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Old 12-08-2019, 06:24 PM
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Default Favorite Headphones for Mastering

Hey AGF, quick question, what are some of the headphones that ya'll use in the studio and that you love?

Looking for a pair that can be used for tracking and then listening and mixing/mastering. I know there are some debates on closed, semi-closed, or open back...

Price range is irrelevant - I'm willing to spend a decent chunk of money, so throw me your best low end, mid range, and high end headphones that you love.
Thanks!
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Last edited by lukegard22; 12-10-2019 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 12-08-2019, 06:54 PM
Scott Whigham Scott Whigham is offline
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Amazing. I was 30 secs away from writing a headphone post. Typical answer is, “Oh, he/she wants to master their own music? rollseyes” and there’s a lot to that. I’ll let others chime in as I’m a know nothing in that area. But I literally did just waltz thru two GS threads about five minutes ago - sharing in case there might be useful info there:

What are some of your favorite headphones for mastering?

Choosing headphones for mastering

I laugh bc I wasn’t looking for “mastering headphones” and still these came up in a search result. Good luck - hope these help!
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:00 PM
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Lots of folks use closed backed phones for tracking but then will use open backs for checking mixes.

I have Sennheiser HD 280 pros that I track with and then HD 600s for mixing.

Just like all the rest of this recording stuff, it can be a deep rabbit hole.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:23 PM
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Currently Sennheiser HD280 pro, and before that other models of the same make.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:30 PM
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Thanks for the feedback, guys! Super helpful

Interesting that the HD 280s have two recommendations. I looked at the frequency response and it does seem great for tracking, even mic positioning.

Pair on Ebay for $30 ... might snag them!
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:56 PM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukegard22 View Post
Thanks for the feedback, guys! Super helpful

Interesting that the HD 280s have two recommendations. I looked at the frequency response and it does seem great for tracking, even mic positioning.

Pair on Ebay for $30 ... might snag them!
I've been using Sennheiser HD 280 pro headphones for years. Very happy with them for mic positioning and tracking. Listening is great too.

No experience with mixing or mastering.

Beware eBay counterfeits though. Who knows what you'll wind up with for $30.

Last edited by J-Doug; 12-08-2019 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:17 PM
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The HD280 is a little to hyped in the bass for referencing and mixing in my opinion. They are great budget friendly tracking phones though. It doesn’t take much to drive them either so most interface headphone amps will get them plenty loud.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:26 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Whether you use headphones or monitors, you have to learn what both are giving you in your listening environment. That said, you'' probably want to shy away from closed back headphones because they will give you a false sense of the low end. Open back headphones will require less compensation in that regard.

I've been doing a fair amount of mastering recently and I've found my MassDrop HD 6xx to be fine. They're the equivalent of the Sennheiser HD 650 but at a lower price point. I'm still doing the majority of the work on my monitors but I check things with the headphones and that's worked well for me.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:24 PM
MikeMcKee MikeMcKee is offline
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Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
Extremely happy with them...
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:46 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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I've been using a Grado 325i set for many years. No need to change. The current model is Grado 325e.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukegard22 View Post
Hey AGF, quick question, what are some of the headphones that ya'll use in the studio and that you love?

Looking for a pair that can be used for tracking and then listening and mixing/mastering. I know there are some debates on closed, semi-closed, or open back...

Price range is irrelevant - I'm willing to spend a decent chunk of money, so throw me your best low end, mid range, and high end speakers that you love.
Thanks!
Actually it is not so much "debate" as the fact tracking and mixing/mastering are simply two different situations, with different requirements.

There may exceptions, but generally speaking:

For tracking most audio recording engineers prefer closed back for more isolation and less bleed into sensitive LDC mics

For mixing as mentioned open back HP's tend have have less issues with hyped or colored low end.
There may be a "One Trick Pony" but I am not aware of them, and use two different HP's in my studio
I do use the Senn 280 for tracking But use the Senn 600 for mixing
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:20 AM
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You cannot rely on headphones for mixing or mastering - at least until your ears are well-trained and you understand how the final tracks sound on other systems.
It's all about translation and stereo spread. When using monitors some of the sound from the left speaker reaches your right ear, and vice-versa. That doesn't happen with headphones. Due to the proximity of the transducers in the headphones to your ears, different frequencies will sound louder (based on your ears' abilities) than if the sound is coming from a few feet away (from monitors).
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMcKee View Post
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
Extremely happy with them...
I use Beyerdynamic DT 770 phones and love everything about them. They are super-comfortable, have good bass response, and just sound musical. They are also well-made. I purchased them after retiring my year-old HD 280 Pros.

I did like the HD 280 Pros I have, but mine are parked in storage because I refuse to wrap them with duct tape. They have a long history of having the two plastic panels at the sides break and fall off and mine fell apart after a year of light use. It's a common complaint from owners.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:33 PM
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Like sdelsolray I have been using Grados (the 225 or 325) but just post recording. For recording time I do not use headphones.
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Old 12-12-2019, 09:38 AM
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Default The More You OHM

Bumping the thread with a follow up question -

Thank you for all the suggestions.

I was about to pull the trigger on some Beyer 990's 250 OHM (good deal on Amazon right now) when I further researched OHM's and headphone amps.

Since I am using a Steinberg UR44 interface with a 32-40OHM output, I either need to buy a headphone amp or buy a lower OHM.

I stumbled across the Hifiman HE-400I which is a low OHM headphone.

Any experience with that? It's "planar" technology, whatever that is...
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