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Audio-Technica ATH-M50 vs Shure SRH840 vs Seinheiser 380 For Studio Mixing

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey Guys! I'm new here, I just created this account to see if you can help me with a little debate I got going on.


Being a not really resourceful 17 year-old student in a country where everything is double it's normal price, I'm gonna travel to USA in a couple of months from now. As an aspiring Musical Producer with a pretty nice home studio, I'm seeing this as the perfect opportunity to finally get rid of my Audio-Technica ATH-M30's, the first monitoring pair of headphones I've ever had. Almost 2 years old now, I've been trying not to use them as they're highly uncomfortable.


I guess I should mention the kind of music that I usually produce: Anything that has drums, guitars, bass guitars and voice. Not classic, NOT electronic music. I'm usually dealing with a lot of raw signals. I usually don't need a lot of environmental awareness that open back headphones give, but if you feel like they're are a better choice then please, feel free to tell me (they have to be within that price range. I can maybe get 100 bucks more, but that's about it)


So, now with a 200 bucks budget (maybe 300, although unlikely I would like to hear what options you can give me within that price range), I've been looking around for the best mixing headphones for that price. I've narrowed my search to the 3 pairs that you see in the title. The reason why I haven't made up my mind yet is because of 4 main factors:


1. Confort. My M30's have made me skeptic about any pair of over-ear and on-ear pair of headphones. I know it's gonna be hard for you to tell me if they are confortable of not as there are way too many factors into play (mainly ear size, but also the amount of strain that they can hold, which is different for every person). However, I would like you to tell me your experience with them specially if you've made this $80 to $200 change.


2. Sound Quality. I'm pretty sure someone will call me on this one, but this also seems to vary a little from person to person. However, I'm looking for the flatest sound. Granted, these won't be as flat as more expensive pairs, but out of the 3. You can also mention the characteristics of the sound (e.x. They're a bit bass heavy or They have a little accent on the middles)


3. Build Quality. This is a bit of nitpicking, but it's still very important to me. I'm freaking TIRED of plastic headphones, been using them my entire life. I know for granted that the M50s and the 840s have very good construction since I've had them in my hand for a couple of minutes. The 380's look like plastic, not sure though. However, I may be willing to overlook that if they're just THAT much better than the others.


4. Others. The little things. I'm in favor of detachable cables (I know the M50s don't have this option, and I'm NOT willing to make a mod just for that), coiled cables, and screw-on quarter inch adapters. I'm aware of these aspects for the 3 pairs in the title, but if you mention another one please mention these points.


Please, PLEASE, if you have any other suggestions mention them, but try to address the 4 points that I mentioned. Also, if you could tell me the advantages of open back headphones for the type of mixing that I do, that would be pretty great.


Thanks in advance guys! see you around!



post #2 of 8

I would assume the ATH-M50s are too bassy for music mixing.

The HD380 Pro might also be the same(?)


The SRH840s would seem (guessing) to be the best choice.

post #3 of 8
AKG K550, The Shure 840 are not built very well.
Edited by Primetime86 - 1/5/14 at 12:56am
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Bump, thanks for the suggestions but I need more!

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post #5 of 8
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Acix View Post

I can highly recommend 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

They look great, unfortunately they're not available in guitar center. If I happen to come across them I'll be sure to give them a try.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
post #7 of 8

i've listened to all three headphones in your title (though i didn't spend much time with the shures), and i recently bought the sennheiser 380 after spending some time comparing it with the ATH-M50.  i'll briefly address a few of your points below:


comfort: the M50s seem better suited to smaller-headed folks (they're uncomfortable on me).  i have no complaints with the 380s, they're also the lightest of the three you mentioned


sound quality: from what i recall, the SRH840 is the flattest phone out of your contenders.  i only listened to it for a minute in the store, so i can't tell you much else.  i use the HD 380 for live mixing, and while it's not necessarily flat, it's accurate and uncolored in a way that gets the job done.  i would steer away from the M50 if you want flat


other: the sennheiser's have coiled and detachable cable, and screw-on adaptor


another can i would recommend checking out is the beyerdynamic dt 770.  also, check my profile if you want to read my search/review thread about the ATH-M50 and HD 380 pro

post #8 of 8

I don't have experience with the cans you're asking about, but as someone who does a lot of mixing with headphones, here's my experience. I use several different pairs - sennheiser hd580, grado sr-60, and beyer dt-831. In my experience the 580s are the most accurate, but each helps because (and this is the important part) I know how music I like sounds through each pair. I use each pair on mixing, trading back and forth.


Do some listening in the store to all three pair. Bring music you love and music you've mixed. see what each pair reveals about the music. I've heard great things about the Shure line of headphones and have thought hard about buying the 840s myself. These days I'm most interested in the Focal Spirit Pros. Try to audition those if you get a chance.

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