Great Studio and Mastering Headphones!
Posted by Whole Hearted Productions from Manhattan, KS on 2012-04-21
Accurate, Precise, Great Low end
Not great isolation, earcup connection issue
I spent a lot of time researching headphones before finally getting these. I have been expanding my talents from just mixing to also include mastering and I figured laying down some serious cash for a great pair of headphones would be a lot less expensive than building a full blown mastering studio with Studio monitors alone that would make these headphones seem like a steal.
One thing I was looking for was a pair of headphones that was just accurate... especially in the bass. I want to know that what I am listening to is exactly what I am listening to... complete with its imperfections. My guess about some of the music types people did not like to listen to with these headphones were mastered for people that don't have high fi systems with which to listen to their music (a lot of rap and electronica in which the bottom end is trying to sound good in iPod earbuds for example--or just straight up really loud!). So I would propose that what you might not like about these headphones is that they will separate good masters from the not as good masters.
I have been listening to these using my laptop jack (which I am sure is not the best quality in the world), but I am looking forward to trying them with my new RME FireFace UFX as I am guessing there will be a pleasant difference with a better headphone amp (although it is hard to imagine how much better they CAN sound. These do not have the normal bass bump at 80 Hz that is common in a lot of professional headphones. What they do have is the ability to reproduce lows to below the threshold of hearing. It is like listening to a flat monitor system with a good sub. When mastering, this helps you know that what you hear is what will be reproduced later (with a decent system). These get pretty close to recreating a mastering environment. And the space of the sound field is amazing! I would say that if you don't like the way music sounds through these headphones, it is very likely to be the music's fault rather than the headphone. These things do not lie. If the mastering is poor, these headphones will let you know about it! If you hear distortion, it is much more likely to be your audio source than it is to be these headphones.
As far as volume goes, I set my computer audio out to 50% with audio program feeds at 100% and that seems to be a perfect listening volume on average. Obviously, this will change on every device, but it is good to know that there is still some headroom.
One issue I have had with these is that the screw and nut and nut cover that hold one of the earcups to the headband sometimes works it's way loose and falls apart. I might add that the little nut and washer are pretty small and I am grateful to God that I have not lost them yet! As the system is spring loaded, it is a bit tricky to reassemble, but it can be done without any tools. I should find some of the sticky lubricant that it looks like it was originally made with, but I have not done so yet. They do not fall apart very often, (once every few months maybe), and I think I could extend that by some time with some sort of grease.
Last thing is that although these are closed back, do NOT expect them to have better than average isolation. This will affect your mixing and mastering (if you are in a noisy environment, especially consistent noise such as an air conditioner). Also you may take pause before giving them for the vocalist while recording vocals as bleed from the headphones is likely to be picked up.
Look & Feel
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