Top 10 Best Headphones for Mixing – Complete Guide 2020

Here we come with another best headphones but this time for mixing and one of the best investments in terms of mixing music is having a good headphone.

It is the investment that stays longer, and I can assure you you will use it more often. Also, it provides more benefits in music production than you might think.

However, recommending a headphone is never easy, especially for mixing because it depends on how you are going to use it, for example for mixing, tracking, vocals, listening to casual music, etc.

So keep reading the review at the end because each pair of headphones has its benefits and drawbacks. However, if you are looking for a neutral headphone at budget, then I recommend you Beyerdynamic DT PRO 990.

So in this article, I listed 10 best headphones that include budget-friendly, industry-standard, top sellers headphones and high-end headphones as well.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at which are the best headphones for mixing and why.

Top 10 Best Headphones for Mixing 2020

Best Headphones for MixingPrice
Sennheiser HD 800 S Check Price
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Check Price
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Check Price
Sony MDR7506 Check Price
Sennheiser HD280PRO Check Price
AKG Pro Audio K240 Check Price
Sennheiser HD 650 Check Price
Grado SR80e Check Price
AKG K 701 Check Price
Shure SRH1840 Check Price

1. Sennheiser HD 800 S – Best For Mixing & Mastering

Sennheiser HD 800 S

The very first headphone you can get for mixing is Sennheiser HD800S which is a very high end and the best headphone in this list.

These headphones are fabulous for neutral listening, and they have the best audio reproduction. However, it is expensive but worth buying.

Design and Build Quality

The design of HD800S is futuristic. It comes in black and silver colour. Also, the build quality is solid, durable and offers excellent comfort. The headband is super smooth, flexible, and easy to adjust. It has two kinds of detachable cables.

Furthermore, they have super smooth and soft ear pads that never get warm in longer mixing sessions. In short, the build quality is super solid, it is a lightweight and comfortable headphone.

Sound Quality

They sound amazing, but getting what they’re capable of, you have to set up a good power connection. For this, you can use NDS/555 PS as a power source. They have exceptional instrument separations system which means during mixing, you can hear vocals, Drums, Guitars, Keyboards, etc. clearly and detailed, and then you can tweak sounds and make them more accurate.

They provide a neutral, bright, and unique sound experience but make sure you use a good power source; otherwise, you may not get what they can do.

Pros
  • Delivers excellent comfort in longer mixing sessions.
  • Solid, durable build quality.
  • Incredible audio production.
  • Nice and balanced.
Cons
  • To drive and getting what they can do require a good source and amplification.
  • Expensive.

Final Verdict:

You may think that it’s not wise to spend that much on a headphone, but if you want a headphone for professional work such as mixing and mastering, and sound is a priority for you then you should consider this headphone.

2. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro – Best Headphones For Mixing 2020

beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro

If you are looking for a neutral and flat sounding headphone that you can use for mixing, tracking, and listening to music at a very reasonable price then consider Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm.

The Beyerdynamic features an excellent sound separation system which means you’ll hear the sound of every instrument clearly and in detail. Furthermore, you can easily find any mistake from the mixing and make it more accurate and clear.

They are also super comfortable to wear for longer mixing sessions. It has velour ear pads that ensure excellent comfort.

The frequency response is between 5 to 35,000Hz and balanced. They have pretty loud and clear sound, but if you are planning to use them with mobile, then you should get a good amp. Higher impedance requires higher power and mobiles cannot provide that much power. So to get most from these, you should use an amp.

If you cannot afford Sennheiser HD 800 S then this is the best headphone for mixing, mastering, and editing under $150 even better than Audio Technica that we will review next.

Pros
  • Neutral and flat sound.
  • Lightweight and Comfortable.
  • Excellent details in mids and highs.
  • Affordable.
Cons
  • The cable is not removable.

3. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The next best headphones for mixing you can get is Audio-Technica ATH-M50. It is the best seller headphone on Amazon, and it has over 14,288 ratings with 4.6 out of 5.0, which is incredible.

The headphone is very well known and praised by music producers, engineers, and musicians.

It features closed-back design, detachable cable, 45mm large-aperture drivers, and foldable design. The foldable design makes them ideal for travelling. It has 90-degree swivelling earcups which mean while mixing when you want to monitor the tracks with one ear you can rotate one ear cup.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x has professional-grade earpad and headbands that provide excellent comfort in longer sessions. However, some customers complain that in longer sessions, headband hurt a little bit.

If we see the sound quality of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, they offer great casual listening and mixing experience. Sound stages are not as good as Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO 250 OHM but much better than the most I listed in this list.

The mids and highs are pretty decent and provide excellent clarity, and around-ear closed-back design offers excellent sound isolation in louder environments.

Overall audio Technica ATH-m50x is a pretty decent headphone available under $150, and in budget-friendly headphones, after DT PRO 990 250 Ohm this is our second best choice for mixing.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Very detailed and balanced sound.
  • Lots of cushion on-ear cups make them comfortable in longer mixing sessions.
  • Removable and Replaceable cable.
Cons
  • Needs improvement in clarity and dynamic punch.

4. Sony MDR7506

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone

Sony has an excellent reputation in the headphone industry; they manufacture headphones with great care like Sony MDR 7506.

Sony MDR 7506 is a good pair of headphones for mixing because of powerful and detailed sound and more emphasis on mids and highs instead of bass.

These are made of the quality and durable plastic material that makes them lightweight. Also, these are foldable and compact so ideal for travelling and outdoor use as well.

The headband and ear pads offer a good amount of comfort; however, if you want more comfort for very long sessions, then I recommend you to get much better comfortable earpads.

The cable is not removable, which means you need to take extra care of it, but it is strong, flexible, and durable.

Sony MDR 7506 is an industry-standard headphone and great for music production. For mixing works, these are great, but for listening to music, these are good. As I earlier mentioned, they more emphasized on mids and highs that offer powerful and detailed sound. And while mixing the harsh sound or anything which is not appropriate in the audio appears you can easily notice.

They have 63 ohms power that sounds loud and clear on both low power and high power devices. However, on mobiles, you may require extra power to boost them.

Overall it is an ideal choice for mixing music under $100. They are comfortable enough, solid build quality, and sound well. Also, on Amazon, they have very positive customer responses with over 7,991 customers rating. If you are looking for the best headphone for mixing music under $100, then you should give Sony MDR 7506 a try.

Pros
  • Comfortable for hours of use.
  • Excellent sound for their price.
  • Good audio production.
Cons
  • Noise isolation needs improvement.

5. Sennheiser HD280PRO – Best Mixing Headphone Under 100

Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphones

If you are looking for the best headphone for longer sessions for mixing in $100 then should consider HD 280 Pro.

Like other pairs of headphones in the above section, HD 280 PRO is popular in the music production environment.

The build quality of the headphone is pretty solid. Earpads and headband are wrapped in cushions that provide unbelievable comfort during longer sessions, and these are removable as well. The only drawback in the build quality I noticed is not a removable cable, so you have to take care of it.

It has an over-ear closed-back design, and when you put on ears, you’ll barely listen to anything from outside that allows you to focus better on audio and identify each instrument’s sound clearly.

They required 64ohm power to drive them to get powerful and detailed sound. Even you can use these on smartphones, and they provide a nice and clear sound without any amp or external power source.

As a mixing aspect, they sound excellent natural and flat, but the bass is not good as Audio Technica ATH-M50x has. These are the best headphones you can get for mixing because while mixing, you hear every layer clear and can make an accurate representation of sound.

Overall these are great headphones for mixing music. The only thing needed to improve is cable other than that everything is good about these cans. Also, these are affordable and have over 4,461 customer rating.

Pros
  • Comfortably fits for longer sessions.
  • Solid and durable.
  • Accurate and clean sound.
Cons
  • Ideals for mixing and professional use, not for listening to music.
  • The cable is not detachable.

6. AKG Pro Audio K240 – Best Budget Mixing Headphones

AKG Pro Audio K240

Next in our sight, the best budget headphone for mixing is AKG Pro Audio K240. Like Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, and Beyerdynamic AKG is a famous audio equipment producing company as well.

AKG K240 is an affordable headphone that offers excellent comfort and audio quality. These are over-ear semi-open headphones which means they will leak sound but not as much as an open back headphone and it also isolates a good amount of sound from getting into the headphone.

The ear cups are over-ear and have soft ear pads and self-adjustable headband that offer excellent comfort even wearing for upto 6 to 8 hours.

They come with a 10feet long removable cable and 3.5 inches to quarter-inch plug that you can put into an amp and studio monitors.

To drive them well you need only 55-ohm power, and on 55-ohm power, they offer remarkable high sound. The low power allows you to attach with the smartphone without an amp as well.

You can use these for monitoring, mixing, and mastering. However, they do not offer high bass, so if you are looking for a boomy bass, then you may not like them. But for those who want flat and balanced audio, this headphone is perfect for them.

They have a classic design, offer excellent comfort, and good sound quality in only $70 that makes them one of the best budget headphones for mixing at cheap price.

Pros
  • Very lightweight and comfortable.
  • Excellent audio quality.
  • Very affordable.
  • Warm and detailed mids and highs.
Cons
  • Not emphasis on the bass.
  • Build quality is not super solid.

7. Sennheiser HD 650 (Best Headphones for Mixing and Mastering)

Sennheiser HD 650

Our seventh-best headphones for mixing is from Sennheiser, which is high end and the best all-around headphone.

Sennheiser HD 650 offers freaking incredible sound. It does not have the widest sound stages in the world, but it is the best sounding headphone.

It offers a serious punch in low-end with the right EQ and reproduces high end without becoming painful.

The sound system allows hearing each instrument in a track clearly, which is excellent for mixing. You can easily identify harsh, unpleasant sounds, make necessary tweaks, and changes to make audio more clear and better.

It has an improved wide frequency range which is 10-39,500 Hertz. With the fantastic sound quality, they have an open back design which is excellent for getting more accurate and detailed sound, but if you record the music with a microphone, then it will be a problem.

The build quality of HD 650 is solid and comfortable for hours of wearing. The earpads and headband have a lot of cushions that ensure excellent comfort. The cable is long and detachable.

The Impedance of Sennheiser HD 650 is 300 ohms which means you need high power to drive them for a powerful and loud sound. If you plan to attach them with a smartphone, then you have to get an amp as well.

They are an excellent and high-quality headphone for mixing, mastering, and listening to music. If you can spend around $500 then you should consider them, they’ll be worth buying.

Pros
  • High-end headphone.
  • Incredible comfortable design.
  • Excellent audio reproduction.
Cons
  • Open back design means they’ll leak sound.
  • Pricey.

8. Grado SR80e

GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones

The next best headphones for mixing in our list is Grado SR80e. If you are looking for a larger soundstage headphone with greater detail and clarity, then Grado SR80e is for you.

The build quality of the SR80e is nice and solid but not as good as the headphone that I mention in this price range. 

The headband and ear pads have soft foam that allows them to wear comfortably. However, ear cups stay on-ear that feels discomfort during longer sessions. If you can get stock earpads, they’ll provide you with better comfort in longer mixing sessions.

The headphone is made of plastic material which is solid and durable and makes it super lightweight. 

The sound quality of Grado SR80e is decent, has wide stages but not wide and effective as DT 990 Pro or ATH M50x. But if you are looking for a headphone that delivers better depth in the music then definitely it’s worth buying.

They deliver clean and punchy bass. The mid-range and trebles details are excellent as well.

The Grado SR80 is an excellent pair of headphones in the price of under $100. However, if you are looking for a headphone that you can use for hours daily, then it’s not an ideal choice, it could be an excellent option as a secondary headphone.

Pros
  • Good mid-range and trebles.
  • Controlled bass.
  • The natural and spacious stereo image.
Cons
  • No audio control.

9. AKG K 701

AKG K 701 Ultra Reference Class Stereo Headphone

This is a professional headphone from AKG. AKG K 701 is a great alternative and competitor to Sennheiser 600 and Sennheiser HD 650 and one of the best headphones for mixing.

AKG K 701 is a reference headphone means you’ll get neutral and flat sounds. They focused more on mids and highs instead of bass, which is great for mixing the sounds. Also, they offer pretty crystal clear sound.

It has a nice design and most parts are made of plastic material. The headband is soft, and self-adjustable means no matter what size of your head, it will fit perfectly.

Also, the ear pads are soft and stay around the ears. They offer decent comfort, and you can wear them during longer mixing sessions without any problem.

Another good thing about the build quality of AKG K 701 is their cable. It allows you to use any mini XLR cable, so in case you broke the original cable or are not able to find it you can use any mini XLR cable. It came with two straight cables, 10 feet and 20 feet long.

They have an open back design that has benefits and drawbacks. The drawback is whatever you’ll play the other person will hear too, and the benefits are open back design offers very natural and feels like 3d.

As earlier mentioned, they sound flat and neutral and feel pleasant. However, the bass is not too loud. The mids range is amazing, not harsh or unpleasant as well and also treble is very revealing. 

Overall it is an awesome headphone you can get for mixing and it will worth buying.

Pros
  • Flat and neutral response.
  • Crystal clear audio.
  • Comfortable design.
Cons
  • Bigger bulky design.
  • Non-detachable cable.
  • Not great for some music genre.

10. Shure SRH1840

Shure SRH1840 Professional Open Back Headphones

Shure SRH1840 is a very elegant and super lightweight headphone that you can use for mixing. In the box, you get two sets of leads, 1/4″ jack adapter, extra ear pads, SRH1840 headphone, etc.

These pairs of cans are very similar to Sennheiser HD 600 and 650, and they have almost the same price under $500.

The size of the SRH1840 is big. However, using a metal self-adjustable headband, you can adjust it. Earpads have soft padding that stays around the ears and deep enough that does not touch the ears. Also, ear cups do not heat up even in more extended use. Overall they offer excellent comfort and durability. Furthermore, the cable is straight and removable.

Shure SRH1840 delivers crystal clear and detailed sound that makes them ideal for mixing audios. Individually matched 40 mm neodymium drivers offer smooth and flat audio.

The open-back design extends the accuracy, depth of field, and detail. Also having an open back design, you get a more natural sound. However, open back design sounds leaks, so consider it as well. 

The sound stages are very wide, and they’re extremely neutral, flat, and detailed. These are one of the best headphones for mixing and studio work you can use. Furthermore, they separate and allow us to listen to different instruments clearly.

In short, if you can spend between $400 to $500, then you should grab SRH1840. 

Pros
  • Excellent and natural sound.
  • Solid and reliable build quality.
  • Extreme comfort.
  • Extra detachable cable and ear pads set.
Cons
  • Expensive.
  • Only for studio and home use.

Best Headphones for Mixing Buying Guide

If you are looking for the best headphones for mixing you should consider the following features in a headphone.

Best Headphones For Mixing Buying Guide

Over the Ear

The very first thing that you need to take care of is to check whether the headset you’re planning to buy has an on-ear design or over/around the ear design. The on-ear design causes ear fatigue; it hurts the ears in longer sessions. And over the ear headphones stay around the ears, which means your ear does not touch the ear pads that provide better comfort in longer mixing sessions. So I recommend you to get a headphone for mixing with over the ear design.

Semi-Open Vs Open Back OR Closed back

Choosing the design of the headphone is very important as well. Make sure for mixing at the studio or home you choose open or semi open-back design. The benefit of the open-back design is sound does not stay in the ear cups, it escapes through the backside of ear cups that delivers more accurate and natural sound compared to closed-back headphones where all frequencies are messed in ear cups at different angles. Also, the open back design allows the user to wear the headphone for longer sessions compared to the closed-back design.

Lightweight

The headphone should have a lightweight and comfortable design. You are getting the headphone for mixing, which means you’ll spend most of your time wearing the headphone. So it should be lightweight. Also, earpads and headbands have a lot of cushions and foam that offer more comfort.

Impedance

Impedance means how much power the headphone requires to deliver powerful and loud volume. If a headphone has 300-ohm power, it requires good and powerful source power to deliver the sound they’re made for. And high impedance headphones do not perform well directly with smartphones, so make sure if you are getting a headphone for a mobile device you choose one with low impedance, or you use an amp.

Flat Tuned

The best headphones for mixing have flat tuned. The headphone does not accelerate the base or drop the mids; it has a flat and neutral profile.

Conclusion

Mixing and mastering are the most important parts in sounds and music productions and getting a headphone for reference is a wise decision but you need to take care while choosing the headphones. For example, an open back design headphone offers more accurate and natural sound compared to closed-back design, and it should have less weight so you can wear it for longer sessions comfortably.

Now it’s your decision which headphone could be the best headphones for mixing for you. I hope this guide helps you to find the headphone you’re looking for.

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