Monitor and studio headphones provide two unique ways to listen to music.
A standard set of headphones can offer high-quality listening experiences without spending much money. Premium brands, such as Sennheiser or Audio-Technica, use similar foundation technologies as the entry-level items when you want to listen to music.
The primary difference is that the premium brands have more ways to control feedback and distortion.
If you prefer something more authentic and real, invest in a high-quality set of monitor or studio headphones today. You’ll discover they are an excellent choice for listening to music.
Are Monitor and Studio Headphones Good for Music?
Monitor and studio headphones are excellent choices for listening to music. They provide a more comprehensive and flatter frequency response than standard models, creating a well-rounded experience that feels bright and authentic. Instead of artificially boosting the low Hz to simulate bass, you receive undistorted sound that feels balanced and accurate.
If you’re not a professional audio engineer or musician, studio headphones are still for you. It’s the best option for anyone who wants to listen to a composition without alteration.
You could say that using monitor and studio headphones makes it possible to listen to music in the way that we’ve always made it.
Each performance comes to your ears how the composer and artist wanted you to hear it.
Although some people don’t like the lack of adjustability to the EQ, listening to music as close to the way it was initially played as possible is remarkably rewarding. You get the live experience of being at a concert every time you start a playlist on your iPhone, Android device, tablet, or PC.
If you don’t like the neutral approach to music that monitor and studio headphones offer, you can still tweak the sound. Portable EQ sliders let you adjust the bass, mid-range, and treble while managing the volume independently of the headphones. This option makes sense if you get lots of distortion on your current setup, even with your equalization maximized.
Price to Expect with Monitor and Studio Headphones
If you purchase a premium pair of headphones today from brand-name producers, you could pay over $300 for professional-grade equipment. Even a set of earbuds could cost more than $150 from some brands.
When you look at the cost of monitor and studio headphones, the price gets even more ridiculous. The Focal Utopia by Tournaire is an incredible $4000!
Even if you come to something a little more reasonable, the Ultrasone ED5 Limited Edition can top $3,700, while the oBravo EAMT-1s retails for about $5,000.
Who wants to spend that much money on studio or monitor headphones when your goal is to listen to your favorite songs?
That’s why the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, Sennheiser HD 650, and the Shure SRH1540 are excellent choices. Each headphone set offers highly-rated options with comparable feedback and reviews to the four-, five-, or six-figure alternatives.
For less than $500, you can have an excellent set of monitor or studio headphones that provide authentic sound and real-life experiences wherever you go.
What Are Monitor Headphones?
Monitor headphones are useful for listening to music because they offer the broadest range of frequency extension. Since engineers use them to register and mix recorded sounds, the technology must color the audio as little as possible.
Some people enjoy having the flatter sounds when playing music because it creates a neutral listening experience.
Because of the popularity of DAW apps and portable software, several monitor headphone designs are available to consider. You can find harsh tuning, something brassier with bass, or a little brighter than neutral to push the excitement envelope.
What Are Studio Headphones?
Studio headphones earn their moniker because they get used for recording purposes.
Since almost anywhere can become a studio today, manufacturers offer a wide range of models and features from which to choose. Each one creates new methods that let users control sound in various ways.
You can listen for special effects in the composition, enjoy more sustain, or push the reverb to whatever levels you prefer. The microphone picks up the audio, the engineer modifies it, and you hear it accurately.
Studio headphones use a flat-frequency design to minimize external responses. Think of it like a noise-canceling feature without the added sounds or blocks that eliminate the environment.
It bridges the difference between a neutral and V-shaped EQ.
Advantages of Using Monitor or Studio Headphones
Listening to music all day with headphones on can be challenging, even if you’re wearing the best set ever manufactured. Having extra weight on your head, especially on top of the ears, can result in headaches, neck pain, back discomfort, and premature fatigue.
If you choose one of the best monitor or studio headphones, you don’t need to stick technology in your ear canal to have a lightweight experience. This equipment weighs less than a pound, sometimes under eight ounces, making it possible to forget you’re wearing them!
These additional advantages are worth considering if you love listening or creating music.
1. It’s a cost-efficient method of listening to music.
Although the best headphones can get a little pricey, it’s still cheaper to use this equipment than a full-sized studio monitor. You can listen when you want, record in multiple locations, and always hear an authentic sound.
This benefit is available with all commercially-sold headphones, but it is the studio monitor design that brings the experience to a higher level. You won’t hear any artificial boosts with the mix. The flat-frequency response ensures a genuine listening experience.
2. You won’t disturb your neighbors.
Listening to music in the early morning hours can be problematic if your spouse, significant other, or neighbors hear your activity. Instead of getting the cops called on you or sent to the couch for a week, put on a pair of your favorite monitor or studio headphones to relax.
3. It offers detailed listening experiences.
Headphones give you ways to listen to songs with vibrant details, increasing each ear’s physical abilities to focus on the musical nuances in each composition. The equipment’s proximity to the ear encourages different sensations than far-away speakers, producing a “closeness” that makes it feel like you’re experiencing each note and instrument.
4. You have more portability.
Having your phone or a laptop available to listen to music is nice. Having monitor or studio headphones available to enjoy your preferred playlists is better! Even if you like the idea of composing songs wherever the mood strikes, investing in a high-quality pair will help you accomplish your goals.
5. Headphones provide you with more privacy.
Wearing monitor or studio headphones ensures that you receive as much privacy as you offer to others. This advantage is especially beneficial to beginners who are composing for the first time or who feel self-conscious about their favorite songs. You can work or listen discreetly without bothering others.
Although all headphones offer audio wave leakage potential from around the earcup, the best monitor and studio varieties provide an excellent seal around the skin to dramatically reduce this risk.
How to Find the Best Monitor or Studio Headphones
When you’re looking for the best studio and monitor headphones available today, these three options stand a head-and-shoulders above the rest of the pack.
Each set of headphones offers some specific advantages that are worth considering individually. Although there isn’t one “best” answer that fits every need, a complete review of the benefits and specs of individual models I’ve detailed below can show you the one that fulfills your overall requirements.
Why Choose the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones?
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50X is the ultimate item to choose when you need affordable, high-quality studio monitor headphones. This manufacturer uses a proprietary design featuring 45mm drivers, copper-clad aluminum for the voice coils, and rare-earth magnets to create dynamic clarity.
You won’t notice distortion or interference through an extended frequency range, including in the low hertz levels where the bass tends to vibrate more than produce audio.
The headphones feature a comfortable over-the-ear design with swiveling cups for one-ear listening when desired. The earpads don’t work their way out of the frame like the cheaper models do, while the headband delivers comfort and durability with excellent stitching.
|Maximum Input Power:||1600 mW|
|Weight (No Cable):||10 ounces|
|Frequency Response:||15 to 28,000 Hz|
|Earcup Swivel:||90 degrees in both directions|
|Cable:||Detachable 1.2m – 3m coiled; 1.2m detachable straight|
You have four color varieties from which to choose to enjoy a superior sound for less than $200.
Why Choose the Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones?
The Sennheiser HD 650 brings listeners closer to a professional recording experience. This manufacturer incorporates acoustic silk into the headphones to generate damping benefits over the entire hertz spectrum.
It works to reduce THD to only 0.05%, making the headphones worth the investment for that reason alone. You won’t believe the clarity of each song or recording that comes to your ears when wearing these monitor headphones!
You don’t need to be an audiophile to understand the benefits that are possible when looking at these headphone specs.
|Frequency Response:||10 to 39,500 Hz|
|Sound Pressure Level:||103 decibels|
|Weight (No Cable):||260g|
|Contact Pressure:||Ca. 2,5 N|
|Jack Plug:||Gold-plated 1/4”; 1/8” (3.5 and 6.3 mm) stereo|
|Transducer Principle:||Dynamic, open|
Sennheiser offers over six decades of experience producing microphones and headphones. Their mission has been to “stay true” to the sounds of music and the soul’s interpretation of it since the very beginning.
You might find them to be the best pair of studio monitor headphones you’ve ever had.
Why Choose the Shure SRH1540 Headphones?
The closed-back design that sits over-the-ear provides a comfortable, all-day wearing experience. The yoke is made with aircraft-grade aluminum, while the cap is a carbon fiber masterpiece. You’ll get about six feet (1.8m) of cable to use for listening versatility when choosing these headphones.
Shure uses 40mm neodymium drivers to create an impressive acoustic performance. The soundstage is remarkably expansive, with extended frequencies detectable in the upper and lower range. The Kevlar-reinforced jacket ensures that the audio waves are authentic and consistent without being overly cumbersome.
The design uses a steel driver frame, utilizing a vented center pole to improve linearity. If your current headphones have high internal resonance levels that disrupt the listening experience, investing in this model eliminates the issue.
Although they are slightly more in price than comparable models, the consistency and comfort are worth the extra money.
|Cable:||6-foot (1.8m) dual-exit, detachable oxygen-free copper|
|Plug:||1/8-inch (3.5mm) gold-plated stereo mini jack|
|Frequency Response:||5 to 25,000 Hz|
|Weight (No Cord):||10.1 ounces|
|Max Power Handling:||1000 mW|
Shure offers consumers over 80 years of experience producing high-quality sounds to enhance your listening enjoyment. That wisdom goes into the development of every set of headphones created for their customers.
What Monitor or Studio Headphones Will Work for Your Needs?
If you’re tired of artificially-enhanced music, monitor or studio headphones are for you.
When you want to get rid of the distortion that develops at the lowest frequency levels, monitor or studio headphones are for you.
If you record music at home, at a professional location, or anywhere in the world, monitor or studio headphones are for you.
When you love to listen to your playlists all day without discomfort, the best monitor or studio headphones are for you.
Although dozens of makes and models are available in this category, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, Sennheiser HD 650, and the Shure SRH1540 stand out because of their consistency, performance, and overall authenticity.
The outcome is clear. If you love music, cheap equipment is holding your passion back. Is today the time to upgrade?