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Neutral headphones for laptop based music production?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Firstly, I am fully aware headphones do not compete with dedicated studio monitors. I do own a set of monitors and I'm happy with them.

However due to its convenience I find myself producing with headphones on my laptop a lot, (sennheiser hd25-2s)

My observations is that the hd25s are too bass heavy and that my mixes do not translate well on other speakers (my tracks sound thin and lifeless)

I thought that hd600s would be the way to go as they're well within my budget of £400 (not a lot, I know), but ive read that I won't notice alot of difference because a laptop won't be able to power them well.

Anyone have any experience with this? And/or produce themselves with a laptop? What do you use?

Thanks
Edited by mistashiv - 2/16/13 at 3:15am
post #2 of 17
You can always use a USB-interface, 30$ is enough to be much better than what's in a laptop:

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UCA222-U-Control-Ultra-Low-Downloadable/dp/B0023BYDHK
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Will something like this get sufficient power from a laptop or does it need a dedicated power supply?

My main requirement is for something portable, I think if I needed to I could plug my focusrite soundcard to my laptop to act as an amp but it needs a socket and is inconvenient to carry
post #4 of 17
The Behringer is fully powered from your USB-port in the laptop, you won't need anything else, and it plays amazingly loud for it's pricerange ...
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Great, it seems like this is the way to go then. If anyone else has other suggestions feel free to post them, I won't be able to order anything for a few days
Edited by mistashiv - 2/16/13 at 5:55am
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistashiv View Post

Firstly, I am fully aware headphones do not compete with dedicated studio monitors. I do own a set of monitors and I'm happy with them.

However due to its convenience I find myself producing with headphones on my laptop a lot, (sennheiser hd25-2s)

My observations is that the hd25s are too bass heavy and that my mixes do not translate well on other speakers (my tracks sound thin and lifeless)

I thought that hd600s would be the way to go as they're well within my budget of £400 (not a lot, I know), but ive read that I won't notice alot of difference because a laptop won't be able to power them well.

Anyone have any experience with this? And/or produce themselves with a laptop? What do you use?

Thanks

 

 

Laptop sound cards are total cr*p (like all standard sound cards).

 

The HD 25-1  II are great for listening to detail in a mix.  My own pair are 23 years old and still going strong.

 

The HD 600 you suggested are actually a great choice and about the very best around at the price for what you want to do.  But bear in mind that these are open headphones and not for listening where there is too much background noise to interfere with what you are doing.

 

But you will need a decent headphone amp to drive them well.

 

If I'm doing serious stuff, I use my Grace m903, but that is around $2,000 I think.

 

The CEntrance DACport is an excellent, and highly recommended, USB headphone amplifier that would do what you want.

 

The cheaper Focusrite VRM Box may also be a viable solution for you.  It also imitates professional monitor loudspeakers in different rooms.

 

The FiiO E10 USB DAC headphone amplifier also seems to be a nice bit of kit at a reasonable price.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Oh - I am a professional sound recordist who specialises in classical music recording on location and am well experienced in this area.

post #7 of 17

You might look into:

 

Shure SRH940s --> You can call them treble-happy or bass-light but the mids are golden and as long as you don't go overboard on your mixing and eq'ing bass, results should be good.

 

KRK 8400s --> Very similar sounding to the SRH940s, a bit more "sterile" (i.e. I don't find them "fun" enough for music listening) but again, should be good for mixing and recording.

 

 

I Forgot! You can also look into the already proven Sony MDR-V6 or MDR-7506!

 

 

Good luck!

 

 

P.S. None of these are "neutral" as they always have specific "voicing" which makes them go north or south of what's considered "flat" ...


Edited by gelocks - 2/16/13 at 6:34am
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gelocks View Post

You might look into:

 

KRK 8400s --> Very similar sounding to the SRH940s, a bit more "sterile" (i.e. I don't find them "fun" enough for music listening) but again, should be good for mixing and recording.

 

 

 

I have the KRK 8400 myself.  Although they are good closed headphones I find that the memory foam earpads make my ears sweat and I can't wear them for very long - I prefer the HD 25-1 over these.

 

But the HD 600 that the OP suggested are actually the ideal tool for what he wants to do at the price range specified.

post #9 of 17

Yeah, which is why I preferred the Shure 940s and the velour pads! LOL ;-)

 

The HD600s are an EXCELLENT OPTION! (I sold my pair a few weeks ago after being with me for a couple of years) But he will definitely need something to drive them (even if it is a FiiO amp...).

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies

The focusrite vrm looks like the one for me. It seems like they've made the product for precisely my situation. I own their Scarlett 8i6 and love the sound/build quality. Its also very affordable.

Oddly enough I can't find a UK supplier for the Centrance, the american ones I stumbled across quoted $349 which is a bit expensive for me (whilst I respect the best sound quality will always cost a lot). When I get back from holiday il have another browse see if I can find a good deal for it.

I don't think il go wrong with the hd600s either
Edited by mistashiv - 2/16/13 at 7:53am
post #11 of 17

Yes. The HD-600 should be a good, neutral headphone for headphone monitoring.

 

This article here: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan10/articles/studioheadphones.htm, lists a bunch of headphones that are good for studio monitoring, and lists the HD-600 as one of them.

 

I also had a thread on the very issue here, which has a bit of other good info: http://www.head-fi.org/t/637387/good-neutral-headphones

 

I personally have the HD-650, which many consider to be "darker" than average, yet, I still think it's more neutral than other headphones/speakers I've tried, except for a pair of studio monitors I had a few years ago (Tapco, which isn't the greatest, but was decent for my budget). So if the HD-600 is even more neutral than then the 650, yea, I can imagine it being quite OK for studio monitoring.


Edited by fuzzybaffy - 2/16/13 at 9:20am
post #12 of 17

You can try the GMP 8.35 D monitor, drive great for any laptop, 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 #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistashiv View Post

Thanks for the replies

The focusrite vrm looks like the one for me. It seems like they've made the product for precisely my situation. I own their Scarlett 8i6 and love the sound/build quality. Its also very affordable.

Oddly enough I can't find a UK supplier for the Centrance, the american ones I stumbled across quoted $349 which is a bit expensive for me (whilst I respect the best sound quality will always cost a lot). When I get back from holiday il have another browse see if I can find a good deal for it.

I don't think il go wrong with the hd600s either

 

dv247.com do the CEntrance MicPort Pro (similar to the DACport but also has a mic. input and the headphone amp. is quite so state of the at as the DACport) so they should be able to get hold of a DACport for you.

 

But it *is* a high quality headphone amp. and is likely to be over £300 in the UK.

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Do you think the Micport pro is a lot better than the focusrite? I'm still leaning towards the vrm as its cheaper and allows me to translate mixes on various set ups. All reviews etc on it have been reassuring as well

edit - just done a little research and have discovered that the Dragonfly and Microsteamer do what I need as well.. anyone have any experience? I'm leaning towards the Centrance now
Edited by mistashiv - 2/17/13 at 4:41am
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistashiv View Post

Do you think the Micport pro is a lot better than the focusrite? I'm still leaning towards the vrm as its cheaper and allows me to translate mixes on various set ups. All reviews etc on it have been reassuring as well

edit - just done a little research and have discovered that the Dragonfly and Microsteamer do what I need as well.. anyone have any experience? I'm leaning towards the Centrance now

 

The DACport is a top quality headphone amp.  The MicPortPro is a recording tool with integrated headphone amp.  Seeing as the MicPortPro is about half the price of the DACport and includes a microphone amp. with phantom power and an ADC as well as a DAC it would not come near the quality of the DACport I would think.

 

The Dragonfly looks reasonable, but you could easily strain the headphone socket if you don't use it with a short USB extension lead.

 

Focusrite stuff is always good (the company was started by Rupert Neve) and the VRM was designed as a musicians working tool when editing on headphones.

 

If you have the cash and want the quality, I think that the DACport would be the better option.

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