Video Production

The 5 Best Headphones for Video Editing

A good pair of headphones can elevate your editing experience. Here we’ve put together a guide to help you choose the best headphones for you

Do you really need headphones for audio editing? The answer is yes. A good pair of editing headphones can make all the difference in the world, even if you are using high-quality monitors. But what makes a pair of headphones good for editing? Let’s take a look at the three main things you should look for, in order of importance.

A Flat and Wide Frequency Response

When most people think of dynamic range, they think of cameras, but headphones have dynamic range as well. The wider it is, the better they are for audio editing. If you have headphones that are too accentuated in the lows, mids or highs, you could miss vital details in your mix. It’s important to be able to hear everything.

Comfort

Ear fatigue is a real thing, and a real problem for editors of both audio and video. While the best remedy for this is taking frequent breaks, having a set of the most comfortable headphones can help as well. That, or the ability to replace the pads.

Price

When it comes to almost any audio gear, for the most part, you get what you pay for. However, there are plenty of headphones out there that will both fit your budget and provide a good sound for editing.

One last thing before we jump into the list of headphones for you to consider is that most headphones that were designed with editing in mind have a higher impedance than basic listening headphones. This higher impedance generally causes the built-in audio jacks in computers to not provide enough power to get a good sound from the headphones. If you don’t have one already, it might be a good idea to pick up a USB audio interface, which will give you the power you need. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is a popular option, and usually comes in a bundle with a condenser microphone and a decent pair of headphones.

With all that being said, here are 5 pairs of editing headphones to consider.

Want to improve the audio in your videos? Check out our range of audio editing tools for desktop and mobile.

The Best Headphones for Video Editing

AKG K240 Studio

The 5 Best Headphones for Video Editing

PROS:

  • Semi-open back produces clear lows and highs
  • Lightweight 
  • Removable/replaceable pads for additional comfort 
  • Removable/replaceable cord.
  • Inexpensive

CONS:

  • Higher impedance (55ohms) makes an audio interface or headphone amplifier necessary.
  • Headphones don’t fold.
  • Headband is not padded.

PRICE:

$67.00 (Amazon)

You’re likely to find at least one pair of AKG K240 Studio headphones in most recording studios. These over-ear, semi-open back headphones have been a staple in the industry for a long time. They provide a flat frequency response, and when powered correctly using a USB interface or headphone amplifier, they produce a high-quality, and highly accurate sound. 

The AKG K240 Studios are a great choice for editors on a budget as well, with a price point well below $100.00. They aren’t the most comfortable headphones available, but with their low weight and replaceable pads, they can easily become very comfortable.

AKG K240 mkii

The 5 Best Headphones for Video Editing

PROS:

  • Semi-open back produces clear lows and highs
  • Lightweight 
  • Removable/replaceable pads for additional comfort 
  • 2 Removable/replaceable cords.

CONS:

  • Higher impedance (55ohms) makes an audio interface or headphone amplifier necessary.
  • Headphones don’t fold.
  • Headband is not padded.

PRICE:

$139.95 (Amazon)

If there is one thing that AKG is good at, it’s not trying to fix something that’s not broken. Considering that the AKG K240 Studio headphones have been an industry staple since the 1970s, it’s no wonder that the K240 mkii features almost no changes from the original. So what are the changes? Well, for one, they come in a different color. They also come with two removable cords, instead of one. Other than that, you’ll be getting a pair of comfortable headphones that perform just as well as their predecessors.

If you’re recording voice overs it’s important you get the right mic for you.

Status Audio CB-1

The 5 Best Headphones for Video Editing

PROS:

  • Lower impedance will make for better performance on built-in sound card
  • Lightweight 
  • Padded headband and removable/replaceable ear pads.
  • Foldable design. Great for travel.

CONS:

  • Slightly accentuated highs (only noticeable at high volumes)
  • Difference between the lengths of the included cords is drastic.
  • All plastic build

PRICE:

$69.00 (Direct from Manufacturer)

It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if you’ve never heard of Status Audio. The company does very little marketing, and even less branding on their products. At first glance, the Status Audio CB-1 Studio headphones look like a $10 pair of headphones you could pick up at Walmart. But don’t let their appearance fool you. The CB-1 comes packed with 50mm drivers, a (mostly) flat frequency response, and ergonomic padding that make them some of the most comfortable over-ear headphones on the market.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The 5 Best Headphones for Video Editing

PROS:

  • High-quality design
  • Comes with 3 cables
  • Great sound quality
  • Foldable 

CONS:

  • Not tuned as flat as other studio headphones
  • Proprietary cord connection
  • All plastic build

PRICE:

$149.00 (Amazon)

Audio Technica has been a staple in the audio industry for a long time, and the ATH-M50x headphones are one of their most popular products. They’re not tuned as flat as other editing headphones, but they do provide a neutral enough profile to get an accurate mix without losing detail. 

The biggest downside to the ATH-M50x is the cable connection, forcing you to purchase replacement cables directly from the manufacturer. Luckily, they have a bluetooth version that uses a traditional 3.5mm cable.

Sennheiser HD280 Pro

The 5 Best Headphones for Video Editing

PROS:

  • Extremely Comfortable
  • Flat frequency response 
  • Built-in noise isolation technology
  • Foldable design. Great for travel.

CONS:

  • Cord is not removeable
  • Cheap-feeling ear pads
  • Clunky design. Large headband

PRICE:

$99.95 (Amazon)

Sennheiser has been making waves in the audio industry for over 40 years, but for the most part, it’s been mostly about their microphones. This is unfortunate, because their HD280 Pro headphones produce some of the best noise isolation and frequency response out of any other editing headphones on the market today. 

Their only downside is the build quality. The frame is sturdy, but the headband is much larger than any of the other headphones on this list, and the earpads are a little cheap feeling. Still, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better sounding pair of editing headphones, especially at this price point.

Learn about working with audio for video on our blog and YouTube channel.

September 25, 2020
Jay Lippman

Jay Lippman is a freelance video and audio editor. He has a YouTube channel where he teaches filming techniques, editing in Davinci Resolve, and reviews film making gear. Find out more at jaylippman.com

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