Yesterday we talked about the best headphones for everyday IPod use, you can view this blog here. . .

What are the best headphones?

In today’s blog I am going to look at some of the best headphones for field recording. The reason I separated the two is because they require different specifications. When looking for a good pair of field recording headphones the sound needs to be balanced across all frequencies. A lot of consumer grade headphones boost the bass frequencies and have a low response at the high end of the frequency spectrum. For anyone looking for a pair of headphones for field recording, here are my recommendations.


Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

These were my first pair of field recording headphones. They sound great but I find them a little impractical for field recording. They have large studio cans, which make them a bit cumbersome to get on and off in a rush. However, for the price the sound quality is superb. They have a great frequency range and are very balanced across all frequencies. You can get your hands on these HD 280’s for £68 you will struggle to find a better sound more balanced pair of headphones for field recording. Their impracticalities can be forgiven for the results they give.

£100- £200

Sony MDR – 7506

A lot of field recordists I know rate the 7506 as the absolute standard for field recording. One sound recordist I know actually owns six pairs, which I am not sure I fully understand. They do have a great frequency response and good isolation but for me they sit in the same boat as the Sennheiser HD 280 because they are a little cumbersome. It might just be that I am cumbersome but I am not entirely sure. At any rate the amount of professionals I know that use the 7506s must mean that Sony are doing something right. These Sony MDR 7506’s are available from £136.

Sennheiser HD25 MKII

At the same time I acquired my HD280s a friend of mine purchased a pair of the Sennheiser HD 25 MK II and as good as my HD280s were for the price I wish I had spent the extra cash. Although primarily designed for DJ-ing the HD25 MK II makes for perfect field recording headphones. They have good isolation, a great response across all frequencies and are a very practical size. Due to them being designed primarily for DJs they are easy to get on and off and the placement once on your head is very flexible. They are designed and built so that parts can be replaced individually so they should not need replacing for a long time. So at £145 the HD 25 MKII‘s are worth every penny.

BeyerDynamic DT880 Pro

Image: These headphones I recommend on a recommendation. Designed primarily for drummers, they have an amazing low end response and are good across all frequencies. I tried a pair on once and they are extremely comfortable. A lot of sound recordists who I asked to recommend headphones for this blog said these were a great pair of headphones. I trust their opinions so maybe when my Sennheiser HD25s wear out I will give these a try. The DT880 Pro’s are available at £195 from DV247.

Before you rush out and order any of these online I recommend trying a few pairs out for yourselves and seeing which headphones really suit you.