If you are into recording you have to admit that a pair of good-quality headphones brings your music close to you as much as possible. The question now, for those who do recording as a hobby, or are already professionals, is – Which type of headphones should you choose for recording?
The answer is not that easy since there are different types of headphones but let’s try to give you some tips which will hopefully make your choice a little easier.
Can you use the headphones you already have?
Well, this greatly depends on what exactly you currently use. We wouldn’t like to waste time on the ear buds you normally get with your smartphone. They simply won’t do the job right. You can even try using your around-the-neck stereo Bluetooth headset but there is much better option. This is why you need a decent pair of studio headphones.
What makes the studio headphones so special?
Well, first of all studio headphones were designed with accuracy and precision in mind. The everyday headphones are designed to make the audio a bit better than it actually is by accentuating treble or bass. The thing with studio headphones is that they have flat frequency response. This means that you will hear your recordings just like they are.
However, don’t just throw away the ear buds we have mentioned before. They have their own role in the production process. Professional producers have the habit to use every day consumer’s electronics to listen to their mixes and actually hear them the same way their listeners will. If you think a little, this is normal, because most people will listen to their mixes in the car, on portable speakers, ear buds, and different types of headphones like around-the-neck stereo Bluetooth headset or Apple earpods and so on. If the mixes sound great on these, they are ready to be published and shared.
Recording headphones and what to look for before purchase
Open-back or closed-back headphones
The first thing to consider when buying recording headphones is whether you want closed-back or open-back headphones. Most professional recording headphones are closed-back. There is no sound leakage since the ear cups are sealed. Sound leakage may cause problems because the microphone may record any sound coming from them.
Also, if you are performing with other people, you would like to focus on your own performance, not on theirs. With closed-back headphones you actually hear just what you need.
Open-back headphones let the air flow through the ear cups. Because of that the sound is more spacious and in most cases they sound coming from them is more precise and natural. If you are into mixing and mastering then a good pair of open-back headphones will do the job perfectly well.
Is there anything between open-back and closed-back headphones?
The answer to this question is – yes. A great combination of the two headphone types we have just discussed are the so called “semi-open headphones”. They simply provide more spacious sound while reducing sound leakage at the same time.
What about over-ear or on-ear headphones?
The difference between these two types of headphones is that over-ear headphones go over the ears and cover them completely. On the other hand, on-ear headphones have ear pads that lean on our ears.
Whether you will choose over or on-ear headphones greatly depends on what works better for you. If you want more compact headphones you should buy on-ear headphones. On the other hand, if you are looking for something morecomfortable over-ear headphones are a better choice.
Are in-ear models any good?
Another good option for studio recording is in-ear headphones. These are great for those who are used to bring their own headphones to the studio because they are compact and easily portable. This also makes them perfect for everyday use.
These in-ear headphones are also used as stage monitors. When you connect them to the mixer you can adjust the monitor mix for every performer on stage. However, it is good to know that in-ear monitors require a wireless system in order to be connected and managed.
We hope that we have made it a bit clearer what type of headphones you need for studio recording. Just remember that you don’t need the most expensive ones at the moment. Choose the ones that suit you best by type and price as well.