I really like mixing with headphones. It kinda gives me the "silence" i need. Moreover i really enjoy to work outside with my macbook in the spring/summer to make dialogue editing and re-recording for broadcasting stuff more enjoyable :D.

Tough I really got to know my headphones (Sennheiser HD 25-ii). But there is a but! Especially when it comes to EQ, depth (reverb amount) and bass-compression - i make miss decisions. Moreover I run into a lot of troubles in levelling deep bass sounds, vocals/dialogue, and hi-hats. -> So I always need to fix my mix on studio monitors (Adam 5x)

Now I stumbled upon the Focusrite VRM-Box which everyone except some reviews praise as some kind of holy grail.

But I have some questions:

  1. Anyone, got some good/bad experience with it?

  2. Will it help in not getting tired ears so fast, when i listen through the vrm?

  3. Can I mix trough the vim, or do i just use it to reference the mix every now and then too get a slight feel of how the mix sounds on professional speakers?

  4. Which headphones work best with the vrm-box?

  5. Does it use a lot of cpu/memory or is the simulation emulated in the box?

  6. Does a VRM-Box have a heavy impact on my battery life

  7. Do you know any alternatives to the Focusrite VRM-Box

I know its a lot of questions. I appreciate any help!


1 Answer 1


The root issue is one of physics, mixing should always and only be done on monitors. Low frequencies = larger waveform = more distance/time/space required for the frequency to develop audibly (read: montitors in a room). Air between your ears and the cones are what's necessary to properly evaluate mix decisions. No real way around that, even with some sort of emulation or headphone correction. Sometimes this can be worse because of making additional compensations for what a device does to perception. This is because the HRTF-style IR idea only works soundly (read: is calibrated to you specifically, like pinking your room if working with monitors) if the IR is made of your head, in your mix room, with your calibrated monitors, at your mix position. So effectively, a device like this using its own IRs from factory, the "zero reference" will be flawed from the start and mix decisions may very not translate properly.

So my suggestion here is, stay with monitors when mixing.

I certainly don't intend to be rude at all here, I just find it a tad frustrating personally to hear (and not calling you out personally or anything of that ilk, I hear this a lot) "mix in headphones" followed by "mix isn't translating/can't judge what mix decisions I make." The question sort of answers itself logically in my opinion

  • I agree that at one point I need to go back to my well know Adams and check what I did in headphones. For now I do only clean samples, cut, edit, arrange, ... in headphones. But it would be great if I could do something more. I do so enjoy working audio under the sun :D (I will need to build an outdoor studio at some time :) )... By pinking my room you mean playing back pink noise to see how the room responds? I definitely need to try that, never fought of it thx Nov 18, 2013 at 0:13
  • Pinking the room, meaning calibrating it against pink noise for a flat response across all octaves/RTA. Not just using a dB meter against broadband pink. Nov 18, 2013 at 0:50

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