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Most Neutral, Well Balanced and Flattest Headphones For Audio Mixing / Mastering?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

Im looking for a new pair of headphones for mixing and mastering audio...

 

What do you think is of the most balanced/neutral and most important FLAT headphone out there?

 

ps. Budget is $500

post #2 of 22

Do you need them to be closed? 

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

No not necessary closed.... I understand open sounds more natural so I think that's better for mixing right?

post #4 of 22

The AKG Q701's are probably your best bet for the money. Very flat with a slight mid treble peak that is useful for picking out details.

 

And hey, if Quincy thinks they're good! rolleyes.gif

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

I actually had these models in mind:

 

open:

 

- AKG K702

 

- Sennheiser HD600

 

- Beyer DT880 (250ohm)

 

- Ultrasone Pro 2900

 

or closed

 

- Denon AH-D2000

 

- Sony MDR-7520

 

 

Who has tried one of these and which one would you recommended as being the flattest most balanced?

post #6 of 22

In the <$500 range I would recommend that you consider:

 

AKG: K702 

Beyerdynamic: DT880

Denon: AH-D2000 (discontinued, but still available)

Sennheiser: HD600

 

They all have different strengths and weakness (none are totally neutral or flat), but all are used by professionals for mixing and mastering (but monitors are always superior). Take a look around this site and others and I think that you will find some information that will help you contrast between them. Please consider how you will be powering the headphones.  Some models perform better when amplified.

 

:-)

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

I've read great things about the K702.. but the build quality is kinda bothering me since I had troubles with the k242hd internal cables...

Are these better/ an improvement coming from the k242hd/k240?


Edited by AdamTR - 8/30/12 at 12:18pm
post #8 of 22

I've owned the K702 and D2000 and tried the HD600's, and I would forget the D2000 for mixing as it's bass is very coloured and you will probably end up with anemic mixes. It is also quite U shaped with peaky treble too.  The 600's are definately worth a look at though, they were designed with classical music producers in mind.

 

I recommended the Q701's because most peeps who have owned both (K702) prefer it.  

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamTR View Post

I actually had these models in mind:

 

open:

 

- AKG K702

 

- Sennheiser HD600

 

- Beyer DT880 (250ohm)

 

- Ultrasone Pro 2900

 

or closed

 

- Denon AH-D2000

 

- Sony MDR-7520

 

 

Who has tried one of these and which one would you recommended as being the flattest most balanced?

 

Absolutely not anything Denon or Ultrasone for your purposes. Those are the most colored headphones made. Fun, but definitely not flat. Never heard those Beyers, but I think they would be a problem too. Sennheiser is known for being a bit veiled and colored as well. Great headphones, but not for mixing. 

 

I've never heard those Sony 7520 but I bet that is in the right direction. The Sony 7506 and V900HD are great, and balanced. AKG is a better bet, and look at Shure 840 and 940 too. 


Edited by SoundFreaq - 8/30/12 at 12:48pm
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamTR View Post

Hi guys,

 

Im looking for a new pair of headphones for mixing and mastering audio...

 

What do you think is of the most balanced/neutral and most important FLAT headphone out there?

 

ps. Budget is $500

 

Heya,

 

Mastering is a little different for everyone. There are studios who master with Denons. But hey, someone who doesn't work in the business will tell you that you shouldn't. I'd say go with what you think would make sense. That said, here's some suggestions for relatively neutral/flat headphones that could potentially be good for mastering:

 

Sennheiser HD600

Beyer DT880

HIfiman HE-400

AKG Q701

Fischer Audio FA002

AudioTechnica AD900

 

Denon D2000

Fostex T50RP modified (buy it pre-modded by someone else)

Beyer T70

KRK KNS 8400

AKG K550

Brainwavz HM5

AudioTechnica A900

 

Very best,

post #11 of 22

The K-702 are great, but you'll need a nice hps amp. You also can start with the GMP 8.35, here is more info: http://www.head-fi.org/t/406658/the-german-maestro-gmp-8-35-d-monitor-in-the-studio-serious-about-audio-indeed.

post #12 of 22

K702. I had the honor of trying these out of a WA3. very light and extremely comfy, don't remember them having much bass but very airy and lifelike for an open can. 

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys... I think the denon are also a bit more ''hifi'' then flat.

 

Right now I'm leaning more and more towards the K702, but haven't heard much about the Sony MDR-7520 what do you guys think of it with a frequency range of 5Hz -80kHz?


Edited by AdamTR - 8/30/12 at 1:47pm
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamTR View Post

Thanks guys... I think the denon are also a bit more ''hifi'' then flat.

Something like that, though I believe they are one of the flatter "fun" headphones. I would almost always grab them over anything else given the choice though.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamTR View Post
 Sony MDR-7520 what do you guys think of it with a frequency range of 5Hz -80kHz?

Holy shishkabob. time to drag out the 24/96hz music!


Edited by RushNerd - 8/30/12 at 1:59pm
post #15 of 22

Look, there is no way to balance the different unnatural qualities of various headphones on the same level.

 

At the highest level of HD800, LCD2/3, better Stax and so forth, the differences are more down to taste (yes, these are out of your price range, but the same applies to sub-$500).

 

What you want in monitors is consistency, predictability, versatility and articulating factors. Then you just learn to listen to them, learn their failings and adjust accordingly to the natural unamplified acoustic sound.

 

With this in mind, some of the ones I've listened to and which I would consider for final mixing/mastering would include:
 

Closed circumaural

- Beyerdynamic T70 (can be a bit harsh, but extend well, articulate well and isolate beautifully with the gel pads you can buy separately)

- ATH-M50, basic cheap tool. Good enough. Not at the level of T70 in articulation and separation, imho, but you can use these as do many pros.

- Sennheiser HD650 (why you may ask? For really extended sessions, even those these aren't most revealing, they are very comfortable to listen to for hours to an end. Just learn their shortcomings)

 

I could recommend the AKG 701/702 as well. The bass is just harder to track on those, it's just so low in amplitude. But like I wrote, you can mix well even with these. Just know them.

 

Personally I think the Ultrasone's are just a design gone horribly wrong. Yes, you can get accustomed to them and mix on them. Many do. I just can't stand their house signature sound. YMMV, of course.

 

People have done colour correction on black&white monitors and mixed very good records with lousy Yamaha monitors back in the 70s. Everything is possible. Just learn your tools inside out and learn to go beyond their limitations. You are what hears. Not the headphones.

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