Best guitar amp headphones: 10 options for when the neighbors need a break

Having your own gust of sonic delight fired at you from your beloved amplifier is a feeling like no other – we get it. But almost all guitarists have found themselves in the predicament of having to turn down their rig whilst at home, be that because of nagging parents, partners, roommates, or worst of all, the dreaded knock at the door from disgruntled neighbors. A pair of the best guitar amp headphones will offer a solution to these issues, giving you a personal experience of amp-like volume, without provoking unwanted rage from those around you.

It also gives you the chance to delve into the world of guitar production, taking time to perfectly tune your tone through surgical EQ, playing around with wild stereo effects that really come alive in headphones, and just generally losing yourself in your tone, without the intrusive sounds of the rest of the world.

All of this means it’s crucial to get a set of cans that does your tone justice. Keep those cheap earbuds for the commute and try out a pair of the headphones in this guide – there’s sure to be something that suits what you’re looking for.

Amit Sharma
Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for Guitar World, Total Guitar and MusicRadar for over a decade, reviewing and testing everything from amps and effects to the headphones featured in this guide. He counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep , as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).

Best headphones for guitar amps: Quick list

The best guitar amp headphones available today

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Below you'll find full and detailed write-ups for each of the best guitar amp headphones we rate.

Best headphones overall

Best headphones for guitar amps: Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Headphones

(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Headphones

The best headphones for guitar amps overall, now with Bluetooth…

Specifications

Type: Closed-back dynamic
Wireless: Yes
Frequency range: 15 - 28,000 Hz

Reasons to buy

+
A highly trusted best-seller
+
Guitar-friendly frequency response
+
Foldable design

Reasons to avoid

-
Supplied cord isn't the greatest

This closed-back set from Audio-Technica sits amongst the most popular studio-quality headphones on the market and are well suited for guitar players, supporting frequencies from 15Hz to 28kHz. They’re highly effective at delivering amp tones that are uncolored and real – with very little change in EQ and response, and a quicker response compared to mainstream wireless options.

We have had the original, non-wireless version of these headphones for years, they’ve been thoroughly thrown around on countless studio sessions and have never let us down. 

However, there is one small gripe with the non-wireless set: the cable, which has a tendency of getting in the way… suffice to say, problem solved with the Bluetooth version! Although you can plug in a cable if you need to, which adds an extra bit of security and guarantees you can use these even in non-wireless settings. Whether you want to record, mix, practice playing, or simply have a great set of headphones to listen to your favorite guitar music on, these do it all to a very high level.

Read the full Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 review

Best option on a budget

Best headphones for guitar amps: AKG K240 Studio Headphones

(Image credit: AKG)

2. AKG K240 Studio Headphones

Great sounds for a great price…

Specifications

Type: Over ear
Wireless: Yes
Frequency range: 15 - 25000 Hz

Reasons to buy

+
High quality and affordable
+
Made by headphone specialists
+
Self-adjusting headband design

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as much low-end as other models here

Not all of the best guitar amp headphones are made the same when it comes to comfort – some can feel too tight and build pressure on the ears over time, therefore distracting the musician from what matters most. This is where the AKG k240 Studio shines, with a self-adjusting headband system that easily sits and sets easily on just about any head size. 

With a frequency response of 15Hz to 25kHz, these headphones will cover your guitar sound in full and for little expense compared to other models made for studio use. They offer little in terms of extras, designed primarily with mixing in mind, but still double as a great pair of headphones for listening to your favorite albums.

Best all-in-one solution

Best headphones for guitar amps: Boss Waza-Air Wireless Personal Guitar Amplification System

(Image credit: Boss)
An entire rig living inside one set of headphones…

Specifications

Type: Over-ear Bluetooth headphones
Wireless: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Glorious tones and effects
+
Entirely wireless
+
Sound editing via smartphone

Reasons to avoid

-
Features could be overkill for those with minimalist needs

Packing five unique amp types from the Katana amp series, including voicings for bass guitar and acoustics, plus 50 customizable effects through Boss’ Tone Studio smartphone app, it’s hard to see where you can go wrong with the Waza-Air system. The advanced spatial technology and integrated gyro sensor claim to deliver a true ‘amp-in-room’ experience that will impress even the most scrupulous tone hounds out there – we’ve seen the evidence – and its 3D ambience delivered through custom-designed 50mm drivers with virtually zero latency.

Other incentives include a versatile two-way design, allowing the ‘phones to be folded away and built-in rechargeable batteries that offer five hours of undisturbed play time. It’s this kind of clever thinking from Boss that has established them as undisputed pioneers of the trade.

Read the full Boss Waza-Air review

Best headphones for clarity

Best headphones for guitar amps: Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

4. Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones

Crystal clarity and unrivalled width from the German giants…

Specifications

Type: Open-back dynamic
Wireless: No
Frequency range: 10 Hz - 41,000 Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Designed for audiophiles
+
Unrivalled definition

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as quiet as closed back headphones
-
There are cheaper options on this list

Aimed at higher-end users, this set from Sennheiser is as expressive and dynamic as it gets. It includes high power neodymium magnet systems for minimum harmonic and intermodulation distortion, and lightweight aluminium voice coils that offer a quick and transient response, delivering truly pristine tones to connoisseurs and purists alike. With a frequency range of 10Hz to 41kHz, it covers the guitar spectrum and beyond, ensuring you get the fullest and widest sonic picture possible for the music you listen to as well as the music you play. 

Being an open back design, it doesn’t contain sound as well as other headphones, though will manage well enough to avoid any complaints from neighbors. As well as a gold plated 1/4" jack plug and a low-noise detachable cable made from highly conductive OFC copper, there’s a specially developed damping element made out of fine acoustic metal mesh. Seriously, it’s as hi-fi as headphones can get and better still.

Best studio-grade option

Best guitar amp headphones: Neumann NDH 30

(Image credit: Neumann)

5. Neumann NDH 30 Open-back Studio Headphones

Best studio-grade option

Specifications

Type: Reference-grade open-back
Wireless: No
Frequency range: 12 - 34,000 Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Pristine sonic accuracy
+
Extended frequency response
+
Sumptuous looks

Reasons to avoid

-
Leaks sound
-
Expensive

Famed for producing the very best microphones around, Neumann has a storied history in studio monitoring too. With the NDH 30 headphones, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d strapped two expensive monitors to your ears and were experiencing your guitar in a world renowned studio. They have an aura that shines through even from glancing at them, with the beautiful steel spring and aluminum body providing the exacting quality you’d expect from Neumann, setting them above their rivals.

As you’d hope from studio-grade monitoring, these aren’t flattering headphones, they’re very much designed to give you a crystal clear, transparent representation of your audio, utilizing their absolutely gargantuan frequency range of 12Hz to 34kHz. Their open back design gives you a natural low end and really makes the stereo field sing, so if you’re into stereo effects, they will shine in the NDH 30s.

These aren’t headphones for the casual player, they’re for those obsessed with their tone and want to hear every minute detail of their playing – if that is you, the NDH 30 is the current benchmark in studio headphones.

Best high-definition option

Best headphones for guitar amps: Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Studio Headphones

(Image credit: Beyerdynamic)

6. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Studio Headphones

High definition and incredible low-end detail…

Specifications

Type: Closed-back
Wireless: Yes
Frequency range: 5 - 35,000 Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Very popular range
+
Lots of detail

Reasons to avoid

-
On the more expensive side
-
Sounds can leak a little when you crank it

These closed over-ear headphones from German manufacturers Beyerdynamic are very high-end, with a frequency response ranging from 5Hz to 35kHz for maximum resolution and precision. That extended range means all notes feel defined and articulate, even at the extreme bottom end of the register, with punch and clarity in areas other sets may lack in. 

They’ve been popular with producers – especially for vocal recordings – because of their superior noise isolation, bringing a complete sonic picture into your ears with virtually zero bleed. While the 880 and 990 models, semi-open and fully open respectively, are equally as impressive, it’s the sheer quietness of the 770s that make them ideal for any pro-level guitarist. The price is great, too.

More options...

So those are our top picks, but there are more great options to choose from that offer something a little different. We've selected a few more of our favorites below.

Best guitar amp headphones: Austrian Audio HI-X15

(Image credit: Austrian Audio)

7. Austrian Audio HI-X15

Budget friendly headphones from audio experts

Specifications

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: No
Frequency range: 12 - 24,000 Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Transparent sound
+
Great design

Reasons to avoid

-
Need a bit of running in

Another manufacturer more famed for sound recording than sound reproduction, Austrian Audio is the new kid on the block; but unlike so many newbies who suffer teething problems, pretty much everything it makes is excellent. That trend has continued with its headphones, in particular the wallet friendly Hi-X15, which ticks just about every box you could want for studio grade guitar headphones. Their highlight is their 44mm drivers that provide superb transient response and distortion-free audio, without skimping on low end.

These are really comfortable too, so if you’re a fan of long sessions playing or listening back to your music, they are a great option. Whilst they do not have noise cancellation they fit snugly over the ears and do an admirable job of isolating external noise, so would be a great companion for recording acoustic guitar in the studio.

To top it all off, how good do these headphones look? They feel every bit a premium product, despite their sensible price tag. We expect to see more and more guitarists picking these as their headphone option in the coming years.

Best headphones for guitar amps: Yamaha HPH-MT7 Headphones

(Image credit: Yamaha)

8. Yamaha HPH-MT7 Headphones

Best for dynamics and a throwback to Yamaha’s studio heritage…

Specifications

Type: Closed-back, Circumaural (Over Ear)
Wireless: No
Frequency range: 15 - 25,000 Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Inspired by classic Yamaha monitors
+
Very dynamic

Reasons to avoid

-
The cable isn't replaceable
-
Perhaps a bit too flat

Though they’ve been out of production for quite some time, the Yamaha NS10 remains one of the most popular studio monitors of all-time, celebrated for their midrange honesty and unexaggerated low ends. This headphone set, launched by Yamaha back in 2015, was designed with those speakers in mind – offering a high-resolution sound with precise stereo imaging and faithful source signal reproduction from 15Hz to 25kHz.

There’s a three-dimensional arm pivot construction and adjustable slider length to alleviate fatigue during prolonged usage, with synthetic leather and large low-resistance cushions that ensure stress-free wearability and high levels of isolation. Perhaps the only downside is that, much like the monitors they’re inspired by, they could be a little too flat, but then again if you’ve already dialed in the perfect guitar tone, that could very well be for the best…

Best guitar amp headphones: Sennheiser HD25

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

9. Sennheiser HD25

The best durable and lightweight guitar headphones

Specifications

Type: Closed-back, on-ear
Wireless: No
Frequency range: 16 - 22000 Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Extreme lightweight
+
Durable
+
Stylish

Reasons to avoid

-
Included cable is short
-
On ears may not suit everybody

Seen in DJ booths across the world, the Sennheiser HD25 headphones are industry standard for a reason – and it’s not just DJs who love them, guitarists do too. With a generous frequency range all the way down to 16Hz and up to 22kHz, and super sensitive aluminum voice coils, you can be confident that these headphones deliver an honest representation of your guitar, across the frequency spectrum and dynamic range.

Unlike many of the other headphones in this list, they manage to look contemporary and sleek, and you would be proud to wear them out of the house, compared to the overly large headphones you’d typically find in a studio, which would look equally at home in air traffic control.

Which brings us onto their best quality; how compact and lightweight they are, they’re really built to go anywhere, and if you travel a lot, you should seriously consider these as your mobile audio companion. Their only drawback is that, as on-ears, they aren’t as comfortable as over-ear rivals, so if you plan on using them for prolonged periods, they may begin to feel a little uncomfortable.

Best headphones for guitar amps: Vox VH-Q1 Smart Noise Cancelling Headphones

(Image credit: Vox)

10. Vox VH-Q1 Smart Noise Cancelling Headphones

Fantastic battery life from the legendary British amp manufacturers…

Specifications

Type: Dynamic, closed-back
Wireless: Yes
Frequency range: 10 - 25,000 Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Bluetooth-enabled
+
Attenuation for loud signals
+
36 hours use from a single charge

Reasons to avoid

-
May feel too smart for some

These brand-new active noise-cancelling headphones from Vox certainly turned a few heads at NAMM 2020. The internal and external microphones make them an excellent tool for guitar practice and vocal training – picking up and isolating frequencies from your instrument, amp or voice for a clear and pristine tone. You can even feed in an audio source and blend it against what you play, which is perfect for rehearsing or jamming to backing tracks.

But that’s not all – the VH-Q1 also supports voice assistant services (Google Assistant and Siri) and comes with a rechargeable battery that lasts 36 hours on a single charge. It’s even clever enough to pause tracks automatically when you take the headphones off and restart the track when you put them back on. So whether you are taking calls, gaming, practicing or playing to someone down on the other end of the line, or simply just want to listen to music, Vox has you covered on all fronts.

Best headphones for guitar amps: Buying advice

Man plays guitar wearing headphones

(Image credit: Getty)

How to choose the best guitar amp headphones for you

Before you start exploring your headphone options, figure out what your requirements actually are: are you looking for something transparent and simple to deliver authentic guitar amp tones, raw and uncomplicated? Or are you in the market for the kind of guitar wireless system that will allow you to roam free like James Hetfield stalking the stage of the nearest stadium? Perhaps, like many guitarists nowadays, you are a writer-producer, who wants headphones that can deliver from practice sessions, to mixing and mastering your very own records.

The best guitar amp headphones for you may well depend on the kind of guitar amp you own. Purists may prefer headphones with a short cable and flat EQ, to ensure they don’t lose anything from the experience of playing their favorite tube amp – though classic tube amps often don’t have headphone outputs, which is where an option like the Waza Air headphones comes in. Would you spend all that money on an amp and then have it colored in some way by the headphones you use? Or sacrifice some immediacy with a wireless set? Probably not. Which is why a lot of the best headphones for guitar amps we’ve chosen here are geared more towards producers, rather than specifically hi-fi headphones or those designed primarily for streaming use, both of which tend to color your sound by adding loads of unnecessary low end and flattering the midrange.

Like many amplifiers, some headphones aren’t super travel friendly and may not last long if thrown in the bottom of a backpack too often, so if you’re looking for something that will reliably last on the road, bear in mind that some headphones, such as the Sennheiser HD25s, have a reputation for being comfortable roughing it alongside gigging musicians. As with any addition to your musical inventory, it’s about investing in something that will stand the test of time, so choose wisely.

How we choose products for this guide

Here at Guitar World, we are experts in our field, with many years of playing and product testing between us. We live and breathe everything guitar related, and we draw on this knowledge and experience of using products in live, recording and rehearsal scenarios when selecting the products for our guides.

When choosing what we believe to be the best guitar amp headphones available right now, we combine our hands-on experience, user reviews and testimonies and engage in lengthy discussions with our editorial colleagues to reach a consensus about the top products in any given category.

First and foremost, we are guitarists, and we want other players to find the right product for them. So we take into careful consideration everything from budget to feature set, ease of use and durability to come up with a list of what we can safely say are the best guitar amp headphones on the market right now.

Read more about our rating system, how we choose the gear we feature, and exactly how we test each product.

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