The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Sub / low end / On the go Headphones mixing
Old 3 weeks ago
Here for the gear

Sub / low end / On the go Headphones mixing

Dear all,

New here, hope this goes in the right place.

After reading extensive threads, and online videos I came to the conclusion it is quite hard to find something specific.

I am a producer, sound artist, and field recordist with a decade of Professional experience. I always used Studio monitors and controlled acoustic room for my decisions on mixing and mastering, I only trust that for Low-end decisions.

My work is not focused on Popular music consumption but mostly shown in the context of museums, performance rooms, film theatres, and Galleries, that is with totally different acoustic characteristics and P.A.

As I often work with subtle differences in Sub Frequencies, it is really important to make them present, yet controlled enough for translating under very different sound systems.

During the next two years, I will be forced to be constantly traveling on the go for a longer project of field recordings and Several Installations/Presentations.

I am looking for a set of Headphones or General Tips on mixing low End on the go with the accuracy, taking into consideration it won't be possible to have access to Studio before submitting work. I'm aware of the difficulties of making decisions about low end with Headphones, yet under exceptional circumstances, are there any models that can give some realistic representation? I have been an initial user of Sennheiser Hd600, but they lack much response to Sub Frequency.

Please make the response specific to low-end representation, and on the go situations. This means I will have to edit content while being in remote wild places.

Has anyone been in similar situations?

By realistic I don´t mean a boosting low end, but it needs to be clear, present, and as flat as possible even without any Software calibration.

All the best and once again, feel free to correct me if this question has been asked before.
Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear

i used to check low end with a beyer dt150 for years before i got a sub in the studio - goes very low!

i probably wouldn't wanna use it for modern sounds with bat-crazy levels of low end (or it will distort) and it isn't exactly the smallest pair of headphone you can find so dunno about travelling... - otherwise highly recommended! i'm still using it after dozens of years.

or how about a pair of in-ears?

i find having a powerful headphone amp with a crossfeed matrix to be very important; when travelling, i'm taking a grace m9xx with me.
Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear
hbphotoav's Avatar

When I had trouble with undetected ULF wind noise (outdoors acquisition of voice in interviews) via some otherwise acceptable Sony headphones, I put together a "mixtape" (iPod folder, actually) comprising "familiar" well-recorded music with significant LF content, and frequency "test tone sweeps", and spent several hours at three different local shops with good headphones selections.

My finding was that UltraSone 650HD (the Pro 750i seems to be the current similar model) were the overall best-sounding cans for my needs, with LF response into the sub-30Hz area, which were available at the time (2007). I still have them, and a backup pair. The second bit of education came in learning how their sound translated (beyond the ULF response) to the Tannoy concentrics upon which I mix, and the AR9 towers in my living room that are my "final check" loudspeakers. Their "weak spot" is that they don't do really well in loud environments. I prefer my Ultimate Ears IEMs in aircraft or other noisy situations. Horses for courses.

If you're recording in a loud, live/PA environment, I'd suggest, as was mentioned, accurate In-Ear Monitors with the LF response you need, under firearm "shooting" earmuffs (mine are "Thunder 29" brand -29dB protectors).

As always, testing and "calibrating" what you hear through the headphones to a "known" playback system is essential.

Good luck.

Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear
tourtelot's Avatar
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post

As always, testing and "calibrating" what you hear through the headphones to a "known" playback system is essential.


Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear
The realm of LF you are talking about could possibly fall into that zone where (when loud enough naturally, or else amplified) is as much felt through the body as the ears. Aside from perhaps thunder, artillery bombs or at the base of Niagara Falls you're more likely to experience this via sub-speakers amplifying kick drum or electric bass in a concert setting.

I doubt the aspect of "moving masses of air" of this calibre can successfully be conveyed by any headphone transducer or in-ear monitor.

However if you're operating anywhere above this (admittedly limited) 'visceral bass zone', then in-ears are likely to give you the sealed ear canal correct amount of pressurisation AND isolation necessary to experience it with accuracy...with the caveat above that high-isolation ear muffs might also be needed

Let's also add that the mic membrane buffeting that occurs in the context of a poorly wind protected mic capsule takes place in wind amplitudes that are often barely perceptible on our skin...let alone a high wind gust !
Old 3 weeks ago
Here for the gear

I know that many years ago (1950's perhaps) folks monitored remote recordings with headphones. Years ago I worked with a veteran ex-Capital Records engineer
named Pete Abbott (I hope this is the correct spelling of his name). I remember him talking about monitoring remotes with headphones.I wonder which brand
of headphones people used in those days? In my old age (77) I am very interested in this subject. I never thought to ask Pete about that at the time..It was probably
about 45 years ago.We were both working for RCA records at the time as recording engineers.And at this point folks that lived at that time are very few.So
does anybody have any info on this?I know there is picture of Rudy VanGelder wearing a pair of what appear to be Permoflux phones taken very early
in his career.I do know that these were considered to be very high quality at the time. I have a working pair of these and they sound surprising good and
compare quite well with some modern headphones.Anyhow does anyone know what brand of headphones people used to monitor remotes in the fifties or
Kent Tunks

Last edited by Carlos42; 3 weeks ago at 09:56 PM.. Reason: words left out
Old 3 weeks ago
Gear Addict
lukedamrosch's Avatar

Sennheiser HD800 (not 600) may not be practical for this application (on-the-go work, high price, etc.), but if you demo a pair and cannot assess very low frequencies to your satisfaction with them, there are likely few if any headphones which will impress you for this task.
Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear
I doubt you are going to get the isolation necessary for low bass decisions with the open -air type of Sennheiser HD600/800 headphones, so a closed/sealed earcup type is likely to give you a better sense of that part of the spectrum. I don't know which models of sealed type phones are renowned for superiority, and suspect that good sealing in-ears are likely to serve you better in this regard
Old 3 weeks ago
Here for the gear

Hello again everyone,

Thanks for the replies. A lot of interesting information here.

I never really considered in-ears possibilities, maybe cus I had some bad experiences with them early on. But any models you would advise? Gonna give it a try.

On-the-road work is a really interesting topic, yet most of my field works that included recording Glacier tunnels, Volcanoes, and some weird experiments in Deserts, I trusted mostly the role of microphones and all recording gear, just keeping levels right. And only after in the studio with proper time and monitors, I would digest all the collected material and go in detail to each case and frequencies. I always preferred real monitors, not just for the sound quality, but it is a more pleasant and different listening experience for me. That is also why I haven´t put much thought to Headphones during last years.

The difference now is that I won't have access to Studio before editing and submitting parts of work.

I have never tried the SenheiserHD800, shops have been all closed so I would have to order direct, but gonna give it a try when possible. When checking the Frequency response of models, the Sennheiser Hd 58x Jubilee showed up to have a better low-end extension and response, it's also quite a bargain. Does anyone have experience with it? BD 1990 also seems to have decent low end, but I have never been a big fan of Beyer Dynamic peakssss.
Old 3 weeks ago
Gear Nut
MandoBastardo's Avatar
I've used many different phones for field recordings over the years. From 414s to HD250 to HD380 to 650s. I've never worried too much about bass levels when recording say... an earthquake - panic level was the main priority.

Also... despite the bass angst endemic among many recordists, you have an advantage - few have heard a volcano live and those that have won't complain about the sub-harmonics were too ashy or the lava flow didn't have the best impact. ;-)

If you're recording via a laptop, then applying a correction curve is simple using either Sonicworks or Morphit. A corrected 600/650 can reproduce deep bass - at reasonably sane levels.

If using a dedicated recorder then it gets a bit tricky. However, Frans at DIYheaven created a portable amp with built-in correction filters for many phones.

Here's the 600 with his DIY Kameleon filter/amp:

The DIYheaven is filled very good headphone measurements/reviews and a great resource for DIY tweaks.

The 58x does have more deep bass than the 600/650 - it's still better when compensated.

Green: Stock 58x - Purple: Stock 600:

58x review.

A non-corrected, reasonable cost option could the new AKG 371. It's a closed phone, with excellent bass extension and low distortion.

DIYheaven Review.

Frans even includes a DIY passive filter to knock back some of too hot 5-8k range.

I've used the Senn HD380 in the past and it has enough bottom end to induce nosebleeds. Or maybe it was the firm cranial grip. But, it's discontinued. Thankfully. ;-)

There's also some closed planar phones (LCD-XC), that have deep bass, but they all tend to be 2x-3x the weight of the 600/650s and aren't great for longer sessions on a pencil-necked geek like me. The ÆON Flow closed is only 100 grams heavier, the price though, is much, much heavier.

Agree there's no place for Mt Beyer on location, save maybe a corrected version of DT-880s. But, it's not better in the deep bass than the less 'peaky' 58x.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump