Headphones for occasional mix reference

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digitaldrummer
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Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by digitaldrummer » Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:06 pm

I've been using a pair of MDR-7506 for this purpose for 12 years maybe more... They are not really used for tracking, only listening to mixes as a second/third opinion. I replaced the earpads many years ago with the BeyerDynamic pads (oh SO much better..). Today I picked them up in the studio and the right ear was out. I don't see anything broken and the cable is not replaceable... I guess I got my money's worth after 10+ years but kinda bummed.

so I'm now considering, do I get another of the same (I know the earpads will suck after 2 years) or something different? I have a pair of ATH-M40's and some ATH-M30's/M30x (the 30's usually for tracking). I have others too but not candidates for mix reference.

here's a couple I'm considering -- Sennheiser HD280, BeyerDynamic DT770, MikTek DH90, ATH-M50x... ok, you can see I've got a target price range.

so what's everyone else using thee days?
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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by vvv » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:18 pm

I broke my 7506's - I hadda pair of MDR- V150's laying around.

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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by The Scum » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:37 pm

AKG K240 Studio.

Which surprisingly now retail for about half what I paid for my last set ($99 on sale in '08-ish).

(Of course, if you liked the Sony's, then you might not like the AKGs. In my experience, people seem to gravitate to one or the other, seldom both.)
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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by markjazzbassist » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:56 pm

The Scum wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:37 pm
AKG K240 Studio.

Which surprisingly now retail for about half what I paid for my last set ($99 on sale in '08-ish).

(Of course, if you liked the Sony's, then you might not like the AKGs. In my experience, people seem to gravitate to one or the other, seldom both.)
agreed, i use the vintage AKG K240's, they are called Sextett. They have 6 passive drivers, i think they sound better than the K240 studio. usually can be had used 100-150 bucks. they are 600 ohm though so you need a decent amp or old school receiver to drive them. if you're using modern gear they likely won't have the beef to power them and give em what they need.

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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by winky dinglehoffer » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:58 pm

I never much liked the K240s that I had for well over a decade--still used them for well over a decade, so I guess there's that. I'm using Yamahas right now, but I wouldn't particularly recommend them. If you go beyerdynamic, you might want to check Brit or European online retailers. Might be cheaper than US retailers even with intl. shipping.

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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by digitaldrummer » Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:32 pm

I can't say that I've really liked the Sony's. In fact they seem awfully hyped in the high end to me (and not in the low end). Possibly an artifact from changing the earpads (to the cloth Beyers) but I had to, or forever have small bits of black vinyl attached to my ears... I know people who have had the K240's and like them though. may have to check them out.

Still troubleshooting my Sony's. I took them apart, checked all the wiring (showed good), thought one of the drivers died, but then tested them and it was working. put it back together. not working. took it apart again, working... uggh! So trying to determine if a short in the curly cord, or the one that goes from left to right through the headband.... but also lots of old rotten foam to get rid of in there. so new phones may still be in my future.
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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:36 pm

I found what I thought was a pretty good deal on the DT770s. waiting for those to show up. I like closed back cans since my studio is a single room. But the K240s were so cheap too that I decide to grab a pair of those too. I'll update when I get them and use them a bit - let you know how I like these compared to the Sonys.

btw, I like the ATH-M30x over the ATH-M40x. The 40's are a little too bass hyped IMO. But that is why I usually give them to bass players when we are tracking. Makes em happy.
Last edited by digitaldrummer on Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by Recycled_Brains » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:59 pm

I love the ATH-M50x's. I'm wearing them right now. Mixing, tracking, casual listening... Not the most accurate, but once you figure out where the translation flaws are, you're fine. They are a little tight. That's probably my only complaint. I like them so much more than those Sony's every place seems to have. 7506? I can't remember. Anyways, much easier to listen to at high volumes. The control room at the spot I use for most sessions (pre-covid anyway) is acoustically pretty rough and they have Genelecs, which I just don't get along with. I use the headphones when I'm getting sounds and I am always very pleased to find that when I get the tracks home to my mixing room, everything sounds right when I play it back on my monitors.

I like DT770s too. Had those years ago. Very comfortable. Not fatiguing. Sound great.

I have a pair of Audio Technica ATH-R70x open back headphones as well. Unfortunately, the left ear cuts out constantly and has since I got them so I'm waiting to ship them out for a replacement. When they are working, they sound really good. They seem much flatter and likely more accurate than the M50x's. They need a lot more juice to get to the same volume and open up. I could see them being a better option for mixing, but I haven't gotten the chance to test that theory. I HATE the cable for it. Attaches on both sides and it's way too long. The M50 comes with 3 different types/length cables and I love that. It's an ok tradeoff though. They are a lot more comfortable than the M50x's. They just kind of rest on your head, whereas the 50s squeeze a bit.
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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by AndersonSoundRecording » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:42 pm

Sennheiser HD25: Rarely any surprises when I put the mix on speakers. Cable sucks. Still my desert island ref cans.

Beyer DT770 (250-ohm version - this matters): Love to listen on these. Great to hear detail and really deep bass. Things sound pretty - if producer needs to hear on cans, these are the ones I give them. Most comfortable pair of headphones I've ever owned - can wear and listen to for hours. I sometimes make mistakes on these because of their "prettiness", and you need a really good headphone amp to drive them bc of the high Z. Closest sound I've heard to the Senny HD600-ish headphones in a closed-back design.

Sony 7506: these were my cans for over a decade. Super-bright, kinda fun to listen on. Dragged through mud, festivals, thunderstorms, concert halls... As well as I knew them, there was always a "guess" factor in the presence band. Usually not a problem, but one day they fooled me for the last time. Bought the two models mentioned above and never looked back. They fold up pretty small and will take a beating. Can get them pretty loud with almost any headphone amp, if that's an issue.

Sennheiser HD280: built like a tank; almost as comfortable. Not fun to listen on, but can double as pistol muffs. Midrangey sound, which is sometimes what is needed. Not my favourite, by any means, but I have mixed on them successfully when forced to.
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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by jimjazzdad » Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:08 am

I use old AKG K240 DF in the studio and ATH M50 for location recording. In general, I think open-backed headphones have truer sound but if you like hyped bass go for closed back. The AKG K240 Mk II are not quite as good as the original Austrian-made ones, but still sound good at avery reasonable price.
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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by kslight » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:22 am

Okay so not really in the category of "something I would mix on" but more than adequate for closed back talent cans or consumer ref or gym use...remember the Monoprice "DJ" headphones from a few years ago? Well I've still got a pair of those that have held up fine, I leave them on my Tascam 388. My gym pair of Monoprice bluetooth headphones I finally decided to let go, and I saw they now sell a bluetooth version of the same DJ headphones....so I bought and received the other day. On sale for $17.99...they are fine for gym/traveling without worrying too much, they sound "good" for bluetooth (better than what they were replacing, but not audiophile obviously), but wait, there's more! There's also an 1/8" jack for a cable, so you don't have to use bluetooth... No cable included at this price, but TBH I've got $300 headphones that infuriate me because they don't have a detachable cable...

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24735

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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by winky dinglehoffer » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:51 pm

i just wanted to follow up on this. I bought a pair of these for my son when he broke his most recent pair of bluetooth earbuds. Sound quality is okay, but the thing that impressed me is the amount of isolation these things have. I tried them on briefly & was very impressed with how quiet the outside world got. Considering you can plug a 1/8" cord into them, they might be worth considering as super cheap tracking headphones (I haven't stolen them from the kid to try this out yet, but I probably should.)

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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:18 pm

winky dinglehoffer wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:51 pm
(I haven't stolen them from the kid to try this out yet, but I probably should.)
There should really be a “ Musical Things I’ve Stolen From My Kid” thread. I’ll start -

Jaymar toy piano. He plays it and we say it’s his but it’s really mine (and I use it better).

Giant rain stick. Makes a great shaker.

Toy tambourines. Two so far but I’ll take anything he gets.

Fisher Price glockenspiel. I had the old wooden one (long gone). His is plastic and has a bad note (seriously FP, get your shit together). Still sounds great when you wail on it with a spoon.

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Re: Headphones for occasional mix reference

Post by kslight » Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:34 am

winky dinglehoffer wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:51 pm
i just wanted to follow up on this. I bought a pair of these for my son when he broke his most recent pair of bluetooth earbuds. Sound quality is okay, but the thing that impressed me is the amount of isolation these things have. I tried them on briefly & was very impressed with how quiet the outside world got. Considering you can plug a 1/8" cord into them, they might be worth considering as super cheap tracking headphones (I haven't stolen them from the kid to try this out yet, but I probably should.)
My follow up with these is the best feature over the previous model I had is that it doesn’t interrupt whatever you’re listening to to tell you worthless things like “battery medium” immediately after you charged it (and every use until you finally reach “battery low” which took weeks for me).

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