A good headset to listen to music?

This is something I’ve never tried to buy as an actual decent headset, or earphone, to listen to music.

Most my life I’ve been listening through gaming headsets or cheap earphones, does anyone have recommendations for a proper listening experience?

When I was in college we listened to Jimi Hendrix, and I acually mistook it for our tutor recording into the mic, it was so recent and real, the sound. They have the isolated tracks which helps, but I was honestly took back by how direct and current it sounded. It sounded as if he just recorded it. As if he was in the room. They have really expensive monitors.

Compared to that, I think most my music is like listening with your hands over your ears.

I snagged a set of SteelSeries Arctic Pros when TLoU2 came out because I wanted the best experience possible with that game and it did not disappoint. I think for listening, they’re perfect. Before that, the PlayStation Gold Headset and I went through 2 of those prior to the Arctics over the course of maybe 6 years. They were great as well.

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I’ve heard of the steel series, but idk if they are musical headphones?

I’ve heard of Sennheiser, but this is literally me recalling stuff I’ve heard, I don’t have any experience in true headphones. Obviously I’m guna do my research but for a starting point with something thats acually affordable Do you know any? I am happy to spend 200 or 300 pounds on a headset if I can get close to the 1500 plus monitors the collage used, they we’re honestly shocking in how crisp and personal the sound was, A game headset isn’t set up for music. I can only say that from being in a room with hardcore sound equipment. It’s as if the sound you’re hearing is live. Like I said it sounded as if Jimi Hendrix was in the recording booth. Totally fooled me to the point of telling my tutor thats you, you just did that, it’s hard to discribe unless you’ve been on the other end. It sounds alive.

You’re correct about a gaming headset not being for music, but one with a shit-ton of options will let you dial it in for that, at least to a point. The SteelSeries are made to be full surround and shut down outside noise. It won’t be as good for music as the Sennheisers you mentioned, which is an actual music equipment company, but I’m good with the SteelSeries because I got them exclusively for gaming and occasionally use them for other stuff. You probably want the opposite in that they’re for music first, other stuff a distant second. For that, I’d say the Sennheisers. That or actual studio headphones but those are far better suited for just that.

how much you pay for yours?

I wanna say 250 but it might been more. Whatever the early 2020 price was. I was looking for something good before the pandemic because tlou2 was originally coming out in May.

EDIT: Just checked. It was two fiddy

I use a pair of Sennheiser HD560S.

Initially I got them to use as monitoring headphones for my HX Stomp, but when my gaming headset broke, I started using them for everything.

This was my first pair of quality headphones, ever, and the difference was rather stark. Open back, very neutral EQ (so not perfect for music but still pretty good), and I finally understand why people rave about sound stage.

I remember just playing Mick Gordon’s BFG Division when I first got them and being like “WHOA” :smiley:

I believe Sennheiser have better models if you plan solely on listening, but these were also reasonably affordable.


Can’t go wrong with Sennheiser HD-600’s. They are a little pricey, but nowhere near the upper echelon of price, and they were purpose built for professional mixing and have been legendary for 30 years. HD-599’s are also a great choice—supremely comfortable while skirting the line between a commercial and balanced sound, they target the entry level of critical listening.

Also, by “headset” I am assuming you mean headphones. Headset specifically refers to over-ear monitors with a built-in microphone, typically used for long communication sessions. This is why someone recommended SteelSeries—they are proper headsets with mic’s. Assuming you actually mean a headset and not headphones, I have no idea what headsets are good for music.

Oh, right, I completely zoned out on this.

For what it’s worth, since swapping to separate headphones + desk mic, both my listening and speaking experiences improved drastically. There’s mild inconvenience from the mic just sitting on the desk (because I’m too cheap to buy a stand), but the voice quality is a ton better.

I know Sennheiser have a gaming headset which is supposed to be pretty good, but only available via The Drop, so USA-only I think?

Keep in mind most wireless options have unavoidable latency. Meaning that if you’re recording, your parts will be unavoidably off to whatever you’re listening to.

As for a good set of reference-type headphones that won’t break the bank…the Sony MDR-7506 is about as close to an industry-standard as you’re going to find. Roughly a hundred bucks and durable beyond reason.

I’m able to dial in sounds on my Kemper just using them and they translate very well to live settings.

I had to replace the earpads on mine because the originals wore out. Some of the best money I’ve ever spent on gear.

I would recommend against wireless as well - latency aside it’s one more step of AD/DA conversion between you and the music, and especially if you’re using a decent recording interface or something else nicer than your computer’s sound card, you’re undoing a lot of that benefit. To be fair, I think this matters more on the way in, when you’re recording track after track that will all be played back together, than on the way out where it’s a single stereo track being converted, but…

I use a set of beyerdynamic DT770s in 250ohm for tracking and mixing, when I’m not using my monitors. They’re EXTREMELY transparent… but not especially musical, the highs are kind of washy to my ears and the bass is very deep but not especially punchy. They’re exceptionally clear, though, and I can latch onto very small EQ tweaks while mixing so even with a decent set of monitors (Yamaha HS80Ms) in at least a partially treated room, I’ll often still reach for these while doing surgical EQ tweaks.

They’re also more comfortable than anything else I’ve tried, for wearing fro several hours at a time - headphones of this style often give me a headache from pressure on the top of my head, these don’t. That matters too.

So, if transparency is your objective, these are at least worth demoing. If musicality is, though… maybe transparency isn’t what you want, and while I don’t know this market at ALL, doing some research into “audiophile” grade headphones designed for listening to music rather than making it might be a good idea. They might not be as flat and transparent, but likely will have their response tweaked in a manner that’s a little more musically pleasing than something reference grade.

On open vs closed back (or half closed, etc), if you’re planning on using them while recording, to track music, then unless you’re doing all direct, all digital, no “in the room” volume, no mics, you want closed back. Opened back are going to be clearer and more accurate, but bleed is far too big a problem, both with sound coming in, and - especially when working with quiet acoustic instruments - sound spilling out into the mics.

Just to be clear, I wasn’t suggesting the SteelSeries for any kind of recording task. For casual music listening, I’d most definitely go wireless.

My strongest recommendation possible to get a pair of headphones from this list, and apply the EQ:


I personally use these for everything up to mixing / mastering:


Try them all! But consider comfort, too.

Bose QuietComfort 45 it’s like being in your own world you hear stuff in mixes you never heard before. Also good for having a quiet place to read in noisy places.

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If you don’t want noise canceling, do try some of the more reasonably priced models ($300) from these guys,


Sennheiser is definately a safe options, I’ve had a cheaper HD565 and still use my old HD800. The 800 set got a lot better over time, either that or my hearing deteriorated at the higher frequencies, They are open back and bleed noise, but have awesome air/soundstage for guitar practice.

I was travelling recently and forgot my Tin Audio T4 IEM that I use with the awesome shanling MW200 BT band, for a budget set they’re a lot of fun with comply ear tips. The comply tips are essential. So at the airport I did an impulse buy of the Bose NC700 wireless set that was on a substantial introductory discount. Was a good buy, they have the option to be wired and sound very good in that mode without all the processing, I remember my older QC15 sounded like garbage wired up as it bypassed the processing. This set somehow sounds ever better.

For purely listening to music the Bose 700 is really enjoyable due to the extended sub bass, that does not mess with the bass or lower mids, it sounds big with a very balanced treble. Even at home lately I tend to reach for them over the 800 as the wireless thing just works, and for calls and work stuff the mics are incredible. Though on the mic front the WM200 is hard to beat with it’s knowles microphone, that mic does not screw with background music yet the voice over is super clear, not sure what they are doing as I often talk with guitar buddies and they can hear my room like they’re’ there with me. I haven’t tested the bose for this talent as much, it could easily turn out that it’s better.

For practical use IEMs are a great way to get into great audio on a budget, ChiFi has really come of age when it comes to IEMs.

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Thank you guys I will be more informed with this. When pay day comes lol :grin: