Off Topic - Comfortable headphones/earbuds for long sessions - not necessarily essential for mixing

I have Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250 Ohm. I find they squash a little bit and are generally pretty bulky. Can’t use speakers because of baby who ironically wakes up all night anyway! Thanks in advance for any advice on some really comfortable HP’s used by Doricans. Cheers Simon.

I use a very cheap (£20) pair of Philips headphones model SHP1900 - really comfy and pretty good at excluding background noise. Probably terrible for mixing though.

AKG K240 have been a studio staple for decades and I guess their comfort for long sessions have something to do with that. I wear mine for hours every day. Certainly not audiophile, or reference quality, but I like them, and they’re not expensive.

These are supposed to be very comfortable and good sounding.


I have been using Sennheiser HD 600 for years and can only recommend them.


I have focal celestees, they have the best sound for closed headphones I have found so far. I think they are quite comfortable, but some people think they are a bit heavy

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The AKG K702 I use are very comfortable, being semi-open and with foam pads. They sound extremely good.

Build quality didn’t prove particularly good in the two exemplars I own. When one broke, however, I had Thomann repair them under extended warranty. So, just use a reliable retailer.


not for mixing, necessarily, but I really love my Bose QuietComfort 15s - and the noise canceling is very nice too.

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Open back right?

I love Focal headphones too! Super comfortable, light enough to wear most of the day, unlike some heavier cans. I’m currently using Clear Mgs when no one is in the room and Celestees when anyone else is around. Clear Mgs are a new purchase as of a couple weeks ago and I sold a Focal Elex and Focal Elegia on eBay to fund the Clear Mg purchase.


Assuming you want closed headphones, in the sub-$500 range the now discontinued Focal Elegias are great and super comfortable. Originally $899, Amazon has them for $449 now on clearance.

The Dan Clark Audio Aeon is really comfortable too. I have a pair down in my Whisper Room I use when recording. The Drop version is $479.

Yes. And very comfortable.

Thanks so much guys! Heaps of options here. Sounds like most of them are more comfortable than mine! I guess I’d prefer phones that are fairly flat response so at least I’ve got a basic idea of what the samples are sounding like. Most of the time I’m using Spitfire BBCSO, EWHO Diamond or VSL so they sound fine for just composing. I’m not an audiophile and my setup is not powerful enough to really run more than mix 1/2 on BBCSO Pro and most of the time I’m in 48Khz. Mixing is something I really only tackle if I have to for a project and I spend so much time routing midi, templates, etc that the eq, compression and even basic gain staging suffer! Thanks again. If there was a poll would you guys here prefer the earbuds for comfort or closed/open back (if I even know what I’m talking about?) options. Cheers Simon.

Personally, I’m often wearing headphones for long stretches and it’s probably the primary way I listen to music. (Wife works remotely now so can’t play speakers too loud anymore.) I do a lot of transcribing so I often have them on for long periods of time and am really trying to hear fine details. Heavy headphones (I once had some massive Audeze, ugh) just aren’t an option for me. I also wear glasses, so I can’t use cans that pinch too much or are on-ear or else they end up hurting after a while. I think my ears must not quite be symmetrical because I have a really hard time getting IEMs to fit perfectly. I’ve tried a quite a few and have a zillion different eartips, but I can’t really use them for critical listening, plus my ears get sore after a few hours with them. So over-ear it is for me!

As a generalization, I find open headphones typically have a bit better soundstage. For me, when trying to isolate a specific line when transcribing that really helps a lot. Open obviously leaks some sound, so aren’t really usable in a public or office setting. Depending on model, open headphones certainly might be fine with a baby as the volume that leaks isn’t usually that loud.

The Sennheiser HD600 that Marc recommended is a classic and a standard that a lot of other headphones are judged against if you want open. The Drop x Sennheiser HD 6xx is really a steal at half the price of the HD600. Sennheisers tend to clamp a bit much for me personally to be comfortable for long listening sessions, but I have a pretty big head so YMMV, LOL! I think it’s probably safe to say Sennheisers clamping force is significantly more than Focals anyway.

Closed back headphones will have minimal sound leakage so you don’t have to worry about baby waking up. As another generalization, they typically don’t have quite as expansive of a soundstage if that’s something you care about. Positives are that you can wear them anywhere and don’t have to worry about sound leakage.

With a baby, I’m sure you’re on a budget! What sort of price range were you looking at? Will they be used with an external DAC/headphone amp? Or are you looking for that too?

Ex audio fool (‘scuse - audiophile) who ended up in cans (or got tired of horns/planers/dyanamos etc etc). For comfort your DT’s are as good as any in my experience, and a better, forgiving sound than many. The HD600’s are a flagship but are expensive, and the response is classic Senn bass, if you like that kind of thing.

Best sound and most comfortable of all are Stax electrostatic from Japan, but of course like all the best cans they’re open. I say just keep the Beyers, it’s the only set I’ll use outside of Stax, my studios are littered with them. They have some updates, the 990’s (I think that’s the number off hand, I have a couple pairs) are lighter, and open, but closed off enough nobody hears you.

I think all of the closed back designs are intended to cut down on bleed when recording, and so they all have a higher clamping force on your head to seal around your ear (versus an open back design) . I definitely agree on how the closed Sennheisers can clamp, but I got used to mine as I liked the sound and many of their mid models work well with SoundID.

Earbuds for me are hit and miss on comfort. I have a set of Shure 215 in-ears that are meant for on-stage, not for critical listening. But they are about the most comfortable for long term wear of any of the various pair I’ve owned. Plus they’ll do a pretty good job of muffling baby cries etc. if it is not currently your shift, :slight_smile:

For open headphones, AKG K-701 is also a very inexpensive but excellent option for classical music. I think they are also comfortable, but they only really work well in a quiet room.

I have various AKGs including 240, Audio Technica and a few others, but my Grado SR80 (open) is really nice to listen through, so light and airy. Sometimes I use it to check a mix, it has more highs, can hear details I cannot on my AKGs.

I also use Sennheiser HD 600 and they are great.


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It’s horses for courses but I have the DT 770 and the DT990 Pro. I only use the latter now. Open back are generally better for mixing most folks feel. I wear them for hours and for me they are not tight or heavy. The DT 990 comes in different impedance models so you can match them best to your output device. For example, I have the 80 ohm model. [Mind you it says ‘Limited Edition’ on the phones so it may perhaps be hard to get that exact one.]

This is definitely not off topic. :slight_smile: