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Old 09-12-2009, 11:43 PM
moosensquirrel moosensquirrel is offline
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Default Headphones for Mixing and Listening?

Hey, all. I'll try to make this brief because I like to talk peoples ears off about this stuff. I haven't owned a stereo in years and years that I simply enjoyed just listening to. On the other hand, I am studying to become a recording engineer, and I have too poor of a system for quality mixing. I'm a student too busy to work much, making minimum wage only a few hours a week, so we can't think of anything too grandiose. I am considering headphones because I believe the sound quality to be greater than I could get with book shelf speakers or studio monitors at the same price point. What I want to buy: a pair of headphones neutral enough for listening (rock, jazz, classical) and accurate enough for mixing. My budget is slightly flexible. I have $200 right now for headphones (cash from a returned birthday present). I can get more, but it takes time. Maybe I could buy some headphones around that price range or a little above, and a couple months down the road I could purchase a decent headphone amp and dac. My computer and recording interface will be my sources. I found it easier to mix on my dad's Grado SR80 headphones than any book shelf speakers I have, and the SR80 is only $100. I have been thinking about middle of the road Grados, Sennheisers, or AKG, maybe even the Grado 325is or the Sennheiser HD650. It would be convenient if they were a closed design so I could record with them too, but since I wouldn't want all my musicians wearing my listening cans, I should probably buy some $40 closed muffs down the road at some point anyway. What have you got for me?
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2009, 12:09 AM
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The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
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You really need to break your sentences up, and paragraphs are a good thing. I couldn't get past the first few lines,......

Last edited by The DarkSide; 09-15-2009 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:15 AM
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a_tumiwa a_tumiwa is offline
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yes, paragraph 1 is for your story,paragraph 2 is for the real question
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  #4  
Old 09-13-2009, 11:23 AM
JK98 JK98 is offline
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$200 budget? Neutral closed headphone for recording, mixing, and portable use? Try the Sony MDR 7509. I think J&R or B&H in NYC sells it for $180.

For the musicians, a good lower priced closed reference headphone that is less expensive is the Sony V6. It is also extremely durable and widely used in recording studios, radio stations, and tv production(they usually buy the Sony 7506 headphone, which is the same headphone as the V6 but with a gold plated plug, longer warranty, and higher price). The V6 is around $65.
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:56 AM
CWF CWF is offline
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You gave us quite much information but you missed the part where you tell us what music you're making, pal!

To quote the most relevant stuff at first:
Quote:
My computer and recording interface will be my sources. I found it easier to mix on my dad's Grado SR80 headphones than any book shelf speakers I have, and the SR80 is only $100. I have been thinking about middle of the road Grados, Sennheisers, or AKG, maybe even the Grado 325is or the Sennheiser HD650.
Alright.
I'd rather not think of using a Grado for Mixing - honestly, they're quite fun to listen too but are everything but neutral. Furthermore, Grados at a lower level than at least RS1/RS2 lack a reasonable imaging of soundstage, so you will never know exactly what your mix will sound like in terms of wideness in the end.
The SR325i in detail is a very bright phone with an - to my ears - awkward midrange and mostly tight and kicking but not seriously deep bass.

If you're thinking of Sennheiser, I'd recommend the HD600, as it's more neutral than the HD650 - the latter lacks a certain amount of highs, has a very full, voluminous midrange that tends to the lower mids and a quite overwhelming bass. Altogether makes the HD650 what it is beloved for - one of the most decent relaxed sounding headphones ever. But I'd rather not recommend it for mastering your music. So the reasonably brighter HD600 would do a better job, I think.

AKGs lineup makes me think of the K701 to be one fine headphone, especially when it comes to terms of detail, clarity and midrange. But: I don't know if you've ever listened to music through a K701? There's its good and controlled but occasionally a slight bit too silent bass which might (or might not, depends on you) force you to turn more bass into your mix than is really necessary. If you play pianomusic and have vocalists and somewhat violins or celli recorderd, I'd see no problem with that; but if you're some kind of DJ you may miss a certain amount of Bang.
You'd have to try, I suppose.

After that being said, I'd recommend some other, cheaper headphone models which are basically used in the environment you look for - mastering, but sometimes just listening to music.
First is the AudioTechnica M50, studio headphone with quite nice overall sound for both listening and mixing. Well, it slightly has a bit of the AudioTechnica-colouration in the upper mids, but nothing serious.
Other thing would be the Beyerdynamic DT-250 (in the 250 Ohms Version!), which has a bit more neutral mids but isn't that energetic in terms of bass and pace overall. Excellent monitor phone, 'though!


Small conclusion:
HD600 or K701 are better for listening to music - don't know where you're from, but especially Sennheisers can be vastly expensive in some regions of the world. I encountered some prices above 400$ for a HD600, which is simply too much - I'd look out for some used headphone.
M50 and DT250 - I don't know how much these cost around the world. The M50 could be bought over bluetin.com or pricejapan.com, those should be the cheapest stores to buy one. Beyerdynamic's DT250 is another question, don't know where to buy it (I live in Europe, they're practically being sold on every street, you know? *)

One last thing - if you think about buying a HD600 or DT250 I'd seriously think about a headphone amp on the long term. It's not some "conditio sine qua non", but it would help quite a lot.
You could build one by yourself for quite a little money - do some search about the headphone amplifier "Eaton" - stationary, and quite fine.
Otherwise, try AMBs Mini M, or simply a cmoy.


Hope you can take something out of it, but take in mind: All above is just my personal opinion

regards


(*) Ah, just kidding...
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:52 AM
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Some of the best headphones for mixing are Sennheiser HD 25-1 II and Beyerdynamic DT770. Sound preferences don't really matter in that case, since the headphone is just a "tool" in this case, in my opinion. Those two are extremely sturdy phones and isolate well enough from outside noises. Needless to say, they also sound good.

For listening... I hate the K701, most Grados, and don't like the HD600 overly much. I love the HD650, though - they're my headphone of choice when it comes to enjoying music.
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:21 PM
CWF CWF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
Some of the best headphones for mixing are Sennheiser HD 25-1 II and Beyerdynamic DT770. Sound preferences don't really matter in that case, since the headphone is just a "tool" in this case, in my opinion. Those two are extremely sturdy phones and isolate well enough from outside noises. Needless to say, they also sound good.
Do you use one of them for mixing by yourself?

I honestly think that there are many good headphones to be worth a look by moosensquirrel - but that wouldn't help him at this point, I guess. Basically I'd suggest he looks out to try any headphone previously mentioned in this thread by himself to get an idea of what he is looking for in detail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
For listening... I hate the K701, most Grados, and don't like the HD600 overly much. I love the HD650, though - they're my headphone of choice when it comes to enjoying music.
So I shouldn't suggest you try a Beyerdynamic DT931 then, should I?
I hope that my statements didn't sound too unalterable to you or anyone else (my second thought and reason to point out that everything I wrote is my point of view).

By the way, do you use any peculiar amp with your HD650?
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:25 PM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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No, you probably don't have to suggest me any phones to try.

I've been using the HD 25 and DT770 for DJing for several years, and now use the HFi-780, since they just sound better to my ears, although they look like crap and are less comfy than the Beyers (more comfy than the Senns, though). Most people swear by the HD 25 still, though (most people I know, meaning the majority of Austrian Hip Hop and Electro/Techno artists). They're virtually indestructible, and easy to store in a record bag or similar. I don't like their supra-aural design, personally.

I use a Woo Audio 6 amp (Mullard GZ34, RCA 6DE7 tubes) with my HD650, fed by an AudioFire4 over ASIO.
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