The Full List At A Glance
When it comes down to it, you can record vocals with any headphones. You could even do it with some plain old apple ear buds!
But for serious producers and vocalists, you will want headphones designed for vocal recording in order to achieve the highest quality of recording possible.
There are a few basic things you'll want to look for when picking a headphone for vocal recording.
There are typically 3 types of studio headphones. closed-back, semi-open, and open. Open and semi-open headphones have slight openings in the headphone that allow sound to bleed out of the back of the headphones. These are ideal for long producing session where you'll be listening for a long period of time. The open configuration allows for less frequency build up and overall is easier on your ears!
However, when recording vocals, you don't want any sound to leave the headphone. This small amount of sound can be picked up by your mic and result in a poor sounding recording.
The majority of headphones on the market are built for the casual listener, not for music production. Becuase of this, many manufacturers will boost certain frequencies. Beats headphones, for example, often have huge basses. Whereas other headphones might boost the higher frequencies in order to achieve a crisper sound.
But when working on your vocals, you want to hear them as is with no modification. This will help you determine A. Whether or not you actually had a good sounding recording and B. Help you accurately determine what type of processing and EQ it might need.
When searching for vocal headphones, look for words like "Studio Headphones", "Flat Frequency Headphones", or "Neutral Frequency Headphones".
This one is less important than the first two items. But if you're going to have long recording and editing sessions, then you'll want something comfortable!
Most modern studio headphones will be somewhat comfortable. It's rare these days for an overear headphone to not have any padding or cushioning built in. But some are definitely more comfortable than others!
When looking at headphones, you'll want to be sure that the cable connection connects properly to your setup. The most common cables are your standard 3.5mm headphone jack. But you'll also see some 1/4" jacks for connecting to amps or pre-amps. You'll sometimes even see XLR connections.
Most high-quality vocal production headphones will include your standard 3.5mm jack with a 1/4" adapter. But something to look out for if you have a specific recording setup.
The Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X should be a go-to for anyone looking for a top-quality vocal recording headphone. It sounds as clean and crisp, provides a neutral frequency response, and is versitile enough to use for other things.
It's on the pricier side. But we feel it's the best pair of headphones you can buy!
This pair is also one of the most comfortable pair of headphones you'll find. You can see the super soft grey over-ear cushioning that feels like a soft little blanket for your ears.
The Sony MDR-7506 is one of the industry's top standards in terms of sound quality, comfort, and longevity. It has a 4.8/5 rating out of over 17k reviews on Amazon! So if that doesn't say it all, then I don't know what will!
Because of their lightweight construction, these headphones are structurally engineered for extended listening. They also easily fold up for great portability. The MDR-7506 sounds very balanced and will give you a neutral frequency playback.
Given that this pair of headphones can be purchased for under $100, this pair is a fantastic choice!
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a super popular pair of headphones for recording vocals. And for good reason!
The 280 Pro provides a pleasant, clean sound that is flat across all frequencies. They're also foldable and include rotating earcups for added comfort.
In terms of comfort, you'll be good for extended periods of listening, and the overall construction is tough and won't fail you.
Design wise, these headphones aren't anything inspiring, but they are constructed very well and do a great job preventing sound from leaking out.
The Audio-Technica is a great pair of headphones that you can get for less than $200. It comes with three interchangeable cords. You get a long option, short, and coiled for whatever use you may need.
The M50x sound is pure. And comfort is high. Featuring an adjustable band and swiveling ear buds, all head shapes will find these comfortable.
There isn't a lot to not like about these headphones!
The Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro's may be the best sounding headphones on this list. The main reason these aren't one of our top picks is simply due to price. They cost just under $500. But if your ok with the price, then these are amazing. .
The 1770 Pro'shave a high-resolution and well-balanced sound. They're very simple, but sleek looking. And comfort will be no issue with these.
But the true innovation comes with their sound technology. Which allows for these headphones to be accurate and distortion-free even at high output levels. Break-up vibrations are suppressed using a three-layer composite membrane. And distortion-free sound reproduction is ensured by carefully selected acoustic fabric.
Everything about these are premium quality.
The MAONO AU-MH601 is our top pick for budget-friendly vocal recording headphones. They are a steal at just under $50!
You will get slightly better sound quality with some of the headphones above. But considering the price, these headphones definitely deserve to be featured.
Their sound quality is above average, they're very comfortable, and they'll be suited just fine for other production work outside of recording vocals.
If you're a beginner or someone with a smaller budget, then these are a safe bet!
Everything about these are premium quality.
The k92's are another great option from AKG. They get an A+ for looks. With a sleek gold and black look that's got a bit more going on than most headphones in the vocal recording category. From a sound quality perspective, these headphones produce a very flat signal.
The only downside to these in our opinion is that they aren't THAT comfortable over long periods of time. The head strap isn't the softest material in the world. And the earbuds aren't quite as cushiony as some of the others on this list.
Nonetheless, these are a great pair of recording headphones for vocals!
We couldn't do a best of headphone list without including something from Shure. Shure is one of the most trusted brands in the audio industry. And although we prefer their mics for recording vocals, they make some great headphones too. Including the SRH440.
These are a very suitable pair of headphones for many different types of recordings. They feature an Enhanced Frequency Response and Extended Frequency Range. And they come with multiple accessories including different headphone jacks and even an extra pair of ear cushions.
We hope this list has helped you! If budget isn't an issue, then we recommend the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X in most cases. If you need to stick to something under $100, then the Sony MDR-7506 is your best bet.
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