Best Headphones For Recording Vocals (Buying Guide & Reviews)

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You would say, why do I need headphones to record vocals, when I simply can take my phone, press record and the job is done.

Well, you can do that if you are not an audiophile, but a true audio lover or an audiophile whose job is to stay in the studio for extended hours would definitely care about the best tools that he or she might get when it comes to recording vocals, including headphones.

And, I mentioned headphones for reason! This article is meant for the best headphones that can be utilized in a recording studio, in order to record vocals. The list of headphones consists of 5 very well-known headphones that guarantee quality and amazing features.

Without no further ado, let’s get into the real business and take a look at the best headphones for recording vocals.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
The Most Portable
AKG Pro Audio K371
AKG Pro Audio K371
10
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The Most Versatile 
Sennheiser HD 280 PRO
Sennheiser HD 280 PRO
9
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The Most Affordable 
Sony MDR7506
Sony MDR7506
8.5
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The Most Comfortable
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
8.8
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Best Overall
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X
8.6
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Top 5 Best Headphones For Recording Vocals

5. AKG Pro Audio K371 – The Most Portable

Beautifully packaged with three detachable, armored cables, one long (3m) curly, one short (1.2m) and straight, and one long (3m) and straight, that connect to the headphone side of a tiny XLR connector.

The construction is sturdy but light. The ear cups can rotate 180 degrees, allowing you to sing while wearing just one. With the ability to fold into a beautiful small shape, these studio headphones are the most portable of all those on this list.

They are nonetheless quite comfy even if the inside cup rubs against the ear. They cradle the head so delicately, sacrificing comfort for sound leaking. There is hardly much passive noise isolation.

Generally, the sound is unsatisfactory. They strike a wonderful mix between clarity and fluidity, yet altogether they lack honesty. The bass is artificial, and they have an increase in the sibilant range.

The middle, though, is the most difficult. Vocal monitoring would be difficult with these studio headphones due to the murkiness of roughly 350–600 Hz. Sadly, the sound doesn’t hold a candle to the others on this list, and the cover doesn’t match the book, but considering the portability feature of these studio headphones, and the comfort that they offer, they are still a good option to purchase when it comes to recording vocals, so you still consider them.

Key features of AKG Pro Audio K371: 

  • Driver size (mm)50
  • Battery Life: 40 Hours
  • Sensitivity (dB SPL/V @ 1 kHz): 114
  • Rated impedance (Ω): 32
  • Audio frequency bandwidth (Hz): 5 – 40000
  • Cable(s) length (m): 1.2, 3 & 3
  • Audio frequency bandwidth: 5 – 40000 Hz
  • Weight (g): 255
  • Detachable: Yes
  • Cable Length: Coiled 3m, straight 3m, straight 1.2m
  • Adapter: Yes, 3.5mm (1/8″) to 6.5mm (1/4″)
  • Connector Type: Mini-XLR 

Why Should You Buy It?
The AKG K371 studio headphones are an excellent pair of headphones for vocal recording because of their appearance, gloss, comfort, and features.

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4. Sennheiser HD 280 PRO – The Most Versatile 

These studio headphones are well known for being there for whatever you might need them. These studio headphones are suitable for those who have a vision for their creativity and for those who are on a mission with their musical creativity. If you want to get the job done, no matter where, in the studio or on the stage, you go and get these headphones.

I can freely say that these studio headphones have survived time. They are a modern classic type of headphones, and Sennheiser as a company still sells thousands of Sennheiser HD 280 PRO, and if you are one who records vocals, then I think you should be one of those people who can contribute to these studio headphones being sold and still compete with the newest releases from this company.

These studio headphones have it all, including folding and rotating earcups for space-saving transport, tough, single-sided cable, high ambient noise attenuation, accurate, linear sound reproduction and soft ear pads for a comfortable fit.

Their noise cancellation feature makes everything much better. It has sound isolation which will let you record vocals in peace. Compared to the other studio headphones in this list, I can say that the noise cancellation of these studio headphones is the best, and this makes them great for vocal recording.

Key features of Sennheiser HD 280 PRO:

  • Color: black
  • Wearing style: Headband
  • Frequency response (Headphones): 8 – 25000 Hz
  • Sound pressure level (SPL): 113 dB
  • THD, total harmonic distortion: 0,1 %
  • Contact pressure: 6 N
  • Ear coupling: circumaural
  • Jack plug: 3,5 / 6,3 mm stereo
  • Connection cable: Coiled Cable (min. 1.3m / max. 3m)
  • Transducer principle: dynamic, closed
  • Weight: w/o cable: 285 g
  • Nominal impedance: 64 Ω
  • Load rating: 500 mW

Why Should You Buy It?
These studio headphones will deliver maximum flexibility in any situation due to their unique collapsible design, combined with swiveling ear cups, so thanks to their comfort, your ears won’t be tired after a long practice in the studio. 

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3. Sony MDR7506 – The Most Affordable 

If you are a sound professional but don’t want to spend too much money on studio headphones, the Sony MDR7560 headphones are to look for because as listed, they are the cheapest headphones when compared to the other ones in this article.

The earcups and the headband of these studio headphones are adjustable in order to fit any type of head.

You may all know that professional studio headphones are mostly wired, and these ones are no exception. They work with a 9.8-foot-long cable that ends up on a gold-plated 3.5mm plug which makes them available to get connected with any type of device that you may be using.

When we move on to the sound quality, they sound like Sony! What does that mean? Well, Sony’s sound devices all sound amazing, and the Sony MDR7506 is one of them.

The sound comes at you on its highest quality, while working perfectly on mids and highs, but for the lows, I would say that they are solid. Owning a closed-back design, these studio headphones are able to reduce the noises that may bother you while working in the studio.

Key features of Sony MDR7506: 

  • Headphone Type: Dynamic, closed
  • Magnet Type: Neodymium
  • Driver Size: 40.0 mm
  • Frequency Response: 10-20kHz
  • Impedance: 63 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 106 dB/W/m
  • Power Handling: 1,000mW
  • Plug Type: Gold, Stereo Unimatch plug 1/4″ and 1/8″
  • Cord Length: 9.8 ft
  • Weight: 8.1 oz

Why Should You Buy It?
Sony always knows how to deal with professionals, and here in Sony MDR7506 they added a quite simple design, which is not eye-catching, but it is the comfort that may catch your attention.

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2. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO – The Most Comfortable

You’ve probably seen these, or a version similar to these in recording studios.

These studio headphones for recording are extremely comfy. For all the people who like headphones in general and especially for people who spend time in their studios, this feature of these studio headphones is one of the most important ones, and the quality that makes it a comfy pair of headphones is its super-soft earmuffs.

They’re available in different sizes so that you can find your proper fit, and with that said, one thing is for certain, you won’t be disappointed by them. I’ll go through a few of the specifics that make these studio headphones the most wanted, comfy, and desirable headphones, especially for those who spend a lot of their precious time in front of the computer in their studios recording vocals. 

These studio headphones are a perfect purchase to be made for the people who work in studios and have to sit there for hours, I mean we would never understand their discomfort, but with Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, the discomfort will be a forgotten matter.

The greatest closed back headphones for recording with their great sound quality. These over ear headphones for recording do not provide the users only with comfort, along with comfort, they provide an amazing audio quality too. 

And one of the features that I really think that you will love is, noise isolation. These closed back headphones guarantee a maximum noise isolation capacity, so you don’t have to worry or get all tensed up about the noise leakage from them or from outside. Definitely one of the best studio headphones out there.

Key features of Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO:

  • Operating principle – Closed Back Headphones
  • Transmission type – Wired
  • Nominal impedance headphones – 250 ohms
  • Headphone weight – E270 g
  • Headphone frequency responses – 35.000 Hz
  • Nominal sound pressure level  – 96 dB
  • Sound coupling to the ears – Circumaural (around the ear)
  • Single-sided cable – 3.0m coiled cable

Why Should You Buy It?
Decent sound quality, great noise isolation which blocks almost all external noise, comfortable ear pads and many more features make these a great pick for anyone whose primary job is to record vocals.

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1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X – Best Overall

These headphones for consist of contoured ear cups that seal tight for excellent sound isolation, with minimal bleed. And the pro-grade materials are durable, yet comfortable.

The audiophiles will definitely love them and that’s because their modern design and high-quality materials combine to deliver a comfortable listening experience, with enhanced audio and effective isolation.

These headphones deliver a sonic performance, a performance that is praised by the top audio engineers and by anyone whose passion is music. Their deep, accurate bass response will make you fall in love with these headphones. Not to mention the excellent sound isolation that these headphones offer, even in loud environments. Overall, their sound quality is great.

They don’t have any noise cancellation technology, so if you plan to play on loud environments they won’t be that suitable for you, however, their noise isolation is good enough for most external noise. Still, for the price they come, these are some of the best studio headphones out there.

Key features of Audio-Technica ATH-M50X:

  • Type: Closed-back dynamic
  • Driver Diameter: 45 mm
  • Frequency Response: 15 – 28,000 Hz
  • Maximum Input Power: 1,600 mW at 1 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 99 dB
  • Impedance: 38 ohms
  • Weight: 285 g (10 oz), without cable and connector
  • Cable Interchangeable cables: detachable 1.2 m – 3.0 m (3.9′ – 9.8′) coiled cable, detachable 3.0 m (9.8′) straight cable and detachable 1.2 m (3.9′) straight cable
  • Connector: Gold-plated stereo 1/8” (3.5 mm) connector with strain relief
  • Voice Coil: CCAW (Copper-clad aluminum wire)
  • Accessories Included: Protective carrying pouch, 6.3 mm (1/4″) screw-on adapter

Why Should You Buy It?
The sound quality of these headphones is indeed one of a kind! In case you are a person that wants to listen to the sound in the most detailed way possible, then the ATH-M50X should come first to your mind.

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Buying Guide

Closed Back Headphones Are Ideal

Sound isolation is crucial for any recording because it keeps noises from traveling in either direction. Closed-back headphones are advised because of this. Long recording sessions can be made comfortable while still efficiently blocking out sounds.

Fit & Comfort

Being comfortable is important when recording vocals. Long recording sessions might make wearing headphones uncomfortable for several hours. Larger ear cups offer a secure fit and superior sound isolation. The cloth ear cups are also crucial since they serve as a cushion and softener for the pressure.

The comfort may also be influenced by weight. Comfortable headphones should be lighter, especially during extended listening periods. Numerous manufacturers offer lightweight headphones that don’t compromise on the devices’ durability or sound quality.

Portability

In most cases, portability wouldn’t be a problem because there are small, commercial earbuds available for that. Portability and size will need to be taken into account if, however, you have a mobile setup and utilize your laptop for studio work.

Some closed-back headphones feature fold-up constructions for smaller spacing and added protection. Some also come with extras like cases or travel bags that can add more padding when you’re on the go.

Sweetened Vs. Flat Frequency Response

Even when using the same material, each pair of headphones will produce sounds differently. This is because the EQ of the headphones was altered to match a specific sound that the manufacturer intended. “Sweetening” is the term for this.

Frequencies in the sound should not be overemphasized when recording vocals since the vocals should accurately reflect what is being captured. However, some musicians sometimes request modest tweaks from the audio engineer during a session in order to feel more at ease with how they sound.

In general, a flat frequency response is desired since it allows the engineer to precisely compare and establish levels.

Durability

Make sure a decent pair of headphones will last before you spend money on them. Unfortunately, heavier items tend to be made of stronger materials. Many thinner headphones are merely constructed of plastic, which results in a shorter lifespan.

Double inspect the hinges to determine if there are any problems if the headphones have a fold-up design. Observe the cables’ thickness as well. Generally speaking, the stronger and longer-lasting a cable is, the thicker it is.

Verify the locations of replacement parts if you plan to invest in more expensive headphones. Online videos might help you determine whether you can perform the repair yourself. It is undoubtedly much less expensive to replace a cable or a set of ear pads than to purchase a new set.

Cables

A headphone’s cable should be longer for studio recording in order to prevent the singer’s motions from being restricted. But going on for too long can also degrade the sound. It may add noise while reducing volume overall. Issues might also arise from tangled wires.

To enhance robustness and crush resistance, a high-quality headset will typically come with a shielded cable. Thankfully, some manufacturers provide several cables for various purposes. A shorter wire for daily listening and a longer cable for recording in a studio.

Final Words

I have listed for you the top 5 best headphones for recording vocals, but it is up to you which one you will purchase. I can just say that they guarantee an amazing recording and listening experience, and above all, they all guarantee quality.

And if you are wondering why you need headphones in order to record vocals, I’m here to answer that. To properly hear the backing tracks as a guide, you should record vocals using headphones.

You can record vocals without mic bleed, which occurs when the microphone takes up sounds from other tracks or instruments, using headphones. As a result, it will be simpler to divide vocal tracks during mixing and editing them.

Further Reading

Since one of the headphones on my list is from a well-known brand, check the never-fading quality Beyerdynamic headphones.

As a great alternative headphone on the list is AKG, music lovers don’t pass without checking superior quality AKG headphones.

You also might want to check Sony MDR V6 and MDR 7506 for great technical specifications.

Josh Harper

Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!

 
 
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