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Noob needing help as I move up the headphone food chain.

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

So this is my first post on here.  I love reading reviews on this site, but it seems like the more I read, the harder it is for me to make a decision.

 

I've never spent much on headphones.  Honestly the Monoprice 8323 is probably the nicest thing I have.  So that gives you an idea about me.  Sure I love the idea of audiophile quality, but I'm not ready to even consider that kind of expense yet.  What I am looking for here is a starting point.  I make electronic music (deep house -  drum and bass) and basically want some headphones to do my mixing and mastering on.

 

I always complete my songs on headphones and then try then out on various stereos.  Usually I am making countless revisions to get the mix levels right.  I figured starting off with good headphones will cut down on some of the work time on my songs.

 

My conservative budget is $70 or less.  Used and refurbished are welcome because I would honestly love to be paying more like $50.

Like I said, I'm not ready to jump into the high priced waters just yet.

 

My headphones will be connected to a Lexicon audio interface and will pretty much only be used for music production duties.  I carry around JVC Flats for on the go listening and would do the same with the Monoprice if the were smaller.

 

I thought I had decided that the Sony MDR-V6 was perfect for me, but I have read quite a few complaints about them somewhat

bothersome in the high frequency range.  Of course I know I can't have it all at my price point, but I'm obviosuly looking for something that is flat, can play very deep bass that isn't exaggerated, and can be driven without having to purchase an amp.  A detacheable cord

is something I intending on demanding form this point on, but obviously the MDR-V6 doesn't have that.
 

The Sennheiser HD-280 Pro is another consideration, but I have been turned off by some saying bass is great, while others say it's severely lacking.  I'm also not thrilled about the 100 plus hours of burn-in that people say they need.

I guess the most frustrating thing is how so many headphones can sound so different to different people.  Without being able to hear everything, you're still almost taking a chance when you buy a pair.  On the other hand I realize that I could go on forever and never make a decision.  So the purpose of this post is to help me go ahead and make a decision.

 

I know the inevitable "If you add $30 more" comment is going to come up, so let me say that I absolutely can't afford to go up to $100.

In about a month, I could afford it, but music making is a constant thing for me.  I'm trying to produce as much as possible and I have a label waiting on submissions from me.  I would like to have something sooner than later. 

So, now that all of that is out of the way, please give me your comments and suggestions.  Sorry for starting out with such a long post.  I've been mulling over a decision for a long time and finally decided that I need the voices of people with more expericence.

 

footnote:  I have a friend who is trying to corrupt me into full audiophile-dom.  He has loaned me his Sennheiser HD 580 Precision for a month.  Now here is the weird thing; maybe it's just me or my lack or experience with them.  I thought they sounded very sterile.  I don't know if I am describing it well.  They made me aware of flaws in my music that I never noticed.  Once I did notice the flaws, I was able to here them in any of my headphones.  So after only two days of having the HD 580, I mixed down a song.  When I played the song back on the stereo, it to sounded sterile.  In fact it sounded more sterile than anything I've ever done. 

How could that be possible?  I thought that high end headphones would lead me to making a better final product.  I guess it's because the quality is so high that I wound up doing less to make the music sound better?  I'm really kind of confused about it myself.  I do know that I guess I need to spend some time to really get to know what I am listening through.

 

post #2 of 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synaptic Flow View Post

So this is my first post on here.  I love reading reviews on this site, but it seems like the more I read, the harder it is for me to make a decision.

 

I've never spent much on headphones.  Honestly the Monoprice 8323 is probably the nicest thing I have.  So that gives you an idea about me.  Sure I love the idea of audiophile quality, but I'm not ready to even consider that kind of expense yet.  What I am looking for here is a starting point.  I make electronic music (deep house -  drum and bass) and basically want some headphones to do my mixing and mastering on.

 

I always complete my songs on headphones and then try then out on various stereos.  Usually I am making countless revisions to get the mix levels right.  I figured starting off with good headphones will cut down on some of the work time on my songs.

 

My conservative budget is $70 or less.  Used and refurbished are welcome because I would honestly love to be paying more like $50.

Like I said, I'm not ready to jump into the high priced waters just yet.

 

My headphones will be connected to a Lexicon audio interface and will pretty much only be used for music production duties.  I carry around JVC Flats for on the go listening and would do the same with the Monoprice if the were smaller.

 

I thought I had decided that the Sony MDR-V6 was perfect for me, but I have read quite a few complaints about them somewhat

bothersome in the high frequency range.  Of course I know I can't have it all at my price point, but I'm obviosuly looking for something that is flat, can play very deep bass that isn't exaggerated, and can be driven without having to purchase an amp.  A detacheable cord

is something I intending on demanding form this point on, but obviously the MDR-V6 doesn't have that.
 

The Sennheiser HD-280 Pro is another consideration, but I have been turned off by some saying bass is great, while others say it's severely lacking.  I'm also not thrilled about the 100 plus hours of burn-in that people say they need.

I guess the most frustrating thing is how so many headphones can sound so different to different people.  Without being able to hear everything, you're still almost taking a chance when you buy a pair.  On the other hand I realize that I could go on forever and never make a decision.  So the purpose of this post is to help me go ahead and make a decision.

 

I know the inevitable "If you add $30 more" comment is going to come up, so let me say that I absolutely can't afford to go up to $100.

In about a month, I could afford it, but music making is a constant thing for me.  I'm trying to produce as much as possible and I have a label waiting on submissions from me.  I would like to have something sooner than later. 

So, now that all of that is out of the way, please give me your comments and suggestions.  Sorry for starting out with such a long post.  I've been mulling over a decision for a long time and finally decided that I need the voices of people with more expericence.

 

footnote:  I have a friend who is trying to corrupt me into full audiophile-dom.  He has loaned me his Sennheiser HD 580 Precision for a month.  Now here is the weird thing; maybe it's just me or my lack or experience with them.  I thought they sounded very sterile.  I don't know if I am describing it well.  They made me aware of flaws in my music that I never noticed.  Once I did notice the flaws, I was able to here them in any of my headphones.  So after only two days of having the HD 580, I mixed down a song.  When I played the song back on the stereo, it to sounded sterile.  In fact it sounded more sterile than anything I've ever done. 

How could that be possible?  I thought that high end headphones would lead me to making a better final product.  I guess it's because the quality is so high that I wound up doing less to make the music sound better?  I'm really kind of confused about it myself.  I do know that I guess I need to spend some time to really get to know what I am listening through.

 

It's not that the HD 580 is sterile: It's reasonably revealing and neutral. The sound of your mix through them is probably very close to what you're actually creating. If you want something that sounds much different, look for 'phones whose frequency response isn't flat. Usually, this means exaggerated bass, treble, or both.

 

If you read reviews here for any headphone whatsoever, regardless of price, you'll find supporters and detractors. It's an inescapable fact of audio. But you can safely ignore the exaggerated claims of "burn-in". While "break-in" is a genuine physical phenomenon, there's nothing but unreliable, anecdotal evidence it affects headphones audibly. Audiophiles tend to repeat claims and stories which they've read whether there's any truth to them or not.

 

If you're willing to gamble on a grey-market import, and spend $75, I might recommend the JVC HA-S500 which I've had for a week. The bass seems to go relatively deep. One thing that stands out in my listening are bass drums that pop with a flat sound, without ringing, as they should. They have more bass than the DT 990 or HD 650, so it's probably exaggerated. I like it. Whether it's suitable for production is another question.

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