Quality headphones search

  • #91025

    I am looking to buy good quality headphones, but am disappointed by faults mentioned in Amazon reviews regarding some of the top manufacturers. These include poor range, one side dying after a few weeks, and the manuafcturers unwillingness to provide after-sales service and repairs under warranty. Can anyone please make a recommendation?

    GratuiTous Join Platform!

    Hey Graham!

    You mentioned “range” – are you looking for wireless headphones?

    For music production, I’d only recommend wired (connect with a wire) headphones, as Bluetooth definitely degrades the quality of the audio when wireless!

    For headphones, you have closed-back headphones and open-back headphones.

    Closed back headphones are typically used for recording purposes, as they don’t allow the audio to escape from the headphone cans (they are also useful to prevent outside noise being heard inside the headphones, too!)

    Open back headphones are typically used for mixing and mastering because they allow the audio to escape the headphone cans, which are designed to be more neutral sounding because there’s less build-up of frequencies inside the headphones.

    So first know what you’re using the headphones for!

    For the best headphones for music production, I haven’t tried too many models, but I’m currently using these two:

    • beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro for mixing/mastering
    • beyerdynamic DT 770 for recording

    Let me know more details what you’ll be using the headphones for, and I can try to direct you a little bit!


    Thank you, GratuiTous. It’s wired I’m looking for. By range I was referring to low to high frequencies. And I would prefer closed back.

    GratuiTous Join Platform!

    Okay, thanks for more info.

    As mentioned, for closed back headphones at the moment, I’m using:

    Ohms is just how easily the headphones can be driven.. so if you use a cellphone to listen with headphones, you’d probably want the 32 Ohm version.  If plugging into an audio interface or computer, the higher ohm versions should work fine!  (My open backs are 250 Ohm and my audio interface drives them great).

    For closed-backs headphones that I do not own, I’ve had my eye on these models for awhile.. cannot promise performance:

    • Sony MDR7506  (These have been very popular for YEARS!)
    • Audio Technica ATH-M50x  (The M40x is also a choice.. but I’d probably go for the little extra money here).
    • Sennheiser HD 280  (I’ve also seen these around for YEARS.. there looks to be an old and new refreshed model out there)..

    Also take note if a headphone is over-ear (goes over the whole ear), or on-ear (just goes on top of your ear).

    I’ve enjoyed over-ear over the years for breathability.  The models listed can be both over-ear or on-ear so read carefully!

    Let me know if you have ANY questions before proceeding with purchase!

    What will you be mainly using the headphones for?


    Your adice is much appreciated, GratuiTous. I would be using the headphones for creating, mixing and listening — in fact, everything. I have been looking at VSX Essentials (closed back). These retail at £325 (GBP) and come with detachable (so replaceable) cable, and some software that enables them to emulate different car, room, studio environments. If users want more of these, then there is a more expensive version. But what I’m not happy about is that some reviewers have reported that they don’t feel strong, and I’m wary of the advertising hype.

    GratuiTous Join Platform!

    If I were to personally purchase new headphones today, I’d look to the models I shared above..

    The main reason being they are more affordable and I’m sure you’d get decent results.

    The biggest thing with headphones is learning how they sound (which takes awhile to get used to), and comfort (even expensive headphones can be uncomfy).

    Once you reach a certain price level in audio equipment, you often only are getting very small percentage improvements..

    For example, I bought an expensive pair of in-ear-monitors for my FL Studio Course trainings hoping they’d give a huge improvement.. but my $20 ear buds are very comparable.. (how expensive?  Try $499 😟).. The ear buds look nice.. they have a nice audio cable.. and yes I can hear the bass a little clearer in the low-end.. but for an extra $470.. I think the improvement is probably like 2%.. [exaggerating a little, but it’s not a huge improvement])

    You can also purchase a couple online and return the ones you don’t like.. I’d probably suggest that so you can find one that is comfortable, and that reproduces audio similar to what your ears are used to with music you listen to.

    The room correction software stuff I haven’t taken too much advantage of.. I tried it once with my studio speakers and had very bad results.. I just learned how my room sounds, and then listen on different audio systems.. this is the easiest and most affordable approach, and gives me pretty consistent results.


    I have placed an order for the Audio Technica ATH-M50x. These come with 3 cables and a 3-year warranty from the supplier (not Amazon). Thanks again for your recommendations.

    GratuiTous Join Platform!

    Okay, right on!  As mentioned, I haven’t tried these headphones, but they seem to be quite popular out there, and the specs look decent, too!

    I’ll leave this open if you want to follow-up after you get the headphones, have any concerns, or just want to give feedback on your experience with them!

    I hope they are what you’re looking for!!

    GratuiTous Join Platform!

    Hey Graham, what are your first thoughts on the headphone purchase so far?

    Just asking before I close the question here!

    Are they comfy?  Can your audio interface power them good?  Do they sound good (or something you can get used to)?

    Hope you are well!


    Yes, I am pleased with the new Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones.

    It’s what I would call a comfortable sound, and an online headphone test (https://www.audiocheck.net/soundtests_headphones.php) for frequency shows they are good, for my hearing, at 21kHz max and 20Hz at the lower end.

    The headphones are also a comfortable fit over the ears, with good adjustment, not too heavy. At the moment I’m not using an audio amp, but I intend to get one because the sound card on my motherboard isn’t quite powerful enough to deliver loud music with these headphones, though this isn’t a big issue.

    Your suggestion was spot on, so thanks again and best wishes.

    GratuiTous Join Platform!

    Alright, excellent!

    You don’t have an audio interface right now?

    I was personally looking at the MOTU M-Series for an upgrade for myself.. but I like having the an audio interface as a monitor controller with buttons to switch banks of speakers, mono, and dim.. which is REALLY hard to find on an audio interface.

    The MOTU M2 Audio Interface seems to have very good amp for speakers/headphones, and very low-latency.  (The M6 allows to switch speakers, but no mono/dim stuff.. so I’ve held off for now).

    Let me know if you have questions about that, or open a new question (if you ever look into a dedicated amp for the headphones).

    The benefits of an audio interface vs a headphone amp are the additional features like recording a microphone, plugging in speakers, in addition to being your sound card/headphone amp.

    Good stuff, Graham!!


    I will certainly consider the MOTU M2. At least it’s a starting point for what to look for.

  • The topic ‘Quality headphones search’ is closed to new replies.
← Back to Questions Area