Sealing the bargain means sinking lots of cash into the unit; accordingly, you must know what to look for in studio headphones. Conversant with the essential features and trade-offs, you can seize a cream of the crop.
Our guidelines equip you with a fine-tooth comb to separate the wheat from the chaff. A high-grade set of monitoring speakers will go the extra mile to upgrade your studio acoustics for spit and polish audio.
8 Things To Consider About What To Look For In Studio Headphones:
1. Consider What Applications the Headsets Can Handle?
With the advent of digital technology, studio innovations allow whipping up of recordings or on-the-go execution. Studio headphones vary based on the applications they support, though the niche evolves in tandem with the contingencies of emerging technologies.
The first step in cherry-picking the ideal set starts with applications like tracking, monitoring and tweaking a live mix or symphonizing drums as you record. Armed with these pearls of knowledge, you can nail down considerations that play out as you shop.
2. Open vs. Closed Designs
Open-back headphones come with an ear cup with openings or crevices that allow sound seepage for a different sound signature.
They sound more organic, open and airy, cut for audio engineering where the most natural sound matters when mixing and monitoring in a quiet room.
Closed-back headsets shut out the world and often come in the over-ear design. They add high-resolution for monitoring as you record as minimal sound will seep into the microphone.
Closed-back headphones render a weightier bass edge than open-back sets, a trade-off as they become less sonically neutral making them unsuitable for mixing.
Open-back style suffers profuse sound seepage hampering recording, though they churn out scalpel-precise and neutral frequency range shining through the mixing stage.
3. Circum-aural vs. Supra-aural
Headsets that fit over your ear (circum-aural) and counterparts designed to rest on or above the ear (supra-aural). It embodies the earcup’s design, the cushion sandwiching the drivers and the listener.
The circum-aural version seals the ears for crystal-clear, high-precision audio, even in full-blast noise ambiances. The design offers excellent passive attenuation of extraneous noise.
Circum-aural headphones made from vinyl padding cause profuse sweating than fabric cushions or memory foam lined with PU’s leatherette. The pads should encircle the ears fully to isolate against ambient noise.
Though scarce as hen’s teeth, supra-aural headphones serve up the natural dynamics and fit snugly to create a smart extent of attenuation from the external world, making them well-equipped for monitoring during recording.
4. Frequency Response
If you want to setup a music system for mixing, then frequency response should have some impact on your purchasing decision. Top-of-the-line studio headphones allow the audio engineer to capture everything streamed.
A vast majority reproduce a broad spectrum (20Hz-to-20,000Hz) to accommodate the range of human audibility. Some brands include a graph and parameters for the assessment, but this also gives a hint of how the set will belt out.
5. Benefits of Wired vs. Wireless
Wireless headsets have made inroads into studios making them the king, but the wire still reigns supreme. Pro audio gear has for long remained hinged on wired headphones. During recording and mixing, you don’t need to keep roaming across different areas.
Bluetooth headphones compress signal deliberately before oscillating it between devices. Last but not least, wireless cans lack the superior capability to amplify audio production like wired versions and remain limited volume-wise.
Wireless headphones strike a chord with many consumers than the pro studio market. You can also find the wire and wireless in-one for studio environments designed to serve up accurate sound output, neutrality, and a subtle sense of immediacy for the pro world.
Impedance tilts the scales in ohms with the majority of brands falling in the neighborhood of 32Ω to 600Ω. In electronics parlance, impedance determines the amount of resistance a device manages against an AC.
With increased impedance in headphones, the voltage guzzled rises proportionally. Headphones impedance varies significantly in the market and this may determine applicability for various applications.
Higher end models equipped with a premium-grade amp to crank out more voltage render the most excellent audio performance. If you pair headphones with a device having a low voltage headphone output, the impedance should sway your buying habits.
7. Ear Ergonomic & Comfort
You might need cans for long-wearing like overnight mixing or recording. Ensure you pick a set that does not exert excessive strain on your ears or delicate skin. Breathability allows perspiration-free and slippery-proof operations.
The headband’s strength also determines the amount of pressure and whether they rest as snug as a bug in a rug or keep slipping out of position. Wear them and move your head to ensure they latch onto your ears to improve the listening experience.
Over-ear style support extended sessions as they don’t thrust against your ears, unlike on-ear models. Most studios prefer over-ear cans for general listening or monitoring.
8. Tips to Clue In On A Box Of Tricks
High-end studio headphones render crystal-clear sound output with a flat and neural frequency range for accurate monitoring with a leak-proof, natural, and pristine sound
Sumptuous headband padding makes the unit comfortable to use for long-wearing
Avoid bass-heavy cans in favor of solid low-end frequencies, sound quality and brighter sound signatures for finer details
Extra-large drivers and neodymium magnets delivered superb sound clarity at a stretch and detailed to expose the tiniest flaws
Consider adjustable headband, swiveling earcups, lightweight and collapsible headphones for versatility and convenience
Semi-open headphones allow some sound bleed into your ambiance while the open sound signature gives an improved sensation of spatial imaging, instrument resolution, recording and mixing
If you know what to look for in-studio headphones, you’ll never miss the point when shopping. You can get everything from soups to nuts in this forum, but knowing your priorities and urgencies will help you hone in salient features.
For sprawling studio environments, consider tooling up the set up with multiple cans for a broad array of applications if you expend more on track.
Given the market seethes with plethora designs, sizes, and prices, you can walk away with a pristine-sound set of pipes without feeling the pinch. Top-dollar headphones with advanced capabilities feed into the pro audio segment than lowly-priced consumer models.