Headphones for making music

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by macstatic, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. macstatic macrumors 65816

    macstatic

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Norway
    #1
    What should I look for in headphones for making music, and does anyone have specific recommendations?
    It should be reasonably priced as this is just a hobby, but at the same time I want quality, so bargain basement isn't what I'm looking for.
     
  2. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #2
    I use 3 pairs of headphones for listening to and creating music. My go-to pair is an old, burned-in pair of Grado SR80 cans with S-CUSH Ear Cushions in place of the stock cushions - the new SR80e is a sweet deal at $99, with an extra 10-spot for the cushions.

    I know a few people that own "studio" cans for their creation phase, and I've listened to them gripe that their music doesn't sound "right". They're using closed cans for their creation but listening in an open environment - I've never understood that. I use open cans like Grado headphones as I want that "open space" intruding into my ears as I prefer emulating the environment I'll be in when listening to the final product. Made in Brooklyn, with drivers made on Long Island, too!
     
  3. StoneJack macrumors 65816

    StoneJack

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
  4. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816

    macstatic

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Norway
    #4
    After a lot more research I finally went for the Audio Technica ATH-M50x.
    They're in a totally different class than the consumer grade headphones I had before. Very comfortable and a lot more "HiFi" though not as much mid-range as I'm used to, but perhaps that's just the more "neutral" sound studio/reference sound which reference headphones should have and takes a little getting used to.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    You are in luck because tow of the industry standard headphones used in the recording industry cost about $100.

    Headphones used by engineers and artists are different then the used by home HiFi enthusiast in that the studio headphones are generally more accurate and "flat"

    But there are two basic kinds.
    (1) those used use by the engineers, these don't need to keep outside sounds away because there are used in a quiet environment. and they don't need to contain the sound and can "leak" sound out into the room. My AKG K240 headphones are what is called "semi-open" and leak sound in both directions but are VERY flat and very accurate and cost only $99

    (2) those used by recording artists. The above K240 are not used anyplace near an open microphone as sound will leak into the mic. this person need bater isolation for a guide track does not get picked up by the mic. But on the other hand these don't have to be great headphones because all the artist needs to get is the pitch and time. They are NOT listening for details as some times all there is in the headphones is a metronome track or just a piano track. You don't need to spend a lot

    (3) home stereo listening is not the same as recording.

    Look at these, they are VERY common in professional work
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MDR7506
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/K240S

    For a given price you get better sound with "open" headsets because they are technically easier to build but yu have the problem of no sound isolation. THat's not a problem in some use cases, like recording studios but is a big problem in places like the metro train or an airplane.

    I have a number of headphones and anytime use a really cheap pair for practicing guitar or keyboard, some times even $25 earbuds for that. Much of the time you don't need great headphones

    Mixing for video is again different than practicing guitar so you have to say what is is exactly you are trying to do. But in any case no need to spend more then about $100.
     
  6. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816

    macstatic

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Norway
    #6
    Thanks ChrisA. That's a very good and clear explanation. I'd be in the first group then (engineer headphones) as I'm into synths with no mic in sight.
    How would you rate the Audio Technica ATH-M50x that I just bought in terms of neutral sound etc? I'm just making music for fun, so nothing critical here, but a more or less neutral reference would be nice in any case.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    The M50 are on the "A list" also, I think it's just that the others have been on that list for more then 25 years.
     
  8. fastlanephil macrumors 65816

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #8
    I've used the closed back version of the AKG240, the AKG271 for several years. Both models have the MK ll option for some additional features and comfort but the audio is the same. Prices vary greatly on these phones so shop around.
     
  9. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #9
    ATH M50 series are indeed very good for their price.
    I use Beyerdynamics DT770Pros, they are a bit heavy on the bottom, but they did fit my head very well for prolonged use. I also have a pair of Grado SR80, but they leak sound, a lot, and i often use a large diaphragm mic to record vocals and acoustic guitar and they simply doesn't work well with that.
     
  10. UBS28, Nov 1, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015

    UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    #10
    The AKG K240 and Sony MDR-7506 are accurate and flat? The Sony isn't accurate since it has distortion that is way too high and the AKG K240 isn't flat.
     
  11. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    #11
    If budget allows, you might better look into studio monitors rather than headphones.
     
  12. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816

    macstatic

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Norway
    #12
    Yes, that's the next thing I need to invest in (I still need heaphones though, and my Audio Technica ATH-M50x still feels great).

    Any specific recommendations for good quality but reasonably priced studio monitors? I don't need an awful lot of power as this is again for a hobby and a home-studio, and they should preferrably not take up too much space.
    I know Yamaha's NS-10M were the norm in the 80s but have since been discontinued -would it be a good idea to look at its successor (the model number has slipped my mind for the moment).
     
  13. milliepuppy macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    #13

    .... i don't think you can go far wrong with these ..... http://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=115&cp_id=11504&cs_id=1150401&p_id=605500&seq=1&format=2.

    5" or 8" as size and budget allows :)
     
  14. Cayden macrumors 6502a

    Cayden

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Location:
    Utah
    #14
    I use closed IEMs to record music and all editing is done generally with my studio monitors, but I think its a good idea to listen to the music on a few different pairs of headphones and speakers to see how it responds to other systems
     
  15. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816

    macstatic

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Norway
    #15
  16. satcomer, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015

    satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #16
    I suggest looking for "Studio Monitor" to get the cleanest sound and I suggest something like Sony MDRV6.
     

Share This Page