Studio Headphones - Made for Professionals
There are two main reasons for using studio headphones: monitoring and mixing.
Whether you want to mix analogue or digital audio sources, work in a professional or project studio or mix live: In any case, you need a tool that ensures detailed reproduction of bass, midrange and treble, free of any sound coloration and distortion.
Professional studio monitoring headphones are designed and constructed for this type of audio application.
What makes a good studio headphone?
First and foremost, headphones in the studio should reproduce all frequencies in an extremely linear and detailed manner, without distorting the sound or interfering with the sound image via EQ and compression. In various studio headphone tests you usually see diagrams showing the measured frequency response. There you can see if and where the sound of the device differs.
The measurement in reality sometimes differs with the subjectivity of each individual in practice, however, can be observed again and again. Some like their mix more bass-heavy and can therefore also listen wonderfully with headphones that overemphasise the bass range, the next one already has different preferences. The genre also plays an important role in the selection of the right tool.
Feature soundtracks focused more on dynamics, while electronic music focused more on the bass and midrange. In case of doubt, it is only helpful to listen to several copies and then decide according to your own taste.
While in the past headphones were rather unsuitable for mixing and mastering, in recent years technology has evolved and made major leaps. But you should always listen to your mix on good studio monitors, because even the best headphone models can never replace monitors.
A question of comfort
The wearing comfort should also not be ignored. During longer mixing and mastering sessions, the headphones usually stay on the head for some time and should therefore be comfortable to wear for a correspondingly long time.
On the one hand, care must be taken to ensure that the ear cushions sit comfortably and that they do not become warm or you begin to sweat even after a long period of time. Here, fabric and velour upholstery are usually superior to those made of PU, as they can also absorb some sweat.
Furthermore, the headgear should be adjustable so that it can be specially adapted to its head size. It must have a good fit and should neither wiggle nor squeeze.
The studio headphones must also meet another criterion: It must withstand a wide range of different loads over several years. Therefore, good quality of workmanship must be ensured when purchasing. A coiled cable should also be part of the circumference, as this cable design is less sensitive to stresses and strains.
Here again, the desired applications differ. Studio headphones are often "abused" for recording and should therefore be closed so that no background noise interferes with the recording. If you prefer to listen to live music, half-open headphones can be just as useful.