The 4 Best Headphones for Guitar Amps – Reviews 2016

best headphones for guitar amp

Photo by Philippe Put / CC BY

There is nothing like plugging your guitar into a huge Marshall amp, cranking it up to 11, and just letting those power chords roar! But alas, there is such thing as neighbors, and there is such thing as neighbors calling the police to restrain that idiot guitarist from downstairs making that wretched noise.

So, to prevent all the potential ruckus, the ideal solution would be to get yourself a pair of top-notch practice headphones for your guitar amp. There are many factors to consider when buying these, as the process is drastically different from buying headphones for listening to music. We’ll discuss that in more detail later on.

First, check out our 4 picks for the best headphones for guitar amps below:

Sennheiser HD 598

The first thing you’ll need to know about buying headphones for amps is that guitar audio signal is much more powerful, inconsistent, and raw than listening to music that was already produced and mastered. To tackle this properly, you will need a wider frequency response and an extra pinch of durability to sustain the sonic abuse.

Well, a pair of Sennheiser HD 598 (see full specs) boasts all those features at a fair and affordable price. The HD 598 falls into the mid-range price category, yet offers high-quality audio worthy of pros.

Even if you crank up your guitar, these headphones are more than capable of sustaining the damage with minimum crackling and distortion. The sound remains authentic and true, without any sort of sonic deficiency in any frequency department. Perhaps most importantly, the basses remain strong and rich, while the middle section and high end also pack a proper punch. These are easily among the best headphones for guitar amps.

AKG K44

If you’re in pursuit of an affordable option, the AKG K44 is the cheapest pair of amp headphones you can buy and still get quality sound. Available for as low as $45, this device sports a surprisingly rich sonic specter and very good durability.

But since we are talking about a budget-friendly option, you can’t exactly expect stellar audio output either. Despite minor issues with overloaded bass frequencies, the K44 does offer a rather meaty middle section and a strong treble range. In our opinion, this is more than enough for a set of decent practice headphones. When it comes to handling volume, there are definitely some sonic spikes to expect when cranking these up, so it’s best to keep the volume knob at lower values.

Overall, this is an item that gets the job done. You will get good sound quality that will give you a realistic image of your performance, which is of utmost importance, because poor sound can severely change your approach and cripple you once you’ve switched to band rehearsals or live gigs. These might just be the best headphones for guitar amps if you’re on a budget.

Audio Technica ATH-M50x

The Audio Technica ATH M50x is another very solid pair of headphones. This bad boy delivers top-quality audio, yet sports a price tag associated with far inferior devices.

The ATH M50x (see full specs) offers a very well-rounded sound with minimum interference from external factors. Durability is at very high level even at highest volumes, allowing you to let it rip even during practice hours.

If we were to dissect the audio output, we’d have to give an extra word of praise to the middle section, as these headphones offer some very punchy grooves, making them ideal for players with more aggressive or funky approach. They are also quite comfortable to wear, which is always a great plus during long practice sessions.

Beyerdynamic DT 770

In the high-end department, we’d like to draw your attention towards Beyerdynamic DT 770, an incredibly high-quality device available at just slightly above the mid-range headphones we have listed.

What makes the DT 770 stand out is how clear its sound is. As we noted, realistic image is what you want from your headphones in the first place. You do not want a significantly different sound from the one you get while jamming on an amp, not even a superior one. You don’t want to get a wrong impression of your playing because that can only cost you in the long run.

This thing is just so very rugged, and has an amazing frequency response of 5 Hz to 35 kHz, laying down a foundation for killer dynamics and top-notch sonic versatility. These just might be the best headphones for guitar amps out there, yet they can be purchased for as little as $190 from some retailers (like from Amazon here). The price can go up to $400, so carefully pick your deals. These are among the best headphones for guitar amps period.

“BUT HEADPHONES ARE HEADPHONES, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?”

It makes a huge difference, and this is why. If you have a bad pair of headphones, you can get a wrong image of the sound you are making with your guitar. You can sound worse than you actually are—or even worse, you can sound better than you actually are, and this can screw things up for you big time.

If you don’t believe us now, you will believe us when you enter the practice room or grace the stage with your band and you just can’t get the sound you’re used to.

Never forget that playing guitar is primarily about the sound you can get from your instrument, and if you train yourself with the wrong sonic image, you will find yourself in quite a pickle sooner or later.

“OK, SO WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR THEN?”

You will need a wider frequency response to cover all the details, but no need to get too carried away either, as even the basic 20 Hz to 20 kHz range will suffice, and the all of the best headphones for guitar amps can handle this. Additionally, you will need a rugged set of speakers because guitar frequencies can be merciless to your headphones, and they need to be able to cope with audio pressure of sonic peaks.

Finally, most users prefer a closed-back type as it keeps all the nuances inside. Apart from that, stop paying attention to minute details and start practicing your guitar, musical expression is what it’s all about after all!

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