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5 Best Studio Headphones for Critical Listening in 2018

Headphones are an integral part of our lives, even more so if you’re an audiophile. There are a wide range of headphones available in the market today, most of which come with a hefty price tag. But not all of them provide excellent audio reproduction. Today we’re going to discuss a handful of headphones that can be used for studio environments and for critical listening. These headphones have to pass a number of benchmarks, including audio fidelity, durability, comfort and so on. We’re going to discuss about five such headphones today. Given the factors we’re taking into account here, not all of these headphones will be cheaper on the wallet, so prepare yourself to break the bank.

ProductBrandNamePrice
SennheiserSennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone SystemBuy on Amazon|$1497.59(Price as of 12/13/2018 06:31 ET)
SennheiserSennheiser HD 599 Open Back HeadphoneBuy on Amazon|$185.05(Price as of 12/13/2018 06:31 ET)
beyerdynamicbeyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Over-Ear Studio HeadphonesBuy on Amazon|$148.98(Price as of 12/13/2018 06:31 ET)
Audio-TechnicaAudio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, BlackBuy on Amazon|$149(Price as of 12/13/2018 06:31 ET)
PhilipsPhilips SHP9500S HiFi Precision Stereo Over-ear Headphones (Black)Buy on Amazon|$349.99(Price as of 12/13/2018 06:31 ET)

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Sennheiser is a popular brand when it comes to headphones and features twice on this list. We will also discuss headphones from Philips, Audio Technica, and Beyerdynamic. These headphones are currently some of the best over-the-ear headphones money can buy, and we strongly recommend you look at all these headphones closely before making your decision. Not all headphones are expensive here, and we’ve mentioned a handful of inexpensive headphone options on the list as well.

Sennheiser HD 800 S

The benchmark for high-fidelity headphones perhaps starts with the Sennheiser HD 800 S. It comes with state-of-the-art hardware to make it stand out from the competition. Even though you’re spending in excess of $1500 for these particular headphones, true audiophiles will not be left wanting. The 56mm Ring radiator transducers used in these headphones are the largest drivers to be used in dynamic headphones. Sennheiser is touting the addition of an absorber feature that lets you enjoy all the little nuances of music. The design of the headphones is particularly curious, as the sound is sent through at an angle to offer a natural listening experience. The ear cups are designed with precision to ensure the comfort of the users. It’s clear that Sennheiser has given a lot of care and thought into the making of the HD 800 S.

One look at these headphones and you will realize that it’s worth every penny. We highly recommend customers to try it out before purchasing it, however. The headphones will set you back by $1,575 via Amazon right now. The pricing might appear a bit too steep, but if you want a quality product, you ought to pay the big bucks.

Sennheiser HD 599

The HD 599 is quite unlike the aforementioned headphones as it comes with a more standard design on board, so you might not be able to realize that these are high-fidelity headphones. I’m particularly pleased with the color scheme used by Sennheiser here, offering a professional look and feel. The headphones use the standard Sennheiser 38mm, 50-ohm transducers for optimum audio performance. The Sennheiser HD 599 is significantly cheaper than the HD 800 S, so you cannot expect to get identical performance out of these headphones. However, you will still manage to get amazing audio experience from this particular set of headphones.

It is basically a cheaper alternative to the HD 800 S, and worth a try if you don’t want to shell out in excess of $1,500 for a pair of headphones. Sennheiser offers two years of warranty with this particular product, keeping you covered from any potential product related trouble. These are wired headphones, and Sennheiser will supply a 3m detachable cable with 6.3mm jack and a 1.2m detachable cable with 3.5mm jack offering additional options for the audiophiles. The Sennheiser HD 599 will cost $249.95 on Amazon right now, which is pretty decent considering the kind of features it’s packing on board.

Beyerdynamic DT-990-Pro-250

These acoustically open headphones offer amazing sound quality and comfort during prolonged usage. Although the product itself doesn’t look very durable, customers will say otherwise. With headphone impedance of 250 ohms, the DT-990-Pro-250 offers amazing audio quality, suited for practically everyone. The ear pads deserve a special mention here for the cushioning and the comfort it offers to the customers. The headphones are incredibly light weight, making them convenient to carry and also to use them for long durations without feeling heavy or tired. Overall, these Beyerdynamic headphones can make an excellent addition to your headphones collection and comes recommended from the experts as well.

These are high performance headphones and can be used by studio professionals as well. It ticks all the boxes in terms of studio preferences, which makes this an instant pick in our books. The headphones will set you back by $178.92 on Amazon.com right now, making this one of our favorite headphones on this list.

Audio Technica ATH-M50x

Audio Technica is a popular name in the headphones segment and is known for a wide range of products ranging from earbuds, microphones and even turntables. This time around, we’re going to talk about the company’s over-the-ear ATH-M50x headphones which are widely popular among audiophiles. The best part about these headphones is that they’re incredibly versatile, meaning that you can not only use it for studio sessions, but also for a laid back casual music session at your leisure. All these factors combined makes the ATH-M50x a hot pick on our list. The company claims that the audio performance of these particular headphones have been praised by sound engineers and industry professionals, which is the best testimonial an audio accessory can get.

The 90 degree swiveling ear cups offer the liberty to be stretched out in order to give the users a perfect and comfortable fit. For all the features it touts, the design, in my opinion has to be the highlight. The headphones, however, lack any buttons for audio control, which appears to be the only negative here. You can get these headphones for $147.99 on Amazon right now.

Philips SHP9500

The cheapest headphones on this list, the Philips SHP9500 comes with a pretty basic set of features, although it can hold its own against the more expensive headphones available in the industry today. The lengthy 3 meter cable allows you to walk around freely away from your device, which is a prerequisite for headphones in this range. With a speaker diameter of 50mm, the headphones offer excellent sound, especially for the price tag quoted by the manufacturer and the seller. The headphones come with excellent ear cups, ensuring prolonged usage without any strain on your ears. The Philips SHP9500 will cost you $70.89, which is pretty amazing, and definitely worth a try if you’re not one for expensive high-fidelity headphones.

ProductBrandNamePrice
SennheiserSennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone SystemBuy on Amazon|$1497.59(Price as of 12/13/2018 06:31 ET)
SennheiserSennheiser HD 599 Open Back HeadphoneBuy on Amazon|$185.05(Price as of 12/13/2018 06:31 ET)
beyerdynamicbeyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Over-Ear Studio HeadphonesBuy on Amazon|$148.98(Price as of 12/13/2018 06:31 ET)
Audio-TechnicaAudio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, BlackBuy on Amazon|$149(Price as of 12/13/2018 06:31 ET)
PhilipsPhilips SHP9500S HiFi Precision Stereo Over-ear Headphones (Black)Buy on Amazon|$349.99(Price as of 12/13/2018 06:31 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

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