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Production Headphones - Something loud AND clear
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Production Headphones - Something loud AND clear
m:o
Hi all,

after running my second pair of headphones and having the same problems (blown membranes), i start to think about my usage and my needs.

I managed to blown my AKG 240MKII and my AKG271MKII after some time of usage. I would consider myself as good hearing, but djing for 20years and producing music since 15 years, my ears should have some loss (but in never run into hearing problems in everyday tasks). I produce bass heavy tracks and in the need of hearing them loud on the headphones, the membranes got blown. I use 55ohm headphones on a 30ohm headphone output (rme ufx). if i take my hd25's,i will get some decent loudness, but not the quality i need for mixdown.

are there loud AND excellent qualtiy headphones out there?
What are your experiences?
Panason
Jeez. eek! You really do not want to get tinnitus. There is no cure and it can drive you crazy.
Reality Checkpoint
Honestly you really do not need loud. Loud is the worst thing you can do. You have been given one set of ears to last your life. Do not ruin them by listening to loud mixes/music/noise. You will only regret it if you do.
JAO
If you can get it to sound good at low levels, it will translate to loud levels very well. The opposite is not true, however.
m:o
thanks for your compassion, but i´m quite aware about the risks and i do not want to harm my ears - really. But, maybe i clear things up. I mainly mix on Monitors, just in the nights i use AKG headphones. In my book these are very low in volume and i had to boost them until the cones just fart the basses. if i use my hd25, i get decent volume and great basses but sadly no precision. so, i need headphones with a power of hd 25's and a precision as the akg 271's.

anything out there?
PrimateSynthesis
It sounds more like a perceptual issue. You can't get "loud" bass from headphones. It's actually quite difficult to get accurate bass from monitors. Nearfields need to be small. Which limits how low a frequency they can reproduce, and how loud they can be. As such, even the best nearfields have audible harmonic distortion in the low end. (They also exaggerate reverb, mask compression, etc.) So it's a matter of knowing how to listen to them, and compensate for their shortcomings.

If you "produce bass heavy tracks" you do not have a "need of hearing them loud on the headphones". You just need to able to hear enough to know what bass you have. Since your ancestors were pack hunters, you have an excellent audio signal processor installed inside your head. Learn to use it.

JAO wrote:
If you can get it to sound good at low levels, it will translate to loud levels very well. The opposite is not true, however.


This is true. You should mix as quietly as you can.

I've read numerous posts of over the years from aspiring producers who wrote they needed to feel the bass in order to write tracks. Which is fine. Use full size speakers with lots of low end and dispersion to be able work on your feet. Boom the room, dance around the studio, program your drum machines, tweak your basslines, until you get the groove right. Then sit down at your desk, in front of your nearfields, in order to do the mix.
sutekina bipu-on
meek! wrote:
thanks for your compassion, but i´m quite aware about the risks and i do not want to harm my ears - really. But, maybe i clear things up. I mainly mix on Monitors, just in the nights i use AKG headphones. In my book these are very low in volume and i had to boost them until the cones just fart the basses. if i use my hd25, i get decent volume and great basses but sadly no precision. so, i need headphones with a power of hd 25's and a precision as the akg 271's.

anything out there?


You will never be happy until you use a jvc sz2000 probably. Unfortunately they seem to be discontinued, you used to be able to get them on amazon
LHOOQtius
I highly recommend Audeze LCD-X for mixdown (they're very expensive and a bit heavy for constant use)

For daily use (recording, composing, film work, whatever), I cycled through and basically liked a lot of phones (Shure SRH-1840, Sony MDR-7506, Sennheiser HD600, etc. before settling on my current Beyerdynamic DT990 Pros. Mostly it has to do with comfort, they all sounded fine (but none of them sounded as clean and flat as the LCD-X)
felixer
pte townhend claims he lost his hearing from headphones in the sudio. not from playing live.
i use audio technica 'phones and they go very loud. and sound good. there's a range in quality and prices. the ath x50 being the topmodel. the ath x40 is nice too. i use'm in my commercail studio and haven't busted one yet. even though i had to put a drummer quieter as i was getting the click from his phones on my overheads. now that is loud. and i agree that loud is the stupid 'solution'. no need if you make a good mix.
Johnnyfive
tinnitus can come on pretty quick, with little warning. i would heavily advise extreme caution. if you're turning up headphones loud enough to blow the cones, I'd advise not using headphones full stop, and just mixing on monitors in the day. you really do not want tinnitus.

i don't mean to sound preachy, but i do mean to stress the very real risks of listening to music really loud (especially if, as you say, you already have some hearing loss).
tIB
meek! wrote:
thanks for your compassion, but i´m quite aware about the risks and i do not want to harm my ears - really. But, maybe i clear things up. I mainly mix on Monitors, just in the nights i use AKG headphones. In my book these are very low in volume and i had to boost them until the cones just fart the basses. if i use my hd25, i get decent volume and great basses but sadly no precision. so, i need headphones with a power of hd 25's and a precision as the akg 271's.

anything out there?


Phonon smb02
felixer
Johnnyfive wrote:
tinnitus can come on pretty quick, with little warning. i would heavily advise extreme caution. if you're turning up headphones loud enough to blow the cones, I'd advise not using headphones full stop, and just mixing on monitors in the day. you really do not want tinnitus.

i don't mean to sound preachy, but i do mean to stress the very real risks of listening to music really loud (especially if, as you say, you already have some hearing loss).

that's right. and mixing loudly only makes sense if your customers/listeners also play loudly. maybe music for danceclubs. i do a lot of popmixes and often listen at a level below speech. then i can hear what it sounds like in most homes. occasionally play it loud when i'm almost doen. just to make sure i'm not overdoing the bass. also i can keep going a lot longer if it's not loud. otherwise i'll burn up in 2-3 houres. now i can keep going for a full day. i do have large monitos too, but mainly use the smaller ones. who has a pa at home???? but i learned that a long time ago from radio soundengineers. who do a lot of classical stuff. you don't want to listen to a large orchestra at a 'realistic' level. or you'll go deaf before you reach your pension. i fact it is one of the problems in an orchestra. the poor trumpetplayers are sitting in front of the trombones ... i did a lot of metal but the loudest sound i ever heard was a basstrombone. blows away a mashall amp any time.
Blairio
There was a case in the UK recently of an orchestral viola player who suffered 'acoustic shock' during a rehearsal with a full orchestra. He was sitting in front of the Brass section. Basically a single exposure to very loud sound damaged his hearing permanently. The orchestra was found to be in breach of Health and Safety laws - it failed in its duty of care to its employees in their place of work.

The point is that hearing loss or damage doesn't have to take place over a long period. It can come on surprisingly quickly.
unclebastard
felixer wrote:
fact it is one of the problems in an orchestra. the poor trumpetplayers are sitting in front of the trombones ... i did a lot of metal but the loudest sound i ever heard was a basstrombone. blows away a mashall amp any time.

My weapon of choice for over thirty years now. I can- and prefer to- play at moderate volume, but when the occasion demands I don't need micing up with the band. I was once measured at 120db, back in my pro days.
felixer
well the problem with bands is that they are used to high soundlevels. that's the way they rehearse and play live. so comes studio time, they never heard their sound at a lower level. i can't count the number of times i have been asked to turn up. even with a smurky grin like 'can you?'.
my set can go earbleeding loud. and they can have it, but i warn 'm and leave the room. because it is useless information. like jerking off.
jsco
ATH-M50X. NAD HP50, for your requirements at a similar price range to your old pairs.

consider in-ear monitors, too. plenty of good ones with good bass to choose from. and isolation tends to be better, which means you can listen at lower volumes.
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