Best headphones for writing/mixing?

AllanH

Senior Member
A bought a pair of Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro (open back) early December. I've been using them for writing and mixing the last few weeks. They are very comfortable to use for hours. I (now) prefer them over the Audiotechica m50x I had been using the last ~5 years. The sound is more wide and open and the headphones simply feel less confining somehow.
 

gamma-ut

Active Member
I’ll buy the headphones version of Reference 4 for sure... don’t know about the calibrated phones... almost twice the price if I buy from them, is it worth it? A bit out out of my budget atm as I’m aiming for Apollo Twin as well and Spitfire’s Christmas sale drained me as well 😂
Sonarworks does sales on the calibrated headphones from time to time. Some are blowouts on less popular models but I got a pair of HD600s through one sale there.
 

JT

Senior Member
I had that sad experience with the otherwise awesome (to me) Avantone Mixphones. After a few minutes, all I could focus on was the blood pulsing in my temples because the cups were too tight on my big head. Although now in comparison, my ATH-40mfs sound like a 1960's phone receiver.

Hope the HD600 will be kinder and let me enjoy a more friendly soundstage so I can actually work...
I just got the HD600. They were tight and very uncomfortable. I googled it, saw that it is a frequent complaint. Easy solution, just bend it open a little. Don't bend the plastic piece which goes on top of your head. Bend the metal band, the same metal band that you adjust for size.

I just bent it a little at a time. After 2 or 3 days it felt much better. Now they're perfect.
 

tav.one

Life is Good
I use Sennheiser HD 6XX/650 with Sonarworks and I love it. I can get my mix 80-85% and do rest on monitors.

Some (rough) mixes I’ve done 100% on them and they have translated nicely as well.

I enjoy them for listening to music as well. They have a dark, warm character which I love.

And were just $199 through Massdrop.
 
For what it's worth, I'll throw in an endorsement of the DT 770s. I was initially thrown off by how flat and neutral they sounded compared to the bass-heavy gaming headsets and Sony headphones I had been used to up to that point, but I ended up loving them. I think they work well enough for mixing, provided you don't treat them as an end-all, be-all reference for how your track should sound.
 

Ashermusic

Senior Member
I use Audio-technica ATH-50x, closed though. I love them for writing and even for mixing. Some people say they are bit coloured in tone. True to a certain extent, compared to my monitors, they really feel different, but I got use to it and I can say my mixes have improved a lot!
Me too. I have not tried Sonarworks yet though.
 

chillbot

Sock Muppet
This is what I call them:

Beyerdynamic DT880 = SNOOZERPHONES. They are like little cozy padded pillows that cradle your ears and feel so warm and fuzzy I just zzzzzz....

Sennheiser HD800S = JIGGLEPHONES. I can feel the little speakers vibrating and jiggling around my ears if you hit them with the right bass frequency.

I much prefer the snoozerphones myself but I can't use them very often because zzzzzzz.
 

Levon

Member
A bought a pair of Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro (open back) early December. I've been using them for writing and mixing the last few weeks. They are very comfortable to use for hours. I (now) prefer them over the Audiotechica m50x I had been using the last ~5 years. The sound is more wide and open and the headphones simply feel less confining somehow.
Do you use a headphone amp with them? I've got a Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 interface and wondering if it would be powerful enough to drive the DT990 Pro headphones or whether I would also need to invest in a headphone amp. I'm looking to upgrade from my Sennheiser HD25 headphones.
 

Vashi

New Member
For some idea about how comfortable a particular headphone are or will be (how tight the pressure is, etc), see this site.


My reading of Sonarworks is that they recommend HD650 because its distort the least using their correction methods. But if it hurts, its not going to stay on or make you want to put it on.

AKG K702/Etymotics ESR3 user
 
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creativeforge

Barefoot Heart Music
So, opinions differ depending on the kind of audio interface used with the headphones, but I've read many mentions of "get an headphone amp with them HD600" (or others). It seems to be the way to go with the Senns HD600. But which (around $100)? I've never used an headphone amp with headphones, this would be a first.

There is this review (although there is zero review of this unit on Amazon dot com, which is unusual I think for such an otherwise highly rated product). According to Mr Ian Dunmore (aka torq).
 

SupremeFist

Active Member
So, opinions differ depending on the kind of audio interface used with the headphones, but I've read many mentions of "get an headphone amp with them HD600" (or others). It seems to be the way to go with the Senns HD600. But which (around $100)? I've never used an headphone amp with headphones, this would be a first.

There is this review (although there is zero review of this unit on Amazon dot com, which is unusual I think for such an otherwise highly rated product). According to Mr Ian Dunmore (aka torq).
Your existing interface might be fine: I have no problems driving the HD 6XX from my Audient ID14.
 

creativeforge

Barefoot Heart Music
...two headphone outputs IIRC and the built-in virtual soundstage software was designed for headphone mixing.
Ah, I did not know that the "built-in virtual soundstage software was designed for headphone mixing." Hmmm... Thanks!
 
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AllanH

Senior Member
Do you use a headphone amp with them? I've got a Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 interface and wondering if it would be powerful enough to drive the DT990 Pro headphones or whether I would also need to invest in a headphone amp. I'm looking to upgrade from my Sennheiser HD25 headphones.
My new Motu M4 easily drives them with ample headroom, so "no". But when testing the 990s with my cell phone, they are bit quiet, but still very useful.
 

edhamilton

Active Member
Headphones

By Nick Batzdorf, leading authority on everything

4. I'm in love with the Bose Quiet Comfort 3s. They're noise-canceling headphones that totally change the experience of flying on an airplane. Best product ever.
2 years on tour. 70+ cities. Bose QC3's on my head every single day. Replaced the ear-pads once and that's it. Kii 3 monitors and the Bose are my best two purchases in the last couple years.
 

Pier Bover

Active Member
So, opinions differ depending on the kind of audio interface used with the headphones, but I've read many mentions of "get an headphone amp with them HD600" (or others). It seems to be the way to go with the Senns HD600. But which (around $100)? I've never used an headphone amp with headphones, this would be a first.
You may not need a headphone amp, your audio interface probably has one.

I've used the HD600 with my Audient iD4 and even directly to my iMac 5K headphone output with no noticeable difference in audio.
 

miket

Senior Member
I've used the HD600 with my Audient iD4 and even directly to my iMac 5K headphone output with no noticeable difference in audio.
I've been going back and forth about getting a pair of these, as well as an amp to go with them. Interesting to hear from a few people that iMacs seem to be able to handle them decently on their own.