Headphones To Mix With

thing2n8

Member
Messages
409
Hello TGPers,

I need headphones to mix on. I know you aren't "supposed" to do so but my situation doesn't allow for me to set up monitors in a treated room to get the best sound possible. I'd like for them to be closed back, which (I know) could be considered even worse than open back cans for mixing.

I've been looking into options such as:
- Sennheiser HD 280 Pro's
- Sony MDR V6
- AKG K240 (unfortunately these are semi-open, which worries me)

If possible I'd like these to be under $100. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks!
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,311
I like the AKGs of all of those, but I've used them for 20 years or so.

Also, check out the Grado SR60/80 - I use them to do mix checks all the time. Very clear and full range.
 

jonathansuhr

Member
Messages
1,026
HD280s and M50s are standard for medium-low budget cans. Both are stellar choices. M50s are good if you like a little more color/life to your sound.
 

spamassassain

Member
Messages
1,808
MDR7506 for me. Not "pure" but very good detail without being too fatiguing. I find the HD280 to be a tad bright for my taste.
 

oldhousescott

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,139
It's funny how differently we all hear things. I personally find the Sonys to be very fatiguing. Yes, they are crisp and detailed, but I find they burn me out in short order. YMMV.....
 

Londonbus

Member
Messages
2,189
I am a BIG fan of the KRK 8400s. Thier claims of being head mounted studio monitors and offering a consistent voicing between them and their actual monitors actually is pretty legit.

Very natural sounding, and I've been very pleased how things I've mixed via headphones have transferred over to an actual open air listening environment.
 

soundchaser59

Thank You Great Spirit!
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,270
Personally I think you'd be better off using small monitors at extremely close range, as if they are really nice "open air" head phones. Nothing you hear on headphones will ever translate to the sound of speakers in a room.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,311
It's funny how differently we all hear things. I personally find the Sonys to be very fatiguing. Yes, they are crisp and detailed, but I find they burn me out in short order. YMMV.....

Seriously, those things are the "boom cars" of headphones.
 

spamassassain

Member
Messages
1,808
Seriously, those things are the "boom cars" of headphones.

Huh. Well, I do have a pair that's pretty old and I know that the newer ones seem more flimsy - I wonder if they suck now?

BTW I also like the Beyer DT770 Pro...

Maybe it's just me.
 

whitepapagold

Member
Messages
693
I know you aren't "supposed" to do so but my situation doesn't allow for me to set up monitors in a treated room to get the best sound possible.

You will need to check the bass- its gonna be wrong. And its not that you aren't supposed to, its that your mix will suck- guaranteed.

Ive tried numerous times- travelling, on planes, in hotels and its not gonna work. Everytime, it doesn't translate without tons of reworking.

But you seem determined anyway so...

Buy ANY headphones. It won't matter- especially since your price point is far too low to get decent phones. Good luck!:aok

(At least check the bass on your home stereo...)
 

Injured_Ear

Member
Messages
34
I like the Sony V6 and the AKG 240 for opposite reasons:
-The Sonys hurt after a while because they sit right on the ear and my outer ear gets sore. Nearly unblowable under normal circumstances. They seem to make anything sound good so your mixes can have too little or too much bass and treble and still sound awesome in those phones.
-The AKG 240 are more comfortable to wear all day but the open design doesn't have as pleasing a bass response. They also blow pretty easily.

Sony HD550, 600's are also quite nice in the open air headphone category.

Personally, I use Sennheiser HD800's (which are a little prohibitively priced) which have a ton of detail. I have an EQ on the amp to boost the bottom slightly to match the bass hump I've grown used to on my Sony V6's.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,311
Huh. Well, I do have a pair that's pretty old and I know that the newer ones seem more flimsy - I wonder if they suck now?

BTW I also like the Beyer DT770 Pro...

Maybe it's just me.

I love the 770s - they don't sound anything like the Sonys...
 

T92780

Member
Messages
8,259
For you pro's, how bad are Sennbeiser HD 212 Pro for mixing rock blues,trying to learn?
 

fr8_trane

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,251
OP, First of all ignore the folks who say it cant be done. Here are some useful links to get you started.

https://www.google.com/webhp?source...spv=2&es_th=1&ie=UTF-8#q=mixing+on+headphones


It can done be although you need to realize that it will always be a compromise and as other have said its not ideal. Then again EVERY monitoring solution is a compromise. There are some significant benefits to headphones though. The first being that you remove your (typically) awful room acoustics from the equation. The second is that you can monitor while your child/spouse/neighbors are sleeping. Keep in mind that no matter how good your headphone monitoring chain is you will need to check your mixes on monitors at some point.


The first thing you absoultely need is the free isone pro plugin (formerly not free).
http://web.archive.org/web/20130608183939/http://www.jeroenbreebaart.com/audio_vst_jb.htm

This resolves or remediates some of the real issues involved with headphone monitoring. Specifically the lack of a center stereo image and exaggerated L/R stereo spread compared to monitors. it also adds Speaker IR's for reference and room simulation.

If you want the current commercial version its only $27.
http://www.toneboosters.com/tb-isone/

The next thing you need are quality headphones. The cheapest i would consider are the ATH-M50's. I like those over the HD-280's.

Most of the better mix headphones are semi open. I believe the flatest frequency responses require the semi open configuration. I use Beyer DT-880's they are very similar in performance to the more expensive Sennheiser HD-600's both of which are highly recommended.

Its funny that someone mentioned that you cant get accurate bass response from headphones. Well i can guarantee you that GOOD mix phones almost certainly have a flatter bass response than the typical home studio room. Small, square rooms with low ceilings have notoriously POOR and erratic low frequency response. Even small rooms that have been treated with $1000's in bass traps can still have serious nulls and nodes. Small rooms are just bad to mix in... Physics is a bitch.

My home studio is one such room. 12x13 with a 7'10" ceiling. The bass response in my room is UGLY. My mix phones are WAY more accurate then my monitors + room when it comes to bass. My monitoring situation is a combination of nearfields at low to moderate volume + Phones + a mono avantone. This combination along with acoustic treatment allows me to deal with my rooms horrible bass problems. i recommend a similar multi monitor solution. I dont JUST mix on phones. They are another useful tool in my monitoring chain and i reference my mixes through all of them constantly.
 
Last edited:

thing2n8

Member
Messages
409
OP, First of all ignore the folks who say it cant be done. Here are some useful links to get you started.

https://www.google.com/webhp?source...spv=2&es_th=1&ie=UTF-8#q=mixing+on+headphones


It can done be although you need to realize that it will always be a compromise and as other have said its not ideal. Then again EVERY monitoring solution is a compromise. There are some significant benefits to headphones though. The first being that you remove your (typically) awful room acoustics from the equation. The second is that you can monitor while your child/spouse/neighbors are sleeping. Keep in mind that no matter how good your headphone monitoring chain is you will need to check your mixes on monitors at some point.


The first thing you absoultely need is the free isone pro plugin (formerly not free).
http://web.archive.org/web/20130608183939/http://www.jeroenbreebaart.com/audio_vst_jb.htm

This resolves or remediates some of the real issues involved with headphone monitoring. Specifically the lack of a center stereo image and exaggerated L/R stereo spread compared to monitors. it also adds Speaker IR's for reference and room simulation.

If you want the current commercial version its only $27.
http://www.toneboosters.com/tb-isone/

The next thing you need are quality headphones. The cheapest i would consider are the ATH-M50's. I like those over the HD-280's.

Most of the better mix headphones are semi open. I believe the flatest frequency responses require the semi open configuration. I use Beyer DT-880's they are very similar in performance to the more expensive Sennheiser HD-600's both of which are highly recommended.

Its funny that someone mentioned that you cant get accurate bass response from headphones. Well i can guarantee you that GOOD mix phones almost certainly have a flatter bass response than the typical home studio room. Small, square rooms with low ceilings have notoriously POOR and erratic low frequency response. Even small rooms that have been treated with $1000's in bass traps can still have serious nulls and nodes. Small rooms are just bad to mix in... Physics is a bitch.

My home studio is one such room. 12x13 with a 7'10" ceiling. The bass response in my room is UGLY. My mix phones are WAY more accurate then my monitors + room when it comes to bass. My monitoring situation is a combination of nearfields at low to moderate volume + Phones + a mono avantone. This combination along with acoustic treatment allows me to deal with my rooms horrible bass problems. i recommend a similar multi monitor solution. I dont JUST mix on phones. They are another useful tool in my monitoring chain and i reference my mixes through all of them constantly.


This is awesome! I see all the other posts telling me not to mix on headphones, but I don't have the option to setup an entire home studio. I'll definitely be grabbing that plugin to make up for some of the pitfalls of headphones too. I think I'll be alright when it comes to the final mixing/ mastering because I have several different systems (3 cars, 4 or 5 stereos, and of course several pairs of regular consumer headphones) so I'm confident that I'll be able to find out if there is something consistantly wrong in my mix. Thanks a lot for your input!
 

fr8_trane

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,251
If you can afford $200 the Beyer DT-880's (250 ohm version) really are the best bang for your buck in a quality headphone that's suitable for mixing. I think theyre every bit as good as the AKG 701 and Senn HD 600's and you'd probably have to go up to the HD 650's before you get a better set.

For under $500 you could get the DT-880's and a pair of JBL LSR305 studio monitors which would be a pretty damn good monitoring setup on the cheap.
 




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