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Studio head phones

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by svebbi, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. svebbi

    svebbi Guest

    I was wondering if anyone of you can tell what head phone I can use in my amateur studio as an alternative to a set of expensive studio monitors. Please tell me which one I should choose, and why. Max price would be $350.
    Thanx! :D :cool:
  2. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    I like the Sennhieser HD 280's. But I don't know if it's a good idea to use headphones as your primary monitoring source. I find they tend to squash dynamic range.
  3. tony desilva

    tony desilva Guest

    Try the Sony MDR7506. They retail for $99 and are a joy to use.
  4. shezan

    shezan Guest

    go for the AKG headphones pal
  5. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    I vote for the Sony MDR-7506. They are are loud and can take a beating. The two most important requiremnents.

  6. tony desilva

    tony desilva Guest

    Svebbi, you owe it to yourself to give the Sony MDR7506 a listen before plunking $350 down on different pair of headphones. I got turned on to them after reading in MIX that a veteran Mastering Engineer uses them. They are really good.
  7. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    I'll post a counterpoint on the SONYs - I listened to them when shopping for cans and thought they we excessivly bright to the point of being harsh and brittle sounding.

    I ended up with the AKG 240s cans. I have heard a lot of folks speak highly of the Beyer 770. These are $200 at GC. I have not heard them myself.

    If headphones were a viable alternative to good monitors, don't you think more folks would use them?

    I have mixed with cans at times, and have heard mixes by other folks using headphones. Reverb settings I make with headphones usually suck when I listen through monitors. Doubling guitars and other effects where you are trying to get a nice W I D E sound stage are often way off base when you are working with headphones.

    IMHO - you need to rely first on monitors - use headphones for special tasks. Powered monitors with a reasonable reputation (at least from those who own them) can be had for not a lot more than your $350 limit.

  8. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    One other thing. Just as great sounding speakers might make lousy monitors, great sounding headphones might be lousy for any mix work.

    I REALLY like my Grado headphones, but they are worthless for monitoring or any mix work.
  9. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    Zemlin has a point about the Sony's but...

    I would never suggest using headphones to mix with. I've owned literally dozens of pairs of AKG 240's and they do not hold up well to the inevitable abuse that happens to cans.

    Plus, they (AKG 240) are not very loud or overly bright. This imho is a bad thing for long tracking sessions. I wish they were a bit warmer but I love the fact that they are louder then hell.

    Also, you can kick the $*^t out of them and they just keep on "keepin' on".

    My 0.02

  10. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    i really dig my akg k240df!
    they have a great sound! and they survived a lot of banging...
  11. Krou

    Krou Active Member

    - Sennheiser HD280 Pro ($99)
    - Sony MDR7506 ($99)

    Sony's are a bit brighter and not as much of a "closed" cup deign. The Senns slowly became my favorite, just fuller sounding and very comfortable.

    Oh yeah, as mentioned above, never, ever, attempt to mix with cans.
  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hmmm... Headphones in place of high priced studio monitors - for $350. Don't do it !:twisted:

    You would be far better off getting a decent, but inexpensive pair of monitors with an inexpensive amp (many combos can be had for your $350 budget) and a set of Auralex MoPads and take the time to set them up correctly.

    Might I suggest the KRK ST6's with any $150 amplifier you can find. This may not be THE best set-up in the world, but it will allow you to hear accurate instrument placement, work for more hours without fatiguing, and give you a more accurate representation of the sound through a normal playback system.

    And hey, if you still fancy headphones, you can always strap those bad-boys to your head - their not that heavy...

    Just my humorous $.02

  13. thbears

    thbears Guest

    I agree Sony 7506's are pretty much a standard on film sets..But not for mixing. Use your money on a good pair of flat powered Monitors..Headphones are good for monitoring levels when shooting on field locations or on noisy sets but that's about all their really useful for.
  14. ehlerth

    ehlerth Guest

    I once owned a pair of sennheizer 280's.
    I'd go with them again if i needed a new pair.
    They are really nice sounding.

    And as already mentioned in this thread: beware that using headphones for mixing can SERIOUSLY damage your ears, and will make your recordings sound (mmhh..) crappy.

    have fun
  15. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Like Zemlin, I love Grado headphones.

    To my ears they have a tonal balance and level of fidelity that puts them in a league of their own. I'm not claiming that they are a substitute for monitors, but I spend a lot of time using mine, as I do a lot of work outside the studio, and I find they give a better idea of what something will sound like on monitors than any other phones I've tried.

    They are all open back models, so they're not suitable for use when overdubbing. Unfortunaltely the quality of headphone electronics in a lot of equipment isn't the best so it's wise to invest in a dedicated headphone amplifier.

    John Stafford
  16. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    While the headphones I tote around with me on airplanes when I'm playing with Nuendo in the laptop are Ultrasone 650's... for studio work all I recommend are AKG K-141's. They're not as bright as the 240's [equally fragile when you throw them, but no where near as bright]... over several hours of use you will find less fatigue from these cans than any other I have experienced.
  17. johnthemiracle

    johnthemiracle Active Member

    excuse me, you recommend the 141's? these are by far the most unlinear headphones i have ever heard...terrible!
  18. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Golly John... isn't it great that we can both have differing opinions that are both spot on. I'm talking about fatigue, as in the performers are wearing headphones and I would like them to be able to concentrate on giving up a great performance instead of having their ears fried by an overly bright set of cans during a couple of weeks of 14hr./day sessions. I reckon I should have clarified the delineation in the original post. My bad.

    It seems like you're talking about listening to headphones in a mix application... which I feel is unadvisable at best... but from time to time a necessary evil [like when I'm sitting on an airplane doing a vocal comp, or even mixing parts of a song]. I have found that the Ultrasone's are great for that application... I mean, they're not Grado's but they're a damn sight better than a pair of K240's and have pretty damn good isolation.

    To each their own my brother... if K141's don't work for you, I would highly suggest you not use them. After 25 or so years of watching them work well for the people on the other side of the glass [like from back when they were called "K 140"s]... I have to say that I have seen less musician burnout with those cans than any other. I'm not saying my experience is gospel truth by any stretch of the matter, all I'm saying is that it has been my observation.

  19. johnthemiracle

    johnthemiracle Active Member

    ok, i can see your point, fletcher.

    i still wouldn't recommend them for various reasons. first and foremost, and i admit this might be a matter of personal taste, i found them fatigueing because of their overly present bass response. and there are fellow musicians and engineers that agree with me...(but you get a point for the 141's not being overly bright...)

    i could think of critical applications where they might muddy up the low end in a way that for example bass and kick drum would be harder to seperate for the musicians than with more linear cans.

    and last but not least i think it would be the best idea to use linear cans for any application, i have the suspicion that the reason for the 141 being so popular is more price than quality...(if you have to buy many headphones for your studio that might matter)

    i think the 270 (hope i got that number right, might also be 271 now) would be much more appropriate for tracking, and you would get less or next to no crosstalk with that one because it's closed. which makes them also well suited for a live environment or something like airplane use.

    one more thing...i think it's not a bad idea to at least double check with headphones once when mixing or editing...my akg k500 occasionally reveal certain things more drastically than my genelec 1031's do...that might be due to a different frequency response, however i don't want to evaluate any of both based on that...

    still if the 141's work for you...well, i guess you're not wearing them for 14 hours very often, are you? :twisted: ...by any means use them...btw i have a pair of 140's lying around here with a dead right channel...but i've got no intention to get 'em fixed... :wink:

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