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Best mixing headphones!
Old 26th November 2015
  #3001
Deleted b598644
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique View Post
Have you seen the frequency response measurement for it? The sub-bass rolls off dramatically starting at around 130 Hz. By the time you get to 40 Hz, it's already dropped 10 dB. There's a -5 dB dip around the 6 KHz region too, but dips in that upper-mids region is quite common.
which headphone has a straight line frequency measurement between 20 to 20.000 Hz?
i will buy that one
Old 26th November 2015
  #3002
Lives for gear
 
Lunatique's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassX View Post
which headphone has a straight line frequency measurement between 20 to 20.000 Hz?
i will buy that one
Like I said in my advice post, it's nearly impossible to find a perfectly neutral/flat/accurate headphone, but you can get a lot closer to it than the AKG K240 MKII for sure. In fact, there are many that are more neutral/flat/accurate than the K240 MKII. You'll find quite a few on the Wall of Fame: InnerFidelity's "Wall of Fame" | InnerFidelity
Old 26th November 2015
  #3003
Deleted b598644
Guest
nice list to see indeed, so many choices, now if only everyone who listens to or even makes music has the best headphones then it would be a perfect musicworld
Old 27th November 2015
  #3004
Keep in mind, that Sonarworks is a real-time calibration plugin, which flattens several popular models. I am currently using it with the HD600 from Sennheiser, but they have a full roster of compatible cans

Nothing comes remotely close to this in terms of truly hearing the sonic reality of your mixes.
Old 27th November 2015
  #3005
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique View Post
It's extremely rare, or even nearly impossible, to find a pair of headphones, no matter what form factor or price, that will get as close to neutral as a high-end pair of studio monitors in a professionally designed and constructed mastering studio.
On the other hand, though, I think it's significantly less difficult to find headphones that are more neutral than KRK Rokit 8s in a small spare bedroom with half-assed acoustic treatments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassX View Post
which headphone has a straight line frequency measurement between 20 to 20.000 Hz?
i will buy that one
The best shot for a reasonable-ish price might be Sennheiser HD 600s with an O2 headphone amp and ATH-M50s to check the bass. That's not perfectly flat either, but it approaches good enough.
Old 1st December 2015
  #3006
Lives for gear
 
Lunatique's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by acreil View Post
On the other hand, though, I think it's significantly less difficult to find headphones that are more neutral than KRK Rokit 8s in a small spare bedroom with half-assed acoustic treatments.



The best shot for a reasonable-ish price might be Sennheiser HD 600s with an O2 headphone amp and ATH-M50s to check the bass. That's not perfectly flat either, but it approaches good enough.
True. For people who don't have a good monitoring space with effective acoustic treatment (and room/speaker correction product such as the ARC System), headphones will get them closer to neutral/accurate response much easier and cheaper.

HD600 and M50 are two very popular headphones, and they are indeed quite good at what they each do well, but today there are headphones that have the best qualities of both and then some, in one single headphone--particularly the ones that follow the Harman Target Response Curve closely. InnerFidelity has an article that analyzed the headphones that get very close to that ideal response curve: Headphone Measurements Explained - Frequency Response Part Two | InnerFidelity
Old 2nd December 2015
  #3007
Gear Head
 
DBmixman's Avatar
 

I have used and tried many over the years. The Sony MDR 7520 beats them all hands down.

Old 2nd December 2015
  #3008
Lives for gear
 

Ain't it such a personal thing. You need to try them; as an example, I live 1000 miles from the nearest pro shop so bought on recommendations I thought I could trust. AKG 712 followed by AT R70x , both good cans in their own way but very mellow and thus not for me. The Shure 1540 would be the ducks nuts if they hadn't hyped the upper bass - so sad, so still looking.
Cheers, Ross
Old 2nd December 2015
  #3009
Lives for gear
 
DirkP's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique View Post
True. For people who don't have a good monitoring space with effective acoustic treatment (and room/speaker correction product such as the ARC System), headphones will get them closer to neutral/accurate response much easier and cheaper.

HD600 and M50 are two very popular headphones, and they are indeed quite good at what they each do well, but today there are headphones that have the best qualities of both and then some, in one single headphone--particularly the ones that follow the Harman Target Response Curve closely. InnerFidelity has an article that analyzed the headphones that get very close to that ideal response curve: Headphone Measurements Explained - Frequency Response Part Two | InnerFidelity
What really surprised me studying the frequency profiles of headphones on the page you've linked to, is that the later generation Beats headphones are far better than their reputation. And relatively cheap compared with the competition.

I don't own Beats. My Beats are AKG K267 Tietzos....
But...
Old 3rd December 2015
  #3010
Lives for gear
 
jlaws's Avatar
I actually had the same impression listening to a new set of beats headphones, but I chalked it up as a fluke. I guess they really have improved.
Old 3rd December 2015
  #3011
Lives for gear
 
Lunatique's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkP View Post
What really surprised me studying the frequency profiles of headphones on the page you've linked to, is that the later generation Beats headphones are far better than their reputation. And relatively cheap compared with the competition.

I don't own Beats. My Beats are AKG K267 Tietzos....
But...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaws View Post
I actually had the same impression listening to a new set of beats headphones, but I chalked it up as a fluke. I guess they really have improved.
They indeed did work on improving the sound of their headphones, due to the backlash they received for being a fashion accessory more than actual quality audio products. Here's a review from InnerFidelity that digs into how Beats have improved: Time to Rethink Beats, the Solo2 is Excellent | InnerFidelity
Old 13th December 2015
  #3012
Here for the gear
 

I am dj who is looking for sound quality and durability. My styles are EDM and Techno. My budget is near 120$. I dont know what headphones buy, if sony mdr 7506 or ath m50x or some other. Please talk and help me.
Old 17th December 2015
  #3013
Lives for gear
 
nyandres's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jesusdolce View Post
I am dj who is looking for sound quality and durability. My styles are EDM and Techno. My budget is near 120$. I dont know what headphones buy, if sony mdr 7506 or ath m50x or some other. Please talk and help me.
I love Sennheiser amperiors. You can find refurbished ones in that price. Excellent headphones, with the only fault being a smaller soundstage
Old 20th December 2015
  #3014
Lives for gear
 
DR Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassX View Post


very neutral
To me, one of the worst mixing headphones..
Old 20th December 2015
  #3015
Gear Nut
 

ATH-R70x's are solid. For me, they've been a God-send for mix translation.
Old 21st December 2015
  #3016
Gear Nut
 
john_fromAustria's Avatar
 

Try the focal spirit pro.
Old 2nd January 2016
  #3017
Gear Maniac
Ok I don't want to read the whole thread but my 2 cents:
The best headphone I ever stumbled upon is AKG 240DF.
It's an old headphone you will get off ebay if you are lucky and it beats every other headphone I used hands down.
Transient response is great, you hear everything in great details but the bass is lacking in that it is flat as the rest of the response curve.
You will be irritated by this at first but maybe it is the reason they sound so great. Most neutral headphone ever, 600 Ohm though.
Old 20th January 2016
  #3018
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thuneau View Post
I have AKG K-1000 head speakers that I use with a sub because they have rather limited power handling in low frequencies. I time align them with the sub and use active DSP crossover to separate the bass from the rest of the spectrum. I also apply a bit of EQ to them.
They sit away from the ears so the room can be heard through and around them allowing for monitoring with real ambiance. The trick that turns them into ultimate near fields is to have your studio monitors simultaneously playing and angled away from you so that they excite the room with the same material you are listening to. You get the incredible detail they reproduce right at your ears without the sense of isolation and artificial separation that over the ears headphones exhibit. I drive them with an old Adcom 200W/ch amp or with a little 50W Tripath and they handle the power with no problem. I got them a few years ago right when AKG was discontinuing them and consider myself very lucky to have them. Listening to well recorded and mastered material on them is a pleasure.
Jan,

I have a pair of AKG K 1000 that I purchased new back in the day, and was considering doing something similar with subwoofer(s), or maybe a pair of wider range dipole woofers in combination with a subwoofer. I hadn't considered leveling the late arrival reflections with speakers firing off axis, and very much like the idea, and just wanted to say so.

Are you using your Frequency Allocator and Phase Arbitrator software tools for that? Steinberg VST SDK? I would have liked to have seen continued development. A moderate cost software equivalent to the Smyth Research's Realiser A8 would have been very interesting. Smyth includes a head tracker to stabilize the audio image, anchored to the room rather than anchored to the head.

JRT
Old 20th January 2016
  #3019
Lives for gear
 
jlaws's Avatar
Yes, I'm curious as well. What are you using for the time alignment and crossover, if you don't mind me asking?
Old 20th January 2016
  #3020
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRT_in_WMass View Post
Jan,

I have a pair of AKG K 1000 that I purchased new back in the day, and was considering doing something similar with subwoofer(s), or maybe a pair of wider range dipole woofers in combination with a subwoofer. I hadn't considered leveling the late arrival reflections with speakers firing off axis, and very much like the idea, and just wanted to say so.

Are you using your Frequency Allocator and Phase Arbitrator software tools for that? Steinberg VST SDK? I would have liked to have seen continued development. A moderate cost software equivalent to the Smyth Research's Realiser A8 would have been very interesting. Smyth includes a head tracker to stabilize the audio image, anchored to the room rather than anchored to the head.

JRT
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaws View Post
Yes, I'm curious as well. What are you using for the time alignment and crossover, if you don't mind me asking?
I use my own software loudspeaker crossover called Allocator Light for real time work. I create a dedicated 4 channel monitoring bus in Reaper where the time alignment and filtering takes place. For listening where the latency doesn't matter I used the Frequency Allocator, which lets me correct the phase roll as well, but in this particular application it's a minuscule difference, so I pretty much don't recall that setup anymore.
Old 24th January 2016
  #3021
About 50 pages back someone requested a summary.

I have no idea what I'm talking about, but have been reading this thread. So here it goes.

There are no flat headphones, and flat is not ideal. Rather, a slight increase in bass, which extends to about 20hz, and a slight decline in treble near the top.

Best (budget) headphones for mixing seem to be

AKG Pro Audio K702
AKG K 550
Denon 2000

Reading Innerfidelity's list, it seems he's put the 'best sounding' phones on top, which is *not* what we want for mixing; we want 'most revealing'.

I'd appreciate if Lunatique, PiedPiper, et al can verify or contradict what I've said.

I'm still confused about

-I thought open-backs are better for imaging, but AKG K 550 and Denons are both closed. Are they only the best as far as 'closed' cans go? My impression is that the Denons are most revealing, and therefor best for my purpose, but I already have some closed (noise canceling Bose Quiet Comfort, probly the worst for mixing), so maybe I'm best off with the 702s?

I have a problem with my mixes coming out badly-balanced, which is why I'm searching for a second pair of cans (speakers are outright impossible for me). Is anything more clinical/revealing/will-let-me-know-when-my-mix-sucks more than these 3? And which of these 3 are coming out top?

Thanks

AlbertMcKay.com
Old 24th January 2016
  #3022
Lives for gear
My mixes sound fine using my AKG 7XX's from massdrop. Pro's are saying my mixes are good. Best $200 I've spent.
Old 25th January 2016
  #3023
Lives for gear
 
Lunatique's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by saurumanx View Post
About 50 pages back someone requested a summary.

I have no idea what I'm talking about, but have been reading this thread. So here it goes.

There are no flat headphones, and flat is not ideal. Rather, a slight increase in bass, which extends to about 20hz, and a slight decline in treble near the top.

Best (budget) headphones for mixing seem to be

AKG Pro Audio K702
AKG K 550
Denon 2000

Reading Innerfidelity's list, it seems he's put the 'best sounding' phones on top, which is *not* what we want for mixing; we want 'most revealing'.

I'd appreciate if Lunatique, PiedPiper, et al can verify or contradict what I've said.

I'm still confused about

-I thought open-backs are better for imaging, but AKG K 550 and Denons are both closed. Are they only the best as far as 'closed' cans go? My impression is that the Denons are most revealing, and therefor best for my purpose, but I already have some closed (noise canceling Bose Quiet Comfort, probly the worst for mixing), so maybe I'm best off with the 702s?

I have a problem with my mixes coming out badly-balanced, which is why I'm searching for a second pair of cans (speakers are outright impossible for me). Is anything more clinical/revealing/will-let-me-know-when-my-mix-sucks more than these 3? And which of these 3 are coming out top?

Thanks

AlbertMcKay.com
That's pretty much all outdated and inaccurate at this point, and have been for years now. If you want the latest resource on what's best on the market, the only reliable resource is InnerFidelity.com's "Wall of Fame." Nowhere else is there such a list that's constantly updated and kept relevant with latest models and older models retired but still documented for the sake of record keeping.

Open-back generally sounds more open and spacious. but recent advances in closed-back headphones have closed that gap significantly. IMO it isn't really much of an issue anymore if you choose closed-back models that are known for sounding very similar to open-back headphones.

No matter what headphone you end up getting, the most important thing you need to do is to do scientific testing using logarithmic sweep, sinewave test tones are regular intervals from 20Hz to 20KHz, pink noise, and carefully selected musical material that are great at exposing problems in audio gear. Then you surgically correct the headphone with parametric EQ to achieve the most neutral sound possible within the limitations of the headphones' drivers.

I might be posting a comprehensive instructional thread on how to do all that in detail in the near future (at head-fi.org), but I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble if not many people will be interested. Also, I assume members at gearslutz tend to be the pro audio type so they should know all that already.
Old 27th January 2016
  #3024
Thanks Lunatique.

But like I said (maybe I'm confused), I checked out Innerfidelity's Wall of Fame. The way he describes headphones it seems he's not ranking them by most revealing / clinical etc. but by how 'good' they sound.

And I would *love* if you made a tutorial about EQing for your headphones (though I'm not sure I'm skilled enough to handle it, I'd try).

AKG Pro Audio K702
AKG K 550
Denon 2000
sennheiser 600

So these 3 are no longer the most clinical / revealing / accurate headphones?

Also an impedance question.

My current set have 73 ohms impedance
Bose QuietComfort 15 Headphones - Reviews & Specs

I never put volume above 50%. Does that mean I can use 146 ohm headphones at 100%, and not need an amp? (I've a SoundBlaster x-fi 3 soundcard; can't find any relevant into on it, but don't really understand impedance).
Old 27th January 2016
  #3025
Lives for gear
I've been using:

- KRK KNS 8400
- Denon AH-D2000
- Audeze LCD-2
- Audeze LCD-3
- Sennheiser HD 800

I must say that HD 800 is the sharpest one of them all. At the lower price range, the KRK's are phenomenal. The Audeze's have a really good bass to mid coherency. If someone is considering either of these, I can help them out.
Old 27th January 2016
  #3026
Lives for gear
 
jsblack's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique View Post
I might be posting a comprehensive instructional thread on how to do all that in detail in the near future (at head-fi.org), but I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble if not many people will be interested. Also, I assume members at gearslutz tend to be the pro audio type so they should know all that already.
Please
Old 27th January 2016
  #3027
Lives for gear
 
Lunatique's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by saurumanx View Post
Thanks Lunatique.

But like I said (maybe I'm confused), I checked out Innerfidelity's Wall of Fame. The way he describes headphones it seems he's not ranking them by most revealing / clinical etc. but by how 'good' they sound.

And I would *love* if you made a tutorial about EQing for your headphones (though I'm not sure I'm skilled enough to handle it, I'd try).

AKG Pro Audio K702
AKG K 550
Denon 2000
sennheiser 600

So these 3 are no longer the most clinical / revealing / accurate headphones?

Also an impedance question.

My current set have 73 ohms impedance
Bose QuietComfort 15 Headphones - Reviews & Specs

I never put volume above 50%. Does that mean I can use 146 ohm headphones at 100%, and not need an amp? (I've a SoundBlaster x-fi 3 soundcard; can't find any relevant into on it, but don't really understand impedance).
There are some basic misconceptions you have that needs to be corrected, and once you correct those misconceptions, you'll understand headphones (and audio in general) much better.

One of the most popular but grossly mistaken misconception in the hobbyist headphone/audiophile world, is that neutral/accurate sound means "clinical," "sterile, "cold," "bright," "sharp," "boring," etc. I have tried to educate that crowd for years in forums but it's such a pervasive misinformation that it gets passed around and regurgitated at frightening frequency--I just can't do anything to turn the tide (neither can other informed people who are also trying to combat this type of ignorance).

True neutral/accurate sound has no coloration, just like if you look out a very clean and clear glass pane window and all you see is reality, as if the glass panes don't even exist as you accidentally walk into it and bump your head. If you have a television or computer display that is high fidelity with high dynamic range, accurate and wide color gamut, optimal brightness and contrast, refined detail, etc, you would never describe that display as being "clinical" or "sterile" or "cold" or "boring," right? It simply looks life-like. It's the same with audio.

A truly neutral/accurate sound system will have authoritative and powerful bass that is very well controlled, articulate, detailed, punchy, and full. It will have mids that are natural, smooth, detailed, and rich. Its treble will be airy, refined, and clear. There should be no hint of muddy, bloated or anemic bass, no recessed, sibilant, or nasal mids, or hard-edged, peaky, splashy, or dull treble. Your audio system should simply disappear and what you hear is life-like, as if the audio gear has disappeared.

The fact is, outside of the small minority of higher-end or well-informed/experienced audio professionals audiophiles, the vast majority of audio hobbyists and musicians have never even heard truly neutral/accurate sound before (and this is taking into consideration the amount of acceptable variations within the threshold of what we can objectively call neutral/accurate that's measurable), and this is exactly why this misconception about neutral/accurate sound is so popular. It really takes having heard it at least once in your life to understand why it is and should be the golden standard to judge everything else by.

As for impedance, the only two rule of thumb you need to understand are these:

1) You want the impedance of your headphone amp/audio device to be 1/8 of your headphone. So if your headphone is a very sensitive 16 ohms, you want your amp/device to be 2 ohms or less (less is always okay).

HOWEVER, not all headphones have flat impedance throughout its frequency range. For example, a headphone might list 32 ohms in its specs., and you think you'll be okay with an amp/device that is 4 ohms. But in reality, when measured, it might have the 4 KHz range as low as 16 ohms, which means if you use that headphone on that amp/device, you'll get imbalance in the frequency response (the 4KHz range will be too quiet, with a noticeable dip). You need to find out how your headphone's impedance measures, and if you can't find this information online (such as from InnerFidelity's downloable measurements), then contact the manufacturer for the information.

2) Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of power the amp/device can deliver. So even if the impedance matches, if the amp/device is under-powered and cannot provide enough wattage, your headphone will likely suffer from distortion or smeared transients and other issues.

About that comprehensive guide--I'll try and find the time to do it.
Old 28th January 2016
  #3028
Thanks! That helps a lot.

So, if I have 2 sets of headphones, each with different impedance, does that mean I need 2 different headphone amps, each matched to those cans?!

And if the impedance for different headphones are different at different frequencies, how can we even measure how 'flat' the frequency response is?

Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA.
The Terrific HiFiMAN HE400S Planar Magnetic Headphones Page 2 | InnerFidelity

I'm thinking of getting these two, but wondering if I really *need* the amp...

I'm only using these cans to mix / master vsti recordings, e.g.

AlbertMcKay.com

people have told me my music is badly balanced, and that my headphones may be the problem.
Old 28th January 2016
  #3029
Lives for gear
 
Lunatique's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by saurumanx View Post
Thanks! That helps a lot.

So, if I have 2 sets of headphones, each with different impedance, does that mean I need 2 different headphone amps, each matched to those cans?!

And if the impedance for different headphones are different at different frequencies, how can we even measure how 'flat' the frequency response is?

Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA.
The Terrific HiFiMAN HE400S Planar Magnetic Headphones Page 2 | InnerFidelity

I'm thinking of getting these two, but wondering if I really *need* the amp...

I'm only using these cans to mix / master vsti recordings, e.g.

AlbertMcKay.com

people have told me my music is badly balanced, and that my headphones may be the problem.
No, you don't need two different amps. You have to remember what I said about how lower than 1/8 of your headphone's impedance is fine. It's going over that you should be worried about. So just base your amp purchase on the lowest impedance headphone you own. Or better yet, simply get an amp that has the lowest impedance that still delivers plent power to provide enough juice even for power-hungry headphones with high impedance.

The amp you linked will be under-powered if you ever need to use a headphone with very high imedance (such as 600 ohms or more).

Generally speaking, you do not need some some fancy expensive boutique headphone amp/DAC. So much of what's on the market is just ridiculous diminishing returns and snake oil you very likely will not be able to discern how much better it sounds in a scientific double-blind test. I have an Objective O2+DAC (Massdrop edition) and it provides plenty of power and is very low in impedance, and sounds transparent enough to go against amps/DACs that cost four figures in double-blind tests. In fact, so many people have a hard time reliably telling the difference between the onboard DAC of their computer's motherboard or smartphone with a fancy thousand dollar standalone DAC. They would have to strain hard and focus very intensely to even hear the difference, and when you have to strain that hard to discern the differences in anything, there should be alarm bells going off in your brain warning about ridiculous diminishing returns and snake oil. Today's consumer products have vastly superior DACs in them compared to the old days when they used to suck, which is why you shouldn't automatically assume your onboard DAC sucks. Check the specificiations of the onboard DAC in question (you can search for the information online) and you'll likely see that its specs. are perfectly respectable. It's when you hear unwanted noise and distortion that you should be worried.

Also, keep in mind that some amps have low/high gain-adjustment toggle switches, allowing you to use both very sensitive or very power hungry headphones (but the golden rule of 1/8 impedance will always still apply, as does needing to deliver enough power to even power hungry headphones with high impedance).

Your question regarding impedance and frequency response--just remember that lower than 1/8 is fine. So when you find out what the impedance measurement is, just look at the lowest impedance in the measurement and use that in your decisions. Again, simply getting an amp with the lowest impedance will ensure you never even have to think about this. And this is why most quality amps have really low impedance (around 1 ohm or less).

You're very lucky that you picked the RE-400, because I happen to have one and have recently created a custom EQ curver to make it sound as neutral/accurate as possible, and I can just post the preset I created or the actual settings so you can reproduct it in your preferred EQ. However, with IEMs, there are variables that results in you not hearing what I hear, so my EQ curve may not be perfect for you and you'll need to double check with log sweep, sinewave test tones, and pink noise to be sure. The reason is because our ear canals might not be shaped the same, so the resonance peak caused by them might be difference. I'm very sensitive to the sibilance region so my EQ curve will reflect that. Also, our hearing could be different too. I've done hearing tests and my hearing is normal, but I don't know about you. If you've never done it, you should find out if you have any hearing loss issues in any frequency ranges (other than the normal rolled off highest treble as we age).

EDIT: I just realized you meant the planar magenetic version, not the IEM version, so nevermind. But I'm not going to delete what I wrote so you can learn from the information I included.

Last edited by Lunatique; 28th January 2016 at 03:42 PM..
Old 28th January 2016
  #3030
Lives for gear
i Have the Senhiser Hd 650s, 800 and the Focal spirit. The Hd 800 are big step up from the 650s they are amazing they are very very good for mixing. They sound like speakers. I use the Focals for my closed back set. I use the Sonarworks also definitley does work well to smooth the response of all the headphones.
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