Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?
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Old 18-02-2016, 05:47 PM   #1
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Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

Hello,

Basically I have had my KRK rokit 6's for 2 years and I can get pretty good mixes on them after a lot of practice.

Now I want to invest in a pair of headphones so I can take my mixes one level higher, and also because I want to work at night and not disturb my family.

I have to mention that I do not have an external audio interface yet. I have never really gotten around to buying one because from what I can tell, it is mostly for people who want to record, which I don't do at the moment.

I have also never really noticed a big difference between my computers built-in sound card compared to an external audio interface, so I guess my built in sound card is already decent (not optimal but still) when I bought the computer.

If you would recommend me to get one along with the headphones, then please do tell why.

Anyhow, what mixing headphones do you recommend in the 300-400 USD range? I mostly prioritize sound quality, but also things like comfort (being able to wear it for many hours), quality of the product material, etc.

Last edited by samk44; 18-02-2016 at 05:53 PM..

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Old 18-02-2016, 06:05 PM   #2
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

I'd still recommend a rudimentary audio interface. It will increase your DAW's ability to process audio and give your monitors and future headphones a cleaner/clearer signal. It isn't just for people who record. Also your current sound card may not drive headphones properly.

That being said, I'm a very loyal fan of AKG 702s work great for me. I find I can work on them all day (with breaks every hour or so) with very little ear fatigue. I think they have a good frequency balance (no hyped low end, smooth, but clear highs, no muddy mids). They are physically comfortable and have a replaceable cord! I despise high end headphones with permanently attached cords...a real sin IMO.

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Old 18-02-2016, 06:28 PM   #3
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

Beyerdynamic DT 880 are in the same range as the AKG 702's. I've used both, kept the 880's, but either one would be more than acceptable for mixing. Both pair can be powered without amplification but I think you'll find amplification would be a good move if you go with either pair.

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Old 18-02-2016, 08:56 PM   #4
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

I don't know how much you'd be willing to spend on an interface, but if you need something cheap and just for driving your headphones, you could also consider a headphone amp. Fiio makes a lot of highly regarded models, some of them portable, for pretty cheap. Also the Schiit Fulla, it's $80 in the US and I use it to drive my AKG q701s with absolutely no complaints. I think for most headphones in the $300-$400 range, something around there or less will be fine, but to my ear, it's absolutely worth the money to not run them straight from your onboard soundcard.
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Old 18-02-2016, 09:25 PM   #5
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

Thank you people! After I read what you all had to say about the audio interface, I think I will go ahead and get the Focusrite Scarlette which I've been planning to get for a while anyways.

I checked all of the headphones recommended here but haven't decided upon one yet. I actually got one recommendation from a friend too, he said that he really liked the Aiaiai "Young Guru preset" headphones. He uses them for both mixing and DJing, but he told me they have a "studio preset" which is more neutral balance which he recommends since Im only going to be mixing on them.

What do you think about the aiaiai studio preset, has anyone tried them or know about the general quality of the company?

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Old 18-02-2016, 09:28 PM   #6
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

I've never heard of them before. I tend to stay away from "signature series" gear that has a celebrities name on it, but that might a silly rule on my part. I will have a look at them later perhaps.

Personally, I'd at least stick with a company that has been around a while. The headphones White Noise and I mentioned are the same expect for the look. They one's RFJ recommended are well known, well tested mixing headphones too.

I don't know about headphones that have "presets"...totally new concept for me : )

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Old 18-02-2016, 09:46 PM   #7
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
I've never heard of them before. I tend to stay away from "signature series" gear that has a celebrities name on it, but that might a silly rule on my part. I will have a look at them later perhaps.

Personally, I'd at least stick with a company that has been around a while. The headphones White Noise and I mentioned are the same expect for the look. They one's RFJ recommended are well known, well tested mixing headphones too.

I don't know about headphones that have "presets"...totally new concept for me : )
Haha I can understand that.

Aiaiai has a "build your own headphone" type of thing going on at their website. So basically you can choose between different speaker units where some are more bass boosted, or more treble, to what chord material and earpad material it should be shipped with.

So the thing about the presets is that they have pre-made headphones which are more appealing for a DJ (e.g. more bassy audio units), as well as the studio preset for mixing sessions. Thats at least how I have understood it.

Even with the whole commericalized thing they have going on, they seem to have pretty high quality products to be honest.

I will probably wait with those and get something that is or will be recommended on this thread. I might get the aiaiai if I'm ever going to DJ though.
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Old 20-02-2016, 08:58 PM   #8
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

Hey just wondering, since many of you mentioned AKG,

has anyone tried the AKG K-712 Pro? Whats so significant about it that makes it cost 150 bucks more than the AKGs mentioned on this thread?

Oh by the way, I notice that people mention "pre amps" when it comes to getting the most out of your headphones. I'm not really familiar with pre amps but an audio interface (Scarlette Focusrite 2i4) will fulfil the same function, right?

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Old 21-02-2016, 06:34 AM   #9
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

I gave a quick comparison to the spec sheets over at innerfidelity between the q701 and the k712, they look really similar, but for pretty much all the tests the k712 is just a bit better. It's really close, you can tell looking at the measurements that they're basically the same headphone, but the 712 is probably either a top 10% of the production run or it's using more experienced technicians or more expensive, higher quality materials, or all three. If that little bit of performance is worth the extra price to you, then it might be worth it, but I think you can get as far with upgraded cables or other mods.
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Old 21-02-2016, 06:59 AM   #10
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

Try the Sony MDR-7506. They're under $100 on Amazon and if you're used to mixing with KRK's they'll fit right in with your audio perception.
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Old 21-02-2016, 03:52 PM   #11
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Noise View Post
I gave a quick comparison to the spec sheets over at innerfidelity between the q701 and the k712, they look really similar, but for pretty much all the tests the k712 is just a bit better. It's really close, you can tell looking at the measurements that they're basically the same headphone, but the 712 is probably either a top 10% of the production run or it's using more experienced technicians or more expensive, higher quality materials, or all three. If that little bit of performance is worth the extra price to you, then it might be worth it, but I think you can get as far with upgraded cables or other mods.
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Thanks a lot man, very useful link that I didn't know even existed I will keep referencing to it in the future.
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Old 21-02-2016, 03:56 PM   #12
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

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Originally Posted by Oktipus View Post
Try the Sony MDR-7506. They're under $100 on Amazon and if you're used to mixing with KRK's they'll fit right in with your audio perception.
I will check it out too, thanks!
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Old 21-02-2016, 04:07 PM   #13
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

ive had my senhiser hd 25sp2 for years now had tracks ive mixed masterd and released on to labels just useing them no moniters at all and they've served till now.
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Old 21-02-2016, 04:27 PM   #14
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

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Originally Posted by Oktipus View Post
Try the Sony MDR-7506. They're under $100 on Amazon and if you're used to mixing with KRK's they'll fit right in with your audio perception.
This is what I use. Just saw a pair on Craigslist and needed some cans. After getting used to them I really like them. Light on bass, but very detailed in the mids and upper mids especially. Apparently that's Yamaha's thing. It's really easy to eq out annoying kid frequencies with these things. But sometimes when I take them off, I'm like... "Where did the high end go?"
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Old 22-02-2016, 04:42 AM   #15
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

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Originally Posted by mnkvolcno View Post
This is what I use. Just saw a pair on Craigslist and needed some cans. After getting used to them I really like them. Light on bass, but very detailed in the mids and upper mids especially. Apparently that's Yamaha's thing. It's really easy to eq out annoying kid frequencies with these things. But sometimes when I take them off, I'm like... "Where did the high end go?"
What I like is they have a very clean, wide perception. You're right about the bass but you really don't want heavy bass in headphones if you're mixing. It takes a bit of getting used to. For example, when I use my wireless headphones or headphones made for ipod/phone, the bass in mixes sounds good but if I burn a CD and take it into my car, the bass would overload the Shaker 500 in my Mustang, same with if I run the mix through the PA system in my garage or listen in my neighbor's club. It really helps if you have a bunch of systems to listen on when mixing, then once you hit good settings, save the chain in Ableton so you can use it as a starting point for new tracks and if you can't afford a good set of monitors, good headphones will do.
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Old 23-02-2016, 06:18 PM   #16
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

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Originally Posted by samk44 View Post
Hello,

Basically I have had my KRK rokit 6's for 2 years and I can get pretty good mixes on them after a lot of practice.

Now I want to invest in a pair of headphones so I can take my mixes one level higher, and also because I want to work at night and not disturb my family.

I have to mention that I do not have an external audio interface yet. I have never really gotten around to buying one because from what I can tell, it is mostly for people who want to record, which I don't do at the moment.

I have also never really noticed a big difference between my computers built-in sound card compared to an external audio interface, so I guess my built in sound card is already decent (not optimal but still) when I bought the computer.

If you would recommend me to get one along with the headphones, then please do tell why.

Anyhow, what mixing headphones do you recommend in the 300-400 USD range? I mostly prioritize sound quality, but also things like comfort (being able to wear it for many hours), quality of the product material, etc.
you can't go wrong with the Sennheiser HD600
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Old 25-02-2016, 07:46 PM   #17
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Re: Best mixing headphones 300-400 USD?

Can also recommend the 880s.

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