Best Headphones for Recording Vocals

by Alex.   Last Updated On April 30th, 2024.
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If you’re diving into the world of recording vocals, you know that having the right equipment is key to capturing that perfect performance. And when it comes to equipment, one of the most crucial pieces is a good pair of headphones.

Whether you’re belting out ballads in your bedroom studio or laying down tracks in a professional recording studio, having headphones that can accurately reproduce your vocals is essential. But with so many options out there, how do you know which ones are the best for your needs?

Fear not, dear reader, for we’ve got you covered! In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to find the perfect pair of headphones for recording vocals.

So, grab your mic, warm up those vocal cords, and let’s dive into the wonderful world of headphones for recording vocals!

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Comparison of the Best Headphones for Recording Vocals

Best Budget Headphones for Recording VocalsSee On Amazon
photo of the Audio-Technica ATH-M20xAudio-Technica
ATH-M20x
Best Closed-Back Headphones for Recording VocalsSee On Amazon
photo of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xAudio-Technica
ATH-M50x
Best Open-Back Headphones for Recording VocalsSee On Amazon
photo of the HiFiMan Edition XSHiFiMan
Edition XS
Most Expensive / Best Premium Headphones for Recording VocalsSee On Amazon
photo of the Sennheiser 800 SSennheiser
800 S
Best Overall Headphones for Recording VocalsSee On Amazon
photo of the Sony MDR-7506Sony
MDR-7506

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headphones: budget-friendly brilliance for budding vocalists seeking professional sound without breaking the bank.

See On Amazon

Specs:

  • Type
    • Over-ear
  • Design
    • Closed back
  • Impedance
    • 47 Ohms
  • Connectivity
    • Wired
      • 3.5 mm mini-stereo jack
      • 6.3 mm snap-on stereo jack adapter
      • 3.5 mm TRS small plug
      • 1/4″ snap-on adaptor
  • Driver Size
    • 40 mm
  • Frequency Range
    • 50 – 20,000 Hz
  • Microphone
    • No built-in microphone

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headphones stand out as the perfect entry point into the world of vocal recording without breaking the bank. Priced affordably at under 100 dollars, these professional monitor headphones are tailored for budding musicians and vocalists who seek quality without the hefty price tag.

Sporting a closed-back design, they excel in reducing background noise, ensuring pristine sound isolation for focused recording sessions. With a knack for producing natural sound and clear vocals, the ATH-M20x delivers a professional-grade audio experience that belies its budget-friendly nature.

Moreover, its long cables afford freedom of movement, a boon for those who like to groove while they record. Comfort isn’t compromised either, as these headphones boast a snug fit ideal for prolonged use. While they excel in the realm of music, it’s worth noting that these headphones, although great for gaming, lack a built-in microphone.

Overall, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headphones offer a compelling combination of affordability, performance, and comfort, making them a top contender for anyone starting their journey into vocal recording.

What We Like

Has good isolation from external noises.

You can move freely with the long cables.

Wearing the headband is comfy.

Know Before Buying

The build quality seems flimsy.

It doesn’t come with a microphone.

See On Amazon

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones: premium sound quality, comfort, and portability combined for vocal recording excellence on the go.

See On Amazon

Specs:

  • Type
    • Over-ear
  • Design
    • Closed back
  • Impedance
    • 38 Ohms
  • Connectivity
    • Wired (with detachable cables)
      • 3.5 mm headphone jack
      • XLR microphone connector
  • Driver Size
    • 45 mm
  • Frequency Range
    • 15 – 28,000 Hz
  • Microphone
    • No built-in microphone

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones stand out as the top choice for vocal recording enthusiasts in search of exceptional sound quality and portability. Boasting a well-balanced audio reproduction tailored for both recording and general listening, these closed-back headphones offer a premium audio experience for those who demand the highest quality.

With good passive isolation, they ensure that your vocal recordings remain crisp and clear, free from unwanted background noise. Despite their typically thin ear cushions, the ATH-M50x headphones are surprisingly comfortable for extended use, thanks to their ergonomic design.

Their swiveling earcups and foldable design enhance their portability, making them the perfect companion for on-the-go recording sessions. Plus, with three included cables for added flexibility, you’re equipped for any recording scenario.

Featuring a durable construction and clear, accurate sound reproduction, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are a solid investment for serious vocalists.

However, it’s worth noting that while their passive isolation is effective, it may not suffice in all environments, and some users may have concerns about their long-term durability due to their predominantly plastic build.

Overall, the ATH-M50x headphones excel in delivering professional-grade audio performance with comfort and portability in mind, making them a standout choice for discerning vocal recording enthusiasts.

What We Like

Has clear and accurate sound reproduction.

Comfortable to use over long sessions.

Know Before Buying

Passive isolation is good but it may not be adequate in all situations.

Some may be concerned about the product’s long-term durability due to its mostly plastic build.

See On Amazon

The HiFiMan Edition XS headphones: open-back excellence with immersive sound and comfort, perfect for discerning vocal recording enthusiasts.

See On Amazon

Specs:

  • Type
    • Circum-aural
  • Design
    • Open-Back
  • Impedance
    • 18Ω
  • Connectivity
    • Wired
      • 1.5m (6.6ft) wire length
      • 3.5mm to dual 3.5mm detachable single crystalline copper cable
      • Each ear cup has a 3.5mm input jack
  • Driver Size
  • Frequency Range
    • 8Hz-50kHz
  • Microphone
    • No built-in microphone

The HiFiMan Edition XS headphones stand out as the premier choice for open-back headphone enthusiasts, offering a remarkable blend of sound quality, comfort, and practicality. Despite their premium price, they deliver exceptional value with a balanced sound profile that captivates listeners.

Renowned for their immersive soundstage performance and accurate frequency response, these headphones excel at reproducing vocals with clarity and precision. Comfort is prioritized with spacious ear cups and breathable padding, ensuring fatigue-free listening even during extended sessions.

However, their bulky design may not be suitable for smaller heads, and their open-back nature means they leak audio, which may be a consideration for some users. Nevertheless, for vocal recording enthusiasts who prioritize sound quality and comfort, the HiFiMan Edition XS headphones offer an unparalleled listening experience that’s sure to impress.

What We Like

Deliver audio very consistently.

Long-listening comfort with spacious ear cups and pads that breathe freely.

Not just the bass is deep and natural but the combination of bass with an open back headphone is incredible.

Know Before Buying

The earcup itself is rather large, which may be problematic for those with smaller heads.

Leak a lot of audio.

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The Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones: epitome of premium audio with a natural soundstage, ideal for discerning vocal recording enthusiasts seeking excellence.

See On Amazon

Specs:

  • Type
    • Over-ear
  • Design
    • Open-back
  • Impedance
    • 300 Ω
  • Connectivity
    • Wired, detachable
      • 3m unbalanced 6.35mm TRS cable
      • 3m balanced Pentaconn 4.44mm TRRS cable
  • Driver Size
    • 56mm
  • Frequency Range
    • 4 – 51,000 Hz
  • Microphone
    • No built-in microphone

The Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones reign supreme as the pinnacle of premium audio excellence, offering a natural and spacious soundstage coupled with impeccable sound reproduction for vocal recording enthusiasts. Their open-back design ensures an immersive listening experience, allowing vocals to shine with clarity and precision.

Boasting a well-balanced and neutral sound profile, these headphones deliver audio with stunning accuracy and purity across all frequencies. Crafted with superb build quality and high-quality control, they exude luxury from every angle, promising durability and comfort for prolonged use.

Despite their high price tag, they justify their premium status with features like the ability to be completely disassembled without tools, flexible cables, and excellent accessories including a microfiber cleaning cloth and a USB flash drive with a digital certificate of authenticity.

However, potential buyers should be aware of their large ear cups, which may not be suitable for those with smaller heads, and their lack of portability due to their design. Additionally, while they excel in most aspects, their low-end extension may leave some audiophiles wanting more.

Overall, the Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones offer unparalleled sound quality and craftsmanship, making them a top choice for those who demand the very best in vocal recording equipment.

What We Like

Fans can distinguish different parts of a mix and listen critically with the aid of a spacious soundstage.

Its large earpads, padded headband, and light weight make it nearly invisible when worn.

Stellar spare part support.

Know Before Buying

Ear cups are large if you have a small head.

These headphones aren’t designed to be portable.

The low-end extension isn’t great.

See On Amazon

The Sony MDR-7506 headphones: lightweight comfort, natural sound, and affordability make them the ultimate all-around choice for vocal recording.

See On Amazon

Specs:

  • Type
    • Over-ear
  • Design
    • Closed-back
  • Impedance
    • 63 ohms
  • Connectivity
    • Wired
      • 3m coiled cable
  • Driver Size
    • 40mm
  • Frequency Range
    • 10Hz-20kHz
  • Microphone
    • No built-in microphone

The Sony MDR-7506 headphones earn their title as the best overall choice for vocal recording with a winning combination of comfort, sound quality, and affordability. Lightweight and comfortable for extended wear, they are ideal for marathon recording sessions without causing discomfort.

Their folding design adds convenience for storage, perfect for the on-the-go musician or producer. With natural sound reproduction and excellent isolation, they excel in capturing vocals with clarity and precision, while maintaining a well-balanced sound profile suitable for various tasks from mixing to casual listening.

Additionally, their impressive bass accuracy and mid-range prominence ensure that vocals remain present and intimate, even amidst complex musical arrangements. Overall, the Sony MDR-7506 headphones stand as a reliable and versatile option for vocal recording enthusiasts of all levels.

What We Like

The headband had metal bracing.

It is very light and does not squeeze your ears.

Good for evaluating in-ear mixes and eq-ing live sounds.

Know Before Buying

Poor soundstage performance.

Not comfortable with glasses.

They won’t come off, but if you find yourself headbanging too much, you’ll need to re-adjust how well they fit.

See On Amazon

Buying Guide for the Best Headphone for Recording Vocals

When it comes to selecting the perfect headphones for recording vocals, several key factors come into play to ensure you make the right choice. Here’s a handy buying guide to steer you in the right direction:

Build or Comfort

Consider the build quality and comfort of the headphones, especially if you plan on long recording sessions. Look for lightweight designs with padded ear cups and adjustable headbands to minimize fatigue and ensure a snug fit.

Sound Isolation

Opt for headphones with effective sound isolation, especially if you’re recording in noisy environments or shared spaces. Closed-back designs are excellent for blocking out external noise, while open-back headphones offer a more natural sound but may leak audio.

Sound Quality

Prioritize sound quality when selecting headphones for recording vocals. Look for headphones with a balanced sound profile, clear midrange, and accurate reproduction of vocals and instruments. Pay attention to factors like frequency response, bass accuracy, and overall clarity.

Price

Determine your budget and consider the price-to-performance ratio of the headphones you’re considering. While premium options may offer top-notch sound quality and features, there are also budget-friendly choices that deliver impressive performance without breaking the bank. By keeping these factors in mind and conducting thorough research, you can confidently choose the best headphones for recording vocals that meet your needs and budget. Happy recording! man wearing headphones recording in a studio

Frequently Asked Questions

What headphones to use for recording?

When selecting headphones for recording, consider closed-back headphones for optimal sound isolation and minimal sound leakage. Closed-back designs help prevent audio bleed into your microphone, ensuring clean recordings. Additionally, prioritize headphones with a balanced sound profile and accurate reproduction of vocals and instruments for precise monitoring during recording sessions.

How to know if headphones have good sound quality?

Several factors determine headphone sound quality, including frequency response, bass accuracy, midrange clarity, and overall tonal balance. To gauge sound quality, listen for clear and detailed audio across different genres of music. Pay attention to factors like instrument separation, vocal clarity, and depth of soundstage. Additionally, reading reviews and considering the reputation of the headphone manufacturer can provide insights into the overall sound quality of a particular model.

What headphones do famous producers use?

Famous producers often prefer high-quality studio headphones known for their accurate sound reproduction and reliability. Some popular choices among producers include models from brands like Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, Audio-Technica, and Sony. Specific models favored by producers may vary based on personal preference and the requirements of their workflow. It’s essential to choose headphones that align with your own sound preferences and recording needs rather than solely relying on what famous producers use.

Conclusion

Best Budget Headphones for Recording Vocals
Best Closed-Back Headphones for Recording Vocals
Best Open-Back Headphones for Recording Vocals

Choosing the best headphones for recording vocals is a crucial decision that can greatly impact the quality of your recordings and overall music production experience. Whether you’re a budding musician, seasoned producer, or passionate enthusiast, finding the perfect pair of headphones involves considering factors like build quality, sound isolation, sound quality, and price.

By prioritizing comfort and durability, opting for headphones with effective sound isolation, ensuring high-quality sound reproduction, and staying within your budget, you can confidently select headphones that meet your recording needs and elevate your vocal recordings to new heights.

Remember, the journey to finding the ideal headphones may require some trial and error, but with careful consideration and research, you’ll discover a pair that complements your unique style and enhances your creative process.