Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
recursive one
KVRAF
4317 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:08 am

I need more or less decent headphones approx below EUR 200 that would sound good without a dedicated preamp.

I currently have Akg k701 and they have really nice detalization and depth in the top end and midrange but they are basically useless for bass. The problem is that I have them plugged into a generic M-Audio USB audio interface which apparently has wrong impedance and can't drive them. I can't afford a preamp now - seems that the ones that would do the job would cost like EUR 500 or more (e.g. someone reommended me Pro-ject headbox ds2). So I'd rather get cheaper headphones that would be not so demanding on the preamp.

Shure SRH940 is said to have a nice flat sound and doesn't require extra amplification but many people complain that the build quality is very poor and they are extremely fragile.

On the other hand Audio-Technica ATH-M50X seems to have better build quality but some people say they are too coloured (too much bass, harsh high end).

I understand I can't ask for much in that price range (EUR 200 or below) but I can't spent more than that now, so I hope someone would recommend me something decent :)

I mix in speakers and my room has half-decent treatment so I need the headphones mostly to control the low end and catch the glitches/issues that aren't noticeable in the speakers. Won't do any actual mixing in the headphones.

Thanks :)
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

pascual
KVRist
419 posts since 15 Jul, 2003 from costa rica / oregon

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:52 pm

Really happy with my new AKG371. About $150. Comfy, and to my ears pretty accurate sound range. Things that I’ve mixed with them translate pretty good on different systems.
paz por esos mundos

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RexXx
KVRist
360 posts since 14 Jul, 2005 from Germany

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:35 pm

Mackie MC-250

Btw., Sonarworks headphone profile is available for the MC-250.
It`s not a bug... it`s a feature!

recursive one
KVRAF
4317 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:50 pm

pascual wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:52 pm
Really happy with my new AKG371.
RexXx wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:35 pm
Mackie MC-250
Thanks guys, will look into these. How demandning they are on amplification?
RexXx wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:35 pm
Sonarworks headphone profile is available for the MC-250.
Good to know, I'm planning to get Reference 4 later on.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

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RexXx
KVRist
360 posts since 14 Jul, 2005 from Germany

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:41 am

recursive one wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:50 pm
How demandning they are on amplification?
MC-250 are very easy to drive (32 ohm). Any mobile, computer or headphone device will work.

Bass is punchy, but not overdone.
It`s not a bug... it`s a feature!

recursive one
KVRAF
4317 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:21 am

RexXx wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:41 am
recursive one wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:50 pm
How demandning they are on amplification?
MC-250 are very easy to drive (32 ohm). Any mobile, computer or headphone device will work.

Bass is punchy, but not overdone.
Cool, thanks! :tu:
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

expecto
KVRer
8 posts since 15 Jan, 2019

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:54 pm

The objective 2 amp gets recommended a fair bit for the k701/q701 etc. I suggest you check it out first, it's cheap as.

recursive one
KVRAF
4317 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:39 am

expecto wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:54 pm
The objective 2 amp gets recommended a fair bit for the k701/q701 etc. I suggest you check it out first, it's cheap as.
Thanks, will look for more info about this amp (quickly googled, in my country they seem to be only available second-hand).
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

Tom35
KVRer
4 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:36 pm

I would have gone with with the Audi Tehcnicas

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tehlord
KVRAF
7876 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:52 pm

I just checked on Thomann and you can get an Audient ID4 and a pair of DT990s for €237 if you can squeeze just a little bit more.

I have the M50s here and I'm not a massive fan. They're not bad, just a bit dense. I think they're recommended a lot simply because they're recommended a lot and people that buy them don't have a lot to compare with.

I also have DT770s and DT990s here, as well as a couple of pair of AKGs. I used to have the 701s and I agree on the bass. The Beyer DT's offer all the benefits of the 701's, but with a much punchier and more robust bottom end. They are the best headphones I've ever used by miles.

The ID4 drives them easily too.

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chaosWyrM
KVRAF
1867 posts since 29 Apr, 2010 from NYC

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:11 am

tehlord wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:52 pm
I think they're recommended a lot simply because they're recommended a lot and people that buy them don't have a lot to compare with.
give that man a cigar.

i never did understand why the ath-m50xs got so much attention for studio use. they are not flat at all.

i went with akg q701s and i couldnt be more satisfied. i absolutely always recommend them to anyone who asks. though compare prices with the k702s as they are the same headphones (dont let anyone tell you they arent either cuz they are, differences are cosmetic only). you already have k701s....id say youre set and dont need new cans anyway.

also dont fall for that bass nonsense either...if you plan on using these for mixing/mastering you def do NOT want punchier bass. the akgs bass is plenty, its just not accentuated, which you def dont want anyway. these are reference headphones, they arent supposed to be punchy.
ImageImageImage

recursive one
KVRAF
4317 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:29 am

tehlord wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:52 pm
I just checked on Thomann and you can get an Audient ID4 and a pair of DT990s for €237 if you can squeeze just a little bit more.
Do you think Audient ID4 will drive headphones better than my M-Audio M-Track?

Ofc EUR 37 won't make much difference but my gear budget is quite tight now, I'm saving up for monitor upgrade (the necessary "help me to choose the monitors" topic due soon :) )
chaosWyrM wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:11 am
i went with akg q701s and i couldnt be more satisfied. i absolutely always recommend them to anyone who asks. though compare prices with the k702s as they are the same headphones (dont let anyone tell you they arent either cuz they are, differences are cosmetic only). you already have k701s....id say youre set and dont need new cans anyway.

also dont fall for that bass nonsense either...if you plan on using these for mixing/mastering you def do NOT want punchier bass. the akgs bass is plenty, its just not accentuated, which you def dont want anyway. these are reference headphones, they arent supposed to be punchy.
I just can't mix bass in my Akgs, it sounds either too weak or distorted, not only with my mixes but with reference tracks too. I make psytrance with that short and very punchy bass, it's impossible to monitor it with Akgs. I had to mix only with these with almost no additional control for a couple of years, all mixes made during that period went to trash. As I said, this is likely because my soundcard output can't drive them enough.

I'm more or less set on Mackie MC-250 now, recommended by RexXx. Read few reviews, they seem to be decent headphones for that price reange, suitable for mixing. Ath-m50x indeed are reported to be very coloured so they are out of the question.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

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chaosWyrM
KVRAF
1867 posts since 29 Apr, 2010 from NYC

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:48 am

recursive one wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:29 am

I just can't mix bass in my Akgs, it sounds either too weak or distorted, not only with my mixes but with reference tracks too. I make psytrance with that short and very punchy bass, it's impossible to monitor it with Akgs. I had to mix only with these with almost no additional control for a couple of years, all mixes made during that period went to trash. As I said, this is likely because my soundcard output can't drive them enough.
well, obviously i can not argue with your experience, all i can say is ive had no trouble at all with my q701s...and i also make psytrance, and ambient, and industrial, and downtempo, all of which require very different approaches to the sound. the bass i get from my q701s is nearly perfectly translated to other systems (within reason of course) and very predictable. im never surprised by how anything sounds from system to system. thats not to say i dont ever need to make adjustments, just that its very close...and always constant. i know that when i have just enough bass in my akgs...then the bass shakes the house on larger systems...which is usually what im going for.

i did spend nearly 3 years almost exclusively producing and mixing on them though, as most of my music making was occurring at night and i have a family who likes to sleep sometimes. :D so i learned how they behave up and down and inside and out.

from what i recall...your tracks always sounded pretty good though. i dont know if any of your stuff i heard was stuff you used the akgs on...but your music is mixed pretty well as far as i remember.

it may indeed be an issue with a lack of power...i have heard tale that the akgs need an amp, but i have not ever felt that to be true in my usage (though i do have one). hell...ive even used them with just my phone and they sounded perfect.

i chalk a lot of the "negative" comments about akgs up to the same kinda thing as the recommendations for the ath-m50x. hearsay mixed with preconceptions and the placebo effect. i think most people would have a very different opinion in a blind test.
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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
25193 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:07 am

I'm happy with my ATH-M50x ... and so are the vocalists I've recorded recently. They're very detailed, if a little bass heavy. I don't mix on them, as I trust my Genelec monitors for that.

recursive one
KVRAF
4317 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Headphones question: Shure SRH940 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50X? Or something else?

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:27 am

chaosWyrM wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:48 am
all i can say is ive had no trouble at all with my q701s...and i also make psytrance, and ambient, and industrial, and downtempo, all of which require very different approaches to the sound. the bass i get from my q701s is nearly perfectly translated to other systems (within reason of course) and very predictable. im never surprised by how anything sounds from system to system. thats not to say i dont ever need to make adjustments, just that its very close...and always constant. i know that when i have just enough bass in my akgs...then the bass shakes the house on larger systems...which is usually what im going for.

...
it may indeed be an issue with a lack of power...i have heard tale that the akgs need an amp, but i have not ever felt that to be true in my usage (though i do have one). hell...ive even used them with just my phone and they sounded perfect.
What are they plugged in when you are mixing?

From what I heard from other people (those who I think must know what they are talking about) k701 are good headphones but very demanding on preamp and the bass is the most problematic area if the preamp doesn't match their impedance. Not that they inherently lack bass. But as I said, buying new headphones for me might be cheaper than buying a really good preamp (the preamp may come later, after other necessary things). Also I only know about k701 since I only ever had these, so I can't say anything about the Q series or k702.
chaosWyrM wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:48 am
from what i recall...your tracks always sounded pretty good though. i dont know if any of your stuff i heard was stuff you used the akgs on...but your music is mixed pretty well as far as i remember.
Thanks :) But actually the stuff I have on my soundcloud was mostly mixed in monitors. Most of it are 3-4 year old tracks which were mixed in an untreated room with 5inch monitors. Now I have the same pair of monitors and some room treatment, but there was about 2 year period when I had to mix only in headphones, no tracks were actually finished during that time. I'm now finalizing some of the stuff which was written in that period and it mostly has to be remixed from the ground up. Maybe I didn't have enough time to get used to these headphones.

I eventually switched to my old Akg 272 for the time being (still mostly mix in speakers, but when I want to check it in headphones I use 272), they sound way worse overall (highs/mids/depth/stereo-image/overall balance) but at least bass sounds like bass in them.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

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