Monday, December 26, 2016

How to Choose Headphones for Music Recording

Whether you’re a musician recording at home or working in a pro studio, you definitely need to know about the different kinds of headphones used in the home studio. This is an important decision, since the different types of headphones work best in different situations, and could lead to problems if you choose incorrectly.

Closed-Back Headphones

Closed-back headphones are great for musicians to wear when they are being recorded with microphones. They prevent the sound in the headphones from being picked up by the microphone. Unfortunately, this kind of sound isolation comes with a cost, since headphones that are more isolated tend to have a less accurate frequency response. This means mixing on these headphones is not recommended. These headphones are great for situations such as recording vocals or acoustic guitar when the musician is very close to a sensitive condenser microphone. A good set of closed-back headphones for the home studio are the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones.

There are also situations where you may need even more isolation. When recording drums, the musician may find it difficult to hear the music they are playing along with. In this case, the concern is not about sound leaking out of the headphones, but more so the sound of the instrument leaking in. Isolation headphones for drumming will not be as accurate as other headphones and could be uncomfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time. They will, however, allow the drummer to properly hear the music, and the drum sound picked up by the microphones can be played through the headphones mix. The Direct Sound EX-25 headphones are a fantastic choice for drummers to use in the studio.

Open-Back Headphones

Open-back headphones have a more accurate frequency response than closed-back headphones, but they don’t prevent sound leakage. Though mixing should always be done on monitor speakers, this isn’t always an option; open-back headphones are a much better choice for mixing than closed-back headphones. They are also great in recording situations where microphones are not close by, such as recording keyboard, electronic drums, or direct electric guitar or bass. At the lower end, the Beyerdynamic DT-990 is a good choice. If your looking to buy something of a little higher quality, we recommend you check out the Shure SRH1440.

1 comment:

  1. Even better than the Sennheiser HD280 Pros try the Sennheiser HD380 Pro headphones. Crystal clear with no color or hype and brutally honest. I traded in my HD280s and now have 2 pair of 380s for voice work.