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Best headphones for live tracking / recording vocalists? Studio Headphones
Old 16th June 2010
Gear Addict
mooghappy's Avatar

Thread Starter
Best headphones for live tracking / recording vocalists?

I need some closed back headphones that won't bleed and work well enough for the vocalist listening to tracks (and possibly their own voice) while recording vocals.


I have an AKG K702 and Sennheiser HD 650 right now but they bleed too much into the microphones.

I found an older thread on this from five years back, but wanted to see what more recent thoughts are on the current headphone market...
Old 16th June 2010
Lives for gear
choinga's Avatar

I use AKG 271's - love em'. And they have the sorta cool 'weight on wheels' thing that turn them off when they come off your head.
Old 16th June 2010
Gear Guru
John Willett's Avatar

The two headphones you have are excellent mixing and mastering headphones.

Good muso. headphones are the HD 215 - closed back, affordable, have a rotatable earpiece for one-eared use and good at sound rejection.

I know a few studios that use these for tracking headphones.

At a higher price and good if you also want closed headphones for recording work are the HD 25-1 (these are what I use). But if you only need tracking headphones, the cheaper HD 215 are probably the best ones to get.
Old 16th June 2010
Gear Addict
mooghappy's Avatar

Thread Starter
Thanks, I'll have to check those out!

Yeah, I don't think I'll need them for recording since I already have a couple for that, just for the tracking.
Old 17th June 2010
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old ghost's Avatar

Of the ones I own and have seen used quite often ------

beyerdynamic dt-770pro ($200 or less) - Sound really great but fairly heavy on the bass, but for tracking who cares. **** Edit- isolation isn't as good as the hd280's if that's what you're looking for. I just try to keep the click at a relatively low level for vocalists and don't have any problems with those.

Sony mdr-7506 - ($100 or less) Great headphones for the price, sound good and are really comfortable to wear for a long time. Decent isolation.

Sennheiser hd280pro - ($100 or less) Sound really good, great isolation, although personally I find them really uncomfortable after long periods of time as they really stick to your dome. Still nice though.

So I can't say what the "best" headphones are for tracking, but those three are some really good, reasonably priced options.

Old 17th June 2010
Gear addict
tedpenn's Avatar

+1 on the Beyerdynamic DT770's and the Sennheiser HD280's. I've used and like both, the former being a bit more comfortable and the latter have a slightly tighter seal. Many use and love the Ultrasones (for a bit more money) but it's hard to beat the HD280's for the money...


Old 17th June 2010
Lives for gear
I have a few pairs of Sony 7506 and Sennhiesr HD280.
I like them both, but If I have to add another I would lean toward the Sennhiesr HD280.
They are good for tracking, no leakage thru the mics, comfortable, and they sound good.
Old 17th June 2010
Gear Addict
mooghappy's Avatar

Thread Starter
Thanks everyone for the input.

I decided to just go with the Sony 7506 and see how I like those. I'll probably try the HD280's next and possibly the K271 or DT770s down the line.
Old 17th June 2010
Gear Guru
John Willett's Avatar

Forgot to say - I think you'll find the HD 215 well under $100 - they are cheaper than the others mentioned - and great for tracking.
Old 17th June 2010
Lives for gear
Teddy Ray's Avatar

the ATH m50 are the best ive used.

I have 2 pairs of 280s and 1 pair of 215s, and a broken pair of 271s.. and a pair of Grados.

but the m50s are loads better in every respect.

when I have the money, I am going to retire the other cans and stock up on m50s
AH. forgot to mention, Mr. Harvey Gerst's creation..(Mr. Gerst is a legend!)


MoreMe Studio Headphones

I had many pairs of those before having all my equipment "misplaced" by the Turkish House moving firm that was responsible for packing up my household goods for the trip from Germany back to NC...

Can't go wrong with any of them, but m50s and the More Me..those are my "must have" least for isolation/tracking..(outside of that I prefer akg 701s and Stax)

as a matter of fact, im going to buy a few pair of the MoreMes friday. Have a big job coming up..gonna need em.
Old 17th June 2010
Lives for gear
+1 m50's i have a pair with my mackie monitors i use for all my tracking and late night mixes crnaking my guitar di to not piss the neighbors off and there not to far off if you must do some late night tracking or mixing also. break them in on a ipod for about 15hrs and they are golden. use them all the time with my sm7b-great river-apogee rosetta into logic. love love love em. b&h has a good price on them. i really want a second or third pair now!
Old 17th June 2010
Lives for gear
RKrizman's Avatar

Sony 7506. Bright enough to cut in a dense acoustic environment, with just enough low end to make the rhythm section sort of happy. Affordable, rugged, comfortable and enough of a standard that players are used to them.

Old 17th June 2010
Gear Addict

If you really want to avoid bleed use some in-ear phones with good isolation.

I have Beyerdynamic DT770 and Sony 7506, but there is no way they can compete with my Etymotic ER-6 when it comes to sound isolation. The latter don't sound so good, though, but with some EQ added I am happy with them during recording. And the bleed into a vocal mic is close to the noisefloor. With the other two there is no way you can use the vocal track a capella, should you later decide to have a few bars without without backing in your song, the drums will bleed through.

Whereas in-ear is not as comfortable wearing as cans, at least during a hot day you won't sweat as much with them and get that awful sticky feeling around your ears.
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