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Best mixing headphones?
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #31
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I wouldn't advise the Bose noise cancellnig headphones. I have a pair. They are great for general listening, but they sound slow and quite spongy. After I go the ma few years ago I tried mixng late at night with them. flicked back to the speakers and voila - a completely different mix. I avoided using headphones for a while until I got my Grado's a few months back.

Good luck.

Lots of good info and frequency charts here:

Products - HeadRoom - Right Between Your Ears
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #32
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elambo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I took the Bose suggestion as a joke. Could it be any other way?

One thing that becomes crucial with uber high quality phones is the preamp. The world's greatest phones might sound terrible with an average preamp because the phones are revealing the problems. If you bump up to an HD600 or one of the other very articulate phones, you'll HAVE to consider a quality preamp. Sony 7506 can work with any preamp because they're not going to give you the real story anyway. But of course you'd never MIX with 7506.

If I HAD to mix with phones (and that seem to be the assumption here, not that it would be the ideal solution), I'd use HD600s. I prefer them to the HD650s. But I'd do what I could to couple them with a good preamp. They go from good to excellent when driven by a nice pre. At that level, even the cable itself makes a difference.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #33
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Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo ➑️
I'd use HD600s. I prefer them to the HD600.
Could you edit that? I'm guessing you mean you prefer, as I do, the 600s to the 650s.

I'm not a fan of the Bose, and their marketing dept. is shamefully shameless.

Unfortunately, I haven't ABed the the Beyers, so I have no opinion there, but I own all the rest. Personally, I would go for the AKGs if I needed open backed but would more likely go for the Denons because they're cleaner and more neutral (though the AKGs are very neutral) and that closed backed might be useful in tracking, either for you if you're on location, or for the client. The Senns are too muffled to be a reference for me anymore. I used to use them for that but I've moved on. I also use Etymotic Research ER4Ss for isolating in ear type. They're excellent, very transparent but lean and a little bright, polar opposite of the Sennheisers. THe ER4Ss prefer a headphone amp but the ER4Ps are easier to drive, have more bass and are only very slightly less transparent for the same price.

I'm a dealer for all the above and just to make it clear I can get the Beyers as well, I just haven't prioritized them, so it's not a bias, just negligence. The Denons have been very hard to get in and I'm currently backordered along with everyone else.

Re: headphone amps that use a matrix to ameliorate the in the head thing, I haven't found them to be very effective but that's me. I tend to be suspicious of extra junk in the circuit and have confirmed, for myself, that it is a degradation in transparency, but I'm a purist.

Good luck and enjoy!
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #34
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper ➑️
Could you edit that? I'm guessing you mean you prefer, as I do, the 600s to the 650s.

I'm not a fan of the Bose, and their marketing dept. is shamefully shameless.

Unfortunately, I haven't ABed the the Beyers, so I have no opinion there, but I own all the rest. Personally, I would go for the AKGs if I needed open backed but would more likely go for the Denons because they're cleaner and more neutral (though the AKGs are very neutral) and that closed backed might be useful in tracking, either for you if you're on location, or for the client. The Senns are too muffled to be a reference for me anymore. I used to use them for that but I've moved on. I also use Etymotic Research ER4Ss for isolating in ear type. They're excellent, very transparent but lean and a little bright, polar opposite of the Sennheisers. THe ER4Ss prefer a headphone amp but the ER4Ps are easier to drive, have more bass and are only very slightly less transparent for the same price.
Is there that big of a difference between the Denon 2000, 5000 and the 7000's?

I originally had some Sennheiser HD600's which I really loved, and "moved up" to the HD650's - but I find that the balance is totally off on the HD650's. Way too bass heavy without any of the clarity and openness that the HD600's have. My mixes translated very well up top with the HD600's (mids and highs), the bass ended up just a tad loud - but overall very nice.

It's also worth mentioning that I also have a pair of Ultrasone Proline 650's which are nice for closed headphones, but mixes don't translate well with them at all. The ultrasones have a nice open sound, and are not fatiguing at all, but my mixes are slightly off. My first pair of "pro" headphones was the Sony 7506. Worst headphones ever. The sound was all over the place, totally inaccurate, and the drivers would pancake your ears after 15 minutes of usage. They were sledgehammers not headphones. I tried the 7509's, and hated those for a bunch of other reasons.

I just need a pair of headphones that translate mixes accurately - cost doesn't really matter, although the Denon 7000's at $1000 might be a little ridiculous...

AKG 701, Denon 2000, Denon 5000, or just stick with the HD600?

Last edited by brock; 26th January 2009 at 07:12 AM.. Reason: Needed more info
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #35
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Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by brock ➑️
Is there that big of a difference between the Denon 2000, 5000 and the 7000's?
Yes. The Price! heh Seriously though. yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brock ➑️
I just need a pair of headphones that translate mixes accurately - cost doesn't really matter, although the Denon 7000's at $1000 might be a little ridiculous...
Until you hear them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brock ➑️
AKG 701, Denon 2000, Denon 5000, or just stick with the HD600?
Keep your 600s and add a Denon 5000, or a 7000 if you don't mind taking a chance on being ridiculous. They'll be a useful difference, IMHO. And the closed backs might come in handy.

And don't forget about the Etymotics. You'd have to keep an eye on the bottom end, in that you won't know, for instance, how present the kick or bass is on a truly full range system unless you reference the mix on something else, but you'll really be able to hear what's going on inside the mix and that ain't a bad thing. The Denons would be the perfect balance between the ERs and the Senns.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #36
Gear Head
 
SeveBC's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Not mentioned models

Sennheiser HD25 closed back: light durable, great for location work, DJing, great for singers who prefer sound quality to massive cans (prevent spill), not hyped and good bottom end but a touch dull sounding.

Grado GS1000 are both highly revealing and surprisingly forgiving of poor sources, they don't measure neutral but do offer a neutral balanced soundscape. Work well with Mytek 8x192 headphone out.

However, hi end headphones markedly improve with a high quality headphone amp.

As others have stated one really needs to use speakers in conjunction with headphones to check spatial and bottom end.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #37
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Transistor's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper ➑️
Not new news but, headphones, albeit cheap ones, are becoming the main listening medium for many, perhaps most, listeners. We may need to shift our paradigm around what we're mixing for.
That's very true. For mixing "in the can" I regularly use Proline 750 and 2500's, but keep a pair of Sennheiser buds and a set of (awful) Skullcandy cans just to check against most (!, at least in my part of the world) listeners' preferred playback system. BTW, the Ultrasones are extremely sensitive to placement on the head. A small tilt affects the frequency balance.

As for the general question about mixing on cans, I feel it's more about knowing the environment (=the cans) than cans or no cans. Personally I go for both heh

r,
j,
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #38
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Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marineville ➑️
My Sennheiser 650s sound pretty much the same as my K+H 0300Ds. Wouldn't mix on cans though.
Wow... That's some endorsement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by barbital
Another option would be Ultrasone Pro 2500. Satisfactory for mixing, especially if you want reasonable translation to speakers. The Ultrasone headphones use a non-standard driver placement which involves the shape of the ear in the perception of sound, thereby providing a fairly convincing near-field effect - different to all other headphones and some argue that they sound like speakers.
Ultrasones - I've been recomended this brand, but not any specific model. Thanks for the tip

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeveBC
Sennheiser HD25 closed back: light durable, great for location work, DJing, great for singers who prefer sound quality to massive cans (prevent spill), not hyped and good bottom end but a touch dull sounding.
HD25 (not the SP version) I've found that my mixes consistently come out slightly dark, and a little mid-shy, especially where elec gtrs "edgy" freqs sit... and bass-heavy with the HD25s.

So my conclusion is they hype the 1k to 3k region and 5k upwards, and don't translate the low bass well for mixing.

Listening on them is always a pleasurable experience though
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #39
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John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
To put the cat among the pigeons - I am going to get the new HD 800 for this.

But (sit down) they are Β£1,000 / $1,400 - all the talk is on Head-Fi HERE if you want to see what people are saying.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #40
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Marineville's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'd be very interested in your opinion when you get hold of the HD800s John.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #41
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John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marineville ➑️
I'd be very interested in your opinion when you get hold of the HD800s John.
I should get hold of the first pair in the UK and Hugh Robjohns will be reviewing them in Sound on Sound when they become properly available (est. March).
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #42
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4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I've got AKG K240s and like 'em. Not sure how they compare with the more expensive AKG's recommended earlier in the thread.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #43
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett ➑️
I should get hold of the first pair in the UK and Hugh Robjohns will be reviewing them in Sound on Sound when they become properly available (est. March).
Excellent!
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #44
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett ➑️
I should get hold of the first pair in the UK and Hugh Robjohns will be reviewing them in Sound on Sound when they become properly available (est. March).
I remember buying my first pair of Sony MDR 7509 because of Hugh Robjohns recommendations I have now got the MDR 7509HD, which I find even more accurate.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #45
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Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I was just gonna mention the new Senn 800s. I haven't heard them yet as I didn't go to CES this year but the buzz is all good. How they compare to the Denon 7000s is the question. It may leave it on the note of whether it's important to you to have either closed or open backed, there being context dependent advantages to both.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #46
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jindrich's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
DON'T mix on cans.

they're ok for editing, but for the final mix, you're talking about a stereo speaker system VS binaural. That's Apples vs Oranges.

I've tried a lot of cans, and mostly all of the more expensive ones. I tried mixing on many of them. When I was satisfyed with the mix, I then listened to the result on speakers:

TOTALLY wrong.

overall balance, levels, reverbs (specially that one) etc.


If someone can mix on headphones, I'd urge you to enlighten us. I'd appreciate it very much. Really.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #47
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Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Restating the obvious perhaps but I look at headphones as a magnifying glass and would never use them as the only reference unless I had no choice, as in some live on location situations. I have a very high resolution monitoring system but I still can hear into certain kinds of details better on good cans.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #48
Gear Maniac
 
shmoo2407's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Grados

They are amazing mixing headphones, I can get very close with them alone.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #49
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich ➑️
DON'T mix on cans.

they're ok for editing, but for the final mix, you're talking about a stereo speaker system VS binaural. That's Apples vs Oranges.

I've tried a lot of cans, and mostly all of the more expensive ones. I tried mixing on many of them. When I was satisfyed with the mix, I then listened to the result on speakers:

TOTALLY wrong.

overall balance, levels, reverbs (specially that one) etc.


If someone can mix on headphones, I'd urge you to enlighten us. I'd appreciate it very much. Really.

I have been mixing my own stuff with cans for years and I don't have a translation issue. I checked my mixes on my monitors too but I trust my headphones more...It's just a question of habit. Also I listen to music outside the studio with the same pair of headphones 90% of the time so I know exactly how commercially released music sound on these headphones (Sony MDR 7509HD)
Also I am sure there are avantages to work with speakers, I have to work with the limitiation of my studio with a less than ideal acoustic.
PS: People seems to listen to music on the move or at work with headphones more and more so it is important to know how to mix for this medium too IMO.
Everybody seems to have a different opinion regarding headpones choice but for me the 7509HD are the ones I prefer. And they have NOTHING in common with the 7506s.
I haven't tried the uber expensive Senn 800s or DEnon 7000s though

If you are worried about the binaural issue, some headphone amps offer a crossfeed filter like Meier-audio.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #50
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Toddio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
GRADO +1

Everyone here who had tried them ends up buying them. I have had SR-60's, SR-80's, SR-125's and SR-325's. They're built like a kite, and sound like a squadron of bombers. The open design obviously isn't ideal for tracking, but for rough mixing or close surgical work they are the best I've used. Mixes translate really well, with only minor tweaking. I use SR-80's day to day, but the SR-125's are my favourite in the studio.

Grado Labs, Inc.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #51
Gear Head
 
SeveBC's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
@Blast9

Quote:
HD25 (not the SP version) I've found that my mixes consistently come out slightly dark, and a little mid-shy, especially where elec gtrs "edgy" freqs sit... and bass-heavy with the HD25s.

So my conclusion is they hype the 1k to 3k region and 5k upwards, and don't translate the low bass well for mixing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeveBC
Sennheiser HD25 closed back: light durable, great for location work, DJing
The clue was in the location work, DJing (another form of mixing!).

Dark would be a better descriptor than dull. However, if you first famillarised yourself with commercial tracks similar to your own intended production and then repeatedly A/B your ongoing mix against the commercial examplers you should avoid the issues mentioned. I have an 18dB deficit in my right ear in addition to measurable age related hi-end attenuation (hearing loss). Knowing ones own hearing deficits becomes all the more important with headphones!heh
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #52
Gear Addict
 
hernanperez2000's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
HD-650

+1 hd-650

I don't mix on headphones but very good for reference. An excelent compliment to my focal twin6 be. A good amp is very important.

thanks. hernan.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #53
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Knastratt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
One of my 60% headphone mixes just came back from mastering from a highly revered mastering AE with a "very good mix" tag on it.

To each his own!
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #54
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🎧 15 years
Love Grados
Got some SR80s very sweet phones
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #55
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Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeveBC ➑️
The clue was in the location work, DJing (another form of mixing!).

Dark would be a better descriptor than dull. However, if you first famillarised yourself with commercial tracks similar to your own intended production and then repeatedly A/B your ongoing mix against the commercial examplers you should avoid the issues mentioned. I have an 18dB deficit in my right ear in addition to measurable age related hi-end attenuation (hearing loss). Knowing ones own hearing deficits becomes all the more important with headphones!heh
What I meant was I think they are a little on the bright side (not dull) - consequently my mixes come out slightly dull/dark - because I end up cutting top end a little... nevertheless these cans are not fatiguing! I use them to listen to commercial music for pleasure all the time, but I always without fail, get the bass wrong. But yes - a/b is a must!
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #56
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Larrysings's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
[QUOTE=Fleaman;3850078]AT ATH-M50's will surprise you. They almost sound like being in a room with nice full range speakers, it's uncanny. Don't let their low price offend you....

I agree, they sound like my focal twin 6's in a great room. We just redid our place and the sound is amazing. Great cans!!
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #57
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman ➑️
AT ATH-M50's will surprise you. They almost sound like being in a room with nice full range speakers, it's uncanny. Don't let their low price offend you....

Wouldn't dare try to mix on Sony 7506's.

+1 heh
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #58
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Depends on what you're mixing really, I could probably pump out reasonably good house/techno mixes on my HD-25 headphones since I use them constantly for DJing but I wouldn't in a million years try mixing rock or anything acoustic on them. They're also a bit fatiguing, though that might just be the tight band squeezing on my enormous dome. heh

I've got an old progressive house track around here that I made on HD-280Pro cans during a long layover in Ohio and it turned out okay (it actually won Pete Tong's Bedroom Bedlam thing last year which was surprising since generally only the cheesiest 'electro' fromage wins that) though I would definitely tear it down and re-mix it if I were going to do a proper release. Listening to it now, I would probably have quite a bit of work ahead of me to get a really tight mix on it but as a rough mixdone in a noisy airport it isn't too bad.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #59
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666666's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I have the ATM-H50s, 7506s, HD600s and have tried the Beyers etc...

I pretty much like `em all, they all have their strong points and weaknesses...

The HD600 are by far the most comfortable headphone in existence, period, and sound great... I use these when I just want to relax and enjoy great music. But they are a bit hyped in the highs and lows, the mids are a bit weak, so... for ultra critical editing, I might not choose these.... but they are extremely pleasant to use for just about everything else.

THe ATM-H50s... closed cup and in my opinion extremely inaccurate. I've never used a close cup phone that even came close to matching a good open cup design. I do think the M50's are excellent as far as closed cup is concerned though. Sometimes you need to attenuate ambient sounds when working, that's when I reach for the M50s.... but otherwise I do not reach for them. They definitely have that strange "phasey" thing going on that most or all closed cup designs have. Closed cup is just bad in general, avoid if you can. If you do not agree, do a back to back comparison of an M50 and an HD600 and you'll see what I mean... you might throw the M50s in the trash after such a test. But... I DO think the M50's are good (for closed cup anyway) and I'm keeping mine.

Of all these, if I HAD to "mix" on phones (which I'd never do, but, just talking), I'd reach for the 7506s. They may not be the "flattest" around, but after I did direct A/B comparison testing of all these mentioned phones including the 7506s, to me anyway, they proved to be the "flattest" and most natural and accurate of the bunch. They reveal very well... like NS10s... better than the rest. You hear everything... clean, tight and fast... it's all there, no blur, no ambiguity, etc. Or another way to put it, all the others were even "more hyped" or had more serious issues. I was surprised as they are the cheapest of the bunch, but... in my opinion, you can't go wrong with them. Again, I'm not saying they are "flat", but flatter than most, and reveal better than most in terms of overall accuracy.

But I still use my HD600s MOST of the time... because they just sound and feel so darned nice. I don't use the 7506s unless I really need a good degree of accuracy and ultra precision. The HD600s are indeed very precise and detailed, but certain frequencies can tend to not be as present as they should be which can lead to problems if you are doing ultra critical audio editing or "mixing".

The 7509s... never tried `em, but since the 7506s have proven to be so good, I am curious about the 7509s... that'll be my next pair to check out.

THe AKG 701s... haven't heard these, but I did try `em on my head once, and I was very unhappy... not very comfortable at all... for the price, I'll stick with the HD600s which are about 8 million times more comfortable and surely sound great.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #60
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Forgive me for not reading the thread, but I'll just toss another voice out there to simply say that you can't mix with head phones. tutt

Sometimes they can help to place something in a 'space' but you can't mix with headphones.tutt
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