Mixing Electronic Music (AKG Q701/Sennheiser HD650/BeyerDynamic DT880)
May 17, 2015 at 5:52 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3


New Head-Fier
May 17, 2015
So it's been about 2-3 weeks I've been researching which headphones I should buy for mixing on my PC. I'm using primarily Ableton Live currently with an ASUS Xonar Essence STX and my dads Sennheiser HD 598s. I like the 598s fine, they are getting the job done while I'm in the middle of a move (by in the middle I mean I dunno when I'm actually going to have the rest of my gear shipped up to me from CA, in Seattle now), but I've got some extra money to spend and don't want to keep hogging my dads cans. I'm not in a position where I have enough space or really enough money to drop on any of the monitors I've heard and liked, so in the meantime I've been tossing around the possibility of getting one of three of the following headphones:
AKG Q701
Sennheiser HD650
BeyerDynamic DT880 600ohm
There really aren't any places I've found in my area to audition these and I'm tired of looking to other threads trying to comb through all the details to figure out which pair to get. So with all that I know it's going to be largely dependent on what you want and what it is you're mixing, so I'll try and give you a basic idea. I make a lot of ambient/chill music/beats that have a good bit of sub-bass, but also like to make some post-dubstep (brostep if you want) mixes where I like to occasionally layer some heavily distorted guitar and/or screaming. So all three of my favorite genres are pretty bass heavy. As far as how I feel the 598s do: they feel super tight and clear in the 3khz-10khz range, this is where they really shine, but in some of my super bassy mixes I feel like anything under 100hz can get lost in the mix, overall it doesn't affect the musicality for listening but I do feel like some of the bass and kick punctuation gets lost when trying to do my final mix. I don't need 'more' bass than what the 598s provide necessarily but clarity and being able to easily discern what's going on for each instrument is my priority. I don't feel like the 598s are overly cramped but I do think a larger soundstage would be optimal, I like each instrument to be able to breathe and have it's own spot that I can tune my ear to easily.
Main arguments I've seen is that the AKGs are going to be the most balanced of the three with the HD650s leaning towards the bass and being on the warmer side (and often described as better for listening than mixing), DT880s lean on the treble side but aren't as 'clinical' or dry as the AKGs. At this point in time, I'm leaning towards the AKGs, although that's only based on what I've heard using the SonicSense Resource Center to compare samples from each pair but I know it's a poor representation compared to actually listening to them in person.
If you think a specific pair of AKGs are better than the Q701s for what I'm doing totally let me know, but I'm also super curious as to the argument of the HD600s being better than the HD650s and would love to hear some input on that if you think it's relevant.
Thanks in advance I've learned a ton reading what all of you have had to say on other threads and it's helped in getting it narrowed down this far.
May 17, 2015 at 6:49 PM Post #2 of 3

Me x3

Member of the Trade: FiiO Store Argentina
Nov 22, 2012
Hey, the HD650 is a darkish headphone, not that great for your purposes.
The HD600 is more neutral than HD650. It has a really balanced sound, that's very natural even with less than perfect recordings, although it's not the very best for critical listening. It has a cohesive nature that can be very good for listening pleasure but fall short when you want to pick up some details.
The DT880 is colder than the Sennheiser HD600, it's also brighter and more extended in the bass. It's a very neutral headphone across the whole spectrum. The bass has some body while it remains tight and well defined.
The K702 has less bass than both HD600 and DT880, but the bass is more clear and packs more information. The K702 has a very good treble response, it's smooth and neutral although not as extended as DT880s.
Overall the K702 has a bigger soundstage, better instrument separation and a more forward presentation that's very nice for your purpose. The main drawbacks are that it's often too forward in the upper midrange, and that it's significantly harder to drive than both HD600 and DT880 toghether! A powerful amp with low output impedance is really important if you want to extract its full potential.
These all can get the job done very well, different flavours, different pros and cons, you know...

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