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Planar Magnetic open back headphones for Mixing/Mastering under 1000$

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waki

waki

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I do mixing as a side job.. It all depends on your habits, someone prefer to use headphones with certain frequency ranges emphasized as a sort of psychological brake, knowing his common mistakes (i.e. overemphasizing vocal presence region) and trying to compensate them with a headphone that neutralizes that common mistake (for example a heapdhone with exagerated pinna gain zone). Or... you can be in search for the better translation possible between your speaker-room system and your headphones, when speakers are used as your main tool, and heaphone are just a secondary check. Or you can aim for the flattest possible reproduction in your headphone, given your own concept and perception of neutrality.
In my case I have the last two goals.
LCD-X 2021 is a widely used tool among mixing engineers: I did not try them, but from graphs I’d be a little worried for the pinna gain zone, too recessed for my tastes and perception of neutrality and translation in that zone. My choice is the Monoprice M1570, that is known to be 'inspired' to the Audeze line and has a similar driver. The M1570 comes with two pads: with the pleather one the FR is very similar to the LCD-X, while with the velour one the pinna gain is more forward, more or less on harman target; I find the velour pads more suitable for mixing, while the pleather are too forgiving, and tend to mask any (crucial) error done in the 2K-5K area.
The M1570 also costs half than the LCD-X. If you do a search, a lot of people who tried both the LCD-X and the M1570 prefer the latter.

Today, if I had the money I would buy the Modhouse Tungsten for sure, but it outside your budget (and mine).

I have had the Arya Stealth: No... not for mixing, for me.
@robertom, thank you for sharing your knowledge here. I appreciate that a lot. Regarding Monoprice M1570 - unfortunately, there are no dealers where I am based at the moment (Indonesia). Mod house Tungsten looks ultra slick
 
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waki

waki

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I'm using an EQ'd LCD-X 2021 with great results, although their FR is not so easy to correct.

I'd advise you to try them first if you can, because of their heavy weight. I like that it encourages me to keep a good posture while working, but it might be uncomfortable for some people.
That's +2 for LCD-X. I am planning to use them with Realphones 2.0, which did a pretty good job with HD650. Thanks for your advice reg the weight
 

asrUser

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Hifiman Arya Organic and refurbished HE1000 Stealth are good headphones. Distortion measurements are not helpful unless you are listening over 110dB. I think those Hifiman headphones require equalization, but that's not difficult to do.
 
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waki

waki

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Hifiman Arya Organic and refurbished HE1000 Stealth are good headphones. Distortion measurements are not helpful unless you are listening over 110dB. I think those Hifiman headphones require equalization, but that's not difficult to do.
Cool, which one would you choose for studio job and why?
 

asrUser

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Cool, which one would you choose for studio job and why?
I don't do studio job, but listen to lot of electronic music. The HE1000 Stealth is very energetic and not laid back.
 

Rhamnetin

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I think an open box HiFiMan HE6se V2 for just over $600 is probably the best value, if you're willing to take a chance with HiFiMan. Distortion is practically nonexistent, stock FR is inoffensive and you can very easily EQ it to any of the common target responses. By default it's not even that far from the Harman in-room linear response (I suppose the most "neutral" there is). The HE6's are HiFiMan's best ever headphones technically.

But if you want more of a quality guarantee, then the LCD-X makes sense. It sounds horrible out of the box but I'm sure copying Amir's PEQ profile fixes that right up.
 
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waki

waki

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Thanks a lot
I think an open box HiFiMan HE6se V2 for just over $600 is probably the best value, if you're willing to take a chance with HiFiMan. Distortion is practically nonexistent, stock FR is inoffensive and you can very easily EQ it to any of the common target responses. By default it's not even that far from the Harman in-room linear response (I suppose the most "neutral" there is). The HE6's are HiFiMan's best ever headphones technically.

But if you want more of a quality guarantee, then the LCD-X makes sense. It sounds horrible out of the box but I'm sure copying Amir's PEQ profile fixes that right up.
Thanks a lot, @Rhamnetin; they look very interesting
 

dadregga

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Do you have any particular models in mind to fit into the budget?
Yep, the Aeon 2s are excellent, and $899 USD. We already know they measure well and are well built.

I also second avoiding HifiMan - I left them behind for the Dan Clarks due to build quality and unnecessary bulk/weight.

The DCs are lighter, better, and more durable.

Audeze's are probably OK but the Dan Clarks are gonna be more comfortable and sound just as good.
 

Rhamnetin

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Yep, the Aeon 2s are excellent, and $899 USD. We already know they measure well and are well built.

I also second avoiding HifiMan - I left them behind for the Dan Clarks due to build quality and unnecessary bulk/weight.

The DCs are lighter, better, and more durable.

Audeze's are probably OK but the Dan Clarks are gonna be more comfortable and sound just as good.

Indeed, Audezes are generally some of the heaviest out there. It's a good reason to avoid them. I forgot there was an AEON 2 Open, I'd say that's the best you can get at any price short of the DCA Expanse.
 
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waki

waki

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Yep, the Aeon 2s are excellent, and $899 USD. We already know they measure well and are well built.

I also second avoiding HifiMan - I left them behind for the Dan Clarks due to build quality and unnecessary bulk/weight.

The DCs are lighter, better, and more durable.

Audeze's are probably OK but the Dan Clarks are gonna be more comfortable and sound just as good.
Great, thanks @dadregga. I can't find the review/measurements of Aeon 2 open here, would you mind to share the link?
 

zonk

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I think an open box HiFiMan HE6se V2 for just over $600 is probably the best value, if you're willing to take a chance with HiFiMan. Distortion is practically nonexistent, stock FR is inoffensive and you can very easily EQ it to any of the common target responses. By default it's not even that far from the Harman in-room linear response (I suppose the most "neutral" there is). The HE6's are HiFiMan's best ever headphones technically.

But if you want more of a quality guarantee, then the LCD-X makes sense. It sounds horrible out of the box but I'm sure copying Amir's PEQ profile fixes that right up.

I cannot agree to the complaints about Hifiman.

I have three Hifiman headphones and never had a problem. One of them is a HE6SE and it's very good value. With Hifiman customer support I made very good experience. I am very happy with my HE6SE and I would buy it again. If you compare the construction with Sennheiser, of course the construction of Sennheiser headphones is more refined.
 

julian_hughes

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I cannot agree to the complaints about Hifiman.

I have three Hifiman headphones and never had a problem. One of them is a HE6SE and it's very good value. With Hifiman customer support I made very good experience. I am very happy with my HE6SE and I would buy it again. If you compare the construction with Sennheiser, of course the construction of Sennheiser headphones is more refined.
A different perspective, as an owner of Sennheiser HD6xx and HiFiMan HE4xx: the design of the headband is as crude as can be, and the way the headband is attached to the speaker units is also as crude as can be. The way the earpads are attached to is as crude as can be and good luck replacing them. This is the very simplest construction and assembly, with no regard for comfort or longevity or repairability. Yes, the sound is quite good but the lifespan of a regularly used product is going to be 2 or 3 years. With Sennheiser you're looking at a decade minimum.
 

dadregga

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Great, thanks @dadregga. I can't find the review/measurements of Aeon 2 open here, would you mind to share the link?

No open, there is the Noire closed here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ds/dan-clark-audio-aeon-2-noire-review.46055/

Which is very similar. All the DCAs are well-built, measure consistently well as a product line (which is more than anyone can say about HiFiMan) and tuned to the Harman curve, which is usually what people want.

They're also comfortable and well-built, which is more than I can say about HifiMan, having owned several planar models of theirs - I won't go back to them.
 

dadregga

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Here's the Aeon 2 Open's frequency response:

The EQ Curve shows you what's wrong with it, basically.

i.e. that it measures quite well and with EQ can nearly perfectly match the ideal Harman curve.

You can pay more to get something that does the same thing without (or with slightly less) EQ, but you will pay a lot more, and may not end up with something more comfortable.
 
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waki

waki

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i.e. that it measures quite well and with EQ can nearly perfectly match the ideal Harman curve.

You can pay more to get something that does the same thing without (or with slightly less) EQ, but you will pay a lot more, and may not end up with something more comfortable.
Thank you @dadregga, I have never been using closed headphones for mixing. Are you also using them for studio work, like mixing or mastering, if yes how are your mixes translate?
 
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johny_2000

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I have also owned an HD650 for 15 years and recently started looking for an upgrade. *Disclaimer: I'm just a house music enthusiast.*

So far I have personally listened to the following headphones:
1. HD660S2 - rejected. It doesn't sound any better than the HD650, but the build quality is cheap and unpleasant after the old HD650.

2. DT 770 Pro - rejected. The sound stage is too small and quickly goes into distortion at a high volume comparable to the HD650. The build quality is OK

3. DT 1770 Pro - rejected. Louder than the DT 770 Pro (approaches the power handling of the HD650). The same soundstage issues as the previous one. The build quality is OK

4. Sony MDR-MV1 – rejected. The sound is much better than the previous ones. Much brighter (bass and treble) than HD650. Good soundstage volume (due to open design). Less comfort on the head than the HD650. The main drawback is that they cannot handle high volumes. Vibrations / unpleasant resonances of sub-bass frequencies at above average volume. Never had them on the HD650 at the same or higher volume settings. The build quality is OK, but it looks and feels too basic.

5. FiiO FT5 - holding it for now, in thought. My first experience with planar magnetic design. The drivers are 90 mm in diameter, round in shape. Less than Audeze and Monoprice in dia, but comparable to HiFiMan models. This is by far the best sounding HD650 replacement I have found after basic EQing them. Handles high volumes without unpleasant distortions or resonances. Warm sounding out of the box, but can be tweaked with EQ to make the sound more analytical. Sub-bass is better than HD650. Good treble and responds well to EQ. The build quality and materials are very good. The headband is suspended, comfortable and self-adjusting in height. They are heavier than the HD650, but after several hours on my head I did not feel anything unpleasant, and in general I did not feel their presence. Includes two sets of ear pads for different tunings. I only tested them with the pleather ones pre-installed. I'll check the velor ones later.

6. Beyerdynamic Amiron Home - rejected. It sits very uncomfortably on the head. The pads do not fully touch the head around the ears. The sounds aren't great either. The cable is very cheap and thin, worse than that of the HD650. I realized that I was not a fan of Bayer's style and sound signature.
 
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johny_2000

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I have a conflicting wish list in my head about what else I want to listen to before settling on something. Not in any particular order.
- Sennheiser HD 800 S
- Focal Clear Mg
- Audeze LCD-X, LCD-2 Classic, MM-500
- HiFiMan Edition XS, Ananda Nano, HE1000 Stealth, Arya Stealth/Organic
- Monolith by Monoprice M1570

The problem with these models is the costly return process if you don't like them. For returning goods, they charge a restocking fee of up to 20% of the price, plus not everyone has free return shipping. I'm somehow not willing to lose $100 ~ $300 for each headphone just by listening to them for comparison / selection.
 
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Jim_VN

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This might be a good choice for you, after a lot of research I immediately bought the moondrop para, it is a perfect cheap mixing headphone, better and more detailed than the hd600, it is a compatible hd600. extended bass and a little sparkle in the high frequencies. Buy it and you have the rest for other useful things
 
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