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Mixing metal w/ HD6XX+Sonarworks - Having another HD6 series or Focal Headphones?

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Mixing metal w/ HD6XX+Sonarworks - Having another HD6 series or Focal Headphones?

Postby Itamars » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:20 pm

I am about to receive my new HD6XX Headphones to mix/master mainly metal (also rock and hiphop in the future).

I will be modding the HD6XX and using Sonarworks to improve the highs and lows of them, But i have thoughts if I should get some other cans alongside them.
I liked the more clear and open signature of the HD600, the more bass extension and impact of the HD58X, and was also heard the HD660S are more detailed with better highs and lows. Also heared the focal Elex has all the improvement regarding low and high end, speed, impact and clarity (which are not in the Sonarworks/Morphit list) and that Elear are basically the same with different pads (and do show on Sonarworks/Morphit but less naturally flat). But I also read that the focal could be less good than the HD6XX for mixing because of being so dynamic (?).

- Is there any reason to hold another HD6 series headphone alongside the HD6XX or it's redundant as the mods and Sonarworks will cover what they lack?
- Is it good to have Focals alongside for mixing master? And if so, should it be the Elex - the flat between the bunch, without sonarworks, or the Elear w/ sonarworks?

Thanks a lot!
Itamar :)
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Re: Mixing metal w/ HD6XX+Sonarworks - Having another HD6 series or Focal Headphones?

Postby John Willett » Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:43 pm

Listen carefully with Sonorworks - when I tried it out at a show with HD800s I found that Sonorworks took something subtle away from the music and I eventually preferred listening with Sonorworks switched off.
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Re: Mixing metal w/ HD6XX+Sonarworks - Having another HD6 series or Focal Headphones?

Postby Martin Walker » Sat Apr 11, 2020 3:44 pm

Hi Itamars, and welcome to the SOS Forums!

There have been various in-depth discussions about Sonarworks here, and I think it's fair to say that the general consensus was that if you get totally used to the sound of a particular set of headphones then your ears adjust to any 'foibles' that they may have, and you can then mix successfully with them.

If on the other hand your ears are already used to a different reference, mixing with a new set of headphones can be challenging. I found this after buying AKG K712 Pro's for their bass end, but being used to the sound of my tiny ATC loudspeakers and existing Sennheiser HD650 phones. In this case, using the relevant Sonarworks headphone profiles helped me get the 712's much closer to the sound of my two existing references, which I found a great help.

Another factor is how far from a notional 'average' sound a particular set of headphones is, and here Sennheiser make life easier, since according to most experts they are already relatively flat, only needing a boost below 50Hz and a tiny lift around 2kHz. To be honest, because of this I rarely use Sonarworks with my HD650's, but find it essential with my K712's.

Personally I would get used to the sound of your imminent HD6xx's as is, since as John mentions, Sonarworks may alter their output more than you'd eventually prefer.

As always, your mileage may vary ;)

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