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Thread: Mixing: Monitors vs. Headphones

  1. #9


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    Look up Sound on Sound's feature about the difference between Hi-Fi speakers and Monitors. Classic article.

    Basically, until you get to a certain price point, cheaper Monitors aren't really any better than Hi-Fi speakers.

    https://www.soundonsound.com/techniq...peakers-part-1

    Nearfield Monitors as we think of them didn't even exist until the 80s.

    A lot of pro audio people will tell you the important thing isn't what you use, it's familiarity with it. Loads of times it's better to work on something you have listened to loads of shit on, because you know how it reacts to music.

    As far as headphones go, I'd say you need to make sure you have a proper discrete amp to drive them. Headphones into just an interface or a 1/8th inch computer jack is just shit. Some headphones sound fine being driven by things like Ipods, but a lot of the serious ones require an amp.

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  3. #10


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    If you are going headphones, Audio Technica ATH-M50s. I've had my pair forever. Great phones. $150 I think, but they are worth every penny.

    Think they might have updated the design a year or two ago, as far as phones go, they are a benchmark set for closed back phones.

    Randy pointed out the difference between closed back and open back, which is its own can of worms. Most people will tell you that for metal, closed back is prefferable. I like open backs too, I have a nice pair of Sennheisers, HD something or other, which are OK. If I had to pick just one, I would go closed back though. Especially if you are doing things like mic'ing amps.

  4. #11


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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCoy View Post
    If you are going headphones, Audio Technica ATH-M50s. I've had my pair forever. Great phones. $150 I think, but they are worth every penny.

    Think they might have updated the design a year or two ago, as far as phones go, they are a benchmark set for closed back phones.

    Randy pointed out the difference between closed back and open back, which is its own can of worms. Most people will tell you that for metal, closed back is prefferable. I like open backs too, I have a nice pair of Sennheisers, HD something or other, which are OK. If I had to pick just one, I would go closed back though. Especially if you are doing things like mic'ing amps.
    Those were the pair I'd be picking up, so at least I've got that one right

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  6. #12


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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCoy View Post
    A lot of pro audio people will tell you the important thing isn't what you use, it's familiarity with it. Loads of times it's better to work on something you have listened to loads of shit on, because you know how it reacts to music.
    I'm not even a pro audio guy, and this has been my experience. No matter what monitors you use, you have to 'normalize' your ears by playing your favorite reference tracks through them.

    That said, even relatively inexpensive studio monitors are probably better at revealing details than a lot of consumer speakers. That's the key--whether you everything that's going on in your mix.

  7. #13


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    Quote Originally Posted by MFB View Post
    Those were the pair I'd be picking up, so at least I've got that one right
    Devil's advocate - I have a pair of those, and a pair of beyerdynamic dt770s. I vastly prefer the beyerdynamics, both for comfort and for clarity, especially in the high end. They're about $50 more, though, which is a third again as much, so thta's a factor.

    And yeah, familiarity >*.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  8. #14


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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    Devil's advocate - I have a pair of those, and a pair of beyerdynamic dt770s. I vastly prefer the beyerdynamics, both for comfort and for clarity, especially in the high end. They're about $50 more, though, which is a third again as much, so thta's a factor.

    And yeah, familiarity >*.
    That's a hugely popular can of worms. If you google "ATH-M50 vs. DT-770" there are hundreds of threads on it. Partly dependent on what kind of music you play and listen to as well. I think generally, extreme metal guys lean towards the m50s.

    770s also have multiple versions. 80 ohm and 240 ohm or something like that.

  9. #15


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    DT770s have really exaggerated bass response which is problem for most closed headphones so just keep that in mind. If you want isolation IEMs are better than closed headphones at this point.

  10. #16


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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCoy View Post
    If you are going headphones, Audio Technica ATH-M50s. I've had my pair forever. Great phones. $150 I think, but they are worth every penny.

    Think they might have updated the design a year or two ago, as far as phones go, they are a benchmark set for closed back phones.

    Randy pointed out the difference between closed back and open back, which is its own can of worms. Most people will tell you that for metal, closed back is prefferable. I like open backs too, I have a nice pair of Sennheisers, HD something or other, which are OK. If I had to pick just one, I would go closed back though. Especially if you are doing things like mic'ing amps.
    I've got the ATH-M50's, and they're awesome; definitely my favorite. I also have a pair of Sennheiser HD380's, and they're really good too, but probably still not as preferable as the 50's are.
    Disclaimer: I work ultra part-time for a local music gear dealer. And as a male plus-sized model for mankinis.

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