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  • Headphone Advice for Mixing

    Posted by Jesse Lewis on at 11:02 am

    Dear Mix Legends!

    I am ready to make an upgrade to my headphones for mixing.

    Due to a variety of factors I’m not able to really create a good mixing environment where I can completely trust what I’m hearing through my loudspeakers. They speakers aren’t that great to begin with (cheap KRK speakers)

    I’m feeling like, in leu of really treating my space for sound really well and getting better speakers, I might be better served to get a very good pair of mixing headphones that I can really trust and that accurately represent my mixes. I’m currently using a pair of Sennheiser HD 558 open backed headphones, which cost about $180 I think. I’m guessing I could do better?

    I’ve been on youtube a bunch and reading articles, but feel kinda lost and confused about what to do and trust you all. I’m willing to spend some $ on this because I think it’s a very important piece of the puzzle, especially if I can’t monitor in my room very accurately thru speakers.

    Can any of you please advise me on what to buy. I’d really appreciate it. I was imagining spending $500-$700??? Maybe somewhere in that general range?? Are the ones that are over $1000 just a waste of money? Or is it really worth really throwing down and investing something more than the range I’m hoping to stay in?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!



    Jesse Lewis replied 1 month, 4 weeks ago 2 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Dana Nielsen

    at 3:28 pm


    Great question, man.

    • First off, don’t spend $1k on headphones. Put that money toward better speakers and/or room correction (panels and/or software).
    • I currently use Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones. Pretty standard studio fare. Nothing glamorous or extra special about them but they get the job done.
    • I prefer closed-back headphones, even though that’s not a popular opinion in the “stereo hifi” world.
    • My go-to recco for nicer “mixing headphones” (if there is such a thing …) has been discontinued, sadly. But here’s a link to some options available on Ebay. BLUE Mo-Fi Headphones. They’re huge but comfortable and sound excellent. They have a passive mode and also an active amplifier mode (battery powered, rechargeable via usb connection). If using the powered mode they can get RIDICULOUSLY loud and produce a monstrous sound. That said, I forget to charge them and for the past several years I use them in passive mode and they sound killer just like that. But also … I use my AT headphones 99% of the time cause they’re smaller and are fine, and they look better on camera 😂
    • I use Sonarworks Sound ID Reference on my speakers as a plugin within my DAW. I have their measurement microphone as well. Awesome folks, awesome product. I would buy this before splurging on fancier headphones. I check every mix on headphones toward the end of the mixing process, but headphones are no substitute for mixing on speakers — even inexpensive, software corrected speakers.
    • Sonarworks also have “virtual mixing environments” in the software to emulate various studios, home hi-fi, car audio, computer speakers, etc. Waves as well as Slate also have products that do this. That said tho: I HAVE NEVER EVER FOUND A USE FOR THESE VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT THINGYS. Whenever I try that stuff it just sounds fake and creeps me out lol. But a lot of people swear by those virtual room tools. To each their own!
    • There’s also this hardware option by IK Multimedia, which looks cool too, though I haven’t tried it.

    Arright, I gotta run, but hope that helps! I’m gonna try to do a Sonarworks video at some point soon, especially since I need to run a new room measurement to utilize an exciting new feature they rolled out which integrates directly with my audio interface (Avid MTRX Studio).


    • Jesse Lewis

      at 9:39 am

      Thanks so much for all this info brother! I really appreciate it. I’m happy to save $$$, and excited to make an upgrade to my current headphones.

      I’ll look forward to a discussion or video about sonar works. It seems like everybody uses that software! Inquiring minds want to learn:)



      • Dana Nielsen

        at 11:08 pm

        Heck yeah homey – save them dolla-dolla billz! I’ll work on the Sonarworks vid soon as I can … 🤘

        Also, I think they offer a free trial on their website if u wanna check it out. Tho you’d need a measurement microphone to get started. I ultimately bought their mic which pairs with the software via serial number, based on that exact particular individual microphone’s response graph. Nifty! But before I bought the Sonarworks measurement mic I did several successful room measurements using an inexpensive Behringer measurement mic I already owned. So for $35 and a free software trial you could be off to the races by Friday! 💥

        • Jesse Lewis

          at 6:21 am

          Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!!! Thank you

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