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Thread Headphones vs. Speakers pros and cons

  • 14 replies
  • 15 participants
  • 21,055 views
  • 15 followers
Chaoschrist

Chaoschrist

18 posts
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First post
1 Posted on 03/02/2009 at 05:59:44
Browsing around i read a couple of starter threads talking about buying speakers.

While I surely think that speakers are important, for a start it is a difficult thing. Just blowing 1000 bucks on a couple of Tannoys or anything like that doesn't just cut it.

With monitoring, it requires good space to mix. With good acoustics. And for some DIY producers/musicians, that might be a difficult thing.

I pretty much do all recording and producing in my only room, which serves as a bedroom and also as "living room".

For starters I would advice headphones over speakers. At least that's not dependent on spacing, location... and not to forget the nightly hours we might spend on producing while we cannot enjoy or hobby to the fullest volume.

And besides, you'd need a couple of speakers just to compare. So headphone and perhaps use computer speakers, ipod earbuds and perhaps even an old boombox, would suffice for any DIY I think.

Thoughts?
Thor H

Thor H

50 posts
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2 Posted on 03/03/2009 at 04:03:48
I think you should do most of you mixing with good monitors, but also use headphones from time to time to compare. Plus, you'll often hear things with headphones that you might not have noticed with monitors.
Mako2112

Mako2112

8 posts
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3 Posted on 05/14/2009 at 05:21:41
Headphones may present a few issues. One is you will never get a correct feel for how much bass you have.

Changing the cup pressure on your ears may alter the bass response. So every time you pick up the headphones and slap them on you may mix differently.

You also may have problems getting the right bass since your body cannot feel it, so you may tend to add too much bass trying to get it to the point where you can feel it.

And I am no expert but having more speakers (Woofer, Mid, Tweeter) will create a cleaner frequency image since each speaker is only working in its frequency range.

Where a single headphone transducer is trying to do it all. So it may be at its fullest extension while trying to reproduce a bass drum hit, which will totally clamp or distort the higher frequency information. This compression may cause you to EQ in more highs.

So you may end up with a boomy and brittle sounding mix.
free-loops

free-loops

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4 Posted on 05/14/2009 at 13:11:52
Headphones are great for playing around with or if you live with your parents or have a baby sleeping or something.

The final mix however should never be done on either headphones or those small pc speakers.

For best results test in 3 places...

#1 Headphones/PC Speakers
#2 Car
#3 Club or Studio Setup
makepurple

makepurple

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5 Posted on 05/18/2009 at 18:19:32
With headphone you can have your own world.. but it may not really good on ears.. speaker.. it makes your surrounding jam, cool, and relaxing.. but it may disturb people does not type the music you love to hear..

:) :lol: :lol: :lol:
Carnage

Carnage

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6 Posted on 05/22/2009 at 08:01:10
You need to use monitors so that you can mix the stereo field properly
mirandopersimon

mirandopersimon

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7 Posted on 02/19/2010 at 03:52:36
Headphones are tiring and indeed have no bass to rely on. I've spent many hours for nothing because the bass was terrible at the source.
However full range drivers with no crossover are the best, but they are usually expensive. Fostex make them, and Dowther (or the like). Sometimes you can find good ones on ebay. And the box-design through google.
PC speakers are usually worthless, but it is wise o check the mix in your driving car, that's hopefully where others will listen to your stuff.
Without monitors it's really hard. I know because i'm still saving for monitors... I just use a pair of KEFS for now.
miniklop

miniklop

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8 Posted on 06/16/2011 at 02:30:29
I think, you must have good speakers & good headphones. just to know how the music sounds, here and there...
bonniecampbell1989

bonniecampbell1989

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9 Posted on 04/17/2014 at 20:25:15
You must have good headphones so that you can listen to the sounds. However speakers are also useful so that you can get a feel and hear on how your mix sounds. Each has its own pros and cons but both are useful that it why it is important to invest on good ones.

World Peace.

Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
10 Posted on 04/18/2014 at 10:26:40
Agreed. Monitors and headphones are two categories you don't want to scrimp on. Also, although it's hard to judge bass on headphones, they're great for checking subtle details in your mix that you might not notice on speakers, as well as for checking stereo placement of mix elements. Generally speaking, it's helpful to listen to your mix on as many systems as you can, including headphones, and to A/B it with well-mixed songs on your studio monitors. By comparing your music to a professionally mixed song in the same style and with similar instrumentation, and trying to match your mix to it, you help negate any acoustical issues in your studio that might be causing you to, say, mix with too much bass.
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