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what are the best 'high end' headphones for mixing techno, house, etc? Studio Headphones
Old 20th December 2010
  #31
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AcoosticZoo's Avatar
go for the one that suits your ears the best.

It's hard to tell what will suit until you try them out.

Each ear canal is different for different people. Listening is a subjective thing.

Personally, I wouldn't buy an expensive headphone without first being able to audition them.

I auditioned the AKG K702 and bought them straight away. They are beautiful and very detailed - not harsh in the hi-end. (K701 are the same as the K702 accept for the detachable cable).

But many will prefer sennheisers. Either way, you would still need to get use to them before you can do any serious work/mixing music.

Good luck with your choice.

Regards
Josef Horhay
Mixing Engineer
www.acoosticzoo.com
Old 20th December 2010
  #32
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Raddler's Avatar
At " the talking king". I came across this post by one of our members, majortom. Thought it might be interesting for you.






"I have both. I've owned Grado 325i's, Sennheiser 650's, AKG701s, and Ultrasone 2500's. I listen through a Stello HP100 headphone amp. A decent headphone amp will make a big difference in the bass response of most headphones.

I just finished breaking in the 701s. 300 hours of sine sweeps, white and pink noise. Honestly, I don't think it changed the frequency response much, but I thought I'd follow the consensus view that they required an extensive break-in period.

They have the most detailed high end of any headphones I've ever listened on, but the bass response is what you might call "tight". Meaning, very flat. You will hear little things you never heard before, sometimes to the point of distraction. Some people get off on hearing the smack of a singer's dry lips momentarily sticking together. I find it a little off-putting.

You may also find yourself wondering if the person who mixed the song heard the same thing you're listening to. They probably did not because I'd think it'd be real hard to get the same level of detail from a speaker setup. Anyway, with mixes I'm familiar with, I would say the 701s are a bit misleading in the bass department, in that, I'm used to hearing more bass in other listening environments. They sound good, it's just a matter of what you're used to.

I broke in the 650s as well, maybe like 125 hours. The 650s have a lot more bass to the point where I'd say they have a hyped low-end response. They sound good, but I think they can be misleading as well. If your disappointment with the 650s was due to lack of bass then you will be horrifically disappointed with the 701s. If you feel the 650s sounded a little hyped then the 701s might be good for you.

I think the Ultrasones are a good midway point. They offer fairly detailed highs, a sound field that's still in your head, but a little further forward than the other headphones I've tried and a bass response that's somewhere between the 701s and the 650s. In my experience, mixes sound more like I'm used to hearing in other environments when I listen through the Ultrasones. That doesn't mean they are necessarily more accurate, possibly just "inaccurate" in the same way as a broader range of listening environments.

I wish I had a pair of Sennheiser 600s as I hear they have a low-end response that is less hyped the the 650s and might also be good for you.

Having tried to mix in headphones, I'd advise against it, like a lot of folks here. It's really hard to get a basic balance that will translate well to other systems. Headphones can be good for checking to see if the low-end is out of control though. But pans and effects can be very misleading in headphones.

Just one man's opinion "
Old 20th December 2010
  #33
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Tarkovsky's Avatar
 

I used to have the hd600s. Sold em. I'm using the high end ultrasones. I think they sound like ****.
Old 20th December 2010
  #34
Gear Head
 

just another subjective qoute here, but i am pretty content with the akg701!
Old 20th December 2010
  #35
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thetalkinghead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raddler View Post
At " the talking king". I came across this post by one of our members, majortom. Thought it might be interesting for you.






"I have both. I've owned Grado 325i's, Sennheiser 650's, AKG701s, and Ultrasone 2500's. I listen through a Stello HP100 headphone amp. A decent headphone amp will make a big difference in the bass response of most headphones.

I just finished breaking in the 701s. 300 hours of sine sweeps, white and pink noise. Honestly, I don't think it changed the frequency response much, but I thought I'd follow the consensus view that they required an extensive break-in period.

They have the most detailed high end of any headphones I've ever listened on, but the bass response is what you might call "tight". Meaning, very flat. You will hear little things you never heard before, sometimes to the point of distraction. Some people get off on hearing the smack of a singer's dry lips momentarily sticking together. I find it a little off-putting.

You may also find yourself wondering if the person who mixed the song heard the same thing you're listening to. They probably did not because I'd think it'd be real hard to get the same level of detail from a speaker setup. Anyway, with mixes I'm familiar with, I would say the 701s are a bit misleading in the bass department, in that, I'm used to hearing more bass in other listening environments. They sound good, it's just a matter of what you're used to.

I broke in the 650s as well, maybe like 125 hours. The 650s have a lot more bass to the point where I'd say they have a hyped low-end response. They sound good, but I think they can be misleading as well. If your disappointment with the 650s was due to lack of bass then you will be horrifically disappointed with the 701s. If you feel the 650s sounded a little hyped then the 701s might be good for you.

I think the Ultrasones are a good midway point. They offer fairly detailed highs, a sound field that's still in your head, but a little further forward than the other headphones I've tried and a bass response that's somewhere between the 701s and the 650s. In my experience, mixes sound more like I'm used to hearing in other environments when I listen through the Ultrasones. That doesn't mean they are necessarily more accurate, possibly just "inaccurate" in the same way as a broader range of listening environments.

I wish I had a pair of Sennheiser 600s as I hear they have a low-end response that is less hyped the the 650s and might also be good for you.

Having tried to mix in headphones, I'd advise against it, like a lot of folks here. It's really hard to get a basic balance that will translate well to other systems. Headphones can be good for checking to see if the low-end is out of control though. But pans and effects can be very misleading in headphones.

Just one man's opinion "
very interesting stuff. i like hearing very tight, focused bass, so perhaps the 701 really is for me. my room is 11' wide x 20' long x 8' high and i have 24 bass traps in it so even though my opals go down pretty low, the bass is very tight and focused. i could see the average person thinking there is no bass in my room, but then again people are used to hearing super hyped bass. either way, i feel like i really need to go audition both of these headphones (701 and 650), but i cant find a place near me that has either of them. i live right outside washington dc, so im gonna keep looking around and try to find a place. then again i wish i could also try the 600 and the ultrasones.

so, if the 701's have very tight, flat bass, how are they misleading? im just curious what you mean. thanks for the extensive response!

by the way i dont get 'the talking king'??
Old 20th December 2010
  #36
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thetalkinghead's Avatar
 

actually its looking more like i'l be between the k701 and hd600. i've now talked to a bunch of people who all agree the 650's bass is pretty hyped. then again i'm also hearing the k701 is perhaps too bass light so... yeah we shall see
Old 20th December 2010
  #37
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My personal experience is that Ultrasone makes the best cans I've ever put my ears to, especially for deep detailed genres like techno... the drivers reproduce smoother, richer bass than anything else I've experienced, and the highs are ultra precise and clear. Total class act, and I am amazed they aren't better known already...

I should be more specific and say that my experience is with the Ultrasone HFI range. I have the HFI-700 and have used the HFI-780 and 2200. I listened to some of the PROs at a NAMM or Musikmesse but haven't used them for serious listening.
Old 20th December 2010
  #38
Here for the gear
 

if you're like me and your headphone mixes tend to be bass-heavy and dull in the top-end when listening back on monitors, you just might want to go with something overly-hyped in the low end and dull in the top. that's the direction i'm leaning towards as it's time to upgrade the headphones, and the HD650's seem to be the best choice in this regard.

i've got a pair of AKG K271mkII's which are really horrible for low end (but good for isolation at least), which makes me really weary of going with the K701/702's. i do like my low end to be tight and punchy, but unless that translates perfectly when listening on monitors, it's going to be just more of the same issue, but with perhaps slightly less discrepancy.

it's really too bad there aren't more places that allow you to try before buy. plunking down $400+ sound unheard is pretty scary.

*very* curious to know which direction you go with this and how it turns out.
Old 20th December 2010
  #39
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thetalkinghead's Avatar
 

will let you know what happens for sure.

i wish i could order the k701, the 600 and 650.. listen to each for a few hours.. and then return two out of 3. heh
Old 20th December 2010
  #40
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Raddler's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetalkinghead View Post
very interesting stuff. i like hearing very tight, focused bass, so perhaps the 701 really is for me. my room is 11' wide x 20' long x 8' high and i have 24 bass traps in it so even though my opals go down pretty low, the bass is very tight and focused. i could see the average person thinking there is no bass in my room, but then again people are used to hearing super hyped bass. either way, i feel like i really need to go audition both of these headphones (701 and 650), but i cant find a place near me that has either of them. i live right outside washington dc, so im gonna keep looking around and try to find a place. then again i wish i could also try the 600 and the ultrasones.

so, if the 701's have very tight, flat bass, how are they misleading? im just curious what you mean. thanks for the extensive response!

by the way i dont get 'the talking king'??
lol, sorry dude i meant "the talking head"!!!!!!!!!!! Dyslexia....
Old 20th December 2010
  #41
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fanriffic's Avatar
 

I use the 701's in combination with the ATH M50.

..and would recommend you do the same sir.

The 701's are great cans,detail in spades,great sound-stage,blah,blah..however-as has been mentioned-they are a little bass shy..(not to say it's not there,it is..and it's tight and accurate too,which is far more important)...and they are fairly insensitive..(so not suitable to go straight into your laptop/ipod for example..although most decent interfaces etc will give you enough level)..so you may want to consider an amp as well (i've got a Little Dot I use with them).

The M50's are everything that the 701's aren't;cheap,closed,easy to drive,bass 'heavy' and ready to go straight out of the box..more like listening to a consumer hi-fi..but still balanced and detailed enough to make most decisions on.

I use the M50s as my standard phones,out-and-about and general laptop listening etc...so know them v well..but will bring out the 701's when it comes to critical listening,edits etc.

You'll have all your bases covered with those two puppies,

My tuppence.
Old 20th December 2010
  #42
702's are the only quality cans I own so I'm not offering a comparison; I can say that they sound great and are comfortable and non-fatiguing even for long periods...plenty of air circulation around the ears rather than the claustrophobic feel of some cans.

The sound is crystal but not clinical; takes a month or so to run-in i.e. a very subtle warming and improved bass response.

The 702's provide a soundfield which translates well to my monitor set-up: CMS 40's and Samson Resolv 2.1 in a small, semi-treated room.

The bass response is superb for cans...great dynamics but not hyped, boomy or muddy; I find I have to work a bit harder to get the bass right now.
Old 20th December 2010
  #43
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raddler View Post
If anyone is familiar with jaytech (amazing prog house producer with some top notch tracks on Beatport), he admited in an interview this....

"Your productions are so punchy, yet spacious. A tough trick to pull off… What’s your studio rig?
I have a relatively simple setup really - a MacBook and my Sennheiser headphones.
I have two MIDI controllers, an Akai MPD and an Edirol keyboard, which I use for live stuff and the occasional mix.
I have a pair of studio monitors which I occasionally use for reference, but basically I try to keep my setup portable so I can continue to write music while I travel.
Once I’m more settled in the UK I intend to get a more established studio space up and running, though!
I have a large library of all sorts of WAV samples—as far as synths go, my music is primarily done with Native Instruments plug-ins as they’re stable and are very useful for creating a variety of great sounds."


I went as far as to find a pic of his studio and saw that the senn's he talks about are the sennheiser HD25-II's. Thought it was interesting because everybody slams the HD-25-II's for producing. Just goes to show!!!


Here is the interview link if anyone is interested

Producer Spotlight: Jaytech, Part 1 | Beatportal
I'm pretty sure Eric Prydz also mentioned that he uses HD25s for producing. I've heard it about a few other producers as well. It's probably just easier if you're travelling a lot to use your Dj headphones for producing as well, even if they're not made for that. And if you use them to Dj, you also learn to a certain degree how they translate to club soundsystems, even if they aren't really transparent.

Personally I couldn't use them to produce, not because of sound quality but because I find them a bit stressful after longer hearing sessions.
Old 21st December 2010
  #44
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thetalkinghead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifstar View Post
I'm pretty sure Eric Prydz also mentioned that he uses HD25s for producing. I've heard it about a few other producers as well. It's probably just easier if you're travelling a lot to use your Dj headphones for producing as well, even if they're not made for that. And if you use them to Dj, you also learn to a certain degree how they translate to club soundsystems, even if they aren't really transparent.

Personally I couldn't use them to produce, not because of sound quality but because I find them a bit stressful after longer hearing sessions.
yea thats right. i see him using those headphones all the time. anybody ever use the HD25's? im guessing if the hd25's are good enough for prydz then the hd600's could be good enough for me. hehhehheh

by the way i found a place about 45min out of dc where i can test drive the k701 and hd600. gonna go there tomorrow and pick a pair!
Old 21st December 2010
  #45
Here for the gear
 

They have to be open !

I own the AKG 240 MKII closed, the AKG 601 (open) and the AKG 702 (open).
Moreover, I use a professional lake people phone amp G100.

My advice to anyone who wants to mix with phones:

use open ones ! The stereo image and depth/reverb will translate much better. Moreover use the most linear headphones you can get.
And then buy a linear quality phone amp like the lake people stuff (great value). With this setup some pure headphone mixes translated very well.

But in no doubt monitors are better ! Though I love my phones for all the detail information
Old 21st December 2010
  #46
Gear Maniac
 

I bought the DT 770's and returned them a couple days later because they were too dark. I bought the Ultrasone 650's instead and am very pleased...huge, gigantic step up from the MDR-7506's I used to use, though I still use those to check mixes...
Old 21st December 2010
  #47
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i dont remember the model name but i have read few times a denon have the best bass reponse for headphone, i have dt 880 pro, very good in the mids but lack low end for electronic music
Old 21st December 2010
  #48
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DSPaudio's Avatar
 

And another vote for open back phones. Closed aren't going to be as useful for mixing.

I'm surprised orthodynamic and electrostats aren't getting any love.

Well, you can do better than 650s. Here's a rabbit hole:

Hifiman, Audeze, Stax
Old 21st December 2010
  #49
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maxwelldub's Avatar
 

what are the best 'high end' headphones for mixing techno, house, etc?

I love my B&W P5s...very hifi!
Old 21st December 2010
  #50
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a very happy HD650 user here. i've had them for 3 years now and done most of my mixing with them. i don't think the bass is that hyped. when i first got them my mixes were coming out a little dull so always thought they were a bit bright. personally i wouldn't want anything brighter.
Old 21st December 2010
  #51
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turns out the dealer near me is way further away than i thought. after reading threads for like 8hrs today i think im just gonna get the hd600's. i feel like i really can't go wrong with these. and the bottom line is... im gonna take the time to really learn them and learn how they translate.

at first i was leaning towards the k701's but ive read a lot of stuff about people having issues with them. ive also read threads comparing the 600's and 701's and i think id prefer the 600's.

it seems like the 600's have been considered to be incredible headphones by many many well respected people. also ive read a lot of posts that they are flatter than the 650's. im sure its a minor difference, but since they are cheaper anway, im gonna just go with them. i'll let you guys know how i like them.

quick question.. as far as burning headphones in... sine sweeps? pink noise?
Old 21st December 2010
  #52
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cryophonik's Avatar
 

I love my BeyerDynamic DT880 Pros - semi-open back.

BTW, Sound On Sound had a headphone shootout article earlier this year and the 880s were ranked among the best for mixing. If you can find the article (it's available on their website for a fee), it's well worth the read before you decide.
Old 21st December 2010
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetalkinghead View Post
...at first i was leaning towards the k701's but ive read a lot of stuff about people having issues with them...
Any further info on this would be useful; any specific issues?
Old 21st December 2010
  #54
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thetalkinghead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Any further info on this would be useful; any specific issues?
really just that they are just very light on bass.
Old 21st December 2010
  #55
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fanriffic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Any further info on this would be useful; any specific issues?
...You should also consider the sensitivity issue I mentioned above-they need to be driven properly.
Old 21st December 2010
  #56
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thetalkinghead's Avatar
 

i lied. just ordered both the akg k701 and sennheiser hd600. as soon as i get them im gonna take a day and listen to a **** ton of music on both and then bang out a few mixes and see what sounds and translates better. will post results later this week!
Old 21st December 2010
  #57
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thetalkinghead's Avatar
 



interesting... i thought the bass response would be way more different
Old 21st December 2010
  #58
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SF_Green's Avatar
Here's a link to a really good review at SOS, although it's not geared specifically to electronic music.

Studio Headphones

I will say that one of their main points they make is to audition them against monitors you like (or have) and learn to compensate for response differences since it's very difficult to get the same balance from a pair of headphone speakers that are millimeters away from your ears as from monitors projecting into a room. They actually rated the DT 770 Pro's as the best mid-price "all around" models, although they did mention it had a rather "extended" bass response.

Here's the summary of the article:

"It seems we weren’t all able to agree on the best all-round headphones, or, for that matter, the best ones for mixing or tracking, which just goes to show how personal preferences, or the musical styles in which you work will affect your choice. However, quality does seem to shine through, because the same suspects did crop up again and again. The now long-established Sennheiser HD650, and the Beyerdynamic DT880s seemed to get the most plaudits as mixing phones, with the AKG K702s and other Sennheiser and Beyer models coming close behind — all of which are open-backed or semi-open-backed models. For recording on location or working in noisy environments the Sennheiser HD251 II seemed popular, for their combination of excellent performance, build quality and exclusion of external sound. For closed-back designs, the Sony MDR 7509HDs seem to come out on top, with qualified plaudits also for the Audio-Technica ATH M50s."

Two other links they give addressing the cans vs. monitors issues:

Mixing On Headphones

Creating Your Own Reference CD

Best of luck.
Old 21st December 2010
  #59
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Raddler's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetalkinghead View Post
turns out the dealer near me is way further away than i thought. after reading threads for like 8hrs today i think im just gonna get the hd600's. i feel like i really can't go wrong with these. and the bottom line is... im gonna take the time to really learn them and learn how they translate.

at first i was leaning towards the k701's but ive read a lot of stuff about people having issues with them. ive also read threads comparing the 600's and 701's and i think id prefer the 600's.

it seems like the 600's have been considered to be incredible headphones by many many well respected people. also ive read a lot of posts that they are flatter than the 650's. im sure its a minor difference, but since they are cheaper anway, im gonna just go with them. i'll let you guys know how i like them.

quick question.. as far as burning headphones in... sine sweeps? pink noise?
Hey man, i demoed the 600's today, and they are really good. I think you'll be happy with them. I brought my 650's to compare and there isn't a huge difference to my ears. Where they do differ is in the bass. The 600's are definetly flatter bass wise, but not by a huge amount. I was surprised how much bass the 600's actually put out . As for the highs, the difference wasn't huge like i had heard some say. Overall, i found the 600's sounded cleaner than the 650's, probably because of the reduced amount of bass. I tried the AKG 701's also. I was seriously expecting some bright highs, but to me they sounded pretty tame. Still very detailed however. Straight out of my iphone, the 701's sounded very weak. I'm sure amped they'd sound much different. But even at that, the 701's are very, very bass light. Keep us posted on your thoughts of them.
Old 21st December 2010
  #60
Gear Addict
 
carbon111's Avatar
Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro - very flat for phones. Great detail. A bit of a revelation after years of K240Ms and a short dalliance with low-mid range Grados! Just love the 880s!
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