Live performances have an energy like no other because vocalists and musicians can hear each other and their audience. But that environment is not at all conducive to recording. In the studio, where tracks are laid down one element at a time, entertainers often perform separately. It’s still important, though, that singers hear the other instruments. Luckily several headphone options are available that will help create a clean track. The best headphones for recording vocals will allow the vocalist to hear the instruments, but won’t interfere with the final product.
This concise buying guide will help you find the perfect headphones for recording vocals. We’ll discuss important details, give you several purchasing options, and review our top three choices. It’s never been easier to find a suitable pair of headphones for the vocalist and sound engineer.
The Guide to the Best Headphones for Recording Vocals
Things to Consider for Vocal Recording Headphones
- Style. The majority of the headphones here are closed-back around-ear style. The housing that contains the headphone’s speakers is completely solid. And they’ll fit so that your entire ear is contained within the cushioning of the earcups.
This style allows maximum sound isolation. Vocalists can hear the track without sound bleeding into the microphone and ruining the recording.
- Comfort. Vocals are best recorded when the vocalist is comfortable. Uncomfortable headphones detract from their concentration and are just plain annoying.
Headphones that clamp too tightly should be changed. Also make sure the headband and earcups are padded sufficiently for long sessions. Different coverings are available on earcups to ensure comfort.
- Price. We’ve got options in a wide range of budgets so you’re covered whether you’re outfiting a new studio, or replacing something broken during recording.
Top 3 Headphones for Vocal Recording Reviews
The ATH-M40x by Audio-Technica is the full package. ATH-M40x is well constructed, reasonably priced, and sounds neutral.
The first thing you notice about ATH-M40x is that Audio-Technica designed it so that it lacks any sort of pretense. There are no loud designs and bright colors; the matte finish and grey highlights is simple. ATH-M40x, instead, concentrates on its hardware.
It’s obvious that Audio-Technica created these just for monitoring music. The cushions are soft during prolonged wear and the stainless steel headband is long-lasting. Each earcup rotates freely. That makes them easy to adjust but also helps them keep from getting broken by someone trying to adjust them.
We recommend breaking these in for about a week in order to obtain their natural sound. Overall their signature is neutral; it lacks the artificially beefed up bass found in most headphones. The neutral sound is going to help your vocalists perform more accurately instead of compensating for tones that aren’t really there. Bass is sufficient to give warmth and rhythm, while highs and vocals are crisp and detailed.
ATH-M40x from Audio-Technica do a good job of focusing on what’s important. They’re the perfect addition to any studio.
MDR7506 is one of Sony’s longest running series of personal headphones. With over twenty years of availability it’s easy to see why these continue to be high-sellers.
MDR7506, like ATH-M40x, is built with the professional user in mind. The plastic frame is thick and well-constructed. Its earpads are replaceable to maintain optimal cushioning. A 3.5 mm plug is standard but there’s no in-line microphone, Bluetooth connection, or remote. There is a 6.3 mm adapter plug for home or professional use.
In practice these provide decent sound isolation and sound reproduction. The overall sound signature isn’t flat but doesn’t go overboard. Though vocals and treble are accentuated the MDR7506 does a good job with all genres.
MDR7506 by Sony definitely has reputation on its side. When you’re looking for something guaranteed to last then look no further.
DT770 Pro by Beyerdynamic is a well-rounded, supremely comfortable addition to your studio.
DT770 Pro is comfortable during long recording sessions because it clamps firmly and don’t cause excessive ear sweating. Velour earpads and headband are touchably soft.
We first learned of DT770 Pro when looking for the best headphones for hip-hop, a genre that emphasizes midrange tones like vocals and guitars.Its wide range and accurate sound reproduction are perfect for recording vocals. The balance between bass and mids is smooth.
Beyerdynamic’s DT770 Pro is the best headphones for recording vocals when comfort is paramount.