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Best open-back headphones for mixing and mastering

Which professional-quality mixing headphones are right for your production workflow? We show you the best pairs you can buy, and these are all worth taking a listen to.

Finding that pefect mix can be tricky business. When it comes to making accurate mixing decisions, content creators need as many tools as possible, and open back headphones provide a more natural, honest experience. While not designed specifically for recording, the headphones on this list are the best options available for mastering your tracks. Whether you are a seasoned studio professional, or an aspiring bedroom content creator, look no further; we’ve got you covered on the best headphones for studio monitoring.

Let’s get started!

  1. Sennheiser HD800 S

Large and wide sounding, this extremely expensive pair may be out of your price range, but if not, we promise you will hear where your money went.

Frequency response: 4Hz-51kHz

Driver size: 56mm

Why buy: You’re not going to find a more accurate sounding pair of headphones for mixing your music. The Sennheiser HD800 S is the top of the line.

Why not Buy: The price.

2. Sennheiser HD600 S

Drastically more affordable than #1, these are probably the best mixing monitors that won’t wreck your bank account. For those just getting started, this might be the best high-end way to go.

Frequency response: 12 Hz-39kHz

Driver size: 40mm

Why buy: Super comfortable, extremely accurate, lightweight and dynamic.

Why not buy: The HD600 S is definitely more affordable than the HD800 S by the same manufacturer, but still might be a little extravagantly priced for those just starting out.

3. Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO

These are the most comfortable headphone sets on our list! Got hours of mixing to get done, and a deadline approaching? That’s not going to be a problem with the DT 1990 Pros.

Frequency response: 5Hz-40kHz

Driver size: 45mm

Why Buy: We really appreciate how soft and unnoticable these are, especially after long sessions of grinding out beats.

Why not buy: The sound quality doesn’t quite compare with that of either of the top two sets on this list. It’s pretty close, though.

4. Shure SRH1840

The best pair of Shure headphones for mixing and mastering is a comfortable, well balanced and tremendous sounding set!

Frequency response: 10Hz-30kHz

Driver size: 40mm

Why buy: like all of these sets on this list, Shure’s SRH1840s have no real critical flaws, they are very comfortable, even after several hours of use, they sound lovely and they seem, to us, to be the most durable pair you can get near the price range. Also like every other item on this list; someone will be upset these aren’t #1.

Why not buy: A jack of all trades, so to speak, those with higher budgets will be able to find a pair that suits them better. Likewise, for those with lower budgets.

5. Phillips Fidelio X2HR

Priced for budgets, the Fidelio X2HR sound like anything but budget headphones.

Frequency response: 5Hz-40kHz

Driver size: 50 mm

Why buy: The price of these well balanced headphones doesn’t suggest excellent, neutral soundstage, great low end, or clear, undistorted high end. But that’s exactly what you get when you purchase the Phillips Fidelio X2HR.

Why not buy: You might prefer what a little higher cost can get you.

Are you considering cutting the cord? Check out the Best wireless headphones available in 2021

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