Our test winner is the Yamaha HPH-MT5W Studio Monitor Headphones: The headphones fit comfortably, have a good and balanced sound image and have good sound isolation. Our favourite with the test score 9.2/10!
We tested four studio headphones and paid particular attention to wearing comfort, shielding from ambient noise and workmanship. Of course, we also analyzed the sound image.
Studio headphones are mainly made for mixing music and videos. It's important to listen to what is actually being played back.
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The Beyerdynamic DT 240 PRO Monitoring Headphones are decent studio headphones that are suitable for all genres, both for music consumption and studio use. It is very comfortable over a long period of time and ideal for wearing for several hours.
The Sennheiser HD280pro Closed Monitoring Headphones are powerful and suitable for any home studio. The sound is convincing and the workmanship is also impressive. However, the headphones fit very tightly and are therefore also tight, so that long wearing-times are not comfortable for everyone.
The Sennheiser HD 200 PRO Hi-Fi Studio Monitoring Headphones are an affordable all-rounder among studio headphones. It is very light and adapts to the shape of the head, making them comfortable to wear for limited periods of time. The overall sound image may not satisfy every critic, but it is perfectly adequate for amateur use. Unfortunately, the workmanship leaves something to be desired.
Before buying, think about the purpose for which you need the headphones and what features they should have.
Closed headphones are necessary to block out ambient noise and are especially suitable for vocal recordings.
Open headphones, on the other hand, offer a more transparent sound and are ideal for mixing music.
Especially if you wear them for a long time, you should put your priority on comfort.
Pay attention to how the headphones are connected: If they have a higher impedance, they also require more powerful amplifiers.
For listening to music on the go, you can use specially designed hi-fi headphones, which are often more robust and do not suffer much damage when travelling.
In the run-up to the test, we defined practical requirements and established the following test criteria:
To be able to evaluate these criteria, we have defined several tests for studio headphones. First of all, the scope of delivery and functionality is checked. During the test runs, different music genres are listened to and videos are watched to test the headphones for the necessary requirements. Unfortunately, we could not use real amplifiers and had to resort to Youtube.
Furthermore, wearing comfort is also tested; we paid attention to an uncomfortable pressure, weight and above all long wearing time. We tested the shielding in our office and paid special attention to the isolation from the environment.
In order to exclude errors and to ensure that the test is not affected by everyday use, each test is carried out in several runs.
The test criteria are given percentages according to their importance. The final mark is finally calculated objectively from the test criteria using an algorithm.
Our product selection is based on the observation of the current market. In addition to popular brand products, we also include insider tips in our selection. Criteria such as price and range of functions are an important factor for us. The test field is also determined by analysis and evaluation of customer reviews and external tests (e.g. Stiftung Warentest).
The devices are purchased anonymously or lent to us by the manufacturer. Dealers and manufacturers have no influence on the tests and our evaluation.
As soon as new relevant products come on the market, they are added to our test field. The new products undergo the same tests as already tested devices.
Headphones are needed in many situations. On the way when jogging or doing sports in the gym, at home at the sound system so that neighbours and family are not disturbed by loud music, or in your own studio at home or professionally. Because in many households, small, own studios are now pursued as a hobby. Some even distribute their own music from a recording studio at home.
But do you also need special studio headphones to record your own music at home? Are they better than conventional headphones for everyday use? The following article explains what studio headphones are and why they are better than other headphones in your own studio, even if it is only used as a hobby at home.
Studio headphones differ from normal headphones mainly in quality and sound reproduction. Many teenagers prefer the lightweight earplugs for listening to music, but these models are completely unsuitable for the studio. Wireless headphones are also more for home use and should not be used in a professional studio, even if this is a hobby.
Mostly, so-called hi-fi headphones are therefore also offered for general use. Like the studio headphones, these can be open or half-open, usually, they are not completely closed.
Therefore, if you decide to use studio headphones, they should be equipped with a cable, because transmission errors can occur with wireless models.
In addition, stereo or hi-fi tipped headphones for home use are usually smaller, handier, lighter and often foldable. These models are already available in a low price range and need not be of poor quality for pure music listening, even at a low price. Nevertheless, they are by no means suitable for the studio or a DJ.
Good studio headphones have an excellent sound, the closed models offered here do not allow noise from outside to inside or vice versa. Moreover, the headphones designed for professional work in a studio are more unwieldy and heavier than those that are only intended for normal music enjoyment.
Therefore, simple, lightweight, foldable and maybe even wireless headphones should not be used in a professional studio, as the recording quality of your self-produced music will suffer greatly. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy your music at home, you can use professional studio headphones and enjoy your music in the highest sound quality.
Studio headphones are, of course, primarily intended for professional recording in the studio and for professional music playback. If you mix and master your music yourself, then you should definitely choose high-quality studio headphones as well. These headphones support the speakers and can often reveal sound details that you wouldn't recognize in a conventional way. Even depth staggering and stereo panorama are displayed differently with studio headphones. This way, when you master and mix with speakers and headphones, you can mix your music so professionally that it sounds great when played back from the speakers alone, as well as from the headphones.
There are also a variety of studio headphones, which are especially interesting for DJs. But you can also buy these if you just want to enjoy your music at home in peace and quiet.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you need open, closed or half-open headphones. The first question is of course for which occasions you will use the headphones. If you are mixing and mastering music, open headphones are recommended because they allow the sound to expand spatially. In addition, the question arises as to how much outside noise is present in your studio. If these are very high, then closed headphones are preferable to other models.
If you are planning to buy your first studio headphones for recording, it is a good idea to get advice from a specialist shop or take someone who knows about them with you. In addition, the different types of headphones and the purposes for which they are suitable have already been explained above. There are, however, other criteria that have nothing to do with the sound and feel of the headphones, which you should definitely pay attention to when buying them.
The headphones should always have a plug connection for the cable. If it is connected to the cable, it cannot simply be removed and replaced in the event of a possible defect, such as a broken cable. Then it can be expensive if the headphones need to be repaired. Another advantage of the detachable cable is that you can change it at any time. There are spiral and smooth shapes of cables that can be useful depending on the intended use.
You should also take a lot of time when buying your new studio headphones. If you're going to wear the headphones for many hours in the studio, comfort is a very important aspect of the purchase. Therefore, you should put on the selected headphones in the store for a longer period of time and let them work on you. This is the only way to find out whether they will disturb or hinder you after a while or whether you can wear them for a longer period of time without inconvenience.
You should also take a look at the material used when buying them. Standard here is leather or artificial leather. With imitation leather, however, you should be aware that this will inevitably dissolve after a few years, regardless of the quality or price. This is due to the softeners used in imitation leather and the decay cannot be stopped. More comfortable than leather is headphones made of velour, although this material is not so easy to clean and can also lead to a higher heat development when worn.
Studio headphones are also available with various accessories. It is important to choose a model where you can change the ear pads. You can then remove, wash or replace them. Some models are already sold with different types of ear cushions. Then you can always decide whether you want to use imitation leather, leather or velour. Depending on the model, other accessories are also included, including exotic items such as an airplane adapter, several cables, and padded bags. You can also make your purchase decision dependent on this.
And of course, the price still plays a decisive role. Here is the question of whether you are a beginner or have been mixing for a while and are looking for a new model for your studio. In addition, how professional you want to work with the studio headphones, is it just a hobby or do you earn your money producing music? And also whether you just need the studio headphones for your music enjoyment in your own four walls is a big purchase criterion.
The prices for good studio headphones start at about 100,00 Euro, there is no upper limit. However, you have to keep in mind that the higher the price of a model, the better the quality. Here the price may well be due to the name of the manufacturer.
If you read up on the different types of headphones, you will find that both closed and open headphones are available in stores. Then there are also the semi-closed headphones, which combine both types. But what are the differences here and for which situations are the different types of headphones suitable?
The closed headphones enclose your entire ear, sealing it completely and isolating you from the environment. This means that hardly any of the sounds from your surroundings can get in and you can concentrate fully on your music or other recordings. But also the loud music does not penetrate to the outside. However, the closed headphones also have the disadvantage that they sit so tightly on the ear that reflections and resonances can occur, which could produce a distorted sound image. Even a very accentuated bass is often an undesirable side effect of closed headphones. In addition, headphones that sit firmly on the ears can cause an unpleasant heat build-up.
Above all you have to consider with the closed headphones that they are really only suitable in the studio, or for private purposes at home or in the garden, under no circumstances should they be used in traffic, because the road noise like other vehicles, sirens or other sounds are not heard anymore.
The closed studio headphones are well suited for a recording room in a studio, a drummer, a DJ or a technician at a live concert. However, in the studio these headphones are not suitable for mastering, mixing or audiophiles.
The open headphones do not enclose the ear and therefore allow sounds from outside to enter as well as music to escape into the environment. Therefore they do not provide much protection for your surroundings and the music is audible, which is, of course, a disadvantage. This is a disadvantage, of course, because they are not usable in public transport, as the music will disturb your surroundings. Because of this sound and noise leakage, the open headphones are not suitable for a recording room, as many disturbing factors could be heard later on the finished recording.
The advantage of these open headphones, on the other hand, is that the ears are ventilated and a transparent sound is created. Therefore the open headphones are usually particularly suitable for home use, but can also be used in the studio for mastering and mixing as well as for listening to the recordings.
A compromise between closed and open headphones are the half-open headphones. Because they usually combine the advantages of the other two systems. The wearing comfort is more comfortable than with closed headphones and there is also good insulation, both from the outside to the inside and the other way round. The sound of the music you listen to is more natural. This makes the semi-open headphones ideal for listening to music, mastering and mixing in the studio and for DJs.
The disadvantages of these headphones, however, lie in their design, as deep external noise can penetrate to the inside and distort the music, reducing the enjoyment when listening at home. These headphones are also not suitable for the recording room in a studio, as here, as with the open version, noise from the headphones can also get into the recording.
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