Any headphones good enough for mixdowns?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by coldsnow, Jul 28, 2001.

  1. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    May 14, 2001
    Mogadore, OH
    Are there any headphones that you can use for mixdown purposes to get an accurate mix? I was looking at the ADG K270S but don't want to spend $240 if you can't use them to mix down.
  2. Traumakind

    Traumakind Guest


    You cannot use headphones for mixdown, it won`t work! You need good monitors, not headphones. But AKG 240 are the best anyway.
    Check this link, all the answers are here:

  3. hollywood_steve

    hollywood_steve Active Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Beyerdynamic DT770pro headphones. Whether you should use headphones to mix is another discussion; but if you ARE gonna use headphones during all or part of the mix, these are the ones I have found work very well.
  4. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    If you know the ins and outs of those headphones and how they translate to the real world then you can mix on just about any headphones (or any speakers for that matter within reason). Expensive monitors can be great, but if we all needed a $200K pair of monitors not much would get done would it?? Its all in the familiarity of your gear.
  5. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Active Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Home Page:
    I would never try to depend ONLY on headphones for mixing.

    They are a valuable tool for troubleshooting because they have a better low-end than many speakers do and offer a better signal to noise ratio than most inexpensively-built control rooms can.

    I've known a number of people who get great mixes using the combination of NS-10s and Sony V-6 style headphones.
  6. I use 1030As, NS-10s and Sony MDR-7506s. The 103As for tone(eq) and left/right placement, NS-10s for levels (front to rear) then check that with the 7506s.

    I like to use headphones to reference effects and to clean up tracks, like removeing noise and being sure that I don't chop off the head or tail of something when automating I also listen for punch in and out glitches. After that it's to the boom box, the car, etc...

    I don't think that I could entirely mix on headphones, but I do use them a lot.

    I just ordered the DT-770PROs. But I will still only use them as (1) reference.
  7. Buck62

    Buck62 Guest

    Ya know, it's kinda funny....

    All of us will tell someone... "NEVER mix down with headphones!"
    But then, we suggest a certain brand and model. :)

    Anyway, my personal favorite when it come to headphones is Sony MDR7506. I have several of them in my studio. All of the bands/artists I've recorded are pleased with their light weight and crystal-clarity. I just couldn't imagine recording with anything else.
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    When they're available, I'll often check a mix wearing a pair of AKG K 141's. They're not as bright as the 240's, and I've been using them for years so they're a point of reference for me.

    I doubt I'd ever recommend this to anyone else, but I've found it to help on more than one occasion.
  9. minoru

    minoru Guest

    This year, I've been going back and forth between Tokyo and New York for recording work. In Japan, there's a Sony can called the MDR CD900, which is similar to the 7506 you have in America (I have those too), but has a more flatter sound and brightness. The CD900 I've heard is only avaialble in Japan and through pro audio dealers and costs maybe $130 or so. It's the standard can in Japan, so I use it often.

    There's also a brand called Stax, who make I think what they call ear speakers. They are really more like speakers and aren't dynamic. The offside is, they are very expensive (maybe $1000 to $2000 depending on the can and heaphone amp combination) and require a purpose built headphone amp. I would probably buy the Stax if I only had cans to mix on.

  10. pan

    pan Guest

    We use the Sony7506 for tracking they're great except that they blow very easily (I think at the moment, there are three of them waiting for new drivers in the booth) We ordered 20 replacement-drivers last year - the're nearly gone... but the SOUND is great!

  11. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Originally posted by pan:
    We use the Sony7506 for tracking they're great except that they blow very easily

    I think you'll find that if you invest in a relatively large amplifier, like 200w/channel, and a pair of 'autoformers' to keep a constant impedance between the amp and the headphones you'll blow far fewer headphones. Add a 10 or 20:1 limiter before the amp, fast attack, medium release, and your 'headphone blowing' days will be nearly at an end.

    Best of luck.
  12. hargerst

    hargerst Active Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Since nobody else mentioned it:

    If the vocal sounds great in the headphones....'s too low.

    If the reverb sounds great in the headphones....'s too loud.
  13. Originally posted by Fletcher:
    When they're available, I'll often check a mix wearing a pair of AKG K 141's. They're not as bright as the 240's, and I've been using them for years so they're a point of reference for me.

    I doubt I'd ever recommend this to anyone else, but I've found it to help on more than one occasion.

    Are these the 240 DF's or the 240M's? I have both and the M models have a weird top thing going on compared to the DF's IMO,(maybe it's my hearing). I have a pair of 280's(dual transducer at 75 ohm I think)? I don't find as useful as either for checking a mix.

  14. Buck62

    Buck62 Guest


    You are 110 percent right about the levels of the vocals and reverb.

    Good call.
  15. sjoko

    sjoko Active Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    If you absolutely have to use headphones..... perhaps try the Audio Technica ATH D40fs
  16. NYC Drew

    NYC Drew Guest

    Truth of the matter is, many of us find our selves strapped in our cars driving down the highway each day without a scant thought on the MECHANICS of how we did it. Happens to me all the time - I'm 7 miles from home and I don't recall starting the car.

    If you know what you're doing, and you do it often enuff, anything is do-able.
    I can breakdown, clean and re-assemble a rifle in complete darkness (never mind I only have 3 fingers left :D )

    I depend on headphones a lot - both live & in the studio. My headphones of choice are the SONY 7509's. Bigger and better that the 7506's.

    If you've alternated with a pair of phones in a studio with near field and main speakers, and you know what you "listening" for - sure, you can make good and great mixes. It's gonna be a tad harder / more time consuming to get to the end of the rainbow, but it's doable.

    NYC Drew
  17. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Headphones for tracking and headphones for mixing are apples and oranges. For tracking you need to minimize bleeding into the mic, so 7506's are great for that - plus they are so edgy musicians can hear themselves pretty well through the soup. But to check mixes, I would try looking into a more natural "open" design like the Sennheiser HD580s which can be had for a couple of hundred bucks. Not to say they are a substitute for good monitors, but for checking mixes on a variety of systems, I wouldn't hesitate to grab a pair to get another perspective.
  18. Tony C

    Tony C Guest

  19. Faeflora

    Faeflora Active Member

    Mar 14, 2001
    I use Sony MDR V-600 which are the consumer version of the Sony 7509's. Same drivers, more comfortable, but less durable.

    I use Mackie HR824s for my monitors. Gonna put also put up some shitty little speakers I got for free when I bought $3k worth of stuff from Full Compass.

    I check my mix on the headphones occasionally. They help me check the panning and tonal balance in my acoustically -^#$%ed- room. In general I know how to compensate for the room, but the headphones are my reference.

    Unless you're in a particularly noisy place, headphones will always reproduce sound the same way. That's the good thing about them. No room, no worries. A true static reference. (unless you overdrive them or flush them in the toilet or something)
  20. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    I agree with those who say NO...and I agree with thiose who established a brain/translation to phones for mixing...but the Sony phones have one hell of a smily face much as 16 dB at 10K regardless of published specs (for my ears anyway).

    I use NS1000M's for mixdown...and even mastering.

    I found in 1976 that the HP-1 Yamaha Headphones (then 200 now about 4 grand for simalar
    technology) and because Hewlett packard had a beef with Yamaha in 1977 about the "HP" lable...they became the "YH" in YH-1 orthrodynamic headphones...touted by audiophiles as "electrostatic quality highs and mids" with "Dynamic quality bass"...are the overall best headphones I have ever heard. It is just like removing the room from the NS1000M's to me.

    I have Stax lambda pros and other exotic phones. HD980's...All the funky Sonys (great for vocal monitors)...and I guess 20 other sets of cans...but the +/- 0.5 dB from 20 to 20K of the YH-1's are the only phones that " I could if I had to rely on a mix" phones I have ever slight cues to channel balance that even the monitors may miss on rare occasion.

    I recomend many different monitors for fine tuning including auratones...and boomboxes standing outside a room...but whatever blows your dress up and you can work cool...make it "real"

    I forget to check sound on the Yamahas ...I am pleased with all my varibles in monitoring...but never would I rely only on one set of monitors...because as keen as we think we are....we change...the usually don't.
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