Whether you’re editing on a laptop or desktop, headphones make a world of difference to the editing process. so choose wisely!
Have you ever been in the position where you watch your video on a different device than the one it was edited in and the sound is off? I have. I was editing a video on a laptop, unlike my desktop which has dedicated monitors for audio mixing. instead, I was measuring audio editing by levels, and felt confident enough that what I was reading would produce a good sound when played through something other than the laptop’s speakers.
When listening to the video through a suitable pair of speakers, there was an audible high-frequency hiss that was not apparent when I listened to the video through the laptop. a good pair of headphones would have helped negate that problem before the video came out.
Reading: Best headphone for video editing
There is an endless list of headphones to recommend. perhaps calling this list the best headphones for audio editing is a bit cheeky, however, this is a list of eight options that I have personally owned or used, and can recommend on that basis. Beneath each recommendation, you’ll also find a video review from an audio professional that dives into the full specs of the headphones.
1. sennheiser pro audio hd 300 pro – $279.95
sennheiser is a brand that prides itself on audio quality. And the HD 300 Pro is set to prove it. If your video editing requires the highest levels of playback accuracy, Sennheiser is the brand to use. With the HD 300 Pro, you can hear every detail of your sound, from deep bass to delicate high notes.
Additionally, as you can fold these headphones, it allows you to easily take them with you when editing on-the-go. Notably, you can barely feel the circumaural, viscoelastic earpads, even after several hours.
- higher resolution thanks to accurate and linear sound reproduction
- comfortable padded design allows for extended wear in long sessions
- superior attenuation of ambient noise in noisy environments thanks to passive headset construction
- the perfect companion for your daily work thanks to durable materials and exchangeable cables with established sennheiser system connector
2. sennheiser pro audio hd 280 pro – $99.95
the hd300 pro is $279 and may be a bit out of budget for many. Before looking for an alternative, we can look at the older model, the hd280 pro, which costs significantly less at $99.
On paper, the specs of the 280 and 300 are pretty similar. however, the frequency range of the 300 pro (at 5-25,000hz) is slightly extended over the 280 (at 8-25,000hz). In addition, the maximum output of the 280 is less than 113 db compared to 123 db of the 300.
Likewise, on the 300, you can replace the cable, whereas the 280 has a fixed cable.
so, there are nominal differences, but you can see it as the next model of a professional camera. the 5d mk iv has new and improved features compared to the 5d mk iii, but the older camera is still worth it!
- high attenuation of ambient noise
- precise and linear sound reproduction
- soft ear pads for a comfortable fit
- foldable and rotatable ear cups for saving transport space
- single-sided strong cable
3. sony mdr 7506 – $99.95
If you’ve ever seen a behind-the-scenes photo of a film crew, you’ll often see crew members wearing these headphones. However, if you’ve ever listened through these headphones, you’ll notice that they don’t sound very good compared to something like Apple’s standard headphones. and that is precisely how they should sound.
These headphones have a “flat” reproduction of sound across the entire frequency range and, as a result, will produce a natural sound, opposed to something that increases low frequencies. Meaning, there will be more of a bassy tone to the sound. While this sounds great upon hearing mixed media, you want to listen to the sound as naturally as possible when recording raw material.
I had these headphones for about eight years and it should be noted that I had to replace the headphones several times, but I guess that comes with the price.
4. oneodio wired over-ear headphones – $30
It’s true that all of the headphones on this list can be a bit pricey for those looking to get into filmmaking and editing. Therefore, I want to recommend the inexpensive oneodio over-the-ear wired headphones.
There’s something rarely included with headphones—a long connection cable. But, with the OneOdio Wired headphones, we have a 9.8 foot stretched (normally coiled) cable. So, you can (quite literally) freely walk around with these headphones if you need to stretch your legs for a second, opposed to taking them off.
- Enjoy excellent balanced sound and maximum comfort with oneodio studio monitor headphones. Large 50mm speaker unit drivers combined with neodymium magnets provide high-fidelity stereo sound. powerful bass, clear vocals and crisp high tones form a perfectly balanced sound.
- 90° swiveling earphones for one-ear monitoring at any time. The flexible, self-adjusting headband offers a fatigue-free listening experience that can last for hours, perfect for mixing and mastering.
- Deluxe padded ear cushions are designed specifically for monitor headphones for maximum comfort and noise isolation . Also, the headband is adjustable and stretchable so you can find the angle you want.
5. audio technica ath m50x
the ath m50x could be the most popular headphones on the list. Critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and professional audio reviewers helps deliver great sound.
The m50x has a well-balanced audio reproduction that will deliver a neutral sound. however, they do have a slight level of bass that is missing from the sony mdr 7506.
They have exceptional bass, midrange and treble reproduction, and feel sturdy and durable enough to last a while. however, its studio design only offers passive isolation from ambient noise.
- patented 45mm large-aperture transducers with rare-earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils
- exceptional clarity over an extended frequency range, with a response of deep, accurate bass
- circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in noisy environments
- 90° swiveling earcups for easy one-ear monitoring
In the past five years, you may have seen the rise of the “gaming headset” category in electrical supply stores. While you might be inclined to think that they do harbor some special features unique to gaming, specifically because they seem to cost a lot more, under most circumstances the audio quality is just as good as standard audio editing headsets.
They often cost more money for various reasons. the first would come down to brand identity, which is important to the gaming market. but they will also be designed to look good. Some have RGB lighting, while others have efficient gaming tools, like a microphone that automatically mutes when you retract the mic boom.
However, if you too are an ardent gamer, you may feel as if it’s detrimental to buy two sets of headphones. So, let’s have a look at two recommendations that fit both bills.
6. hyperx cloud ii
I bought these headphones in 2017 and even though I don’t use them for gaming anymore, I keep them in my gear bag for when I review the audio from my tutorial footage. These headphones have specially tuned 53mm drivers that enrich sound details.
The HyperX uses signature memory foam, premium leatherette, weight distribution, and clamping force. As someone who wears glasses, I can wear these headphones for hours without feeling pressure from my glasses frame.
Please note that this headphone only has a USB input, so you can avoid the problem of a metallic sound if your computer does not have a good sound card.
- advanced audio control box
- exclusive hyperx comfort
- durable aluminum frame
- detachable noise canceling microphone
7. sennheiser gsp 600
This is my current gaming headset, and I love it so much I’ve started editing on it too. Unlike the hyperx cloud ii, these headphones don’t have as much bass and produce a more authentic sound, which is preferable when editing audio. In addition, there are new and improved transducers that offer high audio fidelity and exceptional realism compared to the previous model.
Notably, out of all the headphones I’ve owned or used, I’ve never had a set that cancels exterior noise as well as these. In addition, the closed back helps improve passive noise attenuation.
- designed for the competitive gamer
- closed acoustic design and ergonomic ear cushions for passive noise attenuation
- exceptional audio realism
- lift- to- silent articulating arm adjusts for best voice pickup position
- adjustable contact pressure headband for long-lasting comfort
For more audio-based tips, check out these articles:
- how to improve the audio quality of a built-in camera microphone
- should I use camera audio recording or a field recorder?
- tutorial by video: how to perform audio on set yourself
- learn music video playback with an audio professional
- best lavalier microphones for video production
cover image by vladimir sukhachev.