We round up the 11 best headphones for mixing & mastering that are budget-friendly and perfect for whether you’re in the studio, at home plugged into a laptop or when you need to mix a track on the move
Finding the best headphones for mixing and mastering on a budget doesn't have to be a difficult task - here are our 11 best options that are budget-friendly, but still provide pro-level sound.
There was once a time when mixing on a set of headphones would have been unthinkable – an almost unspeakable act that would result in producers laughing in your face and pointing.
However, with the ever-increasing popularity of the portable studio and leaps in technology allowing us to enjoy super high-quality audio through a set of headphones, we can now enjoy an almost identical representation of our mixes straight to our ears without a set of monitors. Although a good set of studio monitors is an essential studio item, sometimes we can’t always mix well into the night without disturbing someone with our Adam Audio monitors or KRK Rokits fired up.
In addition, such is the life of a travelling musician and producer that you can spend more time on the road between gig and sessions that getting to a studio to mix is almost impossible – which is why a good set of studio headphones for mixing is an essential item nowadays. With a good set of mixing headphones, you can mix your tracks anywhere and at any time and even use them as studio monitor headphones should you be laying down some tracks yourself.
In this blog, we’re going to be looking at our top 11 best mixing headphones that will provide you with an accurate representation of your recordings, allow you to comfortably lay tracks down and also serve as great studio headphones for just listening to music! best of all, they won't break the bank either!
Here are Our Top 11 Best Headphones For Mixing
First up we have the industry standard KRK KNS 8400 Headphones. Designed specifically for the likes of producers and DJs, the KRK KNS 8400 Headphones accurately replicate the clarity, detail and audio performance of the KRK studio monitors offering you a precise listening experience thanks to a high-efficiency Neodymium 40mm driver as well as memory foam cushions to provide superior isolation.
These closed-back headphones are as close as you can get to actually strapping a set of KRK monitors to your head, providing a large dynamic range with extremely low-distortion detail and clarity as well as superior extended low-frequency definition, bringing all the bass back into the mix where some headphones struggle.
Comfortable, great-sounding and extremely hardwearing, these are some of the best headphones for mixing in the studio, recording and some of the best headphones for DJs too!
2. Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones
The Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones are some of the best headphones for mixing as they have been specifically designed to reproduce an accurate sound across a wide range. So they're perfect for all styles of music or sound editing.
We think these are a contender for best mixing headphones as they feature neodymium dynamic drivers - which are renowned for producing clear, unaltered sound - you'll hear everything you're supposed to.
The closed-back design blocks out background noise so you can make accurate decisions in the mixing process.
The large soft ear pads are ideal for extended use and help reduce fatigue, whilst the tough, collapsible design ensures you can take them anywhere.
They're also way under £60 which makes them very affordable!
3. Roland RH-5 Headphones
If you need a set of cheap headphones for mixing that don't suck, then the Roland RH-5 Headphones are a perfect choice.
These incredibly affordable headphones are very comfortable and lightweight, making them a great option for long mixing sessions or even portable studio setups.
We think these are some of the best mixing headphones as they are equipped with 40mm drivers and large scale housings. This means you get a highly accurate, uncoloured sound that gives you an accurate representation of the audio source you're listening to.
You also have an impressive frequency response of 10–22,000 Hz which is great considering the headphones are only £29.
A perfect option for those who need some headphone for mixing audio sources that won't break the bank.
4. Shure SRH1440 Professional Open Back Headphones
The Shure SRH1440 Open Back Headphones are another set that makes our best studio headphones for mixing blog thanks to the fact they’re specifically designed for critical listening, mixing and mastering.
The open-back design provides a natural audio response allowing air and soundwaves to pass through the outer shell of the headphones ensuring you enjoy a stereo soundscape with increased breadth. As they’re open back, these are a great option if you don’t have access to studio monitors and you don’t mind everyone else hearing what you’re mixing – so maybe not ideal if you want to mix on the train or plane! However, they’re perfect for those hotel mixing sessions or if you have a quiet room where you can mix on your own.
A wide frequency range of 15 Hz – 27 kHz makes them a great option for an array of different musical genres whilst the velour earpads and premium padded ear pads make sure you’re comfortable at all times, even after hours of mixing. When you're looking for the best mixing headphones that will give you a wider, more airy sound, these need to be considered.
5. AKG K52 Studio Headphones
The AKG K52 Studio Headphones prove that you don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good quality sound.
At just over £30, they're not going to destroy your bank balance, but they will provide you with an incredibly detailed and accurate sound so you can make informed mixing decisions.
They've been constructed with professional-grade 40mm drivers so you can hear every subtle change, every overdub and every detail in your sound. This makes them a perfect option for mixing music as well as visual content for YouTube or even film scoring. The wide 18Hz - 20kHz frequency response makes them perfect monitoring headphones too!
A self-adjusting headband ensures a perfect fit whilst the comfortable over-ear design helps reduce listening fatigue when those mixing sessions go on for too long.
6. Shure SRH940 Studio Reference Headphones
The Shure SRH940 Professional Reference Headphones are some of the best mixing and monitor headphones – the clue is in the name! These studio reference headphones are from the same people who are responsible for two of the most widely used microphones in the world – the Shure SM-58 and SM-57 so you know that you’re in safe hands with these!
Featuring a 40mm Neodymium dynamic driver for superior sound quality, you get an accurate frequency response that delivers smooth high-ends, tight bass with lush transient response for minimal distortion even at higher volumes making them an ideal choice for professionals and all types of music genres.
In addition, you can shut out the outside world effectively thanks to the velour ear pads that provide great isolation, allowing you to hear everything in your mix regardless of your environment.
You’ll be happy to use these during the mixing and mastering process and while you’re recording too. Due to the lightweight and ergonomic design and padded headband that keeps you comfortable at all times making, these mixing headphones a perfect choice if you need something for when those late-night mixing sessions are calling. Some of the best headphones for mixing and great studio monitor headphones in one.
7. Presonus HD7 Studio Headphones
Next up we have the budget-friendly, but highly professional Presonus HD7 Studio Headphones. These chunky, over-ear headphones basically shut out the world while you mix your tracks and provide a clear, precise sound.
We think these are some of the best headphones for mixing as they have an impressive frequency response of 10 Hz to 30 kHz - you'll hear every little detail.
The semi-open sound chamber also helps the lower frequencies come through, making them a great option for live recording. The accurate midrange and extended frequency response cover all basses, making them incredible studio partners.
8. Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro Headphones - 250 Ohm
Finally, we have one of the most trusted brands in mixing headphones – Beyerdynamic. The DT series from Beyerdynamic has been relied on for over 30 years by professional producers for mixing, mastering and music creation and is widely regarded as some of the best headphones for mixing. The Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro Headphones - 250 Ohm are easily some of the best studio headphones for mixing thanks to the superb clarity, “Bass Reflex” technology for improved bass response and fantastic isolation that blocks out the outside world.
When you’re mixing late into the night, you need to be able to hear everything that’s going on and make sure you’re totally in the mix, so Beyerdynamic have crafted the DT770 Pro Headphones with a 250 ohms impedance as well as a headphone frequency response of 5-35.000Hz allowing you to enjoy studio-quality sound straight into your cans.
Thanks to the fact they’re extremely robust, rugged and built with travel in mind, they’ll last a lifetime. However, should you misplace or damage any part of the headphones during your production duties, you can replace any part easily.
Reliable, great sounding studio mixing headphones that won’t let you down, will provide an awesome studio-quality sound at all times and allow you to mix anywhere you like – what more could you want?
9. AKG K245 Professional Headphones
The AKG K245 Professional Headphones are studio quality reference monitors that are the product of AKG's continual design innovation. These mixing headphones are incredible value for money that will provide you with an accurate sonic representation and allow you to make informed decisions in the mixing and mastering process.
You have an Audio frequency Bandwidth of 15 - 25000 Hz thanks to their two 50mm transducers which offer an amazing amount of low-frequency response.
They are also built for the hard rigours of the world and can be packed away easily due to their fold-away design.
The self-adjusting headband, comfortable ear cups and three-axis hinge ensure the headphones are very comfortable. You're not going to get that horrible earache in a hurry.
10. PreSonus HD9 Studio Headphones
We think the PreSonus HD9 Studio Headphones are some of the best mixing headphones thanks to their high High-power handling capabilities. You can actually mix at all volumes accurately.
A tailored frequency response of 10 Hz - 26 kHz combined with 45 mm dynamic, neodymium drivers allows you to enjoy all the subtle nuances of your tracks and therefore make accurate changes when you need to.
The ear cups rotate 180-degrees on two axes so you can mix DJ sets on the fly and monitor what's going on at all times with one ear or both.
The PreSonus HD9 Studio Headphones are perfect for critical listening, mixing and mastering - it's like strapping studio monitors to the side of your head!
11. V-Moda M-200 Professional Studio Headphones
The V-Moda M-200 Professional Studio Headphones are perfect if you're looking for industry-standard sound quality as well as stylish and slick design.
The V-Moda models are renowned for their hi-resolution audio, reaching levels of up to a staggering 40kHz. While these are slightly stretching the budget, we believe that their all-around performance justifies the price tag. The M-200's are ultimately a pair of headphones that you won't need to upgrade for a very long time.
A memory phone headband and ear cushions provides maximum comfort for those long studio sessions. The comfort and sound on offer also makes them a brilliant companion for when you're on the move. Ideal just about any scenario!
Read More: Best Studio Headphones