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Best mixing headphones for $80-100?


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I've searched the forums here and found a couple of suggestions for lower-end mixing headphones that fit how much I want to spend such as the AKG K240 (which are around $80) and also Sennheiser HD280 Pro (around $100). I'm looking for the same thing a lot of people are - durable, no sound coloring. Anybody have any suggestions for something in that price range? Thanks in advance!

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There's some buzz on the net about the dirt cheap headphones by Superlux. They actually did some production work for AKG iirc.

Noteworthy models: Superlux HD681 and HD681 Evo. A lot of people claim they get very close to or even equal the sonic quality of K240s.

I had K240s before and find it all quite intriguing, so for the laughable price of 20 euros (or 27 for the successor), i'm going to give it a try soon.

No first hand experience here yet ofc, but if you can get ahold of 1st gen 681s, you're atleast guaranteed to get very decent headphones for the price, and who knows, they might suffice for your music making needs.

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Well, there is no such thing as headphones/speakers that don't color the sound and using monitors is always preferable (headphones have hugely exaggerated channel separation and major limitations in bass response). That said, the advice in here is pretty solid. I also had decent experience with Grado SR80i's for that price range, though they are a bit treble heavy and they are far from stylish.

I currently use some V-Moda M-80s as a nice contrast to my monitors. They are more fine tuned for recreational listening, so they emphasize the mids and the bass a bit more and roll back the treble.

You pretty much can't go wrong with K240s. I'm a proud owner of them, and the only thing you trade up for for $300-$400 headphones is the durability of the product, not the sound quality. Take PRECIOUS care of them, and you'll be alright.

:-? As a general rule, build quality and durability is not what the cost increases are based on at all, with the possible exception of stylish consumer brands like Skullcandy and Beats, which often just put the same drivers in a different shell.

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If you can afford it, Beyerdynamic DT880s can be acquired for as little as $200 on sale. They're incredibly flat, neutral, and comfortable. I've been swearing by them since 2007 and they're frequently rated as some of the very best headphones in the world.

Somehow I got them for 51% off, I think. I just jumped at that deal last December, and I've never felt more happy with audio.

That said, Grado SR-60i is really good for just ~$80. I used those to write "

" on the Apex 2014 album, so that's what is possible with those headphones at their limit (I mean really, if you listen to that track, there's so much going on!). Definitely some crisp treble without being too shrill or piercing, some pretty nice and clear bass (maybe not strong, but clear. What can you expect from headphones in bass, anyways, by themselves?), and distinguishable mids. Effective stereo field. Overall, while I love the Beyers more, it's not much more of a step up other than the clearer stereo field, better low-lows, high-highs, and low-mids (and it being overall quite flat). Still entirely worth buying either or both, but if either, I'd recommend saving up for the Beyers. Very well worth it.

Btw, I still have the Grados, they're still very intact, and I've used them for a year and two months so far. I've had the Beyers for four months and they're still rarin' to go.

Edited by timaeus222
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:-? As a general rule, build quality and durability is not what the cost increases are based on at all, with the possible exception of stylish consumer brands like Skullcandy and Beats, which often just put the same drivers in a different shell.

But it's still true of the K240s, which is why I pointed it out. Excellent quality but the durability of them is lacking.

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I got a pair of K240s and they were good for a while but the bass response on them is too exaggerated. They're a very dark sounding pair of headphones and I can't really mix on them anymore. For $100 I recommend the classic MDR7506, you can't go wrong with those. They're very well balanced and have a natural enough sound that you could mix on them.

Edited by SnappleMan
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Honestly, I can afford the Beyerdynamic DT880s (even though I would rather not spend that much since I have zero income from making music), but I read in some of the comments that it might end up being too quiet and that I would need to buy a headphone amp. Something else to research I suppose.

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Honestly, I can afford the Beyerdynamic DT880s (even though I would rather not spend that much since I have zero income from making music), but I read in some of the comments that it might end up being too quiet and that I would need to buy a headphone amp. Something else to research I suppose.

It's funny, i borrowed a set of large akg hifi cans for now, and they are pretty quiet plugged directly into my lappy.

At first i thought i'd need an amp, but after a while i realised the lacking loudness makes me care enough to optimise the mix for loudness.

If they aren't extremely quiet, having a more moderate max volume can have benefits i guess. Makes destroying your ears over time less likely too.

I've listened to really smashed maximized commercial stuff on them for comparison, and that still can border on too loud at max volume. That's not what i'm trying to go for anyway, so when the loudness seems just about right on them, it's an indicator that i've hit a good compromise.

Course, i can go louder on my speakers and mix on them more when it isn't late night, so the headphones are just a secondary listening device.

Btw, they might sound less balanced than the 240s but they're soooo much more comfortable. I always took the ergonomic ear pain for granted with the 240s, after like 5 hours of having them on. Then again, my head is pretty big lol

Comfort definitely should be a big point of consideration.

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It's funny, i borrowed a set of large akg hifi cans for now, and they are pretty quiet plugged directly into my lappy.

At first i thought i'd need an amp, but after a while i realised the lacking loudness makes me care enough to optimise the mix for loudness.

If they aren't extremely quiet, having a more moderate max volume can have benefits i guess. Makes destroying your ears over time less likely too.

I've listened to really smashed maximized commercial stuff on them for comparison, and that still can border on too loud at max volume. That's not what i'm trying to go for anyway, so when the loudness seems just about right on them, it's an indicator that i've hit a good compromise.

Course, i can go louder on my speakers and mix on them more when it isn't late night, so the headphones are just a secondary listening device.

Btw, they might sound less balanced than the 240s but they're soooo much more comfortable. I always took the ergonomic ear pain for granted with the 240s, after like 5 hours of having them on. Then again, my head is pretty big lol

Comfort definitely should be a big point of consideration.

I use this track as my loudness reference, which is at ~-4.5dB RMS. I don't really go any higher than this, because, well, my max for my own tracks so far as been around -6~-5dB RMS. If you listen to this and you think it's quiet, then try turning your volume up on your computer until you feel it's good. ;)

Any louder and you're going into Soundcloud Dubstep region :<

Edited by timaeus222
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