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I need to buy a new headphone for film recording, but a good reference for editing and mastering music too.

I have always used Beyer Dynamic DT100, very strong and closed, ideal for live recording, but lack of definitions in the low end.

Any advice? I am looking at Sony 7506, but was wondering if there is something else around.

  • Beyerdynamic DT770 pro are really good for your purposes. Or Audio technica ATH-M50x, or Sennheiser HD380 pro. – ScottF Feb 23 '16 at 23:36
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I think that headphones will never be perfect for this, but there are some good choices, especially if you are sensitive to the difference between mixing with monitors and headphones. Obviously referencing headphones is part of the workflow for many audio engineers.

So. Do not get Beats, do not get Monster, don't even get JBL. For the love of god get headphones that have a flat and accurate response. And often, this depends on the frequencies that you are working with.

The first question is, do you want closed back or open back? I prefer the nice response of open back, but they are very loud when I'm working in a public space. Look into the difference. Then name a price point. What is your budget? Ohms, will you need a headphone amp, an interface with a lot of gain on headphone channel, or are you also wanting to occasionally use them for listening music out of a regular old 1/8" jack.

So here are some recommendations that are by no means final.

I've used these in a number of studios. Good bang for you buck, closed back, versatile. http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/headphones/99aff89488ddd6b1/index.html

I own a pair of these. Great midrange accuracy, but not so good in the bass. Really great when I'm working on classical music which I often am. These broke twice but AKG repaired. I've been pretty happy with them. http://www.akg.com/pro/p/k271mkii

I do enjoy these, but they are pretty pricey. http://www.akg.com/pro/p/k702

I would also absolutely recommend checking out the Sony line of professional monitoring headphones. Define your needs, do your research, and you'll be happy!

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I've been using the Beyerdynamic DT-880 for 3 years, and the 40~400 Hz low-bass and upper-treble (12000+ Hz) mixing became tremendously easy on them (relative to my previous pair, the Grado SR-80i). Semi-open back, proper stereo field, comfortable to wear, and robust (has been consistently intact and working well all through those 3 years).

I seem to recall that semi-open back was a good balance between keeping the bass contained and letting some get out, so that the representation of the bass is fairly realistic. I think it's partly that, and partly the velour pads, that make these headphones give me very little ear fatigue, if any, over long mixing sessions (2-4 hours).

I use the 250-ohm version, but it requires an amplifier to get a good output frequency distribution and volume due to the high impedance, so I would recommend the 32-ohm version.

I got mine for 51% off from their regular ~$400 price, so they're pretty expensive, but I absolutely love them for nitty-gritty mixing/mastering. I used them to master the BadAss Boss Themes: Vol. III album, and they were a tremendous help in producing this huge ReMix here.

Additionally, award-winning composer Andrew "zircon" Aversa uses them, if you've heard of him; he still makes sample libraries for Impact Soundworks, and has been utilizing those same headphones for over 8 years.

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The long-standing "industry-standard" headphones for production field recording in North America is Sony MDR-7506. And in Europe the similar favorite is the Sennheiser HD280.

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I use Monster headphones for recording and listening because they sound like speakers, not headphones. Very loud, huge bass, very comfortable. They really spoiled me for typical headphones. I spend a lot of time either singing or writing and arranging. Flat sound is less important than great speaker-like sound. And I never feel like I have to remove them because they are uncomfortable.

No headphone is really suitable for mixing and mastering. When I mix and master I always use monitor speakers. But when I compare the mix in the Monster headphones, the extra bass reminds me to lower the bass in my mix, which leads to a better mix because I usually mix too bass-heavy. The monitors give me a flat look at the sound and the Monster headphones give me the enhanced view. For me having both of those works well. They might go well with your Beyers in that same way. And since I do my listening in these same headphones, I am really familiar with what a finished product sounds like in them.

  • Monster headphones are the worst thing imaginable for professional monitoring applications. If you think closed back monsters are "speaker like" you have never tried a real good headphone before that is fore sure. – ScottF Apr 28 '16 at 22:11
  • Avoid gimmicky popular consumer brands like "Monster" and "Beats" etc. They are over-priced (for the performance) and practically guaranteed to have horrible frequency response. They will lie to you every time you put them on. You will find no professionals endorsing the use of such consumer brands. – Richard Crowley Jun 21 '16 at 1:13

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