A good pair of Best headphones for mixing is entirely subjective, depending on what you intend to use them for. You won’t be producing to a professional standard if you don’t have good headphones for mixing music. You could be overlooking a lot of minor details.
Our studio headphones for mixing list is also tailored to different price points. While there is an element of “you get what you pay for,” some low-cost options are still quite good, as we will see.
Best Headphones for Mixing
1. Sennheiser HD 600
Best open-back headphones for mixing
These Sennheiser over-ear headphones are incredibly clear and set the standard for those who are serious about mixing.
Over-ear | Open-back design | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 300 Ohm | Weight: 9.17 oz (260g) | Cable length: 9.8 feet (3m) | Features:
- Reference for neutral sound
- Lifelike vocal rendition
- Comfortable fit with velour earpads
- Durable construction that is fully repairable
- Needs an amp for optimal performance
- Small soundstage
Audio quality that is clear and free of distortion. Sennheiser is a market leader in the price range that many music professionals in the audio world prefer. These are ideal for a professional musician or music producer.
These reference headphones are best suited to a studio engineer who is serious about mixing. Because of their high fidelity and flat response, they are ideal for working on professional mixes.
Furthermore, the frequency response is ideal for mixing any type of music, with no need to worry about an unbalanced sound. Another advantage of a good pair of open-back headphones is the spatial sound.
They are extremely comfortable due to their large ear cups and velour ear pads. They also come with a hard case for easier transportation. These high-end headphones perform best when paired with an amplifier (300 Ohms of impedance).
2. Audio-Technica ATH-R70x
Most perfectly neutral headphones Audio-Technica makes
The R70x are an excellent pair of headphones. They’re featherlight and have an interesting design.
Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 470 Ohm | Weight: 7.4 oz (210 g) | Cable length: 9.8ft (3m) | Features: Detachable cable
- Sound is detailed and neutral.
- Design is lightweight and comfortable.
- Users with smaller heads should not be accommodated.
These are Audio-efforts Technica’s to create their own HD 600, with excellent neutral frequency response. The audio quality of the R70x is smooth and airy, with tight bass frequencies and lush treble.
Despite their open-back design, they don’t have a particularly three-dimensional sound. Fortunately, the imaging remains strong.
Because R70x is primarily made of aluminum, they feel like you’re wearing nothing. They rest gently on your head, their entire weight supported by two wings.
The driver is clearly visible through a metallic mesh, which is very cool.
They have plush earpads that are comfortable against your skin, but because the ear cups don’t move, they aren’t suitable for users with smaller heads.
Because these high-impedance headphones have a higher resistance than other headphones (600 ohms), they require a powerful audio interface to be properly driven.
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3. Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro
Headphones designed to have an accurate sound with deep bass for mixing low frequencies
They’re a little pricey, but so is the sound quality.
Over-ear | Closed-back design | Noise cancellation: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 250 Ohm | Weight: 13.7 oz (388g) | Cable length: 9.7ft (3m) | Features: Detachable cable
- Detailed audio
- Bass response that is controlled
- Fit is comfortable.
- Can be a little sibilant.
They produce a detailed sound throughout the frequency range, with tight, controlled bass performance.
They’re less sibilant at higher volumes than some other Beyerdynamic headphones, so they’re also suitable for casual listening.
These are high-end headphones with excellent build quality that should withstand a harsh studio environment. They are packaged in a tough, hard shell carrying case.
Velour earpads are well-padded and extremely comfortable, so you won’t have to worry about aching ears. The cable is detachable and of high quality, but it employs a unique connector. They’re relatively simple to drive, though plugging them into a headphone amp is still the best option.
4. AKG K702
Best mixing headphones around $200
Here is the first of two AKG over-ear headphones on our list. This is a good, sturdy alternative to the other products on this list due to the excellent Austrian design and manufacture.
Over-ear | Open-back design | Noise cancellation: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 62 Ohm | Weight: 8.3 oz (235g) | Cable length: 9.8 feet (3m) | Features: Detachable cable
- The frequency response is flat.
- With velour earpads, it’s extremely comfortable.
- The earpads and cable could be made more durable.
It’s ideal for high-end mixing in a crowded studio. Mids, highs, and lows are flat and fairly accurate, which is ideal for quality production.
AKG is still pushing the envelope. They included a patented two-layer diaphragm for an improved high-frequency range. This provides a great deal of clarity in the high-end.
It includes detachable cables that fit both 3.5mm and 6.3mm connections. The ear pads are both comfortable and replaceable if they become worn or tattered.
They don’t boost the bass, which isn’t ideal for listening to hardcore trance, but it’s ideal for mixing and mastering, making these some of the best headphones for mixing and mastering.
There’s also a fantastic AKG K 701 option created in collaboration with Quincy Jones, a well-known name in the music industry.
5. Sennheiser HD 560 S
Best mixing headphones for less than $200
An HD 600 with a larger soundstage at a lower price.
Over-ear | Open-back design | Noise cancellation: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 120 Ohm | Weight: 8.46 oz (260g) | Cable length: n/a | Features: E.A.R. tech
Excellent neutral sound
- A large soundstage
- Earpads made of velour
- Cable is detachable.
- Occasionally sibilant
In terms of audio quality, these headphones are an extension of the HD 6xx lineup. They have a wonderful flat sound with a slightly brighter treble and a large soundstage.
Except for the metallic mesh that protects the drivers, the HD 560 S is entirely made of plastic.
Because of this, as well as the large earpads, they are extremely lightweight and extremely comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
The included cable terminates in a 6.3mm jack, and a 3.5mm adapter is included. The cable can also be removed.
Although the impedance is moderately high (120 ohms), you can drive them to loud sound pressure levels using your computer or smartphone. They will, of course, sound better with a proper amp.
6. Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO
Best open-back headphones for less than $200
Beyerdynamic produces headphones with crisp sound quality, and the DT 880 Pro model is a very solid choice for a great soundstage on a relatively low budget.
Over-ear | Semi-open back design | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 250 Ohm | Weight: 10.4 oz (295g) | Cable length: 9.8 feet (3m) | Features:
- High build quality
- Excellent midrange clarity
- A large soundstage
- A sound signature that is close to neutral
- Can become sibilant
They are ideal for mixing and mastering due to their large soundstage and low harmonic distortion. Because of their flat sound signature, they are also popular among audiophiles.
The Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro headphones have many professional features that make them ideal for studio use. They are comfortable, with a soft headband and sturdy ear cups, and have a 250-ohm impedance, making them suitable for studio mixing. All of the parts are also replaceable.
These headphones have a clear, flat frequency response, excellent mid-range clarity, and many engineers swear by them for mixing vocals.
They come with a standard 3.5mm coil, as well as a 6.3mm adapter.
7. AKG K245
Best mixing headphones for less than $100
The K240’s successor, with improved technical performance and a foldable design.
Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 10.4 oz (295g) | Cable length: 16.4 feet (5m) | Features: Foldable, detachable cable
Excellent audio quality
- Design that folds
- Cable replacement
- The treble is a little too smooth.
- Replacement earpads are required for maximum comfort.
The sound is analytical in the same way that the K240 is, but it goes further in terms of technicalities. The bass response, in particular, sounds more dynamic and well-defined. Because of the smooth treble, the soundstage is small this time.
They have a very comfortable fit, but it depends on the size of your ears. Users with smaller ears should be fine, while others may experience discomfort. Replacing the earpads with larger, plusher ones should solve the problem.
Aside from that, the construction is extremely light due to the use of mostly plastic. AKG even made the K245 foldable by employing a patented folding headphone design.
Furthermore, if the cable becomes damaged, it is simple to replace. It’s worth noting that it employs AKG’s proprietary mini-XLR port.
8. Sony MDR-7506
Fantastic headphones for mixing under $100
Trusted and versatile headphones for critical listening (for detecting errors in the mix).
Over-ear | Closed-back design | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 63 Ohm | Weight: 8.1 oz (229g) | Cable length: 9.8 feet (3m) | Features: Foldable
- Sound that is precise and powerful
- Design that is lightweight and foldable
- Long cable suitable for studio work
- Good noise isolation
- Fits well on larger heads.
- Cable is not detachable.
- The foldable design is a little flimsy.
They have a nice clear midrange and a well-balanced sound throughout the bass. They can, however, be a little harsh in the high frequencies.
While not ideal for casual listening, it does highlight details and errors in a recording. For many years, audio engineers and technicians have relied on the MDR-7506 as a reliable pair of headphones. They aren’t particularly flashy or practical for commuting, owing to their long, coiled cable.
With a foldable ear cup design and included carrying pouch, they’re still quite portable. Headphones are relatively light in weight and can accommodate most head sizes. The earpads aren’t the thickest on the market, but they should be comfortable for a couple of hours of use.
9. AKG K371
Best mastering headphones that are also suitable for commuting. One of the best examples of Harman curve tuning in closed-back headphones that performs admirably across all genres.
Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 8.9oz (255g) | Cable length: 1.2m & 3m | Features: Removable cable, mini-XLR connector, foldable
- Excellent audio quality
- Earpads that are comfortable
- Design that folds
- Excellent build quality
- Cable is detachable.
- using a proprietary connector
- Audio purists may find it too bassy/warm.
Given that AKG is owned by the Samsung and Harman groups, it stands to reason that their headphones will use the Harman house curve.
This tuning best represents the sound of a natural listening experience, and none does it better than the K371. AKG increased the bottom end to make them more appealing to a broader audience.
It does not end there. The build quality is outstanding, with a metallic construction and a satisfying foldable mechanism. Long-lasting comfort is ensured by the over-ear design and thick earpads.
One minor niggle is that, while the cable is detachable, it uses a proprietary mini-XLR port (assuming you want to buy a new one). If you prefer Bluetooth headphones, the AKG K371BT is also available.
10. Samson SR850
Best mixing headphones that you can get at a reasonable price
These cheap studio monitors should do the trick if you’re looking for the best budget-friendly option that can be controlled via a smartphone and sounds good.
Over-ear | Semi-open back design | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 9.7 oz (276g) | Cable length: 98.4 inch (2.5m) | Features:
- Excellent sound for the price.
- Construction is light.
- Durability is adequate.
- The box includes a 6.3mm adapter.
- The all-plastic construction appears cheap.
- Comfort and fit are below average.
- Noise isolation is poor.
In today’s headphone market, there aren’t many audio consumer products like this. Neodymium drivers produce a dynamic sound with punchy bass and natural frequency response.
Treble frequencies are slightly more pronounced, giving the sound signature a brighter appearance. The soundstage is also quite large, but this does not detract from the overall stereo image.
They are also among the best studio headphones.
They’re entirely made of plastic, with even the headband and earpads feeling slightly stiffer to the touch. It’s not a particularly appealing design.
Fortunately, because of their low clamping force, these should be comfortable. If you want to improve overall comfort, try some AKG earpads, which have a similar size.
Keep in mind that these are semi-open, providing an open listening experience with minimal sound leakage.
Why Are These the Best Headphones for Mixing and Mastering?
In our headphones selection, we chose the best models with the features you need to mix and master like a pro. When it comes to production, you should look for headphones that don’t muddy the mix. So forget about noise cancellation or Bluetooth headphones.
A frequency boost will change the way you mix, which means the mix will be less balanced when someone listens on different or better headphones. For example, you could overcompensate for missing frequencies.
Comfort is another feature that can be very useful. Long sessions will almost certainly necessitate the use of cans. Memory foam or other comfortable material around the ears will aid in this, particularly if you wear glasses.
Naturally, if you’re spending a lot of money on headphones, you’ll want something that will last and provide the best value for money. When properly cared for, the best headphones can last for many years.
You might also want some extra features. Replaceable cords are useful for some people, and if you travel a lot, you might want to look for folding headphones that can fit in a bag.
Should You Choose Open or Closed Back Headphones for Mixing?
Instead of being tight and pressing on your eardrums, open-back headphones have a much better sound stage and provide a nicer acoustic sound.
Closed-backs are intended to cancel out external noises. While this is great for listening in crowded places, it doesn’t do the best job of reproducing natural sound.
In general, we recommend open-back headphones for mixing. They produce a more balanced sound than many closed-back options. Sound isolation is useful, but it isn’t the top priority for mixing (sound leakage is only a problem when monitoring/recording).
How are Headphones For Mixing Different from Recording Headphones?
Most people in recording studios use closed-back headphones to record (monitoring). This isolates sound from other sources (such as other instruments in the room) and gives the audio engineer complete control over the audio signal sent to the headphones.
A closed-back design is also less likely to allow audio to “bleed” through to the microphone. It could mean you’re recording things like backing tracks from your headphones on top of a clean vocal track.
FAQs About Best Headphones for Mixing
Are headphones good for mixing?
Professional studio speakers are the best way to mix because they better represent how sound will behave in a room while also providing a good representation of the soundstage.
If you can’t afford a large recording studio or playing music loudly, headphones are the next best thing. When properly tuned, they can reproduce what you would hear with a great pair of speakers.
What volume should I be mixing at?
You probably spend a lot of time listening to music while mixing. As a result, you must take every precaution to protect your hearing. Keep the volume as low as 60dB when mixing sounds and take frequent breaks. Only when reviewing minor EQ changes, increase the volume slightly (up to 90db) to hear the difference.
What kind of headphones should I use for mixing?
Sennheiser HD 600, AKG K702, and Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO are examples of well-known headphone models with neutral sound signatures. Sennheiser HD 400 PRO or HD 560 S, as well as AKG K245, are less expensive options.
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