If you are looking for the best headphones for video editing, you are in the right place! Video editors know that it’s not just the visual quality that matters when it comes to filming. Great audio helps set the tone of a film, providing ambiance and heightening the impact of critical moments in the plot. If the sound quality isn’t great, then the film won’t be either. The audio is a dead giveaway that a film is professional vs. amateur. Therefore, it’s critical to have great audio equipment, including a fantastic pair of high-quality headphones that will help you hear everything while you are monitoring audio while filming as well as editing in studio.
Any old headphones won’t cut it when you need to check details like syncing and levels. You need the best headphones for video editing; ones that cut out the background noise and remain neutral in tone. This is important so that you can hear every little detail and edit out any sounds that don’t work. With a quality pair of studio headphones, you get an accurate portrayal of the sound. This includes an equal balance of bass, midrange, and treble frequencies. You don’t know what people will be using to watch your film, so you want the audio to be as neutral as possible, to begin with.
To help you choose the best headphones for video editing, this guide will explore what to look for and the top-ranking options on the market right now.
Technical Factors to Consider When Purchasing Video Editing Headphones
While you may have heard a lot of hype about one pair of headphones or another, it’s essential to look into the specifics of each style and make an informed choice. Headphones are an investment that you should be able to use for up to ten years, so consider all of the following factors before making a final decision.
When it comes to the frequency response for video editing headphones, just remember that the greater the range, the more accurate the audio will be. The best headphones for video editing will have a response of at least 20-20,000 Hz, which is the exact range of human hearing.
Impedance refers to the electric current that runs through the speaker drivers, delivering sound waves into your ear. When it comes to impedance for video editing headphones, the norm is under 50 ohms, generally around 32 ohms. This ensures more compatibility than higher impedance models, which will sound too quiet without an amp. Typically, people using higher impedance models are music professionals, DJs, and people working with loud audio equipment.
Cable & Connection
The 3.5mm headphone jack is standard for most video editing headphones, so this is typically what you will find. Higher quality models will allow you to switch out the included cable for what makes the most sense for your purposes– coiled, longer, shorter, etc. Keep in mind that a headphone cable is actually one of the most fragile parts of a pair of headphones, and it tends to break after a few years. Fear not, they can generally be replaced…but not always. You’ll want to research before you buy your headphones to see if there are replacement cables you can buy so that you’re not forced to buy a new pair of headphones when the cable wears out.
Ear Cup Design of the Best Video Editing Headphones
To get the best sound isolation as well as the most comfort from your headphones, it is important to consider the type of ear cup. Here are the two main considerations you should keep in mind.
Open vs. Closed Back Ear Cups
When it comes to ear cup design, open back refers to those with a vented casing around the exterior to allow some sound to escape, while closed back is completely closed to isolate sound completely. Closed-back ear cups are more popular for video editing as you likely want to hear every detail without any outside interference.
Over-Ear vs. On-Ear
Comfort is key when you are editing for long hours, which is why we recommend over-ear, rather than on-ear or in-ear headphones for video editing. Unlike in-ear headphones, over-ear do not rest flat on your ears, but rather have a thick ring of padding around the ear. This keeps your ears cooler, doesn’t apply pressure to your ears, and creates a seal around your ears to block out the sound around you.
Without getting too technical, the driver in your headphone is the part that converts audio signals into waves of sound. The driver is a very important part of the headphones and the larger the driver size, the stronger the sound waves. You will find most headphone drivers are between 20mm-50mm. Typically, when you buy a pair of high-quality headphones, the driver size will be the best size for that particular model, so this is not something you need to be overly concerned about.
When it comes to the weight of your headphones, you want them to feel lightweight, but ultimately lighter is not always better in terms of comfort. The design and cushioning are more important, so pay close attention to those factors rather than the exact weight of the headphones.
How to Choose the Best Headphones for Video Editing
Now that you have the key technical considerations in mind, head to the store and start trying on some headphones. Here are the main factors to think about when you have your headphones in front of you.
Of course, keeping to your budget is important when deciding on headphones because there are a lot of very expensive models. However, there are also plenty of headphones that are more affordable and still offer great sound quality. You can expect to pay between $150-400 on a quality pair of headphones.
Everyone has a different favorite when it comes to comfort, so it is best to try on headphones in-store and see which feels the best to you. In general, headphones with earcups that are over-ear and have padded velour cushioning as well as a padded, flexible headband tend to be the most comfortable.
Extra Features of the Best Headphones
Some headphones have extra features that make them stand out from the crowd. These might include the following:
- Extra cables
- Adapter for connection input
- Foldable for travel
- Smart listening
- Wireless capability
- Built-in microphone
The Best Headphones for Video Editing
To help you with your search for the best headphones for video editing, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular models below. While these headphones come at various price points and have distinct differences in features, they are all great choices for video editing.
Amazon’s Top Pick: Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Studio Monitor Professional Headphones
- Frequency range: 15 – 28,000 Hz
- 3.5mm jack
- Impedance: 38 ohms
- 1.2m and 3m straight cables, 1.2m coiled cable included
These Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are a favorite of video editors because they produce crisp, accurate audio. They’re also known for being very comfortable. With over-ear cups that can swivel 90 °, these isolate sound when you want so you get the best listening experience. They have a flexible, cushioned headband and are collapsible for maximum portability, so you can take them with you from your home to the studio.
The Best Studio Headphones: AKG K 240 MKII
- Frequency range: 15 Hz to 25,000 Hz
- 3.5mm jack with 6.3 mm adapter
- Semi-open earcups
- Impedance: 55 ohms
- 3m cable included
These AKG headphones are also known for being comfortable with soft ear cups and easy adjustability. They are semi-open, with a balance for solid bass as well as high notes. They are not foldable, so these are great for using at the studio and leaving them there.
Best Wireless Headphones for Video Editing: Sony WH1000XM3
- Frequency range: 4Hz-40,000Hz
- Noise cancelling
- 3.5mm jack
- Impedance: 47 ohm
- 1.2m cable included
These Sony wireless headphones combine high-quality sound with five built-in microphones. Some of the smart features included with these headphones include built-in Alexa, ambient sound control, and quick attention mode. They have up to a 30-hour battery life without charging, feature touch sensor controls, and can be paired with multiple devices at the same time. With all the bells and whistles, it’s not surprising that these are some of the best headphones for video editing.
Best Affordable Headphones: Sennheiser HD 569
- Frequency range: 10- 28,000 Hz
- Over Ear
- Impedance: 23 ohm
- 3 m detachable cable with 6.3 millimeter jack, 1.2 meter detachable cable with 3.5 millimeter jack included
This professional headphone option from Sennheiser is high quality and made for studio editing. They block out ambient sound with a closed-back design and are foldable so that you can take them anywhere. The over-ear cups are padded with plush velour for complete comfort.
Best Semi-Open Design: Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO
- Frequency range: 5 – 35, 000 Hz
- Over Ear
- Semi-open back
- Impedance: 250 ohms
- 3m coiled cable included
- 3.5 mm jack & ¼“ screw-on gold plated adapter (6.35 mm).
These semi-open headphones from Beyerdynamic are neutral and relaxed with very high resolution. They offer great spaciousness and have a high impedance at 250 ohms. Made in Germany, the handcrafted quality of these headphones is hard-to-beat.
Final Decision: Choosing the Right Headphones for You
Now that you know what some of the best headphones for video editing look like, we recommend doing more research on the pairs you are most interested in. The headphones you choose should be well suited to the setting you will be using them in. For example, if you are in a studio vs. surrounded by a lot of ambient noise, you may prefer a semi-open design to a closed one.
Consider Editing Software Along With Headphones
You should also look into how the headphones will function with the editing software you are using as this can be a deciding factor. There are so many headphone options to choose from, so it’s important to take your time when making a final decision. Of course, as your passion, technique, and business grow, you can always upgrade to a higher-quality pair of headphones later on.
Why are special headphones best for video editing?
For video editing, you need headphones that provide a level of noise isolation to keep outside sounds from distorting your audio. It’s important to have tonally neutral headphones that will allow you to hear the audio clearly and accurately so that you can edit where needed.
How long do headphones last?
A pair of great quality video editing headphones can last you up to ten years.
What are the best headphones for video editing?
Some of the best headphones for video editing include Sennheiser HD 569, Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium Edition, Sony WH1000XM3, AKG K 240 MK, and Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Studio Monitor. The model you choose should depend on where and how you will be using the headphones as well as your budget.
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