Best Headphones For Vinyl Listening (Top 5 Picks)

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So you found your grandfather’s vinyl, and you want to experience what people back then experienced. Or even more with a pair of headphones, but I see that you are lacking a pair of headphones that transmit the vinyl sound as it should be.

I can’t help you with the vinyl, but I sure can help you with the second one, finding the best headphones for listening to vinyl records.

While some headphones or speakers make vinyl sound awful, the right ones will make it sound wonderful.

That’s why I am here to cut the chase and help you pick, the best options for you.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Budget
Koss Porta Pro
Koss Porta Pro
10
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Best All-Rounders
AKG Pro Audio K72
AKG Pro Audio K72
9
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Best Value
beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
8.5
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Best Mid-Range
Shure SRH1540
Shure SRH1540
8.8
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Best High-End
HIFIMAN Arya Stealth Magnet
HIFIMAN Arya Stealth Magnet
8.6
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The Top 5 Best Headphones For Vinyl

5. Koss Porta Pro – Best Budget

If you expected me to slap some high-end flagships of 2022 in the list and call it a day, you are wrong.

Instead, I am introducing a prominent pick, who made its debut back in 1984, the Koss Porta Pro.
As we witness the rise and fall of CD players, MiniDiscs, Windows 95/XP, Winamp, and more stuff, the Koss Porta Pro is still the same and it keeps holding strong. It performs just like in its prime, even with the newest technology available out there.

At first glance, you will be able to tell that those are a pair of headphones for vinyl that are made in the past. Being so popular and dominating the competition, Koss refused to change their design even though it has been almost 40 years now.

I mean why should they?

Their design is just perfect, they are lightweight, compact, and comfortable. To be honest, when I hold and see them, I can’t stop but wonder how does Koss provide a lifetime warranty for such fragile headphones. In a way it makes sense though, they are confident in their product, after all, their longevity is a testament on its own.

The earcups sit nice and are secured to your head by a thin steel headband that is adjustable with the two sliders. The additional cushions on top of the earpads make me think that the Koss Porta Pro was ahead in the future, they prevent the headphones from falling while giving great comfort. On the plus side, they can be folded and clipped together for easy storage and transport.

Their design is not the only star of the show here, for a budget pair of headphones for vinyl that were made 4 decades ago, they sound astonishing.

As soon as you put them on you can’t help but think how can they provide such nice frequencies from those small drivers. The Porta Pro is active in the low range thank’s to the rich bass and the powerful “oomph”, but it is nothing offensive to ruin the Vinyl experience, instead, its warm sound signature rewards the Vinyl listeners a lot. This offers a more natural sound.

There are many different Koss headphones available today, so make sure you do your research before buying!

Pros:

  • Easy to adjust
  • Comfortable soft pads
  • Great Portability

Cons:

  • The metal headband might pull the hair
  • No integrated volume control

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4. AKG Pro Audio K72 – Best All-Rounders

A pair of all-rounders that come at a great price and the types that you will most likely see in a professional music studio, rather than in-home or streets.

Sounds too good to be true, but the AKG Pro Audio K72 makes it believable.

If you strive for the signature sound quality of AKG and at the same time you want splendid comfort, the AKG Pro Audio K72.

The very large ear cups that come with a thick pleather foam pad, will keep your ears tight and nice without putting pressure on your head, while the faux leather band keeps the headphones secured in place. Overall, they are well made and can take some beating, unlike the cheaper plastic headphones.

They look retro and can draw some unnecessary attention if you take them with you while on the Bus/Train, and that makes them perfect for home/vinyl listening or studio monitoring. Besides that, the thick and long cable that is non-removable takes a huge toll on their portability also. You’re not taking the vinyl with you, right? So we are good in this aspect.

As for the sound quality, it is taken for granted since it is AKG.

For the price, they come they sound great, with a wide and fairly detailed sound signature. It provides a pretty natural sound, which is what you want from a pair of headphones for vinyl.

The Bass is not ultra refined or huge, making it great for Vinyl users and awful for Bass Heads, but since we are talking about the best headphones for vinyl, we are good to go.

Basically, they sound like this when connected to Vinyl, the vocal voices end up sounding compressed while the treble fades out as it reaches the high range frequencies, and that’s thanks to the odd mid-range frequencies that stop the treble from being noticeable.

Pros:

  • Great Comfort
  • Well built
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Not portable enough
  • The Coloured Mid-range frequencies might bother some people.

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3. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO – Best Value

Being into the audio world, and not knowing the famous german brand Beyerdynamic is unforgiven.

DT 770 PRO’s are a pair of headphones for vinyl that are synonym with “monitoring”, they are best in class for professional studio use, thanks to their great comfort and sound quality.

As I said, it is a well known brand that offers tons of top-notch headphones for vinyl and other audio devices, it doesn’t need an introduction so let’s carry on, with DT 770 PRO design.

What made them last this long, since the lineup made its debut in the ’80s must be their build quality, besides the sound quality, of course.

They are well built and robust as they come, the headband feels like it could last for years ( it did, no doubt ). The hard plastic used in the ear-cups adjustment mechanism might make you doubt it, but there’s nothing to worry about since it is good quality plastic.

They sit tightly and nicely on your head, without giving pressure to your skull. The good padding and the large size of the ears make it very comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

What makes the DT 770 PRO a threat to the competition, definitely would be its perfectly balanced and detailed sound signature, hence musicians “abuse” them for studio use.

What I mean by the balanced sound is that it transmits the sounds as they are, without being a one-trick pony to a single range.

Yet, again this is another trait that makes those headphones ideal for Vinyl listening.

Definitely, a pair of headphones for vinyl that are unbeatable, you will be hard-pressed to find better value at this price range.

Pros:

  • Greatly Priced
  • Well built
  • Great comfort

Cons:

  • The plastic that adjusts the headphones, is hated a lot
  • The cable is un-replacable

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2. Shure SRH1540 – Best Mid-Range

SRH1540 is pretty much another success story for sure SRH1540 after its predecessor totally stomped on the competition.

A pair of vinyl headphones that promises to offer top-tier enjoyment of listening for audiophiles, as well as for professional use – let alone for Vinyl, shouldn’t even call it.

They bring together the best of both worlds while rewarding you with great tones they don’t fail on providing great comfort too.

They rock a minimalistic design since Shure hates being flashy or flamboyant. It comes with fiber panels on each earcup and despite looking heavy they are quite lightweight.

The lightweight greatly contributes to the comfort factor, but the major factor would definitely be the overstuffed, super-plush earpads. The headband is quite flexible and again well padded. Once you get the right fit to your head, they are not coming out.

Shure ships the SRH1540 with two detachable cables, which rewards good portability but neither of the cables has a microphone. This is understandable since they are made to listen to music and not talk to your friends, or sing to some music festival.

How do they sound?

Oh boy, they sure do sound phenomenal. Their sound signature would be what I refer to bright, crisp, and clear with a nice amount of bass. The close vocals will fill your head and most importantly the distortions are almost non-existent.

To wrap it up regarding Shure all I can say is Premium in all ways, as always.

Pros:

  • Great Comfort
  • Really lightweight despite the robust design
  • Detachable cables

Cons:

  • Bass can dominate over other frequencies sometime
  • No microphone

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1. HIFIMAN Arya Stealth Magnets – Best High-End

Most of you already experienced, or wait you didn’t because of the painful price HIFIMAN products come with, but at least you heard and are aware of them right?

No worries though, after all those are a pair of premium vinyl headphones, their uncanny stealth magnet technology – hence the name, justify the high price perfectly.

Just like its predecessor, the New Arya stealth is a planar magnetic headphone with an open-back blueprint, but as I mentioned the stealth magnet technology is what separates it from its brother and even the rest of the headphones.

Before we dive into their design, let’s explore how the magnet system works on these wireless headphones.

Unlike the sound waves created by a conventional magnet, the one we are used to seeing on other vinyl headphones, the special shape of the stealth magnet makes it possible for the waves to pass through the magnets without generating interference.

The reduced distortion that comes from the stealth magnet technology, makes Arya capable of producing pure sonic output that is accurate and full-range.

Premium build for a premium pair of vinyl headphones, HIFIMAN designed the headband with high-quality material and extra strength, while there is also high-quality plastic to contribute to light weightiness and comfort.

Its asymmetrical Ear cups are well padded and follow the natural shape of the human ear, so your ears can blend in nicely and comfy.

Sound quality is something that should be expected. It is detailed but not in your face while it is relaxed but not lazy and boring. Treble and bass are provided nicely without being offensive. Pretty much it provides a warm sound signature / neutral, that rewards highly on the Vinyl listening experience.

If you have money to burn, do not hesitate on them, they are worth the money.

Pros:

  • Improved Version of their predecessor
  • Great neutral-warm sound
  • Great comfort
  • Great durability

Cons:

  • I am not going to lie, I am hard-pressed to find cons.
  • Some people may find the design uninspired and the large ear cups unpleasing.

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Picking The Right Best Headphones For Vinyl

If you are keen to listen to vinyl records, you need to consider some important factors, on what to look for when buying the best headphones for listening to vinyl records.

Headphones for vinyl must convey the sound quality equally as speakers do, or better if they can.

In order to do that they must have a solid composition and implement quality drivers, they can either use dynamic drivers or magnet ones.

If your turntable is old, you probably will need a headphone amp to connect them. You can get any headphone amp and it will do the job. If you are unsure on how to choose one, you can read our article on the best headphone amplifiers under $100.

4 Important Factors:

  • Sound Quality
  • Open / Closed Headphone Type
  • Comfort
  • Cost

The factors that I just listed, should be taken into consideration always when you go shopping for a new pair of headphones and not just for vinyl.

Sound Quality

You buy headphones for vinyl to listen to tones and sounds, so if it doesn’t have the good sound quality it is not worth buying, right?

For Vinyl, you want a pair of headphones that provide a warm sound and a bass that isn’t punchy and boomy.

Type

If you listening to music in a silent environment, where background noise is non-existent, you want to go for an open-back type, since they create a vast open soundstage that reveals all the nuances of the analog sound.

But if you want to isolate or cancel background noise, the closed-back headphones for vinyl do a great job of passively blocking the outside noises.

Comfort

Make sure to always check the ear padding, the headband, the adjustability or portability if you travel a lot and if it can fit you’re head size fine.

To enjoy the great sounds from the vinyl, you want to have great comfort too since bad comfort usually ruins the listening experience.

Cost

I tried my best to include all price ranges on this list, so everyone can benefit from it. There’s a budget option a mid-range one and a high-end one.

Sometimes a high price doesn’t mean high quality, or sometimes the cheap price will cost you more in the long run. So always make sure to pay attention where you’re money goes.

Final Word

Well to wrap the list up, hopefully, I managed to give you guys all the important information you need when best headphones for listening to vinyl records. If you like to listen to vinyl often, theres a high chance you also play an instrument such as a piano. If you are one of these people, check out our roundup of digital piano headphones too.

All of the above headphones are good on their own, while some of them may lack in some fields, they exceed in other fields.

You are not forced to buy a pair of headphones, just because someone said they are good, take your time, do some nice research and settle with the ones you think will fit you the best.

Melissa Peterkin
Latest posts by Melissa Peterkin (see all)

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