I don’t care much for lengthy reviews with extremely technical terms. I like simple descriptions that help guide my decisions. However, I have a very particular tolerance for audio quality in the headphones I buy. Whether its based on time spent in studios, in store testing, or purchases I’ve made, the 5 brands below seem to stand out as leaders in my opinion. This isn’t to say other brands don’t also offer exceptional products. This is solely based on my experience, which doesn’t by any means include every headphone brand under the sun:
- AKG – Cost-efficient at every stage and versatile. This is a great headphone brand across the board. Whether you are just starting out or have been playing for years, AKG has a great selection, ranging from the K 44 Headphone at $20 to the Quincy Jones Signature series at $400. On the higher end, AKG headphones offer sparkling high-frequency sound and accurate bass response, as well as a huge, airy, three-dimensional sound.
- Sennheiser – Also a cost friendly option, Sennheiser offers a great value for all musicians. The beginner can expect to pay about $30 for lightweight headphones that offer rich bass response, more clarity, and less distractions from the outside world. In the $250 range, drummers can expect a product capable of handling very high sound pressure levels and delivering great quality sound.
- Ultrasone – A great option for the more seasoned musician who is able to spend a little more for a set of top of the line headphones. With fewer, more high quality options, Ultrasone offers excellent products in the $230 – $550 range with an emphasis on quality engineering resulting in products that offering great hearing protection, great noise cancellation qualities, and amazing sound clarity.
- Audio-Technica – From lightweight consumer headphones to heavy duty studio monitors, Audio-Technica is a great solution for all musical situations and a reliable option for both in home and professional studio settings. The critically acclaimed M-Series offers a comfortable listening experience, with enhanced audio and effective isolation, as well as a range of affordable products that are excellent for tracking and mixing.
- Shure – Shure headphones are optimized to provide exceptional sound reproduction and comfort and offer a range of features ranging from budget-friendly options to ones that flaunt sophisticated engineering. Depth in audio quality is consistent across the brand with smooth, extended highs and accurate bass. Also a great option at all price points.