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Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

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Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby paulsmusic » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:40 am

I need to buy 4 sets of headphones for some songwriting / recording workshops in schools, with a budget of around £200. Any suggestions? Main considerations would be to find something fairly robust, with good sound isolation for tracking duties. Thanks!
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:54 pm

I've heard good reports of the Superlux range and that they punch above their weight: https://www.thomann.de/gb/headphones_studio_headphones.html?ls=25&oa=pra No direct experience myself though.

I'm currently using AKG K72s for tracking and location/field recording. To me they're excellent value for money. Comfortably inside your price point from numerous retailers.
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby paulsmusic » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:40 pm

I'm currently using AKG K72s for tracking and location/field recording. To me they're excellent value for money. Comfortably inside your price point from numerous retailers.[/quote]

Thanks Mike! What's the bleed like on the AKG K72s for tracking?
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby blinddrew » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:52 pm

Can't really comment on the bleed side of things but I have a set of K72s for video stuff at work and they've survived some pretty well with, shall we say, less than sympathetic usage in some cases.
Actually, I guess what I can say on the bleed front is that I've never had any instance of it coming though. But I'm mostly just doing voice-based work not overdubbing existing music tracks.
My experience with other closed back cans is that it does tend to depend quite a bit on the shape of the listener's head. What works for some people will not necessarily give a good fit on someone else.
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby paulsmusic » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:58 pm

Thanks for that. I'm also looking at the AKG K92s, which are only £6 more than the K72s

https://www.dv247.com/en_GB/GBP/AKG-K-9 ... 012356-000
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby James Perrett » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:27 pm

While I normally stick to Sennheiser or Beyerdynamic for studio headphones (as nothing else I've tried has been rugged enough for studio use) I've also used the Audio Technica ATH-M20 headphones recently which seem to work well and are within the budget.

Unfortunately Sennheiser no longer seem to cater for this price range - their HD201 or HD206 would have been ideal (I've used them in other people's studios) but they both seem to be discontinued.
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby paulsmusic » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:19 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions guys! I have gone for the AKG K92s...
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby OneWorld » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:12 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:I've heard good reports of the Superlux range and that they punch above their weight: https://www.thomann.de/gb/headphones_studio_headphones.html?ls=25&oa=pra No direct experience myself though.

I'm currently using AKG K72s for tracking and location/field recording. To me they're excellent value for money. Comfortably inside your price point from numerous retailers.

How do you think the AKGs compare to the 'studio standard' Beyer DT100s? that's if they are familiar to you of course. I use those which I am told are the 'standard' but I never thought they gave me a predictable representation when I went through speakers, maybe these AKGs would be preferable?
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:26 pm

DT100s are rugged, reliable and repairable but not especially 'hi fidelity' or cheap.
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:20 pm

OneWorld wrote:
Mike Stranks wrote:I've heard good reports of the Superlux range and that they punch above their weight: https://www.thomann.de/gb/headphones_studio_headphones.html?ls=25&oa=pra No direct experience myself though.

I'm currently using AKG K72s for tracking and location/field recording. To me they're excellent value for money. Comfortably inside your price point from numerous retailers.

How do you think the AKGs compare to the 'studio standard' Beyer DT100s? that's if they are familiar to you of course. I use those which I am told are the 'standard' but I never thought they gave me a predictable representation when I went through speakers, maybe these AKGs would be preferable?

Yes I know the DT100s; had some for a while and was quite underwhelmed.

They've got the 'industry standard' moniker because they're used (or certainly were 'in the day') extensively in pro studios and people have seen 'pro-people' wearing them in vids and photos.

What gets overlooked is that in most cases they were used in studios as foldback and overdubbing cans. Their restricted range/focus on the mid helped that. For critical listening they were very poor IMO.

My purchase of the K72 was based on needing something that I knew was going to get a hard life, not having oodles of cash to splash at the time and - for me - having a straight cable! When out in the field - literally!- you don't want long cables dangling around your feet so the ability to coil easily or use a detachable bespoke cable was a high priority. And over all that most of the time I'm using them with my Zoom F4 - whose one major weakness IMO is it's over-bright headphone amp. Little point using quality cans when the input signal is already compromised...
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby Wonks » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:09 pm

I've just ordered a pair of AKG K92s for just under £40. as a pair of closed back headphones for tracking. Hopefully they'll turn up tomorrow but maybe Friday. I've got one set of DT100s and two sets of Sennheiser HD250 Pros, but one of those HD250s is on its last legs with all the plastic on the ear cups and headband deteriorating into sticky goo. And some of the harder plastic bits had cracked earlier so they are held together by tape. But they do give a reasonable sound for general listening and do isolate well.

So I'll report on the K92s ASAP once they arrive.
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby Wonks » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:57 pm

Well the K92s have just arrived.

Isolation wise they aren't quite as good as my HD280 pros (not HD250 pros as I wrote in my post above :headbang: ) but they aren't bad. The HD280s provide a lot more pressure on the ear cups to really clamp them on your head, whereas the K92s are overall a lot lighter built, with thinner plastic shells, and there's less clamping pressure. Which means that they'll be more comfortable to wear for longer periods but won't seal quite as well than the HD280 Pros.

Sound-wise I'm currently not impressed with the K92s. There's a lot of bass (they do go lower than the HD280s) and there's a very 'tizzy' high end with no body at all to cymbal hits. All the mids sound very muffled and pushed back in the mix at the moment. Which is not what you want for vocal tracking headphones.

But they are AKGs, so they are the only headphone make that do need a burn-in period. So they are plugged in on repeat and I'll give an update in a couple of days. Currently though, I wish I'd paid double to get some more HD280s which sound far more balanced and do provide that bit extra isolation, which is important when trying to cut out bleed into the mic, especially if you have a quiet singer.
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby Wonks » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:38 pm

Well the K92s have been listening to Greta Van Fleet for the best part of a day and they have certainly improved. The midrange is coming through more and the top end is less 'tizzy'. But it's still sounding very scooped with too much bass and treble and the mids still lacking detail. So I'll keep them going for at least another 3 days and see what they are like then.

But I really don't think they'll be much good for tracking, where those mids are all important.

I do notice a difference when powering them from my Behringer headphone amp as compared to my Samson monitor controller's headphone output (so I can see a new monitor controller appearing sometime soon). The Behringer HA also has treble and bass controls so I can tame the bass somewhat to help bring out the midrange, but turning down the treble just makes it too muffled. and turning it up for more clarity makes all the cymbals far too distracting.
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Re: Best Budget Tracking Headphones for under £50?

Postby Wonks » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:51 am

Last K92 update. Well after having them running constantly for three and a half days, I can certainly say the K92s sound better than they did. The bass is slightly less prominent as the lower mids have improved a bit so the bass sounds a bit more 'joined up'. The mids in general have come up significantly, but are still lacking in the upper mids to give clarity to vocals and the treble is still excessive and distracting. So overall it's still quite an extreme smile curve to the sound.

Not a great sub-£50 headphone.
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