What Makes Studio Headphones Different From Consumer Headphones?
For people who love music, whether they like to listen casually or it’s a part of their profession, headphones definitely play a big role in their everyday lives. But out of curiosity, one may ask: “Is there a difference between studio headphones and consumer headphones?” The answer is yes, there are a number of significant differences. In this article, we will compare studio headphones and consumer headphones and discuss what makes them different from each other.
In terms of price, studio headphones are more affordable than consumer headphones. The reason for this is because studio headphones usually base newer models mainly on the older ones. This reduces their production cost while still improving the sound quality every time they release a new model. Consumer headphones, on the other hand, redesign a lot of aspects of previous models to allure more people every new release.
Style and Durability
Consumer headphones are visibly more stylish than studio headphones. Some consumer headphones can almost be considered as a fashion accessory due to their polish and form. Let’s take for example the Final Audio Design SONOROUS X. It has a metallic silver and gold polish which gives the pair of headphones a very premium look. It’s definitely a pair of headphones that can turn heads, but the way it’s designed makes it pretty heavy.
Now let’s take a look at how the V-MODA Crossfade M-100 is built, a studio headphone of similar caliber. The whole headphone is colored with black tint and is made with sturdy lightweight material. The headphones’ design prioritizes durability over style to survive the busy studio environment, able to withstand falling on the floor, its cables getting stepped on or getting rolled over by chairs. Not the flashiest in terms of style, but it can outlast most consumer headphones.
When it comes to features, consumer headphones usually have more. Most consumer headphones have quality of life features like wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, connection to multiple devices and even active noise-cancelling. Each of these features is one of the consumer headphones’ biggest selling points as these headphones are usually used outdoors.
Not having these features don’t really matter as much for studio headphones though. As the name suggests, they’re built for studio use. Wired connection offers better audio quality than a wireless connection, which is a must if your profession involves mixing and editing audio. Being wireless also means that the headphones will be constrained by battery life, which is not ideal for long studio sessions.
Last but not least, the sound signature. Consumer headphones have more variety when it comes to sound signature. Sound signature gives headphones character, allowing you to pick a headphone depending on the genre of music that you love to listen to. On the other hand, studio headphones’ sound signatures are designed to be as flat as possible. A flat signature means there is little to no boost in any of the sound levels, resulting in audio that sounds like the original recording. This makes it easier for studio engineers and audio artists to edit because there are no unnecessary sound distortions.
Although no headphones’ sound signature can be completely flat, there is a list of some of the best studio headphones whose sound signatures get really close to flat in Headphones Lab’s article.
Studio headphones are generally cheaper and more durable than consumer headphones. Studio headphones focus more on the professional side, keeping audio sounding as pure as possible for mixing and editing, while consumer headphones are flashier and are more personalized to enhance a person’s musical experience depending on their musical tastes.