Singing Forum by Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy
Hey Dudes and Divas!

Welcome to Singer Forum by Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy. Enrolled KTVA vocalists have access to the full singer forums, self-registered members have access to limited areas of the KTVA singing forum. Register to learn more.

To enroll in Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Singing Lessons click here.

Studio headphones for recording vocals

Hi All,

Based on guidance from @highmtn, I am trying to get more used to the right way of doing things... which I feel more motivated to do now since I discovered KTVA because I am finally making progress with my voice in ways that were always a mystery to me.

To that end, I just wanted to ask for advice for whether it makes sense to invest in a different/better set of studio headphones.

I have KRK Rokit 5 monitors for mixing and I have Fostex T-5 headphones which I use for studio recording. 

When I bought the Fostex headphones, I did not have the Rokit monitors so I think I asked the guy at the music store what I could buy for both recording and mixing on a low budget.  

I rarely used the Fostex headphones for recording because I never found them particularly comfortable and I have never been good at monitoring myself with the headphones.  Even so, over the years, the plastic coating on the foam pads has worn off on them, has the felt covers over the speakers.

I don't mind making an investment in a good set of studio headphones if it will really make a difference.  Yesterday doing my Vol 1 lessons I just sang along with the speaker on my phone, and it felt much more natural than the past few days using the Fostex headhpones...

Thanks for the help.



  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,562Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro


    You can watch Ken's series on How to Record Vocals.  Here is a link to part 1.  He goes over a few headphone models in Part 3, but I thought I would give you the link to Part 1 so you could watch the whole series if you like.

    I use the Sony MDR 7506 phones.  You can get them for about $100... I would like to have better phones, but they do a pretty good job, for the money.  They're relatively comfortable.  I wear them a lot, and use them to listen to student demos.


  • blondiewalesblondiewales Posts: 361Pro
    I've heard from multiple people that Sony MDR 7506 are industry standard. I own a pair and I can see why. They're comfortable and durable. Flat mix, so no EQ, which is exactly what you need in headphones meant for anything other than listening. For tracking (recording) purposes, I'd bring them into any studio to record any song without any worries but the studio probably already has several pairs.

    If you're being serious about both tracking and mixing, though, the closed-ear nature of the headphones will theoretically cause bass buildup...resulting in an untrue sound. Purists will want closed-ear headphones for tracking to prevent the sound from the headphones bleeding out onto the vocal track, and open-eared headphones for mixing. There are several pairs of semi-open headphones that are designed for this exact purpose. However, many people recommend not using headphones for mixing and mastering at all, but near-field speakers.

    Here is a helpful article:

    Let me know what you decide! I'm always interested in educated opinions on products.
  • stevessteves Posts: 41Pro
    @highmtn thanks. In Bob we trust. ;)

    @blondiewales Ken mentions the sennheiser hd380s in his video series.  It will be those or the Sony MDR 7506's.  I am planning to go get them tomorrow after I see how each one feel and sound.  By no means am I particularly educated - I will have to go with my gut on this.
  • Chris1993Chris1993 Posts: 1Member
    It is really hard to choose the right headphones for you because we have our own preferences. Me personally, I prefer AKG K240 because I find it comfortable to use and my ears do not hurt even after using it for a while, you can check this list of the best studio headphones. But I suggest that you still get your own studio monitor to lessen ear fatigue.
Sign In or Register to comment.