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Not great advice, I think, putting twenty different headphones on your head these days. I use the Sony’s for mixing and they provide a rather I enhanced sound, IMO. You can find warmer phones with more bass, for sure, but they are an excellent value for the price and found in lots of studios. And they have been produced for years, which says something, I believe.
Not great advice, I think, putting twenty different headphones on your head these days.
Here's an alternative ... buy some phones online. Like 'em? Keep 'em. If not, return them. From what I've read this is a very common thing.
Perhaps it's why headphones are so expensive? I mean, really. A bunch of plastic and a couple of teensy weesy 'ducers ... for hundreds of dollars? Perhaps the high price pays for the frequent returns? Just a guess.
There is no "best sound quality", IMHO. There are some headphones you'll like, and some you won't, and many that you'll find OK. "Fit and comfort" matter, since you'll be wearing them for long practice periods.
The two you mention have both been around for a while (much longer for the Sony). They both have enthusiasts, and they're both designed with "flat frequency response" as a goal.
. . . Flip a coin, and order one.
There's a new "digital edition" of Sound on Sound (a recording and electronic-music magazine). It has a feature article named "Mixing on Headphones". I haven't read it, but it might have some interesting material.
Just noodling around the reviews, both appear to be good, but the ATH's seem like they might have a more natural sound - but even if that's true, if you're not producing music, that's not all that important. One little thing I like about both sets is that they should both produce sufficient volume with smartphones.
I think Mac has the solution. SweetWater is great with returns. I did that with the Sony’s and Beyerdynamics. Tho the Beyer’s were highly touted, I preferred the Sony for both sound and comfort. You can always put an equalizer in the chain and tweak your sound (onboard EQ works, too).
That's why I don't like asking questions in forums. You need an answer and you get all kinds of irrelevant and sometimes frustrating answers: Preaching.
Maybe he had made his/her decision!
First of all, the frequency response diagram helps a lot specifically if you have worked with enough number of headphones to mix/master songs or performances.
Have you ever heard this phrase: "Honey do what you love?". To me, it sounds like "Buy what your ears like".
You buy the headphones, you start using it and at one point something happens and you realized that you don't like the headphones anymore.
rtings.com is a great place to do a comparison and read about these two headphones.
This s Sony MDR-7506
This is AT M40:
So by looking at the diagrams, Sony is has a bit less boom to it and very little brighter. Sony has a nice smooth base but there is a subtle pothole. To me, the hump in AT-40 is going to be annoying. It's large and more in the area where I can hear it.
The bass is a tricky frequency range. It's not as compact as the high-frequency range so you'll hear the difference.
I'd describe the AT-40 as boomier.
Construction-wise, I believe MDR-7506 is very cheap. Usually, the headphones last a long time but the drivers' longevity is questionable. The foams will deteriorate very quickly if you're a sweaty person like me. I have tried AT-50 and its construction quality is better than Sony. AT-50 is a very balanced headphones but it suffers in the high's.
*** I own Sony MDR-7506. I haven't tried AT-40. *** Your ears can actually like a very wrong pair of headphones because of many reasons. Flat freq. response is the standar.
Abdol, some of us realize that specs are irrelevant.
Sometimes specs lie. But even when honestly created they really don't tell you much.
Listening tells me everything.
I don't wear headphones to look at charts. The only thing I do with headphones is listen. Simple.
Specs don't lie. It's your ears and the wrong perception of good and bad which tricks you.
I hardly can agree with you when you disagree with something scientific. If specs were inaccurate, why companies invest millions of dollars in it?
The frequency response is measurable. Your preference... you can't even measure it. It depends on your mood. e.g. when you read my posts, you might be less eager in hearing a bassy song, as I may kill all the fun with my bitterness. Other times, you might be listening to groovy music and enjoy it in the same set of headphones.
I have two pairs of headphones with me right now, closed-back Tascam TH-02 for $20, and much more expensive open AKG K702 for $300, the first came in bundle with the piano, and the second I purchased on my own.
As it comes to the sound of the digital piano, I have very hard time to tell them apart, except for the volume - I play with different volume settings, as K702 is quieter.
Two make a dramatic difference if I watch a movie - K702 creates a better scene due to its open design. K702 is slightly better to listen to the music (not by degree to be 15 times better, but still better). But for DP - I am afraid I would not tell which is $20 and which is $300 in the blind test and with the volume settings adjusted.
Your point makes no sense. Ears are incapable of "wrong perception". They are what they are.
If their response is flat, that's what they hear. If not flat, that's what they hear. For good or for bad ... like it or not ... our ears are what they are.
If the phones sound good then they are good. If phones sound bad then they are bad. My good might differ from your good. But it doesn't matter. I only listen to my choice of phones, and you to yours.
Yes, phones are measurable ... and that matters to their designers. But I listen without looking at a chart. And my "un-measurable" like or dislike needs no chart.
I listen to enjoy. Not to compare my hearing or my phones with what a chart says.
And don't say that specs don't lie. Sure, they don't HAVE TO lie. But they're often designed to lie. Cheating on stats is rampant. Beware.
I'm not wrong. Not that I'm selfish but because there is a reason behind what I say and that reason is not proven by me.
Ears don't percept anything. It's your neurons that percept audio. Hearing loss or hearing difficulties is a different story.
Your ears unlike what you think, hear what you want not what you should hear. The sonic illusion is a real thing. You should never trust your ears. You hear things based on your mood, your mindset, and many other factors.
Overall, the reason why flat sound is good, is because you'll most likely hear exactly the way the instrument is recorded and not the way your neurons are used to/like to hear things. After using good flat headphones, you will appreciate them when you listen to music through crappy headphones!
What you say is exactly "Do what you love honey". Coming from the middle east I was exposed to hipsters constantly telling me that "you should do the job you love"... That time I was naive and didn't know how to respond: Ya you like becoming a drug addict... sure you'll enjoy it but is really what you love going to have a positive impact on your life?
The story goes to headphones. The second part which you guys never pay attention to is that sometimes people ask questions with intention and research behind it. Maybe the OP has done the research and is doubtful about these two only.
Sounding good or bad, although varies from person to person, can be regulated. Some people prefer headphones with a lot of bass in them. In general, if you're doing any professional mixing and mastering you shouldn't buy these kinds of headphones. Being flat is a must. It's like the center of the sonic system.
Again, your argument is not relevant. You say that "your ears, unlike what you think, hear what you want not what you should hear. The sonic illusion is a real thing."
I don't doubt that ... but so what? It make no difference about my choice of phones.
I still want headphones that sound good to me. And "sound good to me" is an opinion. My opinion. You might well prefer different phones ... because your ears tell different lies, causing you to have a different preference.
So if my ears are filthy liars ... well I'm stuck with them. They are what they are. They don't sell replacements.
If my ears are lying ... so what? No chart will dictate my opinion. And I can formulate an opinion without a chart. Indeed, I cannot formulate an opinion even with a chart. My ears, lying or not, tell all.
Depending on age/lifestyle/occupation, different frequencies might be heard slightly differently from one person to the next for starters. There's a normal hearing range... but it's a range, so let's get something that is measurable out of the way first.
Add different headphone amplifiers into the mix (whether on-board, or external)... and different piano sounds/samples from various models/manufacturers...
Heads/ears are shaped differently... ear canals are shaped differently (even on the same person, left/right variance)... So comfort aside, different headphones might fit or work better on different people...
...then add personal taste into the mix.
A headphone bench test is therefore only a representation of how sound is reproduced when measured using equipment (not real ears, with all of the variables above), and doesn't tell you whether or not you might personally like them, whether or not they personally suit/fit your body... and whether they suit your own personal instrument/equipment.
Learning to play. Consciously incompetent, which apparently is a good starting point.
I just bought my son (14th birthday) Sennheiser HD 559 ($100) and I must say that I really don't like them for playing the piano. Way too much muddy bass effect compared to my HD 58x Jubilee headphones. The 559's made my beautiful piano samples sound terribly unnatural.
I bought him the 559's because I wanted something less expensive and comfortable. I really like my HD 58x's, but I didn't feel he needed a $180 (with shipping) set of headphones for what he is doing.
It seems to me that for playing the piano the better options are headphones that give a more flat response (The Sony MDR-7506 in the comparison above). Headphones with increased bass response might be good for some types of music or other applications, but IMO, not good for piano.
God Bless, David
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