Studio Recording headphones are for the artist that will be hearing the audio, through the headphones, while performing. This means recording headphones should deliver a well-balanced sound and not leak much so that there is no sound leakage being recorded by the studio microphone. Below are our recommendations for the best studio recording headphones we have tested so far.
Best Studio Recording Headphones $300+
Headphones for studio recording in this price range have minimal leakage and a sturdy build. They're durable, comfortable and have a good bass, mid and treble sound quality. Although some great performing headphones for studio recording are wireless, a wired connection is usually preferred.
The Harman/Kardon NC are well-crafted, well-rounded headphones that sound good and are incredibly comfortable. They have a durable build and barely leak any sound, which is great for recording. However, their audio reproduction is slightly bass heavy, and they're also a bit pricey.
The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 are great-looking headphones with a sturdy, durable design and a rich and balanced audio reproduction. They're surprisingly quiet, barely leaking any sound even at high volumes, which is ideal for recording. However, they're a little pricey for what they have to offer.
Best Studio Recording Headphones $150 to $300
In this price range, studio recording headphones have a durable design but do not use as premium quality materials in their build as the higher-end models. They're decently comfortable and provide a great and balanced sound. They also don't leak much but will be slightly more audible than the more expensive headphones on this list.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are great sounding studio headphones. They have an exceptional and well-balanced sound that will cater well to all genres. They leak a little at high volumes but will give you an accurate audio reproduction for all tracks.
Best Studio Recording Headphones $75 to $150
The headphones in this price range may not be specifically designed for studio recording. However, their great leakage performance combined with good design and sound quality result in well-rounded headphones that also excel at studio recording.
The Sony MDR-7506 have a simple and straightforward over-ear design with a good sound and very low leakage. This makes them great headphones to record with as they deliver an accurate audio reproduction and won't leak into your recorded tracks. They're lightweight and decently comfortable to wear for hours. However, they're not the most well-built or durable headphones.
The Polk Audio UltraFocus 8000 deliver a good, even sound quality at an affordable price and don't leak too much. They're comfortable and durable enough for continuous and repeated studio use. This makes them ideal for a recording environment. Unfortunately, they require batteries to work and will cease to play audio once they're out of power, unlike some of the active headphones on this list.
Best Studio Recording Headphones below $75
Studio recording headphones in this price range are typically not as durable as the other higher-end models. They also may not be designed for the specific purpose of recording. However, they're not too pricey, they have decent leakage performance and a satisfactory audio reproduction.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x are very affordable studio headphones. They are not as well built as the higher-end models of the ATH-M series. However, they have a nice balanced sound and don't leak much at moderate volumes. They also perform slightly better in sound than the pricier M20x for studio recording.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best studio recording headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
A few examples of studio recording headphones that didn't make the cut:
- Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless. Good sound and minimal leakage in a wireless design. Very pricey for what they have to offer. See our review
- Bose QuietComfort 20. Minimal leakage and decent sound reproduction. They're comfortable but a little too bass heavy. See our review
- Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear II. Minimal leakage and decent sound reproduction. They're comfortable but a little too bass heavy. See our review
- Plantronics Backbeat Pro. Comfortable and sturdy build. Good sound quality but leaky at higher volumes. See our review
- Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear. Good sound, minimal leakage, and comfortable. The earbud fit is not for everyone and they might not be durable enough for repeated studio use. See our review
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for studio recording headphones. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no perfect studio recording headphone. Personal taste, preference and recording requirements will matter more in your selection.