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Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

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Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

Postby dickiefunk » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:19 pm

Hi,

I use Neumann kh120 monitors for mixing and am really happy with them and very familiar with their sound. I'm finding the way they translate is great and as a result I am looking for a similarly voiced pair of headphones for when I'm doing some rough mixing away from the studio.

What headphones would you recommend that resemble a similar tone to the kh120's under £400?
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Re: Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:38 pm

Headphones is always a very subjective choice, and the way your ears/brain work when listening on headphones is significantly different to listening on speakers too.

The KH120s are fundamentally very neutral speakers, so I'd suggest neutral headphones one be a good place to start. Something like the Sennheiser HD600 or HD650, for example. Or Neumann's own NDH20s, of course, which were specifically designed to sound like their monitors: https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/neumann-ndh-20

But wearing headphones is a physical experience and you can end up spending a lot of hours wearing headphones, so comfort is paramount... and different headphones feel very different because of their different weights, size of ear cups, padding materials, pressure on the sides of the head, headband adjustability, stability when moving around, tension and tangling from the cable (the former being a potential problem especially from coily cables!).

So it's really worth trying out a range of models if you can from the usual brands -- AKG, Beyer, Shure, Sennheiser, etc... A lot of people around here rate AKGs -- including myself -- but they tend to be a little more hyped-sounding than the Sennheisers.
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Re: Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

Postby Zukan » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:50 am

Some manufacturers, like Sonarworks, offer speaker modes within their headphone calibration software. I don't think the Neumanns are in there but you could hunt for a response that matches them but it won't be the same as using the monitors.

Using monitors is very different to using headphones and trying to match responses simply doesn't work.

As Hugh has suggested the best approach is to aim for a frequency flat response. You could opt to use calibration software and turn your existing set of cans to a FF response. That would yield better results than trying to match speaker modes which by their very nature cannot be truthfully replicated using headphones for a number of reasons.
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Re: Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:04 am

I have KH80s rather than 120s but I understand they have a similar voicing (I'm sure Hugh can chime in!). My experience is that the flat response from Sonarworks is a pretty good tonal match to the speakers - I certainly don't find myself wanting to tweak an eq when I swap between monitors and cans.
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Re: Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:41 am

Thanks guys. I have some Beyer DT880 pros at the moment which have been good and flatter than any other headphones I’ve heard in their price range but they are still quite hyped. I also have ToneBoosters Morphit which has worked quite well but I’ve heard good things about the new Audeze LCD-1’s, Beyer DT1770/DT1990 and Shure SRH1440/1540’s.
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Re: Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

Postby Zukan » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:46 am

Dickie, have you tried Sonarworks? Might find it resolves your problem.

I haven't heard the Audeze LCD-1s yet. I have the LCD-X and it is excellent but I appreciate the price difference between the two.

Try Sonarworks first and see how you get on before splashing out on a set of new cans.
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Re: Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:11 am

Zukan wrote:Dickie, have you tried Sonarworks? Might find it resolves your problem.

I haven't heard the Audeze LCD-1s yet. I have the LCD-X and it is excellent but I appreciate the price difference between the two.

Try Sonarworks first and see how you get on before splashing out on a set of new cans.

I haven’t tried Sonarworks but am using ToneBoosters Morphit which does make a clear improvement. I’ll try the Sonarworks demo to hear how it compares to Morphit but I’m wondering if it would be better to just get a better pair of headphones!?
Interestingly, when looking at the preset EQ curves for the various makes of headphones the Beyer DT880’s had one of the least EQ corrections out of all of them!?
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Re: Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

Postby CS70 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:27 pm

dickiefunk wrote:Thanks guys. I have some Beyer DT880 pros at the moment which have been good and flatter than any other headphones I’ve heard in their price range but they are still quite hyped. I also have ToneBoosters Morphit which has worked quite well but I’ve heard good things about the new Audeze LCD-1’s, Beyer DT1770/DT1990 and Shure SRH1440/1540’s.

Just an aside thought - I always prefer to have mixing headphones that sound a bit different than my monitors. Reason is that it saves me some mix checking - and forces me to focus on what give the same emotional payback on very different system. I actually tend to use even my tracking headphones to check a mix (and do little changes accordingly) to ensure that things sound "normal" (i.e. as I expect them to sound) on both.

Just $.10, of course ymmv.
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Re: Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

Postby John Willett » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:07 pm

Zukan wrote:Dickie, have you tried Sonarworks? Might find it resolves your problem.

I haven't heard the Audeze LCD-1s yet. I have the LCD-X and it is excellent but I appreciate the price difference between the two.

Try Sonarworks first and see how you get on before splashing out on a set of new cans.

I tried Sonarworks at CanJam London last year with the HD 800.

It certainly changed the frequency response slightly - but also took something away from the music at the same time - I preferred the cans without Sonarworks myself.

However, having said that, the HD 800 are exceptionally good to start with - on other headphones the Sonarworks corrections may work better.
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Re: Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

Postby Zukan » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:36 am

I think Sonarworks is great for headphones that have a hyped response. For high quality headphones I really don't see the point. Why pay so much for an excellent response only to alter it?
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Re: Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:17 am

Zukan wrote:I think Sonarworks is great for headphones that have a hyped response. For high quality headphones I really don't see the point. Why pay so much for an excellent response only to alter it?

I'd go along with this - I couldn't personally use my AKG K712 Pro's without Sonarworks 'correction' as I'm so used to their 'flattened' sound, but I don't ever bother with Sonarworks when using my Sennheiser HD650's, as they start life very flat anyway.


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Re: Mixing headphones sililarly voiced to Neumann KH120's?

Postby John Willett » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:21 pm

dickiefunk wrote:Hi,

I use Neumann kh120 monitors for mixing and am really happy with them and very familiar with their sound. I'm finding the way they translate is great and as a result I am looking for a similarly voiced pair of headphones for when I'm doing some rough mixing away from the studio.

What headphones would you recommend that resemble a similar tone to the kh120's under £400?

The Neumann NDH 20 are designed to do just this. :thumbup:

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