Most digital pianos are equipped with a 1/4-inch headphone jack. This is a great feature as it enables you to fully immerse yourself in your music. This blog post is all about the best headphones for digital pianos. Our top picks reveal all the beautiful details from your piano that would go unnoticed with the built-in speakers.
Let’s dive right in!
For this blog post, I tested some of the most eminent headphones on the market and found the Sennheiser HD280 Pro to be the best for digital pianos. They’re closed-back and very comfortable to wear, which allows for long practice sessions in front of the piano.
The closed-back design offers excellent sound isolation which isolates you from the surrounding noise. Additionally, there is no sound leakage which means that you will not disturb those around you with your playing.
When it comes to sound quality, the HD280 Pro is one of the best headphones for digital pianos. They have a well-balanced sound that reproduces all frequencies evenly.
The bass is deep and punchy, which gives you a full and rich sound quality. The treble is clear and bright, giving you the ability to hear the slightest nuances and details that otherwise would go unrecognized on the piano’s internal speaker system.
Before we start with the reviews, there is nothing such as perfect piano headphones. My top picks are suitable for different types of applications and scenarios.
Still, there are some scenarios where you might want to choose one over the other. Continue reading for our full assessment!
At a Glance: Best Headphones For Digital Piano
- Best Overall: Sennheiser HD280 Pro
- Runner-up: AKG K240 MKII
- Best Premium Pick: Sennheiser HD 599 SE
- Best Value: Sony MDR-7506
- Best Budget Pick: Roland RH-5
- Best Versatile: Audio-Technica ATH-M40X
- Best Open-Back Headphones: Neumann NDH 30
- Best Closed-Back Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
- Best Sound: Beyerdynamic DT 880
Sennheiser HD280 Pro – Best Overall
Quick Specs – Type: Closed-back | Transducer principle: Dynamic | Frequency response: 8 – 25.000 Hz
The Sennheiser HD280 Pro is a great option if you’re looking for a good pair of headphones perfect to use in conjunction with your digital piano.
They’re affordable and offer amazing value. Additionally, they don’t leak sound, so you won’t disturb anyone else in the room while playing.
HD280 Pro has ample padding where it counts and just enough clamping force. They also didn’t heat up after hours of testing. This is a huge selling point as most headphones get uncomfortably hot and sweaty after long use. The comfortable ear cushions allow users to play for hours without discomfort.
Furthermore, you’ll be able to hear all the details in your music as they have a fairly accurate frequency response without enhanced low-end, commonly found on other closed-back headphones. The sound quality is excellent, with clear and natural highs and lows.
The noise cancellation is also very effective, making these perfect for focusing on your piano performance.
- Great for digital pianos
- Comfortable design
- Coiled wire won’t break easily
- Natural sound due to the flat frequency response
- Non-detachable cable
- Bass distortion at loud volumes
AKG K240 MKII – Runner-up
Quick Specs – Type: Semi-open | Transducer principle: Dynamic | Frequency response: 15 – 25.000 Hz
It’s easy to see why the K240 MKII has been a popular choice among audiophiles and professional musicians on a budget.
K240 MKII is the next iteration of the K240 and just like its predecessor, they’re semi-open and dynamic. They have been designed for comfort and provide a natural sound experience.
These headphones have an all-plastic housing, from the suspension headband to the earcups exteriors. Sure, they’re not as durable as metal-reinforced alternatives, but it makes them more affordable. Considering the build, I wouldn’t use these headphones when traveling.
Since both earcups have uniform vents, the K240 MKII is semi-open. This gives them a realistic sound reproduction with well-defined mid-frequencies and crisp highs. Even so, the sub-bass response is a bit thin compared to the Sennheiser HD280 Pro.
Additionally, the semi-open construction gives them better ventilation which is appreciated during long sessions.
The AKG K240 MKII is a great choice for any audio enthusiast, from professional musicians to music lovers.
- The suspension headband is comfortable
- Don’t leak as much as open-back headphones
- Sub-bass response is lacking
- Less durable than metal-reinforced alternatives
Sennheiser HD 599 SE – Best Premium Pick
Quick Specs – Type: Open-back | Transducer principle: Dynamic | Frequency response: 12 – 38.500 Hz
The HD 599 SEs are an excellent choice for anyone looking for a great pair of headphones for their digital piano with a warm, natural sound. The open-back design provides a spacious, airy sound that is perfect for long listening sessions in the studio.
It’s difficult to beat the Sennheiser HD 599 in comfort. These over-ear headphones are exceptionally well-padded, and the thick headband is adjustable so you can find the perfect fit. In addition, the clamping force is relaxed once you have them on.
The sound quality is impressive as you would expect from a Sennheiser product. The reproduction of high frequencies is clear while the bass is deep. I noticed some boominess as a result of over-emphasis on high-bass and low-mid frequencies.
Due to the open-back design, the HD 599 doesn’t offer isolation, meaning you’ll hear the background and everyone will hear your music. However, I feel like this isn’t a dealbreaker regarding headphones for digital pianos.
The HD 599 comes with a 1/4 inch adapter, which means you can easily connect it to your digital piano or keyboard. Additionally, if you ever need to replace the cable, it’s easy to do since it’s removable.
- Impressive sound quality
- Extreme comfort
- Removable cables and earpads
- Somewhat boomy sound
- Ambient sound slips through the design
- The open-back construction leaks
Sony MDR-7506 – Best Value
Quick Specs – Type: Closed-back | Transducer principle: Dynamic | Frequency response: 10 – 20.000 Hz
The Sony MDR-7506 is a great option if you’re looking for an inexpensive pair of studio headphones that won’t break the bank.
These entry-level headphones are designed for extended wear, so you can use them for hours on end without experiencing any discomfort.
The sound quality is excellent for the price, making them a great choice for budget-conscious music producers and audio engineers.
Unlike other similarly priced headphones, the MDR-7506 isn’t overly boosted in the high or low frequencies. The frequency response is accurate and neutral, making them a great choice for professional audio production.
In addition, the bass is punchy and well-balanced which is uncommon at this price range while the emphasis on the mid-frequencies reveals details that consumer-grade headphones would miss.
Unfortunately, these headphones have little to no isolation. The background noise is muffled rather than blocked out. This is common for headphones that rely on the earcup’s foam to create a seal around your ear, rather than active noise cancelation technology.
- Excellent value for money
- Great for critical listening
- Cable is integrated into the headphones
- The included soft case is flimsy
Roland RH-5 – Best Budget Pick
Quick Specs – Type: Closed-back | Transducer principle: Dynamic | Frequency response: 10 – 22.000 Hz
The entry-level headphones Roland RH-5 were explicitly made to be paired with digital pianos and other electronic instruments, and I think they work great for that purpose. The RH-5 has a closed-back design, which is great for recording as it reduces leakage. Additionally, the soundstage is wide, but not very deep.
They have an exaggerated amount of bass, and the mids are somewhat recessed. This makes them lack some clarity and presence, found on other more expensive models.
The RH-5 comes with a 3-meter cord, that allows users to move freely around their studio. They are also very comfortable to wear, and the ear pads feel soft and pleasant against your skin.
There are some downsides to consider. For starters, the volume isn’t as strong as other headphones and I almost maxed out the output volume on my digital piano to be able to play at decent levels.
Additionally, the brackets that hold the speakers seem fragile as they rotate on hollowed-out pins.
Still, the Roland RH-5 is doubtlessly the best headphones you can get for around 50 bucks.
- Lightweight design
- Perfect match for Roland pianos
- Relaxed clamping force
- Flimsy build
- Pads become sweaty
Audio-Technica ATH-M40X – Best Versatile
Quick Specs – Type: Closed-back | Transducer principle: Dynamic | Frequency response: 15 – 24.000 Hz
Audio-Technica’s ATH-M40X is a great choice for those looking for versatile headphones that can be used for a wide range of applications, including digital pianos.
The sturdy construction of heavy-duty plastic along with the aluminum headband and extenders ensures durability, built to stand the test of time.
So how does it sound? Honestly, the bass response isn’t quite as strong as on models that come equipped with a 45-millimeter driver. The mid-range is super-clear and you’ll hear vocals, guitars, and synths with great detail. The high frequencies are crisp and don’t distort at loud volumes.
Sure, there are other headphones with more natural frequency responses. Even so, you’ll have to dig deeper into your wallet. The frequency response curve on the ATH-M40X is as flat as you can get at this price range.
One drawback is that the synthetic ear pads retain heat. You’ll start feeling the heat after hours of usage. In addition, the closed-back design doesn’t add any ventilation either.
Lastly, the earcups can only swivel 90 degrees. It allows for single-ear monitoring but they aren’t as flexible as other models on the market that swivels 180 degrees. It didn’t add any discomfort for me but I would recommend that you try them out before making a purchase.
- Natural frequency response
- Excellent mid-range
- Not very breathable
- Earcups only swivel 90 degrees
Neumann NDH 30 – Best Open-Back Headphones
Quick Specs – Type: Open-back | Transducer principle: Dynamic | Frequency response: 15 – 24.000 Hz
The name Neumann is most known for its microphones, but they manufacture a wide range of audio equipment. They have been around for generations and their products are known for their durability and quality.
The NDH 30 is no exception. It’s a great-sounding pair of open-back headphones featuring dynamic 38-millimeter drivers. The NDH 30 is lightweight as it only weighs 12.3 oz. The light design fits comfortably on the head.
The ear pads are replaceable and made of fabric-covered foam padding. Moreover, the headband is adjustable via a spring steel band covered by a soft synthetic material. This provides comfort when wearing them for long periods.
So how does the NDH 30 sound? Thanks to the open-back design, the NDH 30 produces a balanced, airy, and accurate sound. What makes them shine is their ability to control dynamics with excellent spatial resolution and depth.
Due to the hefty price tag, the NDH 30 might not be for everyone. Still, It’s an excellent option for not only piano players but any audiophile who wants to experience the qualities of high-end headphones.
- Replaceable cable and ear cushions
- Incredible dynamics
- Breathable ear pads
- The open-back design leaks sound
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x – Best Closed-Back Headphones
Quick Specs – Type: Closed-back | Transducer principle: Dynamic | Frequency response: 15 – 28.000 Hz
I’ve had a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones for a few months now and they are easily the best headphones I’ve ever owned.
The large 45mm drivers aid in low-end reproduction, making these a popular choice for both DJing as well as music production and digital pianos.
The bigger driver results in a warmer bass response compared to the little brother ATH-M40X. Additionally, the mid-frequencies are much clearer than its predecessor, and the highs are ultra-crisp.
There are some bass enhancements in the M50x but it’s not as powerful as the Beats by Dre. The overall sound reproduction is not as neutral as other options. Still, we can’t argue with the professional-graded sound quality.
Unfortunately, the ATH-M50x doesn’t feature active noise-cancellation. However, the sound isolation is excellent due to the closed-back construction. I can’t hear anything from the outside world when I’m playing digital piano with these headphones on.
Furthermore, the earcups on the ATH-M50x are pretty bulky, while the headband is thick. It might not be your best pick if you’re looking for a more subtle pair of headphones.
- Long detachable cable
- Durable and solid build
- Clear and crisp sound
- Bulky design
- Doesn’t feature a flat frequency response
- Not the most budget-friendly option
Beyerdynamic DT 880 – Best Sound
Quick Specs – Type: Semi-open | Transducer principle: Dynamic | Frequency response: 5 – 35.000 Hz
The Beyerdynamic DT 880 fits the bill perfectly if you’re looking for headphones with premium-grade sound quality that would be comfortable to wear for long periods.
The semi-open design doesn’t completely isolate you from the surroundings, but they’re still very good at blocking out external noise. Additionally, the DT 880 doesn’t leak as much sound as open-back headphones, so you don’t have to worry about bothering other people in the same room.
The German engineering is evident in the quality and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for headphones tough-as-nails.
The Beyerdynamic DT 880 feels a bit bulkier than previous headphones on our list, but that’s a cheap price to pay for the big and spacious soundstage provided.
Besides a slight peak in the higher frequencies, they have a pretty neutral sound signature. The DT 880 can be used for critical listening when mixing and mastering, you just have to be aware of the peak or use an equalizer to remove it.
One drawback is the non-detachable cable. I don’t know why this isn’t a standard for headphones. Instead of just replacing the cable, you would have to repair it or buy a new pair of headphones if the wires get frayed or broken.
- Amazing sound quality
- Superior build-quality
- Comfortable to wear for long periods
- Non-detachable cable
- A slight treble emphasis
Buying Guide – Choosing the Best Headphones For Digital Piano
Important Things To Consider
Sound quality is the most important thing to consider when looking for headphones for a digital piano. A piano is a very dynamic instrument and you want a pair of headphones that can capture all the subtle nuances.
Some headphones compromise on sound quality to offer better comfort, reduced weight, or lower price. While these are nice features, you shouldn’t sacrifice the sound quality for them.
You want to be able to hear every note that you play and the headphone should have a flat frequency response.
You want to be able to focus on your music and not on how uncomfortable your headphones are. Pick a pair that you can use for hours without discomfort.
If you are playing the piano in a room with other people, then you want to make sure that only you can hear your music.
Additionally, with good sound isolation, you won’t have to worry about outside noise interfering with your practice or performance.
Closed-back headphones have superior sound isolation compared to open-back headphones.
Value is a critical part of any purchase. Nevertheless, if you take the cheap route you may end up having to replace your headphones after a few months of use. A decent pair of headphones costs around $100.
How To Connect Headphones To A Digital Piano?
Both expensive and cheap digital pianos have a headphone jack that allows you to connect headphones and play in private. The headphone jack is usually the same size as the 1/8-inch or 1/4-inch plug on your headphones, so you just need to insert the plug into the jack.
What if my digital piano doesn’t have a headphone jack?
One solution is to use a third-party BlueTooth transmitter with a pair of wireless headphones, and connect it to the instrument’s Phone or Line Out connectors. Still, this is not recommended due to potential latency issues with BlueTooth audio.
Closed-Back vs Open-Back Headphones
This type of headphones are generally cheaper than open-back headphones. They have a design that prevents sound from escaping out the back of the earcups. This means that the sound is directed into your ears, giving you a more powerful and immersive listening experience.
They’re also designed to keep sound from leaking in or out of the ear cups. This makes them ideal for use in recording studios, where it’s important to keep outside noise from being recorded on tracks.
In addition, closed-back headphones can also provide a more immersive listening experience because they isolate the listener from their surroundings.
Another advantage is that they tend to block out more ambient noise than open-back headphones.
Closed-back headphones are the way to go if you’re looking for a pair of headphones that will give you the best listening experience and block out the world around you.
Even so, there are some disadvantages to take into consideration.
For one, they’re less breathable than open-back headphones. Consequently, your ears can get pretty sweaty during long listening sessions.
Additionally, closed-back headphones tend to have a “proximity effect,” which means that low frequencies sound exaggerated when the ear cups are pressed close to your head.
This can make a bass guitar and kick drums sound overwhelming, making it difficult to hear other instruments in the mix.
Open-back headphones are designed with a perforated back panel that allows air to circulate through the ear cups. This breathable design prevents the build-up of heat and moisture, which can lead to ear fatigue.
Additionally, open-back headphones also have a more natural sound than closed-back models, as they allow sound to travel in and out of the ear cups. This results in a wider soundstage and improved imaging.
Open-back headphones will be your best choice if you’re recording or mixing. This design is more expensive and is typically designed for professional use.
One downside to open-back headphones is that they require more sophisticated engineering and materials to produce the same audio quality as closed-back headphones. Therefore, they tend to be more expensive than closed-back models.
Another drawback is sound leakage. Because open-back headphones allow air to flow freely through the drivers, sound can escape and be heard by others around you. This can be disruptive in quiet environments like libraries or offices, and may even bother those sitting next to you on public transportation.
Semi-open headphones are a hybrid of the two designs mentioned. Their design is mostly closed-back in appearance. However, they have the same internal elements as open-back headphones. This means that they allow some air to flow through the back of the headphone cup.
Semi-open headphones strike a great middle ground. They still share the advantages and disadvantages of open-back and closed-back headphones but to a lesser degree.
I hope you found this list of headphones for digital pianos useful. There are tons of options available that allow you to completely immerse yourself into your playing.
Sound quality is the most essential aspect. You want to be able to hear all the beautiful details from your piano sound, from damper resonance to on/off action noise.
Additionally, if you choose a too low-priced model, you’ll end up sacrificing the sound that intermediate and high-end headphones offer.
Comfort should also be high on the list of priorities when buying a new set of headphones. There is nothing worse than headphones with too much clamping force or hard, unbreathable ear cushions.
Until next time!