I Need Some Good Headphones for Mixing

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by indytone, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. indytone

    indytone Member

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    My mixes have been coming out muddy and bass heavy and it's due to the speakers I'm mixing on -- M Audio BX5. While the mix sounds great on the BX5 speakers, it comes out bad on normal systems (car, mp3 player, home). I have tried messing with the switches on the back of them and I know that I will eventually learn to adjust my hearing to mix properly on these, but until then I'd like to get a pair of good headphones that don't 'flavor' any tones: i.e. have a flat, natural response. What I plan to do is switch back and forth between the speakers and the headphones while monitoring.

    So, what headphones are the best for this that are under the $250 range?
     
  2. Damon

    Damon Member

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    Well, some might say that you won't get good mixes using headphones, either. However, I personally find my Sennheiser HD580s (inside your price range) to be indispensable. If anything they're a little strong on bass, so they'd be a good counter-balance to your speakers. A lotta folks think Grados are the most neutral, but personally I couldn't get used to the feel of them on my ears, I like true circumaural 'phones. Plus the Senns were just stronger-sounding (there's that A/B volume bias issue again), and made in Ireland!
     
  3. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd Frikkin genyus Gold Supporting Member

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    Eric Johnson told me he uses the $99 Grados for mixing. My brother bought a pair and we used them to mix my CD, along with his (top-line) monitors. They aren't the most comfortable things ever, but they worked very well for the task: very clear, very neutral-sounding.

    BTW, in doing the mixes for my CD, my brother and I spent a lot of time listening to mixes on car stereos, plastic boomboxes, walkmans, and the like. That's a really important step!
     
  4. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I use Fostex T-50s because I get good balanced detail and the sound is very close to that of my monitors. But I use them for editing or just very rough mixing. You never hear the real bass levels of your mix with headphones.
     
  5. joseph

    joseph Member

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    I have BX8s, and I find they underemphasize the bass...ie, if I mix in enough bass to sound good on the BX8s, there's WAY too much bass coming out my car audio (GM) CD. So I just try to compensate bearing that in mind.

    One problem I've had with headphones, is that you'll tend to undermix the drums..ie, the drums sound louder and more punchy with phones than thru speakers....another compensation.

    My 2 cents as a newbie.
     
  6. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    I use several sets of phones and my AKG K271s are my fav for getting a proper mix. They're slightly lean in the bass but have excellent detail. They also need to be broken in for a few weeks.
     
  7. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I keep various sets around - 4 or 5 different types of Sony, 2 of Fostex, one of AKG, one of Sennheiser. Sennheiser is certainly my favorite (HD600 in particular). I haven't used it personally, but I'd bet that the 580 is great.
     
  8. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    I recommend the Audio Technica ATHM40fs, comfortable, affordable at $80, and dead flat.

    You may want to double check and make sure no hidden equalization is inserted somewhere in the mixing chain, like the windows mixer and its filters. From your description the bass frequencies produced by your monitors are insufficient to the degree that you're overcompensating. The problem may be the room itself, or your position in relation to the monitors. M-audio makes a companion woofer for the BX-5's that could add the missing bass response. FWIW, I not only mix with the BX-5's, but listen to cd's through them without ever feeling the need to adjust the eq--mine are very flat.
     
  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    I have the following phones:

    AKG K270Studio
    Sennheiser (forgot the model # but they ran around $300)
    Fostex T series (both models)
    Sony 7506
    Stax Electrostatics (I think these babies ran around $800-ish)
    Grado HP-1000

    Since everyone will recommend what they own, I figured I'd list mine to show that I have most of the brands recommended, and I'm basing my choice on the models I own and am familiar with.

    Of all of them, the HP-1000s are the most accurate and best-sounding by a large margin. I've depended on them for years.

    The Grado SR-80s, which are around $90, are absolutely better than all the rest I own, except the HP-1000s.
     
  10. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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  11. VSpaceBoy

    VSpaceBoy Member

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    Read this in re mixing w/ headphones


    Anyhow, those aren't too bad of monitors, I suspect your room is more of the problem. What is your room like? Is it sound treated? If you settle for mixing with cans you'll be opening up a new can of worms.
     
  12. indytone

    indytone Member

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    Like I said in the original post, I plan to switch between the phones and monitors to see if there are any glaring problems. I would never soley mix on just headphones.

    As far as the monitors, the BX5s are very well known for their lack of proper bass reproduction. I got mine super cheap at a time when I had no monitors, so I took advantage of the offer. Talking to other people with M-Audio monitors they say the same thing -- untrue, underemphasized bass response.

    My walls are treated with Auralex Acoustics sound proofing, so I don't think that's the issue. It's the speakers. In short, they suck. It would be more accurate to just mix on normal, desktop speakers from my computer than these things.

    Lucky for me my cousin is letting me borrow his Event monitors. :)
     
  13. VSpaceBoy

    VSpaceBoy Member

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    Sound proofing and sound treating are completely different things. I'll assume you mean Auralex sound treating though. Can I also assume that your referring to something like this:
    [​IMG]

    If thats the case, then it won't address what your referring to at all. Yes that will help with your imaging somewhat, but not the bass. You need bass trapping for that or else you could be dealing with phase issues. What are your room demensions? Have you tested your room?

    If you have all of the bass trapping you need and I'm assuming wrong, then I apologize.:dude
     
  14. indytone

    indytone Member

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    Bass traps, etc... won't help if the monitors you're using aren't reproducing true sound in the first place.

    We took my cousin's Events and put them up against the M-Audios and it made a world of difference. It's all good now.

    :)

    Now I have the Events hooked up and two pair of headphones (some crappy over the ear Sonys and some AKGs). I've been mixing to the events and then listening on each set of headphones to make minor adjustments. Then I've been taking the songs, exporting the mix (using Cubase) and then listening to it on other systems -- first stop being the same PC but through the system soundcard on the system speakers. Things are finally starting to roll along smoothly.
     
  15. VSpaceBoy

    VSpaceBoy Member

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    Cool man, sounds like you got it all figured out. (pun intended) :hiP
     

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