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What are your favorite headphones in the mastering room. Studio Headphones
Old 8th June 2018
  #151
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cemski's Avatar
Anybody ever compared the HD650 against the Focal Clear?
Old 8th June 2018
  #152
I do a lot of location recording, of choirs in particular, and use Etymotic ER4S to monitor as I prefer to set up in the hall and need acoustic isolation. When I remove these, I find the live sound is incredibly close to what I am hearing on the ER4Ss. I typically use a Royer SF24 as the main, sometimes only, mic.

Over the years I have tried a few alternative closed back headphones in search of more convenience, and having something I can easily share with a client on location. Everything I've tried sounds relatively obviously—even laughably—coloured and/or distorted by comparison, even if that headphone sounded really good in isolation, listening to other recordings.

The only headphone I've heard sound similar to the ER4S, both in tonality and lack of distortion, is the old original AKG K240DF, the 600Ω version. Even the bass range is similar.

Apparently the engineer who designed the diaphragm of the AKG K-1000 also designed the AKG mic diaphragms. I wonder if he had a hand in the K240 design.
Old 8th June 2018
  #153
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andy3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilalin View Post
HD650's with Can Opener
What is "Can Opener"?

Thanks
Old 9th June 2018
  #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cemski View Post
Anybody ever compared the HD650 against the Focal Clear?
I compared them to the Elears.

Saying again: frequency response can be altered and “corrected”. The physical movement of the elements and actual movement of air cannot be.

The Focals are simply superior in this regard.

None of us have tested everything, but I’ve put a lot of work into my search.

I run Sonarworks 4 with my Elears and I’d be hard to convince I can get better results this side of a $1000...

To each their own... but please look at the very recent improvements Focal has made before buying a 600/650. To me, they are leagues ahead.

Please note: I spent a significant amount of time with the 650, and respect them tremendously. But they are simply not capable of producing details and dynamic response I needed to make informed decisions. I’d feel different about the 650s had I never heard the Elears.
Old 9th June 2018
  #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ray View Post
I compared them to the Elears.
Thanks for your opinion, David
Haha, first i had to figure out that there is 2 of them... "Clear" and "Elear". What a bad marketing decision! Looks always like a mistake.

I will have a check after more than 10 years of hd650.
Old 9th June 2018
  #156
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Yes, Focal headphones are leagues ahead.

In my opinion, Elear need EQ correction (Sonarworks or other), Clear can be used alone.

Clear and Clear Pro are exactly the same, except the color and the accessories.
Old 11th June 2018
  #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy3 View Post
What is "Can Opener"?

Thanks
Without it, it's impossible to make judgment calls on headphones imo., since you're missing several db's of mid audio information along with a hefty amount of bass.

https://goodhertz.co/canopener-studio
Old 11th June 2018
  #158
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You can also use the free Meier Crossfeed VST on Windows, one control, set and forget, I set it to 10. Put it before or after your headphone EQ. It just works.
Old 30th July 2018
  #159
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I'm looking to upgrade my HD650's.

Top contenders are the HD800S's and Audeze LCD-X's. Opinions between those two? They will be driven by a Benchmark DAC3 DX. Thanks.
Old 31st July 2018
  #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleatoric View Post
I'm looking to upgrade my HD650's.

Top contenders are the HD800S's and Audeze LCD-X's. Opinions between those two? They will be driven by a Benchmark DAC3 DX. Thanks.
You should demo them if you can. LCD-x are great but the upper mid is a bit recessed, even with reveal (their eq correction plug). Hd800s don’t really have super great low end (audeze really do).

I have focal clears in the mail. Going to try against my Audeze LCD-i4. From what I’ve read they seem to tick a lot of boxes.
Old 31st July 2018
  #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
You should demo them if you can.
I appreciate the response thermos, and I was hoping you'd chime in.

I think I'll take your advice...order both and return one. I'd love to hear your feedback on the Focal Clear's after you've spent some time with them.

Can Opener and modern plugins have kind of been blowing my mind. Creating a little mobile rig.

Old 31st July 2018
  #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleatoric View Post
I'm looking to upgrade my HD650's.

Top contenders are the HD800S's and Audeze LCD-X's. Opinions between those two? They will be driven by a Benchmark DAC3 DX. Thanks.
I had both and HD800S remained in the end. Like thermos said:

Pros of LCD-X: low end
Pros of HD800S: better midrange, better sound stage and more comfortable.

While listening LCD-X gives you a warm hug for music enjoyment, I can easily mix and master with HD800S. Especially with more complex music like orchestral, where dynamic range is huge, HD800S really outshine LCD-X.
Old 31st July 2018
  #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleatoric View Post
I appreciate the response thermos, and I was hoping you'd chime in.

I think I'll take your advice...order both and return one. I'd love to hear your feedback on the Focal Clear's after you've spent some time with them.

Can Opener and modern plugins have kind of been blowing my mind. Creating a little mobile rig.

Yeah, Can Opener and Sonarworks/Reveal are pretty awesome. People are really happy with the 800s and Sonarworks, I bet thats a killer combo. I'll let you know how The Clears sound.
Old 31st July 2018
  #164
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I think the clears are very good. A hair light in the sub region but just a bit.

Hey Mark, the Sundara are a step above the 650’s to me fwiw. Again a hair light in the sub area but everything is when compared to the X. I’ve been using them.

If one could swing the cost, the ZMF Auteur is said to be a very neutral yet, a still engaging option.
Hope to hear them at some point.
Old 31st July 2018
  #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet.d View Post

If one could swing the cost, the ZMF Auteur is said to be a very neutral yet, a still engaging option.
Hope to hear them at some point.
The Auters are warmer though, right? At least thats what I gather. Anyone send their Clears to Sonarworks?
Old 31st July 2018
  #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
The Auters are warmer though, right? At least thats what I gather. Anyone send their Clears to Sonarworks?
I hear they’re pretty neutral ish & a good mixing choice but yeah, still an enjoyable listen might translate to on the warm side.
Old 1st August 2018
  #167
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Any opinions about the AKG K-812?

Last edited by AreYouHuman; 1st August 2018 at 06:34 PM..
Old 5th August 2018
  #168
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Riccardo's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex View Post
I had both and HD800S remained in the end. Like thermos said:

Pros of LCD-X: low end
Pros of HD800S: better midrange, better sound stage and more comfortable.

While listening LCD-X gives you a warm hug for music enjoyment, I can easily mix and master with HD800S. Especially with more complex music like orchestral, where dynamic range is huge, HD800S really outshine LCD-X.
Is there a big difference between the HD 800 and the newer HD800s? (in case you have had both)
Old 5th August 2018
  #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riccardo View Post
Is there a big difference between the HD 800 and the newer HD800s? (in case you have had both)
800S has a mod that increases low end response. I've only ever heard the 800, but apparently a smidge of clarity (for better or worse) is lost in the 800s.

I've had the Focal Clears for a few days, still breaking in but they are pretty incredible.
Old 7th August 2018
  #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
800S has a mod that increases low end response. I've only ever heard the 800, but apparently a smidge of clarity (for better or worse) is lost in the 800s.

I've had the Focal Clears for a few days, still breaking in but they are pretty incredible.
Cheers! Never heard the Focals, will add them to my list of cans to check out.
Old 25th August 2018
  #171
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I don't get it. How can studio people like Sonarworks?
I mean, they use the warmest of the Harman curves. It sounds nothing close to resembling "flat" frequency response. It is in fact based on an average of dummy head measurements of a "reference" hifi system in a mediocre treated room with speakers placed against the wall and the dummy head far from the speakers turned to all directions and the result averaged for a diffuse field measurement of that room and hifi speaker system which does not measure flat in the least, especially not combined with diffuse measurement average. It is extremely rolled off in the trebble with a sloping midrange and greatly exaggerated bass. And that's exactly how Sonarworks makes headphones sound.
I mean seriously, do any of you who praise Sonarworks have a decent size room with treatment and nearfield in a correct and close position pointed at your ears and measured them and corrected for your room? I'm guessing not because if you have and compare this to Sonarworks then you'll hear that it's absolutely nothing alike. With or without any additional crossfeed.

I've owned the HD800. It is not a cold analytical headphone as hifi people often think. It is instead tilted to the warm side of a diffuse field EQ-ed headphone (where as diffuse field curve is itself already on the warm side / rolled off trebble compared to flat direct sound from nearfields). It is also not on the analytical side, it is instead very much on the coloured musical side.
Even Sennheiser itself agrees with this, look at the 1/3 octave smoothed measurements they supply for the HD800. They allways fall on the warm side of their target diffuse field curve (which has an additional bass boost to counter the missing bass in headphones effect allready built in). Try setting up a 1/3 octave equalizer and EQ according to the Sennheiser curve and measurements for your individual headphone. You'll hear that now the warm tilt in the midrange is a bit better already etc. And again this is still a warm diffuse field curve with added bass. Still not as analytical and flat as your nearfields should be.
But Sonarworks thinks even the stock HD800 is not on the warm side but on the cold side and cuts a lot of trebble and adds a rediculous amount of extra bass etc. It's really not an improvement..
In addition the Reference 4 plugin seems badly written. Just putting anything through the EQ degrades the sound I suspect not only because of the EQ curves but also because of bad code. And when I tried out an upsampler to 176.4 kHz before Reference 4 and had Reference 4 on bypass it changed the sound! Not just the volume but the soundquality. How bad is that.
In my opinion anybody doing any serious studio work should stay well away from Sonarworks. They make rediculous claims but none are correct or made true.
Oh one more thing. Besides using the warmest of Harman curves they seem to not get another thing. They actually allow you to try out 2 other curves, the "x-curve" and B&W curve or something (I forgot the name, but the old curve where an average of home hifi systems and listening rooms was measured). These curves should of course be applied relative to a direct free field curve. But does Sonarworks understand this basic concept? Nope.. they apply these curves in addition to the default Harman curve making the whole thing even more mushy warm and trebble deficient!
Again I don't get it that they have any user base in the studio world..

edit: oh and one other thing. Measuring headphones is not a trivial task. There are many ideas on what's supposed to work best and no single good reference or agreed upon method.
Sonarworks makes crazy claims here again saying they have the best method better than anybody else even the headphone manufacturers etc. They won't say how it works though..
But looking at their measured results it seems like their method is basically cr*p. Looks like the often have leakage in the bass caused by a bad seal of the headphone to their measuring device and other problems.
For decent measurements of most headphones look at rtings.com much better than the Sonarworks measurements in my opinion. (though don't go for the rtings reference curve when EQ-ing your headphones, it's also warm though not as bad as sonarworks curve. I'd go for a real "frontal" diffuse field curve for studio use based on rtings measurements and your own hearing to get your headphones to this curve.)

edit 2: And one last thing. Don't read too much head-fi.org these people almost always have no clue what high-end or studio sound is like. Even the ones with money and an expensive home hifi system to compare to listen to this from a great distance in bad most often completely untreated rooms.
The leading direction on head-fi, also pushed by sites like innerfidelity etc, is towards very warm bass heavy sound. They don't want to listen analytical to recordings, they want their old cr*p recordings to sound warm and pleasant and enveloping etc. The exact oposite of what you want for studio use!

Last edited by syncussion; 25th August 2018 at 02:38 AM..
Old 25th August 2018
  #172
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Btw, I'm using the Beyerdynamic DT1990 pro now.
Have tried many headphones in the past including K1000 and HD800 etc. Only never tried Stax.
For the DT1990 use the analytical pads and I haven't finished EQ-ing them to my preference one must at least give it a small dip at around 9kHz. I have it set to 8733kHz by ear with -4dB and Q of 5. This takes care of the worst resonance of the DT1990, without this correction it is quite piercing with many songs.
One can also add 2 or 3 db at 20Hz gently sloping from 100Hz to 20Hz or so to partly take care of the lacking bass in headphones effect (since we hear part of bass through our skin and this is lacking with headphones).
This still leaves the DT1990 a bit dark in the upper mids amongst other things but I can't give you recomended setting yet.
Old 26th August 2018
  #173
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so all the emphasis is on using headphones for “mastering” EDM or hiphop

because you don’t have adequate rooms or monitoring?

pffft! ;~}>

best, jt

Last edited by Jerry Tubb; 26th August 2018 at 07:19 PM..
Old 26th August 2018
  #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
so all the emphasis is on using headphones for “mastering” EDM or hiphop because you don’t have adequate rooms or monitoring?

pffft! ;~}>

best, jt
I don't think anybody is really into using headphones for mastering
If anybody is.. please don't
But as an extra check sure headphones can be very useful, also for producing and mixing. (just don't use sonarworks)
Old 26th August 2018
  #175
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I am selling my LCD-X if anyone is interested. Sorry to hijack the thread for personnal reason, but speaking about headphones I thought I might

Audeze LCD-X

Adrien
Old 26th August 2018
  #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syncussion View Post
I don't think anybody is really into using headphones for mastering
If anybody is.. please don't
But as an extra check sure headphones can be very useful, also for producing and mixing. (just don't use sonarworks)
Let's hope not!

I can picture the scenario:

laptop

headphones

daw app

plugins

internet cafe'

claims to be a "mastering engineer"

:~o}>

Best, JT

p.s. or just sends it to BLUNDR and sells it as his/her own work!
Old 26th August 2018
  #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
Let's hope not!

I can picture the scenario:

laptop

headphones

daw app

plugins

internet cafe'

claims to be a "mastering engineer"

:~o}>

Best, JT

p.s. or just sends it to BLUNDR and sells it as his/her own work!
.. tell that to Glenn Schick.

Glenn Schick Mastering - Clients

YouTube
Old 27th August 2018
  #178
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic View Post
.. tell that to Glenn Schick.

Glenn Schick Mastering - Clients

YouTube
Yep, thats exactly what Glenn is doing, and he's killing it! But he started with a room and went the traditional route first, so it isn't exactly fair.
Old 27th August 2018
  #179
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What Glen is doind is pretty amazing and yes, it is absolutely possible to master on headphones and I am trying to learn to do it myself. You just neet to get used to it and learn to compensate, like with speakers or any sound reproductin system. Considering the fact that the majority of the people listening to the full range sound reproduction are either listening on a live FOH or headphones these days, makes mastering on headphones even more valid. Besides enjoying the freedom from being caught up in the single space and being able to master anywhere is quite liberating. Laptop, great pair of high quality headphones, DAW and DAC + lots of experience can be basically all one needs.
Old 27th August 2018
  #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex View Post
What Glen is doind is pretty amazing and yes, it is absolutely possible to master on headphones and I am trying to learn to do it myself. You just neet to get used to it and learn to compensate, like with speakers or any sound reproductin system. Considering the fact that the majority of the people listening to the full range sound reproduction are either listening on a live FOH or headphones these days, makes mastering on headphones even more valid. Besides enjoying the freedom from being caught up in the single space and being able to master anywhere is quite liberating. Laptop, great pair of high quality headphones, DAW and DAC + lots of experience can be basically all one needs.
lots of experience = 10,000 hour rule

or more...

jt
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