Best Studio Headphones 2020 – Buying Guide and Reviews

Whether you’re a professional DJ or a music producer or simply a music fan, you can never go wrong with studio headphones. These headphones are often over-the-ear type where you can create a wider soundstage and get a better sense of the sound direction.

These are the perfect partner to have when you want to reproduce high-resolution, clear sounds. Studio headphones can make your audio quality go from low to drastically high! They can truly amp up your home studio into a more professional space.

What Makes The Best Studio Headphones?

As a true audiophile or a professional audio engineer, you’d want only the best studio headphones. These headphones provide you with the best quality audio. They are used by studio managers, audio engineers, musicians, and even enthusiasts!

However, with so many studio headphones on the market, how do you choose the best one? Since these are available in all shapes and sizes, we understand why you might end up getting overwhelmed. We’ve compiled a buying guide to help to make an informed decision and choose only the best studio headphones for yourself.

What Makes the Best Studio Headphones

1. Driver Size

The driver, as its name suggests, is the main driving force behind your headphones, It converts the electric signal into the sound that you hear. The size fo the driver directly indicates the resolution and quality of the sound. The larger the driver, the more power and higher resolution the sound will be.

2. Frequency Range

All headphones have a frequency range under which they perform and respond the best. This represents how capable they are in accurately reproducing sounds from bass to treble. We recommend you choose a headphone with a higher range. If the range is 5 Hz to 45000 Hz, this means the headphones accurately respond to 5Hz bass sounds and 45000 Hz treble sounds.

3. Ear Design

Another factor to consider is the ear design. Most headphones are either open ear or closed ear. Closed ear headphones allow for better sound isolation. No one else can hear what you are hearing. However, it tends to produce audio with a smaller soundstage.

The Open end headphones on the other end allow sound to get in and out. This means that anyone can hear your audio and you can hear outside noise. However, there is a bright side to it as well. This creates a wider soundstage where you can experience more natural, clear, and crisp sounds.

4. Comfort and Ergonomics

Another huge factor is comfort and ergonomics. Most studio headphones are over the ear headphones. However, these can be tighter and would put a lot of pressure on your head. Ensure that the fit isn’t too tight or you could end up with ear fatigue. Also, ensure that the ear pads are pad for softer material so they don’t dig into your head.


Top 10 Best Studio Headphones 2020

ProductsWeightCollapsible
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x10.1 ozYes
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x8.5 ozYes
AKG K240STUDIO Semi-Open8.5 ozNo
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x6.7 ozNo
LyxPro HAS-3010.5 ozYes
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO16 ozNo
AKG K702 Reference Class28.8 ozNo
OneOdio Adapter-Free DJ Headphones5 ozYes
Monolith M56540 ozYes
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro24 ozNo

1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones Review

The Audio Technica Studio M50x Headphones are a pair of high-end, over the ear headphones designed to deliver high-quality sounds. The studio headphones are equipped with large-aperture drivers, about 45 mm. We found that all construction materials used are of the highest quality including the rare earth magnets and the copper clad aluminum wire.

The high-quality materials are extremely efficient in delivering exceptional clarity throughout a wider frequency range. What this means for you is that you can play sounds of all kinds without noticing any imbalance. We loved how accurate and deep the bass response was. The sound was quite accurately reproduced.

Apart from that, we found the earphones to be quite comfortable and ergonomic. The earcups can swivel 90 degrees which allow for one-ear monitoring. The best part is that these headphones are collapsible which makes them easier to travel with.

However, we did find that they didn’t block as much noise as they should. A person standing next to us could easily hear what we were listening to.  Plus, we found that straight out of the box, these headphones tended to be pretty tight. After some time, we noticed that the fake leather started peeling off and made quite a mess.

Overall, if its clarity and comfort you want, you could not go wrong with these!

Positive

  • High-quality construction material.
  • Clarity across a large frequency range.
  • Accurate bass response.
  • Ergonomic and comfortable ear cups.
  • Portable and can be used for one ear monitoring.

Negative

  • Tight headphones.
  • Do not block noise as much.
  • The fake leather padding can start peeling off.

2. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones review

Another set of high-end studio headphones from Audio Technica, the M40x is quite similar to the M50x in its features and look. However, the M40x does have a relatively smaller driver at 40 mm. The difference is minimal and the M40x delivers the same clarity and accurate sounds the M50x does.

Moreover, the M40x features a quite robust and sturdy construction which grants it better durability. The construction materials are the same high quality as the M50x. Also included in these over the ear headphones are a circumaural design which fits the contours of your ears perfectly. This allows noise to be better isolated, especially in loud environments.

We found this unit to be quite comfortable as well. The ear cups can swivel 90 degrees out, however, they can only do a 15 degree in swivel. This makes it easier for one ear monitoring. The M40x is quite portable as well. It can easily collapse to fit into your bag.

Although we understand that a sufficient clamping force is required to ensure no audio leaks, we still find these to be too tight. Most glasses wearers find these to be a bit uncomfortable. We also thought that the Bluetooth connectivity was sort of flimsy and audio cracked a lot due to this issue.

Positive

  • Better sound isolation.
  • Allow for one-ear monitoring.
  • Comfortable and ergonomic ear cups.
  • Durable ear pads and headband material.
  • Portable and high quality.

Negative

  • Tight fitted.
  • Shoddy Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Not suited for folks who wear glasses.

3. AKG K240STUDIO

AKG K240STUDIO Semi-Open Studio Headphones review

The AKG Semi-Open Studio headphones are a classic design aimed to deliver notably high volumes with clear and crisp sounds. The professional studio headphones feature a semi-open air design to allow for a more natural sound quality. We were pleased to note that these over the ear headphones were mostly comfortable and ergonomic.

Due to their semi-open design, the fit was much looser. So folks with glasses could easily wear it without facing any hindrances. We found that these headphones delivered clarity to a large band of frequencies from 15 Hz to about 25000 Hz.

We loved the flexible and adjustable headband that allowed for a better fit. The steel cable construction, as well as the professional quality audio, render it reliable specifically in professional studio applications. Moreover, the AKG delivers solid bass, well-balanced mids, and striking highs!

However, we did find that the sound tended to leak out with these as they are semi-open. So,  a lot of noise tends to frequently intrude upon your high-quality audio experience. The cord that came with it was quite flimsy as well and broke in a few days. However, we didn’t complain too much as they are easily replaceable.

Positive

  • Ergonomic and comfortable design.
  • Clear highs, mids, and solid bass.
  • Durable and sturdy.
  • Supports a larger band of frequencies.
  • Lightweight and adjustable.

Negative

  • No noise isolation.
  • Flimsy cord.
  • Bulkier in size.

4. Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones review

The M20x from Audio Technica is a pair of reliable and premium quality headphones best used for mixing and tracking. Quite like their other headphones, these are over the ear as well. They feature a circumaural design that contours around the ears for a more comfortable fit. The design also ensures better audio isolation.

The M20x works well with lower frequencies and has a range of 15 Hz to 20000 Hz. What’s more is the cutting-edge engineering that makes these the most durable headphones you will encounter. Moreover, it offers a convenient single side cable exit that allows for more professional applications.

However, we found that the headphones could only swivel to 15 degrees in both directions. This meant that we could not monitor them using a single ear. Furthermore, the headphones, unlike the M50x and M40x were not collapsible. Not a major negative point, but still worth pointing out!

The headband is adjustable though, you can easily fix them to your head. The overall sound quality is quite excellent with better EQ clarity. These offer a true and neutral sound where the bass is balanced as well.

Positive

  • Comfortable fit.
  • Isolates the sound and noise.
  • Durable and sturdy.
  • Better EQ Clarity.
  • Works well with a low-frequency

Negative

  • Only swivels to 15 degrees.
  • Not portable.
  • The cable is fixed.

5. LyxPro HAS-30

LyxPro HAS-30 Closed Back Over-Ear Professional Recording Headphones review

Whether you’re looking to mix tracks in your studio or just something to listen to music with, the LyxPro HAS-30 will definitely catch your eye. These attractive looking headphones feature a premium leather band and the most comfortable ear cups to make it easier for you to listen without the fear of fatigue.

What we absolutely love about these is the foldable design that makes it easy to carry around. The removable cables, included with the device, ensure a distortion-free, clear audio. What’s truly unique about these headphones is that they can rotate to 180 degrees!

If you thought the M50x had a large driver, you’ll be blown away by the 50mm driver on this one. This allows the headphones to support a high-frequency range of up to 26 KHz. The audio reproduced is quite true to the original audio.

On the other hand, we did notice that it tended to distort the lower tones to a more chunky sound. Plus, the bass response was just average with these. It left us quite underwhelmed. While we liked the long cord, we feel that it may too long for some users’ taste and would just get in the way.

Positive

  • Supports a high-frequency
  • Comfortable and replaceable ear cups.
  • Allow 180-degree
  • Foldable and durable design.
  • Clear and crisp audio with noise isolation.

Negative

  • Distorted lower tones.
  • Cord maybe too long.
  • Mediocre bass response.

6. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm

beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Studio Headphone review

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Studio headphones are quite popular amongst professionals and enthusiasts alike. These closed over the ear headphones are perfect for recording, monitoring or just some home entertainment. We honestly found them to produce high-resolution audio.

The DT 770 is equipped with circumaural, replaceable and velour earpads which make them much more comfortable to wear. Unlike others where you have to worry about untangling the cables, these come with a single-sided cable which is quite easy to handle.

The most notable feature was perhaps the high-frequency response range from 5 Hz to 35000 Hz! Moreover, the bass reflex technology equipped with these headphones ensure a super low-frequency reproduction! The durable headband ensures a comfortable, yet still not loose fit!

However, we did notice that these often need an amplifier to increase the loudness of the sound. Apart from that, they tend to leak as well in terms of sound. In addition, these tend to look bulkier.

Positive

  • Perfect for all applications.
  • Support extremely high-frequency
  • Single-sided cable so you don’t have to untangle it.
  • Premium bass quality.
  • Comfortable fit.

Negative

  • Leak audio.
  • Loudness is quite low.
  • Cable cannot be detached.

7. AKG K702

AKG K702 Reference Class Studio Headphones review

If you thought there was a limit to how well a pair of headphones can perform, then prepare to be astounded by the AKG K702. The K702 is equipped with sophisticated open technology that allows for clearer and crisper sounds without any distortions. Of course, it does result in minimum sound isolation, but the back end design ensures more accurate audio.

The product is equipped with a patented Varimotion two-layer diaphragm that allows for the higher frequency range. What this means for a music producer is that these will perform much better at lower frequencies.

The ear foams are specifically designed for optimum comfort and ease at the user’s comfort. Since these are open design, they do not need to be tightly fitted which should be a relief to glasses-wearers. Also included are two detachable cables (one coiled and one straight) that can be used to connect the headphones with your device.

Of course, the open end design does come with consequences! The AKG K702 tends to leak a lot of sounds. Most users, like us, noted that the bass response was quite lacking. Plus, the parts seem to be plastic, which raises questions about its durability.

Positive

  • Comfortable and easy to wear.
  • Performs much better at lower frequencies.
  • Include detachable cables.
  • Minimal distortion.
  • Larger soundstage.

Negative

  • Minimum sound isolation.
  • Lacking bass.
  • Not very durable.

8. OneOdio Adapter

OneOdio Adapter-Free DJ Headphones review

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, then the OneOdio DJ Headphones will do the trick for you! These make use of Japanese technology to deliver professional quality sound! The large driver units, about 50 mm, ensure highly accurate mid to high sounds with noise isolation.

With the perfect performance, they deliver maximum comfort as well. The memory foam earmuffs ensure that all pressure on your ears is easily dispersed. The soft leather headband imparts durability and sturdiness to the unit.

The earcups on this unit can be easily swiveled in both directions which allow for single side monitoring. However, that’s not all! The earcups can be flipped upwards and folded to fit your bag or a carrying case. This makes them easy to travel with! These headphones are ideal for all sorts of applications including studio productions, newsroom monitoring and even listening to music at home.

However, we did find that although the bass was there, it was certainly lacking in the lower intensity areas. The cord length was only 2-3 feet which is quite short when compared to the other units. They also tend to be a little tighter at the beginning. But, if you’re willing to ride them out, they will adjust to your head and get looser.

Positive

  • Single side monitoring is possible.
  • Portable and easy to travel with.
  • Durable and sturdy.
  • Earcups are quite comfortable.
  • Deliver highly accurate sounds in the mid-low range

Negative

  • Short cord length.
  • Bass tended to lack in the lower areas.
  • Tight fit.

9. Monolith M565

Monolith M565 Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones review

The Monolith M565 clearly stands head and shoulders above other headphones due to its high-quality sounds and accuracy. The most remarkable feature is perhaps the extra-large 66mm driver as well as the open back design. This ensures a live listening experience that sounds truer to the original audio.

The monolith’s driver is responsible for delivering audio with minimum distortion, better bass as well as pinpoint imaging for a better sense of direction. Included for comfort, are two large earpads made of faux leather. This ensures you can work in the studio for a long time without facing ear fatigue.

However, the earcups are easily removable so you can pack them up and travel with them as well. These create the perfect audio landscape that stays true to the original recording. They are responsive to a large range of frequencies from 10 Hz to 45000 Hz!

We did find that these tended to get a little too warm so we ended up sweating a couple of minutes into listening. We also thought the design and the build were quite un-durable. The ear cups are wood of wood, so we can’t expect them to last too long. Plus, the carrying case was too big to carry around with ease.

Positive

  • Extra large driver for clearer sounds.
  • Better bass quality.
  • Ergonomic ear pads.
  • Accurate sound quality.
  • Responds to a large range of frequencies.

Negative

  • Earpads get too warm.
  • Unsturdy and non-durable build.
  • Carrying case is too big to be practical.

10. Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro

beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro review

Another reliable product from Beyerdynamic, the DT 1990 Pro headphones are as attractive as they are functional. These open studio reference headphones are perfectly suited for mixing and remastering audios of all kinds. The 45 mm Tesla driver ensures you get only the clearest and highest resolution sounds.

Precise bass, detailed mids as well as shrill highs all contribute to the best audio experience of your life. The open back design ensures a more natural stereo sound that is well-balanced.

Apart from the sound quality, these headphones are extremely comfortable to wear as well. The high-tech textiles and the memory foam ear pads ensure your ears are never tired or squished. Plus, these earcups are replaceable as well. The package comes with two types of ear pads, one for well-balanced sounds and the other for analytical sound tuning. So, you can choose between these two sound characteristics by simply switching the two.

However, we did find that these tended to be a little more complicated and confusing to use. Apart from that, these headphones certainly had a bit too much treble. They were much brighter sounding. Plus, with open end design, you’d expect a looser fit. However, these had a strong clamping force.

Positive

  • High resolution, clear sounds.
  • Two different sound characteristics available.
  • Precise bass and high-quality EQ response.
  • Comfortable and replaceable earcups.
  • Well-balanced audio.

Negative

  • Complicated to use.
  • Too much treble.
  • Stronger clamping force.

Conclusion

All in all, these best studio headphones are perfectly suited for any kind of occasion, whether you’re performing as a DJ or just listening to high-quality music! Their high-quality sounds and crisp bass are any audiophile’s dreams! They grant you a musical experience of a lifetime! Ready to get your own pair? Choose your noble steed wisely!

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