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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

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headphone advice...


hi, i just have this crazy thought, since money is an object for me to buy a good set of studio monitor speakers, i just thought that it might be a good idea to buy a monitor headphone to use just for now. any advice or recommendation for headphones? i was looking at the sony mdr-700dj and ATHM40 but i wasn't sure what they're capable of. any help would be appreciated. thanks.
August 2, 2002 @11:08pm

If you MUST have a pair of headphones, and you realize that they will not sound like speakers, and you are looking at the Sony's, avoid the DJ models. By DJ models, I don't mean ones with DJ in the name (I had never heard that model number before), but the light weight ones made for DJing. They emphasize kick bass around maybe 100Hz and again up in the upper snare, lower cymbal region. This, I would assume, is to make it easier to beat match, which it does. My MDR-V600's seem much flatter than my MDR-7506's. I don't rely on either for mixdown adjustments.
August 3, 2002 @03:29am

I'm not so much of a gear snob to insist on speakers if you can't afford them, but the forgone assumption is that you understand that almost any speaker would be better than headphones for this application.
If you must mix or master with cans, look for something that has an open-ear design. I use the 7506s myself, but only as tracking headphones. The downside to an open design is that a nearby mic can easily pick up whatever's in your headphones. Hence, they're usually not a good idea for a musician recording a track.
However, the resonances that get trapped inside the cavity of a closed design are absent in an open headphone. The result is a more accurate reproduction of your sound. This makes them ideal for "control room" applications, as a substitute for reference monitors. My personal favorites are Sennheiser HD600's.
August 10, 2002 @12:23am

JeffBarnett said
I use the 7506s myself, but only as tracking headphones...<snip>...
The result is a more accurate reproduction of your sound.

I'm surprised you find the 7506's anything close to accurate. Maybe everything I listen to music on other than these are lacking in the punchy bass and hi-hat range. I don't monitor on pro class monitors and won't until I see a good enough option including sub that will reproduce what I need it to reproduce and not break me. I do listen to my mixes on many systems for reference (home stereos, car stereos, club systems, and cheap boom boxes). To me, the 7506's sound like the headphone equivalent of a Peavey SP-2, but not quite as bright.
I understand what you are saying about closed ear vs. open ear design, and I can buy that, all other things equal. But all other things aren't equal. Drivers (obviously) vary from model to model even from the same manufacturer.
Interesting to hear someone with certainly more knowledge and experience than me be pro DJ headphones for mix monitoring. I'd like to hear those Sennheiser's, though.
August 10, 2002 @01:31am
David Klausner

I use the 7506's for tracking myself. The same sort of exaggerations that to me make them less than ideal for mixing are actually reasonably helpful when tracking for finding flaws and letting you pick out important items in the mix to key off without going too crazy over a headphone mix. I am not a big fan of using any headphones to mix with, as things like bass response, imaging and ambience will be quite different on speakers. If you have to use phones, though, the HD600's are quite nice...
August 12, 2002 @06:30pm

I like the right tool for the right job and when I use my headphones it's because it's late and someone else in the house might not want to hear what I'm doing. For those purposes, my Sony 7506's sound just fine. They , of course, sound nothing like my monitors. Those are for mixing. The phones are just another tool to use in trying to get the mix right along with the car stereo, boombox etc...Headphones have always been for privacy and when you just want to get "into" the music. Yours or someone elses.
August 13, 2002 @12:50am

I'm surprised you find the 7506's anything close to accurate.

I should have clarified in my original post. The 7506's are a CLOSED-ear design, hence less accurate. I don't find them accurate, just useful, as David said. I was advocating open-ear headphones for mixing. These have big drawbacks as tracking headphones, though. I'd get 7506s for tracking and HD600s for mixing.
August 13, 2002 @02:30pm