6 Best Headphones for Recording Vocals

by Mike Lightner on December 10, 2011

These are by far the best headphones for recording vocals…

All of these are great choices; you really cannot go wrong if you get any of the following professional headphones. I personally recommend the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pros – they blow most other headphones out of the water. However, your choice will most likely come down to your current budget. That’s why I have a bunch of other good options for you to choose from.

But what about Beats by Dre Headphones? Don’t get em.

What about headphones for 20 bucks? Wouldn’t recommend em.

So, ready to get your own professional headphones for recording vocals?

Take your pick from one of these bad boys:

1) Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Headphones – $167

Click Here to Get These Headphones

Closed, diffuse-field systems “Bass reflex” technology for improved bass response.

Clinically high and mid-range reproduction.

Rugged headband construction.

Single-sided cableSoft ear cushionsGold-plated jack plug 3.5 mm and 6.35 mm adapter.


2) Sennheiser HD 380 Pro Headphones – $146

Click Here to Get These Headphones

Extended frequency response for accurate, reliable sound reproduction.

Increased sound pressure level (110db) to handle demanding use.

Exceptional comfort for extended listening.

Carrying case included for engineers on the go.

Easily replaceable parts for long service life.


3) Audio-Technica ATHM50S Pro Headphones – $128

Click Here to Get These Headphones

Exceptional audio quality for professional monitoring and mixing.

Collapsible design ideal for easy portability and convenient storage.

Proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers with neodymium magnet systems.

Closed-back cushioned earcup design creates an outstanding seal for maximum isolation.

Adjustable padded headband for comfort during long mixing/recording sessions.


4) Sony MDR7506 Pro Headphones – $97

Click Here to Get These Headphones

Neodymium magnets and 40mm drivers for powerful, detailed sound.

Closed-ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises.

9.8-foot cord ends in gold-plated plug; 1/4-inch adapter included.

Folds up for storage or travel in provided soft case.

Frequency Response: 10Hz – 20 kHz.


5) Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones – $78

Click Here to Get These Headphones

Dynamic, closed-ear headphones with up to 32 dB attenuation of outside sound.

Lightweight and comfortable, ergonomic design.

Extended frequency response and warm, natural sound reproduction.

Collapsible earpieces for compact transport.

Earpads, headband padding, and audio cord are easily replaceable, ensuring long life.

Collapsible ear-pieces for compact transport.


6) Audio-Technica ATHM40FS Studio Headphones – $53

Click Here to Get These Headphones

Extended-response, precision studiophones.

Flat, extended frequency response for mixing and monitoring.

Pro features include field-replaceable cables, drivers and ear pads.

Loud with 1,600 mW of power handling and high SPL capability.

Rotating earpieces for easy one-ear monitoring.

40 mm diameter drivers, neodymium magnets and CCAW voice coils.


Word on the street:


Beyer 770 pro: Freakin Awesome. I have not heard the AT 50′s but I tried them on, since they were daintfully hanging on the headphone rack at my dealer, and their is no comparison: Beyers are easily 5x more comfortable. Once you put on Beyers, they stay put and ofcourse keep your ears dry. Add that to their well balanced sound stage and your dealing witrh a Studio Standard pair of headphones.

Oh, Im buying some AT-50′s in the near future to replace my Sony 7506′s so heck buy either or but Beyers are a step up from the 50′s.



No, they are for for me sitting quietly making electronic music!! The problem is that I bought a pair of shure 840 headphones at this store and I had to return them because they severely lacked some low end depth. The kicker is that I only get a store credit, and one of the only pairs of cans they have, that I think would suit me, are the senn hd280.

-The beyer 770 are way too bassy.
-The sony mdr 7506/7509/shure 440 will destroy my ears with their highs.
-All the AKG’s I tried have very little low end (I can’t hear the lower spectrum of most of my tunes with them!!).
-The senn hd 650′s are too expensive…..
-The ath m50′s i own, but are being repaired.could be six weeks.

So the last standing man is the hd 280′s. I just don’t wanna get them and then come to realize I don’t like them ,because they won’t do a second return. I just could go listen to them myself, which i will, however i kinda made a bad judgement call on the shure’s and so i wanted to get some opinions before i buy the senn’s this time.



I have both; just got the 380s and running them in which is absolutely essential with these. ( about 30 hrs so far) Initial impression was an unintegrated mid where vocals disappeared in a heavy mix (they are improving though).

People love the At M50 but for me the bottom end while very linear is substantially over large and hence compromises the mids and soundstage; although they sound very benign there is no way i could make a truly informed opinion on them. YMMV.

The 380′s are getting better and are showing more accuracy in the bottom end compared to the ATs (particularly when tracking a Precision) although I’m yet to be convinced by them overall;they may come good with more work.

What am I saying here? – neither are the duck’s at the mo, there must be better options out there; you really have to listen for yourself. – Sorry.

If you do go for the ATs IME the optional straight cord is a better option in the studio.

Cheers, Ross


old ghost:

Of the ones I own and have seen used quite often ——

beyerdynamic dt-770pro ($200 or less) – Sound really great but fairly heavy on the bass, but for tracking who cares. **** Edit- isolation isn’t as good as the hd280′s if that’s what you’re looking for. I just try to keep the click at a relatively low level for vocalists and don’t have any problems with those.

Sony mdr-7506 – ($100 or less) Great headphones for the price, sound good and are really comfortable to wear for a long time. Decent isolation.

Sennheiser hd280pro – ($100 or less) Sound really good, great isolation, although personally I find them really uncomfortable after long periods of time as they really stick to your dome. Still nice though.

So I can’t say what the “best” headphones are for tracking, but those three are some really good, reasonably priced options.



Have any experience with these headphones or other headphones? Thoughts? Opinions?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

C.Smith December 20, 2012 at 5:24 am

Truthfully I just use regular consumer headphones when I’m referencing a mix …


MEWS - East London recording studio September 17, 2013 at 8:37 am

Appreciate this post. Let mee try it out.


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