lifelike clarity, detail, extended bass and wide sound stage
- Only 350g-Long Hours of Comfortable Listening
- Innovative headband and specially designed ear pads for remarkable comfort
- Planar headphones
The way Planar Magnetic headphones are built allows them to offer:
- Extended Bass
- Wider Sound Stage
- Accurate Details
- Lifelike Clarity
Planar Headphones are standard bearer when it comes to analytical listening and have unparalleled sound performance.
However since Planar Magnetic Headphones costs a lot and weigh a ton, they are usually avoided by Recording Studios and specifically used by Audiophiles for extreme sound clarity. The HE400S weigh at 350 grams which is considered very light compared to Planar Magnetic Standards.
The box in which HifiMan HE400S comes in is very huge compared to any regular headphone, and also includes Y-shaped detachable cable.
Designe wise they are manufactured like a tank, having an exceptional strong Built that is totally extraordinary company to any other Best Headphones for Music Production featured in the list.
One of the best things is, they have impedance of 22 Ohms which means you can enjoy audiophile-grade music right from your smartphone and when it comes to sound mixing you do not need any amp to drive these.
"For the price they sit at, HifiMan HE400S are cheapest and lightweight Planar Magnetic Headphones ever; however the sound they offer is highly critical and can help any sound engineer produce the right track with right punch."
#2: Shure SRH1440
I’m a big fan of Shure products as they provide quality products at legitimate price. From its earphones to headphones all are priced as per the features offered by them.
Coming to Shure SRH1440; we have here a terrifically good looking studio headphone. We usually don’t get to see such great design on studio headphones anymore.
- 40 mm neodymium drivers deliver full-range audio with rich, controlled bass
- Open-back, circumaural design for exceptionally natural sound, wide stereo image, and increased depth of field
- Impedance optimized for direct connection to wide range of portable audio devices
- Fully adjustable, premium padded headband with steel frame and sleek, ergonomic design for hours of listening comfort
- Oxygen-free copper cable with Kevlar reinforced jacket for superior performance and durability
With an open-back design, black industrial finish and comfortable Velour padding, these are headphones; one could die for.
Specifications wise they hold inside 40mm Neodymium drivers that can handle max input power of 1000mW. At a rated impedance of 37 Ohms the SRH1440 produce frequency response of 15Hz – 27kHz.
Out of the box they come in a hard matte-black finish shell that also includes Shure’s proprietary dual-exit detachable cable. The company has been generous enough to throw in extra earcups which Shure does on most of its headphones.
Sound wise they are critically flat with a roll off from low ends to mids and slight higher emphasis towards the highs which later fall down enabling one to get distortion free sound at high volumes.
"For the price Shure SRH1440 offers great sound quality and rugged built however the weight of 340 grams may come as an issue for long sessions of music mixing."
#1: Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro
Finally! Here’s we reveal ‘the’ Best Headphones for Music Production and that is the Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro.
Do make sure that the DT880 comes in 3 versions:
...A 32 Ohms version, 250 Ohms version and 600 Ohms version
The one I’m talking about is the 250 Ohms version and sadly to drive these headphones you’d need to invest in an amplifier/DAC to actually get better sound.
- Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro Professional Studio Headphones. Semi-open, diffuse-field studio headphone. Analytical sound.
- Comfortable fit due to rugged, adjustable, soft padded headband construction. Robust, easy serviceable construction as all parts are replaceable.
- Single-sided cable. Velour, circum-aural (around the ear) ear pads. Supplied in a nylon carrying case. Transmission type Wired. Headphone design (operating principle) Semi-open.
- Headphone design (operating principle) Semi-open. Headphone impedance 250 ohms. Headphone frequency response 5 - 35.000 Hz. Nominal sound pressure level 96 dB.
- Cable & plug Coiled connecting cable with mini-jack plug (3.5 mm) & ¼“ adapter (6.35 mm). Net weight without packaging 295 g.
Design wise they look gorgeous and the white velour padding makes them look like Cloud Pillows. They have a metal headband that is covered with a soft detachable faux pleather band.
One feature I’d do like to see on these one is detachable cable... however the company wasn’t generous enough to provide one at such a premium asking price.
These are an open back headphone just like the previously mentioned Shure SRH1440 and offer frequency response of 5 – 35,000 Hz.
If you look at its frequency response; one can easily see that these are most flat sounding as any headphone could ever get.
Just buy a amplifier/DAC with it and you’re good to go.