Top 11 Studio Headphones for Recording Voiceovers, Music, and More at Home

With the best studio phones for recording at home, you can hear your voiceovers, music, and other recordings with greater clarity, allowing you to be a better producer who delivers a better final product.

But here’s the thing though — not all studio headphones are the same. And more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better.

Choosing the right studio headphones for recording at home means carefully considering a number of factors, including the type of recording you’ll be doing (e.g. voiceover work, music, podcasting, etc.), the type of headphones you prefer (wireless, wired, open or closed back, etc.), budget, and more.

We’ve reviewed and ranked the best studio headphones, offering quality picks across different categories and for every price point. 

 

My Quick Suggestions

To save you some time, here are some suggestions from our research and testing. These voice-over headphones all deliver great results and come with features to deliver quality recordings for all skill levels:

  • Sennheiser HD280PRO – Affordable on nearly any budget, these studio headphones are comfortable with adjustable cups and closed-back design for attenuation of ambient noise, trusted brand with over 75 years in the recording industry
  • Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO – Mid-range price for professional studio quality monitoring, versatile for use in voice-over work and instrument recording, comfortable and replaceable ear pads, able to use with mobile recording devices as well as in-studio applications and hardware
  • Audio-Technica ATH-R70x – Neutral tuning for accurate voice-over monitoring, acoustically transparent to allow for hearing of your own voice during performances, can be used with a range of headphone amplifiers

Now let’s move on to the list of studio headphones that are ideal for voice-over in your home studio. We will analyze in detail their characteristics, explain the reason why I chose them, and find the best option for you.

Best Studio Headphones for Voice-overs, Music, and More
Sennheiser HD280PRO

The industry standard, lightweight, comfy, great for voice-over pros and beginners.

Type: closed-back
My choice among the closed-back studio headphones!
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Sennheiser HD 650

High end, great dynamic range, mids, bass, and highs. Soft on the ears!

Type: open-back
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Sony MDR7506

A pro choice, appealing design, solid noise reduction, high frequency response.

Type: closed-back
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Sony MDRXB800

Superb low tones, smart price, natural sound, bass, ergonomic and foldable.

Type: closed-back
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Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

Cost-effective, soft ear cushions, great highs, and mid-range, 2yr warranty.

Type: closed-back
 
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Beyerdynamic DT-990-Pro-250

Nice mid-range option, wide frequency range, 250-ohm drivers, lightweight diaphragm.

Type: open-back
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Shure SRH1540

Perfect studio headphones for voice-overs, nice look and sound, noise-free, adjustable headband.

Type: closed-back
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Shure SRH1840

Pure audial pleasure, circumaural design, well-balanced, ergonomic, and durable.

Type: open-back
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AKG K 240 MK II

Over-ear design, firm bass, rich dynamic range, adjustable; a smart choice!

Type: semi-open
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Audio-Technica ATH-R70x

Spacious sound, lightweight, big breathable cups, natural and clear sound.

Type: open-back
My choice among the open-backs!
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Status Audio CB-1

Good studio headphones for voice overs, no sound leaks, soft cups, foldable, nice cabling.

Type: closed-back
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Why Use Studio Headphones?

Why is it instrumental to use studio headphones for recording in the first place?

When recording a voice-over, you don’t want to pick up sound from the speakers. With the speakers on, you jeopardize the recording quality. This is where headphones lead the game – just listen to the playback in a quiet location with no distortions, and you’re all set.

 

What Kind of Recording Headphones Should You Use?

Open-back vs. closed-back headphonesNow, what kind of headphones are the best fit for voice-overs?

As a rule, pros prefer circumaural ‘closed-back’ devices. Closed-back actually means that the outside part of the headphone cups is solid, whereas ‘open-back’ leaves the back of the ear cups open.

A hard ‘closed’ enclosure seems a more viable option since it prevents sound leaks, and steers away background noises perceived by the mic.

On the other hand, open-back devices sound way larger and more natural, which might be an upside in some scenarios.

In this brief review, I’m putting two studio headphone types together so you can judge for yourself and see which features work better in your case.

What are the Best Studio Headphones?

Here’s our complete list for the top recording headphones:

 

1. Sennheiser HD280PRO →

Sennheiser HD280PROPower users maintain Sennheiser HD280PRO is the industry standard, which might be true, as far as I’m concerned.

Looking for dynamic closed-back headphones? HD280 could be your top choice.

What’s inside?

  • Foldable ear cups for easy, safe transport.
  • Utilizes durable single-sided cable for convenient management.
  • Linear sound reproduction with high ambient noise attenuation.

Why I picked it:

  • Lightweight, ergonomic, nice look and feel.
  • Warm, natural sound with no extra gadgets involved.
  • One of the most best values on the market in terms of price and quality.
  • Ambient noise attenuation really helps with natural sounds like the human voice, but sound reproduction remains uncolored and neutral.
  • Sennheiser is one of the most respected names in pro audio with a proven track record of creating superior gear.

Best for

  • Budget-conscious studio owners.
  • Vocal recording artists who work in more than one location.
  • Voice-over talent who require high-quality monitoring when performing on location.

These headphones are the epitome of comfortable. Nifty around-the-ear design, ear cups that really stand out – well… metaphorically speaking.

Here’s a brief video review of HD280PRO. The review includes main tech features, applications and purchase tips:


2. Sennheiser HD 650 →

Sennheiser HD 650An open-back that will make the most picky audiophiles happy, Sennheiser HD 650 appeals to pros and covers amateur needs as well.

What’s inside?

  • High power neodymium magnets for top efficiency.
  • Lightweight voice coils for rapid transient response.
  • Hand-picked pair of response units with narrow tolerances of ± 1dB.
  • Detachable cable made specially to eliminate signal noise using highly conductive OFC copper.

Why I picked it:

  • Real high end and everything that goes with it.
  • Incredible dynamic range.
  • Miraculous mids and bass, and clear highs.
  • Great extension and sound stage, boosted frequency response at 10 – 39,500 Hz (-10 dB).
  • Custom-designed acoustic silk helps to reduce total harmonic distortion to as little as 0.05%.

Best for:

  • Audiophiles who demand high-quality playback.
  • Voice-over artists who perform a range on roles.
  • Studio professionals looking for headphones targeted toward transient detail.

Need a soft touch on the ears? You got it!

Take a look at the video and judge for yourself:


3. Sony MDR7506 →

Sony MDR7506A pro choice, Sony MDR7506 offers balanced low, medium and high tones.

What’s inside?

  • Comes with protective carry pouch and gold-plated adaptor.
  • Can connect to portable recording and listening devices for work on the road.
  • Easily handles frequencies up to 20kHz.
  • Mid-range price is the sweet spot for home studio voice-over artists.

Why I picked it:

  • The overall design makes a good impression, the headband will work fine for any taste, and the ear cups are soft and comfortable.
  • Sound leakage is minimal, with solid noise reduction. Frequency response of 10Hz – 20 kHz.
  • Versatile connection options for use in both studio voice-over work and personal listening enjoyment.

Best for:

  • Voice-over artists who need a fast and easy monitoring solution that connects to different types of hardware.
  • Home recording studio engineers.
  • Vocal recording artists on a budget who want to save money.

These headphones fold up easily in case you need to travel or store them with a minimal ‘footprint’.

Need more details? Check out this video review from Hifi Heaven pointing out the great value behind the Sony MDR7506:


4. Sony MDRXB800 →

Sony MDRXB800This Sony model has an edge over the competition in the low tones, and many more perks!

What’s inside?

  • Padded ear cups aid in comfort for long listening sessions.
  • Hinged headband makes for easy storage and transport.
  • Frequency response dips down to 3Hz according to Sony.

Why I picked it:

  • Cheap, stylish, foldable, smart construction (earpiece-earpiece design-over-the-head) – what else could you ask for?
  • Cable length – 3.94 ft; maximum frequency response at 28 kHz.
  • Realistic, natural sound, and bass, genuine BASS, if you are into it.

Best for:

  • Vocal recording pros who want to connect to multiple devices.
  • Recording engineers who want to reference mixes using consumer headphones.
  • Baritone voice-over artists seeking extra-strength bass.

How else is it different from the MDR7506? Get more insights from a popular vlogger:


5. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO →

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PROAvailable at a moderate cost, the closed-back Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO tops the list of the best headphones for recording vocals and voice overs, providing quality sound and improved bass response.

What’s inside?

  • Circumaural technology provides natural sound in the studio and through mobile devices.
  • Full frequency response with a neutral tuning to reproduce crisp highs and deep lows.
  • Spring steel headband for flexibility and padded ear cups provide comfort during long sessions.
  • Single-sided cable reduces clutter and tangled messes.

Why I picked it:

  • A nice trade-off in between solid features and reasonable price.
  • Stylish design with rugged headband construction.
  • Comfort and ease-of-use with single-sided cableSoft ear cushions.
  • Impressive high and mid-range reproduction.
  • 2-year warranty if purchased from an authorized reseller.

Best for:

  • Voice-over artists who record while traveling.
  • Recording engineers needing monitoring headphones for both music and vocal work.
  • Voice-over artists who work from home.

Learn more details in this HomeTracks review and consider these headphones for your home recording studio:


6. Beyerdynamic DT-990-Pro-250

Beyerdynamic DT-990-Pro-250A seasoned performer in the mid-range, the DT-990-Pro-250 open-back from Beyerdynamic offers an extraordinarily wide frequency range, and more!

What’s inside?

  • 250-ohm drivers, superb sound reproduction.
  • Lightweight diaphragm and exceptional impulse performance.
  • Pro model features a coiled cable for easier management and less mess.
  • Both the ear cups and the headband are snug but comfortable without causing tension.
  • Open-back design reduces pressure and artificial bass to ensure neutrality.

Why I picked it:

  • Like the DT 770, this one has an adjustable, padded headband construction, and goes soft on your ears thanks to the tender velour ear pads.
  • All this comes with a traditional 2-year manufacturer warranty.
  • Excellent sound reproduction for voice-over work and music mixing.
  • Wide stereo image allows for pinpoint accuracy in panning and mixing voice-over takes with other audio.
  • Affordable price but with high-end results.

Best for:

  • Professional and home studio recording engineers.
  • Voice-over artists who are ready to step up from enthusiast headphones.
  • Podcasters looking for an affordable, professional monitoring solution.

Get more information from this HardwareCanucks review and see which Beyerdynamic product meets your requirements:


7. Shure SRH1540 →

Shure SRH1540 PremiumExcuse the bad pun, but this is the headphone device you can be sure about. The close-ear Shure SRH1540 looks gorgeous and never fails in terms of quality, be it voice-overs or any other possible scenario.

What’s inside?

  • Steel driver frame for improved linearity, eliminated internal resonance and smooth performance at various levels.
  • Carbon fiber construction provides durability and long-lasting performance.
  • 40mm neodymium drivers create a rich sound stage with warm bass and crisp high-end.
  • Features a closed-back design for improved isolation and full sound.
  • Comes with a storage case, replacement ear pads, a threaded adapator and replacement cable.

Why I picked it:

  • It’s a perfect blend of good looks and good sound, with utmost comfort included.
  • The headphones have garnered a bunch of positive reviews from voice-over pros, high-end fans and audiophiles across the globe. All these people just can’t be wrong, and I totally agree.
  • An extensive soundstage with clear highs and warm basses.
  • The classic closed-back design helps reduces background noises.
  • Ergonomic, fully adjustable headband for ultimate comfort.

Best for:

  • Home and professional studio engineers.
  • Voice-over artists who want to monitor full-range performances.
  • Vocal artists who want headphones that will last for years.

Feel free to learn more in an elaborate video clip from Z Review:


8. Shure SRH1840 →

Shure SRH1840An excellent pair of headphones, the SRH1840 open-back raises the bar for a full, truly absorbing audial experience.

What’s inside?

  • Open-back design allows for neutral monitoring without bass pressure or harsh transients.
  • Includes replacement velour ear pads, carrying case, replacement cable and threaded adaptor.
  • Full sound with no over-tuned response, perfect for use in monitoring, mixing and mastering.

Why I picked it:

  • The circumaural design makes for natural sound, wide stereo and boosted field depth.
  • External noises aside, the sound is well balanced with solid bass, mids in the right spectrum and highs bright and clear.
  • Lightweight, yet durable – a close rival to its SRH1540 sibling!

Best for:

  • Studio engineers who require neutrality in sound reproduction.
  • Voice-over artists seeking a monitoring solution that brings out natural details in voice work.
  • Recording professionals who are ready to move up from mid-tier pricing.

Great review by Damir Franc will give you more details about these headphones!

9. AKG K 240 MK II →

AKG K 240 MK IIAKG were once famous for their flagship K1000 series. The up-to-date semi-open K240 model follows this remarkable legacy and adds more features.

What’s inside?

  • Utilizes 30mm XXL transducers to reproduce natural sound without over-tuning highs or lows.
  • Back design is semi-open, allowing a combination of natural clarity mixed with isolation for improved detail.
  • The provided mini-XLR cable is perfect for connecting to professional recording gear in the studio, at home or in the field.

Why I picked it:

  • The over-ear design gives you an awesome feeling, however long the voice-over.
  • Check it out and appreciate the firm bass, airy highs and the ample dynamic range.
  • The headband can be self-adjusted to cater to individual preferences.

Best for:

  • AKG is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated standards for studios, orchestras and stages.
  • Top pick for audiophiles and sound professionals worldwide.
  • Vocal pros who want to hear everything around them as they work

For a quick unboxing and thoughts on this model, watch this video review:


10. Audio-Technica ATH-R70x →

Audio-Technica ATH-R70xAll about spaciousness and rich sound, these award-winning open-back headphones from AT will make most picky audiophiles happy.

What’s inside?

  • The model comes with nifty magnets and a pure alloy magnetic circuit that help to eliminate distortion and increase high-frequency response.
  • Acoustically transparent housings reduce unwanted coloration and reproduce natural performances
  • Features a dual-sided detachable cable for customizing the listening experience
  • Utilizes carbon composite resin to remove transient bite
  • Lightweight, yet durable, for added comfort and protection

Why I picked it:

  • Incredibly light to wear, with big comfortable cups – ATH R70x will deliver the utmost usability even for long recording sessions.
  • The ear pads are soft and breathable.
  • As for the sound, it reaches the highest standards – natural and clear.
  • The open-back design delivers a flat response for neutral monitoring during recording and while mixing and mastering vocal takes and more.
  • All this with an approximate weight of 0.5 lbs/220 g.

Best for:

  • Professional studio engineers
  • Voice-over artists who are ready to move up to pro-audio quality and price
  • Recording engineers who need to monitor subtle and nuanced vocal takes

Need video proof? You got it! Learn how these headphones perform in real life, and why the reviewer thinks they stand out from the competition:


11. Status Audio CB-1 →

Status Audio CB-1Status Audio CB-1 has been designed for pro use and covers all voice-over needs from A to Z. You got all you need in this closed-back – no sound leaks, no distractions, no hiccups.

What’s inside?

  • Utilizes 50mm drivers with a closed-back design, but delivers a neutral monitoring experience for mixing vocal takes
  • Detachable cable for clean organization in the studio
  • 3.5mm plug can be adapted to 1/4” for use with many hardware devices

Why I picked it:

  • Aside from nice sound rejection, Status excels in durability.
  • However far you try stretching the band, don’t expect any cracks or breaks. It’s rock-solid, yet flexible.
  • The ear-pads are soft, smooth and ergonomic, attaining the same or higher level of comfort as the close competitors on the list.
  • Moreover, these headphones are foldable. Looking for a smaller form factor? All you need is a gentle touch, and they fold.
  • The package comes with decent cabling: two detachable cables, coiled and straight, with twist-lock available.

Best for:

  • Voice-over artists seeking an entry-level monitoring solution
  • Music enthusiasts who need a pair of inexpensive closed-back headphones
  • Home studio users who are learning about recording and engineering sessions

A CLE Tech review suggests this might be the best pair of headphones under $100. Watch the video, and judge for yourself:

Choosing the Best Studio Headphones for Your Needs

Finding the right recording headphones for voice-over work or home studio use can seem daunting. What options should I look for? What features do I need? Does brand or price matter?

Guide

Thankfully, finding the right studio headphones can be easy by following these five simple tips:

1. Understand Your Needs

Headphones can be used for monitoring vocal performances during recording, but they aren’t always the best choice when it comes to mixing and mastering recordings.

As a result, look for studio headphones that provide a flat response so you get an accurate representation of your vocal work during the recording process. Headphones that are heavily tuned toward bass tones can cause an unnatural and muddy sound that distorts your EQing and mastering.

With this stated, high-end headphones can be used for mixing and mastering as long as they are designed with neutrality in mind.

2. Think of Your Comfort

ComfortThe length of time it takes to get a good vocal take depends on a number of factors, including the length of the voice-over and how many takes you need to get the perfect recording.

This means you may be wearing studio headphones for varying lengths of time, including for hours a day if you’re recording voice-over work for lengthy videos.

If you’re wearing uncomfortable recording headphones the whole time, you may not be ready to give your best performance, so look for studio headphones that include comfort features like adjustable clamp tightness, cup extenders and cushioned over-the-ear cups.

3. Price Doesn’t Determine the Right Fit

In life, you often get what you pay for. This may lead you to believe that the most expensive pair of voice-over headphones will deliver the best performance, but that may be incorrect.

Once again, it all comes down to your recording needs and how you plan to use the studio headphones.

An expensive pair of studio headphones that has been designed specifically for simulated surround sound may cost more than a pair of recording headphones designed for vocal monitoring, but the vocal monitoring headphones will likely better meet your needs.

4. Consider Connectivity

ConnectivityTraditionally, headphones in a recording environment are connected to a digital audio workstation or recording hardware unit through a cord and jack.

While this method is still preferred among most professional studios, wireless technology has made major advancements in recent decades toward providing a similar listening experience with very low latency in the field of vocal recording.

As a result, consider what type of connection you will need between your studio headphones and your recording equipment prior to making a decision.

Also, think about the future and where you see the industry moving in terms of wired vs. wireless options down the road. Keep in mind that technology changes fast, so it may be better to stick with trusted connection methods until you have a chance to see how things will play out instead of investing in a gimmick that won’t last more than a few years at the most.

5. Think About Extra Equipment

If you’re new to purchasing headphones for recording and voice-over work, you may think studio headphones work just like retail headphones that connect to a source for listening to music. While this is technically the case, many studio headphones, especially those on the higher end of the price and quality scale, will require amplification in order to get the most out of them.

Schiit Magni 3
Schiit Magni 3 Headphone Amp

A headphone amplifier may be an additional piece of hardware that will be utilized to control the volume of source material being fed to the headphones, but it may also provide power to an amplification unit built into the headphones.

An amplifier is also used to reduce signal noise for the cleanest, clearest sound possible. Before purchasing a pair of voice-over headphones, check to see if you will need to also purchase an amplifier or other hardware so that you’ll be ready to record, monitor and mix your tracks from day one.

 

A Final Word on the Best Studio Headphones 

Now that I’ve rolled out a few of my top picks and guided you on how to choose the right studio headphones, it’s time for a verdict.

Since we have the best headphones for voice-overs and vocals in mind, it’s only fair that we favor closed-backs. However, some open-ear models are so gorgeous and brilliant we can’t help giving them full credit.

The closed-back award goes to the Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone and the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO. They are both amazing: the former gets kudos for its utmost comfort and dynamics, while the latter provides a perfect bass response at a very reasonable price.

The open-ear award is granted to the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back for its spacious sound and ergonomic design.

Am I missing some studio headphones brand that deserves attention? Give me a shout! Any feedback is welcome. You can also check out my guide to the best headset microphones.

Looking to get more education in the field of voice over work? Make sure to check out our voice over classes guide!

6 thoughts on “Top 11 Studio Headphones for Recording Voiceovers, Music, and More at Home”

  1. I’ve been using a Sony MDR7506 for over four years, mainly for voice-overs and vocals. Never had any serious glitches with this model. I like the noise reduction and overall ease-of-use, but it might be time for a change and I could use another pair in the same price range. Any recommendations?

    Reply
  2. Thank you for this.

    I was looking for a solid option for recording voice-over content. I decided to go with a Sennheiser HD 280 Pro.

    Reply
  3. Thanks for the tips. I have a question…I found a pair of studio headphones online listed through an auction site. They’re used, but it says they’re in good shape. Are they safe to buy?

    Reply
    • Like with any electronics, you take your chances when purchasing used equipment. It’s usually recommended to buy high-end recording gear new because most products come with a warranty, the seller will usually exchange a faulty item and you also know the history behind your purchase. Buying used can be a hit-or-miss type of situation, so beware of offers that sound too good to be true.

      Reply

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