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155 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Postby miketurn; Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:09 pm Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

I am sure there is a whole scientific explanation for this but when I looked up the frequency response of some of these headphone models I was actually quite shocked, strange that smaller studio monitors can have a tough time achieving low frequencies but apparently headphones can?

Frequency Response Examples
AT M50X (15 - 28,000 Hz)
Sennheiser HD 280 PRO (8 - 25000 Hz)

Can headphones offer a you the ability to mix sub / lower frequencies effectively when you have small 5" monitoring speakers that can't necessarily produce these sub bass frequencies?
155 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Postby miketurn; Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:11 pm Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

I believe I have seen a couple of comparisons but has anyone ever owned both of these headphones and compared them?
Audio Technica M50X
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
2289 posts since 17 Apr, 2005, from S.E. TN

Postby JCJR; Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:44 pm Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

Phones can deliver more, flatter bass because they are close to the ear and do not have to make very big spl. And phones do not have to work against room acoustics. Even with fine expensive speakers, the bass response will depend more on the room acoustics than the speakers themselves. Even expensive speakers will suck in a bad room.

It is difficult to sanely measure and compare headphone frequency response. If you just stick a mic into a headphone, or put the phones on a binaural dummy head with mics in the ear canals, for whatever reason what the mics measure isn't necessarily what the ears hear. If the ear hears it as flat, the mic won't necessarily hear it the same way. Dunno why.

Also, the phones are so close to the ear, they could differently interact with different folks different ear anatomies. A fella with wide shallow ear canals might hear the phones differently than a fella with narrow deep ear canals, etc.

The ear's perception is strongly influenced by the acoustic filtering of the outside of the ears. Depending on the phones design, the perceptual effect of the outer ears are minimized or eliminated entirely.

We also perceive sounds as they bounce off the shoulders or reflect around the face and head. Most phones reduce or eliminate those sensations as well.

Try an easy experiment-- Hold your hands up, palms inward, and place them a couple of inches away from your head, away from the ears. Move the hands in and out, different distance from the ears. I clearly hear the acoustic effect of the hands several inches away from the ears. Tilt the palms forward/back, up and down. Every change can be heard. We always have shoulders, arms and faces, and the backs of chairs, and desks and wall surfaces influencing what we hear, but such as body reflections are never noticed because the body is always there. But with phones, especially sealed phones or in-ear phones, that sound is gone, and listening becomes a "new ball game" with different rules.
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10485 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:26 am Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

the thread title wrote:Headphones - Are They Needed?
You need something to listen to. Having a nice pair of headphones is handy.

miketurn wrote:If I do buy a pair (which I am going to) I was ideally looking to only have to purchase one set, little tough though because as a few of you have mentioned, open backs may be better for mixing/referencing and closed are better for recording to avoid audio bleeding into your microphone and just general situations where you need to block out room sounds.
Correct. You could get some cheap stuff to start with, both an open and closed model, and upgrade either as you need later. Or get a compromise: half-open! As long as the bleed isn't too loud, you still can get usable results with half-open or even open cans. That is, if you don't need the recorded vocals in complete isolation. If the bleed sound is the exact same track, a bit of spill won't damage the end result too much.

What I would strongly advice is: prepare a CD with some different songs you know very well how they should sound. Go to a shop that sells headphones (music gear or hifi center) and demo a couple models. Also bring your own cans as a reference. Pay attention to how natural they sound (avoid exaggeration of certain frequencies) and pay attention to how they fit your head. You must be able to wear them for prolonged periods.

If you can't visit a shop, look for a webshop that has a no-questions-asked guaranteed return policy. Buy a couple, try which one you like best, and return the rest.

miketurn wrote:Some say certain headphones require a little more power than an mp3 player can provide in order to use them to listen to music on. Have any of you guys that own the AT M50X been able to listen to music with them on a iPod or other mp3 player?
This depends on two factors: the efficiency and the impedance. Portable audio devices are designed for low impedance earbuds. Common earbuds have a very low impedance, typically 16 Ohm. High impedance headphones have an impedance of 300 or even 600 Ohm, and portable devices don't have the power to drive them. You need something like 250 mW to properly drive high-impedance cans. Most audio interfaces only deliver 50 mW. That's plenty for low to medium impedance, but not enough for high impedance cans.

I just looked up the impedance of the AT M50X: 38 Ohm. That's medium. Not extremely low or high. My guess is when you plug them into an iPod you have to turn it up quite loud. The iPad might give a warning about too high levels and hearing damage while for you it just starts to be a comfortable level.
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155 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Postby miketurn; Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:53 pm Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

Thank You guys for the responses, very helpful.

I think I am only going to plan on getting one pair, at the moment I am thinking of going with closed back, because for my purposes it appears that closed back can do to a certain extent what open backs can (pun intended :) ) but open backs can't do everything that closed backs can.
As long as the closed backs are of pretty good quality and you are not planing on mixing a great deal with headphones.
Not to say anyone should agree with my opinion, I just have to narrow it down because of my desire to only purchase one kind.
1888 posts since 24 Dec, 2005

Postby t3toooo; Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:10 am Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

I suggest to test a couple of headphones in a local music store.Closed back must sit and seal properly in order to prevent leakage therefore they are more uncomfortable to wear...
2 posts since 7 Apr, 2017

Postby SmithKnows; Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:22 am Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

Don't forget to check out Beyerdynamic DT-770.
They are the most open sounding closed headphones I've ever used. Great bang for the buck.
2289 posts since 17 Apr, 2005, from S.E. TN

Postby JCJR; Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:35 pm Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

Yeah I don't have serious complaints with my DT-770 Pro. Dunno if there are different models of DT-770. They are also more comfortable than average to wear, IMO. The efficiency is good enough to deliver "adequate" output from most portable devices I've tried, but quiet media on a smartphone or android pad is "borderline" loud enough even with the volume maxed. A little better drive than portable device levels would be needed to get it "painfully loud" with quiet-recorded media.

Maybe there are lots better phones. Haven't critically listened to all the potential candidates. I read various reviews and couldn't find numerous complaints about DT-770, and a local music store had some in stock, and it was near the top of what I was willing to pay for phones. It would have been easy enough to take em back to a local store if I decided I didn't like em. Luckily they seem "good enough" that its not worth looking for something better, for my rare headphone uses.

Ain't gonna pay $500+ for headphones regardless how fantastic they might be. Just ain't gonna happen. :) It was painful enough to open the wallet wide enough to acquire the DT-770's.
155 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Postby miketurn; Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:03 am Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

Hey guys, thank you for the responses
I looked into the Beyerdynamic DT-770 per your suggestion, odd they do have quite a few different versions of these all with different "ohm" ratings.
Have either of you compared these to the ATM50X model I was considering?
The Beyerdynamic DT-770 seem to be a little more expensive then them and I was just wondering how they compare.
I probably wouldn't want to go that high in price, my concern is that I really don't know how much I will be using them.
2289 posts since 17 Apr, 2005, from S.E. TN

Postby JCJR; Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:59 pm Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

AT is a great company. I really like AT mics for the money. Well, nowadays they are rather expensive compared to all the new inexpensive mics, but back when I was paying attention they had great bang-for-the-buck before you could buy sub-$100 generic mass-manufactured U67 look-a-likes.

AT has made phones with an ATM50 designation for a long time, and have been curious to hear em, but never did. Maybe several models over the years with similar numbering.

Last year when I was phones shopping I didn't want phones that might emphasize the low end, and a lot of ATM50 happy customers seemed to be near-deaf drummers and DJ's who like to monitor loud with lots of bass.

Maybe those ATM50's are extremely hifi and uncolored, but merely built capable of doing lots of loud bass. I just was "scared off" from getting them as "my only expensive pair of phones" for sanity-checking bass levels, with that reputation of having such strong bass. But it may have been an irrational judgement.
1255 posts since 16 Jan, 2013

Postby sprnva; Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:09 pm Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

I've read that the 50s are more bass (and treble?) heavy than the 40s. So I'm leaning towards getting a pair of 40s as none of the headphones I have here at the minute are any use for mixing. They're also cheaper and lighter but I've read about some breaking around the earpiece swivel as it's not as solid as the one on the 50s. I'm not planning on abusing them so hopefully they won't snap on me.

I had been looking at MDR-V6s before this but it's hard to tell if the "new" ones are still as good as the old ones that earned its rep.

The trouble with researching headphones online is you invariably end up on somewhere like head-fi where they take headphones very seriously but may not have the same requirements (flat response for mixing) that we have.
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Mister Natural
2229 posts since 28 Oct, 2007, from michigan

Postby Mister Natural; Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:25 pm Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

re: AT M50s
every musician in this session is using them and I'm certain that these cats could have used any set of cans that they might have preferred.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X3hdFW ... eDC0wR38zB

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12018 posts since 29 Apr, 2002, from i might peeramid

Postby xoxos; Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:00 pm Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

dunno the # on my akgs, 44? the "$10 more than the bargain bin model" model. they work, well enough for me to relate to the signal as produced by other monitors, which is where my standard is at.

i'd liek to gently chide you for your unnecessary shock language though :) you can actually, in english, say "are headphones needed?" and people can read it and parse it alright.





i mean shit bro, you start off saying "headphones" and my pants instantly receive about a gallon THAT motherf**ker JUST SAID MY FAVOURITE WORD YO, i think ima gonna parse the *entire rest of the title, all those four words, just because that first word is so bad ass*

can we just stop writing things like we're on some tired ass 1980's comedy shock news skit.
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155 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Postby miketurn; Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:53 pm Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

Thank You for your response, funny you mention that, because I kind of had a similar assumption as well. Kind of hard not to because it seems that the more pushed commercial products seem to offer this enhanced bass so it makes me think all headphones do this. I will have to look into a bit more and see if the AT M50x overly do this.

I looked into the 40s as well, to be honest it was more for the lower price but never really thought about what you mentioned. I will have to look into the both a bit more to see if I can find just how much they enhance, if they do at all.
Most people that have commented here seem to feel that the 50s were pretty flat.
If anyone who owns the 40s or 50s have anything they would like to share regarding this, please do so.

@Mister Natural
Thank You for this video, although you might be mistaken when you say "all", some of them are using the Capitol 5050s :)
Just a joke, I was also going to make one about hey I was wondering what Johnny Depp was up to these days, thinking that one of the band members just looked extremely like him, turns out, that actually is him. :)
Ahh speaking of jokes....

Ummmmmmmm..... Okay.....
Now I know why they call you "Mr Entertainment", that was very entertaining, thanks for stopping by.
2289 posts since 17 Apr, 2005, from S.E. TN

Postby JCJR; Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:32 pm Re: Headphones - Are They Needed?

miketurn wrote:@JCJR
Thank You for your response, funny you mention that, because I kind of had a similar assumption as well. Kind of hard not to because it seems that the more pushed commercial products seem to offer this enhanced bass so it makes me think all headphones do this. I will have to look into a bit more and see if the AT M50x overly do this.

Its just hard to figure short of carrying a "favorite music" CD to a well-stocked store and doing lots of listening. Or mail-order numerous phones then send back all except one pair. Am not aware of a well-stocked store in my vicinity. Well, there is probably remaining that snobby expensive hifi store, but they probably don't sell anything I could afford. Carry esoteric "audiophile" models rather than studio headphones. Or it was thataway last time I darkened their doors. :)

The best sounding low-mid freq to high-mid freq phones I had were pricey open-back Stax electrostatic phones. Bought long ago from aforementioned snobby hifi store. They were incredibly perfect from maybe 100 Hz to 5 kHz. But had significant low bass rolloff and high frequency rolloff. Needed to boost highs and lows for a balanced rock'n'roll mix, which could lead to distortion. OTOH they were heaven on classical music. They were kinda the "exact opposite" problem compared to phones with hyped bass and highs.

That was decades ago, dunno what modern Stax sound like nowadays. Also the phones got uncomfortable to wear after about a half hour. And they were inconvenient to use. Special amp delivering high voltage to the electrostatic membranes. The headphone drive was so hot that if you let the headphone cable get anywhere near a bass or electric guitar, the music from the phones would come blasting thru the guitar's pickups. Maybe like having a Ferrari that you only use to drive to the grocery store. :)

They all have tradeoffs so far as I know.

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