The best headphones for making beats
A good pair of cans is an essential tool in every producer’s arsenal.
It’s not always possible to find a studio with a pair of monitors to plug in to. Whether it be on a plane, a remote getaway location, or you feel like sitting on the couch. Quality headphones are vital for achieving a professional sounding mix, as well as allowing you to dig into the finer details of your instruments.
A little disclaimer: we’ve included a diverse range of headphones in regards to prices. You don’t need to remortgage your house to get a solid pair of headphones that give you quality sound. However, if you’re after something a bit more upmarket, there are a few of those options too.
We’re going to go in ascending order. Let’s crack in.
RRP: $49 USD
Your bread and butter. These are the best headphones you’ll find for the lowest cost. They’ve got excellent sound quality, sitting right in the middle, so you’ll get a nice balance of high and low frequencies.
They’re light, robust, and comfortable. You won’t feel like your ears are on fire if you end up spending several hours locked in.
RRP: $99 USD
The first release of this model arrived on the scene some 35 years ago. It’s still one of the best sellers on the market. That alone should give you an idea.
They’re a proven formula. Comfortable on the ears and can make some issues in your mix glaringly obvious – allowing for you to isolate and correct mistakes quickly without having to search through multiple channels to find the thing that’s nagging at you, but can’t quite put your finger on.
If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it.
Focal Listen Professional
RRP: $299 USD
Probably the best all-round option for producing, mixing and mastering beats. The Focal’s have smooth conveyance of the low’s, mid’s and high’s. They’re remarkably comfortable, and aren’t punishing to wear for many hours in a row.
For the price, these are the best studio cans you’ll be able to find on the market.
RRP: $349 USD
These are some of the best’ open-back’ headphones on the market. An open-back design is generally preferred by producers who are hunkering down for a long session or mixing, as they’re generally more comfortable to wear for longer periods.
Widely regarded by mix engineers, the ATH-R70x boasts frequency prowess, giving booming low end and sparkling highs without sacrificing the mid-range frequencies. If you’re polishing up a beat, especially getting ready to bounce it and send it to a vocalist, these are the go.
Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO
RRP: $599 USD
All about the bass.
The DT 1770 PRO model is perfect for honing in on the low-end frequencies of your mix. The mid-range frequencies deliver crisp signals without any audible phase shifting, allowing clarity while altering the dynamics of your track when mixing.
They’re also honest. Any minor reverb tails, track distortion or accidental delay chains will be put on display for you, so you can enhance what you like or remove what you don’t.
Honorable mention: AIAIAI TMA-2
RRP: $250 USD – $350 USD
Our friends at AIAIAI make fantastic headphones, namely in their TMA-2 range. They create modular headphones that are customizable to your needs and can provide sound representation in the way you prefer it. Plus as an added bonus, you’ll get 3 months free of Serato Studio if you purchase a pair from the TMA-2 range. Just to sweeten the deal.
We’re going to go over the three models in the TMA-2 range, and you can decide for yourself which one most suits your needs.
TMA-2 HD Wireless
An incredible listening experience. A levelled blend of treble mids and bass, which is wirelessly transmitted in 24-bit quality.
The ear cushions are made with Alcantara (a synthetic textile material) and memory foam. Safe to say, they’re extremely comfortable.
Are these strictly for beat making? No – but we thought they were worth a mention anyway.
These were developed with audio specialists and renowned DJs to deliver the best audio when on stage, battling the various other sounds coming in your direction.
It’s been put to the test on stages all over the world, and the shoe fits.
Bright and vibrant sounds. Tonnes of bass and a fair amount of treble to capture your lows and highs.
But comfort is king, and that’s what these guys are for. Over-ear cushions with soft memory foam and vegan-leather makes it the most comfortable headphone for long listening sessions.
Perfect for those long hours of hunkered down producing.