Making your own home recording studio means you can tweak and personalize the space to your needs, but you always want to make sure you have the right equipment. Headphones are a crucial tool in any recording studio.
So, can you use gaming headphones in place of studio headphones?
You can’t use gaming headphones as studio headphones because they don’t offer adequate sound quality. They’re designed for gaming and have features that can affect the accuracy of sound, which is key in a recording studio. On the other hand, studio headphones are designed to produce accurate sound.
Here, I’ll discuss the difference between gaming and studio headphones. I’ll also elaborate on why gaming headphones might not be the best choice for studio purposes and why you might use gaming headsets instead of studio headphones.
Table of Contents
- Gaming Headphones vs. Studio Headphones
- Can Gaming Headphones Replace Studio Headphones?
- Final Thoughts on Gaming Headphones for Recording
Gaming Headphones vs. Studio Headphones
When deciding which is the best equipment for your needs, you need to understand the difference between your two options. In this case, gaming headsets and studio headphones.
Gaming headsets and studio headphones vary in a few key ways:
- Audio Quality (sound quality)
- Comfort and Durability
Below I will break down each of these factors in greater detail.
Most gaming headsets, as the name suggests, are designed for gaming.
They’re meant to produce more pleasing sounds to those listening to them. This means that good-quality gaming headphones can have features that alter actual sounds to make them more attractive to the ear.
Studio headphones are a tool to be used when recording, mixing, or creating audio in a professional setting. Therefore, these types of headphones are designed to produce the most accurate sound, which is not necessarily pleasing to the ear.
Gaming headsets usually have boosted bass and treble to produce sounds as pleasing as possible to the ear.
Many have surround sound features to create a more three-dimensional experience for the listener, which adds to the gaming experience and the sound quality.
Pinpointing exactly where a sound is coming from is extra essential to gamers who engage in first-person shooting games.
As previously mentioned, the best studio headphones are not designed to produce pleasing sounds. Instead, studio headphones have a neutral sound signature, and their focus is on sound accuracy, not sound quality.
This means that studio headphone frequencies remain quite flat and have minimal coloration. Coloration is the added effect that audio equipment might have on the sound output.
When you’re recording or creating audio, you want to be sure that what you’re hearing is really what your audio sounds like. You need to know if tweaks or changes are necessary before production.
A gaming headset is designed to be very flashy with not as much focus on sound quality.
These flashy features can include RGB lighting, a built-in mic, boosted bass and treble, virtual surround sound, a wide range of colors, and additional design features.
You might have even seen a gaming headset with “cat ears” for extra cuteness.
Many gaming headsets come with wireless features so that users can move more freely without having to worry about tangling up with a cord or needing to stay nearer to a console.
Studio headphones are built simply; some would even say they have a very industrial design that can seem somewhat dull. They concentrate on function rather than appearance. Hence, they are not likely to have many choices for color finishes and such.
Because they are designed to produce the most accurate sound, true studio headphones won’t have features like surround sound or wireless features that might mess with the signal to hear accurately.
Comfort and Durability
A gaming headset concentrates more on appearance and flashiness than accuracy or comfort.
Though studio headphones have the upper hand on gaming headsets when it comes to comfort, many manufacturers of gaming equipment are now considering this factor more.
When you’re working in a recording studio, sessions will likely run long. This is why studio headphones focus so heavily on the comfort of the user.
When it comes to durability, gaming headsets are less sturdy. When they reach the end of their lifespan, they’re not repairable, and you’ll likely buy a new pair.
Studio headphones are built for long-lasting use and are incredibly sturdy. They’re very buildable too, with replacement parts available for when you need them. These headphones have thicker ear pads for sound isolation. They also utilize a sturdy cable that is typically user-replaceable.
Gaming headphones can range from $20 to $300, depending on the quality.
This price range, though somewhat broad, stays mostly stable. You’re mostly paying for the additional features you can get with gaming headphones: wireless features, RGB lighting, and other design features.
You can get yourself a pair of good studio headphones for as low as $30. However, there is no concrete upper limit regarding the price of studio headphones. Some pairs can even cost as much as several thousand dollars.
Can Gaming Headphones Replace Studio Headphones?
Gaming headphones cannot replace studio headphones. Studio headphones offer sound accuracy, while gaming headphones usually have boosted bass and treble that won’t reflect an accurate sound.
A gaming headset can have a lot of disadvantages if you’re considering using it as studio headphones. However, there can be a few exceptions.
Below are some reasons why you might use gaming headphones instead of a pair of studio headphones.
Gaming Headsets Are a Budget-Friendly Start
When you’re just starting with audio creation, especially in a home studio, what you might have on hand is a pair of gaming headphones.
If you don’t have the budget for a pair of studio headphones, gaming headphones can have good enough sound quality for your needs.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t let the absence of a pair of studio headphones prevent you from recording and creating audio and sound.
However, if you do plan to expand your headphone collection, it’s best to get yourself a pair of studio headphones.
Your Audience Likely Uses Gaming Headphones
Regular people, the people who will be listening to your sound creations, will usually listen to your work with a pair of gaming headphones or standard earphones.
Using gaming headphones to record in the studio lets you know if your work sounds good coming through normal headphones that regular people use.
If you’re ready to expand your headphone collection, but don’t have a very large budget, try Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone from Amazon.com. One of the great things about these is that there’s virtually no sound leakage, even at high volumes.
This is an essential feature for recording, so mics don’t pick up any unnecessary sound from the headphones.
Final Thoughts on Gaming Headphones for Recording
Gaming headphones are not designed to function as studio headphones and shouldn’t be used for recording and audio creation.
However, if you are still starting out in the recording world and you play games, gaming headphones deliver good enough sound quality to be used as a substitute until you can get a pair of the best studio headphones.
- Review of the ALABS IRON MINI-WL: A Powerhouse Wireless Microphone - October 4, 2023
- What is a Saturator in Music Production: A Brief Explanation - May 11, 2023
- What Are Rotary DJ Mixers? An Overview - May 11, 2023
SoundStudiomagic.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. We also participate in other affiliate programs which compensate us for referring traffic.