New headphones

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sysrqer
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New headphones

Postby sysrqer » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:32 pm

Sadly, I managed to sit on my Sennheiser HD595 and they are not in the best shape so I'm looking for recommendations to replace them. I've been quite happy with the HD595s, sound pretty good and very comfortable but I've always had a bit of trouble with judging bass with them, if I mix at a level where it all sounds good and then have a listen on my mp3 player with earbuds the bass is way too much.

I make electronic music and bass is fairly important. I wear them for many hours at a time so comfort is a big factor as well.

What would you recommend? I would prefer to spend as little as possible, of course, but I want something good enough to mix with.

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bhilmers
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Re: New headphones

Postby bhilmers » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:14 pm

sysrqer wrote:I make electronic music and bass is fairly important.

I don't rely on headphones for mixing. Or nearfields for that matter when it comes to bass, especially for electronic music. I do it by the numbers. By that I mean I use some visual tools to help mix low frequencies. I use a spectrum analyzer so I can verify I'm not wrecking everything below 100Hz. It also helps to pair bass and kick drums in a way they don't compete for space (assuming you aren't ducking the bass). For example, if my bassline dominates around 80Hz (E) I'll pick a kick that punches around 65Hz (C). Or something like that.

Headphones are sketchy and even "good" headphones can give you problems. I have three pair that I rotate through while mixing. It helps with ear fatigue and gives me a better picture of what I'm working on. Basically, if it sounds good on all three pair, I'm in great shape!

You have any of your tracks online for listening?

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Re: New headphones

Postby CrocoDuck » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:27 pm

sysrqer wrote:I've been quite happy with the HD595s, sound pretty good and very comfortable but I've always had a bit of trouble with judging bass with them, if I mix at a level where it all sounds good and then have a listen on my mp3 player with earbuds the bass is way too much.


This makes me think that the headphone might not be sealing properly around the ear. When the headphone cushion doesn't "close" all possible gaps around (or on the) ear then the air in the gaps oscillates, staling low frequency energy from the sound. This produces a significant drop in the low frequency response. My suggestion is for you to try few different headphones and get a feeling of how well they seal around your ear.

sysrqer wrote:What would you recommend? I would prefer to spend as little as possible, of course, but I want something good enough to mix with.


As reported here, quality doesn't really correlate to price, so there is something good waiting for you at an affordable price (to bear in mind that quality in there is just defined as listeners double blind preference).

I like my Samsons SR950, they are fairly cheap. Not sure whether they are good for you though: they are not too hard to make produce some distortion.
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sysrqer
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Re: New headphones

Postby sysrqer » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:23 pm

bhilmers wrote:Basically, if it sounds good on all three pair, I'm in great shape!

Yes, I try to cross reference as much as I can, the earbuds usually tell me quite a lot. I'm hoping to be able to get some monitors again at some point but for now it has to be just headphones. What do you look for in the analyser? Overlapping? Level?

bhilmers wrote:You have any of your tracks online for listening?

Sure, posted one here not that long ago - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=17440
Got some more older stuff here as well - https://meefchaloinasherdust.bandcamp.com

CrocoDuck wrote:
This makes me think that the headphone might not be sealing properly around the ear. When the headphone cushion doesn't "close" all possible gaps around (or on the) ear then the air in the gaps oscillates, staling low frequency energy from the sound. This produces a significant drop in the low frequency response.

That could be it but they don't sound badly lacking, I mean commercial stuff sounds good and balanced but I think they are a bit light. They have a certain smooth sound all round as well which I wouldn't mind getting away from, I think they could be more revealing.


CrocoDuck wrote:I like my Samsons SR950, they are fairly cheap. Not sure whether they are good for you though: they are not too hard to make produce some distortion.

Interesting, I saw a recommendation for the SR750 I think, I was looking at those, very cheap.

Also looking at the Beyerdynamic DT 770 and DT 990, Audio Technica M50X.

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Re: New headphones

Postby Jack Winter » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:57 pm

FWIW, I'm very happy with my DT-880 (halfopen) and DT-770 Pro (closed). Don't much like to mix with headphones though...
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Re: New headphones

Postby ufug » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:39 pm

I would say get headphones that familiar to you (ideally you could replace or repair your HD595). This is why:

sysrqer wrote: if I mix at a level where it all sounds good and then have a listen on my mp3 player with earbuds the bass is way too much.


Not a bug but a feature! That means you know exactly how your headphones sound, and you have good listening skills/are able to identify problems.

Listen on everything you can. Earbuds, cars, a friend's hi-fi audiophile system, Bluetooth speakers, studio monitors etc. You will keep hearing things to adjust and refine your mix--when it sounds right to you everywhere, you are on your way.

Learning this has been the single biggest help to my amateur mixing. It can save you a lot of money, too.

There are no headphones that are perfect. It's far better to have something comfortable, affordable, and FAMILIAR.

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sysrqer
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Re: New headphones

Postby sysrqer » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:18 pm

This is very true ufug, familiarity is key as well as referencing. That is one thing that makes me think of a simple replacement, I know what I have and how it sounds, and I know that getting something else is going to introduce a whole new level of getting know the holes and boosts again. I feel like the HD595s are not really suited to what i do though, I don't think they have a very wide extension in to the low end and that is an area which is quite important to what I do.

I've recently tried Ozone 8's assistant feature and it has been very educational for me (LSP plugins maybe something similar could be on the cards one day?), I've noticed that it thinks my mixes are very bass/low mid heavy and I can hear that it is correct to an extent when it makes the corrections but I don't hear that when I'm mixing. It could well be that I just lack the skills and ears to identify it but I feel my headphones should show this a bit more after many years of having them and (perhaps not?) knowing them.

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Re: New headphones

Postby Jack Winter » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:30 pm

Aren't the hd595 open back?

Maybe you should try some closed or half open ones if you suspect that your mixes are too bass heavy..
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Re: New headphones

Postby sysrqer » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:19 pm

Yes Jack Winter, they are. They are the only open back headphones I've tried so I don't know if it is just those in particular or open backed in general that are not very powerful in the bass.

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Re: New headphones

Postby Jack Winter » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:34 pm

I'm no expert on headphones but from what I've learnt, in general closed back headphones tend to have a little more bass, while half open ones are somewhere in between.
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Re: New headphones

Postby CrocoDuck » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:45 am

Jack Winter wrote:I'm no expert on headphones but from what I've learnt, in general closed back headphones tend to have a little more bass, while half open ones are somewhere in between.


You can read about fundamentals of headphone physics and design here.

In simple words, the response of a headphone is designed by the driver properties, the sizes of the volumes coupled to the speaker (both in front and on the back) and the area and damping of any port in these volumes, ether communicating between the volumes or open space, were damping is provided by specially designed pieces of cloth, which impede the motion of air.

The main design goal for open back headphones, which effectively substitute the back cavity to open space, is to minimize the effect of unwanted fitting leakage from the cushion by making a very large leak from the front volume to the open space. In this case, the leak from improper sealing becomes negligible with respect the designed leak, end hence its effects on the bass response minimized.

The shape of the response can still be tuned to a desired shape by the choice of the front volume, speaker and resistive mesh in the controlled front-to-open-space leak. So, although perhaps many open back headphones sounds less boomy with respect closed back headphone of similar size, I wouldn't say that it is a general rule that they have less bass. Generally, though, they are less sensitive, i.e. they emit less pressure for unit input voltage.
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Re: New headphones

Postby Jack Winter » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:09 am

CrocoDuck wrote:The shape of the response can still be tuned to a desired shape by the choice of the front volume, speaker and resistive mesh in the controlled front-to-open-space leak. So, although perhaps many open back headphones sounds less boomy with respect closed back headphone of similar size, I wouldn't say that it is a general rule that they have less bass. Generally, though, they are less sensitive, i.e. they emit less pressure for unit input voltage.

Interesting, thanks for the correction!

That said, I've always had a tendency to produce mixes that seem to have a lot of bass, think the reason is because I like it. I have to refer to reference mixes to make sure that I get in the ball park, and I mix on speakers.. :)
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bitsnpcs
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Re: New headphones

Postby bitsnpcs » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:20 pm

I use these headphones HA-RX700 made by JVC.
I listen to mostly reggae and dancehall, they have good bass and clear vocals, you can also hear all the other instruments easily.

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Re: New headphones

Postby Loki Harfagr » Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:46 pm

I personnally used (and still use them in a few occasions) various Sennheiser (from good ole 540-ref_II, some 6xx series and a 265 [aka the budget 6xx]) but got quite tired of their life expectancy constant reduction through the generations, then I tested a few AKG which sounded good but didn't fit to my head (or ears) morphology :D
Then I also tested a few various others and from quite some years now I mainly use the Beyerdynamic DT770pro (mainly for tracking obviously since it's not so fun to bear a closed-cup for a long time) and DT990pro of which I'm plainly happy and are as comfortable /to me/ as a HD540-ref_II or a HD650 :D

Note that for mixing/mastering I also finalize with/trough the Sonarworks tool to have a real grip on what the stuff might sound like, but all in all even when not using it (e-g systemwide) these two models of BD DT headphones are natively quite right.

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christobal
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Re: New headphones

Postby christobal » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:36 am

I had the Audio Technica ATH M50 for a decade, then I dropped them and broke them, I just picked up the Yamaha MT5 headphones, and I am loving them so far. Really nice and light, good fit and great sound
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