audiophile headphone V.S studio headphone for recording musi

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by mgs, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. mgs

    mgs Guest

    What is the different between audiophile headphone and studio headphone?

    I found on the web,some headphone selling over Us $3000 such as Stax Omega II and Sony Quila 010 headphone and in head-fi forum ,some webmates said Sony Q010 headphone is the king of the dynamic headphone.
    Is it means this kind of headphone better than studio headphone?
    the technical spec. of Sony Q010 headphone is very outstanding,it can produce over 100,000 Hz

    Sony Q010 headphone: popup_image.php?pID=1021 sony/q010-mdr1.jpg

    Stax Omega II headphone: images/products/5.jpg

    Is it good for recording music?
    Some pro salesperson said audiophile headphone produce exaggerated and colouration sound, only studio headphone can produce natural sound.

    Is it true that audiophile headphone produce exaggerated and colouration sound?

    Can beyerdynamic DT 48e headphone "beat" stax Omega II and sony Q010 headphone?
    What kind of headphone is suitable for recording wide range and classical music?
  2. axel

    axel Guest

    hi mgs, welcome to RO!

    this is a very complex question.

    i try to be short, yes audiophile headphones are generally have a "coloured" "exaggerated" sound, often bass enhancement and the like (which for pure enjoyment of listening to music can be a very nice thing!!!), studio headphones are trying to be linear in the reproduction of the frequency spectrum. (that's what you want for studio use, to hear all the sound changes, tweaks, EQ-ing, etc...)

    another main difference is that home use phones often have a "open design" that makes 'em sound nice and well, open, but you have major sound spill, which is very bad for recording, picture a singer close up to a sensitive mic with a headphone spilling the backtrack!!

    also home headphones are often, mainly build rather fragile and have a non single sided cord, which i found in prax of a studio a not very good idea, (seen to many guitarists jumping around and nearly strangeling themselfs) any headphone used 'heavy' has a shelf life, i know the stax phones very well, and yes they are damn good and sounding beautifull for listening music on them... 3000 dollar or even 500 dollar for that matter is a bit steep for a unit which in prax is thrown around, stepped on, cable gets pulled, twisted, and so on and so on...

    if you want something good for tracking, go with something 'practical' good sound, good build quality and good ISOLATION against sound spill...

    i think a air of sennheiser HD280, or AKG 240 / 271 or some Beyers like the DT770 will do the "job" just fine.. and those models are all between 100 and 200 dollars, they want last forever in a studio enviroment, keep that in mind...

    i personally prefer the Sennheiser HD280, they are really good sounding, built like a tank, super comfy and lightweight, have a very good isolation, are modular build, so a ^#$%ed up cable is easy to replace, e.g. and they are 100 bucks each, cause eventuelly you will need a few tracking headphones...

    hope that gives you an idea.

    a headphone for tracking is / should be a working horse.

    get yourself some stax for your living room. :D

  3. mdemeyer

    mdemeyer Active Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    Dublin, CA USA

    You don't really say if you are going to use these for tracking in the studio, or monitoring recordings in the field. Axel's response relates to studio tracking use, and I generally believe his comments and priorities are correct (althought that's not the type of work I do personally).

    But you mention Classical recording, so I think you might be looking for something to monitor on. Then you have different priorities. For me:

    1. Reliability
    2. Accuracy
    3. Isolution

    (not necessarily in that order)

    The order of priority will vary with the location recording setup, with the exception that #1 is probably always #1.

    I don't think it is accurate to generalize and say that 'audiophile' headphones are not accurate. The good ones can be very good in this regard. But what does accuracy mean when you are monitoring something on headhones that will ultimately be played (in general) on speakers? The mapping is not 1-to-1.

    So I look for transparancy and good octave-to-octave balance in my monitoring phones. Personally, I have used Grado HP-1 (long out of production) for almost 15 years as my reference phones driven by the Grado Signature Reference headphone amplifier. They are excellent in every respect EXCEPT comfort (just OK) and isolation (none at all). If I can monitor in a quiet room (often possible, that's why we have long mic cables), then I find them to be nearly perfect.

    For situations where I need isolation, I use Etymotic ER-4S in-ear phones. With the exception of a somewhat light bottom end (which I don't have trouble compensating for in my head after using them for a while), they are excellent and provide more than 30db of isolation. Some people don't like the hassle of putting them in and out, but it doesn't bother me.

    Maybe you can be more specific in your requirements, if between the two of us we have not answered your question.

    Good music,

  4. axel

    axel Guest

    VERY good points mdemeyer!!!

    yeah of course my staement was out of my use / experience...

    but i am personally totally against monitoring with headphones, no matter if punk or classic, hip hop or whatever...

    but that again is just me!!! if you need on location monitoring, you (that's what i believe!!) should record whenever you can (it is possible!) from a separated room / area, and monitor through a set of speakers... or listen back / monitor after the recording. an active very small pair of speakers are good like the gnelec 8020s tiny, rugged but yet powerfull, otherwise for the situation that you really need a pair of cans i think still any pair of cans you use for tracking will do as good for monitoring.

    but again mdemeyer is right that is just my opinion. i do never, never use cans for monitoring as such!!!

    please specify your use. for better more accurate help.

  5. mdemeyer

    mdemeyer Active Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    Dublin, CA USA

    While I like the idea of using near-field speakers in the field, in my real-world, this almost never works. In most of the places I end up recording (a lot of churches, etc.), there is not a place suitable for loudspeaker monitoring. So it's cans or nothing. I think many others who do field work would say the same thing. And, once you get to know your cans, they are very legitimate.

    Of course, agree you should not do a final mix/master on phones.

  6. axel

    axel Guest

    hey clear thing, shure... if there is no other choice at all, then cans.
    but as you said also, never for actually mixing, for shure NEVER!!
  7. bon

    bon Guest

    I am headphone fans also, I waste a lot of money on headphone but I found that many high end headphone produce exaggerate audiophile sound.

    Any pro engineer sharing their opinion about how to choose high end headphone?

    I found a sony Qualia 010 headpne PDF file on sony website:

    Its look attractive and I found some headphone review describe this is the king of the headphone.

    I had listen "Stax Omega II headphone" but I feel this headphone is not neutral,this headphone exaggerate "human voice" sound and 3D stage sound.

    I would like to buy a High-End headphone for enjoyment,if my home is quiet without big noise and I don't need mixing and recording.I need a pair of headphone for final mastering orchestral music with neutral,flat & accurate sound and I don't want exaggerate audiophile sound.

    What kind of headphone is suitable?

    What is the different between open and close headphone for mastering?

    Any recommendation ?
  8. axel

    axel Guest

    never ever under no circumstances at all use any headphones for mixing or especially mastering... you just will end up fooling yourself. PERIOD.

    and for listening pleasure, just choose what you like best.

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