What are the differences between regular and studio headphones?

what is the difference between regular and studio headphones

Last week, as I was shifting my studio gear to a new apartment, my friend promptly asked me about my new studio headphones and why I don’t use regular or consumer-grade headphones to reference my music mixes.

So, I thought it would be a great idea to write a detailed article that covers the differences between studio and regular headphones.

But, let me ask you first, do you know the primary element that makes studio headphones different from regular headphones. If not, I have a perfect explanation for you in this article.

Just follow along this quick guide and in no time you’ll know why wanna be record producers and audio professionals need a separate set of headphones.

Related: Setting a Home Recording Studio – A step by step Guide!

3 Main differences between Regular & Studio headphones

How are studio headphones different from regular headphones
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

The difference between studio and regular headphones depends on multiple factors like design, sound isolation, bass response, frequency range covered, frequency boost or trim, etc. In comparison to studio headphones, consumer-grade headphones are made to please the ear rather than reproducing accurate sound.

Now, let us look at three main differences separating these two types of headphones. These points will further give you idea on how distinguished these both types of headphones are.

1) Frequency Response

Like studio monitors, studio headphones also have a flat frequency response. They remain neutral in reproducing different frequencies and do not add any colour to the sound. Furthermore, they do not add any sort of boost or cut to a specific frequency region.

Related: 32 vs 80 vs 250 Ohm Headphones

Since studio headphones do not add any colour to the audio, they are one of the best sound referencing headphones. Therefore, this type of headphone is a popular choice among content creators, home recording artists, musicians, singers, producers, mix engineers, etc.

studio vs regular headphones
Regular headphones

On the other hand, regular headphones come with satisfactory sound quality, and they are most suitable for listening to music. On the flip side, they are not so good for monitoring purposes.

Now, you may wonder why is there such a massive contrast in sound quality? This is because consumer headphones have specific frequencies boosted to make them sound great and deceiving.

They add colour to the sound and fail in covering all the frequency ranges which we’ll cover in next section.

You can easily spot the difference between the two headphones by listening to their sound quality.

2) Frequency Range

sound wave

While you listen to audio on studio headphones, you’ll notice that you can hear specific frequencies that are hard to attend on regular headphones. This is because studio reference headphones cover a wider frequency than normal headphones.

It becomes crucial for audio professionals, say, mix engineers, to listen to the mixes accurately and without any bias.

For this purpose, studio headphones are built to cover a wide range of frequencies. You’ll hear such low and high frequencies that you cannot attend on consumer-grade headphones.

3) Uses and suitable environment

home recording studio

Both these types of headphones see their use in separate environments. Studio headphones are common in recording studios and home studios. In short, you’ll find them helpful whenever it comes to hearing audio without any bias or for monitoring purposes.

Therefore, you’ll find these headphones in close proximity of budding producers, home artists, mix engineers, and audio professionals.

Also Read: Studio Monitors vs Studio Headphones for mixing and mastering audio tracks!

On the flip side, regular headphones find them home in places where you do not have anything to do with the world or monitoring/referencing audio. Such headphones are used to listen to audio, whether it is music or watching movies.


All in all, these were some of the main differences between these two types of headphones. While studio headphones are most helpful and suitable in a recording or monitoring environment, normal headphones find their use in daily life to listen to music and watch videos without disturbing others casually.

Not to forget, you also need to look at the impedance levels of the headphones and the need of a dedicated headphone amp.

Furthermore, the difference is quite evident when it comes to looks and brand awareness. Also, regular headphones’ design stays on the premium side, whereas studio headphones are rugged and built of robust material.

Last but not least, I hope you liked this article. Also, feel free to mention any other differences that pops in your head while reading this article.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.