Studio Headphones and Alternatives

Still messing around with the beat box, but I thought today I would focus on headphones for mixing and production.

The number one thing I keep reading in forums is that no matter how awesome your headphones are, they should take a back seat to monitors (external speakers). If you are like me, here you have 2 problems: 1) You don’t have room for monitors and 2) You don’t have the money or just don’t want to buy nice studio headphones.

So where does this leave us? It leaves us with normal headphones meant for consumer devices (laptops, ipods etc.). Basically when we use normal headphones for music production, there are going to sounds that we will not hear and the final product won’t come out as clean as it could.

There seem to be two things you can do to circumvent this at some level. The first is get ear cupping (over ear) headphones. The second is using open backed headphones, which help simulate a more natural sound, although some disagree with this.

So I will be using 2 pairs of headphones I already own.

1) My home ‘phones: Sennheiser HD 485’s. They happen to be open backed, are affordable (if you can find them anymore) and have a great range for high mid and low frequencies.


2) My road ‘phones: Skullcandy Skullcrushers. They are absolute crap for mixing as high’s and mids come through flat and they considerably favor bass. On the other hand I think they are better than using earbuds, they are over eared, and collapse for travel.


If you feel like getting real studio headphones, the follow link will point you in the right direction for good entry level equipment.

Also be sure if you plan on buying studio headphones to read reviews and threads on the headfi forums. The community members sometimes come across as opinionated and snobby, but they know what they are talking about.

The most basic pair mentioned is the Sennheiser HD 205 II, that will run you about $58 on Amazon.


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