A pair of high-quality headphones resting on a sound mixing console, illustrating the essential tools for DJs and audio engineers.

6 Best Headphones for Sound Mixing 2024

The right pair of headphones serves as a critical tool, bridging the gap between mere sounds and a masterpiece.

Among the many options available, finding the best headphones for sound mixing involves navigating through features like balanced sound and high-quality construction.

These are not just any headphones; they are your studio monitors’ close cousins, designed to offer a neutral sound profile that mirrors the uncolored output of professional studio speakers. Neutrality is crucial for making informed mix decisions. It allows you to trust that your work will translate well across various listening environments.

Among the revered choices, the Audio Technica ATH M50x stands out for its balanced sound, offering a reliable reference for both mixing and mastering. Its ability to reveal the true essence of the bass frequencies, mid range, and high frequency details makes it a staple in studios worldwide.

Our Top Picks

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Best Price$49
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Sony MDR-7506
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x
Sennheiser HD 800 S
HiFiMan Edition XS
Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

Best Overall Studio Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x shines as the top pick for professionals and enthusiasts alike. With its unmatched audio quality and comfort, it’s a favorite in studios around the world. Discover why it’s the best choice for your mixing and mastering needs in just a few words.

Image showcases the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, known for their exceptional clarity and precision in sound mixing environments.


  • 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 and 3.0 m straight
  • Weight: 285 g (without cable and connector)
  • Earcup Swivel: 90° for easy one-ear monitoring
Pros Exceptional Clarity Comfortable Fit Durable Design
Cons Non-Wireless Tight Fit Initially Limited Soundstage

Who Is It For?

If you are mixing down tracks or mastering the final cut, these headphones deliver unparalleled audio quality. They’re also great for simply enjoying your favorite tunes. They have a balanced sound that captures the full spectrum of bass frequencies.

It also captures high frequency details. This ensures accurate mix decisions. They’re not just another pair of headphones; they’re a studio monitor for your ears.

The ATH-M50x is perfect for people who demand high quality and good balance in their audio experiences. It stands out as a top choice for anyone serious about their sound, from music production to casual listening.

Best Vintage Design: Sony MDR-7506

Perfect for people who appreciate classic style and crystal-clear sound, these headphones have been a top choice for professionals and audiophiles alike for decades.

Sony MDR-7506, one of the best headphones for sound mixing, paired with a convenient carrying bag for producers on the go.


  • Driver Size: 40mm
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 63 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 106dB/mW
  • Cord Length: 9.8 feet (coiled)
  • Plug Type: Gold-plated 3.5mm with 1/4″ adapter
  • Weight: 8.1 oz (without cord)
  • Design: Closed-back, over-ear
Pros Exceptional Sound Clarity Durable Construction Comfortable Fit
Cons Non-detachable Cord Bulky Design Limited Noise Isolation

Who Is It For?

The Sony MDR-7506 headphones are ideal for anyone looking for the best audio mixing. They offer unparalleled sound quality that brings out the finest details in music and audio tracks.

These headphones will meet your needs, whether you’re a professional sound engineer, a DJ, or an avid music lover. They offer exceptional clarity, durability, and comfort.

Their vintage design not only stands out, but also provides a comfortable fit for long listening sessions. This makes them perfect for studio work and casual listening alike. If you value sound quality and reliability, the Sony MDR-7506 is for you.

Best Budget-Friendly: Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x is designed for clarity and comfort. It is a gateway to professional-grade sound without breaking the bank. Perfect for aspiring musicians and audio enthusiasts alike.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headphones are depicted, highlighting their sturdy design, ideal for sound mixing and studio sessions.


  • Driver Diameter: 40 mm
  • Frequency Response: 15 – 20,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 47 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 96 dB
  • Weight: 190 g (without cable and connector)
  • Cable: 3.0 m (9.8′), straight, left-side exit
  • Maximum Input Power: 700 mW at 1 kHz
  • Design: Closed-back dynamic
Pros Exceptional Clarity Enhanced Bass Response Comfortable Fit
Cons Non-Detachable Cable Limited Soundstage Absence of Inline Controls

Who Is It For?

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x is the go-to pair of headphones for mixing and mastering enthusiasts. They seek high-quality audio without the hefty price tag.

Its balanced sound and robust construction make it ideal for budding producers, podcasters, and anyone in between. It is good for people who value audio quality.

These studio headphones offer a neutral sound profile that’s crucial for making accurate mix decisions. It’s accessible to everyone.

Its comfort and durability mean long sessions in front of your studio monitor or enjoying music become a pleasure, not a chore. For those stepping into the world of serious audio work, the ATH-M20x is an unbeatable starting point.

Best Open-Back Studio Headphones: Sennheiser HD 800 S

Its unmatched clarity and comfort make it a top choice for audiophiles and professionals alike. Dive into a world where every note is crystal clear.

The Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones are shown, offering an unrivaled auditory experience for critical sound mixing tasks.


  • Frequency Response: 4 – 51,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 300 Ohms
  • Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 102 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <0.02%
  • Weight: 330g (without cable)
  • Cable Length: 3m (symmetrical, high-quality)
  • Ear Pad Material: Microfiber fabric
  • Connector: ¼” (6.3 mm) stereo jack plug
Pros Unparalleled Soundstage Minimal Resonance Comfortable Fit
Cons High Price Requires Amplifier Open-Back Design (not for noisy environments)

Who Is It For?

The Sennheiser HD 800 S is the ultimate choice for those who don’t just listen to music but experience it. These headphones offer an unparalleled auditory experience. They are perfect for professional sound mixers, studio engineers, and audiophiles.

The comfort and build quality also mean you can work for hours without fatigue. This makes them ideal for long mixing sessions or simply enjoying your favorite tracks to the fullest. If you’re passionate about sound and seek the best in open-back design, the HD 800 S is for you.

Best Mid-Range Studio Headphones: HiFiMan Edition XS

These mid-range studio headphones are a game-changer for audiophiles and professionals.

They offer a blend of high-quality sound and comfort. Perfect for those long mixing sessions, the Edition XS stands out in its class.

The HIFIMAN Edition XS headphones are displayed, renowned for their expansive soundstage and accuracy in sound mixing.


  • Driver Type: Planar Magnetic
  • Frequency Response: 8Hz – 50kHz
  • Impedance: 18 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 92dB
  • Weight: 405g
  • Cable Length: 1.5m (detachable)
  • Earpad Material: Soft, breathable fabric
  • Design: Open-back for natural soundstage
Pros Wide Soundstage Detailed Highs Comfortable Fit
Cons Requires Amplification Bulky Design Price Point

Who Is It For?

Its planar magnetic drivers offer a wide soundstage and detailed highs. It’s perfect for mixing and mastering, ensuring accurate mix decisions. The open-back design enhances the stereo image and frequency responses, making it a great tool for those dedicated to producing high-quality audio.

The Edition XS provides a good balance between performance and comfort. Whether you’re an aspiring musician, a seasoned sound engineer, or simply someone who appreciates balanced sound and high audio quality.

Its detailed sound reproduction makes it suitable for critical listening. The comfortable fit allows for extended use without fatigue. If you’re in the market for a pair of headphones that can support your passion for music and sound, the HiFiMan Edition XS is a match made in audio heaven.

Best Lower Mid-Range Studio Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO offers unmatched clarity and comfort. Especially, perfect for studio work.

Its open design ensures a spacious soundstage and natural sound. Dive into your mixes without missing a beat with these iconic studio staples.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO headphones are featured, emphasizing their open-back design suited for detailed sound mixing.


  • Type: Open-back
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 35 kHz
  • Impedance: 250 ohms
  • Weight: 250 g
  • Cable Length: 3 m coiled
  • Sound Pressure Level: 96 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.2%
  • Earpad Material: Velour
Pros Exceptional Soundstage Comfortable Fit Durable Build
Cons Non-detachable Cable Requires Amplifier Open-back Leak

Who Is It For?

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO is designed for audio professionals and enthusiasts who demand the highest quality sound. These headphones deliver unparalleled audio precision.

Whether you’re mixing tracks in the studio, mastering your latest recording, or just enjoying your favorite music at home. Their open-back design provides a wide, natural soundstage. This makes them ideal for critical listening tasks, where accuracy is paramount.

The comfortable fit and durable build ensure they can be worn for extended sessions without fatigue. For this reason, they are perfect for producers, sound engineers, and audiophiles alike.

If you’re in search of headphones, look no further. The DT 990 PRO offers a blend of comfort, durability, and exceptional sound quality, tailored just for you.

What I Wish I Knew Before I Got The Headphones For Sound Mixing?

  • Price vs. Quality: Some users expressed regret over the high price of certain models, feeling that the cost did not always guarantee a proportional increase in quality.
  • Comfort and Fit: A common regret was not considering comfort and fit more carefully. For long mixing sessions, the comfort level of headphones becomes crucial. Some users found their headphones uncomfortable after prolonged use.
  • Sound Profile Preferences: Individuals discovered that personal preference in sound profile (e.g., flat for accurate mixing vs. enhanced bass for enjoyment) is vital.
  • Durability and Build Quality: Some regrets were about not researching the build quality and durability enough. Users found that some headphones were not as durable as expected, leading to early wear and tear.
  • Connectivity Options: A few users regretted not considering the connectivity options (wired vs. wireless, Bluetooth latency, etc.) and how they affected mixing tasks.

Are headphones good for mixing?

Yes, headphones are good for mixing. These headphones offer a high-quality, neutral sound that is essential for accurate mix decisions.

Studio headphones, designed for mixing and mastering, provide a balanced sound across bass frequencies, mid-range, and high frequency, ensuring that mix decisions are made with precision. However, it’s important to choose a pair of headphones that offers a good balance between audio quality and comfort for long sessions.

Open back headphones are particularly valued for their wider stereo image and more natural sound, making them a preferred choice among professionals for critical listening tasks.

When selecting the headphones for sound mixing, consider models known for their balanced sound and high-quality construction to ensure reliable performance during mixing and mastering.

Why does mix sound better in headphones?

Mixes often sound better in headphones because they provide a direct, isolated listening experience that can reveal details and nuances not easily heard through studio monitors.

This isolation from room acoustics allows for a clearer perception of the stereo image, frequency responses, and subtle mix elements, which is crucial for making informed mix decisions.

Additionally, high-quality studio headphones offer a neutral sound profile, ensuring that the mix translates well across various listening environments.

The intimate listening environment of headphones for mixing, especially models with balanced sound and accurate audio reproduction, helps in identifying and correcting issues in the mix that might be overlooked on speakers.

Therefore, using the best headphones for sound mixing can significantly enhance the quality of mix decisions by providing a detailed and accurate sonic perspective.

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.