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What headphones or monitors (speakers) should I buy?

108 posts in this topic

Cool, thanks. I've had my eye on some AKG K-171 studio phones for awhile now (thanks for the recommendation, Compy), which I feel would suit me better than monitors right now because of the noise levels where I do most of my music. Now I just need to wait for my bonus to hit the paycheck and I'm all set. :)

Edit: whoa, K240 phones are going for $80-$100 on ebay from "authorized dealers" with 100% positive feedback. There seem to be a couple of different versions of them, though...for laptop mixing and production, I would want the low impedance model instead of the high impedance model, right?

-steve

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As I understand it, you need to match the impedence up with the rest of your signal processing stuff.

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* Ideally, you want closed headphones that cancel out noise. The reasons for this are pretty obvious. :)

I tried one of these, and it felt more or less like the equivalent of putting two seashells on your ears.

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What's the consensus on the analoq-endorsed Grado headphones? Are they too impractical due to being open-eared? Aaron mentioned the sound quality was pretty good.

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From everyone I've heard, Grados are consistently ahead of their pricepoint as far as sound goes - but this is in terms of listening enjoyment, can't say anything about flatness or how good they are for mixing. The greater portion of high end headphones are open, so as long as you have a quiet listening environment this won't be an issue.

http://head-fi.org/

Excellent forums for headphone/amp/etc info, several manufacturers (including grado) have put out special models just for the members there...

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* Expect to spend about $50. If you don't have $50, don't bother buying anything, and save your money
LOL RIGHT

Sennheiser HD 202 Headphones only $20

Cheap as HELL, if you don't really want to throw down much on the headphones these are insanely good for the price

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I didn't say that there wasn't anything that cheap; simply that there is a sacrifice in quality when you go that low.

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Just throwin down a link baby I was going to throw anyways baby :D

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Does anyone have experience with Sennheiser's 580s or 485s? I'm replacing my work headphones (no bass in the right ear), and I'm undecided between the two.

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I need some help in finding headphones that can stand heavy cardio work-outs (running on a treadmill, eliptical trainer, etc). The ones i have broke in about a month. I can not exercise without music and would like to avoid getting fat again. Please help.

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Appleskates>> Do you want some beefy headphones or can it be good with a pair of smaller earplugs? If so, Iv'e tried "Koss Sparkplug" (or The Plug) They are pretty cheap and sound quite good if they are to be used as for normal music listening.

If you're going for some quality headphones (for mixing etc), i would certainly recommend Akg K240s. And by the way, those Sennheiser HD-202 feels fragile and plastic. They could be used for some beginning mixing, but if you're planning on going on further with music production, it's really worth investing in a pair of quality headphones (or monitors).

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I think those around-the-back headphones fall off the least. Have you tried those kinds yet?

Normal headphones and earbuds, I imagine, are shit for moving around [like cardio].

Maybe you can just use a stereo :) unless you work out in a gym and don't want people to know you do jumping jacks to Kraid's Lair. Which is an understandable feeling, believe me :D

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Maybe you can just use a stereo

GHETTO BLASTA!

/me cranks up the Newcleus and busts out some backspins

-steve

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(new response, sorry)

I'm getting very close to picking up a set of AKG K240S phones (or 271 if I can score them cheap enough). I know the 240s are semi-open, but does anyone have experience using these with a microphone? I figure if I have the volume low enough I shouldn't have a big problem with bleed-through, but I don't know. Thanks.

-steve

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Legion303>> Good choice :) I haven't used them very much with microphones but i dont think it would be any problem.

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You could scour the garage sale bins and find something nice like this lucky bastard here.

Can anyone agree if it's okay to use DJing headphones for production and listening? There's probably a difference between DJ/monitoring heaphones and listening type headphones. Is it just the frequency range or is there something else I'm missing? I currently have Technics RP-DJ700.

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DJ Headphones usually have a bit boosted lower bass. Check out the frequency curve for these two for example (Akg K.240s and Sennheiser HD-25) I can't tell if that is a bad thing but i guess if you here the bass stronger than what it is, you might put the bass down in the eq and "normal listeners" might feel the bass is a little low..

But curves can vary pretty much between headphones. Check if you can find a frequency on your own headphone.

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SONY SPEEKAHZ AH DA SHIIIIIII!

Recommendation. As for mics, get CO1U from Samson.

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Question from a n00b: What is the big difference between "monitors" and consumer speakers? Is it just sound quality? And are consumer speakers suitable for remixing (just as a hobby of course)?

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Computer speakers work, I mean, I don't get a lot of complaints about my sound quality and I have these $40 Creative speakers. But monitors give you the raw, flat audio, unfiltered. So you wouldn't game or listen to CDs with them [though you could and it would probably be fine!] but for serious music recording they do help.

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True studio monitors are designed to allow pure unadultered sound to be heard. In other words a completely flat frequency response. Every single frequency is given the same amount of energy. This allows a sound engineer to create a sound that will be very close to the same on any system.

Unfortunately, consumer speakers do not have flat frequency response. Most consumer systems give higher energy to the bass and treble frequencies. As a result, the sound that comes from them is not natural, because it has been changed to "sound better and more realistic" but the truth of the matter is, that the sound is being augmented from its original form and therefore cannot not be true natural sound. So while that hip-hop song that you wrote and mixed on your consumer speakers will sound awesome, someone else's system will make it sound totally different, because his speakers have a different frequency response than your system.

The point of flat frequency response is that you can hear the sound as it is naturally created, without any augmentations to the frequencies. This allows for you to get the best and most effective sound possible.

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True studio monitors are designed to allow pure unadultered sound to be heard. In other words a completely flat frequency response. Every single frequency is given the same amount of energy. This allows a sound engineer to create a sound that will be very close to the same on any system.

No monitoring systems I'm aware of have a perfectly flat frequency response. I just don't think those even exist. But really, you don't NEED a perfectly flat response.. you can work with something that's not perfect, learn the ins and outs, and make a good mix with it. You just have to keep in mind that when you're working on something, it won't necessarily sound as good as it would on a huge home stereo system.

In addition, it's just not true that all engineers necessarily prefer a more flat/"truthful" response. For example, the Yamaha NS10 nearfield monitors are relatively inexpensive and inaccurate. Yet for a time they were some of the most popular and widely-used monitors nationwide. This is because they are closest to consumer sound systems that engineers were mixing for.

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I personally favor the Sennheiser HD series. I have the HD 595 and it is really something, it sounds better than it costs ;) then there are the HD 515, 555, 595, 600, 650, where 650 is the best but the MOST expensive and the 515 wich is the "worst" but the cheapest one. The HD sereies are high quality acoustic headphones.

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those aren't monitoring headphones dude :P

those are open headphones used for listening, not monitoring.

whatever works for you i guess.

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