Cheap Headphone Recommendations

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KVRist

Topic Starter

289 posts since 31 Dec, 2020

Post Sun May 16, 2021 11:43 pm

jamcat wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:13 pm
sigmundklaus wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:52 am
Apple ear buds, the old, wired ones sound pretty decent... Really, I swear this is not a joke :D ...
Compared to headphones in the sub 20 range those sound pretty good.
Earbuds are REALLY bad for your ears and prolonged use WILL do permanent hearing damage.
The iPod generation are all going to develop tinnitus as they age. People commit suicide over that.

You NEED openback headphones if you are going to be mixing for any length of time.
How do i know whether headphones are openback or not? I've never heard that phrase

KVRer
19 posts since 14 May, 2021

Post Mon May 17, 2021 12:33 am

ghostwhistler wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 11:43 pm
How do i know whether headphones are openback or not? I've never heard that phrase
Pretty much how you would expect based on their names. Closed back headphones have earcups with sealed/closed backs, while open-back headphones have perforated/open backs.

For example, this is a closed-back headphone:
Image

While this is an open-back headphone:
Image

Note that there are some headphones which look like the have mesh-like materials on the backs of their earcups, but are actually closed. But for the most part, if it looks like the back has openings, it's an open-back.

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KVRist
440 posts since 10 Jan, 2017

Post Mon May 17, 2021 8:57 am

jamcat wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:13 pm
sigmundklaus wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:52 am
Apple ear buds, the old, wired ones sound pretty decent... Really, I swear this is not a joke :D ...
Compared to headphones in the sub 20 range those sound pretty good.
Earbuds are REALLY bad for your ears and prolonged use WILL do permanent hearing damage.
The iPod generation are all going to develop tinnitus as they age. People commit suicide over that.

You NEED openback headphones if you are going to be mixing for any length of time.
I would tend to agree that mixing on buds isn't ideal, but in a studio environment I see no reason why they'd be any more dangerous than headphones if used sensibly. Yes, the driver is closer to your ear - but you would reduce the volume to compensate and you're not battling with anywhere near the same levels of ambient noise as say, a commute.

I once saw someone wearing a pair of Sennheiser HD650s on a long haul flight... as a tinnitus sufferer, THAT made me shiver.

But yeah, don't mix on Apple Earbuds... use them as a secondary reference ;)

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KVRAF
1854 posts since 28 Feb, 2015

Post Mon May 17, 2021 9:29 am

andymcbain wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 8:57 am
But yeah, don't mix on Apple Earbuds... use them as a secondary reference ;)
Secondary reference? They are not even legit as the 10th reference. How somebody actually can mention Apple's (any model) earplugs in the same sentence as "good sounding" is completely beyond my comprehension.

And the Superlux headphones are soooo "plasticy". But I guess they had to save on some material if they, as people are saying, sounds really good. I doubt it though, but if they have a less plasticy model at a higher price (up to €100), I might give them a try.

My vote for the most comfy headphones (although a little plasticy) are the AKG K 701/702 (around €150) The Audio-Technica M50 headphones are nice as well (but closed), at €120. But you can't wear them for more than 30 min, as they are pretty uncomfortable, and makes you ears sweat :)
i9-10900K | 128GB DDR4 | RTX 3090 | Arturia AudioFuse/KeyLab mkII/SparkLE | PreSonus ATOM/ATOM SQ | Studio One | Reason | Bitwig Studio | Reaper | Renoise | FL Studio | ~900 VSTs | 300+ REs

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KVRist
440 posts since 10 Jan, 2017

Post Mon May 17, 2021 9:36 am

starflakeprj wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 9:29 am
andymcbain wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 8:57 am
But yeah, don't mix on Apple Earbuds... use them as a secondary reference ;)
Secondary reference? They are not even legit as the 10th reference. How somebody actually can mention Apple's (any model) earplugs in the same sentence as "good sounding" is completely beyond my comprehension.
Maybe “reference” is the wrong word - but like any boom box, car sound system etc , they don’t have to sound “good” to be useful ;) They serve the purpose of presenting your mix in the way many consumers are going to hear it.

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KVRAF
1854 posts since 28 Feb, 2015

Post Mon May 17, 2021 9:48 am

andymcbain wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 9:36 am
starflakeprj wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 9:29 am
andymcbain wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 8:57 am
But yeah, don't mix on Apple Earbuds... use them as a secondary reference ;)
Secondary reference? They are not even legit as the 10th reference. How somebody actually can mention Apple's (any model) earplugs in the same sentence as "good sounding" is completely beyond my comprehension.
Maybe “reference” is the wrong word - but like any boom box, car sound system etc , they don’t have to sound “good” to be useful ;) They serve the purpose of presenting your mix in the way many consumers are going to hear it.
Yeah, you are right, I have to agree on that. If you want your music to sound good to the largest possible listener base, the Apple earbuds is the way to go :)
i9-10900K | 128GB DDR4 | RTX 3090 | Arturia AudioFuse/KeyLab mkII/SparkLE | PreSonus ATOM/ATOM SQ | Studio One | Reason | Bitwig Studio | Reaper | Renoise | FL Studio | ~900 VSTs | 300+ REs

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KVRian
740 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Mon May 17, 2021 2:57 pm

duplicate
Last edited by jamcat on Mon May 17, 2021 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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KVRian
740 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Mon May 17, 2021 8:01 pm

andymcbain wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 8:57 am
I would tend to agree that mixing on buds isn't ideal, but in a studio environment I see no reason why they'd be any more dangerous than headphones if used sensibly. Yes, the driver is closer to your ear - but you would reduce the volume to compensate and you're not battling with anywhere near the same levels of ambient noise as say, a commute.

I once saw someone wearing a pair of Sennheiser HD650s on a long haul flight... as a tinnitus sufferer, THAT made me shiver.

But yeah, don't mix on Apple Earbuds... use them as a secondary reference ;)
I've tried my HD650s when flying. It doesn't work too well. :lol:

The reason earbuds are more dangerous is not merely because the driver is closer to your eardrum. It is because by design, earbuds seal off your ear canal. The pressure created by the driver has nowhere to go. It's specifically that lack of an escape route for the air that is so bad for your hearing. (Newer Apple earbuds have tiny portholes that mitigate this problem to some degree.)

Open back headphones do not create that high-pressure zone in your ear canals.

The other thing to understand about hearing damage and volume is it is an equation of volume * duration = damage. You can induce the same amount of damage, or more, by prolonged listening with earbuds at lower volumes than short stints at higher volumes.

Typically a mixing session is going to fall under prolonged listening.

The way our ears work is fascinating. We have a built-in protection mechanism. When you go to a concert and everything is quiet and muffled for a few hours afterwards, that is because your ears have sort of like a 20dB pad that is triggered. That actually protects your hearing from acute damage. But prolonged and frequent exposure like that causes your ears to recover more slowly, and over time, less and less fully.

That pad mechanism relies on sound pressure in both ears in order to be tripped. That makes wearing a single in-ear monitor about the worst thing you can do to your hearing, up there with shooting a riffle without ear protection, because the exposed ear never goes into self-protection mode.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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KVRist
440 posts since 10 Jan, 2017

Post Tue May 18, 2021 4:32 am

jamcat wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 8:01 pm
I've tried my HD650s when flying. It doesn't work too well. :lol:

The reason earbuds are more dangerous is not merely because the driver is closer to your eardrum. It is because by design, earbuds seal off your ear canal. The pressure created by the driver has nowhere to go. It's specifically that lack of an escape route for the air that is so bad for your hearing. (Newer Apple earbuds have tiny portholes that mitigate this problem to some degree.)

Open back headphones do not create that high-pressure zone in your ear canals.

The other thing to understand about hearing damage and volume is it is an equation of volume * duration = damage. You can induce the same amount of damage, or more, by prolonged listening with earbuds at lower volumes than short stints at higher volumes.

Typically a mixing session is going to fall under prolonged listening.

The way our ears work is fascinating. We have a built-in protection mechanism. When you go to a concert and everything is quiet and muffled for a few hours afterwards, that is because your ears have sort of like a 20dB pad that is triggered. That actually protects your hearing from acute damage. But prolonged and frequent exposure like that causes your ears to recover more slowly, and over time, less and less fully.

That pad mechanism relies on sound pressure in both ears in order to be tripped. That makes wearing a single in-ear monitor about the worst thing you can do to your hearing, up there with shooting a riffle without ear protection, because the exposed ear never goes into self-protection mode.
Thanks for the information - I think I've found the study you're referring to - https://secure.aes.org/forum/pubs/conve ... elib=15786 ... It would have been nice for my audiologist to have mentioned this! :dog:

I know of the volume * duration equation and use the exposure time calculator on the ACS website religiously - especially after I developed tinnitus https://www.hearingprotection.co.uk/tec ... calculator ... with it being impossible to calculate SPL using headphones and in-ears without specialist equipment I just have it as quiet as possible and hope for the best these days :phones:

KVRAF
4399 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Post Tue May 18, 2021 10:18 am

Cheap headphones you say?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you what are probably the most cheapest headphones in the whole world, that aren't total crap:

https://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_ho_66.htm

They are comfy to wear. Obviously respect the limitations of a design like this and at this price point, but you know what, they are pretty tidy!

In fact, for about a tenner you actually get 3 pairs of them. That's right - 3 pairs of headphones for a tenner. How bad can they be?

They fit on the head and ears well, the sound is pretty good as well.

They won't compete with a similar type of headphone that I got with my Sony Professional walkman. Now, those were some serious 'phones. They kicked out bass at high volume, mids were well pronounced, but not harsh, highs were very present but not fatiguing. Probably one of the finest pairs of headphones of this type ever made. As you would expect from a tape machine only ever bettered by the Nakamichi Dragon, according to some audiophiles.

But these Behringers are decent enough. Good for when you are just relaxing on the bed with your groovebox on your lap and knockin' up some sick beatz. Good enough to chuck in a travel bag if you are staying over at someone's place. They are small and light. Do the job.

Surprised by how good they sound, considering they cost less than a pint of beer in my local pub.

Don't expect too much and be pleasantly surprised.

KVRist

Topic Starter

289 posts since 31 Dec, 2020

Post Fri May 28, 2021 8:24 am

starflakeprj wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 9:48 am
andymcbain wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 9:36 am
starflakeprj wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 9:29 am
andymcbain wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 8:57 am
But yeah, don't mix on Apple Earbuds... use them as a secondary reference ;)
Secondary reference? They are not even legit as the 10th reference. How somebody actually can mention Apple's (any model) earplugs in the same sentence as "good sounding" is completely beyond my comprehension.
Maybe “reference” is the wrong word - but like any boom box, car sound system etc , they don’t have to sound “good” to be useful ;) They serve the purpose of presenting your mix in the way many consumers are going to hear it.
Yeah, you are right, I have to agree on that. If you want your music to sound good to the largest possible listener base, the Apple earbuds is the way to go :)
It might be,but i really don't like earbuds. Very uncomfortable. I don't want to stick things in my ear

KVRAF
28486 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Fri May 28, 2021 8:45 am

jamcat wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:13 pm
sigmundklaus wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:52 am
Apple ear buds, the old, wired ones sound pretty decent... Really, I swear this is not a joke :D ...
Compared to headphones in the sub 20 range those sound pretty good.
Earbuds are REALLY bad for your ears and prolonged use WILL do permanent hearing damage.
The iPod generation are all going to develop tinnitus as they age. People commit suicide over that.
Sorry, but, this is total nonsense. All of it. The volume is the issue, not the technology. And, I have tinnitus as well, way longer than I use ear buds, and, I haven't yet committed suicide over it.

Typical new age "I know nothing, but read this and that" stuff.

If you turn the volume and bass all the way up, you will damage your hearing, regardless of what tech your headphones or speakers use. THAT is the issue, not earbuds or not.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRist
61 posts since 22 Dec, 2018

Post Sun May 30, 2021 4:58 am

I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting mixing on some of these really cheap headphone suggestions? i'm not saying people should mix on earbuds either but apple ones are pretty good for referencing because so many people listen to music through them. if your mixes (which you've mixed in studio headphones) sounds good on apple ones they will probably sound good to a lot of people. whether we like it or not a lot of people listen to music on these things so they serve a good purpose to have a pair laying around, and if you don't like apple you can always buy fake identical ones for even cheaper.
Last edited by wojf62902 on Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

KVRer
3 posts since 19 Jan, 2021

Post Mon May 31, 2021 3:19 am

RE: initial ghostwhistle's post.

As probably everyone agree, the very cheap headphones aren't good for mixing or audio production in general (if this would be a main purpose of these) and £20 is not much tbh. Unless I wouldn't have any headphones (so i would need to buy something cheaply), I would personally try to save some money, and get a bit more expensive ones (no, i am not talking the £500 headphones, as that sounds ridiculous for the "bedroom" producers). I think the budget around £100 would give lots of good products (for the price) for home producers, which would have quite decent, natural sound. I have still old HD 280 Pro, which are not the most expensive headsets (and probably not the best now for the price) but can't complaint - won't replace them, unless they die :D

But yeah, if ghostwhistle doesn't want (or cannot) to spend (or save) a bit more £££, then suggestions about the headphones from the earlier posts should do... But earbuds ? No. I wouldn't buy earbud's type of headsets, for this purpose. Over- or On-Ear headsets win definitely for me personally.

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KVRian
740 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:35 am

chk071 wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 8:45 am
jamcat wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:13 pm
sigmundklaus wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:52 am
Apple ear buds, the old, wired ones sound pretty decent... Really, I swear this is not a joke :D ...
Compared to headphones in the sub 20 range those sound pretty good.
Earbuds are REALLY bad for your ears and prolonged use WILL do permanent hearing damage.
The iPod generation are all going to develop tinnitus as they age. People commit suicide over that.
Sorry, but, this is total nonsense. All of it. The volume is the issue, not the technology. And, I have tinnitus as well, way longer than I use ear buds, and, I haven't yet committed suicide over it.

Typical new age "I know nothing, but read this and that" stuff.

If you turn the volume and bass all the way up, you will damage your hearing, regardless of what tech your headphones or speakers use. THAT is the issue, not earbuds or not.
Yeah those new age white papers from the AES. :roll:


Sound Reproduction within a Closed Ear Canal: Acoustical and Physiological Effects

When a sound producing device such as insert earphones or a hearing aid is sealed in the ear canal, the fact that only a tiny segment of the sound wave can exist in this small volume at any given instant, produces an oscillation of the static pressure in the ear canal. This effect can greatly boosts the SPL in the ear canal, especially at low frequencies, a phenomena which we call Trapped Volume Insertion Gain (TVIG). In this study the TVIG has been found by numerical modeling as well as direct measurements using a Zwislocki coupler and the ear of a human subject, to be as much as 50dB greater than sound pressures typically generated while listening to sounds in an open environment. Even at moderate listening volumes, the TVIG can increase the low frequency SPL in the ear canal to levels where they produce excursions of the tympanic membrane that are 100 to 1000 times greater than in normal open-ear hearing. Additionally, the high SPL at low frequencies in the trapped volume of the ear canal, can easily exceed the threshold necessary to trigger the Stapedius reflex, a stiffing response of the middle ear, which reduces its sensitivity, and may lead to audio fatigue.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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