10 Best Reference Headphones 2021

Gareth Otwell Reviewed by Gareth Otwell | Last Updated:

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones – ⭐ Best Overall Reference Headphone

ATH-M50X by Audio-Technica

  • Release date: 02/06/2014
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 0.63 pounds
  • Dimensions: 11.4 x 10 x 4.1 inches
  • Warranty: 2 year warranty on parts and labor.
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

AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO Over-Ear

K240STUDIO by AKG

  • Release date: 10/01/2001
  • Color: Gold
  • Weight: 0.53 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.3 x 7.5 x 7.9 inches
  • Warranty: Limited warranty valid united states of america (*) and canada (**):akg acoustics warrants akg products against defects in material or workmanship for a period of two years from the date of original purchase, and agrees to repair or, at our option replace
AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO Over-Ear
  • 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

Samson Technologies SR850 Semi Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones – 💲 Best Budget Reference Headphone

SASR850C by Samson Technologies

  • Release date: 02/29/2016
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 1.05 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 4.8 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year parts and labor.
Samson Technologies 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 Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear

K702 by AKG Pro Audio

  • Release date: 12/03/2019
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 0.51 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.4 x 7.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Warranty: Limited warranty valid united states of america (*) and canada (**):akg acoustics warrants akg products against defects in material or workmanship for a period of two years from the date of original purchase, and agrees to repair or, at our option replace
AKG Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear
  • Over-ear design for maximum wearing comfort for long work sessions
  • Sophisticated open technology for spacious and airy sound without compromise
  • Patented Varimotion two-layer diaphragm for improved high-frequency range and better performance at low frequencies
  • Unique flat-wire voice coil for higher sensitivity, better impluse and treble response
  • Specially shaped 3D-foam ear pads for optimum fit and ease of use

KRK KNS 8400 On-Ear Closed Back Circumaural Studio Monitor Headphones

KNS8400 by KRK

  • Release date: 06/01/2015
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 0.51 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.8 x 4 x 9.8 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year.
KRK KNS 8400 On-Ear Closed Back Circumaural Studio Monitor Headphones
  • Detachable in-line volume control
  • Voiced to remain true to the character of KRK’s class leading studio monitors, developed with 25 years of years of experience in studio sound.
  • The latest reference quality frequency response for closed-back, circum-aural dynamic headphones.
  • Newly developed headphone acoustical system bringing a new level of headphone performance for the first time.
  • Utilizing the latest in acoustic memory foam technology this ensures class leading performance in both reproduction and isolation.

Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone

HD 650 by Sennheiser Pro Audio

  • Release date: 03/01/2019
  • Color: Gray
  • Weight: 0.57 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10 x 4.3 x 12.4 inches
  • Warranty: 2 years Parts and Labor
Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
  • Specially designed acoustic silk ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range and helps to reduce THD to an incredible 0.05 percent
  • Improved frequency response is 10 39,500 Hertz ( 10 dB)
  • Hand selected matched driver elements; Highly optimized magnet systems for minimum harmonic and inter modulation distortion
  • High power neodymium magnets deliver maximum efficiency; 3.5 millimetre jack plug. Frequency response (Headphones):10 41000 Hz
  • Lightweight aluminum voice coils for very fast transient response
  • Cable length 118 inches
  • Specially designed acoustic silk ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range and helps to reduce THD to an incredible 0.05percent
  • Improved frequency response of 10 39,500 Hertz ( 10 dB) for rich sound
  • Hand selected matched driver elements
  • High power neodymium magnets deliver maximum efficiency
  • Lightweight aluminum voice coils for very fast transient response

Avantone Multi-Mode Reference Headphones with Vari-Vo

MP000824 by Avantone

  • Color: Cream
  • Weight: 1.21 pounds
  • Dimensions: 11 x 10.7 x 5.4 inches
Avantone Multi-Mode Reference Headphones with Vari-Vo
  • Type Ear coupling: Circumaural Primary application: Recording Secondary application: DJ, live sound Operating principle: Closed back Audio Frequency response (TX): 18Hz - 25kHz Max SPL: 113 dB Driver size 50mm Noise cancelling: No
  • The MixPhones Mp1 Triple Play Personal Monitor with Vari-Voice is suitable for live sound, DJ, studio recording, mixing playback and listening applications
  • The unique design allows the user to move between normal neutrally voiced stereo field, monaural (mono), and a specially contoured "mix" mode that focuses the midrange frequencies to simulate the sound of Avantone Mixcubes, and allow better articulation of critical mix frequencies
  • The MixPhones MP1 is the creation of industry professional and end users that need more than just another headphone
  • This elegant piece of industrial audio jewelry is made to sound as good as it looks

AKG K 701 Ultra Reference Class Stereo Headphone Level 1

K701 by AKG

  • Color: White
  • Weight: 3.37 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.4 x 7.8 x 8.3 inches
AKG K 701 Ultra Reference Class Stereo Headphone Level 1
  • Revolutionary flat-wire voice

Samson SR950 Professional Studio Reference Headphones

SASR950 by Samson Technologies

  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 1.66 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.8 x 4.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year parts and labor.
Samson SR950 Professional Studio Reference Headphones
  • Closed ear design for maximum isolation
  • 50mm drivers for exceptional reproduction and wide dynamic range
  • 10Hz-25kHz frequency response, 32ohm impedance
  • Self-adjusting headband for a secure, comfortable fit
  • 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch gold plated adapter included

Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System – 👑 Premium Pick

HD 800 S by Sennheiser Consumer Audio

  • Release date: 03/03/2016
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 0.73 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.7 x 5.7 x 13.8 inches
  • Warranty: 2 year coverage for parts
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
  • Connectivity technology: Wired

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