The Best Studio Headphones on ReverbBuying Guide

Explore our picks for the best studio headphones for any budget.

The headphone market is massive. When deciding which headphones will give you the best bang for your buck, it’s important to first know what you’re going to be using your headphones for.

Whether you’re a new engineer producing a podcast in your bedroom on the weekends, a studio professional mixing in an isolated workspace, or an audiophile who enjoys the hi-fi listening experience, this guide will illuminate the best choices at a reasonable price point.

The Best Studio Headphones on Reverb

Check out the most popular headphones on Reverb right now, updated daily.

Background & Considerations

A Brief History

Headphone history is fascinating—better than an aging rocker’s memoir. For starters, no one knows exactly when headphones were invented; they may go back as far as 1880. In 1888, opera lovers used primitive headphones to hear live music at home via telephone transmission.

In 1910, Nathaniel Baldwin started making what we’d recognize as modern headphones in his kitchen. The Navy loved them and wanted to move Baldwin into an East Coast plant. But Baldwin couldn’t leave Utah: He was a polygamist. And in 1958, musician/entrepreneur John Koss introduced the first stereo headphones, the Koss SP/3. The Milwaukee-based company still makes headphones today.

Know the Types

Closed-back headphones are encased with solid material, usually plastic, to block out ambient noise and are ideal for musicians tracking live in the same room. They’re also supposed to prevent sound from “leaking” out, though cheaper headphones have less isolation. That’s a big deal if you’re cutting acoustic instruments and, in particular, vocals: “Headphone bleed” into mics can botch a solid take.

Open-back headphones have a grill or mesh on the outside of the ear cups, and while they’ll let ambient noise in, they’re also designed to breathe more. Much more. Listening in a quiet room, an engineer can hear stunning detail on a well-designed pair of open-backs.

The Best on a Budget

Studio Headphones Under $100

The Next Step Up

Studio Headphones Under $300

High-End, Professional-Grade Listening

Studio Headphones Over $300

Find Headphones on Reverb Right Now

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