12 Best Headphones for Guitar Amps in 2018
If you are a musician that prefers electric guitars over the acoustic models, things can get rather noisy.
If you want to keep the neighbors and your loved ones happy, consider investing in a decent pair of headphones. Not just any headphones, but the best headphones for guitar amp usage. That automatically rules out several styles of headphone although we think you’ll be surprised by some of the options we’ve included in our list.
Top 12 Headphones for Guitar Amps Table
|Design||Name||Cable Length||Impedance||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Status Audio CB-1 Closed Back Studio Monitor Headphones||6-10 feet||32 Ohms||4.8|
|2. Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone||9.8 feet||64 Ohms||4.6|
|3. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones||9.8 feet||46 Ohms||4.5|
|4. LyxPro HAS-10 Closed Back Over-Ear Professional Studio Monitor & Mixing Headphones||9 feet||40 Ohms||4.4|
|5. beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 ohm Studio Headphones||8 feet||32 – 250 Ohms||4.4|
|6. Sennheiser HD 206 Closed-Back Over Ear Headphones||10 feet||24 Ohms||4.2|
|7. Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones||10 feet||44 Ohms||4.2|
|8. Sennheiser IE80 Headphone||4 feet||16 Ohms||4.2|
|9. Skullcandy Hesh 2 Over-Ear Headphones with Mic||4 feet||35 Ohms||4.2|
|10. Koss UR-20 Home Headphones||8.5 feet||32 Ohms||4.1|
|11. Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones||6 feet||32 Ohms||4.1|
|12. Shure SE425-V Sound Isolating Earphones||5.3 feet||22 Ohms||3.9|
What’s Comfortable to You?
While over-ear headphones are the most popular style when it comes to the best headphones for guitar amp, they are an acquired taste. Consumers used to wear earbuds may find the style takes some getting used to as they can be heavy on the head and hot on the ears with extended use. Earbuds may be more comfortable in some cases, but they are not ideal for use with guitar amps for a few key reasons.
Earbuds usually come with a short cable, which may not work as it depends on how you are setup to practice. They also don’t block out sound quite as well as headphones with large cups, and if you’re thinking about going wireless, think again. Even the highest quality headphones can or will experience lag along with interference from your gear, so you will need a wired pair regardless of the style. In short, you can make over-ear or earbuds work with guitar amps, but you may need to make a few concessions along the way.
Cable Length & Connector
Several different components can make or break any pair of headphones, but certain areas are more important when dealing with guitar amps. We’ll get to frequency response and other tech specs soon enough, but first, we want to talk about the cable length. If it’s too short, you are going to need an extension which could be more trouble than its worth. A longer cable is better than a short one although it can cause problems as well while coiled cables are heavier than straight cables if you have an option between the two.
Headphones of any style will have a jack on the end which allows you to plug into the source. In some instances, you may have to buy an adapter although many come with them out of the box. As you already know, guitar amps have 1/4” inputs and all earbuds have 1/8” or 3.5mm headphone jacks. Over-ear headphones typically have a 1/4” jack standard. If you plan on using your new headphones with anything other than your amp, you’ll want to think about an adapter if one isn’t included.
Sound Quality and Tech Specs
We’re going to keep this simple as you’re buying these to practice or play in silence, and not for listening to Mozart. All the headphones we chose will sound great will all styles of music, including melodies you make yourself. There are a few tech specs you’ll want to keep in mind however with frequency range and Impedance.
Frequency Response – This is your sound quality, and the range of sounds you will hear when listening to music or your guitar through your headphones. The higher broader the range, the better off you’ll be overall unless you play a bass or oddly tuned guitar.
Impedance – This deals with power and volume levels, and how much they can handle safely depends on the ohms or impedance. The higher this number is not always better here as you want to match the load to the output if possible. If not, make sure you driver is lower.
Top 5 Best Headphones for Guitar Amp Reviews
When dealing with the best headphones for guitar amp usage, you will quickly find out that most fall into the “Studio” range. That is where the Status Audio CB-1 Monitor headphones reside as they’re built for professional use, which makes them an ideal choice for guitar amps as well.
If you want to ensure you don’t wake up the neighbors wailing on your guitar late through the night, the CB-1’s will do the trick. They are designed to sit over your ear but have small cutouts that usual although the padding is just as thick as you would expect where it counts. Despite the design, they are not wireless but have detachable cables that are straight or coiled with the former measuring 10 feet and the latter 6 feet. The drivers are listed at 50mm and are “neutral” which is great considering you’ll be listening to a raw signal. Those drivers can handle a frequency range of 15Hz to 30 kHz and have an impedance of 32 ohms.
Status Audio left no stone unturned with this headset as they nailed the comfort, cables and this model folds up for road use. While they are not in the upper echelon when it comes to audio quality, they are an affordable option that works well with guitar amps.
Manufacturers like to throw the Pro moniker around when dealing with headphones in certain classes. There’s no set category for guitar amp headphones, but Sony tends to make universal products that sound great across the board. If you are a fan of the brand, prepare to meet the Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphones.
This large set of cans may look like they came off the assembly line in the 90s, but don’t let those looks throw you off. The design is for audiophiles with large 40mm drivers with oversized padded cups which makes long listening sessions a joy. Like other models, they will fold up when not in use, a plus if you travel with your guitar. Other features to note include a long 9.8-foot coiled cable, an impedance of 63 ohms and a frequency response of 10Hz to 20 kHz. They can handle a lot of wattage with a power rating of 1,000mW, which should be more than enough for most folks.
These headphones deliver a punch during regular use and will sound great when used with electric guitar amplifiers as well. They only come in one style, but have everything you need to get rolling out of the box including a 1/4 adapter and soft carrying case.
Audio-Technica’s ATH lineup has a variant for everyone although we opted for the ATH-M30x Studio Headphones. They are towards the middle of the pack when it comes to features, but have solid sound quality and tech specs that make them well worth a look.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x are headphones in the Pro Monitor class. The sound isn’t quite neutral, but more in the mid-range, and while they are designed for mixing beats, they are an excellent choice when it comes to amps. That’s due in part to the comfort factor as these are arguably the comfiest cans to make the cut. They don’t pinch or feel too hot on the head, and you get the added convenience of cups that swivel up to 15-degrees in both directions. In other words, you can get a listen to what’s going on around you without pulling them off your head.
When it comes to sound quality, the ATH-M30x are on par with the rest of our picks, but not at the top of the class with a frequency response of 15Hz – 22,000Hz and an impedance of 47 ohms. That’s nothing to scoff at, but other models in the lineup include detachable cables and better handling at higher volumes and power.
If you want a headphone that has a different type of style, you won’t find it here as the LyxPro HAS-10 Monitor Headphones do not stand out in a crowd. They look similar to the other cans on our list, which isn’t a bad thing, especially when you slip them onto your head and hear what they can do.
Style aside, the HAS-10 from LyxPro is well-built for the price with metal arms that adjust to fit a variety of head sizes. They are closed-back and sit over the ear (in most cases) with medium-sized openings in the cups. The 45mm drivers are housed in an aluminum shell and can handle a range of 10Hz to 26 kHz on the scale with a sensitivity rating of 98±3dB and an impedance of 40 ohms. The cups will rotate 180-degrees and are covered with leather as is the band that goes across the top of your head. While the cable does not detach, it’s long at close to 10 feet is of the single-sided variety.
The LyxPro HAS-10 is an excellent choice for consumers that need a low-cost option for their amp, just don’t expect top-tier monitoring headphones. The sound quality is nice for the price, but they may be a little uncomfortable for some and don’t have a feel of a higher-quality headset in the design department.
Rounding out our Top 5 is a set of cans from Beyerdynamic. While they gave us plenty of outstanding options to choose from, we went with the DT 770 Pro’s which are Studio Headphones. They pack an impedance of 80 ohms and scream quality from the minute you open the box.
If you are in the market for a high-quality solution for guitar practice, you have found it in the Beyerdynamic DT 770’s. These closed-back headphones sit over the ear will recreate your sounds accurately across the board which provides a natural, balanced sound. They are “oversized” in the sense that the cups envelope half your head, and are extremely comfortable to boot considering they have velour covered cups. Throw in a 2-year warranty and the fact that you can replace (almost) any part of the headphones yourself, and you’ve got a solid set that can last a decade or more.
This headphone from Beyerdynamic comes in two different colors with an all-black model and one that’s black with gray cups. The velour variant comes on both the 250 ohm and 80-ohm models while the 32-ohm version utilizes leather in the build. The only thing that we would complain about is with the cable, which is high-quality, but not removable: that means you can’t ever replace it.