Headphone Suggestions

chysn

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Headphone Suggestions
« on: June 24, 2023, 03:25:26 PM »
I'm using a really old pair of fairly inexpensive Shure headphones for listening to my synths, monitoring my mixes, etc. I'd like to move up in that headphone-world a bit. What do people have here that they like?
« Last Edit: June 28, 2023, 06:49:39 AM by chysn »
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Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2023, 03:34:22 PM »
I'm using a really old pair of fairly inexpensive Audio Technica headphones for listening to my synths, monitoring my mixes, etc. I'd like to move up in that headphone-world a bit. What do people have here that they like?

I alternate between ATH-M40x and a pair of Beyer Dynamic DT 880 Pro. Moving between the two keeps my listening head fresh. I am curious about the Steven Slate 'phones that I'm bombarded with testimonials for... those would be specifically for mixing, I suppose, though maybe it'd be amazing to hear my Prophet 5 as if it were IN A CAR! Uh...

Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2023, 04:40:26 PM »
I'm using a really old pair of fairly inexpensive Audio Technica headphones for listening to my synths, monitoring my mixes, etc. I'd like to move up in that headphone-world a bit. What do people have here that they like?

I use a trusty ancient pair of Sennheiser HD 600s. Always did the job for me, and the thing’s so robust, still going like new after many years

LPF83

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Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2023, 03:55:59 AM »
I switch between Sennheiser HD650 and a pair of Sony MDR 7506s that I've had forever.  The Sennheisers need a headphone amp.
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Elric

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Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2023, 06:30:32 AM »
...and a pair of Sony MDR 7506s that I've had forever

I have an ancient pair of these too.
I think the mid-level version, but they are decades old.
(I checked... same 7506!)

I think there are/were 3 quality levels of the MDR series?
 - Cheap, okay level. Good, semi-pro level. And Hi quality "pro" level.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2023, 06:34:41 AM by Elric »
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timboréale

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Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2023, 08:25:57 AM »
Very happy with Beyerdynamic DT990 open-backs and a good headphone amp. I use the 250 Ohms. I also have a pair of DT770s for closed-back work that are 80 ohms and those work well with a wide variety of amps, though not quite as "clear" as the 990s, I'd not call them coloured, but "denser". The 990's are quite open.

None of these are the same as a pair of Audeze or something, but for the money go audition some Beyerdynamics and the Sennheiser 6xx and 8xx series, and some of the higher end AudioTechnicas if you care to. I found the Beyers suited my listening preferences and translate accurately (I've done some headphone-only mixes on the 990s that were quite well received), but it's going to be up to how you hear and how well you can translate - any decent pair of 'phones that let you hear everything in the sound will be workable to mix on - you learn to compensate for any differences like you do with speakers in a room, so it needn't be exact. Stuff like Bose and consumer / pop / noise cancelling headphones you should stay the heck away from as they introduce nasty phase distortions and overemphasized eq curves mask other sounds.

As for the Sony MDR7506 - these are a classic recording pair, as they're very pronounced in the midrange and are perfect for auditioning the vocal range well. Unfortunately they suffer from a lack of good ear sealing on many people's heads (mine, certainly) and are rather lacking in low end extension/clarity, so I can't recommend them for mixing, but ymmv. I have a pair, in fact they were the first pair of decent headphones I bought myself decades ago, and I still prefer them for camera work as the vocal range pops out of the background very well on them - they're great broadcaster cans too, for that same reason.
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LPF83

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Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2023, 08:44:31 AM »
...and a pair of Sony MDR 7506s that I've had forever

I have an ancient pair of these too.
I think the mid-level version, but they are decades old.
(I checked... same 7506!)

I think there are/were 3 quality levels of the MDR series?
 - Cheap, okay level. Good, semi-pro level. And Hi quality "pro" level.

I've had them so long I don't recall much about the circumstances.  I think I bought them around 2005.  I still use them a lot because being low-impedance they are good for moving around / plugging into the port of different gear and not worrying too much about abusing higher end headphones.  I've replaced earpads on them twice.
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Elric

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Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2023, 10:36:39 AM »
I've replaced earpads on them twice.

Re:  Sony MDR 7506s...

That's funny.
 I have a new set of earpads I bought a few years ago.
 I still have them in their original 'bag'.

My super old earpads are only partially decayed. So I leave the replacements waiting. - So, I have new earpads available for when the old ones actually completely fail.

And man do I love the unscrewable 1/4 inch plug to get to the 1/8 inch plug!!  --  Does anybody else do that anymore? It's got to be out of patent by now. - Brilliant!
« Last Edit: June 25, 2023, 10:52:42 AM by Elric »
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Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2023, 11:42:40 AM »
I've replaced earpads on them twice.

Re:  Sony MDR 7506s...


And man do I love the unscrewable 1/4 inch plug to get to the 1/8 inch plug!!  --  Does anybody else do that anymore? It's got to be out of patent by now. - Brilliant!

Actually, it's quite a common feature. All of my headphones do that - my ATs, my Beyer Dynamics, my Sonys and my AKG headphones all have the unscrewable 1/4-to-1/8 inch option... very handy!

Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2023, 10:32:47 AM »
Curious if anyone has the Slate Audio VSX phones. They're mainly for mixing, but I'm seeing great reviews on various recording forums amongst actual studio peeps.

timboréale

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Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2023, 05:32:55 AM »
Any "flat enough" frequency response with good phase control and sufficient bass extension is going to be suitable for mixing on 'cans. Mix engineers deal with tons of variability in the listening gear - look at the frequency response of the venerable NS-10s, used for any number of hits. They're atrocious by modern standards and yet a good mix engineer (such as Bob Clearwater) could produce award-winning mixes on them in *any* room he mixed in - he carted them around with him, notably. The point is that the gear doesn't make the mix, the engineer does. Knowing your gear, how it translates, what it (and your) weaknesses and proclivities are and being willing and able to correct for them, that's just part of the job.

Any of the headphones discussed so far can be used to produce a great mix, if you're willing to put the work in. And the best headphones in the world won't make your mix better if you're not.

So don't bother with the BS about whether a headphone is "for mixing" or not. It's irrelevant and you don't need them. :) Get the pair of cans you're happy on your head for a long time and that let you hear the mix in way you can translate well to any other system you play it back on.

For tracking, same basic idea: knowing the gear outweighs how good the gear is, as long as the gear doesn't seriously alter or prevent you from hearing what's there.
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Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2023, 07:26:17 AM »
Any "flat enough" frequency response with good phase control and sufficient bass extension is going to be suitable for mixing on 'cans. Mix engineers deal with tons of variability in the listening gear - look at the frequency response of the venerable NS-10s, used for any number of hits. They're atrocious by modern standards and yet a good mix engineer (such as Bob Clearwater) could produce award-winning mixes on them in *any* room he mixed in - he carted them around with him, notably. The point is that the gear doesn't make the mix, the engineer does. Knowing your gear, how it translates, what it (and your) weaknesses and proclivities are and being willing and able to correct for them, that's just part of the job.

Any of the headphones discussed so far can be used to produce a great mix, if you're willing to put the work in. And the best headphones in the world won't make your mix better if you're not.

So don't bother with the BS about whether a headphone is "for mixing" or not. It's irrelevant and you don't need them. :) Get the pair of cans you're happy on your head for a long time and that let you hear the mix in way you can translate well to any other system you play it back on.

For tracking, same basic idea: knowing the gear outweighs how good the gear is, as long as the gear doesn't seriously alter or prevent you from hearing what's there.

I've been mixing in headphones most of my life, typically moving between two pairs and monitor speakers. Also, I run my mixes past my mastering engineer before anything gets sent off and do a final round of adjustments based on feedback given. This has worked well enough for me, but I'm always curious for different options. The VSX headphones work with digital emulations of various specific mixing environments, whether that means speakers, rooms etc. I'm pretty intrigued by this and now that I'm seeing positive reports come in from studio owners, mixers etc, I'm all the more curious. The Slate adverts themselves are way too frothy to believe. Just wondering if the VSX phones were being used by any forum members...

maxter

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Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2023, 07:11:27 AM »
I'll throw AKG in the mix here, K601 are still my favourite headphones to date. Suitable for classical music and such music with much detail, where you want real clarity in the mids and tops, and overtones. Yet quite "warm", compared to their K702's razor sharp ice cold clarity. Don't know how much it has to do with them responding up to 40khz compared to most headphones at 20khz, as one cannot really distinguish that high up, but there's something special imo. K702 make my ears/head tired a lot sooner than most headphones, so it comes at a price I suppose.
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chysn

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Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2023, 07:07:52 AM »
Hey, all! I've been keeping my face out of this conversation, but I want to thank everyone for chiming in with some of your favorites. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50X was $50 off for Amazon Prime Day, so I picked up a set of those. They're apparently mostly just an update of the ATH-M40X recommended by Anton. I'll report back about how I like them, and whether they're an improvement over my Shure when it comes to Prophet 5 listening.

Thanks again!
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chysn

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Re: Headphone Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2023, 03:38:36 PM »
Super-happy with the new Audio-Technicas. The difference between them and my Shures is not a subtle difference. Given that I dropped a few grand on a synth, the money spent on these headphones was probably the best-possible bang for the buck. The lows are boomier and more well-defined, the highs are more delicate and also more well-defined. Everything is just way better.
Prophet 5 Rev 4 #2711

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www.wav2pro3.comwww.soundcloud.com/beige-mazewww.github.com/chysnwww.beigemaze.com

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