If you are learning to play the guitar or love playing it when those around you would not appreciate it, there's no better way to enjoy the sounds than with good headphones. An excellent pair of guitar amp headphones will open up new playing opportunities for everyone, whether playing in a studio setting, in a band or practicing alone at home.
However, if you are new to the scene of guitar amp headphones, choosing the best headphones for guitar amps may look like a daunting task with plenty of products available. Whether you want guitar amp headphones for a studio can or something wireless, something noise-canceling or something to plug into your guitar amp, there is a set of guitar amp headphones that will meet your needs.
This article is an informative guide to review the 5 best guitar amp headphones. Read on to learn all their features and their pros and cons to help you narrow down to your best set.
- What are the best headphones for guitar amp?
- 1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Headphones with Detachable Cable
- 2. OneOdio Pro-10 Over Ear Headphones
- 3. Sony MDR 7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
- 4. AKG K240 Semi-Open Professional Studio Headphones
- 5. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 Ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones
- 6. Shure SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones
- 7. Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones
- 8. Samson Technologies SR850 Semi Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones
- 9. GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones
- Which One is Better Between Open Or Closed-Back Headphones?
- What is the Difference Between Headphone Out and Line Out?
- Who Needs the Best Headphones for Guitar Amps
- What are the Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Guitar Amp Headphones
- Bottom Line
- Frequently Asked Questions on Guitar Amp Headphones
What are the best headphones for guitar amp?
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Headphones with Detachable Cable
- Critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio...
- Proprietary 45 millimeter large aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad...
- Exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range with deep accurate bass...
- Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud...
- 90 degree swiveling earcups for easy one ear monitoring and professional grade earpad and...
For mid-range professional headphones, these Audio Technica closed-back headphones are ideal for many guitar players and are lauded as some of the best by many audio engineers. They produce excellent bass frequencies, good treble and in no way distort sound or tones making this one of the best headphones for guitar amp.
Because they are closed-back headphones, you can play your instruments or listen to your recordings without disturbing people around you, even if they sit next to you. The Audio Technica ATH M50X are high-performance headphones with excellent audio frequencies of between 15 Hz to 28 kHz and an impedance of 38 ohms, making the bass guitar sound stronger than ever.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X headphones also feature a circumaural design to contour around your ears for better sound and comfort. The design allows you to prevent noise leakage and provide more comfort so you can wear them for extended periods without ear burnout.
You can fully customize these bass guitar headphones to a preferred size with an adjustable headband. The Audio-Technica set also features 90-degree swiveling earcups, so you can use them with one ear when you need to. Additionally, the headband and earcups are well-padded for maximum comfort and breathability.
The headphones include proprietary 45mm large-aperture drivers and are available in black, blue, purple, and white colors. All-in-all, these are the best guitar amp headphones for an extended frequency range, which will improve the sound clarity and improve the bass guitar sound better than ever.
2. OneOdio Pro-10 Over Ear Headphones
- BASS SOUND: Enjoy clear sound and comfort with the OneOdio Studio monitor headphones....
- BUILT TO STAY COMFORTABLE: The soft padded ear cushions are designed for monitor...
- NO MORE ADAPTER: DJ style coiled cord (9.8Ft Stretched) easily reaches from the TV or...
- SINGLE-SIDE MONITORING: 90° swiveling ear cups for single-ear monitoring anytime;...
- Works with: All devices have 3.5mm or 6.35mm audio jack. Bass sound, durability, and...
OneOdio Pro-10 Over-Ear Headphones come in a small box with a full-size set of guitar amp headphones folded inside a pouch. They have good construction, and at the price they come at, they are durable and will serve you quite well. In addition, the guitar amp headphones feature two detachable cables to cater to different needs without needing the adapter. The two cables have 4 feet and 10 feet to allow comfortable movement.
OneOdio Pro-10 Over-Ear Headphones helps a use enjoy a high-quality sound from both ends by connecting two modules simultaneously. As a result, the headset has a clear bass sound, and the 50mm neodymium driver delivers a controller bass that any guitarist may need.
OneOdio Pro-10 Over-Ear Headphones are suitable for everything, including for use in a professional studio or on a noisy stage, and they will deliver a powerful and clear stereo sound. You get to experience extended high, clear bass and solid mid-range as it gives a punchy sound reproduction.
However, some parts of the OneOdio Pro-10 guitar amp headphones are made of plastic and, therefore, may feel a little brittle, but it's worth it for the price.
3. Sony MDR 7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
- Neodymium magnets and 40 millimeter drivers for powerful, detailed sound
- Closed ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises
- 9.8 foot cord ends in gold plated plug and it is not detachable; 1/4 inch adapter included
- Folds up for storage or travel in provided soft case
- Frequency Response: 10 Hertz to 20 kilohertz
Sony is one of the best electronics brands globally, and they certainly make their presence felt when it comes to headphones. The MDR 7506 is just one of the company's professional studio headphones that you can buy to use with your guitar.
They have wired connectivity, making it easy to plug into your guitar and a closed-back design that ensures you get the sounds with great clarity. With these headphones, you also do not need to worry about disturbing people around you with your playing.
They feature a lightweight and unobtrusive design ideal for wearing for extended periods. In addition, they feature soft earpads that are made with excellent materials to make them breathable even in hot weather. The headphones come with an excellent frequency response of between 10 Hz and 20 kHz and an impedance of 60 ohms.
These Sony studio headphones feature a long audio cable that is 9.8ft, ideal for guitar amps and studio projects. In addition, these headphones feature 40mm drivers and neodymium magnets for even better quality. While they do not provide the premium audio fidelity compared to others on this list, the MDR 7506 comes at a very affordable price, and for a few more dollars, even a headphone carry bag.
4. AKG K240 Semi-Open Professional Studio Headphones
- Professional studio headphones
- 3 m replaceable cable
- Audio Interface type: Stereo plug – 3.5mm (1/8-inch) with 6.3 mm (1/4”) screw-on...
This set of headphones from AKG is relatively inexpensive for their features as they offer high performance at an affordable price. In addition, they come with a semi-open design and supersized transducers made with proprietary Varimotion diaphragm.
The headphones have a high impedance of 55 ohms and a frequency range of 15 Hz to 25,000 Hz, making them suitable to use in your guitar amp. In addition, the construction gives them a steady frequency response for a better spatial soundstage effect, and that covers both the lows and highs pretty well.
They are fabulous headphones for most studio uses. In addition, the package comes with accessories that improve their effectiveness, such as a 3m audio cable with a convertible jack plug to connect to your guitar. The headphones also come with an amplifier from Knox Gear which features four channels running on 12 volts.
The AKG K240 headphones also have an adjustable headband and padded ear cups to block most external noise. These features are vital for most studio and guitar-playing uses, increasing comfort. In addition, the package comes with two replaceable and detachable cables, an adapter, and a set of ear cushions.
5. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 Ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones
- Closed over-ear headphones for professional mixing in the studio
- Perfect for studio recordings thanks to their pure and high-resolution sound
- The soft, circumaural and repalceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort
- Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship Made in Germany
- Practical single-sided cable (3.0m coiled cable)
Beyerdynamic is a German headphone manufacturer, and they sell these closed-back headphones you can use with your guitar amp. The headphones are durable materials that ensure durability even when used daily.
They have a frequency response of 5Hz to 35kHz to provide maximum precision and resolution. They also come with soft, circumaural, and replaceable ear pads to give the best comfort even if you wear them for long periods.
The headphones come with a single-sided cable you can plug into your guitar as you play. Because they are closed-back headphones, you will enjoy the sound while preventing any sound leakage to those around you. In addition, their 250 Ohms impedance makes the headphones your ideal choice when working on other studio projects such as mixing and vocal recordings.
They are ideal headphones for guitar amps, and you are available in two colors, black and gray. They are also available with different impedance and are used for everything and for different types of playing, including electric guitars, acoustic guitars, bass guitars and many others.
6. Shure SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones
- SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones feature a precisely tailored frequency response...
- Optimized for studio recording and critical listening
- Closed-back, circumaural collapsible design
- Detachable, coiled cable
- Includes SRH840, threaded 1/4" gold-plated adapter, carrying bag, replacement ear pads,...
This is a set of headphones from Shure you can use with your guitar. They are reasonably priced and an excellent choice for guitar amps. They have a frequency range of between 5 Hz - 25 kHz and an impedance of 42 ohms.
The package includes a set of replacement ear pads, a headphone carry bag, an adapter, and a detachable copper cord. The included coiled cable is detachable, and you can detach it if you want to use your cable with these headphones for guitar amps.
Also ideal for studio recording, these headphones clarify your guitar's sound quality by boosting mid-ranges and lengthening highs to make your bass guitar more prominent. While they cannot offer a completely flat audio response, they have more than enough frequency response to provide excellent and attractive sounds.
7. Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones
- Specially designed acoustic silk ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range...
- Improved frequency response is 10 39,500 Hertz ( 10 dB)
- Hand selected matched driver elements; Highly optimized magnet systems for minimum...
- High power neodymium magnets deliver maximum efficiency; 3.5 millimetre jack plug....
- Lightweight aluminum voice coils for very fast transient response
Sennheiser HD 650 headphones for guitar amps come with special acoustic silk, providing the frequency range dampening. It reduces the total harmonic distortion with a tremendous rate and remains only 0.05 percent, and your guitar amp headphones also come with a lengthy cable.
Sennheiser HD 650 has voice coils made of aluminum and hence why they weigh less and increase the transient response time, making it pretty quick. In addition, the neodymium magnets will also give your sound better efficiency and power, and they also include a 3.5mm jack plug with your purchase.
Sennheiser HD 650 guitar amp headphones use matched driver elements selected by hand with the Sennheiser team, and these elements are such as a magnet system. As a result, they will cut down both the harmonic and inter-modular distortion, and they have a frequency rate of 10 Hz to 39,500 Hz or 10 decibels.
8. Samson Technologies SR850 Semi Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones
- Professional studio Reference semi-open headphones designed for tracking, mixing,...
- Proprietary large 50mm drivers with rare earth magnets deliver an extended frequency...
- Circumaural, over-ear, design with velour cushioning provides outstanding comfort for long...
- Self-adjusting headband for optimal fit
- 1/4" Stereo Adapter included
Samson SR 850 headphones for guitar amps are the best guitar amp headphones if you want a natural and neutral sound, and it's famous for delivering the most neutral tone, just like a stand-alone amp would. It is a lightweight model, and it comes with an adjustable headband for a snug fit for your ear's position, and the ear cups are cushioned with soft velour ear pads for additional comfort. Even though they are pretty lightweight and are in a modest price range, they promise durability, and they have a 32-ohm impedance level giving them the best value for guitar amps.
Samson SR 850 headphones for guitar amps give off more realistic highs and mids, and they use 50mm drivers that give them a great dynamic range. However, since they have an open-back design, this limits the drivers' performance and various settings.
Samson SR 850 gives an impressive tone quality even as an entry-level pair, and for the most part, these guitar amp headphones deliver in their promise of creating a neutral sound. As a result, these headphones for guitar amps are the best choice for guitarists looking for an entry-level pair to play guitar during practice and notice every instrument in a playback.
9. GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones
- Grado's award winning headphone - open back design offer a larger sound stage with greater...
- "The Grado SR80e's are special, buy them and love them" - What HiFi
- Mini plug termination, incudes a 1/4 inch adapter
- Lightweight, comfortable design
- 4OurEars is the only Grado Authorized Amazon Reseller - 1 Year US Warranty
GRADO SR80e guitar amp headphones are a low-risk pick since they are affordable and include their ¼ inch adaptor and a mini-stereo plug. In addition, they include a copper connecting cord, a voice coil wire in the purchase, a vented diaphragm and an air chamber that minimizes resonance.
GRADO SR80e guitar amp headphones will give a great sound quality thanks to the four-conductor connecting cable, and the sound from these guitar headphones is described as open. The pair also delivers a better bass resonance and detailing, and it also has a metal headband with a vinyl cover that makes it comfortable and plush.
GRADO SR80e guitar amp headphones are designed with more oversized ear cushions, and therefore they cup your entire ear, making the pair worth it for the long hours of listening or recording. It is suitable for guitarists looking for sound quality at an affordable price.
Which One is Better Between Open Or Closed-Back Headphones?
When choosing over headphone designs, you will need to choose between two styles, including open-back or closed-back headphones. Do they have a difference?
Yes, Open-back headphones will allow music to leak out of your headphones, and they can be heard by people around you, so you aren't fully isolated inside your sound. You can still listen to anything happening around you, and you can hear someone knocking at the door or your phone ringing. These are the best headphones for guitar amps if you intend on using your headphones for extended periods because they allow your ears to breathe better.
On the other end, closed-back headphones will work in the opposite way where there is sound isolation and no sound leakage so that the music won't leak out of them, and no one will hear what you are listening to. Also, you cannot hear any sound from your surroundings, and you are inside your world.
Open-back headphones are usually suitable for video game players who spend endless hours with them on their ears. But, notably, the choice is up to you once you know the difference between the two types.
What is the Difference Between Headphone Out and Line Out?
This difference between headphones and line out can be tricky to explain. When you are discussing audio signal strength, there are four levels including:
The weakest, 'mic-level,' is the output created by a microphone, and it is usually a balanced output with three contacts in an XLR.
The next step is 'instrument-level,' which is the signal level created by a bass pickup or a guitar, and it's typically unbalanced where two contacts (TS) are in an instrument cable.
The following step would be the 'line-level,' often the signal level between the pro-level audio components between a mixer and an effect unit. The signal is usually balanced where three contacts (TRS/XLR).
The final step is the speaker level, and this is the output coming from an amplifier to a speaker or from your device to headphones. It is usually unbalanced where 2 contacts TS are for driving speakers or unbalanced stereo (TRS) for driving headphones.
If it's said to be a 'combo' headphone/ line out, it is stereo unbalanced and will probably compromise on a high impedance to drive the headphones, but it should work at lower levels for recording DI out. It is also vital to use an appropriate DI box or an interface to get a good clean signal for recording purposes.
Who Needs the Best Headphones for Guitar Amps
There are different scenarios where you need a great set of headphones when playing your instrument.
- If you love playing your guitars at odd hours, you will make other people uncomfortable.
- If you are a student who needs to improve playing skills. If this is your case, you do not play the best sounds and pay more attention to your productions.
What are the Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Guitar Amp Headphones
As a guitarist, a few factors should inform your buying decisions. All aimed at improving your skills or entertainment, look out for the following when ordering your next pair of headphones.
You will come across some terms such as headphone amp, frequency range or impedance, and you don't need to know what they mean to reap all the benefits.
1. Headphone impedance
Impedance is an essential factor to consider when purchasing headphones for practicing your electric guitar. It is a term that tells the relationship between reactance and resistance when listening to sounds or tones. Also, it is an electrical unit that represents the relationship between reactance and resistance.
It would be best to buy a pair with a high impedance when buying headphones because they will perform better with a guitar. On the other hand, low impedance headphones below 25-30 Ohms will only work well with low amplification devices.
A high impedance of at least 35ohms will prevent your ears from the high amplification of your guitar while also generating the best sound clarity. Low impedance headphones are better when used with devices with lower amplification, like laptops or phones.
2. Ear comfort
One thing about playing the guitar is that you could end up doing it for hours. If you are learning, you will need more time to practice and rehearse, the same way you will even as a professional guitar player. It is best to check how comfortable the set will be on your head and ears with this information in mind.
The best feature for ear comfort would be to check that the headphones have an easy-on-the-ear design. This design includes adequate head support from the headband. The headband is better when padded, as are the earcups to cushion your ears properly and give you the best head support. Check that the padding material is breathable to prevent sweating and moisture accumulation.
Not all stock headphones are comfortable, but some may allow you to switch the stock padding and get a new one without needing any special tools. Considering there are plenty of comfortable replacement earpads available online, this is one way a player can convert their cheap pair of guitar amp headphones into a mid-range one for premium comfort levels.
3. Dynamic frequency range
When looking for a good pair of headphones to use with your guitar amp, choose a model that will give you accurate reproduction and to achieve this, you will need a wide-range frequency response. The frequency range is how many frequencies each pair of headphones can produce. The higher, the better. When in the market for a new set, go for a high-frequency range of at least 20kHz.
Headphones with a lower range are not ideal for studio use. They can't capture the tiniest nuances of your playing, and a higher dynamic frequency range allows you to achieve accurate sound reproduction. Therefore, you will need to purchase designated headphones for your amp since your standard headphones offer poor frequency responses.
Some headphones support frequencies ranging from a deep 5hZ to a bright 30 kHz if you want more pronounced low tones. In addition, some pairs come with ear cups reinforced with 50mm neodymium-magnet drivers, which contributes to sound reproduction and better stereo imaging.
4. Extra accessories
When buying, it will help always look for headphones equipped with extra accessories as you will need them for various reasons. The first is that you will be able to use the headphones for different functions, and also that you can extend their lifespan.
Some of the essential accessories to look for include extra earpads, detachable audio cables, adapters, and more. If you get a set with detachable cables, you can use the headphones to listen to music or other functions through wireless connections, or you could swap the cords for longer ones if you feel the need.
Additionally, extra ear pads can add to the comfort and longevity of the headphones. It is worth noting that these additional accessories add to the price of your headphones in many instances. However, it can help to buy them all together to save you the hassle of looking for compatible parts separately.
5. Type of headphones
There are two main types of headphones for guitar amps: open-back and closed-back. In your guitar practice, you need a very conducive environment which is why you buy a pair with good headphone amps.
Open-back headphones are ideal if you live or practice in a relatively calm and quiet environment since you will not risk interfering with sounds in your ears. On the other hand, if your environment is noisy, you would benefit more from closed-back headphones as these block out any interference.
If you are a picky user, you might also benefit by picking the best ear cup design for your set. Most headphones have different earcup designs and shapes. For example, it would be better to pick oval ear cups if you have big ears. Additionally, you can buy a set with swiveling ear cups if you intend to use them for other studio projects such as recording.
6. Noise Isolation
When playing guitar while practicing, you need to be keen on how every pick may make stroke sounds, and you may want to cut down both the sound leakage and distracting noise from your surroundings. For that, you should choose closed-back headphones where the pairs lack authentic sound reproduction. However, wearing them for extended periods may damage your ears in the long run because of strict isolation.
On the other hand, open-back headphones usually generate a more realistic sound thanks to proper ventilation, and every note will resonate as it should. Still, they offer little-to-no noise isolation because people around you can hear what you are playing.
If you are practicing in a quiet room with no one around, then choose open-back headphones because the noise isolation, in this case, has no use. However, if you are playing in a jamming room, choose a closed-back pair to avoid your playback interfering with other instruments in your background.
7. Jack Size
Even though the headphone jack size doesn't affect sound quality, it determines the type of devices it can be used on. For example, most headphone guitar amps come with a jack, and it's a matter of using the suitable adapter, and in most of these cases, it usually comes with the best guitar amp headphones.
- 1/8 inch- With this, 3mm jacks can plug into MP3 players, phones and PCs
- 1/4 inch- 6.35 mm jacks can plug into these devices like stereos and amplifiers
The 1/8 inch products may need an adaptor plug to convert them to the correct size needed to plug into your amp.
Conversely, the 1/4 inch devices need an adaptor plug to fit the small audible items. The best 1/4 inch guitar headphones will offer stereo(TRS) instead of offering mono (TS). In addition, the smaller practice amplifiers will include an auxiliary jack for transducers and an adaptor for amps that may not have this feature.
Ensure you also check on the connectivity when shopping for th best headphones for guitar amp. Again, this is different for everyone as some may prefer headphones that come with a detachable cable and offer Bluetooth capabilities, whereas some are comfortable with wired headphones. There are plenty of options with both types, and you will need to decide and choose the one you prefer.
Some of the best headphones for guitar amp are foldable, which means that they collapse back into a neat package. You may not think that this is an essential factor, but you shouldn't overlook the importance of keeping them away safely. If your house is overrun with music gear and the more compact they are, the better.
Some of the best headphones for guitar amps are suitable for studio production, and they feature 90° swiveling earcups for easy one-ear monitoring. They are pretty helpful if you need to listen to something quickly.
10. Price Tag
When shopping for the best guitar amp headphones, you need to have a budget to look at the cost of headphones and ensure you stay within your budget. From our above recommendations of guitar amp headphones, the price varies considerably, and it's up to you to choose according to your pocket.
You could spend around $50 to $100 for the basic cheap headphones, but for the high-end headphones, you could spend about $200 or even more. Of course, the high-end guitar amp headphones will offer you more features than cheap headphones, but you can still cop an affordable pair with great features.
In addition, you should also ensure you consider other factors on top of the price where you can make a sacrifice and purchase something slightly off-budget if it contains all the features you are looking for. Therefore, before making your final purchase decision, check all the specifications and features to ensure you get the best guitar amp headphones for your music.
If you want to buy the best headphones for a guitar amp, the above list includes the most reputable brands best rated by audio professionals. They all have adequate impedance and excellent frequency range that you need to reproduce the best sounds without disturbing those near you. You may pick any one of the models to enable you to become one of the best guitarists.
Frequently Asked Questions on Guitar Amp Headphones
1. Why does my guitar's sound quality sound bad in headphones?
If you want to sound great and get a decent guitar amp sound, you need to use a speaker emulator. Guitar speakers usually have a narrow and better frequency response when compared to monitors or headphones. Therefore, the better the guitar amp headphones are, the worse the sound will be because the better headphones will have a wider frequency range and a flatter frequency response.
The best guitar amp headphones usually have a wide frequency response than the computer speakers, including deeper bass and higher highs. Notably, the wider the frequency range, the more you can hear in your playback. You can hear the difference if you listen to music from your computer when you put your headphones on.
2. Can I use any headphones with a guitar amp?
Yes and no. It depends on the type of guitar amplifier you are using, where most will be compatible with any set of headphones, but others may have different input jacks. Therefore, ensure you check on this before making your final purchase.
In addition, you can use any set of headphones so long as you can connect your headphones with guitar amplifiers. Most modern amplifiers will come with 3.5mm (1/8″) headphone jacks, whereas some support the 6.3mm (1/4″) jack which is usually the same size as your guitar cable.
3. Is price a huge factor in choosing the best headphones for guitar amps?
Generally, expensive guitar amp headphones have proven to have a better track record, even though a lot of money may go to refining their designs and accessories. However, a high price doesn't equate to better sound quality, and that's why you should focus on the specs and performance than judging the headphones for guitar amps by their brand.
This is not to say that the advanced drivers are not better than the standard ones, but the main point is that you need to have an open mind and know your top priority. Are you just looking for a wide dynamic range? Are you okay with average sound quality if they have a catchy design? If the former is your priority, then there is no need to spend a lot of money to get the most expensive headphones for guitar amps.