If you want to start an argument in a music forum….

Start with the phrase, the best Studio headphones for mixing are…

And then fill in the blank with the brand that you use

Wait a couple of days until the moderators of the form shut the thread down to further commenting


Been there done that a few times

So I will try not to take sides to heavily in this debate

Basically, headphones are categorized into two different areas

1) closed-back headphones which are typically used for tracking

2) open-back headphones which are typically used for mixing

The most prominent features here are the fact that closed-back headphones have better sound isolation while open-back headphones tend to have better sound in general

Let’s get to the list

The six best closed-back headphones for recording tracks

1) Sennheiser HD280 Pro

I think headphones from Joe Rogan podcast and you’ll have nailed it

Probably the most commonly use tracking headphone in the industry

Granted, they’re not the best looking nor the best sounding headphones but for the price, I think it’s tough to beat

Click here to compare prices

2) Sony MDR 7506

Probably the closest competitor to the HD2 80s

Sony is a legendary company that produces solid quality just about everything they make

These headphones are no exception

They have a slightly better feel then the HD2 80s, they’re in the same price range, durable, and provide just as much sound isolation

If you look at the reviews from others online he will find approximately the same sentiments

Click here to compare prices

3) Extreme Isolation EX 29

I guess when you name your headphones extreme isolation people should expect that they do exactly that

Give maximum sound isolation

These headphones were designed by a drummer and intended for that specific use

They were designed to mimic industrial use hearing protection

They have 29 decibels of noise suppression which is a pretty respectable number

Even though other headphones boast sound suppression numbers Justice High, from personal experience and I’m not alone in this regard, you will find that they isolate sound better than any of the competition

The reason for this….

It really comes down to how we measure to attain those numbers

Well most of the tests done on headphones are done at a single frequency these headphones block extremely well at all frequencies which is what distinguishes them from the competition

They are extremely ugly but if your priority is isolation then ugly don’t count

Click here to check out prices

Next on the list

4) Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

So far all the headphones that we’ve been reviewing cost around $100

These particular headphones cost over twice that

But wait, there’s a damn good reason

In terms of comfort and sound quality that beyerdynamic with their German design are tough to beat

Anything this company put so generally tends to blow the competition away and these are no

I’m slightly partial because they only headphones I use in my studio or beyerdynamics

Trust me when I say I didn’t make this Choice lightly

Much of my mixing and recording is necessarily done on headphones so I made sure to get ones that I really enjoy listening to and wearing

Anyting beyerdynamic gets the nod

Check out their prices here

5) Focal Spirit Pro

Cheaper closed-back headphones are a huge compromise

Unless of course you spend a little more money

Sometimes you can have both good sound quality and good sound isolation

In the focal Spirits you get exactly that

All the things you would expect from a pair of closed-back headphones with sound quality almost as good as high-end open-back models

These headphones sport memory foam padding which molds comfortably to your head and seals up any gaps that loud noise in and out

See for yourself and I think you’ll be very impressed

Click here to compare prices

6) Shure SRH 1540

Although these headphones look like they have an open back design they are a closed-back

Probably the closest thing you will come to in terms of reference-quality sound from a pair of closed-back headphones

Probably the most attractive looking headphones on the list

In a strange sense you can almost tell how comfortable they are by looking at them

And you would be right

Do they sound as great as they look

If you read reviews on these headphones you will see that most agree that all of the above is true

If someone asked me for my recommendation for the best of the best in a closed-back headphone it would be the Shure

Click here to check out some prices

We’ve covered all the clothes back options so let’s check out the open-back options

The 7 best open-back headphones for mixing in a home studio

One of the unfortunate negative side effects of closed-back headphones is that as sound isolation increases sound quality off and goes down

This is fine for recording tracks when isolation is a high priority

There are a few situations, however, where sound quality is more of a priority

1) when you are recording an instrument Direct

2) when you are mixing tracks

Although mixing is far preferably done on studio monitors

Nowadays with people recording on the move and recording in home Studios where loud volume may be a detriment

Good open-back headphones can be a real game-changer even though they are a compromise for mixing

Given enough time you can learn to compensate for some of the factors that lock in headphones

The primary problem will be identifying spatial cues since headphones are very close to the ear

You can always check these elements of your mix later on open monitors

Let’s get to the headphone shall we

1) Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro

These are the headphones that I have been mixing on for 10 years

Having tried over a dozen models I finally settled on the beyerdynamic DT 990

Ironically, I found that their frequency range closely matches my studio monitors

The Adam a7x

I would argue that these headphone stand up in sound quality to headphones three times their price

Some of the best features include

Extremely wide frequency range

Very solid base presence

Super comfortable fit

Trust me, when I say that comfortable fit is a really big deal

Uncomfortable headphones can really cramp your style if you are as fanatical as I am about spending hours and hours in the mix room

You will never have a problem with the beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro

Click here and be surprised at the prices

2) AKG K 701

Once Upon a Time AKG k1000 were considered the best headphones in the world

Commonly considered by audio files to be of such renown

The new AKG k701 have picked up where the k1000 left off

With some updated technology to boot

For example

The k1000 is use a flat wire coil technology and so do the K701’s

This provides for a better low frequency sound and allows them to be driven by lower power amplifiers

According to the legendary producer Quincy Jones these headphones have the best sound of any headphones he’s ever heard

As a result, the company created a signature pair have the same headphones

The AKG Q701

Check out some prices here

If you thought the last couple headphones were expensive wait till you check out this bunch

3) AKG K240

If you’re starting out on a low budget then you cannot beat the AKG k240

Just One Look….

And you will be blown away to find out that they cost less than $100

These headphones fit into what I would call the semi-open design

A modification, or hybrid of the two models closed back and open back

These headphones would occupy the rare genre of being effective for both recording and mixing

Probably one of the few options at this price that can live up to these promises

Check out some prices here

Also see an updated version of the AKG k240 Mark II

Next up we have a second option of semi open headphones

4) Samson SR850

It may be hard to imagine but….

It is possible to deliver high-end quality at a price point under $50

The Samson sr850 definitely live up to this claim

You won’t hear them talked about much among the recording and mixing

Not sure why that is

But, if you are a little low on money and want something of decent quality these will fit the

Click here to check out prices

5) Shure SRH 1840

Ever listen to a really good pair of headphones, I mean a really good pair

There’s something about this experience that is extremely unique

Especially when you listen to something as good as the sheer srh1840

You just know when you’re hearing Great Sound and these headphones have great sound

Audio files have considered these and Industry standard for many years and are a very safe bet for those looking for really high-end list at a respectable price

Speaking of prices check here

Now for a real ear opener

6) Sennheiser HD 650

Just about as good as it gets terms of a headphone

Would be the Sennheiser hd650

Considered by many to be the creme-de-la-creme of headphones

Simply check out the reviews these headphones cat if you don’t believe me

it would be easy to criticize these headphones since they’re so expensive

Yet somehow, we don’t see that kind of criticism

Probably one of the best sounding and most comfortable headphones you will ever wear

Check out their prices here

Now for the grand finale of monster Studio headphones

7) Sennheiser HD 800

Legendary is the word that comes to mind when speaking of the Sennheiser HD 800

It began with the HD600

Progressed on to the HD650

Later can’t be HD700

And not satisfied with this progression, they went to the drawing board one more time to create the Sennheiser HD 800

Although not as well-known yet I suspect these will pass that hd650 in terms of reputation soon

Despite their ridiculously high price point they still get a shocking number of really top-notch reviews from satisfied customers

Many of these were views come from people who have upgraded from the hd650

Believe it or not the overwhelming consensus is that the hd800 completely blow them away

If you have deep pockets and what the absolute best then this is my recommendation

Click here to check out the ridiculously high prices