Best Budget Monitors and Headphones for Mixing

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by rbf738, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. rbf738

    rbf738 Active Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    My question is just that, I'm interested in everyone's opinion on the best budget monitors and/or headphones for mixing. Think $100-$200 for either a set of 2 monitors or a pair of headphones which still pick up nuances you'd need to be able to pick up on for mixing.
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Tracking with a decent set of headphones - say, a pair of Shure 940's - can be useful because you're looking for problems like noises and the like. But mixing? Not usually a great idea. Headphones don't give you an accurate "aural image" of your stereo placement or the real instrument balance you are trying to present.
    That having been said, a pair of $200 monitors is going to be extremely lacking in performance or reliability. Save your $$$ and hold out for at MINIMUM something around $500 - like a small pair of KRK Rokits or the new Mackie MR5MkII's.
  3. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Rainy Roads WA USA
    The Yamaha HS50M's which are $200 each...$400/pair have been getting some good reviews.
    I have KRK Rokit5 ($150 each, $300/pair which I think is about as cheap as you can go).
    There just OK...I have a friend who bought Mackie MR5's (about $150 each also) and I think they're just OK to but seem like they have better low end than my KRK's....but your room acoustics and your ears can make everything sound different and a personal experience for sure!

    My friend prefers his regular stereo speakers to listen to in his rec room studio, no treatment just a room and to me they sound all hyped up, but that's what he likes!!
    He understands his Mackie's are more detailed but then he doesn't really care sometimes...he's listening to his song more than my picky critical nonsense...LOL

    As far as headphones go I have Sony MDR7506's ($100) and ATH-M50's ($150)....they are both nice...I like the ATH-M50's a little better than the Sony's because they have better low end and not quite as bright...but sometimes bright is what you want to focus on, so I use those!

    I like mixing and recording stuff using any and all of that stuff, I like to check all different ways, but I'm no pro!! and I don't have a room that is treated either and no way to really do that...It sounds fine to me and my circle of's fine and it works!...and it's never going to be as good as some professional studio...but that's doesn't matter that much at this stage...

    To be honest...If your just starting out with this and on a budget like $100-500...don't get too hung up on thinking your going to hear something fantastic, great or magically amazing with speakers or headphones that cost those's just not going to happen it's not the be all end all!

    If you have the money to acoustically treat the room you use properly and then spend $1000 of dollars on monitors, then you might get closer to a real studio control room (maybe close).
    It's more marketing hype to rec room composers to buy these speakers "monitors"!
    Use what you have (use some decent stereo bookshelf speakers) at this point and work on your music and recordings...make some tunes and have fun with it and don't think stuff like that will make you sound better....!
  4. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Near Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    By all means, mix with monitors. Tracking with headphones is standard and you can buy great inexpensive tracking headphones like Sennheiser D201's for under twenty bucks each.

    But mixing on headphones is very difficult so I strongly suggest monitors.

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