What is the best "Closed-Back Studio Reference Headphones"?

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fabianhurel
KVRer
20 posts since 6 Dec, 2020

Post Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:51 pm

Hi, I'm looking for a pair of studio headphones, closed-back, no matter the price. I want to know what is the best sounding "closed-back studio headphones". Please, I will appreciate your reply, thanks in advance.

User avatar
jamcat
KVRian
1376 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:29 pm

Why do you want closed-back, specifically?

My philosophy is closed-back for live tracking, and open-back for mixing. If it's for tracking live sound in the room, then I care more about isolation than sound quality.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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Rockatansky
KVRist
415 posts since 3 Jun, 2017

Post Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:45 pm

All of the above. Closed-back headphones tend to exaggerate certain frequency ranges (usually highs and lows) so everything sounds hyped and/or Hi-Fi polished instantly, but the advantage is that they tend to let less signal bleed into the room, where live microphones could be recording their signal. Open-back headphones obviously bleed a lot of signal into the room, that's why they're sub-optimal for recording rooms with microphones, but they also tend to build fewer resonances and usually have an overall more balanced sound. Open-backs also build up less pressure, since more air can escape through their backs, so working for long periods of time is less fatiguing than with closed-backs. Finally, the correct answer is: obviously an Ollo S4X/S4R model. They have a '30 days money back' policy, payment in instalments and occasional B-stock offers, so you can find out for yourself why this answer is the correct one. :) (Not affiliated, just a happy customer.)
Confucamus.

User avatar
crickey13
KVRian
564 posts since 27 Aug, 2020

Post Sun Nov 28, 2021 11:10 pm

You should look at Beyerdynamic DT 770 or Sony MDR-7506. Maybe Audio-Technica ATH-M50X/ATH-M40X.

For mixing, you should generally consider semi-open or open-back headphones as said above, otherwise you will have to learn the frequency response of your closed-back headphones really well and know in advance how they're going to translate on other playback systems.

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jamcat
KVRian
1376 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:30 am

DT 770s have really overhyped bass. Those velour pads sure feel nice around your ears, though.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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crickey13
KVRian
564 posts since 27 Aug, 2020

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:49 am

jamcat wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:30 am
DT 770s have really overhyped bass. Those velour pads sure feel nice around your ears, though.
So do ATs and Sonys. In the case of closed-backs, it's hard to get an unhyped bass response, but you can always learn the frequency response and compensate, bearing in mind how mixes translate.

I use DT 880 these days, but DT 770 are accurate enough even if that 200 Hz bump is a bit too much. OP is asking for closed-backs, so I suggested those.

gaf_thit
KVRian
743 posts since 28 Sep, 2012 from Norway

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:21 am

jamcat wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:30 am
DT 770s have really overhyped bass. Those velour pads sure feel nice around your ears, though.
I found some velour pads for my ATH-M50X a while back. Can't remember where, but they made the cans better in my opinion

ShawnG
KVRian
987 posts since 27 Apr, 2005

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 3:58 am

I just got a set of ATH-M50x and, combined with waves nx or bluecat re-head and an eq compensation curve, they pretty good. (The software curves help with the fatigue problem you can get with closed-back cans as well) I don’t know about “best” because I haven’t tried more than a couple alternatives, but they might have finally retired my old semi open AKG K240 studios I’ve had since the 80’s (the 600ohm version they don’t make anymore)

tony10000
KVRian
1206 posts since 4 Aug, 2017

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:06 am

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X. Most comfortable and your tracks won't be super bass heavy. Good to check freq response on a scope and check with TB Morphit or Waves Nx with freq response curve adjustment for critical stuff. I also have Sony 7506s but are not nearly as comfortable.

User avatar
andymcbain
KVRian
503 posts since 10 Jan, 2017

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:40 am

At any price? And is it for mixing? I’m gonna throw in a curve ball and say Slate VSX.

Closed back, good isolation. Combined with the plugin you genuinely have a way of making a mix that will translate well to anything… assuming you know how to mix :)

Downsides - you have to use it with the plugin. Build quality on the original models wasn’t great, but has since been improved. So make sure it’s the latest model.

mcbpete
KVRAF
1877 posts since 24 Jun, 2006 from London, England

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 8:23 am

Audeze LCD-XC - Unless these ones break (which I hope won't be the case given the cost!) I don't expect to be buying any more headphones in the future....

User avatar
fabianhurel
KVRer

Topic Starter

20 posts since 6 Dec, 2020

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:16 pm

jamcat wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:29 pm
Why do you want closed-back, specifically?

My philosophy is closed-back for live tracking, and open-back for mixing. If it's for tracking live sound in the room, then I care more about isolation than sound quality.
I want closed-back for live tracking, basically to record acapellas and to write some ideas on the go.

User avatar
fabianhurel
KVRer

Topic Starter

20 posts since 6 Dec, 2020

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:23 pm

Rockatansky wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:45 pm
All of the above. Closed-back headphones tend to exaggerate certain frequency ranges (usually highs and lows) so everything sounds hyped and/or Hi-Fi polished instantly, but the advantage is that they tend to let less signal bleed into the room, where live microphones could be recording their signal. Open-back headphones obviously bleed a lot of signal into the room, that's why they're sub-optimal for recording rooms with microphones, but they also tend to build fewer resonances and usually have an overall more balanced sound. Open-backs also build up less pressure, since more air can escape through their backs, so working for long periods of time is less fatiguing than with closed-backs. Finally, the correct answer is: obviously an Ollo S4X/S4R model. They have a '30 days money back' policy, payment in instalments and occasional B-stock offers, so you can find out for yourself why this answer is the correct one. :) (Not affiliated, just a happy customer.)
Thanks, so I will give a try.

User avatar
fabianhurel
KVRer

Topic Starter

20 posts since 6 Dec, 2020

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:31 pm

crickey13 wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 11:10 pm
You should look at Beyerdynamic DT 770 or Sony MDR-7506. Maybe Audio-Technica ATH-M50X/ATH-M40X.

For mixing, you should generally consider semi-open or open-back headphones as said above, otherwise you will have to learn the frequency response of your closed-back headphones really well and know in advance how they're going to translate on other playback systems.
I have heard about the DT 770 and they seem to be the best. Have you ever listened to the Focal Listen Pro? I'm looking for a pair of closed-back headphones to record acapellas and to write some ideas on the go. For mixing, actually I have a mixing engineer.

User avatar
jamcat
KVRian
1376 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:33 pm

You might want to look into Direct Sound Extreme Isolation phones.
https://www.extremeheadphones.com/produ ... -jet-black

I have an older model, and they work great. Nothing gets in or out, so you get zero mic bleed even in the most sensitive condenser. They really clamp down on your head, though, and the sound quality is pretty bad, though the latest model apparently improves on that quite a bit.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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