Best Headphones for Vinyl in 2022

by Alex.   Last Updated On September 6th, 2022.
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Having a collection of vinyl records already puts you at a bit of a disadvantage in the world of vinyl-specific headphones. Not only are vinyl records being pushed off the scene by CDs and online music streaming, but the record players needed to enjoy a vinyl collection can be few and far between.

Finding the best headphones for vinyl listening can take a bit of trial and error. There are a variety of headphones on the market, but almost none are specifically advertised for vinyl records. If you are planning on listening to your vinyl collection, you want to ensure the headphones you purchase can immerse you in clear and distortion-free music to bring an entirely new experience when listening to your favorite records.

There are a variety of brands on the market today which have noise canceling headphones suitable for a top of the line vinyl listening experience. We will go over a handful of our favorite on ear headphones, as well as touch on different features which are important when it comes to vinyl records and the music reproduced by record players.

Some of the brands we cover include Shure, Sony, Audio Technica, and more which all deliver an excellent sound quality, reduced sound leakage, robust frequency response, and very good bass depth. Whether you have just started your headphone search today, or have been looking for years, you will find the best affordable headphones for vinyl right here.

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Comparison of the Best Headphones for Vinyl

Also Recommended Headphones for VinylSee On Amazon
photo of the Sony WH-1000XM4 WirelessSony
WH-1000XM4 Wireless
Best Value Headphones for VinylSee On Amazon
photo of the Shure SRH1540Shure
SRH1540
Best Overall Headphones for VinylSee On Amazon
photo of the Audio-Technica ATH-A1000ZAudio-Technica
ATH-A1000Z
Best Budget Headphones for VinylSee On Amazon
photo of the Beyerdynamic AmironBeyerdynamic
Amiron
Best Premium Headphones for VinylSee On Amazon
photo of the Dan Clark Audio Ether 2Dan Clark Audio
Ether 2

Reviews of the Best Headphones for Vinyl

Feature-heavy headphones that are lightweight and comfortable, as well as perfect for creating balanced audio from vinyl.

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Sony took it to the max with these wireless headphones as far as extra features and internal component construction goes. They focused on making these Bluetooth headphones lightweight and stylish, which is perfect for anyone that plans on wearing their headphones for long hours throughout the day, while also delivering great sound isolation for enjoying your music in a crowded room.

Additionally, nothing was left ignored on these over the ear headphones when it came to internal components and the quality of drivers used to get superb sound. You’ll find drivers and magnets that can create an extremely well balanced audio listening experience for both music and vocals. The entire range of tone is well balanced, with bass being deep and distortion free, and high notes being crystal clear without being shrill.

Being wireless, you won’t have to worry with a cable being in the way which makes these over ear headphones a great option for dancing along to your favorite music. The battery life is exceptionally well, with a full charge taking 3 hours and that charge lasting up to 30 hours if not longer.

What We Like

Excellent 30+ hour battery life

Includes advanced voice pickup technology

Made with Edge-AI for excellent compression

Know Before Buying

Voice pickup technology can fade music at inopportune times

Lightweight enough to be worn for many hours throughout the day

Includes a Sony-specific bundle with battery, charger, and more

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Extremely spacious sound and lightweight construction make these on ear headphones perfect for marathon listening sessions.

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Don’t be afraid to listen to your favorite songs back to back with these on ear headphones. They are extremely lightweight and highly comfortable with large amounts of padding both on the headband and the ear cups. Since the ear cups are made with Alcantara padding, you won’t notice fatigue even after several hours of continuous use.

The large 40mm drivers in each ear are made with neodymium magnet drivers to deliver a highly expansive soundstage and great bass response for both music and vocals. You’ll get clear highs with good extension, while also enjoying the warm excellent sound and rumble of deep bass that does not cause distortion, internal resonance, or wavering.

The ergonomic and closed back design helps reduce the amount of background noise that disrupts your audio experience, as well as capturing the middle and high frequencies of your music in the ear cups for you to enjoy. You’ll easily get fully immersed in your favorite songs regardless of your preferred genre.

What We Like

Extremely comfortable and ergonomic design

Large 40mm drivers in each ear for clear performance

Highly durable with aluminum and carbon fiber construction

Know Before Buying

Makes use of Alcantara ear pads on each ear cup

Dual frame headband is very lightweight and stable

Highly propulsive bass with smooth overall music

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From a well known name in the industry, these headphones are extremely well balanced for vinyl and offer a large soundstage overall.

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Audio Technica is one of the top names in the vinyl industry, and these dynamic headphones are no different. They can deliver an incredibly well balanced, warm, and in-depth audio experience from your vinyl playback which will make even the most discerning audiophile happy.

The construction and internal engineering on these great headphones is almost perfect. They are highly comfortable, lightweight, and specifically designed to deliver a memorable audio experience from your vinyl collection. The audio response is vast and highly wide-ranging to give you the best return on highs and lows from even the most demanding vinyl connoisseur, and the noise canceling feature is perfect for getting high quality sound anywhere.

The bass is punchy yet warm, while the treble tones are clear and extremely well balanced with an extended frequency response ranges. Overall, the audio from these headphones is some of the best on the market, especially when being used with vinyl. While the price might be a factor for some to balk at, these headphones can absolutely be worth every penny.

What We Like

Massive soundstage for all types of music and vocals

Incredible sound balancing, clarity, and zero distortion

Extremely comfortable for long hours of listening

Know Before Buying

Offers a very punchy bass low tone

Overall music clarity is high with bass and treble

Perfect entry-level headset for vinyl collectors

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Stylish open-backed comfortable headphones provide a balanced treble and mid-range audio experience that is perfect for vinyl.

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Made in Germany with a focus on high quality internal components, these headphones from Beyerdynamic are an outstanding option for anyone to consider, especially if you are looking for an upgrade in the mid-range to take a small step up from your current headset. The Amiron are one of the top of the line when it comes to vinyl audiophiles and record player enthusiasts to choose.

The internal components are sleek and well designed, with each component being selected for its unique properties when it comes to vinyl audio reproduction. The treble and mid range bass is extremely well balanced with a vast sense of space on the soundstage in these high end headphones. You’ll be able to listen to smooth jazz just as well as fast paced musical mayhem.

The exterior design element is very well done, with these headphones providing a sleek and stylish look. They’re lightweight yet do not feel flimsy, and are highly durable for years of daily use. They look like a high end pair of headphones, and can deliver the same high end sound quality you would expect from this brand and this price range.

What We Like

Amazing construction inside and out with stylish details

Extremely well balanced treble and mid bass tones

Highly comfortable and lightweight for hours of use

Know Before Buying

Open back construction may leak some ambient noise

High end headset with a premium price for audiophiles

Produces 250 ohms perfect for hi-fi stereo systems

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Extremely lightweight and stylish, these headphones are an amazing choice for vinyl collectors and audiophiles everywhere.

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Made with a range of carbon fiber components, these headphones are extremely lightweight and very comfortable. In fact, the Ether 2 is more than 90 grams lighter than other models in the same line making it an outstanding choice for anyone that has had discomfort or fatigue when wearing heavier headsets for long hours.

The audio reproduction these classic headphones create is very responsive and wide open, giving you dynamic return on music and vocals of all styles. These headphones are definitely high-end when it comes to looks as well as performance. For vinyl collectors and audiophiles, these planar magnetic headphones can stand up to the demands you place on them with daily listening and discerning listening needs.

In addition to looking great and sounding great, the Ether 2 includes a variety of different ear cup pads for you to choose from and switch to as needed. Additionally, by changing the padded ear cups you can custom tailor the sound to your liking. Some of the ear pads will provide a much more secure fit around your ear, sending the warm bass tones right into your ear without any sound leaking out around them.

What We Like

Highly durable carbon fiber driver baffle

More than 90 grams lighter than similar headsets

V2 driver construction offers high clarity and power

Know Before Buying

Delivers an incredibly natural sound with all music

Does not create bright high tones or trebles

Boasts as the lightest planar headphone on the market

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How to Choose the Best Headphones for Vinyl

Sound Quality

Whether you are a hardcore audiophile or a casual listener of an older record collection, sound quality is extremely important in your headphones. This is especially true if you have invested a fair amount of money into a new headset, or plan on using it for studio recording and sampling purposes. Headphones can provide warm sounds with precise details on every tone that can then be pushed through high fidelity devices so you can hear and enjoy your music.

Some headphones are made to be more powerful in reproducing bass tones, while others are better balanced overall. If you only listen to a certain type of music from your record collection that is heavy on the bass, a bass specific headset might be more for you. If you decide to listen to a wide range of music genres, a more balanced pair of headphones that can handle highs, mids, and lows well across the board is a better option.

For those listening to vinyl almost exclusively, you’ll get a much warmer and more balanced tone quality. This is much improved over the sound quality you get from CDs or other music storage options. Additionally, vinyl can be much better sounding overall than internet music files, even high fidelity and high definition audio.

Black Dj headphones and two Vinyl records on the wooden table.

Connection Options

Headphones can have a wide range of different connectors including USB, 3mm jack (see also 3.5mm vs 1/4″ jacks here), 6mm jack, Bluetooth, and more. The most commonly preferred connection for vinyl enjoyment is the 6mm jack, though USB and Bluetooth technology can also work exceptionally well depending on your style of record player.

Many audiophiles love the sound quality that can be delivered by gold plated or brass 6mm headphones jacks. If you find a pair of headphones that you love, but they don’t have a 6mm jack, you can find a variety of different adapters on the market to make those headphones work with your stereo system or record player.

It’s not uncommon to find 3.5mm to USB adapters, as well as 3.5mm to 6mm adapters. In fact, it’s almost standard to find a 6mm adapter cap over headphones that have a 3.5mm headphone jack as well. You can also find headphones which have detachable cords giving you the option of using the headphones corded with a headphone jack, or cordless with a Bluetooth wireless dongle.

Back Design

Headphones come in two back styles; open back and closed back. The better one for your needs can depend on where you plan on using your headset the most often. For example, if you are in a busy area, noisy room, or listening to your music when commuting on a bus, train, or plane, closed back headphones can provide the best sound isolation.

Open back headphones are perfect for a quiet room such as your bedroom, office, or other area where ambient noise is kept to a minimum. You’ll get a nice expansive and clear sound from the headphones, but will easily be able to hear a phone ringing or footsteps behind you in the room.

Open back headphones are great for individuals that still need to stay alert to things around them, such as children crying or dogs barking. Closed back headphones can fully immerse you in your music, sometimes completely drowning out the background sounds that may be present in the room around you.

Extra Features

Certain manufacturers or certain headphone models will have a variety of extra features available. For example, you may find headphones with RGB lighting, different levels of noise cancellation, multiple styles of ear and headband padding for longer listening sessions, replaceable ear cup pads, replaceable decorative aesthetics, and more.

In general, the extra features won’t improve or change the audio quality, but can improve the overall look of the headphones as well as the comfort levels. The only time an extra feature may improve the audio is with certain circumferential ear cup pads. Better padding can improve sound isolation and keep the sound waves on top of your ears.

Many over-ear headphones on the market today will provide multiple options for ear cup padding. The default foam is nice, but some brands and models will come with a few different options for you to choose into. Memory foam padding is common, as is gel foam. You can also find over-ear cups with mesh fabric in case you suffer from overheating around your ears and along the headband.

RGB is another popular extra feature some over-ear headphones may include, but it is most often found on wired headphones. The addition of RGB accents on wireless headphones can quickly reduce the battery life those headphones carry. In most cases, audiophiles that love their vinyl collections will go for simple yet reliable headphones over flashy RGB styles.

Drivers

The drivers in your headphones are what delivers the natural sound of the music to your ears. It includes the voice coil, magnets, and diaphragms. Each of these components can be made from a different material, and with advances in technology every year, high quality drivers are getting smaller and smaller in an attempt to create a more natural sound.

It’s still quite common to find larger and more impressive drivers anywhere from 40mm to 50mm in size, but small and discreet drivers can go as small as 8mm. These smaller sized drivers are commonly found in earbuds which are not the best choice for audiophiles and vinyl collectors since these smaller drivers, even at the top of their game, cannot compare with larger and more robust 40mm drivers to get that high dynamic range of sound.

The driver in high quality headphones is what is responsible for the sound frequency response range as well. Average drivers can run from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, but can go as low as 8 Hz or as high as 50 kHz. Both electrostatic and planar magnetic drivers are extremely popular with vinyl audiophiles, with the latter being much more easy to find, however both headphones sound great.

Battery Life

Only a concern for wireless headphones for vinyl listening, battery life can run anywhere from 8 hours to 40 hours. The most common battery life on the market is around 24 hours. The battery life will depend on the type and age of the battery, with lithium ion being an extremely popular and highly reliable battery choice.

Charging times will also be a concern for some, as most over-ear design headphones for vinyl will not be usable while they are charging. The shorter the charging time needed, the more time you have to enjoy your music. Some headphones can fully recharge in 5 hours, while others may need to be left on their charging stand overnight.

If you are looking for wired headphones, an excellent battery life will not be of concern to you. Your headphones will instead get all of the power they need through their cable from your stereo system, external preamp, built-in phono preamp, or other connected device.

Price Range

Headphones, like all stereo equipment, can be found in a wide range of prices from entry-level to investment level. Most headphone prices will vary due to changes in driver quality, brand names, overall sound quality, noise reduction capabilities, and extra features.

If price is of a major concern to you when searching for the best vinyl headphones, consider looking at headphones from lesser known brands. You may not get the same robust warranty guarantees, but chances are you will still get a very reliable headset that can deliver an acceptable quality of sound for casual listening, mixing tracks, and more.

Audiophiles and anyone serious about the quality of their music may prefer going with a well known name brand. Not only do these more popular companies have better access to high quality components for driver construction, but they also usually have very good warranties that can protect you in case of the headphones becoming damaged or not meeting your expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How important is overall sound quality?

Sound quality should be one of the most important things for you to keep in mind when purchasing a new pair of headphones, especially if you will be using them for listening to your vinyl collection. Headphones are not all created equal, even if they seem to have the same internal components and driver types.

Sound quality between headphone brands and models can be drastic. If given the chance, try and test the headphones in advance before making your purchase. Play some of your favorite tunes, and crank up the volume loud as well. A lot of the time, distortion will be noticed at higher volumes before it will be noticed at lower volumes.

Additionally, for audiophiles, be sure the headphones you are considering have the connection you want. In some cases, the type of connector can have an effect on sound quality, especially when comparing USB to 6mm headphone jacks. For heavy bass, many audiophiles stand behind 6mm or 6.35mm headphone jacks in order to make all of the audio they play sound good.

How do I choose a good headset for my needs?

The first thing you should do is consider your specific needs. Are you an audiophile that is extremely discerning about every note you hear through your headphones? Or are you a vinyl collector that has a more casual ear? Sometimes, the best sounding headphones to a casual listener will not be up to par for a serious audiophile.

Each type of listener has their own level of quality as to what makes the best headphones for vinyl. You may also notice that certain headphones sound better with some types of music over other types of music. If you are strictly a Jazz listener, but your headphones sound better with high bass rock, you won’t get the full enjoyment from your preferred music.

You also need to consider your listening habits. Do you wear your headphones for a short amount of time once or twice a day? Or do you wear them for several hours at a time on a daily basis? This will determine your needs when it comes to the overall weight and comfort levels of the headphones too. Extended listening sessions will require more padding around the ear cups and headband in order to prevent fatigue and pressure pain.

Are gaming headphones okay for vinyl listening?

In most cases, no. While gaming headphones can give you a wonderful casual listening experience and might be the perfect answer for someone who doesn’t hang on every note of their favorite songs, they can be a poor choice for audiophiles looking specifically for vinyl headphones.

Gaming headphones are great all-around headphones, and normally have a powerful 7.1 surround sound system and very robust noise cancellation technology. This is, unfortunately, not the best balance of tones for audiophiles that specialize in, or focus on, vinyl music.

You’ll get a decent mid range detail from gaming headphones, but deep bass lows and high trebles may not be as clear and defined as they would with the best headphones for vinyl. Bass response and the overall frequency range will be drastically different in gaming headphones and this can reduce your overall listening experience when using them as vinyl headphones.

What makes one headset more expensive than another?

Even if headphones look similar and advertise the same frequency response range and driver sizes, you may notice a drastic difference in their prices. This can be due to a variety of factors, but the most common one is brand name. Certain manufacturers such as Sony, Bose, and celebrity-branded headsets, can command a higher price than their lesser known twins.

If you are specifically looking for a certain brand of vinyl headphones, you may be paying a slightly higher price for the same components. However, the benefit here is that the well known brands usually have solid warranties and other guarantees behind their products while the lesser known brands may not.

Conclusion

Also Recommended Headphones for Vinyl
Best Value Headphones for Vinyl
Best Overall Headphones for Vinyl

After comparing the above headphones closely together, as well as taking an in-depth look at their construction, features, and drivers, we have chosen the Audio-Technica ATH-A1000Z to be what we consider the best headphones for vinyl listening. These headphones have a large, bold, retro style and offer a powerful driver that can handle your vinyl sound reproduction perfectly.

They are lightweight yet durable, which makes them perfect for daily use or extremely long listening sessions. They have both a 3.5mm and 6mm jack perfect for connecting to a wide variety of stereos, record players, PCs and other devices to enjoy your favorite songs, vocals, or other audio. If you are specifically searching for the best headphones for vinyl collections, we would definitely suggest those.