5 Best Headphones for Digital Piano Players

Best headphones for Digital Piano

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Best Headphones for Digital Piano
2024

It’s easy to approve of the hefty price tags of traditional pianos.

They sound great regardless of what you’re playing them through, but if you aren’t immediately enamored with the tone, you can’t really do much to change it other than buying a different model.

I remember that I wasn’t exactly blown away when I bought my first digital Yamaha. I finally had hundreds of different tones to toy around with, but I struggled to differentiate between effects in the same categories.

Little did I know that my budget headphones weren’t meant to handle a sonic onslaught of complex details that were coming out of the piano.

Buying a good set of headphones that you’ll enjoy with your digital piano is almost as important as which piano model you’re playing on.

That was the main inspiration behind this review, as I wanted to show you some of the finest and best headphones that the current market has to offer, so let’s dive straight into it.

Best Headphones for Digital Piano Reviewed

editorspick

Audio-Technica ATH-R70x

A masterful mastering headphone from an industry veteran.

5/5
Price Range: $$$
Brand: Audio-Technica
Audio-Technica-ATH-R70x Headphones
No products found.

The Download

Audio-Technica is one of the few audio brands that have commanded equal respect from both pros and regular listeners alike. The ever popular M50x should need no introduction.

It especially doesn’t need to in this case, as the ATH-R70x blows them completely out of the water. The R70x is Audio-Technica’s newest studio headphone release since the M70x, and is an open-back reference with phenomenal performance across just about every metric.

Their sound is buttery smooth and very closely tuned to the popular Harman reference target. Being open-back headphones, the R70x naturally leaks sound and loses some sub-bass at the lowest end, but they more than make up for it with imaging ability that’s impressive even by Audio-Technica’s own standards.

Unlike a lot of its competitors that have designs dating back decades, these headphones also have the benefit of those same decades of experience to draw on. 

The result is the inclusion of novel features like signal-independent connectors that make sure the stereo image is always right even if the cables are plugged in the wrong way, and the 3D Wing headband that’s comfortable when it works but doesn’t really work for everyone.

Combining classic experience with modern creature comforts, the ATH-R70x is a brilliant new step in Audio-Technica’s legacy and earns a shining recommendation from us as one of the best headphones for digital piano.

The Specs

  • Headphone Type:  Open-back over-ear headphones
  • Driver Type:  Single 45mm dynamic
  • Frequency Response:  5 – 40,000 Hz
  • Max Input Power:  1,000 mW
  • Sensitivity:  99 dB
  • Impedance:  470 ohms
  • Weight:  210 g

Stuff I like

  • Beautifully balanced sound signature
  • Excellent imaging
  • Smooth, inoffensive treble
  • Novel connector system

Stuff I like less

  • Some roll-off in the sub-bass
  • Headband wings aren’t for everyone
  • Earpads are rather shallow
Overall Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

What’s in the Box:

  • Audio-Technica ATH-R70x headphones
  • 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter
  • Carrying pouch
contender

AKG K701

An underrated reference headphone with killer value thanks to rock-bottom street prices.

4.5/5
Price Range: $$
Brand: AKG
AKG K701 Headphones

The Download

The AKG K701 was, at one point, one of the best headphones in the world. Originally pitched alongside the venerable Sennheiser HD600, the K701 would lose out in the fickle popularity contest over the years as the visible buyers (that is, audiophiles) preferred a warmer and less sterile sound.

But that doesn’t and shouldn’t discount the AKG K701’s abilities. From a technical standpoint, these headphones are very much on par with the HD600 and even surpasses them with their massive soundstage. 

Really the only thing that holds the K701 back for most listeners is their bright neutral sound signature, which cuts back on the bass in favor of high frequencies that they render in very high resolution — an excellent mastering tool for those recording pianos. 

What can’t be argued with, however, is their value.

Thanks in part to losing that popularity contest mentioned earlier, the AKG K701’s street price has fallen well below its original retail price. It’s quite easy to find these headphones for $200 or even less at big retailers, which gives them a huge edge over the 100 extra dollars you would normally pay for the HD600. 

The K701 is a bit of an acquired taste, to be sure, but those that give it a chance may find a lot to like in this otherwise under-appreciated headphone. 

The Specs

  • Headphone Type:  Open-back over-ear headphones
  • Driver Type:  50mm dynamic driver
  • Frequency Response:  10 – 39,800 Hz
  • Max Input Power:  200 mW
  • Sensitivity:  105 dB
  • Impedance:  62 ohms
  • Weight:  235 g

Stuff I like

  • Class-leading clarity
  • Pristine midrange
  • Massive, airy soundstage
  • Compelling street price value
  • 24/7 comfort

Stuff I like less

  • Leaks sound
  • Weak bass response
  • Can sound too sterile and unforgiving
  • Non-removable cable
Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars

What’s in the Box:

  • AKG K701 headphones
  • Display case box
  • Headphone display stand
  • 6.3mm to 3.5mm adapter
budgetpick

AKG K240 Studio Headphones

A budget studio staple that works surprisingly well for the digital piano.

3.5/5
Price Range: $$
Brand: AKG
AKG 240 Studio

The Download

The AKG K240 Studio is the latest in a long line of headphones with the K240 moniker that traces all the way back to the 1970s. 

Featuring a comfortable suspended headband and a relatively smooth mid-centric sound signature, the K240 Studio competently carries on this legacy that has been the influence for many of AKG’s later headphone designs. The removable cable is also a nice touch that many studio headphones don’t have. 

Unlike its more premium predecessors, the K240 Studio doesn’t have the clarity that made the vintage models as praised as they were. This is unfortunately by design and priced at around $70, the K240 Studio is positioned as a budget headphone and therefore has the performance to match. 

That’s not to say they’re bad as they are—quite the opposite, in fact.

Its level of detail puts the K240 Studio on par with other popular monitors like the Sony MDR-7506 while boasting a much broader soundstage and a very competitive value proposition.

Like the K701 we also featured here, the K240 Studio is a very bass-light headphone that will likely drive away a decent chunk of listeners. However, take the time to learn its ins and outs and you will find a lot to like here. 

The Specs

  • Headphone Type:  Semi-open over-ear headphones
  • Driver Type:  Single 30mm dynamic
  • Frequency Response:  15 – 25,000 Hz
  • Max Input Power:  200 mW
  • Sensitivity:  104 dB
  • Impedance:  55 ohms
  • Weight:  240 g

Stuff I like

  • Clean and clear midrange
  • Broad soundstage with great imaging
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Removable cable

Stuff I like less

  • Feels a bit flimsy
  • Poor bass extension
  • Rough treble response
Overall Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

What’s in the Box:

  • AKG K240 Studio headphones
  • 3m straight removable cable (3.5mm to 3-pin mini-XLR)
  • 6.3mm screw-on adapter
premiumoption

Sennheiser HD 660S2

The luxury sedan of audiophile headphones, for better and for worse.

4/5
Price Range: $$$
Brand: Sennheiser
SENNHEISER HD 660S2

The Download

The Sennheiser HD650 is the epitome of an “audiophile headphone”—a pair of high performance headphones that take a step away from chasing pure neutral sound in favor of a softer, warmer presentation.

The HD 660S2 is a firm step forward for this 20-year-old formula, building on its predecessors’ lush and luxurious feel. 

The long-lauded all-day comfort of the HD650 series is improved even further thanks to the tighter velour used on the pads that helps a lot with heat dissipation. The headband padding is also a bit more substantial just to add to the feel.

The sound is mostly improved as well with a thumpier, deeper bass and even clearer imaging in its famously intimate soundstage. However, this is held back a bit by a treble response that’s hazy yet sharp—unusually uneven for a Sennheiser of this price. 

That said, these headphones were never meant to be used as references with which to analyze music.

As audiophile headphones, the Sennheiser HD 660S2 headphones were designed for enjoying music—and in that regard, there are few other headphones that can pull off its lush sound in the same way.

The Specs

  • Headphone Type:  Open-back over-ear headphones
  • Driver Type:  Single 38mm dynamic driver
  • Frequency Response:  8 – 41,500 Hz
  • Sensitivity:  104 dB
  • Impedance:  300 ohms
  • Weight:  260 g

Stuff I like

  • Luxurious feel and comfort
  • Warm and lush midrange
  • Excellent bass response

Stuff I like less

  • Expensive
  • Treble is a bit peaky
  • Can be too warm-sounding
  • Soundstage is small for an open-back
Overall Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

What’s in the Box:

  • Sennheiser HD660S2 headphones
  • 1.8m straight cable (6.3mm connector)
  • 1.8m straight cable (4.4mm connector)
alsoconsider

Sony MDR-CD900ST Stereo Headphones

A classic in every respect, with sound that commands respect.

4.5/5
Price Range: $$
Brand: Sony
Sony MDR-CD900ST headphones

The Download

Originally released in 1985, the Sony MDR-CD900ST is one of the most popular studio headphones in Japan and is a staple in pro audio in the region.

With its well-balanced sound signature and simple but sturdy frame, it’s a wonder why these never quite took off in the US — that is, until we dig into its history. 

It turns out that the CD900ST is a Japan-only headphone and was never meant to be sold outside the country. The only ones that you could actually buy in the West are imports, and thanks to these imports, we actually get to experience what these are like. 

And as the headphones that the lower-budget MDR7506 was based on, the CD900ST doesn’t disappoint. Tighter, punchier bass and a gorgeously smooth midrange are just a couple of the highlights of these headphones.

Being slim closed-back headphones, the CD900ST’s soundstage is quite narrow. The headphones do make up for it a little through their excellent imaging ability, but a bit more space would be appreciated.

Despite these shortcomings, the CD900ST doesn’t really have any major flaws to their sound that give them anything less than a recommendation from us. These headphones are highly versatile and will serve any musician well. 

The Specs

  • Headphone Type:  Closed-back over-ear headphone
  • Driver Type:  Single 40mm dynamic
  • Frequency Response:  5 – 30,000 Hz
  • Max Input Power:  1,000 mW
  • Sensitivity:  106 dB
  • Impedance:  63 ohms
  • Weight:  200 g

Stuff I like

  • Well-balanced sound signature
  • Tight and thumpy bass
  • Simple and durable design

Stuff I like less

  • Cramped sound signature
  • Heavy clamping force when new
  • Non-removable cable
Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars

What’s in the Box:

  • Sony MDR-CD900ST headphones
  • 6.3mm adapter

What To Look For In The Best Headphones For Digital Piano

Take a quick glance at any digital piano and you’ll notice that, stripped to the studs, it’s just one specific type of keyboard. So why is there a separate guide for headphones for digital pianos when we already have one for keyboardists?

It comes down to a matter of use case.

For our guide on the best headphones for keyboardists, we aimed the guide towards the use case of performing keyboardists who often brought their gear around to studios or live gigs. 

This is quite a bit different from a digital piano, which is often bigger and bulkier to make room for weighted keys and built-in speaker systems.

By contrast, most stage keyboards don’t have any onboard speakers since they’re designed to hook up to the stage audio system anyway.

Since the digital piano is most often fixed to its spot in relatively quiet homes and studios, you can usually get away with trading in noise isolation and rugged portability with even better sound and extended comfort. 

If, however, you need the better noise isolation, portability and ruggedness that stage headphones provide, you can check out our headphones for keyboardists guide and consider those as possible options.

Previous Models On This List

There are always new headphones models emerging so we try to keep this list updated based on what’s currently on the market out there.

The Sennheiser HD 660 S is a model that was previously on this list. It offers a high level of versatility and some unique features.

Another headphone on this list is the Monoprice Monolith M1060. Equipped with 106mm drivers, these headphones sound exceptionally good and have an expansive soundstage.

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro was previously on this list and it’s another great option for aspiring musicians who are on a budget.

Also previously on this list was the HIFIMAN Arya. It’s a good premium option with its excellent quality and detailed sound coming from a rock-solid metal-made casing.

The SIVGA SV021 Classic Zebrano is another headphone that used to be on this list. It features 50mm transducer drivers and a special polycarbonate film, offering great audio quality for its price.

It’s important to note that these headphones are still worth considering even if they’ve been taken off this list.

Conclusion

The piano is an instrument that covers a very wide swath of the midrange frequencies, with 88 keys spanning 7 octaves. It is described as “an orchestra in black and white” for this reason. 

All of the headphones we’ve selected here render the sound of the piano clearly and competently and should more than serve their purpose in their respective price ranges. 

The Audio-Technica ATH-R70x in particular is an incredibly capable and versatile pair of headphones that will find some use from recording to mastering. 

Of course, our recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg compared to what’s out there.

Trying headphones out for yourself will always be the best way for you to narrow down exactly what you need and want in your ideal pair. We hope that, at the very least, our picks in this guide serve as a starting point for your own audio journey.

If you have any recommendations or feel that your favorite headphones weren’t mentioned, feel free to comment below.

A musician with over 2 decades of experience in studio recording. Audiophile, always in pursuit of the perfect set of headphones. King Crimson fan.

This post was last updated on 2024-05-24 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.


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