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Headphones - which to buy

Postby Jonnypopisical » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:23 am

Hi all,

I know this has been discussed endlessly but I'm about to move house/studio and for a while will have to rely more on headphones and less on the room (until the new HQ is built).

I'm used AKG D240's before and liked their sound but the bottom end was a bit too soft and warm without being too accurate. So what are the current models that people would recommend. I could go up to the Sen's HD650 but Ive never tried them and don't want to spend £300 on HP's unless they really are 'that' good!

So - any other recommendations?

Many thanks,

JP
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby clube » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:43 am

Hi JP,
I would personally give a strong recommendation to Beyer Dynamic headphones which in my experience are far more rugged, comfortable and better sounding than Sennheiser.
The Beyer Pro range has excellent bass end but you need to decide if you want them primarily for tracking or mixing. If it's the latter then open back type is needed and the obvious choice would be the Beyer DT880. If you want closed back then the DT770 is the one to go for. I have mixed successfully on the latter and actually find they give me a much better idea of the bass end than almost anything else.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby The Elf » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:07 am

AKG K701/702. Quite honestly the best monitoring decision I ever made!
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby Sam Inglis » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:20 am

I like the K702s too, at the price I think they're excellent value. The Shure SRH1840s are even better but quite a lot more expensive.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby Jonnypopisical » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:34 pm

Thanks Folks - interesting no one has actually recommended the HD650's!

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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:42 pm

Ah, that's just our poor old typing fingers got so tired after recommending the HD650's so often.

I still love mine ,and use them on a very regular basis (the HD650's, not my typing fingers, well both actually :beamup:)


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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:01 pm

HD650 here!

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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby oggyb » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:09 am

DT770 here, been mixing on them (in conjunction with monitors of course) for 6 years now.

Bass extension is good, but you have to get used to the slight hump at 16K.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby whis4ey » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:34 am

The AKG 701/702 and the HD 650 are far too expensive for 'normal people' :)
The Beyer DT770 is a top rate pair of headphones which will serve you well
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby forumuser637535 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:42 am

On this subject: can anyone suggest some decent consumer-level headphones around £50-60? I keep getting asked about this around this time of year, and I usually say sennheiser or grado, but anyone got specific recommendations? Ones that sound nice, just for listening, not for mixing or DJing or anything. Closed-back probably. I really like the old HD200 cans I have, but they're out of production for a long time now.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby The Elf » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:55 am

I've found the Sennheiser HD215 to be good for the money - great for general domestic listening and also for tracking. They generally seem to go for around the 60 pound mark, but maybe less if you shop around.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby Dave B » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:02 am

Another vote for the 702s. Quite simply great sounding and pointed out a couple of errors in my mixing immediately that weren't so obvious over my AE22s. Wish I'd got a pair _before_ I started mixing the last batch of recording.

I understand the HD650s are in the same ballpark. Both may be 'expensive' for 'normal people', but are worth it completely. I would go so far as to say that if you don't have a nice room and decent monitors, it would be the best 250quid you could spend to improve your mixes.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby Jonnypopisical » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:27 am

OK - Looks like I need to try out the AKG's against the Sen's - maybe a trip down to KMR audio?

For tracking I have a pair of Sen HD25SP which are great and give me very little spill with a nice vibe - I think they are aimed at those strange creatures known as Disc Jockey's (aka DJ's) so the bass if a bit OTT but for tracking they are fine. I often roll off the sub on the mix beforehand! LOL

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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby Smellthevalve » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:12 am

FWIW i find the K701 a bit bass light, probably better to go for the 702's if you can afford it.
The Sennheiser HD600's have an open sound and are 300 ohms, nice sounding although more 'hi-fi'.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby DC-Choppah » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:37 am

Audio-Technica ATH-M35 Studio Headphones here for about $60.

Recommended to me by a producer. I love them. Perfect for the drummer to use for monitoring too.

Very detailed sound.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby The Elf » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:19 am

Smellthevalve wrote:FWIW i find the K701 a bit bass light, probably better to go for the 702's if you can afford it.

AFAIK the 702 is identical to the 701, apart from the detachable cable and the colour!
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby John Willett » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:52 am

the AKG K701/702, The Sennheiser HD 600 and HD 650 do seem the be the top choices at this level - they seem to come out pretty equally and it ends up being a matter of personal choice.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:17 am

Headphones can be good for different audio tasks.

I like Beyer DT-770, AKG K240 and also DT-880.

The AKG K240 (semi open back) are the most comfortable and probably most accurate (non fatiguing) yes the bass is a tad woolly and deep lows not well represented but they are not a bad headphone at all. The Beyers are a little more hyped up top and bottom (especially DT770) more hi fi and closed back which can be very good for QC listen back. (I use them for listening to clicks, in fact I declicked (about 150 clicks present) an ambient/euphoric/new age album yesterday using them.

If you keep you eye on these posts the same headphones keep popping up again and again, that says something.

cheers

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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby whis4ey » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:48 am

the AKG K701/702, The Sennheiser HD 600 and HD 650 do seem the be the top choices at this level - they seem to come out pretty equally and it ends up being a matter of personal choice.
I can't disagree with that, but at around or just over 300 quid are they really practical for most peeps? The Beyer 770 is just over 100 quid. For three times the loot are you really getting three times the quality and value?
Mind you, I confess that if I had 300 quid which I couldn't use for anything else, or if I was offered a gift, I would accept either of the first two gratefully :)
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:57 am

whis4ey wrote:...but at around or just over 300 quid are they really practical for most peeps?

Well, considering that they offer, in many ways, far more accurate and detailed means of monitoring than any speaker at a similar price, I'd say they are total bargains! ;)

The Beyer 770 is just over 100 quid. For three times the loot are you really getting three times the quality and value?

The laws of diminishing returns applies equally to headphones as it does to everything else in pro-audio. Can you hear the difference? Yes! is the difference worth the extra outlay? That's an entirely personal decision and depends on your own values, requiremetns and budgets.

Personally, I would much rather spend £300 on really good headphones than £300 on speakers which will, inevitably, be rather poor monitoring sources in comparison!

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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby Domsmart » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:12 am

I own a pair of Beyerdynamic DT880 and Senheiser HD25s, and also regularly use Beyerdynamic DT770Pro.

The 880s are amazing headphones - so comfortable you can forget you're wearing them and incredibly detailed and well-balanced. Can't recommend them enough for monitoring and critical listening. Being open-backed the ambient noise rejection is almost non-existent though and they also leak sound quite a bit so that's something to bear in mind if you plan to use them in a noisy environment or for tracking.

The HD25s I use mostly for DJing and when I travel, and also for tracking. They are decent headphones but not that comfortable and I wouldn't want to use them for monitoring for long periods.

The DT770s are great headphones for the money. Being closed they have better insulation than the 880s and also stronger bass response, and are good reliable monitoring headphones if lacking some the detail and depth of the 880s.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby Andi » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:18 am

Perhaps take a quick look here Headphones Blog
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:52 am

Andi wrote:Perhaps take a quick look here Headphones Blog

V good (8^D
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby The Elf » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:44 pm

whis4ey wrote:
the AKG K701/702, The Sennheiser HD 600 and HD 650 do seem the be the top choices at this level - they seem to come out pretty equally and it ends up being a matter of personal choice.

I can't disagree with that, but at around or just over 300 quid are they really practical for most peeps?

If you pay over 160 quid for a pair of K701 then you aren't looking hard enough!!! ;)

Obviously everyone has a budget, but people coming here to ask about headphones for mixing/tracking are likely more serious about their requirements that most ordinary folk.

And let's not forget that many 'normal' people seem to be happy to pay 100-250 quid for those goddawful 'Beats' headphones! Strewth!! :headbang:
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby whis4ey » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:56 pm

Well, considering that they offer, in many ways, far more accurate and detailed means of monitoring than any speaker at a similar price, I'd say they are total bargains!
No, I wouldn't try to make a comparison with monitors of that price. I do not think that is a fair analogy.
Personally I use Beyer DT770's and DT880's and find them to be very comfortable, accurate (in so far as I can judge) and adequate. I also use a pair of JBL nearfield monitors that I have had for about 15 years and have become well used to, and my computer speakers, hi fi, and car as comparisons.
The article referred to above may well be very close to the real truth about both headphones AND monitors :)
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:42 pm

The Elf wrote:
And let's not forget that many 'normal' people seem to be happy to pay 100-250 quid for those goddawful 'Beats' headphones! Strewth!!

Not so fast. I'm reliably informed those 'Beats' headphones are remarkably fat.

I believe that's a measurement on the Sphincter scale.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby sam-matter » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:46 pm

I would recommend the Audio Technica ATH-M50s. They are awesome and once you are familiar with them I'd say you could do about 90% of your mix using these to monitor before swapping our to proper Studio Monitors to finish off the final mix. The ATH-M50s's impressively wide frequency response of 15Hz to 28kHz speaks for itself.

If they don't float your boat then here is our run down of the best of the rest - 5 Of The Best Studio Headphones For 2012

Note: the ATH-M50s are exactly the same headphones as the ATH-M50... the 's' stands for straight cable.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby mjfe2 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:53 am

Personally I'd go for comfort when choosing between the AKGs, beyers and Sennheisers. That's unless you have a strong preference for a particular tonality. I understand the 701/2 are a bit light on bass (it was hard for me to judge in a noisy dv247 store!). Personally I couldn't use cans that feel so unstable on my head. By contrast I find the beyers grip too much (unless you get the DT880 'hifi' edition, which is way more comfortable than the Pro version). From a tonality point of view the beyers are possibly a bit sibilant and I also noticed they buzz on very low notes. Neither of these things I could get over, despite their comfort and detail, so I got rid of them (though I continue to use my 770s regularly for location work). Anyway, this brings me finally to the HD600, which are very comfortable and sound great. They seemed the most 'reserved' for me in that I always forget I'm listening to them because nothing sticks out unusually (I could never quite get over the highs on those 880s). I have heard that the 650s are darker/warmer sounding i.e. they're the 'hifi' alternative to the more neutral 600s but no one complains about that on this forum. Anyway, try them out in a quiet environment if possible, or go second hand and look after them!
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby Frog » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:04 pm

I asked the same questions a few weeks ago and folks recomended the beyer dt 250's, i havent auditioned a pair yet though.
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Re: Headphones - which to buy

Postby Fealow » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:22 pm

I personally use a pair of DT990 pro's 250ohm with a VRM box and the sound is pretty damn good for a £100+ pair of headphones.

I highly recommend them!
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