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Best Headphones for Monitoring? Studio Headphones
Old 2nd January 2010
  #121
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Well I have personally owned and used DT250, HD25, HD25Mk2, DT990, DT770, ATH-AD1000, ATH-M50, and listened extensively to DT880, Senn 580, 650, and don't much like any of them.

Hence I have ordered some STAX which my partner has. They leave the rest for dead.
Old 2nd January 2010
  #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
I have had HD800 for a few weeks, and they reveal effortlessly things other cans (and speakers) miss completely. They are even quite comfortable! Or maybe the music makes me forget they are on my head...
So Petrus, did they perform the way you explained before or after the (designer) suggested 48 hour (pink noise) burn in period?

...Or, did you do the 150 hours of music instead?



Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Just remember they need burning in - the designer recommended 48 hours on pink noise and many users seem to find 150 hours on average with music.

They do also need a good amplifier - I use the Grace m902B with mine, but I have heard the Lehmann Black Cube and DACS Headmaster also recommended.
So John, how do they sound with a normal amplifier or when you just plug them into a mixer or simple playback device?
Old 2nd January 2010
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Well I have personally owned and used DT250, HD25, HD25Mk2, DT990, DT770, ATH-AD1000, ATH-M50, and listened extensively to DT880, Senn 580, 650, and don't much like any of them.

Hence I have ordered some STAX which my partner has. They leave the rest for dead.
Very interesting.

I would love to A/B the STAX and my (when the arrive) HD800 headphones.
Anyone own a pair of STAX headphones in the NYC area that would like to A/B these two at my field shop?
Old 2nd January 2010
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
So John, how do they sound with a normal amplifier or when you just plug them into a mixer or simple playback device?
I have never used them like this - my main monitor controller for the last few years has been the Grace m902 (which I later upgraded to the "b" version) and I use the HD 800 with this.

I *have* used them plugged into my Myryad hi-fi and they sound good, but that has a Class-A headphone amplifier.

At last year's Bristol Hi-Fi show, someone tried them with his little Graham Slee Voyager battery-powered portable amp. and was happy how it drove them.

The comments I see very often are that the HD 800 are very revealing of the source and will show up deficiencies in the recording and amplification chain. Which is, I suppose, partly what make them good monitors.
Old 2nd January 2010
  #125
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Any opinions on the Koss ESP/950 compared with Stax?
Old 10th January 2010
  #126
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there was a 'shoot-out' at 'The Ranch' with 40-50 sound nerds.

All were set to play music, FX & dialog at the same level.

Sonys (2 types), AKG, Sennheiser, Ultrasone, & Beyer 770

Beyer 770 way ahead.
Old 10th January 2010
  #127
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by eoats View Post
there was a 'shoot-out' at 'The Ranch' with 40-50 sound nerds.

All were set to play music, FX & dialog at the same level.

Sonys (2 types), AKG, Sennheiser, Ultrasone, & Beyer 770

Beyer 770 way ahead.
This doesn't really help without knowing:
A) What were the other headphones
B) What were the test criteria.
C) What was the control.

Otherwise the "best" may have been the initially most "impressive" (often with colouration that makes it stand out) - or what may have been great for hi-fi jistening rather than studio monitoring.

So - just need more details...
Old 25th January 2011
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I really enjoy my 600s but I find I can troubleshoot better with Sony 7506s which are sort of the NS-10s of headphones except that they have plenty of low-end.
Glad to hear you say this. There's something about 7506s, like Ns-10s, that once you learn them they can translate really well.
Old 27th January 2011
  #129
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Anyone have a recommended monitor headphone set for around $200 bucks? Not sure if it matters what setup you use or not, but I'd be using them on my Mbox2 ProTools system.
Old 10th February 2011
  #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Very interesting.

I would love to A/B the STAX and my (when the arrive) HD800 headphones.
Anyone own a pair of STAX headphones in the NYC area that would like to A/B these two at my field shop?
Wonder if this has done yet?
Old 10th February 2011
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinMac View Post
Anyone have a recommended monitor headphone set for around $200 bucks? Not sure if it matters what setup you use or not, but I'd be using them on my Mbox2 ProTools system.
Audio Technica ATH-M50 cans are good, kind of new standard for monitoring headphones. Less than $200 street.

Audio-Technica - Microphones, headphones, wireless microphone systems, noise-cancelling headphones & more : ATH-M50 : Professional Studio Monitor Headphones (with coiled cable)
Old 10th March 2011
  #132
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Hello everyone, here is my few cents:
Sony mdr-7506 - very comfortable, but sounds terrible, just awful for the money.
Sennheiser HD280 - sounds great, a dozen times better the the 7506 for the same price, BUT i found HD280 to be very uncomfortable and had to return them.
My next try was Sony mdr-7509 which sounded amazing and was very comfortable, so i kept it and used it for a few yeas, until it started to fall apart into crumbs. So now i need a new pair, yet i am not sure what to go with. I narrowed my choices down to Sennheiser HD380 pro, Sony MDR-V900(same as 7509) and Ultrasone Pro 750. The main reason i am curious about Ultrasone is that it looks to be better made, has spare parts and claims to have some shielding for safety. I have had ear pain problems from extensive use of headphones (7509).
How is HD380 compares to HD280 in terms of comfort?
Anyone can compare Ultrasone against Sony?
Old 10th March 2011
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladimotor View Post
How is HD380 compares to HD280 in terms of comfort?
The 380 is better than the 280 - I was never that struck on the 280 myself.

I considered the 380 and found it quite comfortable, but I use the HD 25-1 for my closed set - still going strong after 21 years heh
Old 11th March 2011
  #134
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I am sitting at my computer wearing a pair of Grado GS1000 headphones (the current GS1000i sounds very, very similar, frankly). It's a lovely headphone, deeply informative and comfortable too, BUT one earpiece has an intermittent rattle and the headband isn't very well made - had to repair it once already. I would hope for better from a $1000+ headphone.

Had I not already bought the Grado, I would have gone for the Sennheiser HD800 which is SUPERB. No criticism except it's a little heavy, but you get used to it. And it costs a bomb.

I've tried a couple of Ultrasones and didn't care much for the sound. One pair failed on one channel for reasons I couldn't fathom - certainly wasn't over-driving, they were connected to a pretty gutless headphone amp at the time.
Old 13th March 2011
  #135
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Phones not loud enough? How about this crazy 6W amp?

Lyr « Schiit Audio — Headphone amplifiers, made in USA.
Old 15th March 2011
  #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladimotor View Post
Anyone can compare Ultrasone against Sony?
I went from 7506s (nearly 20 years, mainly audio-for-video acquisition, and still use them there... they fit in the camera case better) to UltraSone Pro 650s two years ago. I like them. Auditioned all the Usual Suspects in the under-$300US range. Beyer DT770 and ATH-M50 were close, but with the AIF files of music and tone sweeps in the iPod, the UltraSones won out. Still enjoy them in all but the noisiest environs, and they reveal ULF wind and handling noise (usually in shotgun mic situations) better than anything else I tried.
Old 15th March 2011
  #137
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Love our ultrasone's. sony's don't hold a candle imo. But that's my ears.
Old 16th March 2011
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollywood_steve View Post
The big, heavy, expensive closed back Beyers are the only headphones that I would trust for a "phones-only" mix. And they have several other advantages; they can handle silly amounts of volume, they are better constructed than any other brand I can think of (and designed to be easily repaired) and they are 600 ohm which makes us stone-age types happy.


steve
[email protected]
Why would you want to put "silly amounts of volume" directly into your ears?

Other mixers that I know, when I put on their 'phones, I run screaming for the volume control. Just me I guess.

D.
Old 9th June 2011
  #139
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Hello all. Looking for some decent cans to mix/reference audio on when I can't use my speakers [late nights, on the move etc].
After a good flat, realistic sound. I've done a good bit of reading on this already and spoken to several people. Hoping someone here could also throw in some opinions.

Basically, budget is around £120 UK. The first question is - closed back/open back? This is for mixing, not tracking [I have closed backs for this] and noise leakage is not an issue.
My college lecturer insists that open backed headphones are the way to go, and I have been considering the Senn HD595s
Sennheiser UK - HD 595
Now from what I can tell these are what some people might call "HiFi" headphones, and I have no idea if they'd be suitable, other than that they're open and I assume they have good detail/flattish response.

On the other hand, the guy I bought my new monitoring speakers from the other day insisted that closed back headphones are better for mixing, and that open backed headphones sound too 'open'. He may have been a fool. However, he suggested the Audiotechnica ATH M50s, which have been mentioned a lot in this thread and were also suggested by the family member paying for whatever I get! :P

I've also looked at Grados, [sr80i] but I've heard a lot of complaints about colouration, and tightness [I have quite a big head!]

AKGs could be another option, I haven't read up on these.

I find myself leaning towards Sennheiser as a brand, probably due to their reputation, the reccomendations of my lecturer and the fact that those I've tried sound great to me.
Also very interested in the ATH M50: I would instinctively shy away from closed backed phones for mixing but I've read a lot of good things about them.

I guess I'm really looking for opinions on the ATH M50, open vs closed and whether the Senn HD595 would suit my purpose. Alternatives also welcome.
Don't think I can stretch over £130 UK or so.

EDIT: I haven't tried anything out yet, but obviously I will once I've got a better idea of what I want to try.

__
Ali
Old 9th June 2011
  #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jajjguy View Post
How about Grado's? I've never heard them myself, but audiophiles seem to like them. Any one tried them for mixing?
I tried the RS-1's vs the HD600's when I was looking for a reference pair. The RS-1 really grabs you with it's hi-fi zing--it was my first audiophile experience and I'll never forget how eye opening it was. Great on rock material.

Ultimately I went with the HD600's as they seemed to me better suited to a wider range of material, especially strings/classical. After just doing some listening on my HD280Pro's again, I really appreciate having the 600's around!

I would feel less comfortable mixing on Grado's because I feel they're a little to zippy and detailed. HD600's sound more like speakers to me. For QC/mastering checks, the Grado's might be a good choice.

Speaking to Sennheiser as a brand, I agree that they are top notch. I sent my 9 year old 280's in for repair the other week, and they exchanged with a brand new pair!
Old 9th June 2011
  #141
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliGlenUig View Post
I guess I'm really looking for opinions on the ATH M50, open vs closed and whether the Senn HD595 would suit my purpose. Alternatives also welcome.
Don't think I can stretch over £130 UK or so.
I have Senn HD595, and I can assure you it is a very good sounding headphone for the price. It sounds extremely good with my RD700GX digital piano, and provides very well rounded tone if the genre is somewhere around jazz, blues/classic rock. Vocals are very smooth. I wouldn't use 595 for classical, though (recommend STAX for classical instead).

With that said, as you've already found, it's not the best flat headphone. The key here is to compare your monitor speakers and the headphone, and choose the one that gives you the similar sonic image as the monitor speakers do. So, when you switch from speaker to headphone at night, then you don't want to tweak EQ because of the color of the headphone. Only you can hear, compare, and determine which one fits with your need, if you are going to use headphone as a surrogate of monitor speakers.
Old 9th June 2011
  #142
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliGlenUig View Post
I have been considering the Senn HD595s and Audiotechnica ATH M50s,
Ali, I'm the perfect guy to help you on this, I was in the same boat about 2 years back

I have always been a sennheiser fan, open and closed. I went with sen 280s, sounded great at first, but very wrong in the stereo width. Also they hurt, more than anything ive ever used, just horrid, they make people feel queezy, its sickening after a few hours, like car sick.


So. I went on then to the ATH M50s.. AH that's how headphones are meant to sound, the stereo field is what i was expecting. Detailed yet not overly bright like the 280s, more natural and smooth, lovely low end and mids,. they are easy to mix on and translate very well.
Anyway this year, i picked up some open Sen 590s(discontinued) on eBay for £30 they had no cable, and i had a spare. You can get them for about £50 when they come up.
They are amazing sounding, everything sounds good on them. They are very close to the 600s which is why they stopped selling them. They need less power to drive them i think too.
Anyway, they are exactly like i remember from once using the 600s, very open, very pure, very hi-fi, very revealing. Very nice in every way. You cant even feel them on your head. I would say its more comfortable with them on your head than off, strangely.
But, I cant mix on 590s, they just don't work like that. Nice to have a change now again, but i cant trust my ears on them like the M50s
M50s are aggressive, music sounds more raw and even more exciting, they show you what's wrong with the mix. You are in the band with closed headphones, Open headphones you are more of a spectator. I find my self feeling somehow emotionally detached from the music.
Its good to have both, But i cant say that the 590s have added anything to my mixing or monitoring. I was doing fine with the M50s and continue to use them. just great cans,
Go back a few pages and see my eq setting for them, just flattens them out a bit more. I also use the Redline Monitor with them. I really trust that setup over my speakers, as my room is horrid.
I don't feel the redline or eq is needed even though the bass seems a bit week with the 590s, they are flat sounding,

just... i cant mix on them as well.


Old 9th June 2011
  #143
love the ath-m50s. i'm not sure they're ideal for mixing, but they're phenomenal tracking cans.

sure you can mix on anything and the m50s are good sounding headphones, but if i'm mixing on cans, i prefer the higher-end sennheiser stuff or dt770s

peace
Old 9th June 2011
  #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
With that said, as you've already found, it's not the best flat headphone.
So would you say the Senn 595s colour the response? I thought they'd be quite flat? But as I say, I need the advice of people who've tried them out so thanks. I do use monitors, but as I say I'm looking for headphones as well. Good point also on testing the headphones against my speakers, although I'm not sure I'll be able to do so before I buy them.
But yeah, would you say the Senn 595s have an uneven response? Could you characterise them at all in terms of bass/mids/treble etc?
Old 9th June 2011
  #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsmith View Post


Ali, I'm the perfect guy to help you on this, I was in the same boat about 2 years back

Glad to hear it! Thanks for your time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsmith View Post

They are easy to mix on and translate very well.

You are in the band with closed headphones, Open headphones you are more of a spectator. I find my self feeling somehow emotionally detached from the music.
Its good to have both, But i cant say that the 590s have added anything to my mixing or monitoring.
Good to know, and I've heard that analogy alot recently. Would you say that you prefer closed backs on principal for mixing then? I really have no idea which makes more sense. It does seem like it'd be ideal to have both and check the mix on an open back pair after mixing. Don't have the bread for that yet though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsmith View Post

Go back a few pages and see my eq setting for them, just flattens them out a bit more. I also use the Redline Monitor with them. I really trust that setup over my speakers, as my room is horrid.

Where can I find your settings sorry? Can't see a previous post by you in this thread. The Redline looks like a useful tool as well, hadn't heard of it before.
What do you use to apply the EQ? A hardware unit? Or just some digital EQ on your master fader or something?

Thanks a lot for your help. Starting to lean back towards the Audiotechnicas I think, although I'm still unsure. D'you find the response to be realistic?
[Sorry for quizzing you so much buddy!]

___
Ali
Old 9th June 2011
  #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manosar View Post
love the ath-m50s. i'm not sure they're ideal for mixing, but they're phenomenal tracking cans.

sure you can mix on anything and the m50s are good sounding headphones, but if i'm mixing on cans, i prefer the higher-end sennheiser stuff or dt770s

peace
Thanks. One of the main reasons I'm keen on something like the M50s or the 595s is that they have a lower resistance and can be easily enough driven without a headphone amp, which I can't afford just now.
from what I can tell the dt770s would need an amp, as would the highest end sennheisers [HD600 etc].

How d'you find the M50s comfort wise? I've heard they can be uncomfortable after a long period of time?
___
Ali
Old 9th June 2011
  #147
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DT770 is also 80 Ohm, no amp needed. If you take the 200 Ohm version, then you are probably right
Old 9th June 2011
  #148
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliGlenUig View Post
So would you say the Senn 595s colour the response? I thought they'd be quite flat? But as I say, I need the advice of people who've tried them out so thanks. I do use monitors, but as I say I'm looking for headphones as well. Good point also on testing the headphones against my speakers, although I'm not sure I'll be able to do so before I buy them.
But yeah, would you say the Senn 595s have an uneven response? Could you characterise them at all in terms of bass/mids/treble etc?
If I compare HD595 with AKG K701 and Beyer DT770, HD595 gives me more bass than the other two. If somebody has HD650, take a listen. Lots of audiophile people have HD650, so relatively easy to find. Sonic character of HD595 is close to HD650, except for less clarity on the upper end. It's a typical Sennheiser sound, bassy, mild, if I may say. Less trebly as compared to K701. DT770 sounds like more balanced all rounder, but sometimes playing CD through DT770 makes me feel like boring.

All personal impression, of course.
Old 9th June 2011
  #149
Ali..
What type of headphones do you have now? if any, open or closed. To me this is one of the big differences, some people are "used" to open and cant change back to closed, or visa versa. Both have a vastly different sound. I would say the sound is a physical difference. Closed can feel uncomfortable, in the head, sweaty. So naturally open feels physically nicer.

I remember using low-end open sennhisers for some years, i forget what model, but they were ok, Then i went to DT 150s a technically better headphone. But i hated it, I was so used to the open fresh clean air to my ears, Closed sounded boxy, and strange.
Then years pasted, i went back to dynamic for DJing reasons. And got used to that sound again. And im glad too. I was a bit worried about getting the 590s in case they messed with perception again of what i though i liked. But because they are both very good and relatively high-end I was ok.
Plus my mind has learned the benefits of both technology's and see nether as superior now.
Its very interesting to mix on one for an hour then jump to the other.

There is a Shockfactor, you get about 10-20 seconds before your ears adjust to the new sound. For me that's like the old standing out side the door trick. You can really see what's going on.

Open sound more realistic, with out doubt, sometimes watching TV with the 590s late at night, i have to take them off and check that sound is not blearing out of my speakers, it can really trick you.
Because you are not cut of from hearing your own rooms environment as they are open literally! The sounds in your room mix with the cans and its very realistic. Open is super detailed. you can hear air, noise, wind etc. Watching TV shows and movies you can hear the edits and crap that you would not normally notice. Its like a magnifying glass.

But with all that detail, i find its easy to macro focus on something, and miss the big picture, what is the big picture, the MIX and that is what we really want to be able to see, the music as a whole. Does that guitar fit with that piano. does that kick stick out. is that balanced with that. M50s are perfect for seeing the mix in that way. With the 590s, and i expect the 595 or any higher end open headphones. Things can appear, more detailed than they really are and that can put things out of context. For example i might drop a high hat, or tambourine, -3db, because it was just to prominent. yet, hearing that mix on a tiny radio of TV i could be lost. Get my drift.

Both types are amazing but are very different. I went with M50s because so many on here swore by them. If you do get them, try and get them without the coiled cable, that's annoying. They are tough and strong also, a big plus. Try a large audio store, im sure you can try some out, will give you a better perspective on which ones you want.
My best tip is use Amazon, just a super service, i got the 280s from them, hated them put them back in the box, Amazon came and picked them up the next day, for free, and i got the M50s, no problem! I use amazon a lot more now.


here is the link to my settings, i use an eq plugg at the end of my masterbuss. Its a tiny tweak, they are fine without the EQ but i find it helps with the low mid area that has a tiny bit of flump there, nothing drastic. Its all subjective, you may find its not needed at all.
Best mixing headphones!

The redline monitor, gives you a bit of crossfade, between the two sides, but in a smart way, as in real life with speakers both ears hear the other channel. Open don't need this, as the sound escapes and the ears can hear both sides anyway.
I love that plugin, it pushes the sound stage back away from you a few feet, so that the music is not in your head, but in front of you more. Another perspective to see the mix with, on and off, and mono also.
Old 9th June 2011
  #150
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliGlenUig View Post

How d'you find the M50s comfort wise? I've heard they can be uncomfortable after a long period of time?
___
Ali
Yeah they are really ok, thats a very importaint thing for me. They hug you as they should, but you know you are wearing them though. Thats not there best feature. But they never hurt me ears or head. And not as sweaty as some closed headphones ive used. Ive heard of people putting soft pads on them like on open phones, but the it changed the sound of them so ive read.
They need to fit close and tight to make make that sound.
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