When it comes to getting the best sounds from your guitar, sometimes you just don’t hear all the nuances without a pair of headphones. However, using cheap headphones for your guitar amp is worse than not wearing any at all.
If you’re interested in learning how to play electric guitar through headphones, then be sure to check out my full guide on playing guitar with headphones here.
If you’re plugging your phones into your guitar amp, you want to make sure you’ve chosen a quality set of headphones. What are the best ones for this purpose?
Here is a complete list of the 15 best headphones for guitar amps:
- Audio-Technica ATH M50x – Top Choice
- Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
- Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
- Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Headphones
- Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone
- Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones
- Yamaha HPH-MT5 Monitor Headphones
- AKG K240 Professional Studio Headphones
- Focal Spirit Professional Studio Headphones
- Shure SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones
- Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
- Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-Ear Headphones
- KRK KNS 8400 Studio Monitor Headphones
- Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Open-Back Reference Headphones
- Grado SR80e Prestige Series Headphones
In this informative guide, we will review each of these headphones in-depth, telling you where you can get them and the pros and cons for each. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have narrowed down your options for the best headphones for guitar amps.
Let’s get started!
The 15 Best Headphones for Guitar Amps
1. Audio-Technica ATH M50x – Our Top Choice
Our top pick for the best headphones for guitar amps is the Audio-Technica ATH M50x. These professional studio monitor headphones are an Amazon’s Choice product available for under $170.
They’re wired headphones with earcups that can swivel with ease all 90 degrees. They also go on and come off with no effort. Should you want to monitor your guitar sound with only a single ear, you can. You’ll find it very simple to switch back to using both earcups at once, too.
Audio-Technica opted for a circumaural style for the ATH M50x to provide exceptional isolation of loud noises. Now, even if you happen to record or play in an environment that’s anything but quiet, you won’t hear so much outside noise. These phones are also renowned for their extended frequency range, which not only improves sound clarity but really makes the bass guitar sound stronger than ever.
Included proprietary large-aperture drivers, each 45 millimeters, have aluminum wire voice coils with copper cladding as well as rare earth magnets. This all delivers the kind of sonic sound range you’d come to expect from the Audio-Technica brand. You can choose from a slew of colors with the ATH M50x, including black, gunmetal, white, and blue.
Overall, the Audio Technica ATH M50x is my top choice for the best headphones for guitar amps. When I’m practicing and don’t want to disturb anyone around me with loud music, I’ll always plug these headphones in.
They sound great, feel comfortable, and are an excellent value for the price.
2. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
Next, we’ve got the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro headphones. While they’re a bit more expensive than the ones from Audio-Technica (they’re closer to $200), you can select from three ohms: 32, 80, and 250 impressive ohms.
Produced in Germany, Beyerdynamic says these headphones have a level of workmanship that adds to their robustness and durability. Even if you’re regularly hard on your headphones, the DT 770 Pro phones should hold up with everyday use. If you’re going to be using your headphones for your guitar amp, then there’s a good chance that the durability of the design will come in handy.
These headphones can produce nominal sound pressure at a level of 96 decibels. They include type-wired transmission and have a frequency response of 5 Hz to 32,000 Hz. These headphones have single-sided cable is perfect for guitar amps and are meant for everyday use in the studio or rehearsal space.
Soft velour ear pads are circumaural and will make you want to wear these headphones for hours at a time. You won’t complain of head pain if you do. The high-resolution quality sound you get from these phones means you can use them for stage and studio recordings and still have amazing clarity during the performance. The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro headphones come in two colors, gray or black.
Overall, these are a premium pair of headphones for guitar amps. They offer exceptional build quality and excellent audio fidelity. If you’re looking for a pair of headphones that will last you for years, then the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro’s are the industry standard.
3. Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones
If you’re a fan of Sony products, then we suggest trying their MDR7506 professional large diaphragm headphones. These are an excellent pair of budget headphones for guitar amps. You can nab these headphones for under $100 or pay a bit more money to get a professional case for them. This way, they hold up even longer.
The wired connectivity of these sleek headphones makes it easy to plug into a guitar amp or other device and get listening. They have a closed-ear design and a secure fit so they don’t fall off your head as you’re nodding along to the music. Their oversized diaphragm adds to their professional look, feel, and sound as well.
One benefit to these headphones is that they are very comfortable. Their design is lightweight, unobtrusive and fit perfectly on your head. The earpads are soft and breathe nicely so your head doesn’t get too warm.
If you’re going to be using these headphones with your guitar amp, you’ll have no problem jamming out for long sessions at a time.
Once you slip these phones on, you’ll appreciate the frequency response, which is between 10 Hz and 20 kHz. They have an impedance of 63 ohms. The included cord is 9.8 feet long. It also has a gold-plated plug sure to hold up to all the times you put it in your amplifier.
Sony included 40-millimeter drivers and magnets made of neodymium to improve the detailing and quality of your sound. You’ll also notice that everything you hear has more power compared to using other headphones.
While the audio fidelity is not as mind-blowingly clear as some of the more expensive headphones on this list, they’re definitely adequate enough, considering their price.
4. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Headphones
Another pick from Beyerdynamic that you might consider for your amplifier use is their DT 900 Pro 250 ohm headphones. A pricier pick that’s valued at about $200, these plush headphones can really augment that studio sound you’re going after.
Like the other Beyerdynamic phones we covered, you can get these at 80 or 250 ohms. They have a frequency response rate of 5 Hz to 35,000 Hz and nominal sound pressure of 96 decibels. You even get a single-sided cable that’s three millimeters like with the other set of headphones from this brand. The DT 990 headphones come with black or gray velour ear pads.
Once again, these phones come from Germany and are designed for lots of uses. The earpads are still replaceable as well. The main difference with the DT 990 headphones is their ability to capture amazing treble and bass, with plenty of space and transparency. Whether you’re editing, mastering, or mixing, you can rely on these professional headphones every time.
If you’re looking for a pair of headphones with amazing build quality and top-notch audio fidelity, then these are the way to go.
5. Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone
If you’re looking for the industry standard when it comes to headphones for guitar amps, then the Sennheiser HD280PRO headphones are the way to go. Inexpensive (under $120) and appealing, these phones make a great choice for the budget-conscious music maker who still wants great sound.
There’s a lot of padding with Sennheiser’s HD280PRO phones compared to the other headphones we’ve covered thus far. The headband has thick padding on all sides and the ear pads are plush as well. You’ll feel almost like you have a pair of clouds over your ears.
One issue I had with these headphones is that the band can feel a bit tight at first if you have a big head. However, they do stretch over time as you wear them, so this becomes a nonissue. Another thing I have noticed that they can get a bit warm over your ears because the earpads don’t breathe very well.
Besides their ergonomic comfort, these headphones also weigh less. You may even forget you’re wearing them! They include a coiled cord that’s 3.3 feet to 9.8 feet long. Sennheiser’s headphones also have a closed-ear style with circumaural ear coupling.
These around-the-ear phones have a frequency response of 8 Hz to 25,000 Hz, a nominal sound pressure of 113 decibels, and an impedance of 64 ohms. With their extended frequency response, the HD280PRO headphones will deliver what Sennheiser calls a natural and warm sound.
6. Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones
We also quite liked the Sony MDRV6 studio monitor headphones and think you will, too. These include their own aluminum voice coil wire that’s covered in copper. This allows for better power handling compared to your average headphones.
The frequency response rate will impress, as it’s 5 Hz to 30 kHz. You can plug these phones in and walk pretty far around a studio or performing hall, as the copper cord (which is oxygen-free, by the way), stretches 10 feet long. It also has a small plug that’s 3.5 millimeters.
The MDRV6 headphones have an impedance of 63 ohms. They also include 40-millimeter drivers with neodymium magnets to improve the sound detailing and power. The phones themselves are designed in an over-ear style that will cut out external noise while feeling comfortable to boot. Indeed, the ear cups have padding and the metal headband a leather cover that looks sleek and appealing.
That same headband was made with purposeful style touches for better weight distribution across the width of the headphones. This cuts down on pressure, making you able to wear these headphones longer without discomfort.
7. Yamaha HPH-MT5 Monitor Headphones
As sleek and professional as they come, the Yamaha HPH-MT5 monitor headphones can become your new best friend in the studio. These are definitely one of the best pairs of headphones for guitar amps out there. They’re more expensive than the last set of phones we covered, but you can still get them for under $175.
The HPH-MT54 monitor headphones include a standard stereo plug adaptor that’s 6.3 tiny millimeters. The closed-back design of these headphones will keep external sounds out so you can close your eyes and concentrate only on what you’re hearing. They’re circumaural as well.
You get to choose the exact fit with these Yamaha headphones, making them almost customized. For instance, you can use a slider to toggle with the length until these sit on your head just right. A three-dimensional arm pivot also lets you tinker with the fit even further. Your head won’t hurt even if you wear these for hours. That reduces distractions, freeing you up to get more done in the studio.
The HPH-MT54 headphones are coated in synthetic leather, both on the headband and the ear pads. Those pads include cushions with low resistance. Not only does the pillow-like quality of the cushions enhance the noise isolation, but it boosts your comfort as well. The HPH-MT5W monitor headphones also include custom drivers at 40 millimeters for more accurate responses and a solid frequency rate.
8. AKG K240 Professional Studio Headphones
For your consideration, there’s also the AKG K240 professional studio headphones. These over-ear headphones in a semi-open style come with a lot of cool equipment that belies their price tag of about $100.
One such accessory is a three-meter cable that comes with a convertible jack plug that you can use for connecting your portable gear. The coolest feature by far is that these phones also include a mini amplifier from Knox Gear. This studio headphone amplifier has four channels and runs on 12 volts. If you don’t have a source of direct current power for it, don’t stress. You of course also get a 12-volt DC power adapter. How handy!
The headband has adjusting features for a fit that’s precisely matched to your head. It can even connect a single-sided cable. Both ears feature padding that should surround your ears and block out any outside noise. The luxurious fit makes these headphones a joy to wear.
From mastering to mixing and listening, the AKG K240 headphones have a range of uses. You’ll want to use them for hours with how comfortable and handy they are. You’ll also appreciate the clarity of the highs and the rumbling bass sounds you hear with their open design.
9. Focal Spirit Professional Studio Headphones
Another brand of headphones you might use for your guitar amp is the Focal Spirit. Their professional studio headphones are admittedly some of the most expensive on this list, as they cost more than $300. Still, if you’re a proponent of the old adage that you get what you pay for, then these will be more than worth it.
Focal Spirit’s phones are circumaural with a closed back. They have wired technology and a coiled cord with gold plating at the end. There’s even the Focal logo on the jack. They promise better acoustic coupling as well as more sound isolation. To that end, the foam-covered ear pads will keep out everything but what you want to hear. The pads also feel nice on your ears.
These professional studio headphones, in living up to their name, reduce distortion and enhance the reproduction and detail of sound. Their acoustic transparency is another major selling point. Overall, these headphones have a sleek look and promise great performance, so certainly consider them.
10. Shure SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones
A major player in audio, Shure does it again with their SRH840 professional monitoring headphones. These are yet another Amazon’s Choice pick for the best headphones for guitar amps. Available for less than $215, these headphones should fit most budgets without breaking the bank.
The SRH840 are excellent headphones for guitar amps because they come with everything you need to get listening and recording right away. You get a user guide, replacement ear pads, a carrying bag, and a threaded gold-plated adapter that’s ¼ inches. The included coiled cable can detach if you want to use your own cable with these headphones.
Ideal for critical listening and studio recording, Shure’s headphones will lengthen your highs, boost your mid-ranges, and make your bass guitar sound more prominent. This all occurs through the frequency responses, which Shure says they tailor for a more attractive sound. No matter the genre of music you like to play, these over-ear, DJ-style headphones should more than suffice.
Shure is a very well-received brand in the world of audio equipment and these headphones definitely live up to the brand’s reputation. They are a professional pair of headphones with excellent sound quality , comfort and durability.
11. Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones
Next, we’ve got a second pick from Sennheiser. This time, it’s their HD 650 open back professional headphones. As an Amazon’s Choice product, these headphones come highly rated. That said, they are an investment, as they cost than $300.
For your money, you get headphones with their own specialty acoustic silk. This provides frequency range dampening and lessens total harmonic distortion at an astonishing rate, with only 0.05 percent left. Your phones also include a very lengthy cable.
The voice coils are made of aluminum to weigh less. They also increase the transient response time, making this quite speedy. Neodymium magnets give your sound more efficiency and power. There’s even a jack plug that’s 3.5 millimeters included with your purchase.
The matched driver elements get chosen by hand by the Sennheiser team. These elements, such as a magnet system, will cut down on both inter-modular and harmonic distortion. The frequency rate of these headphones is 10 Hz to 39,500 Hz or 10 decibels.
12. Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-Ear Headphones
We also recommend taking a look at the Philips SHP9500 HiFi precision stereo over-ear headphones. These boast a frequency response of 12 Hz to 35,000 Hz and an impedance of 32 ohms. They also include a 50-millimeter speaker diameter, a 101-decibel sensitivity, and a max power output of 200 Mw.
Other features are an open style for better acoustics and a gold-plated finishing connector. Although the earpads don’t look like much at first glance, don’t sleep on them. Each air includes a thick but plush cushion that’s breathable so your head doesn’t begin sweating when you wear your headphones for hours. The headband even has two layers of cushioning for optimal wear. Beneath that, it’s made of steel.
Have more freedom in the studio with a headphone cable that’s 1.5 meters or 4.9 feet. The neodymium drivers included with this set of headphones are 50 millimeters. They deliver staggeringly rich sound.
13. KRK KNS 8400 Studio Monitor Headphones
The KRK KNS 8400 studio monitor headphones are another pick you might want to try in the studio. For less than $175, you can get your hands on a solid pair of headphones that feature volume control and a closed-back design.
These circumaural headphones are intended for studio monitor use, just as the name says. They use acoustic memory foam technology for a light, gentle fit that can make you forget you’ve got headphones on. The memory foam also isolates sound at a better rate and improves sound reproduction.
KRK upgraded their headphone acoustical system for their KNS 8400 phones. This also aids in the performance and the quality of sound. The volume control is a major feature that may make you gravitate to these headphones. It’s detachable so you can discard if you don’t need it, but you’ll soon find your love of having so much control over your sound volume.
The headphones come with a ¼-inch stereo connector that’s plated in gold. You can switch it to a 1/8-inch plug if you want to switch to a portable media player or laptop. They include 40-millimeter neodymium transducer and a cable that’s 8.2 feet long. The KRK KNS 8400 headphones have an impedance of 36 ohms
14. Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Open-Back Reference Headphones
With a design that will make you do a double-take, the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x open-back reference headphones certainly have that studio look down pat. They’re as expensive as they appear, as they’re yet another set of phones that are more than $300.
These are Audio Technica’s premium reference monitors that are ideal for mixing and recording music. This makes them one of the best headphones for guitar amps on the market.
Never worry about studio orientation again with a detachable locking cable. You can secure this on the right or left side only or even both sides. Since it’s a two-sided cable, you have the freedom to configure as necessary. These pro headphones are also quite lightweight but durable. They also have a pure alloy magnetic circuit with powerful magnets that keep your responses at a high frequency while boosting sound accuracy and erasing distortion.
The earpads, made of a breathable yet comfortable fabric, include wing support that will hold them in place without hurting your head. The headband has mesh housings in a honeycomb pattern so the headphones are open-back and wide. This allows for better acoustic transparency. Parts of these phones are made of carbon composite resin to improve the transient response and their longevity.
Overall, Audio Technica is my go-to brand when it comes to reference monitor headphones for guitar amps. While these headphones may be on the expensive side, if you’re a professional musician, then these are definitely worth the investment.
15. Grado SR80e Prestige Series Headphones
Last but certainly not least, we’ve got the Grado SR80e Prestige Series headphones. These are yet another Amazon’s Choice product and have high ratings to match. They’re also surprisingly inexpensive, costing less than $120. They’re a low-risk pick, then.
With awesome sound, the SR80e phones have their own adaptor that’s ¼ inches with a mini stereo plug. The connecting cord that comes with these headphones is made of copper, as is the voice coil wire. The included air chamber reduces resonance, and there’s a powerful vented diaphragm as well. With a four-conductor connecting cable, the sound you get from these headphones is described as more open. There’s also better bass resonance and detailing.
Let’s talk about the headband. It’s made of metal but includes a vinyl cover that’s plush and comfy. You can adjust the vinyl as needed so it covers your head. The ear cushions are designed bigger so they cup your entire ear as well. This makes those long hours of recording and listening back far less arduous.
If you’re seeking a set of headphones for your guitar amp, then look no further than the 15 picks on this list. Whether you can afford to spend $100 on headphones or more than $300, you can find a brand that matches your budget. You’ll enjoy clearer bass, less outside noise, and overall better sound with any of these picks. Good luck!