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Headphones 2019 ugh “monitor quality” LOL
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Headphones 2019 ugh “monitor quality” LOL
Bath House
What’s a solid, decent pair for mixing and monitoring synth music on that are reasonably neutral but reproduce bass well enough? Since having a kid I spend 90% of my studio time on headphones. I’ve used Sony MDR-7506 for 20 years and they sound like dick but I know them. I’m ready for an upgrade. I’m looking at the 7510’s since they have better bass reproduction. What else? I hate this topic because it ends up bonkers. Help!!
tioJim
I recently bought some Shure SRH1840s. They sound incredible.

"It's true that they are not cheap, but I can honestly say that the SRH1840s put into shade all of the other headphones I've ever tried, and I would be happier mixing on these than on budget active monitors." Sam Inglis, Sound On Sound.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/shure-srh1840
dubonaire
Bath House wrote:
What’s a solid, decent pair for mixing and monitoring synth music on that are reasonably neutral but reproduce bass well enough? Since having a kid I spend 90% of my studio time on headphones. I’ve used Sony MDR-7506 for 20 years and they sound like dick but I know them. I’m ready for an upgrade. I’m looking at the 7510’s since they have better bass reproduction. What else? I hate this topic because it ends up bonkers. Help!!


Haha, yeah, you just end up with everyone recommending the pair they use. I think you tend to adapt to headphones. There are not massive differences between headphones in each price category I think comfort is one of the most elements.

I think https://www.head-fi.org/ is a good resource.
Daveyp
I’ve recently switched to open-back headphones after using closed-back for years. It really makes a difference in ear fatigue and soundscape. Sorry to muddy the waters further.... smile
dubonaire
Daveyp wrote:
I’ve recently switched to open-back headphones after using closed-back for years. It really makes a difference in ear fatigue and soundscape. Sorry to muddy the waters further.... smile


Not always the best for bass though.
DiscoDevil
I like the Sony cans but they're better for DJing.

I use Sennheiser HD 650s in the studio.
milkshake
Bath House wrote:
What’s a solid, decent pair for mixing and monitoring synth music on that are reasonably neutral but reproduce bass well enough? Since having a kid I spend 90% of my studio time on headphones. I’ve used Sony MDR-7506 for 20 years and they sound like dick but I know them. I’m ready for an upgrade. I’m looking at the 7510’s since they have better bass reproduction. What else? I hate this topic because it ends up bonkers. Help!!


Critical thinking dictates us to ask the following:
What do the science guys have to say about this?

Here are some links:
https://seanolive.blogspot.com/2017/02/twirt-337-predicting-headphone- sound_17.html
Quote from article:
The highest scoring headphone was a $100 model that we equalized to hit the Harman target response, which our research has shown to be preferred by the majority of listeners.

https://www.listeninc.com/wp/media/Perception_and_-Measurement_of_Head phones_Sean_Olive.pdf

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/headphone-target-response-curve- research-update

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=19237

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/headphone-and-headset-measuremen t-seminar-sean-olive



There are so many links to post but I'll stop here.
Smart wigglers will get the gist.
tIB
I really like phonon smb02 - they translate really well.
cptnal
milkshake wrote:
Bath House wrote:
What’s a solid, decent pair for mixing and monitoring synth music on that are reasonably neutral but reproduce bass well enough? Since having a kid I spend 90% of my studio time on headphones. I’ve used Sony MDR-7506 for 20 years and they sound like dick but I know them. I’m ready for an upgrade. I’m looking at the 7510’s since they have better bass reproduction. What else? I hate this topic because it ends up bonkers. Help!!


Critical thinking dictates us to ask the following:
What do the science guys have to say about this?

Here are some links:
https://seanolive.blogspot.com/2017/02/twirt-337-predicting-headphone- sound_17.html
Quote from article:
The highest scoring headphone was a $100 model that we equalized to hit the Harman target response, which our research has shown to be preferred by the majority of listeners.

https://www.listeninc.com/wp/media/Perception_and_-Measurement_of_Head phones_Sean_Olive.pdf

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/headphone-target-response-curve- research-update

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=19237

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/headphone-and-headset-measuremen t-seminar-sean-olive



There are so many links to post but I'll stop here.
Smart wigglers will get the gist.


Evidence-based decision making? It'll never catch on. Dead Banana
Blingley
I use Sennheiser HD380 Pro. In fact, I own two pairs. Amazing quality for the cost thumbs up
strettara
I love my BD 880 PROs. What I don’t like, living in Italy, is hot ears. I’d use them a lot more if it wasn’t for that.
gruebleengourd
I live in a noisy area, so I appreciate the beyerdynamic DT-770. Keeps outside sounds out, good bass response, usable accuracy and comfortable.
wiperactive
Sennheiser HD-600 open backs work well for me and offer a relatively seamless transition when I change from monitoring on PMC TB2S speakers.

Also a little bit swayed when I heard that mastering supremo Bob Katz favoured this model at the time of my purchase some years ago.
pixelmechanic
gruebleengourd wrote:
I live in a noisy area, so I appreciate the beyerdynamic DT-770. Keeps outside sounds out, good bass response, usable accuracy and comfortable.


+1 for Beyer DT-770 *

* might be +2 since I've got a pair at work and another pair at home.
PrimateSynthesis
Bath House wrote:
I’ve used Sony MDR-7506 for 20 years


Me too.

Then they finally broke a few months ago, so I bought another pair cool
nostalghia
Since the OP mentioned wanting good bass reproduction, my recommendation is the Shure SRH840 -same phones I purchased years ago for my home studio, based largely on this review:Tape Op review: Shure SRH840 headphones

They were an upgrade to the AKG K240 cans I was using previously, more accurate sound and more comfortable.

I also have a pair of Sennheiser HD598SE I use for casual music listening while I work-a bit bass shy but sound very good overall, and by far the most comfortable headphones I have ever tried. Open back, so co-workers can't sneak up and startle you.

Some new headphones worth considering for studio monitoring if you can spend more than the Shures ($500 vs around $200 for the SRH840) are the Neumann NDH 20. Also reviewed by Tape Op here: https://tapeop.com/reviews/gear/132/ndh-20-headphones/

Ultimate phones may be the Focal "Clear Professional" at $1500-1700. Apparently they are amazing, bass in particular, but then they better be at that price. Love my Focal monitors (CMS 65), paid less than those phones for a pair.
EPTC
Surprised this thread got to so many replies without mentioning Audio Technica's ATH-M50's

I've had two pairs, daily heavy use, twelve years. They are excellent for honest and clear monitoring/mixing.

They have structurally lasted through countless moments of odd handling and beaten around, too. Also accidental spikes of really loud sudden volume (as happens, especially when unaware of volume from something pressing play) hasn't yet broken the cones, too. Super clean sounding after TONS of this.
Blairio
Bath House wrote:
What’s a solid, decent pair for mixing and monitoring synth music on that are reasonably neutral but reproduce bass well enough? Since having a kid I spend 90% of my studio time on headphones. I’ve used Sony MDR-7506 for 20 years and they sound like dick but I know them. I’m ready for an upgrade. I’m looking at the 7510’s since they have better bass reproduction. What else? I hate this topic because it ends up bonkers. Help!!


I'm baffled. You use a pair of headphones for 20 years that you agree are not great but you know their foibles. Why change now? Sounds like you have an effective and trustworthy solution already.

A point often missed with phones is that a dedicated headphone amplifier makes a world of a difference. Most amp or desk headphone stages are not great - that's not where the money was spent in the design and implementation. I have heard midrange headphones (like my own seinheisser HD25 mk2's) transformed when driven by a decent headphone amp. So let's consider the headphone amp, and not just the 'cans.
PrimateSynthesis
Headphone amps do make a difference.

The headphone jack on my old Mackie 1202 always sounded harsh. Oddly, the headphone output of my MacBook Pro sounds better to me.
PrimateSynthesis
Blairio wrote:

I'm baffled. You use a pair of headphones for 20 years that you agree are not great but you know their foibles. Why change now? Sounds like you have an effective and trustworthy solution already.


Also durable. Considering how many times I've dropped them, hit them with my chair, etc. they should have been completely destroyed a long time ago.
MARK27
I have kinda collected headphones for the last 10 years, since my studio became more mobile. I have more headphones than I'm willing to admit, ranging from $50-$1000.

For mixing and reference, I keep going back to Sennheiser HD-600/650/6XX. Since you are looking for low end specifically, I'd suggest the HD-650s, or, if you can afford them, the HD-660s. You can score the 6XXs from Massdrop for $220. They are clones of the 650s.

I have a pair of Audeze EL-8 Closed that are bass monsters, putting out low frequencies that seem impossible from headphones. I love listening to music on them for fun, but they have such a fun (read: hyped) frequency response that I wouldn't trust them for mixing or critical listening.

Good luck!
Panason
EPTC wrote:
Surprised this thread got to so many replies without mentioning Audio Technica's ATH-M50's

I've had two pairs, daily heavy use, twelve years. They are excellent for honest and clear monitoring/mixing.

They have structurally lasted through countless moments of odd handling and beaten around, too. Also accidental spikes of really loud sudden volume (as happens, especially when unaware of volume from something pressing play) hasn't yet broken the cones, too. Super clean sounding after TONS of this.


They are IMO best for live use and the chunky build (as well as the DJ-style reversible cups) reflects that. I found them really tiring to use for long sessions in the studio and the closed back and almost air-tight seal around the ears creates a kind of vacuum effect which feels too much for the ear drums. I noticed the onset of tinnitus and switched to open backs (AKG 702) and my ears were relieved.
GrantB
As a long time 7506 user, the DT770 is a big step up for mixing. I've been thinking about getting an open back version for longer sessions though.

Anybody using the 1990s to mix?
c_code
Used dt 990 before for 10 years, stepped it up to dt 1990 this year, I use the analytical pads (comes with a disco curved ones as well), highly recommended and plenty of low end.
You want open cans really.
calaveras
I used 7506 for years. The person who mentored me in live sound swore by them. And in the early 90's there weren't a ton of options.
I upgraded to the V600 for a while. More bass was the only difference.
Later I got into some AKG 240's for a long time. Way less harsh than the 7506.
But those AKGs are not durable at all.
Then I got a pair of Shure 440s. Sound pretty decent to mix or just jam on. But a little boxy. I think they are just the same drivers as the pricier siblings, with less baffling.
Most recently I got a pair of DT770s. Amazing headphones. First, I can wear them fro hours. Second, they sound much clearer than my other heapdhones. By a wide margin.
Negatives.
Non folding.
there is a very narrow notch at 4k, which may or may not be noticeable.
They have kind of a far too wide stereo field, like it sometimes sounds like you are listening to two pianos, not a stereo piano.
Non detachable cable.

That all said, would buy again. Or I may go for one of the pricier bigger kids form Beyer.
If you have the scratch the Neuman and Focal headphones are totally worth it. Crystal clear like a diamond. The Focals have some kind of tech to make it less of that too stereo thing, and more like you are listening to speakers.

ps I don't get how anyone can listen to Sony cans. Icepick treble.
milkshake
cptnal wrote:
milkshake wrote:
Bath House wrote:
What’s a solid, decent pair for mixing and monitoring synth music on that are reasonably neutral but reproduce bass well enough? Since having a kid I spend 90% of my studio time on headphones. I’ve used Sony MDR-7506 for 20 years and they sound like dick but I know them. I’m ready for an upgrade. I’m looking at the 7510’s since they have better bass reproduction. What else? I hate this topic because it ends up bonkers. Help!!


Critical thinking dictates us to ask the following:
What do the science guys have to say about this?

Here are some links:
https://seanolive.blogspot.com/2017/02/twirt-337-predicting-headphone- sound_17.html
Quote from article:
The highest scoring headphone was a $100 model that we equalized to hit the Harman target response, which our research has shown to be preferred by the majority of listeners.

https://www.listeninc.com/wp/media/Perception_and_-Measurement_of_Head phones_Sean_Olive.pdf

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/headphone-target-response-curve- research-update

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=19237

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/headphone-and-headset-measuremen t-seminar-sean-olive



There are so many links to post but I'll stop here.
Smart wigglers will get the gist.


Evidence-based decision making? It'll never catch on. Dead Banana


Looking at the posts here kinda proves you right.

Not a single person backs up his/her claims with evidence, it's just people saying stuff on the internet, thinking there is value in what they say.
strettara
milkshake wrote:

Not a single person backs up his/her claims with evidence, it's just people saying stuff on the internet, thinking there is value in what they say.

Well my ears do get hot. That’s an actual fact. You can come over and touch them if you want proof.
dubonaire
milkshake wrote:
cptnal wrote:
milkshake wrote:
Bath House wrote:
What’s a solid, decent pair for mixing and monitoring synth music on that are reasonably neutral but reproduce bass well enough? Since having a kid I spend 90% of my studio time on headphones. I’ve used Sony MDR-7506 for 20 years and they sound like dick but I know them. I’m ready for an upgrade. I’m looking at the 7510’s since they have better bass reproduction. What else? I hate this topic because it ends up bonkers. Help!!


Critical thinking dictates us to ask the following:
What do the science guys have to say about this?

Here are some links:
https://seanolive.blogspot.com/2017/02/twirt-337-predicting-headphone- sound_17.html
Quote from article:
The highest scoring headphone was a $100 model that we equalized to hit the Harman target response, which our research has shown to be preferred by the majority of listeners.

https://www.listeninc.com/wp/media/Perception_and_-Measurement_of_Head phones_Sean_Olive.pdf

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/headphone-target-response-curve- research-update

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=19237

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/headphone-and-headset-measuremen t-seminar-sean-olive



There are so many links to post but I'll stop here.
Smart wigglers will get the gist.


Evidence-based decision making? It'll never catch on. Dead Banana


Looking at the posts here kinda proves you right.

Not a single person backs up his/her claims with evidence, it's just people saying stuff on the internet, thinking there is value in what they say.


I spent some time explaining to you a lot of this research should have been rejected if peer reviewed by good scientists. You just didn't want to hear any of that. I think I asked you if you were a scientist but you didn't reply. And then I wonder if you really even understand the implications of the bit you highlighted, which has little relevance to this discussion, which is that they modified the 100 dollar headphones to meet the mean curve of listener preference and then said that it was the highest scoring. Their algorithm would have been flawed if that didn't happen! All they did was test their algorithm against the the average of preferred experience and their research notes that listeners prefer a curve which hypes the bass. And this makes sense given the bass experience is different in headphones. I use headphones with hyped bass and they are not very expensive. But that's a conscious decision. This research is largely aimed at the consumer, but has little bearing on producers looking for reference headphones in studios.
Panason
Scientism is the new religion... Also, fuck "peers" and their reviews. Sold out careerists, the lot of them!
dubonaire
Panason wrote:
Scientism is the new religion... Also, fuck "peers" and their reviews. Sold out careerists, the lot of them!


No that's not true at all. I've worked with scientists most of my life, I am one, and most are genuine. If scientists were all sold out careerists there would be no advance in science, and you would have to be living in a bubble to think there are no advances. When it comes to published science you just need to be careful, and training in the scientific method helps. There are biases, that's just human, so you need to look for research that seeks to eliminate bias and has sound methodology (no pun intended). It's for this reason scientific papers publish the raw data and the methodology, so that other scientists can replicate the results or find flaws. Generally scientific hypotheses are considered unproven until replicated by others.

However we do need to be alert to the risks of scientism, and thinking faith etc is for stupid people - but we need to be comfortable with the difference. We also need to be aware of the commercial pressures on scientists and journals, especially when so many people are making stupid statements like scientists are sold out careerists. Because people who, for example, devote their entire lives to finding a cure for a type of cancer or other diseases, or devote their lives to measuring climate change, become devalued by society. And that is a sorry state of affairs. If you say these things, you have no idea how hard these people work. And that shits me no end.

When it comes to things like sound pressure levels, the science is very robust. When it comes to value statements of sound quality, science can be shaky. It's a leap of faith to think a frequency spectrum plot represents absolutely the subjective listening experience. (Although the research above, despite problems with its robustness, suggests you can average the qualitatively ranked listening experience and get a model average frequency response. But I still think this has the illusion of accuracy). And results of experiments, especially when there are statistical problems around subjective values, are best served by highly qualified conclusions.
milkshake
dubonaire wrote:

I spent some time explaining to you a lot of this research should have been rejected if peer reviewed by good scientists.

If you actual read the published papers, you'd know that it has been peer reviewed and published in actual scientific journals.

dubonaire wrote:
You just didn't want to hear any of that.

You just show cognitive dissonance, ignoring the peer review for instance.

dubonaire wrote:
I think I asked you if you were a scientist but you didn't reply.

You ask me for an argument from authority....
Critical thinking, what's that.

dubonaire wrote:
And then I wonder if you really even understand the implications of the bit you highlighted, which has little relevance to this discussion, which is that they modified the 100 dollar headphones to meet the mean curve of listener preference and then said that it was the highest scoring. Their algorithm would have been flawed if that didn't happen! All they did was test their algorithm against the the average of preferred experience and their research notes that listeners prefer a curve which hypes the bass. And this makes sense given the bass experience is different in headphones.


I perfectly understand.
It means you can EQ headphones, as they are primarily minimum phase devices, so that they will sound just like neutral speakers in a good room.
That's what the target response does.
Or you can EQ them to taste, that's up to the individual.
Maybe you should read those peer reviewed papers....
dubonaire
milkshake wrote:
dubonaire wrote:

I spent some time explaining to you a lot of this research should have been rejected if peer reviewed by good scientists.

If you actual read the published papers, you'd know that it has been peer reviewed and published in actual scientific journals.

dubonaire wrote:
You just didn't want to hear any of that.

You just show cognitive dissonance, ignoring the peer review for instance.

dubonaire wrote:
I think I asked you if you were a scientist but you didn't reply.

You ask me for an argument from authority....
Critical thinking, what's that.

dubonaire wrote:
And then I wonder if you really even understand the implications of the bit you highlighted, which has little relevance to this discussion, which is that they modified the 100 dollar headphones to meet the mean curve of listener preference and then said that it was the highest scoring. Their algorithm would have been flawed if that didn't happen! All they did was test their algorithm against the the average of preferred experience and their research notes that listeners prefer a curve which hypes the bass. And this makes sense given the bass experience is different in headphones.


I perfectly understand.
It means you can EQ headphones, as they are primarily minimum phase devices, so that they will sound just like neutral speakers in a good room.
That's what the target response does.
Or you can EQ them to taste, that's up to the individual.
Maybe you should read those peer reviewed papers....


I did read the papers, last time and again this time. I'm not going to endlessly argue again. I said peer reviewed by good scientists. I find it embarrassing that a presenter needs to put images of papers published for only one society. And most of them are conference and convention papers. I can tell you from experience submit a paper for a conference and it will be approved, especially if you are a sponsor. I've guaranteed getting conference papers published and speaking roles by sponsoring conferences. That's how it works. You get given prospectuses which tell you what opportunities you'll get for your sponsorship dollar. These presentations are clearly on behalf of Harman, not a university.

What is he trying to prove though? Perceived spectral balance has nothing to with clarity or responsiveness. And measured frequency relies on detectors which are physical approximations of human ears such as the GRAS Ear Simulator https://www.gras.dk/products/ear-simulator/product/248-ra0045.

Most of these reports talk about frequency spectrum. His papers are about technologically approximated versus subjectively evaluated perceived frequency response. Can you not see the problems with that? And an you not see that is only one quality? And we already know frequency response of headphones is poor.

You can drive a bus through this stuff. Enough already.
calaveras
dubonaire wrote:


Not a single person backs up his/her claims with evidence, it's just people saying stuff on the internet, thinking there is value in what they say.

Yeah uh, this is a message board not a reasearch foundation. The only thing you will find on message boards is opinions.
You want the specs on the headphones, look them up.
Most of us don’t have measurement equipment to analyze time and frequency domain response.
Besides, loudspeakers and headphones are the worst offenders in our entire signal chain. 2-5% distortion is not uncommon. Freq response is rarely within 3db tolerance. All you can get is subjective opinion. Use that to get a feel for what is out there, then go try them for your self. No amount of quantifying by anyone else can replace your ears.[quote]
milkshake
dubonaire wrote:

I did read the papers, last time and again this time. I'm not going to endlessly argue again. I said peer reviewed by good scientists.


If the science doesn't comply with your world view, the science must be bad.
Classic cognitive dissonance.
milkshake
[quote="calaveras"]
dubonaire wrote:


Not a single person backs up his/her claims with evidence, it's just people saying stuff on the internet, thinking there is value in what they say.

Yeah uh, this is a message board not a reasearch foundation. The only thing you will find on message boards is opinions.
You want the specs on the headphones, look them up.
Most of us don’t have measurement equipment to analyze time and frequency domain response.
Besides, loudspeakers and headphones are the worst offenders in our entire signal chain. 2-5% distortion is not uncommon. Freq response is rarely within 3db tolerance. All you can get is subjective opinion. Use that to get a feel for what is out there, then go try them for your self. No amount of quantifying by anyone else can replace your ears.
Quote:


That was my quote.

Only people who have no clue about perceptual testing say: Use your ears.
dubonaire
[quote="calaveras"]
dubonaire wrote:


Not a single person backs up his/her claims with evidence, it's just people saying stuff on the internet, thinking there is value in what they say.

Yeah uh, this is a message board not a reasearch foundation. The only thing you will find on message boards is opinions.
You want the specs on the headphones, look them up.
Most of us don’t have measurement equipment to analyze time and frequency domain response.
Besides, loudspeakers and headphones are the worst offenders in our entire signal chain. 2-5% distortion is not uncommon. Freq response is rarely within 3db tolerance. All you can get is subjective opinion. Use that to get a feel for what is out there, then go try them for your self. No amount of quantifying by anyone else can replace your ears.
Quote:


Dude, this is exactly what I am saying.
calaveras
We are making music, not dropping scientific instruments on Phobos.
Though I do appreciate a healthy dose of science fiction in my tunes. (one of my projects is called Nasa Space Vehicle).
dubonaire
milkshake wrote:
dubonaire wrote:

I did read the papers, last time and again this time. I'm not going to endlessly argue again. I said peer reviewed by good scientists.


If the science doesn't comply with your world view, the science must be bad.
Classic cognitive dissonance.


What you are presenting is poor science, including insufficient sample sizes, questionable methodology including a manufactured baseline, testing equipment even they discuss as an issue, poor statistical analysis (I see tables where the only statistical value is the SD, which is large anyway but alone means very little) presented by Harman employees under its imprimatur to make unqualified conclusions in conference papers. You don't see this because you are either not a scientist or a poorly educated scientist. Mainly rubbish and even if it was good science, it's only about the frequency spectrum, which I have said all along is poorly reproduced by headphones. Frequency spectrum reproduction is only one quality of headphones.

As I said, I use relatively cheap headphones, VModa in fact, which I love, bass heavy which the conference papers say people like, nothing near top end prices, so I'm not in any way biased against the claims being made. If I agree that all headphones have poor frequency response, and I use relatively cheap headphones, which conform to their findings when it comes to their documented listener preferences, where is the bias and the cognitive dissonance? It's just not very good science, and it's only looking at one quality.
dubonaire
calaveras wrote:
We are making music, not dropping scientific instruments on Phobos.
Though I do appreciate a healthy dose of science fiction in my tunes. (one of my projects is called Nasa Space Vehicle).


I agree totally. So when someone quotes poor science to challenge subjective opinions it's doubly annoying.
strettara
Dr. Sean Olive from Harman.

I wonder what people’s reaction would be if Dr. Joe Blow from Texaco gave a presentation on climate science? It would be regarded with some scepticism at best.

Apart from that I can’t judge the quality of the work being presented. I’m sure Sean Olive is as conscientious and as good a scientist as his research resources allow him to be.

As for me, if it sounds good in my ears I’m happy. I don’t listen to music in pursuit of some higher sonic truth.
GrantB
Having read through the PDF of the presentation, all it "proves" is that out of their 75 listeners, most of them preferred the listening experience with eq applied to provide a specific frequency response curve. The response curve appears to have been determined in part by a survey of listeners preferences, so this is not surprising.

This doesn't tell us which headphones help create mixes and sounds that translate well, or which ones are the most comfortable and least fatiguing.

*This science brought to you by Harman, a Samsung company
thevegasnerve
dubonaire wrote:
Panason wrote:
Scientism is the new religion... Also, fuck "peers" and their reviews. Sold out careerists, the lot of them!


No that's not true at all. I've worked with scientists most of my life, I am one, and most are genuine. If scientists were all sold out careerists there would be no advance in science, and you would have to be living in a bubble to think there are no advances. When it comes to published science you just need to be careful, and training in the scientific method helps. There are biases, that's just human, so you need to look for research that seeks to eliminate bias and has sound methodology (no pun intended). It's for this reason scientific papers publish the raw data and the methodology, so that other scientists can replicate the results or find flaws. Generally scientific hypotheses are considered unproven until replicated by others.

However we do need to be alert to the risks of scientism, and thinking faith etc is for stupid people - but we need to be comfortable with the difference. We also need to be aware of the commercial pressures on scientists and journals, especially when so many people are making stupid statements like scientists are sold out careerists. Because people who, for example, devote their entire lives to finding a cure for a type of cancer or other diseases, or devote their lives to measuring climate change, become devalued by society. And that is a sorry state of affairs. If you say these things, you have no idea how hard these people work. And that shits me no end.

When it comes to things like sound pressure levels, the science is very robust. When it comes to value statements of sound quality, science can be shaky. It's a leap of faith to think a frequency spectrum plot represents absolutely the subjective listening experience. (Although the research above, despite problems with its robustness, suggests you can average the qualitatively ranked listening experience and get a model average frequency response. But I still think this has the illusion of accuracy). And results of experiments, especially when there are statistical problems around subjective values, are best served by highly qualified conclusions.


thanks dubonaire, I really value your input on these things.. I would add that there is not likely "one best headphone for everyone" It is a somewhat flawed discussion based on each individuals unique physiology (for lack of a more appropriate word).. I was a Sony 7506 user for awhile, but have switched to Beyer DT-770s and AKG 240 (Massdrop version) for a little better clarity and less bass response. The DT-770s are very comfortable. just my preference, but I would recommend either for "affordable" headphones with generally not over-hyped bass.
nativestate
I use the Phonon Headphones Smb-02 as my daily drivers. Highly recommended.
francoprussian
DT-770 are amazing for the price. Not sure about US but in Europe they can be had for around £100/€115, which is ridiculous considering they're still manufactured in Germany and are very sturdy and sound like you'd hope good phones to sound.
dubonaire
thevegasnerve wrote:

thanks dubonaire, I really value your input on these things.. I would add that there is not likely "one best headphone for everyone" It is a somewhat flawed discussion based on each individuals unique physiology (for lack of a more appropriate word).. I was a Sony 7506 user for awhile, but have switched to Beyer DT-770s and AKG 240 (Massdrop version) for a little better clarity and less bass response. The DT-770s are very comfortable. just my preference, but I would recommend either for "affordable" headphones with generally not over-hyped bass.


Thanks! You probably mean anatomy rather than physiology but there can be physiological differences as well. I think comfort is a huge factor and I think Beyer make great headphones.
Blairio
Reputable UK hifi magazine What HiFi has an interesting article on headphone amplifiers - including compact devices for providing good performance even from laptops and smartphones.

https://www.whathifi.com/best-buys/accessories/best-headphone-amplifie rs

The headphone out of my Focusrite Pro 24 seems pretty good, but I would love to A/B a half decent headphone amp to see how much of a difference there is. I have known pals spend several hundred pounds on headphones, and then plug them into modest music centres and hifi amps, neither of which will have much of the budget allocated to the headphone feed.
strangeowl
Best studio headphones that I know of are Audeze (lcd-x) or the new Rosson Audio headphones.
milkshake
dubonaire wrote:
milkshake wrote:
dubonaire wrote:

I did read the papers, last time and again this time. I'm not going to endlessly argue again. I said peer reviewed by good scientists.


If the science doesn't comply with your world view, the science must be bad.
Classic cognitive dissonance.


What you are presenting is poor science, including insufficient sample sizes, questionable methodology including a manufactured baseline, testing equipment even they discuss as an issue, poor statistical analysis (I see tables where the only statistical value is the SD, which is large anyway but alone means very little) presented by Harman employees under its imprimatur to make unqualified conclusions in conference papers. You don't see this because you are either not a scientist or a poorly educated scientist. Mainly rubbish and even if it was good science, it's only about the frequency spectrum, which I have said all along is poorly reproduced by headphones. Frequency spectrum reproduction is only one quality of headphones.


What other audible qualities in headphones, besides the frequency curve, have been found to be important in double blind listening tests?
And can you post a link to that published research?





thumbs up
milkshake
Just to clarify.

All I do is show the wigglers what the science guy's are saying about headphone sound quality: The frequency cure of headphones is a very important factor concerning sound quality. And you can improve the quality of your headphone with eq.
This last thing is easy for every wiggler to verify: If your headphone is bass shy, add a bit of bass through eq. Now it will sound less bass shy. Is this really bad science?

Let's talk about the target curve.
How did they get to that?
Very simple, test lots of headphones for preference and try to find out what the top scoring ones have in common. This turns out to be a specific frequency curve.
If you eq other headphones to this curve, they will now also come out on top in preference tests.
Is this outcome surprising? Or the research bad science?


I don't have the arrogance to know it better than people who have been doing this research for decades and have published their results in peer reviewed papers.
It's up to the wigglers to use this information anyway they seem fit.
milkshake
GrantB wrote:

This doesn't tell us which headphones help create mixes and sounds that translate well, or which ones are the most comfortable and least fatiguing.


No it doesn't.
And fact is that if you can't mix on any headphone, you can't mix.

But I speculate that a headphone that is neutral, meaning it doesn't fafour or suppress any frequencies, makes mixing dessisions a lot easyer.
With headphones this neutral behavior is NOT a flat frequency curve, but instead it's very very close to the target cures used by Harman and rtings.com. The exact "neutral" curve is something to debate among the scientists.
P. S. The majority of people prefer neutral sound. See the audio musings site.
dubonaire
milkshake wrote:
P. S. The majority of people prefer neutral sound. See the audio musings site.


Unless I'm completely misundertanding the paper, that's not what Olive and Welti's 2015 Convention Paper "Factors that Influence Listeners’ Preferred Bass and Treble Levels in Headphones" reports. These graphs show bass and treble adjustments made by test subjects to a frequency response curve of headphones normalised to a flat reference speaker. Age seems to have a factor, although the sample size is small so caution regarding the results is needed. By the way, the conclusion written in the second slide is misleading. It should say "with increasing age listeners prefer to increase bass in smaller amounts and decrease treble in larger amounts until 56 after which they prefer to increase bass in smaller amounts and decrease treble in smaller amounts".





tIB
So are we allowed to make recommendations of headphones we have used that have been better for us than other headphones we have used?
strettara
tIB wrote:
So are we allowed to make recommendations of headphones we have used that have been better for us than other headphones we have used?

You’re really asking for a spanking.
dubonaire
tIB wrote:
So are we allowed to make recommendations of headphones we have used that have been better for us than other headphones we have used?


If you are asking me, yes absolutely. I think that's what the OP wanted and didn't want a misguided lecture based on some sponsored conference papers based on frequency response narrowly presumed to be the indicator of quality.
milkshake
tIB wrote:
So are we allowed to make recommendations of headphones we have used that have been better for us than other headphones we have used?


Of cause you are free to do that.

But what is the value of such a statement?

Rule number 1 of critical thinking is: When no evidence is provided for a statement, don't believe it.
milkshake
dubonaire wrote:
milkshake wrote:
P. S. The majority of people prefer neutral sound. See the audio musings site.


Unless I'm completely misundertanding the paper, that's not what Olive and Welti's 2015 Convention Paper "Factors that Influence Listeners’ Preferred Bass and Treble Levels in Headphones" reports. These graphs show bass and treble adjustments made by test subjects to a frequency response curve of headphones normalised to a flat reference speaker. Age seems to have a factor, although the sample size is small so caution regarding the results is needed. By the way, the conclusion written in the second slide is misleading. It should say "with increasing age listeners prefer to increase bass in smaller amounts and decrease treble in larger amounts until 56 after which they prefer to increase bass in smaller amounts and decrease treble in smaller amounts".







Here's a link to a later paper, so people can make up their own mind.

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=19275

Edit:More papers on the subject.
dubonaire
milkshake wrote:

Here's a link to a later paper, so people can make up their own mind.

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=19275


You have to pay to read the paper. That paper is about in-ear headphones and the abstract states "Both trained and untrained listeners preferred the headphone equalized to the Harman IE target curve." The Harman curves are shown below, the IE curve from this paper is the one in green showing more bass compensation. This curve is from an even smaller sample size so who knows, but check out the cliff at 8kHz! It's not surprising IE listeners want more bass.

milkshake, I honestly don't know if you are not understanding the papers or not reading them, or you are, as you accused me, hanging on to a confirmation bias.

But again, all these papers are about frequency response, not about headphone quality or suitability for monitoring. I'm sorry OP this thread has become so derailed.

tIB
dubonaire wrote:
tIB wrote:
So are we allowed to make recommendations of headphones we have used that have been better for us than other headphones we have used?


If you are asking me, yes absolutely. I think that's what the OP wanted and didn't want a misguided lecture based on some sponsored conference papers based on frequency response narrowly presumed to be the indicator of quality.


We're on the same page. Guinness ftw!
tIB
milkshake wrote:
tIB wrote:
So are we allowed to make recommendations of headphones we have used that have been better for us than other headphones we have used?


Of cause you are free to do that.

But what is the value of such a statement?

Rule number 1 of critical thinking is: When no evidence is provided for a statement, don't believe it.


The value as I see it is in the opinion of the poster, as recieved by the OP. Discussions on headphones (and monitors and lots of other things) tend to take similar paths, because responses are generally skewed around what has sold most/is most popular. Even so, I've done well in the past taking recommendations from other posters which have aided my research/eventual purchase. It's all opinion, and so entirely subjective, but I don't see an issue with that on a discussion forum- I assume the OP will take out of it what he or she wishes.
dubonaire
milkshake wrote:
tIB wrote:
So are we allowed to make recommendations of headphones we have used that have been better for us than other headphones we have used?


Of cause you are free to do that.

But what is the value of such a statement?

Rule number 1 of critical thinking is: When no evidence is provided for a statement, don't believe it.


Rule number 2 is: evidence must be relevant, otherwise discount it.

Rule number 3: evidence purported to be science must be good science, otherwise discount it.

That is why the links you provided need to be seen in context and challenged as poor to average science.

Rule number 4 is: the scientific method, even if credible, is not the only basis for critical thinking.

That is why subjective opinion about audio is valuable. For climate change, it's not. For what headphones are good to use, it is.
strettara
dubonaire wrote:

Rule number 4 is: the scientific method, even if credible, is not the only basis for critical thinking.

thumbs up
Muzone
tIB wrote:
........ I've done well in the past taking recommendations from other posters which have aided my research/eventual purchase.


Yes, I would certainly agree - I've learned more useful things listening to people than looking at graphs lol
milkshake
dubonaire wrote:
milkshake wrote:

Here's a link to a later paper, so people can make up their own mind.

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=19275


You have to pay to read the paper. That paper is about in-ear headphones and the abstract states "Both trained and untrained listeners preferred the headphone equalized to the Harman IE target curve." The Harman curves are shown below, the IE curve from this paper is the one in green. This curve is from an even smaller sample size so who knows, but check out the cliff at 8kHz! It's not surprising IE listeners want more bass.

milkshake, I honestly don't know if you are not understanding the papers or you just want to argue.



There are 4 different target curves in that picture. Look at the names for these curves.
The exact target curve is still in debate, as I've mentioned before.

If you make a headphone with a flat frequency curve, it will not sound good. The reason is that the head, shoulders outer ear, ear cannal and inner ear all effect what frequency curve you actually perceive. Humans automatically correct for these things, we have evolved like that. But when using headphones things are different, as the sound is now only coming from just outside the ears. The head, shoulders, and outer ear have far less influence.

It turns out that you need that strange 8kHz bump for it to sound good. This is counter intuitive, but the available data suggests this.
Look at the high scoring headphones on rtings.com. They all have this peak. And all high scoring headphones have a raw frequency curve very close to the IE2017 curve.
https://www.rtings.com/headphones/tests/sound-quality/raw-frequency-re sponse

A simple extrapolation of this data suggests that if you eq a headphone to the IE2017 curve, it will sound good. And tests confirm this.


P.s You responded while I edited my post. More links are added in my previous post.
milkshake
dubonaire wrote:
milkshake wrote:
tIB wrote:
So are we allowed to make recommendations of headphones we have used that have been better for us than other headphones we have used?


Of cause you are free to do that.

But what is the value of such a statement?

Rule number 1 of critical thinking is: When no evidence is provided for a statement, don't believe it.


Rule number 2 is: evidence must be relevant, otherwise discount it.

Rule number 3: evidence purported to be science must be good science, otherwise discount it.

That is why the links you provided need to be seen in context and challenged as poor to average science.

Rule number 4 is: the scientific method, even if credible, is not the only basis for critical thinking.

That is why subjective opinion about audio is valuable. For climate change, it's not. For what headphones are good to use, it is.


On rule 2 and 3.
So you think that you are better in evaluating the research than the peer reviewers.
I don't have that arrogance.
dubonaire
milkshake wrote:
P. S. The majority of people prefer neutral sound. See the audio musings site.


milkshake wrote:
If you make a headphone with a flat frequency curve, it will not sound good.


I suppose this could be a semantic thing, that a neutral sound is not a flat frequency curve, although most people would think a neutral curve means a flat curve.

Harman's research, which always seems to be saying don't buy expensive headphones, is based on a flawed null hypothesis (which is never actually stated - so most academic journals would not even publish these papers) because frequency response is not proved to be the indicator of quality which is their first principles assumption, and so really helps no one. Actually I'd argue that a lot of their research proves frequency response is of low importance, yet they equate frequency response to quality. But I don't think their methodologies are robust. So basically I would say ignore their research other than for being passingly interesting. Such as older people don't like bass to be as hyped as younger people. Me, I'm old and I like hyped bass but I'm a bass freak so probably an outlier. Not sure how you deal with outliers when you have a sample size of less than 100.

But that has nothing to do with what makes a good reference set of headphones. And I would say high impedance, closed over ear, large diaphragm headphones that are comfortable to wear and a good headphone amp is the answer for bass music. And for bass light music I'd say comfortable electrostatic headphones, could be open ear, which also need a matched headphone amp.
milkshake
dubonaire wrote:
milkshake wrote:
P. S. The majority of people prefer neutral sound. See the audio musings site.


milkshake wrote:
If you make a headphone with a flat frequency curve, it will not sound good.


I suppose this could be a semantic thing, that a neutral sound is not a flat frequency curve, although most people would think a neutral curve means a flat curve.

Harman's research, which always seems to be saying don't buy expensive headphones, is based on a flawed null hypothesis (which is never actually stated - so most academic journals would not even publish these papers) because frequency response is not proved to be the indicator of quality which is their first principles assumption, really helps no one. Actually I'd argue that a lot of their research proves frequency response is of low importance. But I don't think their methodologies are robust. So basically I would say ignore their research other than for being passingly interesting.


1
Neutral sound only means a flat frequency response in electronic equipment. For in room loudspeakers and headphones this is not the case.

2
If you can't find a null hypothesis in these research papers, then your not looking.
dubonaire
milkshake wrote:

1
Neutral sound only means a flat frequency response in electronic equipment. For in room loudspeakers and headphones this is not the case.

2
If you can't find a null hypothesis in these research papers, then your not looking.


But they use a room speaker EQ'd to a flat response as the headphone reference frequency response in the paper that says people like hyped bass. I can't be bothered pasting the graphics from the papers any more.

A null hypothesis should be explicitly stated in the paper.

Dude, read the fucking papers or give it a rest.
milkshake
dubonaire wrote:

But that has nothing to do with what makes a good reference set of headphones. And I would say high impedance, closed over ear, large diaphragm headphones that are comfortable to wear and a good headphone amp is the answer for bass music. And for bass light music I'd say comfortable electrostatic headphones, could be open ear, which also need a matched headphone amp.


I'm perfectly willing to believe you, if you provide evidence.
Can you do that?
dubonaire
milkshake wrote:
dubonaire wrote:

But that has nothing to do with what makes a good reference set of headphones. And I would say high impedance, closed over ear, large diaphragm headphones that are comfortable to wear and a good headphone amp is the answer for bass music. And for bass light music I'd say comfortable electrostatic headphones, could be open ear, which also need a matched headphone amp.


I'm perfectly willing to believe you, if you provide evidence.
Can you do that?


Prove to me you understand what evidence means, because so far you have proven to me you have no idea what the links you have posted mean (which are sponsored conference papers of little merit), how they are relevant, or how robust they are.

You don't have to believe me, I'm just trying to help you understand irrelevant sponsored conference papers do not axiomatically equal critical thinking. I've quoted the information in those papers to disprove your assertions, even though I think they are not robust.

This is going to come across as point scoring, I'm not. I'm just trying to help people understand posting a bunch of links to things called "papers" does not equal proof.
milkshake
dubonaire wrote:
milkshake wrote:

1
Neutral sound only means a flat frequency response in electronic equipment. For in room loudspeakers and headphones this is not the case.

2
If you can't find a null hypothesis in these research papers, then your not looking.


But they use a room speaker EQ'd to a flat response as the headphone reference frequency response in the paper that says people like hyped bass. I can't be bothered pasting the graphics from the papers any more.

A null hypothesis should be explicitly stated in the paper.

Dude, read the fucking papers or give it a rest.


The amount of arrogance that you display here is mind-boggling.
You a non scientist, think you know better than the actual scientists working in the field for decades.
Just wow.
milkshake
dubonaire wrote:
milkshake wrote:
dubonaire wrote:

But that has nothing to do with what makes a good reference set of headphones. And I would say high impedance, closed over ear, large diaphragm headphones that are comfortable to wear and a good headphone amp is the answer for bass music. And for bass light music I'd say comfortable electrostatic headphones, could be open ear, which also need a matched headphone amp.


I'm perfectly willing to believe you, if you provide evidence.
Can you do that?


Prove to me you understand what evidence means, because so far you have proven to me you have no idea what the links you have posted mean (which are sponsored conference papers of little merit), how they are relevant, or how robust they are.

You don't have to believe me, I'm just trying to help you understand irrelevant sponsored conference papers do not axiomatically equal critical thinking. I've quoted the information in those papers to disprove your assertions, even though I think they are not robust.

This is going to come across as point scoring, I'm not. I'm just trying to help people understand posting a bunch of links to things called "papers" does not equal proof.


Post something that you consider evidence.
Without it I can't believe you. And neither should anyone else.
dubonaire
milkshake wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
milkshake wrote:

1
Neutral sound only means a flat frequency response in electronic equipment. For in room loudspeakers and headphones this is not the case.

2
If you can't find a null hypothesis in these research papers, then your not looking.


But they use a room speaker EQ'd to a flat response as the headphone reference frequency response in the paper that says people like hyped bass. I can't be bothered pasting the graphics from the papers any more.

A null hypothesis should be explicitly stated in the paper.

Dude, read the fucking papers or give it a rest.


The amount of arrogance that you display here is mind-boggling.
You a non scientist, think you know better than the actual scientists working in the field for decades.
Just wow.


I am a post graduate qualified scientist. Obviously you are not reading what I'm posting. I know what a good scientific paper is. These are not. They are rubbish. They don't contain proper statistical tests. They are conference papers clearly labelled by a company. No reputable scientific paper has a brand on the publication. But more importantly they only talk about people's perceptions of different EQ curves. FFS dude give it a rest.
dubonaire
milkshake wrote:

Post something that you consider evidence.
Without it I can't believe you. And neither should anyone else.


I'm not trying to prove anything. I'm disproving the Harman papers tell you what headphones to buy, or tell you opinions of others are invalid. And I am saying anyone who posts these papers calling them science, or using them as examples of critical thinking, doesn't know what science or critical thinking is.

Call me arrogant. You are the person who joined the thread to tell people they are talking out their arse.
milkshake
dubonaire wrote:
milkshake wrote:

Post something that you consider evidence.
Without it I can't believe you. And neither should anyone else.


I'm not trying to prove anything. I'm disproving the Harman papers tell you what headphones to buy, or tell you opinions of others are invalid. And I am saying anyone who posts these papers calling them science, or using them as examples of critical thinking, doesn't know what science or critical thinking is.

Call me arrogant. You are the person who joined the thread to tell people they are talking out their arse.


You have made claims here on this page in the thread concerning good headphone sound quality without any evidence, so far.


I'm only saying, this is what the science guys have to say and provided links. I can't help it that what the scietists are saying is not what you say.
milkshake
dubonaire wrote:


I am a post graduate qualified scientist. Obviously you are not reading what I'm posting. I know what a good scientific paper is. These are not. They are rubbish. They don't contain proper statistical tests. They are conference papers clearly labelled by a company. No reputable scientific paper has a brand on the publication. But more importantly they only talk about people's perceptions of different EQ curves. FFS dude give it a rest.


An argument from authority.
Post what you think is evidence for your claims.

Edit: If you do provide what you think is evidence for your claims, then the wigglers can compare the presented evidence for both sides of the arguments.
I don't give a shit if I'm wrong or not, I care about what's correct or not.
milkshake
Here's a video of Bob Katz experimenting with headphone eq and the target curve.

If clearly shows that he thinks it's all bullshit what the scientists are claiming.
Sorry the scientists are wrong.

It just doesn't work.
Technologear?
Getting back on track...

Headphone amps - definitely worth exploring if you're chasing better sound in your cans. I have a few from Meier-Audio that make all my cans sound 'more'. Especially cans with higher impedance, like my 250ohm dt 770. Interesting that many mentions of these but little clarification of which ohm version.

Unfortunately now I've used amps I no longer enjoy listening to my dt770s without one. No more 'Ill just plug my cans into my phone to listen to that product comparison'. I keep hearing the deficiency in power to the cans, kind of metallic, harsh, hollow, being left with a feeling of 'meh' or 'that sounds off' if turning it up. That's what impedance mismatch sounds like to me. So I like the idea of previous posters having a critical listening studio set, and a knock around casual listening set that's low impedance, that'll sound fun driven from most of your devices.

Specific cans:
- DT 770s 250ohm - I've got 2. That's telling.
-dt 250s 250ohm - very similar to above, that rest more on than around the ear. I'm finding that more comfortable at moment.
- Audio technica m50s (early 2000s model not the rerelease) - I used them so much I replaced the earcups twice. Good for knock around cans that are still a bit accurate, or for monitoring, but not mixing.

The above are all closed as my listening environments had noise.

-hd600s - the only cans that make me groan aloud in aural pleasure. If you're in a quiet room doing focused listening, these are great.

Anyone own the hd600 and more easily available hd650 and care to compare?
dubonaire
milkshake wrote:
dubonaire wrote:


I am a post graduate qualified scientist. Obviously you are not reading what I'm posting. I know what a good scientific paper is. These are not. They are rubbish. They don't contain proper statistical tests. They are conference papers clearly labelled by a company. No reputable scientific paper has a brand on the publication. But more importantly they only talk about people's perceptions of different EQ curves. FFS dude give it a rest.


An argument from authority.
Post what you think is evidence for your claims.

Edit: If you do provide what you think is evidence for your claims, then the wigglers can compare the presented evidence for both sides of the arguments.
I don't give a shit if I'm wrong or not, I care about what's correct or not.


Hey, you said I'm not a scientist and I told you I am, and now you call that an argument from authority.

For maybe the third or fourth time, I'm not making any claims. I'm not arguing any other side. I'm challenging your claims, and the rubbish the Harman employees are posting in the name of science. And then after all that you post a video of Bob Katz saying scientists are wrong? What are you trying to say? This is becoming weird. I think you are a nutcase. Mainly because you posted a bunch of lame papers you clearly didn't even bother to read. In turn I showed you how the references you posted proved you wrong. You then said I wasn't a scientist. I told you I was. You then said that was an argument from authority. What the flying fuck?

Seriously this forum benefits from advice from people who use the gear. It does not benefit from people who think sponsored pseudo research aimed at encouraging consumer purchases of Samsung products subordinates that experience.
strettara
tie me kangaroo down mate
Panason
dubonaire wrote:

However we do need to be alert to the risks of scientism, and thinking faith etc is for stupid people - but we need to be comfortable with the difference. We also need to be aware of the commercial pressures on scientists and journals, especially when so many people are making stupid statements like scientists are sold out careerists. Because people who, for example, devote their entire lives to finding a cure for a type of cancer or other diseases, or devote their lives to measuring climate change, become devalued by society. And that is a sorry state of affairs. If you say these things, you have no idea how hard these people work. And that shits me no end.
.


Well, I do have a science degree from a reputable university, received a long time ago. And thanks for the measured reply, but from what I have seen during my time at university and after, institutionalised science largely stopped being a pursuit of understanding of the natural world for the benefit of humanity at large some time ago... "working hard" means nothing, ethically. Mercenaries in 3rd world countries work pretty hard too.
sutekina bipu-on
I always go back to my portapro's, no matter what. I replaced the cable on them with a nicer one. For over ears, i like the Samson SR850 a lot. It is mediocre out of the box, because the plug is a nightmare. If you can handle soldering a new plug on the SR850's, you end up with a headphone that might as well be up there with $600 AKG's. But i don't like over ears as much as on ear.

For what it's worth, i think dt770 is pretty good but not great and i hate hd600/650. The hd600/hd650 are the sonic equivalent of instagram filters, and i swear by eq'ing headphones for listening until they're where you like them. I love the Sony MDR sound with the ultra forward mids, but closed headphones can't breathe like open back ones. If you compare the MDR's to the Portapro's, the Portapro has a simultaneously laid back and super aggressive sound, whereas the MDR is kind of clinical sounding and light on bass.
strettara
Panason wrote:
dubonaire wrote:

However we do need to be alert to the risks of scientism, and thinking faith etc is for stupid people - but we need to be comfortable with the difference. We also need to be aware of the commercial pressures on scientists and journals, especially when so many people are making stupid statements like scientists are sold out careerists. Because people who, for example, devote their entire lives to finding a cure for a type of cancer or other diseases, or devote their lives to measuring climate change, become devalued by society. And that is a sorry state of affairs. If you say these things, you have no idea how hard these people work. And that shits me no end.
.


Well, I do have a science degree from a reputable university, received a long time ago. And thanks for the measured reply, but from what I have seen during my time at university and after, institutionalised science largely stopped being a pursuit of understanding of the natural world for the benefit of humanity at large some time ago... "working hard" means nothing, ethically. Mercenaries in 3rd world countries work pretty hard too.


if you can’t see the difference between scientists and mercenaries there’s little hope

but why bother

the only good info in this thread is the anecdotal recommendations

for what it’s worth, the sony headphones the op referenced as being shit are the most widely used phones for documentary production as far as i know, everyone swears by them
bitflip
Haha, this turned quite the shit-show w00t

I've got the ATH-M50 and AKG K7XX (Massdrop) and would characterize both as sonically adequate for listening to music or the impromptu late night quiet jam. The K7XX is much much easier to wear for long periods, if ambient noise permits... if it's noisy out, they don't work for detail. And if you're a deaf old geezer the leakage will wake the cat. And in the low end, the M50 is always crisper. On the other hand, the open back AKG allows one to listen to music on the phones while also listening to the tv, or vice versa if so inclined woah Yes folks, it totally makes sense when the game's on nanners
Licudi
Thirty years ago, Beyer DT 100s were the industry standard. They weren't the best, but it didn't matter as - like Auratones and NS10s - every studio had them.

As this thread shows, one of the problems of music production moving into the home has been the loss of so many audio standards. Hard to agree on a decent mix when no one uses the same measurements or equipment.

Given that, I think the question of best headphones in 2019 is entirely subjective.
francoprussian
This thread lead me to discover the blessed Ignore list.
francoprussian
Technologear? wrote:
Getting back on track...

Headphone amps - definitely worth exploring if you're chasing better sound in your cans. I have a few from Meier-Audio that make all my cans sound 'more'. Especially cans with higher impedance, like my 250ohm dt 770. Interesting that many mentions of these but little clarification of which ohm version.

Unfortunately now I've used amps I no longer enjoy listening to my dt770s without one. No more 'Ill just plug my cans into my phone to listen to that product comparison'. I keep hearing the deficiency in power to the cans, kind of metallic, harsh, hollow, being left with a feeling of 'meh' or 'that sounds off' if turning it up. That's what impedance mismatch sounds like to me. So I like the idea of previous posters having a critical listening studio set, and a knock around casual listening set that's low impedance, that'll sound fun driven from most of your devices.


Same critical/consumer duet going on here.

I have the 250ohm version Dt-770, should have mentioned. Bought them mainly because they have the coiled cable vs the 80ohm which have a straight cable, also heard they have less pronounced bass.

And Sony MDR-V500 DJ phones which are ~32ohm if i remember rightly, and do a good job of helping me pretend i'm a pleb listening on an ipod (do people still use those??).

I had the DT-250 but they were too clampy on my noggin borders.

No dedicated headphone amp, never found a case where that was necessary.
Blairio
milkshake wrote:
GrantB wrote:

This doesn't tell us which headphones help create mixes and sounds that translate well, or which ones are the most comfortable and least fatiguing.


No it doesn't.
And fact is that if you can't mix on any headphone, you can't mix.


Mixing is more than balancing instrument and vocal levels. Yes, you can get a reasonable ball-park 'balancing' mix with a half decent set of 'cans (like my trusty HD25 mk2's). Things get trickier with ambience though - reverb and delay present as 'drier' through headphones, and as result can sound overblown when heard afterwards on speakers.

i don't pretend to know why, but I could speculate around a combination of psychoacoustics and the fact that our ears have evolved to capture sonic information from all directions. This latter part is lost when drivers are placed over (or even inside) the ear canal.

There have been some interesting comments on headphone amps. In some cases the headphone amp addresses 'cans that are particularly difficult to drive, in others its the quality of the signal presented to the headphones that shines through. To those folk who don't see the point, I would urge trying one out, at least once.

I have listened to music (flac - lossless compression) played on a 1000 gbp smartphone through my sennheissers with and without a dedicated headphone stage, and the difference is like night and day. It is not a subtle effect. If that seems like a straw man argument, my 'listening for pleasure' system is built around an Audiolab 8000A amp. Its headphone stage is recognised as a pretty decent effort for an integrated amp. However a 250 gbp dedicated headphone amp delivered a far better performance.

Again the improvement was not subtle. I would liken it to listening to music through speakers driven by my previous NAD amp and then through its Audiolab replacement.

For folk who have to work (or listen for pleasure) mostly using headphones, I would urge giving a dedicated headphone amp a try.
Funky40
Muzone wrote:

Yes, I would certainly agree - I've learned more useful things listening to people than looking at graphs lol

Headphones is a VERY special topic! very unique, imho.
I went thru the process of buying "Good" ones last year.........


personally would i say and ask:
is it known if a listener will "experience" a specific Heaphone model the same as another listener, in regards to each owns anatomy ? Can we say that the endresult is the same vs. " listening physics" ?
Could the science answer this question ? ( personally i much doubt it !!!!! )
If yes. how would they measure ?
my claim here is: you can´t measure that.
( not meant to open a discussion on that topic !!!)

if i´m right, would it lead to the following result:
whatever we speak about, at the end are person-related parameters and in that sense subjectivity BIG determing factors on that topic !!!
probably more than in any other Music/Studio related one.


so, how could somebody say, this and this cans are the best ones ?

/ part 1 ( need to write more)
Funky40
i bought last year "The" Good Cans........surfed the net on that matter over weeks.
price range was the 300-400 $ range.

on top of the list were the Sennie 650/ or 600. ( i could never make out which one of those is to prefer)
i could excloude quite rapidly all other contenders that have picked up my interest.
The DT 1990 came new into focus ( been a tiny bit over my budget)

my interest was: get the best sound possible when playing Piano ( pianoteq)
AND: i just wanted to know how good "Good ones" really are .......!!!!


i used AKGs 240DF over years. I damaged two pairs with my modular..........AND: the 240DF has NO Bass. ......NOOOOO Bass !
i picked up a superlux HD681 for 29€ as a quick replacement and have been so happy that i used them for many years ( having one set on each mixer/station)

And beeing happy that the Cans are cheap, ...in case i would ruin them with my modular wink


NOW: i bought the DT1990 last year !
they won after all my reading.
They are rated to be vERY GOOD for mixing and also for music listening fun.
The HD681 have a "good enough" bass, but for fun i´d liked to have a bit more.
The DT 1990 has this !!! perfect. Also is the Bass on the dT1990 very fluid, living, juicy.
Thes Cans have a good reputation on how they transmit transients but it also affects the bass it seems .


BUT: my verdict after all:
my 29€ HD681 ( they cost now 19€) are NOT a league below as one would think, or two leagues, no !
fact is: you can get superb headphones today for 19€ !!! go figure.


is it worth to spend more ?
if you mix profesionally, shure !
anything less is a thing of budget and how high you rate your hobby.


For piano playing do i btw. still use my Superlux HD681 ! go figure.
the DT1990 has a gain bubble in the low mids. That bubble disturbs my piano sound.
Not shure if they made that overpronounciation by plan or not ?
i coud imagine that it helps that one would keep low mids a bit lower in a mix, which i guess is a good thing...??


from all the graphs i have seen, has there NOT been one model that would stand out versus others btw.
And the superlux HD681 look quite good also on the graphs.
A tiny bit too little on the bass .......exactly as the real live experience is vs. "Full Fun" listening.



my finaly verdict:
rate "comfort" higher than anything else !!!
some of the otherwise top cans fail there...........KO


and also:
we need a product, in hardware, similar to the kemper profiling amp !
make the same thing for Headphones !!!
all it takes is a good EQ..............and everybody will be happy, exept the headphone manufacturers.


edited for typos
Funky40
i spent 750$ or so for the cans + preamp.
my main win: i know now that cheap products can absolutely do.


i can sleep now better.
not allways Golden Cans flying around my brain in night lol
hihi
jdkJake
Bath House wrote:
What’s a solid, decent pair for mixing and monitoring synth music on that are reasonably neutral but reproduce bass well enough? Since having a kid I spend 90% of my studio time on headphones. I’ve used Sony MDR-7506 for 20 years and they sound like dick but I know them. I’m ready for an upgrade. I’m looking at the 7510’s since they have better bass reproduction. What else? I hate this topic because it ends up bonkers. Help!!


Personally, if you can afford the entry point, a good set of CIEMs is a good way to go. I have a set of the JHAudio Angie and find them very good for a neutral, yet revealing sound signature once you adjust the bass down to a reasonable level using the supplied attenuators. Since they are custom, the fit and long term comfort is excellent once you get used to having something inside your ear canal.

While I have numerous headphones of various brands and pedigree, once I started wearing glasses full time, they just are no longer working for me due to fit issues. The IEM concept makes that a non-issue.
E Baxter Put
I use the sonar works software which compensates for a headphones eq curve. They sell headphones that have been individually profiled to use with their eq correction software.

My recording studio is calibrated as well, so I’m trying to hear everything as flat as possible.

I just mixed several pieces while on the road with my laptop and headphones and have been very happy with the results.

https://www.sonarworks.com/

Quote:
Muff McMuff
Funky40 wrote:


BUT: my verdict after all:
my 29€ HD681 ( they cost now 19€) are NOT a league below as one would think, or two leagues, no !
fact is: you can get superb headphones today for 19€ !!! go figure.



What HD681's do you have? I gave them a google and there was HD681B, HD681 EVO, HD681F...
dubonaire
strettara wrote:
the only good info in this thread is the anecdotal recommendations


I really hoped people would appreciate me calling out commercially driven pseudoscience, which was all about me defending anecdotal recommendations, but it seems I tarred myself with the same brush I am opposed to. Nonetheless I would do it again. That's my nature.
Panason
I for one am a fan, Dubs, despite our differences meh You never stayed on my Ignore list for very long!

On the topic: I think it's safe to say neutrality is unobtainium and not really necessary anyway. Just using what you can afford and find comfortable should be enough. I think by using the headphones to listen to other people's music , spoken word,films etc., your ears will get used to them and they'll be good enough for monitoring.
strettara
dubonaire wrote:
strettara wrote:
the only good info in this thread is the anecdotal recommendations


I really hoped people would appreciate me calling out commercially driven pseudoscience, which was all about me defending anecdotal recommendations, but it seems I tarred myself with the same brush I am opposed to. Nonetheless I would do it again. That's my nature.


C’est la vie.
dubonaire
Panason wrote:
I for one am a fan, Dubs, despite our differences meh You never stayed on my Ignore list for very long!


Likewise, although I don't have an Ignore list I'm far too curious. hihi
dubonaire
strettara wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
strettara wrote:
the only good info in this thread is the anecdotal recommendations


I really hoped people would appreciate me calling out commercially driven pseudoscience, which was all about me defending anecdotal recommendations, but it seems I tarred myself with the same brush I am opposed to. Nonetheless I would do it again. That's my nature.


C’est la vie.


Oui, ça l'est
calaveras
Fair to say that DT770 and HD650 are leading the pack at least in terms of mentions so far.
A fair number have also mentioned the Sony MDR series. These people are psychopaths. Do not trust them.
Funky40
Muff McMuff wrote:
Funky40 wrote:


BUT: my verdict after all:
my 29€ HD681 ( they cost now 19€) are NOT a league below as one would think, or two leagues, no !
fact is: you can get superb headphones today for 19€ !!! go figure.



What HD681's do you have? I gave them a google and there was HD681B, HD681 EVO, HD681F...


i have the original ones on top of this list @Thomann,
and can´t say anything about the others. hmmm.....
https://www.thomann.de/gb/search_dir.html?ref=intl&shp=eyJjb3VudHJ5Ijo iZ2IiLCJjdXJyZW5jeSI6IjIiLCJsYW5ndWFnZSI6ImVuIn0%3D&sw=hd681&smcs=0cae a6_5592

not saying these would be the perfect Cans for mixing etc.
but for anybody in doubt, or people in risk to kill theirs with a modular etc.,
or just to have a start on Headphones, or just to have some for daily use without any fear etc.........the HD681 is my tip. 19€.
You can bet, when i grab my 450$ DT1990 is "that" allready different......wink

and again: i was ready to spend 400$/chf on Cans for Piano playing,
i ended up spending 700$ since i bought also a tube pre ( in fear of having problems with the 250Ohms thing etc., and since i just wanted to know what it is about )
i still use my HD681 on the Piano........which was my original reason to give me that cadeaux


to me, the superlux HD681 are AKG240 clones btw. !
i came from the (old) AKG240DF, they are built the same, ...same to wear, very comftable imho, just: the band has a tendency to break !!!
i had to repair all my HD681 with carbonfibre, which is not ideal.
they break on the side where the slot is in the band.
Not heard the AKG240 without the DF rating. The 240Df has absolutely NO!! Bass.
The 240DF has a little bit a higher resolution in the upper mids, its a bit more detailed, but not that much that i missed it on the HD681, while the 681s have the Bass the240df misses. But not an overpresent bass.
shred
have had the Sony MDR7506 for about two years and while I liked them at first they've become almost unbearable. Tried to use them last night and after about 10 minutes my ears just hurt. the ear pads are also starting to fall apart, seemingly at an exponential rate.

for the DT770, is there a big difference between the 80ohm and 250ohm?

I'd rather not get an additional headphone amp just to have slightly "better" sound. I'm not super fussed about having the best, just good quality that doesn't physically hurt my ears.
waxdoctor
GMP 8.300 D Professional - very natural sound - rugged - "ugly"... thumbs up

naturligfunktion
calaveras wrote:
Fair to say that DT770 and HD650 are leading the pack at least in terms of mentions so far.
A fair number have also mentioned the Sony MDR series. These people are psychopaths. Do not trust them.


I recently bought the DT770s and I think they sound good and feel good. I don't rely that much on headphones however, and this is my first pair of "studio" headphones, meaning that I can't really compare these to any other "studio" headphones.

That being said, they feel nice smile

@dubonaire I enjoyed the calling out
RedLab
Audio Technica ath-r70x or Sennheiser HD-600

Both are excellent for mixing and monitoring as well as for listening pleasure
- ath-r70x for tonal neutrality and smooth sound
- HD-600 for a tad more clarity and detail but a tad less tonal neutrality (compared to ath-r70x)
mattjhuber
RedLab wrote:
Audio Technica ath-r70x or Sennheiser HD-600

Both are excellent for mixing and monitoring as well as for listening pleasure
- ath-r70x for tonal neutrality and smooth sound
- HD-600 for a tad more clarity and detail but a tad less tonal neutrality (compared to ath-r70x)


I love my HD-600s. They are invaluable tools for mixing. They definitely need a decent headphone amp though.
Technologear?
shred wrote:

for the DT770, is there a big difference between the 80ohm and 250ohm?

I'd rather not get an additional headphone amp just to have slightly "better" sound. I'm not super fussed about having the best, just good quality that doesn't physically hurt my ears.


If you want to avoid a headphone amp, and your using a mobile device like phone as your source, go lower ohm headphones. Don't get the 250ohm dt770s they sound disappointing if not driven properly.

But if your source is something powered properly, like an interface or mixing desk, then good odds that it'll drive whatever ohm cans just fine.

If your listening environment has consistently low background noise and no one trying to sleep next to you, get open headphones. If not, go closed.
tremolo3
I used the MDR V6 for many years after an extensive journey of trying a lot of headphones, I was looking for the one with the most flat sound signature within the 0-200 price range.

I recently tried the DT770 and decided to make the change because I'm more into synths and low frequencies these days (which the V6 are not great for), but for guitar the DT770 really sound bad; way too boomy.
sutekina bipu-on
I dunno why everyone doesn't buy a SR850 and solder a better plug on, even though it's totally usable as is
thevegasnerve
shred wrote:
have had the Sony MDR7506 for about two years and while I liked them at first they've become almost unbearable. Tried to use them last night and after about 10 minutes my ears just hurt. the ear pads are also starting to fall apart, seemingly at an exponential rate.

for the DT770, is there a big difference between the 80ohm and 250ohm?

I'd rather not get an additional headphone amp just to have slightly "better" sound. I'm not super fussed about having the best, just good quality that doesn't physically hurt my ears.


I pulled my 7506s the other day and had the same experience. Sounded so aggressive in muds and highs that it almost hurt.. I really like my AKG M220s and DT 77Os 250ohms much better.. haven’t tried a headphone amp..
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