The 8 Best Headphones for Mixing in 2020

The models with the most accurate frequency response

When mixing music, you want a pair that's comfortable and has an accurate frequency response. Open-back headphones allow you to hear some outside noise and allow the people around you to hear what you’re listening to, which gives you a more natural sound quality. But if you need full sound isolation, then closed-back headphones can still offer excellent frequency response and a detailed sound.

Best Overall: Shure SRH1840 Professional Open Back Headphones

Shure is an absolute powerhouse in the music technology industry. The company is known for its high-quality microphones and excellent headphones, and the Shure SRH1840 headphones are no exception to that rule. The headphones themselves feature an open-back design, meaning the sound is wider and more natural, plus they boast large, comfortable pads for those extra-long mixing sessions. Sound-wise, these headphones are among the best — they offer a beautifully detailed high-end, but they don’t skimp on bass quality either, offering a solid yet punchy bass that you’d normally find on headphones much more expensive.

Simply put, if you want a supreme amount of detail and controlled yet incredibly fun frequency response, then the Shure SRH1840 are the headphones to go for. There aren’t many downsides to them either. Though they’re a little pricey compared to others on this list ( and a little on the heavy side,) the Shure SRH1840 is simply the best mixing headphone out there.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Sony MDR7506 Headphones

Looking for a pair of headphones that you can take on the road with you when you mix? The Sony MDR7506 headphones may be the ones for you. These headphones are classic, and many consider them to be among the best headphones for mixing thanks to their relatively flat frequency response and good build quality. The headphones offer a good, flat bass response, solidly tuned mids, and a ton of high-end detail.

When it comes to portability, the headphones have a few things to offer. For starters, they fold up relatively well, meaning they can fit more easily into a bag. They also come with a decent carry bag, which makes them even easier to carry around. If you want, you can even opt for a more protective hard case to carry the headphones around in. Safe to say, if you want a pair of mixing headphones and don’t want to go for on-ear or in-ear options, then the Sony MDR7506 are the way to go.

Best Budget: Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

You might not have a lot of cash to spend on a pair of headphones, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on great sound quality. The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones have long been considered some of the best headphones in their price range, for good reason. The headphones may not look as flashy as some of the others on this list, but the fact is that they still sound excellent, which is the most important thing, after all.

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones offer a good amount of padding around the ear cups and in the headband. They're also pretty light, meaning they should be easy to wear for those long mixing sessions. When it comes to sound quality, the headphones sound relatively natural, though some users may note a slightly more bass-heavy approach, so while they definitely don’t go overboard on bass, you will need to mix with the bass in mind.

Best Closed-Back: Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Studio Headphones

Beyerdynamic is a top-tier brand in music production, and it has become a favorite of mixing engineers, producers, and other musicians around the world. Sometimes your mixing environment requires closed-back headphones. When that's the case, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro headphones are the best in their category.

There are a number of things that make these excellent headphones. For starters, they feature a nice design with plenty of padding and high-quality materials. You can tell before you even put them on that they’re going to be comfortable. Ultimately, the most important thing to consider is sound quality, and despite their somewhat lower price, these headphones sound amazing. They offer a detailed high-end and well-tuned mid range, but they also offer a slight bass boost that many love. It is something to keep in mind when mixing, but if you like that extra oomph and don’t mind mixing with it in mind, then these headphones are an excellent choice.

Best On-Ear: GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Headphones

While over-ear headphones are definitely advised for mixing, sometimes you’ll need to do some basic mixing on the road, and that may mean using a pair of on-ear headphones. If that’s you, then we recommend going for the Grado Prestige SR80e headphones.

Grado has built a name for itself over the years as a manufacturer or ultra high-quality headphones that look good, feel good, and sound great. The Grado Prestige SR80e headphones are no exception to that, boasting a classic-looking and unique design while offering a detailed and clear high-end with plenty of width thanks to the open-back design. They’re not great at folding up, which may frustrate some, but they’re still light and relatively portable.

Best In-Ear: Audio Technica ATH-E40

If you need a pair of in-ear headphones that you can keep in a bag and easily transport from studio to studio, then the Audio Technica ATH-E40 headphones are a great option. The headphones are built to fit nicely in your ears, and while they won’t offer an experience as comfortable as mixing with over-ear headphones, they should definitely still get the job done.

When it comes to sound quality, the Audio Technica ATH-E40 headphones are pretty nice, offering a good bass response, well-tuned mid range, and detailed highs. The soundstage on these headphones is pretty good too, despite the fact that they’re in-ear and closed headphones. They also come with a few extra pairs of ear tips and a nice carrying case, making them perfect for portable use.

Best Mid-Range Price: Shure SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones

Not everyone has hundreds of dollars to spend on a pair of mixing headphones, and there are still some excellent options in that mid-range price bracket. Like the Shure SRH840 headphones, which have long been considered an excellent option for those who want a great pair of headphones at a reasonable price. Like other Shure headphones, the SRH840 headphones are stylish and have an excellent comfort level thanks to the large amounts of padding in the ear cups.

Sound-wise, the Shure SRH840 headphones may not be quite as advanced as more expensive cans, but they still have a lot to offer. The headphones boast a tight and punchy low-end, along with a very well-tuned mid range. Despite being closed back, the headphones generally have a wide soundstage too, which is always helpful in mixing situations.

Most Accurate Frequency Response: Shure SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back Headphones

While some headphones offer a bit of a bass boost, when you’re mixing you may want to find a pair of headphones that have as accurate of a response as possible. If you’re looking for accurate frequency response and want headphones with a closed-back design, then the Shure SRH1540 headphones may well be the headphones to get. Shure is a known and respected brand in professional audio, and the SRH1540 headphones are among its most well-respected.

As you would expect from a pair of Shure headphones, the SRH1540 is extremely comfortable, offering a ton of padding both around the ears and under the headband. When it comes to sound quality, the headphones boast beautifully detailed and clear high-end, along with an excellently-tuned mid range that Shure has become known for.