How to Choose the Right Headphones for Studio Recording
The way you monitor your audio can be as important as the tools you use to capture sound. Whether tracking, mixing, or fine tuning your music during mastering, we’ll help you find the right pair of headphones for your next visit to the studio.
Investing in a pair of good monitoring speakers and improving your room acoustics will go a long way to help you produce great sounding tracks. But when it comes to the perfect mix, studio-quality headphones are essential to turn your recording into a professionally polished masterpiece. Any imperfections missed during the early stages will only be accentuated by the mastering process. So to save time and disappointment at the end, make sure that you can hear every note and nuance in crystal clear detail throughout the entire recording process.
Unless you're lucky enough to have your own well-kitted studio space, where almost every inch of the walls is padded and lined with acoustic treatments, the sound from the room could find its way onto your recording, or it may dip at certain frequencies when listening back in the room.
Even top producers themselves do not rely solely on their monitoring speakers during the mixing and mastering process, and that's because you're still hearing how the audio sounds in the room - after it's bounced off the walls. This is of course an important part of checking your track sounds great when played in almost any situation, but using a pair of headphones that blocks out everything else except for the audio you recorded is the best place to start to achieve a clean final mix.
One of the main things to consider when it comes to choosing the right headphones for your studio recording is the frequency response. Some consumer headphones have boosted bass frequencies, but most cover the standard 20 - 20,000 Hz range. Top-end studio microphones can capture extended frequencies and transient details that simply don't come through in more basic headphones. Professional studio headphones are designed with a high level of accuracy to enable you to hear everything that's in the mix, so you can control any unwanted sounds and really dive into the details to create a final track that's even better than you had imagined.
By now, you’ve probably seen options for either ‘closed-back’ or ‘open-back’ headphones, and whilst the difference might seem obvious, they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. When you’re laying down your tracks at the start, you’ll definitely want a pair of closed-back headphones. Closed-back headphones are the best choice due to their sound isolating design, which prevents any bleed or external sounds interfering with your recording so all that’s left is you and your sound. There is nothing worse than getting to the end of your production and realizing that you can hear the click track!
Once you’ve recorded your tracks you’re ready to get mixing. Our closed-back headphones such as the SRH840A feature a precisely tailored frequency response across 5 - 25,000 Hz to deliver rich bass, clear mid-range and extended highs, making them the number one choice for both tracking and mixing in the studio.
Open or Closed Cans?
But if you want nothing but the very best closed-back studio headphones, then look no further than the SRH1540. Made with premium materials, including a lightweight metal headband and high-quality memory foam pads crafted from Alcantara materials, you are guaranteed comfort all day long which is probably the second most important factor when choosing the right headphones for your studio recording.
Open-back headphones essentially have holes in the ear-cup designed to allow sound to escape, and subsequently, the sound signature is more open, or "airy," which makes perfect for those who prefer a more natural sound when mixing a track.
Our top range SRH1840 Professional Headphones are optimized for mastering and critical listening with an extended high frequency range of 10 - 30,000 Hz. The SRH1840 has an impedance of 65 Ω and will benefit from a good quality headphone amp to drive more voltage and get the best performance. Impedance is an electronics term measuring the amount of opposition a device has to an AC current, so as the impedance of a pair of headphones increases, more voltage is required to drive it.
So invest in a decent pair that can give you the transparency you're looking for and reflect the full range of sound you need to hear when tracking, mixing and mastering your track. If your budget can only afford one pair of studio headphones, the SRH840A would be the ideal choice to accompany you in your next session. Every detail matters when it comes to recording music in the studio, so make sure your monitoring equipment gives you nothing but extraordinary sound.