The importance of making music on Speakers

In my opinion, you can’t make music with headphones.

I think so. Just woke up and I think it dawned on me and I’m right as always.

Gonna disagree with that one. I make all my music with headphones, but I pretty much live in mine, so I know them better than any speakers. Like you can’t make music on speakers until you know them.

Probably we have a different perception of sound. I can’t get the right sound in my headphones.

Firstly. What headphones are you using, and second, how often do you wear them? I don’t have a TV, so a use my computer to watch movies, the news, listen to music etc. This comes out through my mixer and into my DT880 pros. This means all the media I listen to at home is through the same headphones I make music on. This is how why I know my headphones so well. There are times it’s just not practical to use speakers, and for me that’s all the time when I’m home.

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With speakers you need to consider room threatment, positioning, sound calibration for a room to get them actually working as intended and accurate. If you don’t have some sort of studio room where you can sit on your ass and design kick drums 24/7 it’s far from an ideal option. If you’re in a middle of living room or kitchen you’re better with headphones and higher quality headphones matter a lot here. It’s more like a safe-option where you don’t need to bother with your surroundings. The more you listen with headphones the more you learn about their perks/flaws, @TheTeknomage already mentioned this (I got the same pair). While doing reference listening on headphones you also can achieve amazing results when you know what sounds amazing on speakers/sound systems. Listen to that track, listen to yours, compare, it’s not that hard. Worst case, you can just look at meters and other analyzers in DAWs to see what’s wrong with your audio. Speakers aren’t some sort of magical realm when your mixing skills are generally poor.


Bro sorry i think i’m wrong again. And my problem was compression. It is ok to make music in headphones. Sorry again. :smiley::smiley::smiley::space_invader::space_invader::space_invader:

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Comparing headphones and loud-speakers is a bit llike comparing hammers and screwdrivers.

They’re both excellent tools.

If you’re mixing for big speakers, being able to check your mix on a big setup is golden. So don’t be afraid to ask your local club for permission to hear your mix played on their speakers!

I used to sometimes go to a local club in the afternoons, when next to no customers were around, ask permission and just abuse the speakers for a bit. As long as you don’t overstay your welcome, many dudes actually like this kind of thing (for some it’s the reason they started a club to begin with).

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I mix on headphones (I have HE-400i), but I still wish I could use speakers sometimes, even though I’ve done great work with headphones.

You can adjust EQ curves and learn the headphones all you want (which believe me I have, I’m in the same boat as The Teknomage), but when it comes right down to it there is no simulating the way sound behaves in a room accurately enough to make me confident in the way my mixes translate to larger systems. I can check on all the systems I want but I don’t really know I’ve got it until I’ve heard my mix on the target system.

That said, that’s no excuse to do shitty mixes on headphones, because great mixes can and do get done on headphones, you just have to take some extra steps and make it happen.

And even given all that, if I were going to do an upgrade to my monitoring system today and I was prepared to drop 2000 USD, I’d get a better set of headphones, not monitors and sound treatment. Headphones just fit better into the rest of my life for now and the next few years at least.

I had to move house and lost the designated “studio” space. Because of this I went out bought a pair of AKG K702 flat response headphones. They took a bit of getting used to but they’re outstanding and going from Rokits to these, you could definitely hear how poor my previous mixes were.

Now I tend to write everything on headphones and do the final mixdown on monitors but going back to the headphones all the time.

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I use 701s I think. Freaking love em.

I used various headphones and speakers, sometimes I had only headphones for a long time. You can do stuff, but you have to check how it sounds on speakers. It is possible to do “ok” stuff only on speakers.

But it is not possible to achieve your finest producing and mixing job without proper speakers.

But recently I thought that I could find a store to try some >1000€ headphones, I am very curious about materials and techniques used in such an expensive piece of gear. And it is likely that they could reproduce some nice room feeling with all that expensiveness.

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If you want to go big, mastering engineers use Audeze LCD-X or Raal Requisite SR1-a headphones these days. The Raals especially, you basically put a room on your head. Of course, those are $4000 USD, so they cost about as much as a decently treated room.


You can get software that will do that to any set of headphones. I can’t speak to if they’d be equally effective.

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People I know say great things about Sonarworks and related software. A few use it because they can’t afford decent speakers and they have access to piracy. Only one of them use it to calibrate his monitors with more efficiency. That guy really impresses me, he mixes everything on a set of Alesis 620 Active mkII with a custom paired bass amp for sub, and his mixdowns & masterings are just crazy, with as much depth & accuracy as he was using AKS Aeons.

Know your gear, I presume.

Thanks for the headphones references, I will look into it.

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Funny how the importance of speakers thread has basically turned into a headphone thread. I’m on the testing circuit for the new Audeze LCD-1, so I’m looking forward to that. I’m curious how different the Audeze house sound is from the Hifiman house sound. These two brands are basically at the top of the planar game, each headed by a different phsyicist who specializes in the tech, but still clearly with different goals and audiences. Audeze specializes in mastering/studio oriented headphones, but the price is … well 2k a pair. The LCD-1 is a quarter of that, so if it is a big step up from where I am now, it’s attainable.

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Yeah, well I think that everybody will agree, you can’t mix properly without speakers. Even with top tier headphones, it will still lack essential things like separated left and right.

But it’s ok to try and make suboptimal mixes, for the day when you realize this is suboptimal

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I can’t stress that enough.

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