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Bass guitarists have a wide range of different headphones and in-ear monitoring systems to use for their music creation. Whether they are in the studio rocking out, or they are recording some tunes at home, having a small and compact headset is much better than having to deal with a large bass amplifier and multiple studio speakers.
When searching for the best headphones for bass guitar, a high quality headset should have an extended frequency range of at least 20 kHz. This gives you an excellent clarity of each note, especially the bass lows. Additionally, a high quality bass headset can also be used for average daily use, casual music listening, lower end sampling and music production, and more.
In this article, we took a closer look at multiple headphones which are specifically made for use with bass guitar. We made sure to focus on the range of frequency and bass depth, as well as clarity of the audio so you can be sure the headset you choose is perfect for studio use as well as home musician use.
Being a decently well known name in the headphone industry, the DT 240 Pro is a great choice for professional bass guitar monitoring headphones. They offer an incredible frequency range that can reach up to 100 kHz when optimally boosted giving you an outstanding range of audio when sampling, editing, or recording.
If you plan on wearing these bass headphones for extended periods of time, you can. They are lightweight and extremely comfortable thanks to a well padded headband and ear cups. The lighter weight on these headphones won’t cause any fatigue on the top of your head or pressure pain around your ears.
If you are a professional bass musician, studio professional, recording or sampling artist, or work on other audio related tasks, these headphones can be an excellent addition to your gear kit in order to make the best possible finished projects.
Coming from a very well known brand in the industry, these Sennheiser headphones are an extremely well made piece of gear that includes a high bass response for professionals and casual musicians alike. You’ll find a range of features that can hold their own in a professional setting, as well as a price that is obtainable by casual bassists as well.
Comfort levels are off the charts with this headset due to the extremely thick foam on the headband and both ear cups. You’ll be able to wear this headset for extremely long hours while working throughout the year without suffering from muscle fatigue or pressure pain on the cartilage of your ears.
The frequency range can dip down to a mere 8Hz which is outstanding for bass monitoring. It also reaches up to 25kHz giving you an impressive range and incredibly powerful low bass response. These headphones are specifically made to target those rumbling lows for bass players without distortion giving you a great headset for production and studio monitoring, as well as real-time stage playing on heavy bass musical pieces.
Another extremely well known brand in the industry, these Audio Technica headphones are a popular choice for mid to high level bass guitarists and studio recording specialists. You’ll be able to find these Audio Technica headphones in three colors to add a touch of uniqueness to your electronic peripherals collection.
Additionally, the construction is very durable and heavy duty on these Audio Technica bass guitar headphones, while also remaining lightweight and comfortable. The 45mm drivers are large but not massive, making them a good size to go over your ears and help isolate the sound while reducing the input of background noise. The Audio Technica ear cups also have a 90 degree rotation which makes them easy to transport and store when not being used.
A perfect choice for professional studio editors, bass guitar musicians, and other music production individuals. You’ll find a great frequency range and wonderful bass response, large drivers, and high levels of comfort to make it possible for you to enjoy these bass headphones for several hours at a time without fatigue.
What We Like
Huge 45mm drivers for excellent sound coverage
Three detachable adapters and cables for versatility
90 degree rotation on each ear cup for easy storage
This headset is one of the best bass guitar headphones from Sony with a reasonable and fair price for beginners and professionals alike. These headphones have a heavy bass response making them a great and very versatile addition to any studio gear kit, especially when used with a bass amp for boosted output.
You’ll find a massive 40mm driver and Neodymium magnets in each ear cup giving you excellent coverage of both highs and lows, with an emphasis on the bass lows for an optimal and versatile sound balance. That combination makes these headphones a very suitable choice for mixing, editing, and sampling.
When it comes to sound quality, you simply won’t be able to find a better and more robust headphone in this price range. Sony took their technology to the max to ensure these headphones offer the highest performance possible with the 40mm drivers included. Due to this higher quality result, these headphones are an excellent option for professional studio use more than they would be for casual listening.
What We Like
Foldable design is great for traveling and commuting
Perfect for use with a bass guitar amplifier output
When searching for professional studio headphones, Sennheiser came up multiple times as being the best of the best when it came to bass response. These headphones are critically acclaimed within the audio industry to provide legendary sound quality with an extremely natural and highly balanced bass sound.
These open back headphones are an outstanding choice for mastering, mixing, and sampling. They carry an investment price, but are arguably the best of the best bass headphones on the market today. You’ll spend a lot of time searching to find a pair of headphones that are on par or better than these.
The sound quality is amazing with a highly neutral bass frequency response to give a highly optimum sound overall. The dynamic range is extended and incredible, perfect for high end studio tasks. These studio headphones have high impedance and won’t normally need a preamp to get that deep bass sound result.
What We Like
Absolutely outstanding sound for all studio professionals
Extended dynamic range to provide optimum results
Nearly perfect neutral frequency response for accuracy
Know Before Buying
High impedance may need preamp for best results
Perfect for studio use, though not as good for casuals
Large size but lightweight construction for long term comfort
The majority of headphones at this quality level are going to be wired instead of wireless. This means the cable length and quality is an important consideration. There are straight cables and coiled cords you can choose from.
If you are moving around a lot in your studio, such as when playing bass guitar from both a standing and sitting position, having a coiled cord may be a better option. The benefits to a coiled cable is you can get an extended length without the tripping hazard.
The coil will keep the cord up off the floor while allowing up to 15 feet or more of movement room. With uncoiled cables, the extended length will droop down to the floor and could get tangled around your legs or other items in your studio, causing a tripping or tipping hazard.
Additionally, coiled cables are almost always detachable which gives you the freedom of transporting the headphones easily, or to switch the cable length for a longer or shorter one to suit your needs.
For studio professionals spending a lot of time making music, editing, sampling, or monitoring you will find comfort level a very important consideration for your headphones. It’s not uncommon for a studio professional to wear their headset (see also best studio headphones) for several hours throughout the day.
Comfort level is important and will vary depending on the overall weight of the headset, the tightness of the ear cups, and the padding on the headband or ear cups. Comparing the comfort features on headsets is something to look for, especially if you know you will be wearing them for extended periods of time.
Padding can be very firm or very soft. You can also find memory foam, gel foam, and cooling mesh pads. The pads will be around the ear cups as well as on the headband to prevent pressure pain when wearing the headset for long periods of time.
Also try to keep in mind that what feels good for the first hour can quickly cause fatigue and pressure pain. This is very true and extremely common with high density firm foam. While it is made to feel very comfortable for short periods of time, it can compress down and become extremely hard causing pressure and pain on your ears.
For most studio professionals, the design quality of their bass guitar headphones is not as important of a factor as it may be for casual music listening. Since design quality has very little to no affect on sound quality, it may be of very little concern when you are looking to purchase a new set of bass guitar headphones.
Design quality can vary between manufacturers. Some will have a telltale design style that helps consumers determine the brand at a glance. In some cases, this can increase the price, especially if the design includes excess features such as RGB lighting, sleek exteriors, specific padding around the ear cups or headband.
Design quality can affect the weight, which in turn can improve or detract from the overall comfort levels. Heavier headphones might look more bold and impressive due to their larger size, but the added weight from the external construction can lead to more discomfort on your scalp and ears.
Arguably the most important part to consider when purchasing new headphones for bass guitar, studio headphones, or casual listening headphones. Sound quality includes frequency response, and whether or not you hear distortion when playing various music at maximum volumes.
When practicing bass guitar, you want headphones that can provide a good sound quality with optimal bass sound so you can get a true idea of the tones coming through, especially if you are listening to delayed or real-time playback through headphones.
When mixing, sampling, or editing in the studio, the bass quality you get from higher end headphones for bass guitar is extremely important. You not only need high levels of noise isolation to get rid of background sound leakage, but you also need extremely high levels of bass response and playback so you know exactly where to make your cuts and fades during the editing process.
Most high quality deep bass over ear headphones will have a wired connection to provide impressive sound quality. When it comes to wired connections, many are done via USB. This connection type offers high definition bass with no need to worry about battery life.
Not all headphones will have a USB connection, however. In this case, in order to get your deep bass response, you will most likely be using a 6mm headphone jack connection. This is extremely common when intended to pair with a guitar amp or other studio equipment.
While many people prefer a USB connection, a 6mm headphone jack offers the same incredibly accurate audio results in over ear headphones. You can potentially even find studio headphones with 3.5mm jacks, or will be able to find a 6mm to 3.5mm jack adapter. These smaller 3.5mm jacks are perfect for tablets, smartphones, and other similar devices, as well as a few MIDI and sampling devices audio engineers may work with.
Extra features can cover a wide range of different things, and will usually depend on the brand or model of on ear headphones you are purchasing. In general, extra features can be both aesthetic as well as possible for changing the sound quality.
Some of the more common extra features you can see will be padding options on the ear cups. For example, you can find cooling mesh, memory foam, high density firm foam, gel foam, and other options which are replaceable as needed to get the best and most comfortable fit.
Additionally, some consumers might look for a studio headphone that offers stylish and eye-catching RGB accents. While these add absolutely nothing to the overall sound quality or reduction in ambient sound, they do improve the aesthetics and make headphones for bass guitar into a stunning and eye-catching decorative piece of gear in your studio.
Whether you are looking for wireless headphones or wired headphones for bass guitar, most typical headphones will have a wide range of potential prices to consider. In many cases, the price range will vary between name brands as well as features.
For example, Sony headphones may normally bring a higher price than an unknown brand, even if the off-brand offers the same features and excellent bass response. The reason is due to the brand name as well known companies will normally have much better warranties, may potentially use better components, can be made with better ear ventilation, might offer a hi res sound that is much better than off brands, and more.
Most of the price increase is due to assumptions by consumers. We all normally assume a well known brand will be able to stand behind their products better than an unknown brand or a new company. Regardless of the brand you choose, having a great pair of over ear headphones for bass guitar should focus on the dynamic range and bass tones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use earbuds for monitoring bass guitar?
While earbuds can be used, and some are often sold as in-ear monitors specifically for bass guitarists, they rarely offer the same frequency response in the bass range as larger over-the-ear bass headphones can. As such, they are normally not recommended for monitoring bass guitar, or for any type of high bass studio work.
If you are searching for a true neutral sound of bass headphones in order to get a pure and accurate idea of the sound when bass guitar playing, especially for studio processing, sampling, and other audio tasks, earbuds are not recommended due to their smaller size, lower quality drivers, and simple inability to provide the deep, rich, and accurate sound as larger headphones.
Having said this, there are some earbuds which can make absolutely outstanding gear for monitoring bass guitar. The only downside is that due to the technology limits at this size, you may need to invest considerable amounts of money into the purchase of high quality in-ear monitors than you would with equal quality over-the-ear headphones.
Which one is best for bass guitar: Over-Ear, On-Ear or In-Ear Headphones?
After comparing the pros and cons between the different styles of headphones for studio projects and other bass guitar tasks, we would recommend over-ear headphones long before we would recommend in-ear monitors.
This is due to the size allotment with over-ear headsets. The drivers can be much larger and more powerful in headsets that go over or on the ear, while the drivers in earbuds are much smaller and may not always be able to handle the same frequency range as their larger counterparts.
When dealing with studio tasks such as sampling, editing, or other high demand bass guitar projects, you want a wide range of frequencies to ensure you are able to properly hear and distinguish between various notes. This precise distinction will directly improve your finished projects as you will be able to have ideal cuts and blends when editing audio of all types.
When do I need a headphone preamp?
In most cases, you won’t need to use a headphone preamp for the majority of bass guitar headphones on the market today. The only time you will need to use a headphone preamp is when using extremely low impedance closed over ear headphones.
Certain brands, such as Sennheiser and Sony, will have a variety of low impedance headphones which will greatly benefit from using a preamp but will also offer bass guitar headphones that have their own built-in amp and won’t need anything external. These same companies also offer headphones that will not need a preamp, so if you are set on a specific brand you can find exactly what you need.
If you are specifically searching for a low impedance headphones for bass guitar, make sure you are aware of the amplifier needs when pairing with your specific recording or playback device. In order to get the highest quality results from your bass headphones, you will need to find the right preamp to drive the setup.
What makes one headset more expensive than another?
In many cases, the internal components and how powerful the headphones are will be the main determinant of the price. Additionally, you can find increased prices with certain brand names due to their reputation, warranty guarantees, and more. Sennheiser, Bose, and certain celebrity branded headphones can carry much higher prices than other companies.
Expensive headphones will normally be made by top audio engineers in that particular company, and will offer critically acclaimed sonic performance. If you are looking for the best of the best headphones for bass, you should look towards the more expensive over ear headphones while still remaining within your set budget.
However, seeing a high price does not always mean the headphones will be high quality, especially if you are dealing with an unknown company or company that has just launched recently. While every company needs to start somewhere, all consumers should be wary when spending large amounts of money on the best headphones for bass guitar musicians especially if the company has zero known reputation.
After comparing all of the above headphones for bass, we have narrowed it down to our chosen over ear headphones. We have decided to put the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X as our favorite over ear headphones for bass electric guitar. These headphones are from a well known brand, feature a bass heavy sound with rapid and accurate bass response, decent noise isolation, and a highly natural guitar sound.
They are wired so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery life which makes them one of the best studio headphones to consider if you plan on spending hours upon hours pushing that incredible sound out of your bass guitar instead of using a bass guitar VST plugin. Additionally, you’ll also find a solid warranty behind these headphones in case anything goes wrong, or if they simply don’t meet the standards claimed by the manufacturer.