What To Look For In Studio Headphones

So you have setup your music studio and are ready to hit the world! Now you want to choose a pair of headphones that will make a perfect fit. While choosing the right headphone pair is essential, it is not that easy as it seems. You need to take into account a number of factors to ensure you have the right headphones to keep things going smoothly in the music studio. If you are unsure what to look for in-studio headphones, follow the below advice.

Open or closed

The choice of an open or closed model is largely dependent on how you want to use the headphone. You will find both open as well as closed models at all price points in the market, but each of them has distinct characteristics to serve varying needs. For instance, closed back headphones leak far less sound and are mostly “over ear” in design. This makes them a perfect fit for monitoring while recording as less sound will leak into the microphone you are recording with. Also, they have a weightier bass end compared to open headphones.

Open back models, on the other hand, leak too much sound and are not considered good for recording with. However, they give a far accurate and neutral frequency response and are far better for mixing with. This is particularly true because sound leakage from headphones doesn’t matter at the mixing stage.

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Wired or wireless

Although wireless models are increasingly becoming popular, a wired model is a preferred choice in a studio. In fact, wired models rule the studio music world and for many reasons. Firstly, pro audio gear has been designed in view of wired headphones, and this is not going to change. Secondly, while recording and mixing, you never have to wander off to another room. Thirdly, a Bluetooth headphone always compresses signal before beaming it between devices. Lastly, wired models have a much better amplifying capacity compared to wireless models.

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Fit and comfort

Comfort is paramount when you are recording music in your studio. If you are not comfortable with a device, you won’t concentrate on music and the end result will not be as desired. While any headphone will make you feel fine when worn briefly, most of the headphones become uncomfortable after some time. It is better to put the headphone (you are considering) on your ear for about 15 minutes of usage to find out if it gets warm on your ear or if it makes you uncomfortable.

As a thumb rule, select headphones with larger ear cups in case you are going for a closed back model. For headphones that sit on your ear, smaller is a better choice. Also, look for fabric padding or leather that can soften the pressure on your ear. Weight is also a factor that determines the comfort level. Lighter models are far more comfortable than weightier ones.

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Portability is actually not an issue for listening during a physical activity. All you want to do is get the lightweight model that is portable. For a traditionally-built studio, heavier closed back models are mostly used. Since computer interfaces have made on-recording really popular and handy, closed-back models are usually preferred. Fold up designs are more portable and offer some sort of protection to headphones in transit. It is wise to have some kind of case for recording headphones in case you have to carry them from one place to another for recording.

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Of course, you don’t want to change your headphones every once in a while. As such, you need to check the durability of the model. While weightier models are much more durable, they tend to be less comfortable. Lighter models, on the other hand, provide better comfort, but they lack durability and get worn out easily. Try to choose a model that provides comfort as well as durability.

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Can they be repaired?

Studio headphones are more susceptible to wear and tear than headphones used at homes. This is even more correct if you are running a place for a commercial purpose and use the headphones too often. The most prevalent damage to headphones is the cable getting yanked from one of the cups accidentally. Certain headphones have detachable cables and it is easier to repair them. Take into account the usage of the headphone and the ability to repair the piece to choose the right model.

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When choosing a headphone, make sure the cable is sufficiently long for your situation. However, try to avoid an really long cable as it could affect the quality of sound by introducing noise and lowering volume. Also, a model with a very long cable can easily become more entangled. Top quality headphones will have a shielded cable that reduces noise. On the flip side, never choose a headphone with a very short cable as you will have to add an extension cable, which could hamper the sound and volume quality. It is suggested that you go for headphones that come with a sufficiently long cable that is handy to carry and that doesn’t affect the sound and volume quality.

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Pricing is not an issue for established music experts. However, it may be a factor for those who are just starting out with their music studio and have limited funds. Still, it is advisable not to go for very cheap models as they will not serve you longer. Also, you can’t be sure about the quality. Always look for a quality headphone that comes with better quality and comfort with an affordable price tag.

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Closing words

A right pair of headphones can make a major difference in your success level in the world of music. While you can choose an ordinary pair and keep things rolling, you won’t be able to make the most out of your music. You ought to pick the best headphones for better results. In case you lack info on what to look for in-studio headphones, stick to the above guide. Within no time, you could be able to have your hands on the right headphones to create amazing music with desired results.

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