Ask any seasoned filmmaker and they will tell you that sound is the backbone of any spectacular footage.
Whether it’s for a feature film, a YouTube video or a short film, quality sound is simply a must.
If you are an avid filmmaker, the process of making quality audio for your film begins in post production. Editing sound in the right way can achieve tremendous results for your film.
It all starts with getting the best headphones for video editing.
Video editing headphones can really come in handy especially if most of your editing is done on the go or in the client’s office. Sure you might have your studio monitors set up at home or in your office, but how can you achieve quality editing while away from your studio?
Well, after hours of research, we settled for Sony MDR Headphones as our best pick. This headphone is a favorite among budding filmmakers thanks to its pocket frinedly price not to mention a comfort and sound quality that makes video editing a breeze.
In case the Sony MDR headpone doesnt catch your fancy, we have also checked out other high quality headpones used by video editing professionals..
You can jump right in to;
Sony MDR Headphones | Audio Technica ATHM50x Studio Monitor Headphones | Sennheiser HD280 | Sennheiser HD 650 | Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio Headphones
Sony MDR-7506 Headphones
If you are a field recodist you will love the Sony MDR 7506 simply because it comes with a flat frequency response that really helps when you are looking for detailed performance in your recording.
Does it deliver the same level of quality in the editing room? Well, any professional editor will tell you that the Sony MDR -7506 is spectacular for editing as well.
Personally I loved the comfortable fill it has and I was able to wear it for hours while editing a short film. However be sure to play the mix on some regular speakers or earphones just to get a sense of what the audience will hear after it’s all said and done.
These headphones come with a frequency range of about 10-20,000Hz so you might notice that the dialogue sounds a bit buried behind the music. However they are a lot cheaper that most of the options in this list which is a good thing for the comfort they deliver.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
As a follow up to the ATH M50 the ATH-M50x are a clear indicator of Audio Technica’s dedication to creating pro headphones for audiophiles.
These professional monitor headphones will sound great no matter the device you plug them into and perhaps that is why they are not only popular among sound professional but also normal folks.
With the same original sound and an interchangeable set of cables, these headphones still deliver the expected quality performance at a price range below the $200 mark.
They are designed with a true bass that is anything but exaggerated making them the perfect fit for a video editor. To put it frankly, ATH-M50x are built for anyone looking to spend some good amount of money on quality professional grade monitor headphones.
However if you are looking for fancy headphones with a build that feels expensive straight out of the box, these headphones are not for you. They are largely made of plastic which might be a deal breaker for some. However, with beefy full size and soft ear cups, these headphones are great for hours of editing.
Surprisingly, these headphones perform OK when it comes to noise isolation , especially since other over ear headphones in its category deliver a much better quality. Perhaps it’s because these headphones are designed with a flexibility that fits all head sizes plus there isn’t a lot between your ear and the outside environment .
Sennheiser HD280 Pros
The Senheiser’s HD 280 headphones are a pair of dynamic closed ear headphones built with a flat tonal sound that is natural enough to the ear giving you the best experience when editing sound for film
With zero coloration to your audio and an attenuation level of 32 dB this headphones are the go to equipments for film editors looking for a decent noise isolation headphone.
However if you need a set of headphones that will also sound great for general listening of music on your phone, tablet or other mobile devices, this headphones won’t cut it. They have a pronounced lack of bass with super flat sound that give you nothing but a boring performance for music listening.
Nevertheless, they are quite affordable at a price range below the $100 mark making them the go to headphones for audiophiles looking for a cheap but practical set of headphones for editing video and film audio.
The 280s are great if you are looking for professional grade headphones that can block out the noise while you edit sound. They offer a balanced and flat listening experience that is exactly what most sound editors go for. Plus they are also quite affordable.
Unfortunately, where the 280s make up for price they lose in comfort. You will be lucky to have this on for hours on end without feeling as if your head is crushing. They also come with a non detachable 10 foot cord that keeps getting in the way of your editing.
Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
I had to feature another headphone from Senheiser and for a good reason. The Senheuser HD 650 is without a doubt an audio equipment on its own league. First of all, it boasts of open back to give you a theatrical audio experience that is pretty affordable for its price tag. As a matter of fact if you are looking to critically listen to audio while editing, you will find few better option that can beat the Sanheiser HD 650
These headphones are great for anyone looking to score their film with the most exceptional quality as they deliver an accurate sound that is also natural giving you all you need to edit at a professional level.
With a frequency response of 10-39,500Hz, this open back design headphones for film editing gives you a pretty close fill of how the audio of your film will sound like no matter where the final product will be seen by the audience.
Furthermore it comes with detachable cables as you would expect of any professional headphone plus the cables are reinforced with Kevlar which is a synthetic fiber that is rugged enough even if you are a master at destroying headphone cables.
However the Sennheiser HD 650 is not ideal if you don’t have a decent amplifier. In fact it will pretty much sound like a regular headphone when you use it without an amplifier.
If you are not into buying an amplifier for this 300 Ohm headphone, then you would rather check out other options we have lined up.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 Ohm Studio Headphone
Whenever you have decided to get down to work and mix audio for film, the last thing you need is a pair of headphones that put a clamping force around your head. Gladly the Beyerdynamic DT770 is anything but uncomfortable.
Beyerdynamics DT 770 are a closed over ear headphones that are specifically built for mixing audio. They produce a pure sound at a high resolution not to mention a base reference technology for booming volume levels that are simply impressive. In fact, you can go ahead and use it for recording audio for film as well since they feature spacious reproduction design and an acoustic definition that allows for noise isolation at a professional level.
With ear pads that are soft, replaceable and made out of velour, these headphones will pamper your head even after hours of editing. They also come with a 3 meter coiled cable that is practical for moving around while editing film not to mention compatible with any device.
Anyone looking for a tough pair of headphones would be remiss not to consider the Beyerdynamics DT 770.
These headphones are built for creators and sound professional as they are not only robust with a build quality that comes with a durable hard plastic on its ear cups and bands made out of solid metal that will withstand any kind of abuse, but they also feature a capacity for different variations on a variety of applications and devices ranging from portable devices to studio recording environments.
Basically you can switch between different ohms depending on your needs, and even for everyday listening to music; these closed back headphones will still perform well considering their capacity for noise isolation and detailed acoustics for a relaxed sound performance with a deep and clean bass.
Furthermore the velour padding on these headphones are great for
anyone who wears glasses and as it doesn’t squeak around when moving your head while having them on giving you zero concerns about comfort.
At its price range below $200, these headphones are without a doubt a worthy purchase for anyone looking to edit audio for film. If you are looking for something that will also double up as your daily listening device then go ahead.
How to choose the right headphones for an editing job
Settling for the right headphones for video and film editing is not as simple as it sounds (pun intended). You have to consider aspects such as closed or open back headphone, the frequency range as well as the impedance of the headphones not to mention the overall comfort and build quality of the headphones. Let’s break down these complex terms to give you a better understanding.
What is the difference between closed and open back headphones?
Well, a closed back headphone comes with a hard enclosure on the outer side of its cups while an open back headphone is built with a mesh like cover on the back of the cups to allow air to pass though to the speaker parts inside the headphone.
Closed back headphones
Closed back headphones are ideal for casual listening of music as well as editing sound for your film while in a noisy office. Reason behind it is that since they come with a closed back, it’s natural to expect them to block out much of the noise from your environment. If are looking to edit in a public space this is the type of headphones you will want to use unless you want the people around you to hear your edits while working.
Open back headphones
On the other hand, open back headphones are great for video and film editors looking to mix and master high quality audio files for their projects.
They are a go to for critical listening as they allow sound to leak out giving your ears a listening experience from distant speakers. Basically, they are capable of giving you an accurate representation of the sound you are editing.
However, although they deliver a fantastic listening experience and allow free supply of air and sound to your ears, they can be a little fragile. Moisture can easily get into the sensitive elements of the headphones meaning you will have to be careful how you treat them.
Plus, they are not great for editing or listening in a noisy environment.
Semi-open back headphones
If you are torn between going for an open back headphone or a closed one, you can compromise between the two and go with a semi –open back headphone. Semi open back headphones don’t seal the speaker elements completely.As a result, they might leak some of the sound but they can be great for casual listening and editing audio as well. They allow some air through the back of the headphone cap.
Do you need noise cancelling headphones for film editing?
Well great question and no, you don’t need a noise cancellation feature on your headphones to get the best quality mixing on your video or film projects.
In fact, noise canceling headphones should be avoided if you are looking to purchase a headphone for professional film and video editing.
The reason is simple. Noise cancelling headphones work by filtering the noise from the background. How do they do this? Well, they adjust your sound and as a result interfere with natural listening required for film audio editing.
As a video or film editor, you need to hear the audio file in its most natural sounding form, a noise canceling headphone is simply not cut for that.
What sound profile should I go for?
One of the most common mistakes made by beginner film makers is the use of regular headphones that feature artificially boosted bass or treble sound profiles.
Granted, you can still manage to edit your audio appropriately even with a normal headphone, however, you simply won’t be able to capture an accurate audio representation with such a sound profile.
What you need while mixing audio for a film or video projects is a flat sound profile. It simply keeps you safe especially when you have no idea what type of speakers your audience will use to listen to your finished project.
After all, you can use your equalizer software to tweak the levels and make changes to the lows and high ends of your audio file.
Do I need an amplifier for my headphone?
Well, it all depends with the ohms value of the headphone also known as the impedance of the speaker.
If you get a headphone with impedance below 100 ohms, you will require less power to achieve top volumes therefore no need for an amplifier.
On the other hand, when a headphone comes with impedance above 250 ohms, you can achieve much better output but with more power requirement meaning there might be a need for an amplifier.
To wrap up
To be totally frank, you have more than the few brands we have offered to choose from.
You can head over here to check out some of the coolest headphone brands that will make your editing much smoother and bearable.
However, out of the five I chose above, none will disappoint when it comes to editing. As usual feel free to post any further suggestions or opinions about this article in the comments section.