Mixing On Headphones

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This topic contains 33 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  Stein_Thor 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #14134 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Been looking for better headphones. Currently using Sony MDR 7506, not for mixing but just as a reference. Some like the Sennheiser HD800 ($1400), some like the HD600 ($350). There are a ton of brands, models and opinions that many use to mix on. Would love to hear your opinions.

     

     

    #14136 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Bump

    #14137 Reply

    Musicmatters
    Participant

    I am very happy with the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro. I used to use the Sony 7506 but realized that the sound does not translate well at all. Monitors are the best but you can do a reasonably good job with good headphones

    #14138 Reply

    The Dude

    I loved my Beyer DT 770’s. Probably the best sounding headphones that I’ve used. I mixed on them for a long time, as loud monitoring was not a possibility for me at the time. They take some getting used to, I seem to remember them being a bit bass heavy because of the closed back design, but the lows and low mids were tightly focused. The one downside was that the mechanisms that connected the headband to the ear cups broke for me. For such heavy earphones, that connection was just very weak. So you have to be careful with them. YMMV.

    My other recommendation would be the AKG 240’s. They’re in the same price range as the Sony’s (which I always found to be hyped and brittle- not to mention uncomfortable). They are semi-open backed, so not great on say, an airplane. But they are VERY lightweight, comfortable, and they aren’t hyped in the high end. The low mids are slightly muddy, but I’ve gotten used to it. They’re the only headphones I could wear all day long. The trade off is that they don’t sound as good as the Beyer’s.

    Good luck finding the right pair, Art!

    #14139 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Thanks for the opinions so far everyone.

    The consensus on Gearslutz is that open backed is the best for trying to mix on headphones. That’s the way I’m leaning as bleed isn’t a problem here. Not good for tracking though.

    #14145 Reply

    SongLoft
    Participant

    Hi Art

    I recently went down this road myself. I did a lot of research then ordered 4 of the top contenders from a reputable company (I can PM you the company name or list it here…) that specializes in mail order high-end headphones. They let you try out the cans for 30 days, pick the one you want and return the others.
    This was so much better to me than trying them out in a store.

    Anyway, for general reference mixing purposes, most people seem to gravitate towards open-backed as those designs more easily allow an accurate bass response. I ended up trying out a few models of the venerable Sennheiser line and a couple from the the AKG:

    -Sennheiser HD800 : I’ve heard this referred to as “the microscope” of headphones. You’ll hear detail you’ve never heard before. You can hear the compression of mixes in detail you may have never heard before. Great headphones but very expensive and ultimately I found the sharpness and detail almost distracting. I felt mixes with them might not translate to other listening situations as well as other cans. Everything is so bright and revealing on these.

    -Sennheiser 650: These were very nice and should be a contender for anyone I’d think. In the end , I felt too much of what many refer to as “the Sennheiser Veil” … like the sound is too contained and distant (tough to describe)

    -Sennheiser 600: very nice headphones as well. I think a matter of personal preference if someone was deciding between this and senn 650 or other models from this line.

    -AKG K702: These are great. Terrific balance and detail. Great price but low frequencies have a volume dip in these cans so it can be an adjustment to learn how to mix. They are the polar opposite of a hyped bass system.

    -AKG K712: These are a new model and were my final winner. They are apparently the same electronics as the venerable k702s but AKG Harman made some great improvements by making thinner earpads so your ears are closer to speakers. Now the bass response is much more aligned to the great high end clarity and detail. For me , these were by far the right choice.

    When I listen now to my old Sony MDR 7506 I can’t believe I waited so long to get a proper reference head-phone…

    my 2 cents

    #14153 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Thanks SongLoft. That’s great info and I will check out AKG K712. So much easier to ask here instead of wading through all of the dialog on Gearslutz!

    BTW it’s okay to list that headphone company that allows you to preview headphones. Great idea.

    Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

    #14154 Reply

    gdomeier
    Participant

    Thanks for the info. Looking forward to the website mentioned. I use headphones for mixing. Currently hd280’s. The problem with them the lack of bass. Initially I would overcompensate to make my tracks sound good on the hd280’s. I found out fast that caused too much bass. I have since gotten used to working around that.

    #14155 Reply

    Alan
    Participant

    I use Sony 7506 and Grado SR80 (open backed) for checking my mixes.

    As most of us know, the Sonys are very “bright and crisp.” I use those to make sure my high end to not too heavy. I feel if it sounds a little too bright on Sony headphones, I need to tame the high end.
    The Grado headphones are very nice to listen to, and are a great reference in my opinion. Unfortunately, they are very uncomfortable. I can’t wear them for more than 10 minutes or so.

    I also use a set of Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO headphones at my life FOH gig. I love those. I have to send my live house mix out for a broadcast mix so I am constantly checking my mix in the headphones. The are very comfortable and very accurate.

    #14156 Reply

    guscave

    I got the Audio Technica M-50 about 6 months ago and find them very helpful as extra reference. But like any decent headphones (and monitors) you’re going to need some time getting use to them. They are a little heavy on the low end, but IMO very clear and precise at around 300 to 900hz.

    #14157 Reply

    mscottweber
    Participant

    I also used Sony 7506’s for a long time, and just recently switched to a pair of Shure SRH840’s. Much more comfortable to wear, and they sound WAY less brittle. All of that gunk in the mids that the Sony’s conveniently leave out, I hear it now…

    Someone on another message board posted this link, which looks pretty informative:

    http://www.headphone.com/buildAGraph.php?graphID%5B0%5D=2231&graphID%5B1%5D=3281&graphID%5B2%5D=2441&graphID%5B3%5D=&scale=30&graphType=0&buttonSelection=Update+Graph

    #14158 Reply

    Blind
    Participant

    Even though they are no substitute for accuracy of monitors, I really like my Ultrasone 650s. I bought them in part for the ear protection features that they have, but really like the spacious sound.

    #14160 Reply

    SongLoft
    Participant

    http://www.headphone.com/ is the company I used. Service and selection were top notch.

    Headphone choices in particular seem to be very subjective. Perhaps it’s the unique shape of our ears that make one’s experience so different from anothers. I still think though that you can’t go wrong with either of those Sennheiser or AKG lines.

    There are the ultra high end ones like Grado or Audeze ($1945 for the Audeze LCD-3!) but for me they make things sound “too good” for general reference mixing.

    For me, everything other brand / model I tried besides Senn and AKG was too lacking or too hyped although Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO is another popular choice that is supposed to reveal the low end pretty well.

    good luck

    #14162 Reply

    seaneman
    Participant

    I use the Sony7506’s for about 80% of tracking, editing, and rough mixing. I’m totally used to how they sound and they are as predictable as any source I have. For me familiarity trumps accuracy for doing the grunt work of arranging, editing, and roughing. I like the way they fit and refoam the ears when/if they get scratchy. I have worn many more expensive cans that were not comfortable or long stretches, or got loosey-goosey on my melon(AKG for sure). I always check against my big and small monitors, and the mini-van before I sign off on a mix anyway. Nine times out of Ten, with maybe a little low end roll-off, the Sony cans are good to go. At what…..100$? What’s not to like?

    #14163 Reply

    danleigh
    Participant

    Check out this article, it helped me out a lot when I was trying to figure out which headphones to get. I have the Sony MDR7509HD’s and Audio Technica ATH M50’s and they are both amazing. The Sonys have a really open, defined midrange that is great for mixing in particular. I wouldn’t want to listen to them all the time but they reveal a lot of flaws which is helpful!

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan10/articles/studioheadphones.htm

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