When you're working in the studio, reliability is key. You need your mixes to be 100% accurate and authentic. In order to accomplish this, you need to have the best equipment at your disposal. Headphones that are specifically designed for mixing will be a huge aid for you in the refinement process. If you live in a place where blasting through the studio monitors isn't always an option, a pair of headphones for mixing can provide preserved sanity for everyone you live with.
Mixing headphones can also be beneficial because they allow you to have an extra frame of reference. Most people listen to music using headphones today. Therefore, you're going to need your music to sound as good in a pair of headphones as it does on speakers. Sometimes, a mix will come through differently on monitors than it will in headphones, so it's important to know how your work is coming across.
Since you want to get the best bang for your buck, we've created a list of the 10 best headphones for mixing in 2023. As you read on, you'll find our buyers guide! We'll knock out a few factors that are important when purchasing the best pair of headphones for mixing.
Designed with the studio in mind, OneOdio has created these closed-back headphones to deliver a supremely accurate sound. The powerful bass response, clear mid, and shimmering highs will come through 50mm drivers, delivering Hifi sound quality. When you're mixing, you need to be able to wear your studio headphones for hours on end without a break. These headphones are extra comfortable; each headphone has soft ear pads that will feel like a cloud against your ears.
With shareport technology, you can hook up two different sets of headphones. This means your co-engineer or the musician can listen to the playback at the same time. These closed back headphones are foldable for easy storage. The earcups rotate 90 degrees if you want to have single-ear listening for isolated sounds.
Why We Liked It - These are a great set of reliable, high-quality, closed back headphones. They will sound as good as you would need them to in order to produce the best sound possible. With all-day comfort, you will be happy to have them on for an entire session.
These closed back headphones will deliver high-quality sound along with versatility. They're designed to be at top performance, whether you're in a quiet studio room or in a loud live venue. 45mm neodymium drivers offer the most balanced and complex sound and frequency response you can expect from studio headphones. With leather ear pads wrapping around each headphone, and a padded headband mounted on an adjustable stainless steel shell, your headphones will be comfortable for all the hours you need them to be.
The ear cups rotate a full 180 degrees for maximum comfort while doing single ear mixing. Each headphone is really durable and will stand up to studio use, venue use, and all the journeys in between. This pair of headphones are designed with a no-nonsense approach to delivering the most accurate sound to engineers without breaking the bank.
+ Straight-forward design
+ High-quality sound
+ Comfortable and durable
+ Designed for live venues
Why We Liked It - The LyxPro HAS-10 headphones are as simple as they are mean. You get everything you want without the hassle of extra non-essentials. These closed back headphones are comfortable, durable and sound great with a small price tag. How can you go wrong with headphones of this quality?
When purchasing the best headphones, studio ones are always the better choice for mixing. If you're looking for stellar sound-quality mixed with attractive designs, look no further! Headphones like these deliver all of that. The Audio-Technica ATH M20x model brings you excellent sound through 40mm drivers with rare earth neodymium magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils. They are also tuned specifically to deliver a more deluxe low-frequency experience, making them some of the best studio headphones.
The ear pads found on each headphone are designed to foster greater sound isolation for a better concentration of sound in each studio headphone. They are equipped with a convenient single-side cable exit as well as 1/8" inputs with an included 1/4" jack for larger hardware pieces. The comfort is notable, as these headphones are perfectly padded with the extra padding on top to allow them to rest a little more smoothly.
+ Superior comfort
+ Low-frequency enhancement
+ Multiple jack sizes
+ Unique driver design
Why We Liked It - They are some of the most comfortable pairs of mixing headphones that you can find. These headphones also have some great sound isolation. It's really easy to lose yourself in the music with them on and focus on what's most important.
These pair of headphones are like the younger brother of the previous pick on our list. They are very similar in their design and makeup. Also, each headphone has 40mm drivers with the rare earth neodymium magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils, creating good frequency. However, they differ in the sense that the focus is more on frequency that is mid-range over the lower end.
These headphones contain the single exit cable, foldable design, and enhanced earcup closeness for extra sound-isolation. They also have an extra 600mW of input power to speak of over their relative. Extremely durable, they are well suited for the studio or in the live venue, making them the best headphones for mixing and mastering.
+ Superior comfort
+ Enhanced mid-range frequency
+ Extra watt input power
+ Sound-isolation and good audio
Why We Liked It - The extra power really tickles the midranges of music just a little bit better. Each headphone has all around crystal clear sound and are great for making out individual instruments when listening to music. The fact that the headphones are foldable may give them a slight edge over the other Audio-Technica designs. These headphones are really comfortable and cool looking - they're some of the best headphones for mixing and mastering.
These closed-back headphones will deliver an almost unbelievable sound. They're one of the best pairs of mixing headphones in this price range. You'll get an incredibly balanced sound that accentuates the bass response while allowing the treble to flow seamlessly like a river. Listening to audio has never been easier. You won't be left feeling like you're lacking anything when you're listening to these studio headphones for mixing and mastering.
The cushioned ear pads and headband offer as much comfort as the speakers do pristine sound. Both earcups rotate 90 degrees which are essential when trying to mix single-sided for better instrument isolation. These headphones are compact and portable as they fold up. These closed-back headphones also look great. This only adds to the intrigue behind these mixing headphones that sound like they cost hundreds of dollars more. Although they are designed for studio use to bring out the best work possible, these headphones are also suitable for everyday use. With a great frequency response, these are some of the best headphones for mixing and mastering.
+ Well-balanced sound for studio
Why We Liked It - These are some of the best studio headphones. With a good frequency response, these headphones are great for mixing and mastering, as well as every day listening. They offer some of the best sound available for a set of mixing headphones in this range.
Behringer has a fantastic reputation among musicians. They have been providing high-quality gear in the music industry for many years, and they continue to do so with this pair of headphones for mixing and mastering. These headphones have an ultra-dynamic frequency range that offers the deepest of lows matched with the clarity of shimmering highs.
Each headphone features high-efficiency cobalt capsules, which give a really highly defined experience to the listener. The rotating, reversible ear cups are great for single-ear listening. This pair of headphones for mixing are also perfectly comfortable for any user. The tangle-free cord will offer more convenience - you won't have to untangle it every time you use them.
Why We Liked It - If you want a good pair of headphones with a great frequency response, these could be it. Compared to studio headphones at a much higher price point, they stand up really nicely. These headphones are designed with DJs in mind to deliver the most captivating, dynamic sound imaginable. You'll be satisfied listening to them while mixing your tracks or putting together playlists alike.
Bose is known for delivering some of the best sounding products on the market. They have revolutionized the way that sound is distributed throughout the home. Now, they're trying to accomplish the same feat in the studio. As one of the more advanced pair of headphones for mixing and mastering on our list, they're equipped with active noise-cancellation, voice commands, and Bluetooth pairing. As they are wireless, you get a little more convenience and ease. If you want a great recording experience, you've got one.
The QuietComfort studio headphones totally block outside noise and allow you to focus on the task at hand. Bose offers an amazingly balanced and robust sound that will leave your mixes sounding irreproachable after completion. These headphones are also extremely versatile. They are not solely meant for mixing and mastering, but also for everyday use. The sound and recording quality is simply remarkable and soon you'll be listening to everything through them.
Why We Liked It - You simply get one of the best in the business with this pair of headphones. You'll get the best of noise-cancellation and comfort with an incredibly slick design. You could wear them all day while mixing or simply listening and you won't ever get tired of the quality that exudes from the speakers.
AKG has created these open back headphones with the mindset of having a pair especially for the studio. These mixing and mastering headphones are dubbed professional studio headphones for a reason. The semi open back design offers a little extra breathability for the sound and your eardrums when they are in place. They are equipped with a dynamic transducer to offer a better balanced, open back sound quality.
The headphone's frequency range (from 15 Hz to 25,000 Hz) gives you the widest dynamic range of sound you can imagine. These pair of headphones are built for the studio. The amount of comfort each open back headphone provides will have you wearing them until the wee hours of the morning. An adjustable headband and cushioned ear pads make them supremely comfortable. AKG has patented the varimotion diaphragm, which delivers a more accurate frequency range and frequency response.
+ Studio-quality sound
+ Extra comfortable
+ Uniquely patented design
+ Stylish look
+ Open back headphones
Why We Liked It - These are designed fully for the studio and offer an interesting sound with the open back headphones design. That allows more ambient noise to creep in. It's not everybody's forte but for some, it's an added feature. You'll get the sound you need with these open back headphones and they will make mixing and mastering an absolute treat.
If you're looking for the best headphones for mixing and mastering, particularly for a smaller home studio, these guys will likely do the trick for you. The headphones aren't loaded up with the bells and whistles you may find with some of the other headphones on our list. They are designed simply and that is their draw. Each headphone is ergonomically designed for premium comfort and an impressive level of noise-isolation. That makes them some of the best studio headphones for mixing and mastering.
You can fold them up into a compact size if you're looking to take them on the road with you. These headphones good for long time wear with a genuine protein ear cups. They are exceptionally comfortable. You can use them in the studio and out as they are designed for both purposes. They also come with a built-in mic to provide high-quality audio to people you're on the phone with.
Why We Liked It - Without spending much money at all, you've got a good, reliable set of studio headphones for mixing and mastering. They sound as good as they need to and will last through a little bit of abuse. For anyone looking to mix with headphones in a smaller home studio, they would be a great pick.
You obviously know what Sony does. They have been making some of our favorite consoles and accessories since before we can remember. They take their expertise into the studio with the MDRV6 mixing headphones. They come with studio monitor quality sound and superior comfort. These studio headphones also offer a no-nonsense design that's meant solely to get the job done. You can plug them into a regular Aux jack or connect the 1/4" adapter for larger consoles.
The over-ear design is great at providing the utmost comfort and noise-isolation for when you need to keep the excess noise out. The 5Hz to 30KHz frequency range will give you the varied experience of the most natural sound intricacies available. That's a great frequency response. You won't miss a beat or a harmony while mixing and mastering with these headphones. The comfortable portable design folds up perfectly so you can take them anywhere you need to go. You can wear these studio headphones for hours without getting uncomfortable with softened ear cushions and adjustable headband.
+ Studio headphones
+ Minimalist design
+ Superior comfort
+ Good frequency response
+ Extra durability
Why We Liked It - As far as a good pair of mixing and mastering headphones go, they are one of the best. They look and sound like they belong in a fully professional studio, which very well may be your basement. The sound is so clear and wide; the frequency response ensures you really hear all of the nuances you need to in order to make informed decisions about the music quality.
Mixing Headphones Buyers Guide
What to look for when buying mixing headphones
If you're using your headphones in the studio for mixing and mastering, you're going to need to ensure that you have some of the best possible headphone features. If your sound quality (whatever the audio) isn't clear, you won't be able to make an accurate mix. If the headphones are uncomfortable, you will need to take them off after an hour or two. You need your headphones to last all day without interruptions so you can fully immerse yourself into the recording. Proper music mixing and mastering requires good attention and focus.
Here is a short guide on all the things you should consider when picking out a pair of mixing and mastering headphones. We want to make sure you make the right choice for your purposes.
You are absolutely going to need great sound quality with mixing headphones. It's the single most important aspect of the design for you. Your musicians and clients are counting on you being able to produce the highest quality mixes for them. Whether you're mixing solely on headphones to avoid driving others crazy or you need a more enclosed approach, the sound should be well balanced with booming bass response and shimmering treble. You'll want the frequency response to be good.
A lot of engineers will use mixing headphones to help balance the sound compared to studio monitors. When you listen to music on the monitors, it will undoubtedly be different than it will in the headphones. However, most people like listening to music using speakers and headphones alike. It will be really important to make sure that the sound is accurate on both types of outputs. If you have a good set of studio monitors, you also need to make sure that your mix is similar to the same level of sound quality.
When listening all day, you're going to need your headphones to be outfitted with the highest level of comfort. Mixers need to wear headphones for hours at a time. Sometimes you get so lost in the music that you forget the world is still turning around you. That's what you should aim for. You need the type of comfort that allows you to do this. Be sure that the materials used in the headphones are of high quality and will not wear out after a short time. Then you can mix for hours problem-free.
Do you need open back headphones or closed back headphones? With closed back headphones, you get more of an inside feel to the sound without any outside noise bleeding. With open back headphones, more ambient noise is allowed in, turning the sound into a different kind of monster. Closed back designs are more popular. Being able to block out unwanted noise is a necessary luxury when creating the best possible tracks, and open back headphones don't provide this as accurately as closed back headphones do. However, it is said that open back headphones provide better sound quality. Whether you'd prefer closed-back or a pair of open back headphones depends on your taste.
Another thing to consider is if you want a detachable cable or not. A detachable cable is something to consider if you think you'll be moving around a lot. You can also listen to your music on the go without the cable getting in the way.
Are you concerned with how your headphones look while you're tuning your masterpiece, or is it more of an afterthought? If you want to use your headphones solely for the studio, the design could be straightforward without any extra dazzle. If you're interested in taking your headphones out into the world, you may want to consider how they'll go with your particular style.
Since you're looking for a pair of headphones that are going to be in a high movement recording environment, you 'll want to make sure they're durable. Musical instruments and accessories are built to last because they go through a lot of abuse. It's likely that with all the commotion going on around you during a recording session, things will get knocked over plenty of times. If you want your headphones to last a long time, pay attention to the way they are built.
The best headphones will be comfortable when it comes to mixing/mastering. Do they feature cheap plastic or stainless steel? What are the ear cushions made of? Are they made from memory foam? Memory foam is comfortable, if that's what you want. Can they withstand sweat from your ears while cultivating your genius? The more durable your headphones, the fewer headaches you have to deal with, and the more deadlines you'll hit.
Make sure the headphones you're picking up have a solid warranty. If you've got a good warranty, it will allow you to make a more confident decision. You won't have to worry about whether or not the headphones are going to show up with manufacturer defects or any other unforeseen issues. The warranty will help you out of unwanted jams so you can get back to mixing and mastering.
So now you're ready to walk into any studio, lay down some tracks, and get mixing/mastering. With any of the best headphones for mixing on our list, you'll surely be able to stun your colleagues. Get recording exceptional sound quality that only the best mixing and mastering or reference headphones can offer.
You should expect the mixing/mastering to sound different from your headphones than the studio monitors. It's always recommended that when mixing any type of audio, you cross-reference the sound with both types of outputs. A good pair of reference headphones are great for this.
Did you know?
In March of 2008, a particular song was unearthed dating back to the year 1860. The song was called Clair de la Lune and was recorded by audio historians in France at the time. It's considered the first recording ever as far as what has been discovered.
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