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[POLL] The best headphones for tracking and mixing under 100$ Studio Headphones
View Poll Results: Which of these headphones under 100$ are the best ones for tracking and mixing?
Sennheiser HD 280 PRO
8 Votes - 25.00%
Sony MDR-7506
8 Votes - 25.00%
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x
10 Votes - 31.25%
Shure SRH840
5 Votes - 15.63%
KRK KNS 6400
2 Votes - 6.25%
AKG K271 MKII
4 Votes - 12.50%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

Old 23rd May 2018
  #31
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Thanks for so many answers and votes!

I know that there are vst plugins that can flatten your headphones response. I will probably check them out when I will buy headphones.

I know that Sonys are good pair of cans (in that price range), but I don't know if they are 'the best'.

It's quite strange how ATH gained so many votes now. I was considering them at the begining of my research, but they aren't really flat.
Old 24th May 2018
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by michal12345 View Post
Thanks for so many answers and votes!

I know that there are vst plugins that can flatten your headphones response. I will probably check them out when I will buy headphones.

I know that Sonys are good pair of cans (in that price range), but I don't know if they are 'the best'.

It's quite strange how ATH gained so many votes now. I was considering them at the begining of my research, but they aren't really flat.
You don't necessarily need "flat". Nothing is "flat", and software to "correct" the headphones really only gives you a slightly different interpretation.

Unlike a poorly treated room where the bass response varies with position, meaning you can't "learn" it as such, if a headphone has a touch too much or little bass, or things in the midrange stick out a bit - you can learn that and compensate by listening to references.

So you're looking for comfort, pleasant to listen to and non-fatiguing - if you get that in this price range, you're doing pretty well!
Old 24th May 2018
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
You don't necessarily need "flat". Nothing is "flat", and software to "correct" the headphones really only gives you a slightly different interpretation.

Unlike a poorly treated room where the bass response varies with position, meaning you can't "learn" it as such, if a headphone has a touch too much or little bass, or things in the midrange stick out a bit - you can learn that and compensate by listening to references.

So you're looking for comfort, pleasant to listen to and non-fatiguing - if you get that in this price range, you're doing pretty well!
Thanks for help, but I mostly heard that mixing headphones even shouldn't be "pleasant to listen to". What do you think about this?
Old 24th May 2018
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michal12345 View Post
Thanks for help, but I mostly heard that mixing headphones even shouldn't be "pleasant to listen to". What do you think about this?
First, psycho monkey makes a point that is easy to overlook. Frequency dips and peaks in headphone response are not at all the same problem as resonances and nulls in a room. So, while I disagree strongly with anyone saying you can “learn” to hear and mix correctly in a poor room, the frequency variations in headphones CAN be learned, because they are not frequency-eating nulls or deceptive resonances. They are simply variations in frequency response.

Second, yes, there are groups of engineers who believe that mixing involves gritting your teeth and struggling against a very unpleasant monitor environment.
I’m not in those groups. I don’t understand that thinking, even though it turns out good product for some engineers. Fortunately for my preferences, there are at least an equal number of successful mixers who prefer honest monitors that sound good. And that is true for speakers or headphones.
Monitors can sound good without lying to you. But beware! Untreated rooms can be extremely dishonest and can lead you to make mixes that sound like garbage out in the world.
Old 24th May 2018
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
You don't necessarily need "flat". Nothing is "flat", and software to "correct" the headphones really only gives you a slightly different interpretation.to and non-fatiguing - if you get that in this price range, you're doing pretty well!
? Maybe not PERFECTLY flat, but a good pair of headphones will indeed be generally flat (ie as flat as can be expected from headphones). That's the whole point of getting them over a "regular" pair of headphones. Not sure what "pleasant to listen to" means but IMO invites a bad idea of getting something decidedly nowhere near flat. You want an honest sound, not a "flattering" one.
Old 25th May 2018
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by michal12345 View Post
Thanks for help, but I mostly heard that mixing headphones even shouldn't be "pleasant to listen to". What do you think about this?
If I’m spending hours on headphones, I don’t want to be listening to something that hurts my ears!

“Mixing headphones” is a bit of an oxymoron - ideally they’re “mix check” headphones - but needs must.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
? Maybe not PERFECTLY flat, but a good pair of headphones will indeed be generally flat (ie as flat as can be expected from headphones). That's the whole point of getting them over a "regular" pair of headphones. Not sure what "pleasant to listen to" means but IMO invites a bad idea of getting something decidedly nowhere near flat. You want an honest sound, not a "flattering" one.
I didn’t say you should get flattering headphones - I said you should get something that you can listen to for hours if needed.

And whilst you don’t want anything that is massively lumpy in frequency response, because room isn’t a factor, you can learn eg if your phones make everything a bit bass light, to mix to that. Or vice versa.

But really - you’re talking sub $100 for a pair of headphones here. “Flat” isn’t even going to be a consideration.

I beta tested one of the “correction” systems for a while, and I honestly didn’t feel it did anything useful. It possibly didn’t harm things either, but it’s not an essential way of working (at least for the HD600s I know and own).
Old 25th May 2018
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I didn’t say you should get flattering headphones
You said "pleasant to listen to." Same diff.

Quote:
But really - you’re talking sub $100 for a pair of headphones here. “Flat” isn’t even going to be a consideration.
We'll agree to disagree. Again that is the entire point of monitor headphones...a "true" sound. Otherwise it's a waste of money and you might as well get some $14.95 cheapies at wal-mart. And you can get very good monitor headphones for under $100.
Old 25th May 2018
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
You said "pleasant to listen to." Same diff.
It really isn't. Detailed doesn't have to mean "painful until it's just right". It's even potentially dangerous to spend hours with sharp sounding headphones on unless you're really careful with listening levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
We'll agree to disagree. Again that is the entire point of monitor headphones...a "true" sound. Otherwise it's a waste of money and you might as well get some $14.95 cheapies at wal-mart. And you can get very good monitor headphones for under $100.
Again - I think the term "monitor headphones", like "mix headphones", is a little bit of an oxymoron.

You pay more for build quality of course.

I don't think you're really reading what I'm writing though. You can "learn" headphones, you can "learn" speakers. What you can't learn is a bad room. Slightly bass shy headphones aren't an issue really, if everything in them is consistently bass shy, and I'd take that over trying to "fix" it with EQ - or a less comfortable headphone, or poor build quality or whatever.

Which headphones are you recommending as "flat" in that price range out of interest?
Old 25th May 2018
  #39
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cavern's Avatar
 

Under $100 ATH M40
Still have 2 pairs from 10/12 years ago. Less practical for tracking but still good all around.
Old 29th May 2018
  #40
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I still consider the "flatness" aspect, but you are right. It would be painfull to work long time with poorly sounding headphones.

It's a draw between M40x's and Sony's. Each of them have pros and cons. It's hard to decide, but I think that Sony's are "flatter". Not sure about "better sounding' aspect". What do you think?
Old 29th May 2018
  #41
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I think you're making too much of it, honestly. The odds of you noticing any real diff between the two is small IMO. It's not like you're choosing between one of them and some $8.95 ear buds.
Old 30th May 2018
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
I think you're making too much of it, honestly. The odds of you noticing any real diff between the two is small IMO. It's not like you're choosing between one of them and some $8.95 ear buds.
I was listening to music in both of these cans (Sonys and M40x's) and I think that the differences are noticable. Sonys are brighter, but M40x's have too much bass. I cannot decide which is worse. I think I would see a difference in mixes when mixing in Sonys or in M40x's.
Old 31st May 2018
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michal12345 View Post
I was listening to music in both of these cans (Sonys and M40x's) and I think that the differences are noticable. Sonys are brighter, but M40x's have too much bass. I cannot decide which is worse. I think I would see a difference in mixes when mixing in Sonys or in M40x's.
Something I consider in making choices like this are, which choice works with my own tendencies...
I love bass, maybe too much. So for me, the MX40 is a better choice. It gives me a little too much bass, which would tend to make me mix a tiny bit on the bass-light side. Which tends to correct my bass-heavy tendencies. On The Shure, I might tend to turn up the bottom a little more, which isn’t going to get me better mixes.
Old 31st May 2018
  #44
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EvilRoy's Avatar
Got the HD 280s simply based on their isolation specs. Quite happy. Have no intention of mixing with them but they sound just fine to me.
Old 31st May 2018
  #45
Quote:
Originally Posted by michal12345 View Post
I was listening to music in both of these cans (Sonys and M40x's) and I think that the differences are noticable. Sonys are brighter, but M40x's have too much bass. I cannot decide which is worse. I think I would see a difference in mixes when mixing in Sonys or in M40x's.
Depends how well you know them...if you know what a mix is meant to sound like, then you can compensate.
Old 31st May 2018
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michal12345 View Post
I was listening to music in both of these cans (Sonys and M40x's) and I think that the differences are noticable. Sonys are brighter, but M40x's have too much bass. I cannot decide which is worse. I think I would see a difference in mixes when mixing in Sonys or in M40x's.
I stand corrected; then maybe follow Bushman's lead? i.e. take into account any biases you might have (or music you're doing etc) and which fits that best.
Old 31st May 2018
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
I stand corrected; then maybe follow Bushman's lead? i.e. take into account any biases you might have (or music you're doing etc) and which fits that best.
I love bass just as Bushman, but on the other side I think that when mixing in M40x's, my mixes will lack bass.

M40x's have also two removable cables (one straight and one coiled) when Sonys have only one coiled cable and it is not removable, so when it will get damaged, nothing can be done and headpones are not able to be used anymore (for m40x's I would just buy a new cable).
Old 31st May 2018
  #48
Gear Nut
 

I'm surprised there hasn't been a vote for the Status Audio CB-1. They are one of the best value headphones I've ever owned. They are EXTREMELY versatile. They are closed back (and isolate very well), so they are great for tracking. They are also very, very comfortable. I think their earpads are fantastic. And, I find that mixes done with them translate really well - sometimes better than some much more expensive sets. AND, they are now on the list of headphones supported by Sonarworks Reference 4, and I find that these babies take correction very well. They also have a removable cable, that happens to accept the V-Moda boom mic cable, which, when added, makes them into a great communications headset for talking on the phone. And to top it all off, they are under $65, brand new, with free next-day delivery, on amazon right now.

I also own and use the Sennheiser HD600 and Hd-25, ATH-M50x, and Audeze Sine. And while they all have their strengths, they are much more expensive. Just my 2 cents.

-TKB
Old 1st June 2018
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michal12345 View Post
I love bass just as Bushman, but on the other side I think that when mixing in M40x's, my mixes will lack bass.
I haven’t found that to be true. I don’t cut bass (very often), but I don’t have that constant urge to cheat up the bass and kick a little, which I DO have on Shure and Sony headphones.
But as far as I know you are not my clone, so my experiences and yours may vary a lot, even with the exact same audio conditions.
Old 1st June 2018
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKosherButcher View Post
I'm surprised there hasn't been a vote for the Status Audio CB-1. They are one of the best value headphones I've ever owned. They are EXTREMELY versatile. They are closed back (and isolate very well), so they are great for tracking. They are also very, very comfortable. I think their earpads are fantastic. And, I find that mixes done with them translate really well - sometimes better than some much more expensive sets. AND, they are now on the list of headphones supported by Sonarworks Reference 4, and I find that these babies take correction very well. They also have a removable cable, that happens to accept the V-Moda boom mic cable, which, when added, makes them into a great communications headset for talking on the phone. And to top it all off, they are under $65, brand new, with free next-day delivery, on amazon right now.

I also own and use the Sennheiser HD600 and Hd-25, ATH-M50x, and Audeze Sine. And while they all have their strengths, they are much more expensive. Just my 2 cents.

-TKB
I've included them in a poll here:
[POLL] The best headphones for tracking and mixing under 100$

Unfortunately a poll with so many options wasn't working well, so I made a new poll with only 6 options.
Old 2nd June 2018
  #51
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Pardon any offense, but still kind of a flawed poll. Should always have an Other option (ie cover all possible choices...who knows, one not on your list might be highly ranked). To those who vote I'd be interested to know which of these you've really test-driven...I think most people will simply choose the one they bought even though they may have little to no time spent on others.

Would also be good to see one for tracking/mixing anything other than "EDM" etc etc.
Old 7th June 2018
  #52
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Any more votes? It's now basically Sony's vs M40x's.
Old 17th June 2018
  #53
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Sony's are flatter.
On ATH"s I can hear more phase problems in some bad mixed tracks, but I'm not really sure if it is caused, because they have stereo speaker and are more accurate or just because they have worse harmonic distortion.
Old 30th December 2018
  #54
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Tossing in a nickel's worth of experience I will add:

Too bad manfacturers don't mention their budget priced headphones touted as ideal for tracking, mixing etc. are actually made out of crap plastic....like the KRK 6400s. Of all the areas where a better quality plastic could make a HUGE difference without signifcantly increasing the cost, they go the low road and piss many people off.

More than that, these ship with TFPOS cables made from a hard type of plastic that pick up absolutely any contact such as a shirt collar (In know, nobody wears a shirt while tracking or mixing), amplifying it to irritating levels in the cans. WTF?

People are stupid, I don't get it.
Old 31st December 2018
  #55
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Your post is rather vague...which budget headphones are made out of "crap plastic" and how are you defining that exactly?

KRK 6400s weren't on my list so no worries, I'm just curious. I have heard some cut corners in certain ways more than others. I'm also curious how any shirt you wear touches the headphones.
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