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View Full Version : Headphones instead of monitors?


GtrJazz
05-29-2008, 12:35 PM
Hey guys so after my recent computer purchase I dont have enough money left to buy a set of monitors. Can I just buy a set of headphones for my E-mu1212m? Or should I just buy a cheap pair of M-Audio StudioPro 3 for now?

BillyD1953
05-29-2008, 01:11 PM
I have the Sennheiser HD-595 headphones and use them as often as I use my speakers.
Fabulous sound and it allows you to work anytime you want without bothering anyone.
I use them with my EWQL Pianos. I have them connected to my receiver and I also feed the sound card output on my computer through the same receiver. If you can afford them I highly recommend them.

persentio
05-29-2008, 08:13 PM
Hi geah, in all essence you can never replace a pair of good monitors with Headphones. If you are short on funds now, get the Headphones first; but dont scrimp on the Monitors later because how well your mixes are will depend very much on the quality of your monitors. That being said however there are high end headphones around that do give you very accurate response and allow you to get pretty good mixes up, but more often than not certain frequency ranges especially the low end might be compromised.

Joza
05-29-2008, 11:54 PM
I have been using only headphones for a few years, but I'm not saying it is a right thing to do. That might be the second reason why my mixes are often horrible (along with my inexperiment). ;)

Vincent Bergbahn
05-30-2008, 04:16 AM
I own AKG K 701s reference class headphones.

I absolutely love them. I am re-listening to all my CDs. Got them for 250 new over the internet.(i would hunt around) They sell for 500 usually. I use them for all my music creation. Only thing is they are soo good you'll really hear the limitation of samples and all sorts of odd things in recordings, such as chairs, tapping, breathing etc of musicians. They need powerful source to drive them. My Presonus Firebox does the job. I would suggest teh firebox also and it works flawlessly with my mac.

Just think you'll what headphones even if you have monitors. They are bit more detailed that monitors, yet less effective with spacing of sound. Finially you'll also be in the head-fi club too and at the top for that matter.

I use'm to play and compose with and to listen music with. There is a sound on sound issue about mixing with headphones, but this is not a traditional approach, yet some of us do it anyways.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec03/articles/mixingheadphones.htm

Here are a few more links....

AKG Acoustics K 701 headphones
http://stereophile.com/headphones/806akg/

http://www.amazon.com/Akg-K701-Studio-Headphones/dp/B000F7T4BE

http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-manufacturer/akg/akg-k-701.php



I am now kinda interested in the shure se530s if any body has any experience with them?

Xplora
05-30-2008, 06:49 PM
I don't know crap about music production but I can tell you from experience with nice headphones vs nice monitors that it's just not comparable. Get the headphones if you lack cash, but pony up ASAP.

Let's just say that headphone mixes will always require headphones to listen to them properly. I like my 824s!

OneThrow
05-31-2008, 05:15 AM
I would never rely on a mix done with headphones, but they are very useful sometimes.

Monitors first, but headphones for when you don't want to upset the neighbours.

Joza
06-01-2008, 03:32 AM
Yeah, the headphones sound actually too good, i guess. If the listener doesn't have headphones, there's a problem as you have optimised the song to work with high quality headphones. I think you should always mix with many different systems and try to get it work well with all of those, but as that takes lots of time + skills, im not doing that. =P

KrazyKatz
06-01-2008, 08:52 AM
Word of warning. Headphones can damage your hearing far quicker than monitors especially in mixing due to boosting frequencies and such. Make sure you take constant breaks if using them for long periods and be very wary of those volume levels. Another reason to recommend monitors.

kstevege
06-03-2008, 12:14 PM
No problem using headphones for writing and composing but be sure to use decent monitors for mixing.

V o n h ö g e n
06-03-2008, 01:02 PM
you can never replace a pair of good monitors with Headphones.

I have to disagree with that statement. The fact of the matter is that great headphones (like mine, the Sennheiser HD 650 :) ) can replace many of the relatively cheaper monitors (below $400), despite the fact that they're in the same price-range. The statement can only be true, if you compare top-quality monitors to top-quality headphones.

how well your mixes are will depend very much on the quality of your monitors.

How well your mixes are, will depend very much on the quality of your ears. :rolleyes:

- Jerome Vonhögen

OpenMind
06-03-2008, 03:57 PM
I own AKG K 701s reference class headphones.

I absolutely love them. I am re-listening to all my CDs. Got them for 250 new over the internet.(i would hunt around) They sell for 500 usually. I use them for all my music creation. Only thing is they are soo good you'll really hear the limitation of samples and all sorts of odd things in recordings, such as chairs, tapping, breathing etc of musicians.

I completely agree with this! The AKG701s are my favorite headphones too!

About mixing on headphones: This can be done as long as you keep in mind that you are wearing them!
I mean; As long as you keep in mind how commercial CDs sound when played with your headphones, you will be able to produce a decent mix :)

But like the others said; When you have some extra money, get some fine monitors!
They may be the most important part of the chain between you and the listeners. ;)

Vincent Bergbahn
06-04-2008, 07:33 PM
H o k e t u s

Thanks for your statement.. I think your right. AKG K701s and Senns HD 600s or 650s do out class many cheap monitors. Thats a good word of advice.

I would also mention that many people listen on Ipod-like ear buds (as crapy as they are). I'm trying to get a left over pair just to test how it sounds through them. This is what users/listeners are experiences, it might be wise to mix for what your audience is using?

Vincent Bergbahn
06-04-2008, 07:35 PM
(like mine, the Sennheiser HD 650 :) )
- Jerome Vonhögen


Have you tried the AKG k701s??? if so how do you think they compare?

persentio
06-04-2008, 08:30 PM
I have to disagree with that statement. The fact of the matter is that great headphones (like mine, the Sennheiser HD 650 :) ) can replace many of the relatively cheaper monitors (below $400), despite the fact that they're in the same price-range. The statement can only be true, if you compare top-quality monitors to top-quality headphones.

Yes; notice I said 'good' monitors. And by that I meant comparing your HD 650s to something like Yamaha's HS80Ms at the least.

How well your mixes are, will depend very much on the quality of your ears. :rolleyes:
Wow. I never knew that! All the money I've been wasting on good AD/DA Converters and Monitors! I could have just gotten a consumer stereo speaker set that retails for about $50 since all I need are a pair of great ears to get a great mix!

...

Sarcasm aside, I never said your ears arent important. I know very well experienced and well-tuned ears are also very essential. But the topic is on Headphones vs Monitors.

johng
06-05-2008, 09:19 AM
I mixed 20 hours of TV music through headphones and it sounded great when broadcast.

Now that I have superb speakers and a superb amp and superb converters etc., I wouldn't use headphones except in a pinch, but they definitely are better than crumby speakers as a reference.

One more benefit of headphones is that you can hear everything a little more clearly when composing, even before you get to mixing. This offers a big advantage if you are in a position where a substantial part of your final work, or just a major hurdle of getting the producer/director to sign off is your demo version that is comprised of samples. The advantage, specifically, is that you tend to spend a little less time "mixing as you go" while composing, which can really slow things down.

V o n h ö g e n
06-05-2008, 11:05 AM
Have you tried the AKG k701s??? if so how do you think they compare?

No, I haven't tried the AKG k701s, but judging from some of the posts here, maybe I should have. :o

Anyone else, perhaps?

- Jerome Vonhögen

Nanto Warrior
06-05-2008, 11:24 AM
Hey guys, if you really want to be accurate, you should consider the affect on the sound coming from the monitors! Ultimately, however you slice it-you buy monitors, and you're going to be listening to the sound of your ROOM! Acoustic design, auralex, bass traps, foam, thick drapes on the walls, carpeted floors, reduced igentones....the sound from your monitors will be AFFECTED by a variety of factors once you get them.

Just because you have a pair of Quested monitors, doesnt mean you can just start mixing right away if you are working in a large empty reverberant room with a wooden floor. A pair of Genelecs will screw you over if you mix in a perpendicular square box of a room with bass traps to the ceiling.

Want to get monitors? Prepare to sort out your ROOM!!! :eek::eek:

nikolas
06-05-2008, 11:30 AM
Of course one should take care of the room, but in all honesty with $500 it isn't worth the effort I think... Sorry for being harsh like this...
Vincent: Why do you keep asking comparison between the AVG and the Sennheisser headphones? Both are brilliant! ;)

nikolas
06-05-2008, 11:46 AM
I'm at the same level pretty much. If you will get monitors get the "best" in the class and don't worry. I spent around £1600 for mine ($3000) and I'm pretty fine! I know that for getting better ones I should go to the next "class" which would be too pricey, simple as that! And with that money, the room treatment also makes sense now! ;)

But in all honest my Sennheiser HD600 served me SO well over the past 2 years, they've been marvelous really! :)

nikolas
06-05-2008, 12:06 PM
Depends on the music, etc...
At the moment I'm in a tiny room, so no need for anything. Once I move to a better room, I'll see how business goes and take it from there...

Platinum is not my highest priority at the moment, in all honesty. A new computer will come first! :D

But it is an idea to have a "better" studio for various works in all honesty, so cheers for the advice... :)

OpenMind
06-05-2008, 12:28 PM
No, I haven't tried the AKG k701s, but judging from some of the posts here, maybe I should have. :o

If you're going to demo the AKG K701s, then ask for one that's used already!

A new 701 needs to be "burned in" for about 100 hours.
Right from the factory they have a little too much high frequencies, which will get into balance after the burn-in period :)

More about this: http://www.stereophile.com/headphones/806akg/

V o n h ö g e n
06-05-2008, 12:51 PM
Yes; notice I said 'good' monitors. And by that I meant comparing your HD 650s to something like Yamaha's HS80Ms at the least.

I did notice you said 'good monitors', but people may have different opinions on what 'good monitors' should sound like. But I think that you and I agree in this respect, because the Yamaha HS80M is an excellent choice and indeed a though 'competition' for any pair of headphones (I know this, because I have five Yamaha HS-monitors myself).

Wow. I never knew that! All the money I've been wasting on good AD/DA Converters and Monitors! I could have just gotten a consumer stereo speaker set that retails for about $50 since all I need are a pair of great ears to get a great mix!
...
Sarcasm aside, I never said your ears arent important.

And I didn't imply that you said so either. :) I like your sarcasm, but it was actually me who tried to be sarcastic here! :rolleyes:

- Jerome Vonhögen

JCL
06-05-2008, 04:03 PM
Advise! Don't ever click on an unknown link without first turning down your headphone/monitor volume. I used to think that some posters ear-bursting levels were deliberate, and bordering on criminal - apparently thinking loud=good. Now I've decided they just can't hear anymore, and don't want anyone else to, either.

V o n h ö g e n
06-05-2008, 04:08 PM
If you're going to demo the AKG K701s, then ask for one that's used already!

A new 701 needs to be "burned in" for about 100 hours.
Right from the factory they have a little too much high frequencies, which will get into balance after the burn-in period :)


I know what you mean, and I think, in general, it's a good advice. The trouble however is, that you will have to find a used one which is still in a good shape, and not worn out too much, or dirty with lots of hairs sticking out or with nasty dandruff on it. :eek:

Besides, it can be a potential threat to your relationship or marriage as well. Imagine the trouble you would get into, if after you got home, your wife or girlfriend would discover a long blond hair of a former user of those dirty headphones sticking to your head, accidentally! :o O boy, wouldn't that cost you at least 100 hours of explaining and apologizing? :D

- Jerome Vonhögen

Tip of the week: when composing music (or testing headphones), always wear a wig!

498

LEX
06-05-2008, 06:06 PM
Alot of good points made here.

1) Open ended headphones are going to be much better. Plus, they are less stressful on your ears. But, you have to watch your internal monitoring volume.

Like said, take breaks more often.

2) Nothing is going to replace good monitors. It is the only way to are going to be able to hear it in an actual space.
If headphones replaced monitors, then there would be alot more mixes done on headphones than monitors.

Then JBL, Mackie, Adam, and ATC would all be out of business.

I'd recommend the Sennheiser HD 650's. They have a removable cord, so should something happen to the cord, it is a $12 replacement.
Plus they sound incredible. Like the AKG's mentioned here, they need about 80 hours burn in.

Just run some pink noise through it for 2 days, then program material for 2 days.

I wouldn't trust the EMU output directly.

Presonus makes some good monitoring hardware for speakers and headphones.

Start there.

LEX

nikolas
06-05-2008, 11:56 PM
God... I've missed you LEX!

(not that this thread was not useful before LEX's post, I'm just saying...)

LEX
06-06-2008, 01:59 AM
Been busy, very busy.

Can barely keep my eyes open sometimes.

Better busy than not at all.

Doesn't look like summer will let me have too much fun.

Cheers.

LEX

persentio
06-06-2008, 02:30 AM
I did notice you said 'good monitors', but people may have different opinions on what 'good monitors' should sound like. But I think that you and I agree in this respect, because the Yamaha HS80M is an excellent choice and indeed a though 'competition' for any pair of headphones (I know this, because I have five Yamaha HS-monitors myself).



And I didn't imply that you said so either. :) I like your sarcasm, but it was actually me who tried to be sarcastic here! :rolleyes:

- Jerome Vonhögen
Lol. Point taken. :)