What are the best headphones you can get for video editing and what should you be looking for?
When getting into video editing you quickly realise that audio is just as important (in some cases more important) than the visual side of editing. You therefore need decent headphones to ensure your audio is at the top of its game, as well as your visual edit.
Choosing the best headphones for video editing on the other hand can be quite a daunting task.
Not to fear though, we’ve rounded up the best headphones you can buy in your budget that make for great video editing headphones AND that could be used on set as well (who wants to carry round two pairs of headphones?!).
We’re going to be looking at the below list of headphones for video editing.
|Audio-Technica ATH-M50x||38 Ohms||15 – 28,000Hz||285g||$150-170|
|Sony MDR 7506||63 Ohms||10-20,000Hz||261g||$90-130|
|Sennheiser HD 300 Pro||64 Ohms||6-25,000Hz||297g||$200|
|Focal Listen Professional||32 Ohms||5 – 22,000Hz||280g||$300|
|beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro||32 Ohms||5 – 35,000Hz||270g||$160-180|
What to Look for When Trying to Find the Best Headphones for Video Editing?
Shape, style and price are one thing when people usually look for headphones but when it comes to video editing we need to factor in more than just the aesthetics and the price tag.
The human ear can usually hear a range from 20Hz up to 20,000Hz (or 20kHz). These frequencies are represented in different ways by different headphones. So when your edit finally makes it to a viewer you need to be sure that you have edited it with all frequencies in mind. Having a pair of headphones that can reproduce all of the frequencies in the range is therefore a must.
Frequency response is an important part of choosing video editing headphones. You need to have headphone drivers that are capable of producing the lowest bass notes to the highest treble frequencies to ensure your audio edit caters to all audiences.
Impedance is another factor to take into consideration when looking at headphones for both video editing and using on set/location.
Measured in ohms, and symbolized as Ω, this quantifies how easy the headphone speaker drivers are to ‘drive’ – vibrate – sound waves into your ear and therefore reproducing audio as we know it.
More importantly, headphones that have a lower impedance (normally below 50 ohms) don’t require additional amplification above what your PC, phone or tablet can produce. High impedance headphones usually require dedicated amps or studio grade equipment to amplify the sound for the headphones. If you try to use high impedance headphones without this equipment then the sound will be too quiet for you to work with.
The good news is this list mostly references low impedance headphones for video editing so that you can be confident they will work at your editing setup and in the field on location.
Editing, be it visual, audio or both, are usually long sessions at a time. You therefore want a pair of headphones that won’t give you ear fatigue and that you feel comfortable wearing for hours at a time.
The best headphones for video editing usually have over-ear cup designs (also called circumaural).
Because over-ear doesn’t have anywhere near as much contact with your ear as other designs and therefore you can generally wear them for longer periods.
In-ear or earbud design headphones are also not generally used by video editors for the same reason as above. They lead to ear fatigue much quicker than over-ear would.
Added to the benefits of over-ear cup design headphones is the fact that they create a ‘seal’ around your ears by the perimeter of padding used to go around your ear. This helps block out unwanted background noise, further isolating noise.
The last piece of the design puzzle is then whether to go for open-back or closed-back ear cups. Closed-back are the more common of the two and they help further isolate sound by not allowing audio to escape from the cup. Open-back have vented backs that allow some audio leakage giving an ‘airer’ sound profile. However, this can also mean that others and/or mics, around you can hear that leakage too.
The last thing that you want to consider when looking for video editing headphones is the connection type.
Specifically, wired or wireless.
All of the headphones in this list are wired, usually with a 3.5mm jack. The reason for this is that while Bluetooth technology has come a long way in the last few years we still can’t say for sure that your set up would result in a near lag-free experience.
For the most reliable, lag-free, editing experience you are much better to go with wired headphones over wireless bluetooth headphones.
That being said you can find headphones that offer both if you want that.
How do I know what I’m talking about? Head to the DigiProTips Experience and Background page to find out how I’ve built up my knowledge over a career spanning feature film, broadcast TV and digital content production.
The Best Headphones for Video Editing in 2022
Ok, without further ado let’s take a look at the options for best headphones for video editing.
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Style: Over ear, closed back | Connection: wired, 1.2-3m coiled, 3m straight, 1.2m straight | Driver size: 45mm | Frequency response: 15 – 28,000Hz | Impedance: 38 ohms | Weight: 285g
- Balanced sound profile
- Closed earcups for better sound isolation
- Portable and comfortable design
- A little more bass than ‘true’ neutral
- A little bulky
- Design is a little plain (not that we mind all that much)
The ATH-M50x headphones from Audio Technica as a portable, over-ear, closed back design pair of headphones that can be relied on for comfort when editing for hours at a time.
The 38-ohm impedance of these headphones means that they can be driven by pretty much any audio source, including cameras (for audio monitoring on set) and mobile devices. There is no additional amplification needed for these headphones.
The frequency response is great, more than covering that range we mentioned above at 15-28,000Hz. This is driven by 45mm drivers composed of neodymium magnets.
The sound profile for these headphones is tuned for a flat response. There aren’t any frequency ranges that have been intentionally or unintentionally boosted and therefore makes for a non-biased sound profile (true audiophiles may notice a slight weight towards the bass end but you’d be hard pushed to notice it in most use cases). The separation and detail is on point and means you hear everything in the mix precisely, getting a good sense of the stereo sound. This is ideal for video and audio editing, where you need a neutral soundscape.
Style: Over ear, closed back | Connection: wired, 3m coiled | Driver size: 40mm | Frequency response: 10-20,000Hz | Impedance: 63 ohms | Weight: 261g
- Neutral sounds
- Very well-priced
- Fold-flat design
- Big & accommodating earcups
- Slightly high impedance
- Frequency response could be wider
- Earcup padding could be slightly thicker
The MDR-7506 headphones are the entry-level set in the Sony MDR-7500 series of headphones made specifically for pro studio use. As a result, they’ve developed quite a reputation around them.
These headphones have a frequency response that covers the range of human hearing but not much more than that at 10-20,000Hz. This range is driven by 40mm Neodymium and can be reproduced by most audio equipment with an impedance level of 63-ohms. This is slightly higher than some of the other headphones in this list but it won’t require additional amplification equipment at this level.
The headphone design means that the ear cups can fold up into the headband and makes them quite compact for transportation. The large, over-ear closed-back ear cups will suit most ears and are comfortable over long periods of time. We only wish the padding was ever so slightly thicker like it is on some of the other headphones in the list. It is still sufficient to stop outside noise from leaking in though.
The sound profile is incredibly neutral and completely uncoloured. Considering the price for these headphones the ‘flat’ reproduction across the full frequency range is brilliant. There’s a reason they are still on the market after 30 years in production. They do what they need to and they do it well.
Style: Over ear, closed back | Connection: wired, 1.5m | Driver size: not stated | Frequency response: 6-25,000Hz | Impedance: 64 ohms | Weight: 297g
- Folding headband
- Excellent driver specs
- Frequency response
- Large ear cups
- Not cheap
- Slightly high driver resistance (impedance level is high)
Sennheiser are a well established headphone brand and the HD series of headphones have been used in audio and video production for years now. The HD 300 Pro’s are, in our opinion, one of the best in the series.
They are on the dearer end of the scale but the specs you get for that can’t be overlooked. With a max sound pressure of 123dB these headphones are loud and reliable even at max volume. The frequency response is one of the best in the list at 6-25,000Hz. Their design is brilliant for extended periods of audio and editing (without noise leakage in or out) and the sound profile is beautifully neutral and accurate.
Now, that max 123dB would probably need some additional amplification to reach that ceiling and maintain a good response due to their 64-ohm impedance level but for pretty much most applications these headphones are more than capable of being used with camera equipment, laptops and mobile devices and be able to produce reasonable volume.
As with others in this list, the design is over-ear and closed-back giving great noise isolation and comfort over extended periods of editing. They ear cups can also be folded inward to make them more compact and fit into carry bags when not in use.
Style: Over ear, closed back | Connection: wired, 1.4m straight cable + 5m coiled cable | Driver size: 40mm | Frequency response: 5 – 22,000Hz | Impedance: 32 ohms | Weight: 280g
- Tuned for neutral sound
- Memory foam earpads
- Low impedance
- Good sound reproduction at quiet volume
- A little pricier than some rivals
- Headband may not be the coolest
- Headband can get a little sweaty
Maybe one of the lesser known brands on the list the Focal Listen Professional headphones are by no means lesser in the style and function departments. As their name suggests, they have been designed to be great headphones for pro uses as well as recreational.
The Listen Professionals produce a clear and transparent sound profile that hasn’t been boosted artificially in any of the bass, middle or treble. Yet, they still sound incredibly dynamic when using them.
One of the lowest impedance set of headphones in this list, at 32-ohms, these headphones can be used anywhere with pretty much anything without any additional amplification.
Focal have not only gone for a functional pair of headphones but also thought carefully about style and comfort. The ear cups are made from memory foam, which not only provides comfort for long editing sessions but it also forms a circumaural design, meaning the headphones seal around your ears for optimal sound isolation.
All round a great pair of headphones but the price is reflective of that quality, style and comfort you get.
Style: Over ear, closed back | Connection: wired, 1.6m straight cable | Driver size: 45mm | Frequency response: 5 – 35,000Hz | Impedance: 32 ohms | Weight: 270g
- Wide device compatibility
- Designed for neutral audio that is spacious, transparent and detailed
- Earcups help seal out background noise
- Level of detail is ideal for video editing – wide frequency response
- Low impedance
- Possible heat buildup after extended wear
- A bit bulky
If you search for the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro headphones you’ll find that there are actually three variations of this particular pair; 32-ohms, 80-ohms and 250-ohms. As you will have read at the top and guessed from the other headphone reviews above, the lower the impedance (rated in ohms) the easier the headphones are to drive.
This is why we have chosen the 32-ohm variant for this list of best headphones for video editing. The 32-ohm DT 770 Pro headphones can be used with pretty much any audio producing gadget out there, from cameras to phones to laptops. The higher impedance variations of these headphones will need additional headphone amps and will sound too quiet for editing work without it.
The 32-ohm DT 770 Pros have been tuned to sound the same as the other variants even without any amplification and are still designed to be pro monitoring headphones. So you shouldn’t expect to find any artificial boosting like you may find in consumer and fashion-focussed headphones.
These over-ear, closed-back headphones are made with a leatherette type of material covering the ear pads which do help with comfort for longer editing sessions but the only draw back here is that they may become a little sweaty after a while. They do however produce a tighter bass response and are very good at isolating your ears from outside noise.
The acoustic definition produced by these headphones are ideal for video editing. With a frequency response of 5-35,000Hz (the best range in this list) you’ll be sure to hear every little detail in your recording.
For the price, they are exceptional studio-grade headphones.
If you are looking for more PC equipment for video editing then check out my guide to the Top Ten Computers for Video Editing here: