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Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

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Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby KAF » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:04 am

Hi people.
This is not another "can I monitor with Bluetooth headphones" thread, despite the fact that if now in 2020 there finally is a very low latency BT solution for monitoring you're welcome to tell me.

But I don't necessarily need BT when I produce. I'm planning to do just some EDM with a notebook, a mini midi keyboard and a USB mic, so I don't need to move around. Cable is fine.
The reason why I need that my monitoring headphone have BT, is that they will be my only pair of headphones for a long while. So I'll use them also for entertainment.
And it's many years that for entertainment I've cut all cables, and that's a no way back for me.

I don't have much if any experience with mixing, and extremely few with producing.
I'm not looking for the very best Super perfect Headphones.
I just want a pair of headphones reliable enough not to make my mixes sound like crap.
The better, the better.
(Question to the native speakers: Was there any alternative to this last sentence?)

Your help is much appreciated.
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:45 am

I have to say that I've not met a pair of bluetooth headphones that I would trust for critical listening, wired or not. I've tried quite a few of them as a solution for the ridiculous decision Apple took to remove the jack from their phones. Open-back bluetooth headphones are very rare - I haven't had any through my hands.

For non-critical listening... anything that requires charging will always have run out of charge just at the moment when it is most needed - that's the way of things.

For the sake of one cable I don't see the point in compromising.
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby John Willett » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:58 am

The Elf wrote:... the ridiculous decision Apple took to remove the jack from their phones.

This was never a problem for me.

I think Apple did it to improve the safely of the phone against the ingress of water - and they *did* supply an adaptor with the phone.

Personally I use a DragonFly into the lightning connector and get superb sound.
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:47 am

I recently bought some Bluetooth headphones for commuting and listened to quite a few pairs around the £100 mark. In the end the best sounding ones i found were some Sennheiser HD4.5. I think it's an old model now though.
In the end i didn't buy those as the fit wasn't comfortable and went with some Sonys.
Whatever route you choose i'd say you're going to have to do a lot of referencing against commercial mixes to compensate for the inbuilt bias.
But that's good practice for beginners anyway, and gives you an excuse to sit and listen to music for a bit. :)
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:06 am

I have Apple AirPods for 'casual' listening (entertainment) they are pretty good. Why not use some kind of BT ear buds for entertainment and some decent, wired, open backed headphones (AKG K701 maybe) for 'critical' listening/mixing?
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby John Willett » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:12 am

blinddrew wrote: In the end the best sounding ones i found were some Sennheiser HD4.5. I think it's an old model now though.

The HD 4.50BTNC are on special offer at the moment - £99 + free shipping.

See HERE
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:14 am

John Willett wrote:
The Elf wrote:... the ridiculous decision Apple took to remove the jack from their phones.
This was never a problem for me.
When you use your headphones throughout the night to reduce tinnitus and aid sleep - it's a problem! Three hours maximum playback time on ear buds is useless.

And why would anyone want to have to plan to charge their headphones, when you used to just carry them around in a pocket and use them *any* time, on a whim?

John Willett wrote:they *did* supply an adaptor with the phone.
With which you cannot charge your phone! :headbang:

John Willett wrote:Personally I use a DragonFly into the lightning connector and get superb sound.
And I use a Baseus power/headphone adaptor. I don't really care about sound quality - it does the job I need.

But things would be easier if they'd put the headphone jack back on there and stop all this nonsense. I hate it when manufacturers sell us a problem, then sell us a solution for that problem as if they're doing us a favour! If water ingress is THE problem, then fix THAT! :madas: I could fix it in 2 minutes with a blob of superglue! Maybe I should explain my method to Apple!
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby KAF » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:46 pm

Hi!

I wouldn't polarize between open and closed, as there are reasons and situations to choose one over the other.
But yes, there are already at least two audiophile open back BT Headphones, a Grado and a HiFiMan.
And while even there some people manage to complain, other people thank God for them:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/review/B07X52DHH8/R2NBK5YSILTLO4
And technology evolves, so, let's see what the future brings.

But I do not wish this thread to become another BT vs Wired.
There's enough of that and we're all of mature enough not to believe that our point of view is the best just because it's ours.
Some people don't see the point in BT, some people don't see the point in wired, some don't see the point in having to choose when you can have both and use the one which fits your priority of the moment. Some don't see the point in bothering using anything else than a HE-1.
The only point I don't see is in discussing what other people prefer. And anyway whatever we choose there will always be something better.


Seriously, I just need something which is soundwise reliable enough to be used for amateur production so that my tracks will sound to others pretty much like they sound to me (I'm just learning to produce EDM with Ableton, I don't yet need the quality of a professional studio).
It must have BT but also wired option (some can't).
And must be closed back (I'm often around people, and also I'm active at night, so isolation is crucial).

My researches brought me to:
ATH-M50XBT (I just have found many mentions of the ATH-M50X being used a lot in production, and I guessed that the BT version could be a good starting point)
AKG K361-BT and K371-BT.

Another solution would be to find a good wired can with detachable cable and stick a BT receiver in it.
But, that's a very long quest. I have absolutely no clue, which combination of headphone and receiver can do that well, without the Headphones being so underpowered to sound even worse than a BT one.
But well. I'm willing to go in this second quest, in case that nothing else is found in the first one, or that the advantages of the second should be so big.


A couple things more, because many posts have been written while I was working on my answer:

- I can't cope with things stuck in my ears, no way.
No earbuds for me.
I would eventually prefer, if this is getting nowhere, to buy two headphones, a wired for production, a BT for freedom. But that's not optimal, so first I wanna see my BT options.

- Battery is not a concern. As said, critical stuff will be wired.
And for the rest, modern BT Headphones have at least 30 hrs battery life. If that's not enough, nothing will be.

- when you say that the HD4.50 sound good, do you mean good for listening to music, or good for producing it?
Btw, how do I do referencing with commercial mixes, without having a second pair of reference cans to understand what mine do wrong?


Thank you for helping out.
I feel supported.
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:09 pm

KleinAberFein wrote:- when you say that the HD4.50 sound good, do you mean good for listening to music, or good for producing it?
Btw, how do I do referencing with commercial mixes, without having a second pair of reference cans to understand what mine do wrong?
I meant that the Sennheisers sounded very natural compared to the competition. With mixing headphones you're looking for something that gives you a flat frequency response, the Sonys that I bought have a definite emphasis on the upper mids. They sound 'brighter' if you like. This can help lyrics cut through when I'm listening on the train, but counts against them for anything requiring critical listening. So I wouldn't use them for that job.

By referencing against commercial mixes I mean constantly compare what you hear from your mix with what you're hearing on the commercial mix. When I'm mixing I will always load up three or four commercial tracks of the same genre/style into the project. I'll bring down the volume so that the loudness* is comparable to the level I'm mixing at, then regularly toggle between my mix and the reference tracks to check that I'm not drifting away too much. Pay extra attention to the bass and low-mids as this is where it's easy to mistake power for mud. :)
Our ears adapt to what we're hearing pretty quickly, so regular checks against the reference makes sure you're not heading down a rabbit hole. Regular breaks are also important.
And whilst I'm on generic advice, make sure your listening levels are sensible. Working at high volumes is not going to give you a decent mix and could seriously damage your hearing. :)


* Note: loudness, not peaks. Melda's MLoudness Analyzer is part of their free plugin suite if you don't already have a loudness meter in your toolkit.
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby KAF » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:16 pm

blinddrew wrote:By referencing against commercial mixes I mean constantly compare what you hear from your mix with what you're hearing on the commercial mix.
I get it!
So basically, I just have to make my mixes sound as bad as commercial mixes would on my not neutral headphone, and then I'm good. :D
Thanks.
And would it also work if I spend a time comparing how things sound on my headphones and how they sound on something like the MDR-7506 or whatever you might suggest to use a reference studio headphones (which I might buy used so that it's not a shame when I'll return them afterwards)?

As for the HD4.50 I was worried because supposedly the best Sennheiser BT headphones are the momentum and those are nowhere neutral.
But I'll try them.

Well, the thread is open, suggestions are still welcome for a long while, I have a couple of months I can invest in testing stuff before settling in something.
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby KAF » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:33 pm

Another option could be the Nuraphone...
I feel a big rejection for those things going into my ear channels or just pressing against them.
But people say they sound amazing and supposedly they overcome the subjectivity of your ears (see my other thread).
Well it's still too see if beside overcoming your subjectivity they can also be objectively neutral, or if they are coloured to make people feel "wow".
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby Jadoube » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:17 pm

I have a set of ORA Graphene headphones I just received about a month ago from the longest Kickstarter ever. They are fantastic headphones with an amazingly deep and detailed bottom end. I have retired my Grados and use these as my main mixing headphones now. Mixes are translating very well from them. And, they have Bluetooth! I don't use it much but it is there. Hard to believe such great headphones also have Bluetooth.

I recommend a listen if you ever see a pair.

Ora Graphene Headphones
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby KAF » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:43 pm

Thank you for this!
But I'm a bit confused.
Because of this:
https://youtu.be/TTD9eXGD2Ck

What makes you prefer them over a Grado for mixing?
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby Jadoube » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:02 pm

KleinAberFein wrote:Thank you for this!
But I'm a bit confused.
Because of this:
https://youtu.be/TTD9eXGD2Ck

What makes you prefer them over a Grado for mixing?

LOL... wow. Yeah, he doesn't like them at all. I wonder if they have a quality control issue? They definitely struggled to get them out the door. The Kickstarter was a good 2 years late. Admittedly I don't mix on cans exclusively... It is one of 4 main monitor sources I use. I find the bottom on them makes more sense for pop music then the Grados. The translation from headphones to my subwoofer (older first-gen Mackies) seems good. I feel confident to make minor adjustments on the bottom with the ORA headphones... I would never do that on the Grados.

I don't know. I have quite a few sets of headphones.... Grado (they are a cheaper set, relatively to the Grado range), AKG 140, AKG K550, AKG Quincy Jones model (OK... I like AKG headphones) Audio Technica ATH-M50x and some various random tracking headphones. I bought Grado because my mastering engineer turned me on to them back in the day. I like the ORA better than all of those types, again, particularly the bottom. I have noticed that there is a style of headphones out there that I hate and many love... I call it "Sony".Ha ha. I find a lot of Sony's overly bright and hyped in the top. I don't understand why people like them, but people with good ears definitely do. I hate any and all earbuds style. For me these ORA's work. That's all I know. You have to listen for yourself and not worry too much about the internet when it comes to audio production. Unlike dude in the review, I am a recording engineer... albeit mostly as a hobby now. They are a tool and I like them even if I am the only person in the world who does.
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Re: Bluetooth headphones which on cable are good enough for producing?

Postby KAF » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:45 pm

Jadoube wrote:Unlike dude in the review, I am a recording engineer... albeit mostly as a hobby now. They are a tool and I like them even if I am the only person in the world who does.
Ok, that's an honest answer.

I might try them, if I find then cheap.
I'm already struggling for a used DAW. If they cost 400 it's out of question in this moment.
I generally buy all used, and with more famous headphones it's easier.
But I'm happy you brought that to me.
At least I know they are there!

I was thinking about the ATH-M50XBT because of the many people using the non BT, and they can be found cheap used.
Apparently they don't sound the same but, not too different.
So you prefer the Ora to the ATH?


Please guys keep giving ideas, even if out of budget, it still helps.
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