10 Best Reference Headphones 2020

Gareth Otwell Reviewed by Gareth Otwell | Last Updated:

After analyzing products, scanning reviews, spending more than 36 hours of research and speaking with our test users, we think the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones is the one of the Best Reference Headphones on the market.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones – Best Overall Reference Headphone

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
  • Critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers
  • Proprietary 45 millimeter 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 degree swiveling earcups for easy, one ear monitoring, and professional grade earpad and headband material delivers more durability and comfort
  • Professional grade studio monitor headphones with a detachable cable

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones – Best Budget Reference Headphone

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
  • Advanced build quality and engineering; Designed for studio tracking and mixing
  • 40 millimeter drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils
  • Tune for enhanced low frequency performance
  • Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
  • Convenient single side cable exit; Magnet neodymium; Designed for studio tracking and mixing

beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones in – Best under $500

beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones in
  • Closed over-ear headphones, ideal for professional recording and monitoring
  • Perfect for studio and stage recordings thanks to their pure, high-resolution sound
  • The soft, circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort
  • Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship Made in Germany. Innovative bass reflex system
  • Practical single-sided cable (3.0m cable) . Comfortable fit due to rugged, adjustable, soft padded headband construction

beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Headphones

beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Headphones
  • NOTE:Kindly refer to the user manual provided as a PDF manual in the product description section
  • Open over-ear headphones, ideal for professional mixing, mastering and editing
  • Perfect for studio applications thanks to their transparent, spacious, strong bass and treble sound
  • The soft, circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort
  • Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship - Made in Germany. Coiled connecting cable . Nominal sound pressure level 96 dB
  • Practical single-sided cable (3.0m coiled cable). Headphone frequency response - 5 - 35.000 Hz

Samson SR850 Semi-Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones

Samson SR850 Semi-Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones
  • Professional studio Reference semi-open headphones designed for tracking, mixing, mastering and playback.
  • Proprietary large 50mm drivers with rare earth magnets deliver an extended frequency response and great dynamic range
  • Circumaural, over-ear, design with velour cushioning provides outstanding comfort for long listening sessions
  • Self-adjusting headband for optimal fit
  • 1/4" Stereo Adapter included

AKG K240STUDIO Semi-Open Over-Ear Professional Studio Headphones

AKG K240STUDIO Semi-Open Over-Ear Professional Studio Headphones
  • Professional studio headphones
  • Semi-open
  • 3 m replaceable cable
  • Audio Interface type: Stereo plug - 3.5mm (1/8-inch) with 6.3 mm (1/4") screw-on adapter

Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System – Premium Pick

Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System
  • Open back, around ear, reference class dynamic headphone
  • 56mm ring radiator transducers are the largest drivers ever used in dynamic headphones
  • Innovative absorber technology reduces unwanted frequency response peaks allowing all the music nuances to become audible
  • Unique ear cup design directs sound waves to the ear at a slight angle to create an impressively natural and spatial listening experience
  • Includes two connecting cables: single ended 1/4 inches And balanced 4. 4 mm Pentacon cable

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
  • Neodymium magnets and 40 millimeter drivers for powerful, detailed sound
  • Closed ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises
  • 9.8 foot cord ends in gold plated plug and it is not detachable; 1/4 inch adapter included
  • Folds up for storage or travel in provided soft case
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hertz to 20 kilohertz
  • These large diaphragm, foldable headphones feature a rugged construction, a secure, highly effective closed ear design
  • Connectivity technology : Wired

Sennheiser HD 600 Open Back Professional Headphone

Sennheiser HD 600 Open Back Professional Headphone
  • Lightweight aluminum voice coils ensure excellent transient response
  • Neodymium ferrous magnets maintain optimum sensitivity and excellent dynamics
  • Sophisticated design, elegantly finished in black and gray
  • High quality open metal mesh earpiece covers
  • Detachable, Kevlar reinforced oxygen free copper cable with very low handling noise
  • Connectivity technology : Wired
  • Note: The unit ships with 1 ¼" (6.3 mm) headphone adapter plug

Audio-Technica Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones Black (ATH-R70X)

Audio-Technica Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones Black (ATH-R70X)
  • High-efficiency magnets and pure alloy magnetic circuit design reduce distortion and ensure accurate and extended high-frequency response
  • Carbon composite resin improves structural rigidity to provide detailed transient response
  • Acoustically transparent, aluminum honeycomb-mesh housings provide a natural and spacious open-back sound
  • Breathable fabric earpads and improved wing support provide long-wearing comfort
  • Feather-light weight (approx. 210 g w/o cable) and robust construction make headphones perfectly suited for professional use

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