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Headphones durability Studio Headphones
Old 13th September 2015
  #1
Headphones durability

I have 4-5 pairs of AKG K271 (first generation) in my studio, which are the best headpohones I have for client... While doing a checkup, I realize than none of them still sound the same! I bought them all in the same period (I would say 7-8 years ago). They are all working great and are in good physical condition, but one is brighter, one has more low mids, one lacks bass, etc. It's now hard for me to tell which one is still the most accurate (or close to what it is supposed to be anyway).

Of course, they haven't seen the same usage. One is in the control room, one is always in my overdub / vocal booth (getting a lot of use daily), one is more used by drummers, etc... I suppose they all aged differently, in relation with their usage. Is that possible that there's so much difference, or is it an AKG problem durability??

That leads to another question: which headphones should I get, that will sound nice, and will be solid enough to last many many years?

Thanks!
Old 13th September 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Bought a pair of the AKG 240s a couple of years ago. Literally the worst-made piece of studio gear I've ever owned. The cable started falling apart within a few weeks like it was made of paper, then both of the shells cracked within a week or two of each other. Now one ear piece has stopped working. I think they've farmed production out to China. Sad, because I actually liked the sound.
Old 13th September 2015
  #3
Lives for gear
 
fwet's Avatar
Ive gone through two pairs of AKG's. My impression is that there not very durable comparing to the other headphones I've owned.

Im trying some DT880's on first listen they seem too nice. I need a dryer sound. I wonder how much there going to break in. Every part of the headphone is replaceable!
Old 13th September 2015
  #4
ECM
Gear Addict
DT880/DT990 are OKAY durablity wise. But no detachable cable can become a problem, and two driver's have blown on each model before.
Old 13th September 2015
  #5
I'm eye'ing the Beyer DT250 at the moment .....
Old 14th September 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Hamburg58's Avatar
 

I'd rather listen to AKG's than Sony MDR's but honestly, owning a studio the AKG's go after a year for me. One of the ears goes. The Sonys are so reliable. So have been the Audio Technica. Such a bummer as much as I love AKG, I can sacrifice durability for quality anymore.
Old 14th September 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
 

I am not going to recommend a set of cans for you, you need to decide this for yourself. I will say I am a real FANBOY of the 700 series. I have a pair of them bought about 2 years apart. And yes, these do sound different to each other but I expected that since they both don't have the same hours on them (I use the older pair more often than the newer on). The 701's recommend about 300 hours of burnin before they hit their sweetspot.

Not sure if your cans require the same type of burnin process but if they do, this may be causing the difference in sound you notice.

Just trying to suggest a possible explanation.

Jim
Old 14th September 2015
  #8
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidChampoux View Post
I have 4-5 pairs of AKG K271 (first generation) in my studio, which are the best headpohones I have for client... While doing a checkup, I realize than none of them still sound the same! I bought them all in the same period (I would say 7-8 years ago). They are all working great and are in good physical condition, but one is brighter, one has more low mids, one lacks bass, etc. It's now hard for me to tell which one is still the most accurate (or close to what it is supposed to be anyway).

Of course, they haven't seen the same usage. One is in the control room, one is always in my overdub / vocal booth (getting a lot of use daily), one is more used by drummers, etc... I suppose they all aged differently, in relation with their usage. Is that possible that there's so much difference, or is it an AKG problem durability??

That leads to another question: which headphones should I get, that will sound nice, and will be solid enough to last many many years?

Thanks!
You don't need new headphones, you need new earpads.

Get new earpads for all of them. This will likely bring them back to all sounding the same.

If you are not sure about this - get a single pair of earpads for one set and see how it improves the sound - then, if it works, get the earpads for the rest.

As the foam deteriorares in the earpads it changes the fit and the capsule to ear distance.

All my headphones sound better with new earpads.

I change my earpads every few years.
Old 14th September 2015
  #9
Pretty interesting! I noticed that the sound change with different pads, but I didn't think it could change 'that much'... I need to check. What are the best pads to get for the K271?
Old 15th September 2015
  #10
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidChampoux View Post
What are the best pads to get for the K271?
The originals - from AKG spares.
Old 15th September 2015
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidChampoux View Post
That leads to another question: which headphones should I get, that will sound nice, and will be solid enough to last many many years?
I've been using Beyerdynamic DT770 for over 15 years and they are extremely durable, reliable and also they sound great. You'll need to replace the ear-pads from time to time depending the daily usage. The handy coiled cord can be extended to a maximum of 3 meters and the FR is from 5Hz to 35kHz.
Old 15th September 2015
  #12
I've had 2 pairs of DT770 a few years ago. I thought they were overly bright (at 12KHz+), and also overly bassy (25-50Hz). I prefer the mid presence of the K271.
Old 15th September 2015
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Motoxxx's Avatar
 

I have 4 pairs of the Shure 440s, 4 of the Shure 840s, and 6 of the Audio Technica ATH-M50X. Won't use the AKGs anymore due to durability issues.

Here is my experience and likes and dislikes of these phones.

Shure 440 - OK sound. A bit harsh in the high end and lacking a bit of bass but a very comfortable headphone. Had one set quit on me and sent it back to Shure. The cable is a half coiled job that I just hate. No straight cable is available as an option so I get this half coiled thing wrapped around stuff all the time and if you walk away from your headphone mixer too far it pulls on your head a bit or can pull the cans off. I really hate the cables. I love the fit of them. The sound is just so so. Pretty decent value over all but not my favorite by a long shot.

Shure 840 - Really nice sound. Full bottom end. Pretty much the same fit as the 440s but also uses the same half coiled cable that I hate. Much better sound and I like the fact that the ears do not rotate 180 degrees for DJ posing. These are my favorite phones for live situations because they do not do the ridiculous DJ swivel and that makes them faster to place on my head when I need to solo up something quickly. No fussing around trying to make sure the cans are pointing the correct way. Value wise they are a good buy especially if you can find a pair of them that have been gently used.

Audio Technica ATH-M50 - The best overall sound out of the ones I own. Love pretty much everything about these things EXCEPT for the 180 DJ poser swivel. I always hate to see clients struggle to orientate them correctly on their heads when tracking. Really wish AT would fix them so they DON"T rotate much at all. Best sounding phones, best reliability so far (although the 840 is pretty good too). I love listening to these phones the best and my clients prefer them too. The DJ swivel is the only real drawback on these in my opinion.
Old 15th September 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
murphythecat87's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
You don't need new headphones, you need new earpads.

Get new earpads for all of them. This will likely bring them back to all sounding the same.

If you are not sure about this - get a single pair of earpads for one set and see how it improves the sound - then, if it works, get the earpads for the rest.

As the foam deteriorares in the earpads it changes the fit and the capsule to ear distance.

All my headphones sound better with new earpads.

I change my earpads every few years.
this
earpads make huge differene because the more they compress over time, the sound change.
Im 100% sure if you change the earpads and put new earpads on all your headphone, they will all sound the same
Old 15th September 2015
  #15
Thanks for all your replies, guys.

I might try a bunch of new earpads first. We'll see how it turns. All my K271 are still perfectly usuable, so I'll try to maximise my 'investment' before I scrapp them and buy something else!
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