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Closed back headphones for mixing

Tf10music

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Hi all,

I have relied on near field monitors for mixing for the past few years, but due to a change in circumstances I will need to do much more work on headphones (and they need to be closed-backs, unfortunately). My budget is around 300USD. Ideally, I'm looking for cans that will fulfill both my everyday mobile listening needs and my audio production needs. I don't work very much with sub bass due to the genre of music that I record (largely acoustic folk, with vocals, harmonica, guitar, some very light percussion).

I have tentatively narrowed my choices down to two options. The first is the Audeze Maxwell, although I'm not totally sure if their default tuning is suitable for mixing (it seems to hug the Harman curve, which is maybe a bit too much bass for my liking), although it appears quite flat in the mids. This guy seems to have successfully EQ'd the headset to match the IEF Neutral curve using only the Audeze app: https://boizoff.com/language/en/audeze-maxwell-review-they-did-it/

An advantage here is that I could use these cans wirelessly on the go, which would be hugely convenient and allow me to really learn them by listening consistently to music that I already know very well.

The other option is the Ollo S4R, which seem like they'd suffice for mixing (especially given my genre) without any EQ adjustment at all. The downsides to these are the apparent reverberation coming from the headband and the fact that it would be quite difficult to conveniently adapt them to a wireless setup when I'm going about my day (my workflow outside of music requires a lot of abrupt movement to and from my desk chair, and I'm worried that I'll accidentally pull a bunch of fragile stuff off my desk at some point if I'm connected to my computer/phone/audio interface with a wire while doing ambient listening).

I would appreciate any insight that you all might have, any options that I might have overlooked, etc.

Thanks!
 

twsecrest

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Sony MDR-V6 or MDR-7506 monitor (boring sounding) headphones.
$50-$60 for a used pair, might have to spend another $10.
Spend the rest of your audio budget for headphone for audio enjoyment.
 

Dunring

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To save money, the Hyperx Cloud Orbit is a steal during the holiday season. 100mm planar magnetic drivers by Audeze and a removable mic by Shure. It has a built in amp/DAC also. I just got one under $100 and with the flat or default eq profile they sound great in hi-res mode with the head tracking disabled.
 
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Tf10music

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These are really useful responses -- thank you!

I think the MDR-7506 is a great headphone for tracking, but I don't know if I'd personally be comfortable relying on it for mixing. It'd certainly be a tool that would be useful for nailing the mids, though!

I hadn't ever considered the Hyperx Cloud Orbit. I can't find any frequency response measurements for it in any of its EQ settings, but I'll investigate further. Where I am, it's not significantly cheaper than the Maxwell, but I could probably find a used unit somewhere. Thanks for the tip.
 

stoo23

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Just a personal Opinion, whilst I understand your environment/circumstances have changed but I would Not rely on ANY headphones or do Any 'mission Critical' mixing on. (Unless perhaps Headphones were the desired 'end product' Listening environment)

Use them as a Comparative Reference perhaps, like various pairs of Monitors but so far (in My career), I have yet to hear Any headphones I could Guarantee Commitment to for a Paying customer, to create a Final Mix with. Just my 2 Cents worth.

One thing though I would suggest Low Bass reference would probably Not actually be a concern, as it is actually quite surprising How Low many headphones can actually go, compared to Many smaller 'Near Field' style monitors :)
 
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Tf10music

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I agree with you! While I know some people can mix entirely on headphones, I think it's quite rare to be able to do so reliably. Moreover, I much prefer the experience of listening to speakers. My situation is basically this:

I am going to be living between two countries, but only in one of those countries do I have a treated room and studio monitors. During the months when I'm away from my monitors, I do plan on using headphones for mixing and mastering, but I'll be careful to wait until I can cross-reference my mixes between my headphones and my monitors before I consider any project to be finished. This is the compromise that I've arrived at.

I'm lucky in the sense that I am not a professional producer or audio engineer and I don't have any deadlines to meet or customers to satisfy. I'm just trying to make my own recordings sound as good as possible before releasing them. I'll be using the headphones as a starting point for my mixes during the months when I'm away from my studio room and then checking everything on my monitors during the 4-5 months per year when I'll be able to use them.
 

Blumlein 88

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You could consider the AKG 240. They make a version with Bluetooth.
 

stoo23

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You may have already seen this but a lot of this guy's videos are very good and this one was obviously driven by a previous .... altercation lol but what is being presented is very relevant Especially with regard to Headphones :);)
 

Blumlein 88

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You may have already seen this but a lot of this guy's videos are very good and this one was obviously driven by a previous .... altercation lol but what is being presented is very relevant Especially with regard to Headphones :);)
Very interesting video. I do my mixing LCR. For headphone compatibility I in the end do an 85% /15% pan. With speakers you hear no difference vs 100% hard panning while with headphones it sounds like it should instead of weird or sucking.

I've done some mid delay, and like it much of the time. But I'll have to try out the other techniques as well as giving some thought to why they work this way.

Thanks for posting this.
 

stoo23

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;) My pleasure :):cool: Hope it helps or at least provides 'Food for Thought'.
He has quite a few Interesting videos and those guys make some Great Plug-Ins' !!
 

IAtaman

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To save money, the Hyperx Cloud Orbit is a steal during the holiday season. 100mm planar magnetic drivers by Audeze and a removable mic by Shure. It has a built in amp/DAC also. I just got one under $100 and with the flat or default eq profile they sound great in hi-res mode with the head tracking disabled.
Oh that is interesting. Are you referring to these?
 

IAtaman

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You may have already seen this but a lot of this guy's videos are very good and this one was obviously driven by a previous .... altercation lol but what is being presented is very relevant Especially with regard to Headphones :);)
Very interesting video - thanks for sharing.
The moment you think you have a bit of a grasp of psychoacoustics, it slaps you in the face and throws you a curve ball :)
 

solderdude

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