I like AKG's, but I heard the new moderate-priced ($60 or so) Audio-Technica at last year's AES show
and was very impressed. I have a pair of Sony MD-6 or something like that and do not like them one
bit. Too harsh, too bright, too boomy, all in one bad package. Must be great for monitoring live
sound at a grunge gig or something. Not good for anything else.
Headphones vary greatly in sound quality and I think it's a personal choice thing which you like
best (no right or wrong answer). My main advice would be to take the time to go to a store that has
a decent selection, bring a CD you are familiar with and listen to many headphones. I find piano
music to be a good test because if the upper mid and treble notes are not harsh, the headphones
probably won't fatigue your ears. Also, of course, never use headphones at loud volumes for extended
periods. I very much prefer to monitor on real speakers but have been known to use headphones in a
pinch. My brother, who plays guitar and has recorded quite a bit, is a different animal -- he likes
to monitor through headphones because he's used to understanding sound quality that way. When we
were kids, he always preferred headphones so I guess it goes to follow.
Back to specifics, check out those A-T phones. I was really surprised how good the $60 pair sounded.
It was much better, to my ears, than the expensive "pro monitor" phones that A-T makes. The AKG's I
have (the "studio pro" 600-ohm version of the very popular model, forgot model #) are very
comfortable over long periods, but, even with a powerful headphone amp, they are bass deficient so
not good to make mix or EQ judgements -- but very comfortable for doing something like monitoring a
transfer. Surprisingly, they sound excellent when driven by my iPod Shuffle, so go figure. Back in
the studio, they are particularly non-fatiguing on voice recordings, probably thanks to the bass
deficiency thus no boominess.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Charles Lawson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2006 6:44 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] monitoring headphones
> Francesco Martinelli <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> which model did you find more
>>suitable to monitor transfers from analog to digital and limited sound
>>cleaning (for listening purposes, not CD reissues).
> Sony 7506s still seem to work pretty well these days. There is a fair
> amount of variation between sets (some are brighter than others) so it
> helps to have numerous pairs from which to choose, but 7506s still seem to
> work well for this purpose. You might also look at Audio Technica
> ATH-M40fs. Good frequency response, quite comfortable but subject to the
> same caveat as the 7506s. I find the 7506s more revealing.
> Charles Lawson <[log in to unmask]>
> Professional Audio for CD, DVD, Broadcast & Internet