From entry-level to high-end, this collection showcases some of the best headphones for music producing, suitable for all levels of music creators.

Best Headphones for Music Producing 2024: Open-Closed Back Options

Embarking on the journey to find the best headphones for music producing can be a thrilling yet daunting task, especially for those just starting their research.

The quest for the perfect pair of studio headphones is not just about finding a tool for listening; it’s about discovering an extension of your creative self that brings out the best in your music.

For music producers, the choice between open back and closed back headphones is crucial. Closed back headphones, like the renowned Audio Technica ATH-M50x, offer excellent sound isolation, making them ideal for recording sessions where you need to monitor the audio without external noise interference.

Their design minimizes sound leakage, ensuring that the microphone doesn’t pick up unwanted noise. This feature is particularly beneficial for recording in less than perfect environments, providing a clean, isolated listening experience that focuses on clarity and detail across bass frequencies and mid range.

Our Top Picks

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Best Price$47
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Sony MDR-7506
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x
Sennheiser HD 800 S
HiFiMan Edition XS
Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO
Superlux HD 681

Best Overall: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Dive into the world of music with the headphones: the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Renowned for its exceptional clarity, deep bass, and all-around high-quality audio performance, it’s the go-to choice for both professional and aspiring producers. Compact and stylish, it promises to elevate your musical journey.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, acclaimed for clarity and isolation, ranks as headphones professionals.


  • Driver Diameter: 45 mm
  • Frequency Response: 15 – 28,000 Hz
  • Maximum Input Power: 1,600 mW at 1 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 99 dB
  • Impedance: 38 ohms
  • Cable: Detachable 1.2 m – 3.0 m coiled, 3.0 m straight, and 1.2 m straight cables
  • Weight: 285 g (without cable and connector)
  • Ear Cups: 90° swiveling
Pros Exceptional Clarity Comfortable Fit Durable Design
Cons Non-Wireless Limited Soundstage Heavier Build

Who Is It For?

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x stands out as the headphones, tailored for those who demand unparalleled audio quality in their creative endeavors.

Thanks to its closed-back design, sound isolation is top-notch, allowing you to focus on the finest details of your mix without external interruptions. The ATH-M50x is also designed for comfort over long periods, making it ideal for extended studio sessions.

If you’re in search of a pair of studio headphones that combines natural sound reproduction with a robust build and ergonomic design, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is your perfect match.

Best Mid-Range Closed-Back: Sony MDR-7506

Dive into the world of music production with the headphones: the Sony MDR-7506. Renowned for its exceptional clarity and durability, this mid-range marvel is a staple in studios worldwide. Its balanced sound and comfort make it perfect for long mixing sessions, ensuring your tracks sound impeccable on any system.

Sony MDR-7506, the industry standard for music producing, known as one of the best headphones for its reliable sound.


  • Headphone Type: Dynamic, closed-back
  • Magnet Type: Neodymium
  • Driver Size: 40.0 mm
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 63 Ohms
  • Cord Length: 3 m
  • Plug: Gold-plated L-shaped stereo mini
  • Maximum Power Handling: 1000mW
Pros Exceptional Clarity Durable Design Comfortable Fit
Cons Non-detachable Cable Limited Soundstage Aging Design

Who Is It For?

The Sony MDR-7506 is the quintessential pair of studio headphones for anyone diving into the realm of music production or audio editing.

The closed-back design provides excellent sound isolation, making them ideal for studio environments where external noise can be a distraction. They’re also comfortable enough for long periods of use, which is crucial for producers and audio engineers who spend hours perfecting their work.

If you’re looking for the headphones that offer a blend of professional-grade audio quality, durability, and comfort without breaking the bank, the Sony MDR-7506 is for you.

Best Budget Closed-Back: Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

Dive into the world of music with the headphones, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x. Known for its exceptional clarity and comfort, this budget-friendly beast lets you experience high-quality sound without breaking the bank. Perfect for those who crave an immersive listening experience.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x, durable and comfortable, among the best headphones for starting in music producing.


  • Driver Diameter: 40 mm
  • Frequency Response: 15 – 20,000 Hz
  • Maximum Input Power: 700 mW
  • Impedance: 47 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 96 dB
  • Weight: 190 g (without cable and connector)
  • Cable: 3.0 m (9.8′), straight, left-side exit
  • Design: Closed-back dynamic
Pros Excellent Sound Isolation Durable Build Quality Comfortable for Long Periods
Cons Limited Soundstage Non-detachable Cable Lacks Bluetooth Connectivity

Who Is It For?

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x is the go-to choice for budding music producers and audio enthusiasts on a budget. If you’re diving into the world of music production, these headphones offer the perfect blend of audio quality and comfort, making them ideal for long studio sessions.

Their closed-back design ensures excellent sound isolation, allowing you to focus on the details of your mix without external distractions. Whether you’re editing tracks, mixing down sessions, or just enjoying your favorite tunes, the ATH-M20x delivers a natural sound that won’t fatigue your ears.

They’re also a fantastic option for students in audio engineering or anyone looking for the headphones without spending a fortune. With a robust build and comfortable ear cups, these headphones are designed to last through countless hours of critical listening and creative work.

Best Open-Back: Sennheiser HD 800 S

For those seeking the headphones, the Sennheiser HD 800 S stands out. It’s a masterpiece that combines comfort with unparalleled sound quality, making every listening session an extraordinary experience. Perfect for audiophiles and professionals alike, its open-back design ensures a sound that’s as natural as it is breathtaking.

Sennheiser HD 800 S, with its expansive sound and precision, the ultimate headphones at a professional level.


  • Frequency Response: 4 – 51,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 300 Ohms
  • Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 102 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <0.02%
  • Weight: 330 g
  • Cable Length: 3 m
  • Connector: ¼” (6.3 mm) stereo jack plug
  • Ear Coupling: Around-the-ear, open back
Pros Unmatched Soundstage Precise Sound Detail Comfortable Fit
Cons High Price Requires Amplifier Not Portable

Who Is It For?

The Sennheiser HD 800 S is the dream choice for anyone serious about finding the headphones. Their unparalleled soundstage brings every note to life with clarity and depth, making them perfect for mixing, mastering, and enjoying high-fidelity audio.

The comfort and precision of the HD 800 S ensure that long sessions in the studio are a pleasure, not a chore. If you’re in pursuit of sonic perfection and demand nothing but the best for your music production needs, the Sennheiser HD 800 S is your ideal companion.

Best Mid-Range Open-Back: HiFiMan Edition XS

For those in search of the headphones, the HiFiMan Edition XS stands out as a stellar mid-range open-back option. Its blend of high-quality sound and comfort makes it a prime choice for audiophiles and producers alike. Dive into the world of pristine audio with Edition XS, where every note is a discovery.

HiFiMan Edition XS offers detailed audio reproduction, considered among the headphones with planar magnetic technology.


  • Frequency Response: 8Hz-50kHz
  • Impedance: 18Ω
  • Sensitivity: 92dB
  • Weight: 405g (14.28oz)
  • Planar Magnetic Technology
  • Open-Back Design
  • Stealth Magnets for Reduced Distortion
  • Detachable Cable with 3.5mm Termination
Pros Wide Soundstage Low Distortion Lightweight
Cons Requires Amplification Open-Back Leakage Price for Mid-Range

Who Is It For?

The HiFiMan Edition XS is the ideal choice for the discerning listener looking for the headphones without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a budding music producer, an audiophile craving for expansive soundscapes, or a professional seeking accurate sound reproduction, Edition XS delivers.

Its wide soundstage and low distortion cater to those who demand the utmost clarity and detail in their music. The lightweight design ensures comfort during long mixing sessions, making it perfect for those who spend hours perfecting their craft.

If you’re passionate about music and seek headphones that can keep up with your demands for quality and comfort, the HiFiMan Edition XS is for you.

Best Lower Mid-Range: Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

For those seeking the headphones, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO stands out in the lower mid-range category. Its exceptional sound quality and comfort make it a top choice for music enthusiasts and professionals alike. Dive into the world of crystal-clear audio with these headphones, designed to elevate your music production experience.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro, with spacious soundstage, a top choice as the headphones and mixing.


  • Open-back design
  • Frequency response: 5 – 35,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 250 ohms
  • Weight: 250 g (without cable)
  • Cable length: 3 m (coiled cable)
  • Sound pressure level: 96 dB
  • Total harmonic distortion: < 0.2%
  • Ear pad material: Velour
Pros Exceptional sound clarity Comfortable for long sessions Durable build quality
Cons Requires amp for best performance Not portable Open-back leaks sound

Who Is It For?

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO is the headphones for those who prioritize sound quality and comfort above all.

Their open-back design provides an expansive soundstage, ideal for mixing and mastering tracks with precision. The velour ear pads ensure comfort during long studio sessions, making them perfect for professionals who spend hours perfecting their craft.

If you’re in search of headphones that blend professional-grade audio fidelity with comfort, the DT 990 PRO is your go-to choice in the lower mid-range segment.

Best Budget Open-Back: Superlux HD 681

Dive into the world of music production with the Superlux HD 681, the headphones on a budget. These open-back headphones deliver an exceptional listening experience without breaking the bank. Perfect for aspiring producers and audiophiles alike, the HD 681 combines comfort, quality, and affordability in a sleek package.

Superlux HD-681 provides impressive clarity on a budget, a smart pick for the headphones.


  • Type: Dynamic, Semi-Open
  • Driver Size: 50 mm, neodymium magnet
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz-30KHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 98 dB SPL/V
  • Maximum Power: 300 mW
  • Cable Length: 9ft (2.7m)
  • Connector Type: 3.5mm (1/8″) with 6.3mm (1/4″) adapter
Pros Exceptional Value Wide Frequency Range Comfortable Fit
Cons Semi-Open Design Plastic Construction Limited Isolation

Who Is It For?

The Superlux HD 681 is tailor-made for the budding music producer or audio enthusiast searching for the best headphones for music producing without spending a fortune.

Its semi-open design offers a natural soundstage, making it ideal for mixing tracks and monitoring bass frequencies accurately.

The comfortable fit and robust build ensure they can be worn for long periods, whether you’re deep in a mixing session or simply enjoying your favorite tracks.

Perfect for those starting their journey in music production or seasoned pros looking for a budget-friendly option, these headphones offer a blend of performance and comfort that’s hard to beat.

What I Wish I Knew Before I Got The Headphones for Music Production?

  • Research Importance: Many regret not doing enough research on different headphone models and brands.
  • Sound Quality vs. Price: Some buyers realized that a higher price doesn’t always guarantee superior sound quality.
  • Comfort and Fit: A common regret was overlooking the importance of comfort and fit.
  • Durability and Build Quality: Some experienced issues with their headphones breaking or wearing out quickly, leading to regrets about not choosing a more robust model.
  • Type of Headphones: Understanding the difference between open-back and closed-back headphones, as well as the significance of noise cancellation features, was something buyers wished they knew. Each type offers distinct advantages for different listening environments and preferences.
  • Sound Isolation: For those in noisy environments, underestimating the value of sound isolation was a common regret. Good sound isolation can significantly improve the listening experience by blocking out external noise.
  • Wireless vs. Wired: Some buyers regretted not considering the convenience of wireless headphones over traditional wired ones, especially for activities like exercising or commuting.
  • Battery Life (for Wireless Models): For those who chose wireless headphones, not checking the battery life led to dissatisfaction. Longer battery life is crucial for uninterrupted listening throughout the day.

Do headphones matter for music production?

Yes, headphones are crucial for music production, offering precise audio quality and sound isolation necessary for mixing and mastering. A pair of the headphones with a flat frequency response ensures natural sound and accurate monitoring of bass frequencies and mid-range details.

This accuracy is essential for producers to make informed decisions about their mixes, ensuring high-quality output. Utilizing headphones for mixing also allows for a detailed stereo image, critical for balancing and placing elements within a mix.

What type of headphones are best for music production?

For music production, open-back headphones are often considered the best choice due to their natural sound and wide stereo image.

These features are vital for headphone design, as they allow for accurate monitoring of audio quality and a more immersive listening experience. Open-back headphones provide sound isolation that’s less intense than closed-back models, offering a more natural listening environment that helps with critical mixing decisions.

However, for recording vocals or live instruments, closed-back headphones are preferred to prevent bleed into the microphone. Remember the headphones is important for your studio setup.

Martin Brown is a tech-savvy writer with deep expertise in music technology, studio equipment, instruments, and innovative production tools. His interest in music never disappeared from an early age.