Open Back Headphones.

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Kyle Jordan, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Kyle Jordan

    Kyle Jordan Ace of Knaves

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    Due to circumstances I cannot address now and for the near to mid future, room treatment and good monitors are not really feasible for me. I would like to heighten my mixing skills though and have shifted towards looking at open back headphones. I do have means such as receivers/stereos, vehicles, and other speakers to real world check mixes on.

    Currently, I own a pair of Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros so my initial inclination is to pick up some 990s and call it done. However, I have two questions.

    1. Do any of you think the other open back cans in the same price range ($150-$250) offer improvements or better options over the 990s?

    2. Do cans like the Sennheiser HD650s and AKG 701s have enough, if any, of a performance increase to justify their cost over the 990s in your opinion?
     
  2. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    So, this is an area I know NOTHING about, but wouldn't open-backed headphones potentially be more problematic in an untreated, un-isolated room?

    Either way, I have and love a set of DT770s, myself - they're awesome phones, I actually don't love how they sound for casual listening, but they're extremely transparent and I usually reach for them, over my monitors (Yamaha HS80Ms) when I'm doing really exact EQ tweaks.
     
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  3. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    I got the 990s and I use them for mixing as well as normal listening.

    I can only compare them to the AKG K271. The 990s are better in every aspect if that's any help...
     
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  4. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    I own a pair of HD650s and they are great. I have a somewhat treated room with decent speakers and the combination allows me to hear things pretty clearly. I have not really tried only mixing on them without checking on speakers - maybe I should?
    I have not tried any of the other options you mention so I cannot really comment on whether they are worth the money. They are good though.
    I got the place I work at to pay for them, because they had kinda silly rules for getting work related gear paid for (they are headphones which are workrelated, though I have never used them at work :lol:)
     
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  5. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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    I use Focal Spirit Pros, and they are absolutely incredible. They are closed back and offer like 32dbs of isolation, really great for mixing and tracking. I was looking at Senheisers but my sweetwater dude recommended Focals.
     
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  6. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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    I think the price on those is $350 but it's worth it
     
  7. 4Eyes

    4Eyes SS.org Regular

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    I think that only problem with open headphones is that you can disturb people in the same room, when you listen loudly. But as drivers are directly on your ears I don't think that reflected sound would make any impact as opposed to listening to speakers that are usually 1-2m away from your ears, when you listen your speakers + reflected sound from various directions. I can't imagine how loud you'd need to drive your headphones to make reflected sounds any listening impact. I'd say that you sooner become deaf, than that.
     
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  8. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    I'm kind of a noob to this stuff. I'm in a similar situation as the OP where I can't really get full on monitors at my place. Are the Focals also good for running something like an AxeFX or Helix through as well as mixing?
     
  9. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    ^^ Again I have the hd650 which is open back headphones, but still you can completely ignore the room when you use them. The reverb from the room is easily 100 times lower than the actual signal, where as with speakers the room reverb is kinda on the same order of magnitude which is why it is an issue if your room is not awesome.
     
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  10. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    I just (...like 3 minutes ago) had the chance to AB test/compare the 990s and the 770s.

    So...if you think about getting the 990s in order to complement the 770s....I wouldn't do it.
    Those two headphones sound pretty similar. The 770s are more prominent in the bass section, whilst the 990s have more low mids.
    I cant't tell which ones are more linear but I wouldn't recommend having them both.
    I think getting a completely different pair of headphones would be the better option.

    For music-listening I would prefer the 770s though. They are fun.
     
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  11. Kyle Jordan

    Kyle Jordan Ace of Knaves

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone.

    The more I'm reading, the more I keep seeing people state that the HD650 and HD600 cans are more accurate and monitor like. I've also seen many mention the DT880 Pro cans positively s well. It seems like I'm leaning towards one of the Sennheiser offerings for now.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  12. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Dingwall Player

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    I like my AKG K240mkii’s. Not the most amazing, but the thing with mixing in headphones is that you learn how to mix for them. Just like any listening environment, you adapt by testing your mixes on all kinds of other speakers and headphones.
     
  13. russmuller

    russmuller Cramblin' Contributor

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  14. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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  15. jephjacques

    jephjacques BUTTS LOL

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    I think the best thing you can do is just have a couple different pairs of headphones you know well. When I'm mixing, I'll switch between monitors, my favorite headphones (Phonon smb-02s) and literally any other pair I have lying around, from my fancy-ass HD650s to shitty Apple earbuds. They all highlight different frequencies in different ways.
     
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  16. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    ^I think this is the best advice, at least IMHO. If you can have the "better" gear, then good for you. But as a rule of thumb, whatever gear you have available, get to know it like the back of your hand.
     
  17. kingo

    kingo SS.org Regular

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    I'm an AKG K702 user and I love them which will make me a little bias.
    They are nice headphones and have a really large range but with any open backed the low end will feel like it's lacking. However once you learn where it is it's not much of a problem. The best thing I've found with open back is the extra clarity and accuracy.

    Theres another program that helps with translating the mixes too from Sonarworks called Reference. I'd recommend looking into that as well!
     
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  18. noise in my mind

    noise in my mind SS.org Regular

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    I have the hd650 and akg701 they are both amazing headphones. I would say the bass is a bit fuller on the akg's. Both great headphones for mixing.
     
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