Best Headphones for a guitar amp (our top Pick)
One of the most popular studio headphone sets now supports a wireless Bluetooth connection, in addition to the reliability of a wired aux cable. For the price, the ATH-M50x (BT) is extremely difficult to beat.
I'm digging up the best headphones for guitar practice. Whether you want the fullness of the over-ear design or you simply need to quiet things down for low-key playing, guitar amp headphones are a wonderful luxury. Headphones tend to be a breathe of financial fresh air for guitar players, because to get a good set, you don't have to spend as big as you might think. In fact, you might not have to spend much at all. We'll look at the headphones first, then chat more about pricing.
Best Headphones for Guitar Amps (top five picks)
Sennheiser HD 600
Beyerdynamic DT 770 (honorable mention)
Sony MDR-7506 (honorable mention)
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1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x (BT) Wireless Headphones
Best overall value
One thing that I've really fallen in love with when it comes to headphones is having a detachable cable. With other headphones I've had cables that would break or tear, which meant I'd have to toss the entire set in the trash. A detachable cable would have saved me the heartache and wasted money. While plenty of headphones have this feature, it's nice that the ATH-M50xBT (which is a fantastic set of headphones in so many other capacities) has it as well.
Audio Technica recently added Bluetooth wireless compatibility to the ATH-M50x, making it the M50xBT. This adds a ton of flexibility, especially those monitoring through a computer or laptop that's compatible with Bluetooth.
We bumped the feature rating up three point and the value rating up two.
The purchase includes three cables; one coiled and two straight that are different lengths. You could even buy a longer cable, which is what I did with my set, since it gives you more leash when you're playing guitar.
I forget which one I got, but this HOSA CMM-115 is similar and gives you an extra 15 feet.
Price History (lowest among non-amazon retailers)
Price History for Audio Technica ATH-M50X Studio Monitor Headphones+4-Way Distribution Amplifier
|Current Price||$163.90||November 30, 2023|
|Highest Price||$163.90||April 13, 2023|
|Lowest Price||$163.90||April 13, 2023|
Last price changes
|$163.90||April 13, 2023|
Quick Review Card
BEST FOR: Studio, instrument monitoring, casual listening
- 38 ohms is enough to handle the extra noise of a guitar rig
- Cord is detachable
- Bass response sounds awesome
- Very comfy
2. Sennheiser HD 600 Open Back Headphones
Best open back headphones (for guitar amps)
While they're a little on the pricey side, the HD 600 series contains some of the most well-liked and highly-rated headphones available in the $300 price range. They're also insanely comfortable. They have a velour ear pad that feels like a soft pillow, along with a padded foam top that stays completely still. Once you get playing, you'll hardly notice they're there.
The tone of the headset is warm and thick, almost like a vintage blues amplifier, but with all the crisp attack you would expect from a modern set of headphones. Music from your MP3 player and guitar from a preamp both sound full and satisfying.
Checkout Crutchfield's article for a full explanation of ohms.
The kevlar coated copper cable is lockable and detachable, while the unit ships with a 3.5mm adapter, allowing you to plug into nearly any device. Sennheiser includes a two-year warranty with the product, provided you purchase the set from an approved list of authorized dealers, of which Amazon and Sweetwater are included.
The extra comfort provided by the cellulose fleece helps keep natural distortion down to around 0.1% meaning your guitar's gain is the only thing you'll hear without any added interference. If you have the budget, these are some of the best headphones money can buy under $400.
Price History for Sennheiser Hd 600 Open-Back Professional Headphones
|Current Price||$399.95||November 30, 2023|
|Highest Price||$399.95||April 13, 2023|
|Lowest Price||$399.95||April 13, 2023|
Last price changes
|$399.95||April 13, 2023|
Quick Review Card
BEST FOR: Comfort, instrument monitoring, and bands
- Extremely comfortable
- Sound quality is warm and guitar-friendly
- Detachable cable
- Two-year warranty
3. AKG k240 Studio Headphones
Best budget-friendly option
The AKG k240 headphone sets might be the best under $100, at least for guitar playing and instrument monitoring. In fact, they're way under that price point. 55 ohms of impedance and a detachable cable get the ball rolling on this affordable, pro-level headphone set from AKG. The price is alluring in the mid two-figures range in most markets. I've seen used options going much lower.
The headband design is a classic self-adjusting system that is really comfortable and saves you the trouble of having to manually adjust them every time you put them on. In my opinion, this is an underrated feature for guitar players' headphones. It doesn't seem like much, but just being able to put your headphones on and play, without having to pull those ratcheting adjustment bands, is actually really nice. 15 - 25 kHz is the frequency range, which is fairly standard and won't leave any of your tone behind.
It's a solid go-to option for the studio guitarist.
While it's not super expensive, it still has all the trimmings of what we need and expect out of the studio-quality headset. Considering the great price point, you've got what I would consider one of the best studio headphone sets from a value perspective.
Quick Review Card
BEST FOR: Instrument monitoring, recording, and casual listening
- Great price point
- Detachable cable
- Adapter and cable included
- Self-adjusting headband feels great
Do I need to understand all the technical stuff before I buy?
Absolutely not. Here's why: Truly understanding what makes a set of headphones work, and work well, requires some college credit. It's truly just a lot of in-depth signal processing that you don't need to know. In my extremely limited understanding of it, I'd sum it up this way:
- Frequency range: EQ quality and tone variance - the higher the better
- Impedance: A speaker's ability to handle higher audio levels and external input - the higher the better
In my own search, these are the two "technical" indicators that I've kept an eye on. Otherwise, I've relied on aesthetics, brand recognition, features I like (i.e. a detachable cable, comfort, etc.) and personal experience. I'd encourage you to do the same and not worry too much about the signal-processing aspect. The tangible factors are enough to get you a good set. Focus your energy there.
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