Best Headphones for Guitarists – With Pro Recommendations

Best Headphones for Guitarists

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MAKE LIFE CLICK
Best Headphones for Guitarists
2022

Behind all of their rockstar glamor, guitarists are a picky bunch. Unlike bassists, they won’t settle for gear that’s average, or even just “good”, and for a good reason too. The beautiful melodies, stone-crunching riffs, and majestic solos are their creations after all.

To ensure they are hearing each detail in their songs and covers, they typically need superb headphones.

Talking from personal experience, I’ve been gifted dozens of gaming headsets for birthdays; I’ve tried numerous earbuds, and even though I somewhat like IEMs, nothing beats classic ANC headphones.

To make your search for the best headphones for guitarists a bit shorter, I want to recommend a couple of models, so let’s start from the top:

Best Headphones for Guitarists – Full Tone in your Cans

Wireless Headphones resting on a fender stratocaster electric guitar
Why not go wireless? Source | Make Life Click

Sennheiser HD 450BT Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Headphone

Editor’s Pick: An all-rounder equipped with robust features, long battery life, and a handy companion app

5/5
Price Range: $$
Brand: Sennheiser
Sennheiser HD 450BT
See Price on Amazon
…and another 3,584 Reviews

The Download

Everyone that ever came close to the music industry knows Sennheiser makes some of the finest headphones for musicians and audiophiles. HD 450BT, properly named after its HD sound quality and impeccable Bluetooth connectivity, represents the brand in full light, offering great sonic performance without costing an arm and a leg in turn.

Its cups are a bit funky. You’d think they were made for Dumbo with the outer rings being so large, but the interior cups offer such a flexible fit that pretty much anyone can wear them.

As a musician, I think its inline controls are the reasons my rehearsals and practice sessions are more enjoyable than ever. With these settings, you can easily tweak the soundstage, ask Siri (or Google Assistant) to play you any song on YouTube or change the volume.

I can’t even begin to explain all the scenarios where I thought my headphones had enough battery, only to die out at the most inopportune of times. Headphones stuttering in the middle of an important gig is the last thing you’ll want to hear; fortunately, you won’t have that issue with HD 450BT, as it boasts 30 hours of battery life.

If you’re a touring musician, you’ll probably be glad to hear that Sennheiser’s HD 450 BT offers a quick-charging feature. Simply plug a USB into your hotel room’s outlet and into the cans for 10-15 minutes, and HD 450BT will survive even 3-hour sets.

The only thing I wasn’t too thrilled about regarding Sennheiser’s HD 450BT is its bulky design. I’m glad that these cans are foldable, but that does not remedy the fact that their oversized cups won’t fit just anywhere.

If you’re like me and have a habit of hauling tons of pedals, adapters, and cables yourself to gigs and rehearsals, you may find yourself in a situation where you’ll have to leave some of your effects out of the bag to make space for HD 450BT.

The Specs

  • Connectivity type:  Bluetooth version 5.0
  • Battery life:  30 hours (when ANC is on)
  • Frequency range:  18 Hz to 22 kHz
  • Driver size:  32 millimeter
  • Weight:  approximately 280 g

Stuff I like

  • Impeccable sound quality
  • One of the most comfortable wireless headphone sets available on the market
  • Long battery lifespan
  • Quality active noise cancellation (ANC) technology
  • Long-range Bluetooth connection

Stuff I like less

  • Light, but somewhat bulky
  • Pricey
  • Can get tight on the head for big heads
Overall Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

What’s in the Box:

  • Sennheiser HD 450BT headphones
  • USB-C cable
  • Complementary carry case
  • Instructions & safety manual

AKG N700NC M2 Over-Ear Foldable Wireless Headphones

Contender: Comfortable and stylish, N700NC M2 offers a custom fit and an excellent sonic performance.

5/5
Price Range: $$
Brand: AKG
AKG N700NC M2
See Price on Amazon
…and another 591 Reviews

The Download

Sennheiser’s HD 450BT is subjectively my best recommendation. I discovered AKG’s N700NC a bit later, but if it was the other way around, their places may have been switched.

In terms of sound quality and comfort, it would take a professional with perfect hearing to discern the disparities between HD 450BT and N700NC. It’s true that the latter sports a slightly narrower frequency range, but without Sci-Fi technologies, human ears simply couldn’t tell.

What really separates N700NC from contemporary boutique headphones for guitarists is its adaptive ANC software.

Like regular active noise cancelation, this feature can be toggled on or off, but when active, it will automatically scan the surrounding noise levels and automatically adjust the ANC level to optimal settings.

Let’s say your fingers are itching to play some licks, and your parents told you to study. No worries; simply set the Ambient Aware feature to lower settings, and you’ll hear them before they reach the door.

The swiveling cups are a double-edged sword of sorts. I love that you can simply flip one cup when you want to listen, record, or play with one ear free to listen to your surroundings, but this exerts pressure on the headphones’ connector joints.

I remember when I thought that rotating cups are a godsend for musicians that create original tunes, but I stand corrected and rarely use this feature this way.

The Specs

  • Connectivity type:  Bluetooth version 4.1
  • Battery life:  23 hours
  • Frequency range:  10 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Driver size:  40 millimeter
  • Weight:  approximately 261g

Stuff I like

  • Superiorly versatile active noise cancellation technology
  • Grammy-winning sound engineering
  • Stylish design
  • Lightweight and outstandingly comfortable over long periods

Stuff I like less

  • A tad pricey, but not too expensive
  • Dated Bluetooth technology
  • Average frequency response range
Overall Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

What’s in the Box:

  • AKG N700NC headphones
  • USB cable
  • Straight cable
  • Flight adaptor
  • Complementary carrying case

Panasonic RP-HT161-K Headphones

Budget Pick: A set of dirt-cheap cans that won’t break on your first gig. Surprisingly good sound quality.

4/5
Price Range: $
Brand: Panasonic
Panasonic RP HT161-K
See Price on Amazon
…and another 26,490 Reviews

The Download

It’s tough being an artist, always pinching pennies to pay for gas to get to the next gig, repair the amp that blew that same night and watch as your favorite company releases model after model that you can’t afford. If you’re stuck in a loop on a cash-strapped budget and want a quality set of headphones, I recommend looking no further than Panasonic RP-HT161-K.

I used to think that buying any music gear under $20 (aside from picks) is throwing money down a well. Again, I stand corrected, as you can find dozens of hidden gems like these on Amazon, eBay, Target, and Walmart.

Panasonic RP-HT161-K boasts a frequency range that you’d usually see in boutique models. Spanning from 10 hertz to 27 kilohertz, these cans pick up on the lowest bass and the highest of the high frequencies with ease.

Sound-wise, it’s powered by two 30mm drivers, which are just slightly weaker compared to driver units supplied to some of my best picks on this list.

These cans are decently comfortable; I’d even say great in this field of performance when pitted against contemporary alternatives.

There are a few things that you won’t like as much, though. The earpads are padded with leather, and even though this may spell “extra comfort” to some, it also means that you’ll keep them in a drawer throughout summer periods.

It’s not the best-quality leather either. This padding will flake over time, and aside from the fact that your headphones will look like they’ve survived a Resident Evil-esque apocalypse, bits of flaked leather will probably end up in your ears.

The Specs

  • Connectivity type:  Corded
  • Battery life:  N/A
  • Frequency range:  10 Hz to 27 kHz
  • Driver size:  30 millimeter
  • Weight:  approximately 300.5g

Stuff I like

  • Extended frequency range
  • Detailed bass and highs
  • Lightweight and portable design
  • Superior affordability

Stuff I like less

  • Flimsy construction
  • The material on the cups tends to flake over time
Overall Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

What’s in the Box:

  • Panasonic RP-HT161 headphones
  • 6.5-foot cable

Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless Headphone System

Premium Option: An ergonomic powerhouse system worth its weight in gold. Wave goodbye to sonic jitter.

4/5
Price Range: $$$
Brand: Sennheiser
Sennheiser RS-175 RF
See Price on Amazon
…and another 5,430 Reviews

The Download

So far, I’ve talked about headphones that you can use for casual music listening, gigging, and practice. Let’s switch gears and talk about one of the best headphones guitarists can use at home, whether it be for composing or practicing.

While the RS 175’s are designed for TV listening, they can be adapted for monitoring guitar also.

Sennheiser’s RS 175 RF is a unique headphone system, featuring an extremely versatile headphone set equipped with inline controls and a power port that can serve as a charging station, sound customization workshop, and a wireless module.

While Bluetooth-powered headphones have their high and low points, the wireless module of RS 175 RF eliminates the most common drawbacks associated with wireless connectivity. It offers a low-latency connection; while standard wireless cans rock up to a 30-feet Bluetooth range, the effective range of RS 175 RF is ten times higher.

What I liked about these headphones the most is what people generally buy Sennheiser products for – excellent sound quality and no sonic artifacts. Each detail you hear coming out of these headphones is pure sound. There’s no jitter, artifacts, or harmonic distortion to speak of.

The Specs

  • Connectivity type:  Wireless TR 175 modulating transmitter; optical cable
  • Battery life:  18 hours
  • Frequency range:  17 Hz to 22 kHz
  • Driver size:  dynamic closed drivers (size not announced)
  • Weight:  approximately 308g

Stuff I like

  • Multiple connectivity modes
  • Extra-long range wireless
  • Togglable surround sound and bass boost technologies
  • Phenomenal sound quality
  • Almost nonexistent harmonic distortion and artifacts

Stuff I like less

  • Expensive
  • Primarily used for home purposes
  • Requires plugging your amp/source in them so the right cables are needed
Overall Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

What’s in the Box:

  • Sennheiser RS 175 RF
  • Wireless TR 175 modulating transmitter
  • Power supply
  • Four adapters
  • Two Ni-Mh batteries

SoundMagic P23BT Portable On Ear Bluetooth Headphones

Best Value: High-end drivers and materials on a mid-range headphone set. One of the best-hidden gems on online marketplaces.

5/5
Price Range: $
Brand: SoundMagic
SoundMagic P23BT
See Price on Amazon
…and another 89 Reviews

The Download

I’ve used quite a few headphone sets over the years; from being a broke high-schooler in a garage band, over being a broke student in a pub band, to being able to afford quality headphones while not playing in a band.

SoundMagic’s P23BT reminds me of the times when I had to dig deep into Amazon, Target, and Walmart to find decently affordable headphones that could compete with high-end models in the fields of performance.

I’d like to list several crucial reasons why P23BT headphones offer superior value for the price. First of all, you won’t find other headphone models that offer 60 hours of battery lifespan in this price range, that much I can almost guarantee.

Secondly, how many low-cost cans are supplied with 40mm drivers? “Not much” would be a massive understatement.

Finally, its Qualcomm QC3034 chip ensures a reliable low-latency Bluetooth connection at all times, although its 13m range is not entirely impressive.

The manufacturer didn’t list its frequency range, but after a bit of research, I’ve been able to pinpoint the approximate numbers – its range roughly spans from 17 Hz to 20 kHz.

They obviously aren’t perfect. SoundMagic’s P23BT headphone set isn’t as durable as some of the models I’ve mentioned earlier, and the fact that its headband isn’t padded slightly reduces the comfort it can provide to you.

The Specs

  • Connectivity type:  Bluetooth 5.0
  • Battery life:  60 hours
  • Frequency range:  N/A
  • Driver size:  40 millimeter
  • Weight:  approximately 156g

Stuff I like

  • Decent frequency response range
  • Stable Bluetooth connection
  • Powerful sound performance
  • 60 hours of battery lifetime
  • Quite affordable

Stuff I like less

  • Non-padded headband
  • Relatively flimsy
Overall Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

What’s in the Box:

  • SoundMAGIC P23BT headphones

Conclusion

It’s a thrilling time to be a guitarist given all the premium gear that is available on contemporary marketplaces. You can find good-sounding headphones at dirt-cheap prices while boutique models look and sound futuristic to the core.

I hope you like my reviews of the best headphones for guitarists; stay tuned for more content!

This post was last updated on 2022-09-26 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.


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1 thought on “Best Headphones for Guitarists – With Pro Recommendations”

  1. Avatar of Mark

    Awesome post Marko – thanks for sharing. There are so many I could add to this list but the AKG N700NC are a good allrounder for more than guitar for sure. I like the Sennheiser but they were a bit tight on my head for longer playing sessions.

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