The best studio headphones for gaming. With the growing popularity of gaming, more and more people are searching for the perfect headphones to get the best gaming experience.
While most newbies think they can use regular consumer headphones for gaming (and there’s nothing particularly wrong with this), more experienced players know that you get better gaming experiences with better headphones.
Nowadays, headphones are classified into three different groups; studio headphones, consumer headphones, and gaming headphones.
Consumer headphones are fabulous if you’re primarily interested in general entertainment listening, versatility, and appearances. Consumer headphones come with all sorts of great designs and cool tricks (like phone control, wireless functionality, and others) at the cost of sound quality and comfort.
It tends to be forgiving of poorly recorded sounds so that it comes out as inaccurate and less detailed, giving you an average listening experience for all sounds.
Gaming headphones are about the same as consumer headphones when it comes to sound quality. They are primarily for convenience because they come with built-in microphones.
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When it comes to gaming, don’t underestimate the importance of good quality gaming headphones! They can make the difference between getting a headshot and getting shot at!
- How to Choose the Best Studio Headphones for Gaming?
- Are Studio Headphones Good for Gaming?
- Why Should I Get Studio Headphones for Gaming?
- Should I get a gaming headset or studio headphones?
- Are audiophile headphones good for gaming?
- What are the best studio headphones for gaming?
- Are studio headphones suitable for everyday use?
- What is the difference between standard and studio headphones?
- Are studio headphones better than consumer headphones?
In a hurry? Here are our top picks for the best studio headphones for gaming in 2021!
1. Best Overall
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black, Professional Grade, Critically Acclaimed, with Detachable Cable
There are loads of studio headphones in the world, so there are lots to choose from.
Some are comfortable, and others sacrifice comfort for sound quality. It all depends on what you consider a perfect gaming experience.
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Here are some things you should consider when getting studio headphones for gaming:
Studio headphones come in three forms according to design; open back, closed-back, and semi-open back.
Open-back studio headphones usually prioritize sound quality at the expense of isolation levels. They typically have the best sound quality, and their isolation levels are pretty low.
In direct contrast to open-back headphones, closed-back headphones prioritize noise cancellation. They allow you to block out outside noise even in the noisiest environment, although the sound quality isn’t as excellent as the open-back headphones.
The semi-open back headphones are a cross between the open back and the closed-back headphones. They are designed to get less background noise leakage than the open backs but with better sound quality than the closed backs in lower distortion and frequency response.
When you’re picking based on comfort, you have to choose between the over-the-ear and the on-ear models.
On-ear models tend to stress your ears and leave them feeling sore after long sessions, while over-the-ear models are great if you’re using them for long hours.
It would be best if you considered the build and general durability of the headphones you’re going to buy. You don’t want to have to buy headphones every once in a while.
Although studio headphones are generally sturdy and durable, you’ll want to choose the best when it comes to this.
Are Studio Headphones Good for Gaming?
Studio headphones are fabulous for gaming.
Studio headphones are initially designed for professional studio work, which means that they are designed so that any sound played through them is recreated as faithfully as possible. Any sound played through it is amazingly detailed. For regular music, it means you hear any edits and background noise that was present during the recording.
For gaming, it means that you hear the little things included by the game producers you wouldn’t have ordinarily heard. You’ll be able to listen to the wind moving through the grass, the direction where footfalls are coming from, the small movements from predators, and lots of other things you wouldn’t believe are included.
Fabulous studio headphones could potentially make you a better gamer!
Aside from this, studio headphones have neutral sound signatures. For a headphone to have a neutral sound signature means levels like bass aren’t emphasized.
Although no headphones can be completely neutral, studio headphones come closer to them than any others. For a gamer, this means that some sounds won’t jump out at you over others, as is the case with regular headphones.
Studio headphones are perfect for every gamer. The only presumable downside is having to get your microphone, and you can get those in different forms if you’re worried about the chords.
Why Should I Get Studio Headphones for Gaming?
Although initially designed for professional studio work, studio headphones often surpass the specially made gaming headsets when it comes to the gaming experience. There are many reasons why you should pick studio headphones for gaming. A few of them are explained below.
- Durability: Studio headphones are incredibly long-lasting and durable. Since they have to be exposed to on-site studio work and are dragged around a lot, they are created to last for a long time.
If something does damage your studio headphones, you can quickly fix it. Studio headphones usually come with simple designs so that users can easily replace some parts. So if a part of the headphones breaks, you can order a new feature and replace the broken one.
- Great Build: Studio headphones usually have great builds and are made of better quality materials than regular headphones. Studio headphones are typically designed with a metal headband in their cores. They also come with metal parts in the frames and ear cups. Sometimes plastic is used in place of metal, but these are also of a higher quality than others.
Although these high-quality parts come at the expense of an eye-catching design, it’s worth it. It probably won’t earn you any stops at gaming conferences, but you can rest easy knowing that you’re using headphones that are nothing but high-quality all through.
- Sound Quality: The excellent quality of studio headphones is unmatched in any other headset type.
First is the soundstage. The soundstage has to do with the perceived general environment of sound (that is, the height, width, and depth of perceived sounds). With regular headphones, the sound in games is thought to be shallow. It makes it feel like the game environment is shut-in and in a confined space. However, studio headphones expand that world. The entire environment will sound free, expansive, and with a lot more space than you’d initially think.
Next is the bass. With studio headphones that provide neutral sound signatures, you’re more likely to hear better. You appreciate the different bass sounds coming through (like the sub-bass and the mid-bass) instead of just one sound overpowering the rest.
- Price: Studio headphones are usually affordable. This is because they are often designed based on previous designs, making enough to cover their development costs. It means that they perform better than other headphones at even lower prices.
What most people don’t know is that regular headphones cost more because of the R and D (Research and Marketing) budgets.
With studio headphones, the companies have older model designs that are very profitable, so the prices of newer headphones are less because they can do without them. Studio headphones offer better quality at affordable prices.
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X – Best Overall
- Excellent Sound: The M50X gives out a great, high-quality sound that you won’t find in most other headphones. Although they are marketed as monitor headphones (i.e, headphones that are designed to play as naturally as possible), the M50X has a slight emphasis on lower and higher-end notes. It makes them perfect for gaming.
- Impressive design: The M50X is designed to be more flamboyant-looking than most other studio headphones, although not so much that they cause unnecessary attention. They come in a variety of colors.
- Comfortable: The M50X are incredibly comfortable headphones. They are made with high-quality plastic with lush padding so they can be worn comfortably for long periods.
- The M50X headphones aren’t completely noise-canceling. They are good for passive isolation, but they won’t block out really loud noises, so they can’t be used if you need total noise-blocking headsets.
- They tend to make your ears sweaty if you’re in a hot environment. The padding on the M50X can also be a downside because if you’re in a hot environment you’ll have to take them off from time to time for your ears to breathe.
Created by the company Audio Technica, the Audio Technica ATH-M50X (called the M50X for short) is one of the most respected and popular headphones for gaming in the world.
They took the world by storm a few years ago. They were released with the other 3.55mm connector headphones, but the M50X quickly overtook the rest in terms of popularity. It is considered the best overall in terms of high-quality sound, pricing, durability, and comfort.
The M50X is designed to be wired only. Each headphone comes with three headphone cables with 3.5mm jacks. It also includes a quarter-inch adaptor with which you can connect an audio interface or higher-grade piece of gear.
The only exception to the above rule is the recently-released “ATH-M50xBT”, which is the wireless version of the original series.
2. GRADO SR80e Prestige Series – Best Sound Quality
- Comfortable: The SR80e headphones are surprisingly lightweight and comfortable because they are on-ear models. They come with black foam pads, which are more comfortable than bowl pads that strain the outer ears.
- Amazing sounds: The SR80e headphones have impressive high-quality sounds, with a full and deep bass without overamplifying it. This means that the tonal balance is smoother and cleaner than before.
- The open-back design means that they are terrible at canceling out noise. They aren’t headphones you can wear comfortably while traveling or when you’re in a noisy environment.
- The plugs of the SR80e headphones are considered “beefy”. Although more people use their smartphones to connect headphones, these headphone plugs aren’t case-friendly. It has been noted that the plugs recess the jacks of smartphones to the effect that they become unusable.
Produced by Grado, the Grado SR80e Prestige series headphones are the new-generation versions of the initial SR80 Prestige headphones. It is considered the best when it comes to high-quality sounds, rated equal to or even better than the M50X.
The SR80e headphones are designed to be on-ear, but they are incredibly lightweight and comfortable compared to others.
It is classified as an audiophile headphone (which means that it is made of high-quality materials and so is expensive). They come with 6.33mm jack converters with which you can connect your home stereo system. Apart from this, there are no extras.
3. Philips Audio Philips SHP9500 – Budget Pick
- Comfortable: These headphones are one of the most comfortable headphones you can get at such an affordable price. The earpads are big and well padded with soft moisture-wicking fabric.
- Sound Quality: The sound quality of the SHP9500 is amazingly detailed. With its open-back design, the build-up of air pressure observed in the M50X is removed. It adds up to impressively high frequencies and sound transparency.
- The SHP9500 are open-back headphones and so they aren’t great at canceling out noise. When used outside, there’s a lot of outside sound leakage, so they’re not great for outdoor use.
- They are not very portable. The SHP9500 headphones are bulky. They are designed with big ear cups that can’t stay flat, so you can’t easily carry them around unless they’re in a backpack. They aren’t stable when hung around the neck, so they can’t be carried that way.
The Philips Audio Philips SHP9500 are great open-back headphones that come at a great price. They are considered the best headphones you can get if you’re on a budget.
The SHP9500 are designed with 3.50mm jacks and so are compatible with almost all devices. They can be used with smartphones, laptops, home stereo systems, and others so you can have a great gaming experience wherever you want.
4. Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR – Runner Up
- Great Sound Quality: The quality of sound in the X2HR is perfect for gaming. With the ingenious stereo image handling and the smooth, natural-sounding bass, these headphones are an open-backed wonder.
- Durable: These headphones are bulky and extremely tough. Most of the sections are made of durable metal, with only a few plastic parts in places like the ear cups.
- The X2HR headphones are not very comfortable. Although the ear cups are spacious, the adjustment in the form of a spring-loaded strap is tight and clamps the head.
The Philips Audio Fidelio headphones are produced and marketed by Philips (who are the original owner), although they were produced by Gibson for a short period.
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These new H2HR models have been improved in that the headbands are more oval-shaped and can now fit onto larger heads. The headphones come with a 3mm cable, 3.5mm connectors, a 6.5mm adapter, and a manual.
5. Drop + HIFIMAN HE4XX
- Sound Quality: Usually, the sound quality of planar magnetic headphones is inferior to that of the normal headphones using dynamic drivers, but the HE4XX proves that wrong. It has a very wide sound stage so it is perfect for gaming. You’ll be able to hear everything around you.
- They aren’t great for use for long periods. After prolonged use, you could develop a headache.
- The HE4XX provides no privacy because it is extremely open-backed. Others can hear what you’re listening to and you’ll get a lot of outside noise disturbance.
These headphones were produced from a collaboration between Drop.com and Hifiman. The Drop + Hifiman HE4XX are magnetic planar headphones (which means that they are conical in shape and are run with a mounted magnet located at the center of the speaker). They are considered the best planar magnetic headphones in the world.
Delivered with the headphones is a thick cable that can connect to a 3.5mm jack (or 6.5mm if that’s what you have). This makes it easier to convert to a balanced operation.
6. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250
- Sound Quality: The sound quality of the DT 770 is crisp, clear, and fabulously detailed with a surprisingly low end. With these headphones, you can pick up low sounds you wouldn’t hear in other headphones and can even feel slight vibrations as you listen through them.
- Comfort: These headphones are one of the most comfortable headphones you can get at such an affordable price. They are relatively lightweight with velour headbands so you can almost forget you have them on.
- They come with non-detachable cables that can be very inconvenient.
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 are very affordable headphones that are of really high quality. It is considered a great startup headphone for beginner audiophiles.
The DDT 770 PRO are closed-back headphones with a high impedance of 250 ohms, amazing sub-bass, and a very clear treble.
7. AKG Pro Audio K702
- Aesthetics: The design of the K702 is very appealing, with quality materials like 3mm thick leather to give it a sleek appearance.
- Discreetness: The AKG K702 are closed-back headphones, which means they afford you more privacy than other headphones. They are excellent noise-cancellers.
- The bass of the headphones isn’t powerful.
The AKG K702 is a very highly regarded headset in the gaming world. With its neutral tone and warm feel, it provides great sound play when gaming, especially for voices.
High-quality plastic is used in most parts of the K702 in place of metal ones, which provides comfort along with the velour ear cushions.
Hopefully, you got the most out of this article and you’re on your way to getting the headphones that best suit your needs. Please remember though that whatever your final decision is, your comfort should always come first. No matter how great the sound is at first, you won’t get the best experience if you can’t be comfortable using them.
Should I get a gaming headset or studio headphones?
Gaming headphones are fabulous when you’re considering convenience, and they also come with virtual surround sound. Studio headphones have a better overall sound quality and are usually more affordable. If you’re worried about the microphone, those come in different forms and sizes, so you can find one you’re best suited to.
You could get whichever you want, depending on what you prioritize.
Are audiophile headphones good for gaming?
There are different brands of audiophile headphones out there, and generally, more expensive means better quality, but this isn’t always the case. Because audiophile headphones are made with better materials doesn’t mean they all have high sound quality.
If it’s your first time getting headphones for gaming, then you shouldn’t get audiophile headphones. Go with good-quality studio headphones instead. They’re always great and are more affordable.
However, if you’re dead set on audiophile headphones, make sure you listen through them first, so you know what you’re getting.
What are the best studio headphones for gaming?
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones are considered the best studio headphones overall in sound, budget, design, and quality. They have fantastic sound quality, an appealing design, and are very affordable.
The GRADO SR80e Prestige Series are the best headphones when it comes to sound quality. They are less aesthetically pleasing than the M50X and are more expensive, but they tie in or maybe even better than them when it comes to sound quality.
Are studio headphones suitable for everyday use?
Yes, they are.
A person can use studio headphones daily without any adverse effects. They are designed to be neutral and accurate without any boosts in the bass, so they are generally safer than regular headphones.
The closed-back headphones are also really comfortable, so you can wear them all day without straining your ears too much.
What is the difference between standard and studio headphones?
Regular consumer headphones tend to focus more on aesthetic design and style at the expense of comfort and sound quality. They are also really versatile in that they are packed with other features like wireless functionality, phone control and call support, and others.
The studio headphones focus more on sound quality, comfort, and durability. They aren’t as souped-up and cool-looking as regular headphones, but they last longer and give out better sounds.
Are studio headphones better than consumer headphones?
If you’re looking for handy headphones you can use to listen to music and perform other functions, then go for consumer headphones.
Studio headphones are, however, made for discerning sounds. They’re better for gaming, comfort and are cheaper.