3 keys in choosing the studio monitoring headphone:

Price

It’s always good to determine your budget first before you choose the model. (Of course, if you have unlimited budget, this doesn’t apply to you) There are a lot of high quality headphone that are expensive. If you have budget concern, the first question to ask is what can $xxx get me. Otherwise, you will waste a lot of time and effort. 

Quality

How do you determine what is good? Here are a few simple rules:

  • Clarity – A good pair of studio headphone sounds clear. It doesn’t sound muddy for the low frequency. 
  • Stereo image – You can hear the “image” clearly when you play the songs. Every instrument has its place. 
  • Accuracy – Go as flat as you can so that you know what needs to be fixed. That is why we don’t use consumer headphone for mixing. But one thing to note is that, if you only has $50 budget, don’t expect the quality to sound like $500. Manage your expectation. 

Replaceability

If you have a decent studio headphone and you use it very often, likely after 10 months, the ear pad will start to wear off. The economic way is to get the replacement ear pad. 

I like Audio Technica studio headphone. Even its ATH-M40x is good enough for you to mix a decent song. I bought mine beginning of last year. After a year, the ear pad coat started to wear off. So I went to get the replacement ear pad, and it looks like a new set again. Guess what, it only cost $50 for a pair. You can also purchase single piece. 

Find out more about Audio Technica ATH-M40x and ATH-M50x here.