How do I pick the best home studio headphones?
Headphones are essential for any bedroom producers and home studio musician. A pair of nice headphones can be a big investment, but you need some really good ones to reproduce the audio accurately. The good news is that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars if you’re a beginner.
Why headphones instead of speakers?
When you produce music, you tend to listen to it as the track evolves and progresses. Unless you live by yourself in a very remote area, you probably can’t replay the same part of the same track out loud over and over again at any time of the day or night – At least not without pissing off your family, neighbors, roommates or pets.
What are studio headphones?
Studio headphones have a higher frequency response (a wider frequency range) than commercial headphones. You could say that studio headphones aim to produce the true sound, while commercial headphones have been tuned or curated to a certain sound by the manufacturer.
What to consider when buying studio headphones
There’s a couple of things to keep in mind when you want to buy studio headphones. Do you want open or closed back? Do you prefer an over-ear or on-ear designs? What is the frequency range? What is the bass like? How is the size, weight and fit? How big is your budget? We’ll guide and help you through the terms and process of buying studio headphones.
What’s the difference between closed-back and open-back headphones?
The difference is that closed-back headphones have a closed-back, while open-back headphones have an open-back. You probably guessed that already, but let’s take a look at why there are two different designs to begin with.
Closed-Back Headphones – For recording
When you record in your studio, you want maximum sound isolation in your headphones. Closed-back headphones trap the sound inside of them. This way, you can listen to the backing track without the sound getting picked up by the microphones. This means that open-back can be better if you are recording an instrument without microphones (such as an electric keyboard).
Open-Back Headphones – For mixing
Open-back headphones offer the best sound quality. Isolation tends to negatively affect sound quality, which is why open-back headphones are typically preferred when producing, mixing and editing a track. The downside is that you need a quieter room.
Semi-Open Headphones – Compromise
Semi-open headphones have become a popular option, since you get a bit of isolation without compromising the sound quality too much. If you do both recording and producing/mixing, and you can only afford one pair of studio headphones, semi-open is certainly a contender.