7 Best-Recommended Headphones for Editing Audio

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Whether editing on a laptop or desktop, headphones make a huge difference in the editing process. So, choose wisely!

Have you ever been in the position where you watch back your video on a different device than what it was edited on and the sound is off? I have. I was editing a video on a laptop, opposed to my desktop, which has monitors dedicated to audio mixing. Instead I was gauging the audio edit by the levels, and felt confident enough that what I was reading would produce good sound when played back through something other than subpar laptop speakers. 

Upon hearing the video through a proper set of speakers, there was an audible high-frequency hiss that wasn’t apparent when I listened to the video through the laptop. A good set of headphones would have helped nullify that issue before the video went live.

There’s an endless list of headphones to recommend. Perhaps calling this list the best headphones for editing audio is a little cheeky, however, this is a list of eight options that I’ve personally either owned or used, and can recommend on that basis. Under each recommendation, you’ll also find a video review from an audio pro diving deep into the full specification of the headphones.

1. Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 300 PRO – $279.95

Sennheiser is a brand that boasts audio quality. And, the HD 300 PRO is set to prove that. If your video editing requires the highest levels of reproduction 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 nuances.

Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 300 PRO
The Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 300 PRO headphone. Image via Sennheiser.

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.

Specs from the manufacture:

  • Highest resolution due to accurate and linear sound reproduction
  • Comfortable padding design allows for extended use in long wearing sessions
  • Superior ambient noise attenuation in loud environments due to closed passive earcup construction
  • Perfect companion for your daily work due to long-lasting materials and exchangeable cables with Sennheiser’s established system connector
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2. Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 280 PRO – $99.95

The HD300 PRO comes in at $279 and can be somewhat outside of the budget for many. Before looking at an alternative, we can look at the older model—the HD280 PRO—which is 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 5-25,000 Hz) is slightly extended over the 280’s (at 8-25,000hz). Additionally, the maximum output of the 280 is less at 113db vs. 123db from the 300. 

Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 280 PRO
The Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 280 PRO headphone. Image via Sennheiser.

Likewise, on the 300, you can replace the cable, whereas the 280 has a fixed cable.

So, there are nominal differences, but you can look at it like the next model from a professional camera. The 5D Mk IV has new and improved features compared to the 5D MK III, but the older camera is still worthy! 

Specs from the manufacture:

  • High ambient noise attenuation
  • Accurate, linear sound reproduction
  • Soft earpads for a comfortable fit
  • Folding and rotating earcups for space-saving transport
  • Tough, single-sided cable
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3. Sony MDR 7506 – $99.95

If you’ve ever seen a behind-the-scenes still photo of a film crew, you’ll often see crew members wearing these headphones. Yet, if you’ve ever listened through these headphones, you’ll note that they don’t sound great in comparison to something like standard Apple earphones. And, this is precisely how they should sound. 

Sony MDR 7506
The Sony MDR 7506 headphone. Image via Sony.

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.

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I had these headphones for around eight years, and it should be noted I had to replace the ear cups a few times, but I guess that comes with the price. 

4. OneOdio Wired Over-Ear Headphones – $30

Admittedly, every headphone on this list can be somewhat expensive for those looking to enter filmmaking and editing. Therefore, I want to recommend the budget-friendly OneOdio Wired Over-Ear Headphones. 

OneOdio Wired Over-Ear Headphones
The OneOdio Wired Over-Ear headphones. Image via OneOdio.

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.

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Specs from the manufacture:

  • Enjoy the superb, balanced sound and supreme comfort with the OneOdio Studio monitor headphones. Large, 50mm speaker unit drivers combined with neodymium magnets provide stereo hi-fi level sound. Powerful bass, clear vocal, and crisp high tones form perfect balanced sound.
  • 90° swiveling earcups for single-ear monitoring anytime. Self-adjustable and flexible headband delivers a fatigue-free listening experience that can last for hours, perfect for mixing and mastering.
  • Luxuriously padded ear cushions are specifically designed for monitor headphones for maximum comfort and noise isolation. In addition, the headband is adjustable and stretchable so you can find the angle you like.

5. Audio Technica Ath M50x

The Ath M50x might be the most popular headphones on the list. The critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers helps deliver superb sound. 

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The M50x has a well-balanced audio reproduction that will offer neutral sound. However, they do have a slight level of bass that’s missing from the Sony MDR 7506. 

RTINGS says:

They have an exceptional reproduction of the bass, mid, and treble range, and they feel sturdy and durable enough to last you a while. However, their studio design only offers passive isolation from ambient noise.

– RTINGS.com

Specs from the manufacture:

  • Proprietary 45mm large-aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils
  • Exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range, with deep, accurate bass response
  • Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
  • 90° swiveling earcups for easy, one-ear monitoring

Gaming Headphones

Over the last five years, you may have seen the emergence of the “gaming headphone” category in electrical stores. While you may be inclined to think that they house some special properties unique to gaming—specifically because they seem to cost a lot more—in most circumstances, the audio quality is just as good as standard audio editing headphones.

They often cost more money due to various reasons. The first would come down to brand identity, which is important to the gaming market. But, they’ll also be designed to look cool. Some have RGB lighting, while others have video game efficient tools, such as a microphone that automatically mutes when you retract the mic arm.

Gaming Headphones
With gaming headphones, the audio quality is often just as good as standard audio editing headphones. Image by aslysun.

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, while I no longer use them for gaming, I keep them in my gear bag for when I’m reviewing my audio from filming my tutorials. These headphones have specially-tuned 53mm drivers that enrich the details of sound. 

HyperX Cloud II
The HyperX Cloud II headphone. Image via HyperX.

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. 

Note that these headphones only have a USB input, so you can bypass the issue of a tinny sound if your computer doesn’t have a good sound card. 

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Specs from the manufacturer:

  • Advanced audio control box
  • HyperX signature comfort
  • Durable, aluminum frame
  • Detachable, noise-cancellation microphone

7. Sennheiser GSP 600 

These are my current gaming headphones, and I love them so much I’ve also taken to editing with them. Unlike the HyperX Cloud II, these headphones aren’t as bass-heavy and produce a more authentic sound, which is preferable when audio editing. In addition, there are new and improved transducers that deliver high audio fidelity and exceptional realism from the previous model.

Sennheiser GSP 600
The Sennheiser GSP 600 headphone. Image via Sennheiser.

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.

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Specs from the manufacturer: 

  • Engineered for the competitive gamer
  • Closed acoustic design and ergonomic ear pads for passive noise attenuation
  • Exceptional audio realism
  • Lift-to-mute boom arm adjusts for best voice pick-up position
  • Adjustable contact pressure headband for long-lasting comfort

For more audio-based tips, check out these articles:

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