Producers: Headphones Complement to HD25?
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  1. #1

    Default Producers: Headphones Complement to HD25?

    I know the headphone game gets played here a bunch, but I need a bit of more specific guidance if anyone can help.

    Looking for a second set of headphones for producing (House, garage, etc), to be a complement or straight upgrade to a set of HD25s I've already got. I find the HD25s alright for production for the most part, but sub bass is a bit of a crap shoot to mix cleanly since I don't get a real idea of whats going on down there, and it shows when I'm testing it on club systems, as things tend to be muddy. My band is on tour all the time, otherwise I'd be putting money into studio monitors, so I've gotta get closed back headphones too, since we travel a ton and things tend to be noisy.

    Anyone had to do the hunt for production headphones that already owned HD25s? What'd you like? My primary contender so far is the Ultrasone Pro 900 because they're bass heavy, but really sub bass clarity and articulation is what I need the most. Basically, looking at closed back headphones around $300-$500 or so.

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
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    You probably won't find headphones that can really show you what's going on in the sub bass region. This is simply due to technical reasons / size. If you want monitor speakers that give you a good idea of what's going on in the sub bass you need speakers with at least an 8" woofer, maybe you even wanna go for a 10" or 12" subwoofer. How should any headphone with its relatively small drivers ever be able to give you similar results.

    You also don't want to go for "bass heavy" headphones, as that bass heavy impression usually just comes from overemphasizing the bass frequencies and not from genuinely "more" bass, let alone bass clarity. In the end your productions might even lack bass as you might think you had enough bass in your tracks when it's really only the headphones pretending you had.


    Lastly, closed back headphones are usually considered to be sub-optimal for production purposes, as open back headphones are far superior regarding depth and stereo imaging.


    TL;DR: You can of course buy better headphones than the hd25, but I doubt they will really solve your problems and $300 - $500 for a not completely satisfying solution is a lot of money.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the advice, I know my restrictions are limiting for accuracy in production, needing headphones in the first place and closed back ones at that! I wish taking a set of studio monitors on tour is an option, but haha I'll have to wait til we upgrade to a tour bus for that one!

    Currently the HD25s tend to lead to bass heavy and muddy low end mixes. If there are better closed back headphones (which I'm sure there are) for general articulation and ease of mixing (or to make up for flaws in the HD25s), I'd love to hear suggestions

  4. #4
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    Closed back will never be the ultimate in neutral headphones, but I've had good experience with AKG K-271 II's for headphone monitoring. They are very dry, with a very extended but a little dipped-down low end, and the treble smoothness completely kills the HD25. I also use HD25s for DJing. The AKGs are closer to my Genelecs in pure revealing ability, but would never cut through all the noise properly in a DJ setting. Give them a listen!

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor M.Beijer's Avatar
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    I recently got to try the new Aiai Studio headphone. Will be selling it in 1 week. Was impressed, perfect for studio use, neutral sound,
    comfortable, great build quality.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru Dustin V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.Beijer View Post
    I recently got to try the new Aiai Studio headphone. Will be selling it in 1 week. Was impressed, perfect for studio use, neutral sound,
    comfortable, great build quality.
    X2 on the AIAIAI Studio's. They look like maybe pretty good option. Can't comment on them as they not released as yet but, it's something to maybe a take a look at when they are.
    2013 MBPr 13" | X1 mk2 | TSP 2 | A6 | DJM 900 nexus | HD 25 UBER Aluminum's | Technics sl1210 mk2's | Logic Pro 9

  7. #7
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    x3 for the Aiaiai

    The test I read about them sounded pretty good.


    Anyways, as for all listening devices, the best advice I can give you is: go and find out yourself!

    Sound is a highly subjective matter and thus no one can really tell you what to get due to different preferences. Plus no one really knows what exactly you don't like about the HD25s in the end or what you would consider to be a good complement for them.

    Just go to a store and check different models out. Maybe call first to find out what they have in that price range... If you tell them you're willing to spend $300-$500 on a pair of headphones they should be more than willing to assist you and let you try out whatever you want.

    Don't know what the return policies in the USA are but ordering different models to compare them and send the ones you don't like back could also be an option.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru djproben's Avatar
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    A lot of people swear by the Audio Technica ATH-M50s for this purpose. I haven't compared them but I would bet that you'll find a more neutral response than the AIAIAIs.
    "Art is what you can get away with." - Marshall McLuhan

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor elio_xh's Avatar
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    As Proben said, I do swear by my Audio Technica ATH M50s. Super flat response and they're the best closed back monitors for their price. I picked mine off Amazon for ~$100, and I've had no problems for the last 2 years with them. You can use them to monitor bass pretty well also. If you have any specific questions about them ask away.
    DJ: Traktor Kontrol S4, Audio-Technica ATH-M50
    Production: LPD 8, Keystation 49, Fast-Track Pro, Equator D5 monitors

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