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Can't decide on headphones

Postby Julian Walker » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:07 pm

evenin all

I need to bite the bullet and get myself some decentish headphones, my stepson has kindly let me borrow his up to now and he's off to uni soon so..

I have a Toshiba 850 i5 running Reason and Reaper so I use the headphone socket on the laptop alot, I do also use my Zoom R24 for putting down vocals and guitar. I've got a budget of about £150 and i'm thinking closed cup for my vocal/guitar takes although I know a semi open or open would be better for mixing. I've looked at AKG and KRK within my price range but don't quite understand what I should be looking for in terms of ohm and frequency spec.

A pair that will mix and master well but not bleed much for takes would be perfect and if they come with a leggy blonde thats a bonus!!

Cheers in advance

Jules
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Skerrick » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:17 am

i use the AKG K171 MKII's - theyre closed back so you get less sound bleeding in and out of the cups (which people often argue for/against) but for the price and sound quality/impedance <--- i think i spelled it right..
but yeah man this article got posted on SOS a while back, i found this a good read and now i have a burning urge to save for a set of beyer dynamic 880's http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan10/a ... phones.htm
hope that article is helpful, it should be haha
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Dynamic Mike » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:17 am

Sennheiser HD 25-II for me. Perfect isolation for tracking. Great for detailed editing & although not ideal for mixing, it's perfectly possible provided you reference your mixes occasionally. I find them comfortable although some people say they find them fatiguing to wear.

Check DJ sites for prices too, they tend to be cheaper than most studio suppliers.
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And of course there must be something wrong. In wanting to silence any song.


Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Skerrick » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:20 am

the hd25's are reviewed here as well: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan10/a ... phones.htm
i personally find the earcup a little firm but they sound great!
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby The Elf » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:23 am

My combo right now is Sennheiser HD215 closed-back for tracking and AKG K701/702 open-back for mixing. The 215s are far better than their price suggests and I'm intent on buying more as I go.
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Will Bailey » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:28 am

IMHO the best value for money on the current market are the krk kns6400. If you are looking for music production, or in my opinion general listening, you want a flat, honest response. A lot of manufacturers hype the bass, this seems a popular thing to do but it will result in poor mix decisions. This website is a great tool for evaluating cans: http://www.headphone.com/learning-center/build-a-graph.php you can look at and compare a few parameters there.
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Will Bailey » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:36 am

Regarding impedance, if you're feeding from a headphone out on a laptop low z headphones are the way to go. High z headphones are designed to be fed by distro amps or connected in parallel. High z cans will, disregarding driver efficiency, be quieter than lower z. Most consumer headphone outs are designed for lower impedance headphones.
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby whis4ey » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:04 pm

I have a pair of Beyer 770pro and a pair of 880pro
When I bought they didn't come with a case and were much cheaper
They are great headphones and very comfortable to use
The 770's I use for recording, and the 880's for mixing and just for listening (great sound)
I have no experience of the others, but can recommend the Beyers without any difficulty

http://europe.beyerdynamic.com/shop/hah ... dsets.html
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Sam Inglis » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:23 pm

I have found the headphone amp on my Zoom R16 to be pretty crap. It doesn't like very low-impedance phones like the Sony MDR7509s. I'm guessing it's the same as is in the R24.
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Guest » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:52 pm

There's also a column in this month's SOS about headphones.

SOS - Spotlight
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby NottsDSP » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:12 am

Headphones can be a real minefield & it's very important to choose the right pair. It's not really a case of the best sounding phones as if they are too 'hifi' then they will give bad results. Comfort is a major priority as you don't want to be fidling about with them after a few hours because they're irritating you! I've been quite fortunate recently as i've had the chance to play with a few and for my view the Beyerdynamic DT770pro is a top player. The 80 ohm version will work on most low outputs but can be a little bass-heavy. the 250 ohm versions are the ones to go for as they are good neutral sounding units but take a little more driving. They are closed types too, so are ideal for monitoring all types of sounds. Any of the beyer range are good but the 880 & 990 are 'open' or 'semi-open' so are leaky. There's really no subsitute for going to have a listen but not many places stock beyer's so it's a trust issue. There are of course other phones available & the Audio-technica ATH-M50 are really good too, as are the Koss 550. Again it's very difficult and with so many people, with so many opinions which can make matters worse it's not going to be easy. For my money, the Beyer DT770pro/250 take some beating for quality & comfort. Good luck.
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Julian Walker » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:25 am

Thanks for all your input folks, I found a good deal on some Audio T ATH M50s that come with a free Focusrite VRM Box which I thought I'd try out. I'll let you know how they sound!

All your words of wisdom are much appreciated.

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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby whis4ey » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:53 am

Be careful as I understand there are fakes (Audio Technica ATH M50) on sale for the unwary looking for a great 'bargain'
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Julian Walker » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:52 pm

Very true Sam thanks for the heads up. I've used a fairly local shop in Bournemouth who I got my MAudio keyboard from a couple of years back so I'm confident in them, good ol family firm!
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby alexis » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:20 pm

Crazy - I can't find the Sennheiser HD 215 on line in the States, just in Europe and Australia (and 5 units in Japan!!).

Anybody know if they are for sale here? Credit card in hand, can't spend my money - Jeesh!

Thanks -
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby alexis » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:25 am

alexis wrote:Crazy - I can't find the Sennheiser HD 215 on line in the States, just in Europe and Australia (and 5 units in Japan!!).

Anybody know if they are for sale here? Credit card in hand, can't spend my money - Jeesh!

Thanks -

Edit: Sennheiser HD 215 not for sale in the US, per headphone store owner. Bought the DT 770 Pros instead. These are for tracking, I have had the DT 880 Pros for mixing for some time and am happy with them. Paul White says: "I use these myself for tracking, and for second opinion mixing ...". I guess that's good enough for me!
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Hoopy Frood » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:59 am

The Elf wrote:My combo right now is Sennheiser HD215 closed-back for tracking and AKG K701/702 open-back for mixing. The 215s are far better than their price suggests and I'm intent on buying more as I go.

I also use a pair of AKG K701 phones (known as the "Aunty Hilda headphones" as they were funded by a small bequest...)

They were a massive step up from the cheapo Sony consumer headphones I was using previously. I do almost all my musical stuff on them these days.

Cheers,

Rich
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:29 am

Put ANY pair of cans on your head and listen. Then push them a little closer to your ear. You may find the difference in perceived sound greater than that between any two pairs!

That isn't the whole story of course.
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Andi » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:04 pm

Beyond a point it may matter less than you expect - Choosing Headphones
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby JohnanP » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:56 pm

HD 25-II could be really near perfect choice.
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby TSH-Tim » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:50 pm

These can be found on ebay for not a lot of money as well, I've picked up many used cans for under £50 with next to no use
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Santarosa » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:12 am

If you're planing to mix and master I would definitely go for an open back one like Sennheiser HD 600/650, Beyer DT880 pro or AKG 701/702. I know your budget don't allow for those... at least not for a new one. Hence I would consider a second hand (maybe other makes and models like Sony, KRK or AT, but those I can't recommend as I've never listened to).

Cheers,
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:45 am

While those models are expensive compared to the majority of headphones, the cost is easily justified in terms of their quality, IMHO, and they are incredibly cheap compared to monitors of the same resolution and quality.

My advice would be to hold off your purchase until you have saved enough for one of these top models, because anything else will be disappointing sooner or later.

H
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby DJRainerUK » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:09 am

Hi there peeps - this is my first ever post on SoundonSound. Hit me up or check some other posts I'm more than likely to post in the near future. As a DJ for a very long time, I found the Sennheiser hd25s served me well over a long period of time, but mainly for DJing. Since my first attempts at production, and volume levels a consideration since i now live in a built up area, I am forced to do a lot of my music through headphones. I bought a pair of Audio Technica headphones (ATH-M50) which give an awesome bass response; I'm really happy with them after using numerous pairs of Sennheiser HD25s over more than a decade. Although I love the bass response, bear in mind that if you're making dance/club music, most club systems will have a sub roll-off at around 40Hz, or complete minimum E flat at a push in terms of synths starting at a regular C4 or 5- luckily enough from my DJing days I know a few producers who are soooo close to breaking through so I can when needed get really useful feedback - this absolute bottom sub bass note is a real good piece of info to be aware of - Making a track you're happy with, only to find out your sub hit at the drop is gonna go missing is my mistake I'd rather others learn from. And if I'm wrong, please correct me - I'm looking to learn as much as I can as a complete and utter music geek and junkie!
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby DJRainerUK » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:37 am

And this isn't brazen self-promotion (I hate that), but the following link is a track I stopped working on as the root sub note which occurs at the drop is too low to hit on club systems; there's loads else that can be criticised about it (ie the snare needs a serious boost around ~200Hz) and creatively it still needs work, but it is unfortunately for me an example of a track written at too low a key for club situations, although any positive criticism will be appreciated. Respect to anyone who gets to the stage where they ask advice on this forum - you're obviously committed, so keep going! And the most respect to all you gurus who pass by and share your invaluable knowledge - hats off to you all!

https://soundcloud.com/djraineruk/the-future-of-mankind
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Re: Can't decide on headphones

Postby Julian Walker » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:11 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:While those models are expensive compared to the majority of headphones, the cost is easily justified in terms of their quality, IMHO, and they are incredibly cheap compared to monitors of the same resolution and quality.

My advice would be to hold off your purchase until you have saved enough for one of these top models, because anything else will be disappointing sooner or later.

H

Thanks for the affirmation Hugh, i'm really glad I got the MH 50s and spent the money. I spent a good 4-5 hours working on Reason the other night with no fatigue whatsoever and feel really confident in the tracking and mixes.

V Happy indeed, thanks for your input folks
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