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Any headphone suggestions?

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After my past two purchases of crappy headphones, it kind of dawned on me that I might not be able to really get a decent idea of what my tracks sound like if I don't have a decent pair of headphones. While I am reluctant to spend a lot of money on headphones, I don't know what the typical price range of the mid-priced headphones is. I also don't know what sort of headphones I should be looking for, but I have seen the ATH-M40 headphones mentioned a couple of times while browsing the threads here.

I don't want to spend a ton of money on headphones, just enough to get me a decent pair. Ideally, my budget would be under $100, but I worry that that might be a bit unrealistic. If anyone has any suggestions and/or advice, I'd be happy to hear it.

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The Grado SR-60i is actually really good. I find it to have really clear midrange, excellent treble (maybe 90% of the way towards sufficient), and defined bass. You still need subwoofers though to cover the whole spectrum.

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Good headphones generally shouldn't cost too much. The really expensive "prestige" ones you might see will more than likely be coloring the sound in undesirable ways.

AKG and Sennheiser are the only brands I really trust. I got the AKG K271 for about $130 and it's the best pair I've used so far.

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The Grado SR-60i is actually really good. I find it to have really clear midrange, excellent treble (maybe 90% of the way towards sufficient), and defined bass. You still need subwoofers though to cover the whole spectrum.

Are there any obvious downsides to these headphones or other such things I should take into consideration before I decide I want to purchase these? I'm considering getting the SR-60i seeing as they apparently don't cost a whole lot, but I want to try and have my bases covered.

AKG and Sennheiser are the only brands I really trust. I got the AKG K271 for about $130 and it's the best pair I've used so far.

The only AKG K271 I've seen online is the K271 MKII and I think it's going online for 200 bucks. I could probably afford something that costs $130 if I saved my money, but I don't want to go anywhere near $200 headphones right now if I can help it.

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ATH-M50 (not m40) is the way to go for a fairly inexpensive headphone. It's midway from 100-200 dollars (varying depending on where you buy) and it has an -insanely flat- soundscape. It will give you a very clear idea of what sounds are in your mix.

Good monitors are the best choice, but if you want a good headphone on the (moderately) cheap, this is the one, as far as I know.

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I've used the Sennheiser HD 280 pro's for the past 2 years and I've never had a problem with them. They are comfortable even during extended periods of usage, cancel about 30 - 40% of the outside noise, and are very durable. Cost me about $130 2 years ago.

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Are there any obvious downsides to these headphones or other such things I should take into consideration before I decide I want to purchase these? I'm considering getting the SR-60i seeing as they apparently don't cost a whole lot, but I want to try and have my bases covered.

The only real downside that I found was that the really low bass (20~80Hz) is basically mildly high passed, but you don't really notice it until you're in a situation where you have to mix bass rigorously.

I'd say the ATH-M50's have better bass but slightly worse treble than the Grados from the frequency graphs.

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Getting proper bass from headphones is physically impossible. You can get the artificial impression of more bass by amplifying the lowest registers capable of being reproduced, which is what most headphones do. This is why monitoring headphones with the most neutral frequency curves possible sound like they have no bass, since that's just the physical reality with those tiny speakers.

I think my AKGs are a proper enough compromise in that regard. If I'm mixing with them, I've learned it's usually ideal to lower the overall bass by about 3dB from what I consider optimal when listening with the headphones.

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I bought some Grado SR 225s (200$ range) brand new back in March and they are falling apart already which is quite disappointing, as opposed to the MDR 7506s that I bought on Ebay used for 50$ which still are in great shape over 3 years later.

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I bought some Grado SR 225s (200$ range) brand new back in March and they are falling apart already which is quite disappointing, as opposed to the MDR 7506s that I bought on Ebay used for 50$ which still are in great shape over 3 years later.

I can say with confidence that my Grado SR-60i's ($80) are not going to fall apart anytime soon; I've had them for at least 6 months now and they look the same.

And yes, headphones can't get sufficient bass necessarily, but you can get the best bass possible from them, IMO, if you use the Beyerdynamic DT-880's ($300~400). I don't have them, but I know they're awesome and I'd like to get them someday.

Edited by timaeus222

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Beyerdynamic DT-880 user here, and I love mine. I can get close to what I'm looking for in a mix, with usually just a little bit of tweaking needed afterwards. I've used the Sennheiser HD280 set before, and I really didn't care for them at all. Mine had really weird frequency issues to where anything I mixed came out super-muffled, even if it sounded great on the headphones. Can't speak to Grado or AKG.

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Beyerdynamic DT-880 user here, and I love mine. I can get close to what I'm looking for in a mix, with usually just a little bit of tweaking needed afterwards. I've used the Sennheiser HD280 set before, and I really didn't care for them at all. Mine had really weird frequency issues to where anything I mixed came out super-muffled, even if it sounded great on the headphones.

Omg, we're twins. I love my Beyerdynamic DT-880s. The only complaint I have is the impedance is very high, so their maximum output on most systems without headphone amps isn't very loud, but it's not like they're quiet or anything. Plus, higher impedance supposedly leads to a clearer high end (so audiophiles tell me), and I'd say that holds up to my experience with them. Sennhesiers, on the other hand, have never impressed me.

AKG k240

They're cheap but popular and good.

Yep, yep. AKG is just a bitchin' brand overall. Plus, almost all their products look super sleek and awesome.

Also, I used Sony MDR-7506 for a year and a half. They're very affordable and VERY good for the price. $75ish, if I remember correctly. You'll lose a bit on the lows and low mids when you monitor on other systems, but otherwise, they're winners.

Sennheiser 280HD Pro. Awesome value, closed back.

For mixing purposes, isn't a closed back a bad thing (or at least not optimal)? There are minor reverb and phasing issues with early reflections coming off the ear cups of closed-back headphones. Or am I missing something? You've been around the block longer than I have, so maybe you've got some knowledge here I'm lacking :P But from what I've read, semi-open or open back headphones are the way to go for mixing in quiet environments.

Edited by ectogemia

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For mixing purposes, isn't a closed back a bad thing (or at least not optimal)? There are minor reverb and phasing issues with early reflections coming off the ear cups of closed-back headphones. Or am I missing something? You've been around the block longer than I have, so maybe you've got some knowledge here I'm lacking :P But from what I've read, semi-open or open back headphones are the way to go for mixing in quiet environments.

Last I heard, closed back makes it difficult to mix bass.

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Last I heard, closed back makes it difficult to mix bass.

Samesies. I think that's where the reverb comes in. High frequency reflections don't make it very far before dissipating. Lower frequency ones will reach the ear with fairly intact amplitude, as far as I know.

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Yeah I've been using a pair of AKG K240 MkII, and they're pretty sweet. I mix on monitors as well, but they're good for late night mixing and they have a nice crisp and clear sound. They're not too pricey, though definitely above your $100 threshold. I'd still recommend them, personally.

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On topic of AKG k240, I have a question:

What's the main difference between AKG k240 and AKG k240 MKII?

As far as I saw, they have the same attributes... I don't see what justifies the extra 100 dollars aside of a design change.

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On topic of AKG k240, I have a question:

What's the main difference between AKG k240 and AKG k240 MKII?

As far as I saw, they have the same attributes... I don't see what justifies the extra 100 dollars aside of a design change.

There are 2 big changes:

1) MK2 has a slightly different fit, it is supposedly more comfortable and a bit easier to get the correct sound out of them.

2) MK2 comes with 2 cables, one coiled, one not.

The drivers are the same, the sound is the same (provided you have them on snug). To be honest, the regular K240 studios at $85 are a great deal.

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A great resource for headphone measurements: http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads

Has independent measurements of loads of headphones so you can actually see what the frequency response and distortions of the headphones actually are.

I had to pause AdBlock to view the page though incase anyone else has a similar problem.

They even have the apple earbud measurements, the stock ones have nearly 100% distortion (THD+n) below 100Hz. Surprising!!!

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AKG k240

They're cheap but popular and good.

Yeah I've been using a pair of AKG K240 MkII, and they're pretty sweet. I mix on monitors as well, but they're good for late night mixing and they have a nice crisp and clear sound. They're not too pricey, though definitely above your $100 threshold. I'd still recommend them, personally.

Jumping on the AKG K240 MKII bandwagon.

I used to have a pair of, I believe they were the K140, and while they were good my ears would hurt from wearing them for an extended amount of time (physical pain from the pressure).

I also have a pair of Sony MDR 7506 as someone recommended them. Also good I guess but I definitely prefer the K240. It gives a smooth rounder sound while the 7506 gives a more raw hard sound.

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