How To Choose Headphones for EDM Music Production
Studio headphones are an essential component of any studio as an additional tool for monitoring as well as when recording. So what headphones do you need in your studio?
The differences between studio headphones and studio monitors:
One might think that quality studio headsets should be equal to or better than studio monitors in the area of sound monitoring and listening, perhaps other than deep bass presence. After all, unlike studio monitors, headphones do not depend on the acoustics of the room they are in (which could be a significant saving on room acoustics) – so why not then headphones are not the main monitoring tool when producing music and mixing?
Distortion of the stereophonic space:
When we listen to the stereo mix on studio monitors (or speakers), the monitors are physically in front of us and our natural hearing mechanism refers to the sound that is in front of us. With studio headphones, because the sound source is inside (or alongside) the ear and head, there is no real front-end information, and the resulting stereo image is distorted.
Another difference between studio monitors and headphones: When you listen to stereo sound coming from studio monitors, some of the sounds from the left speaker are also heard in the right ear, and vice versa.
What Is a Studio Headphones
In contrast, studio headphones provide you with a very high level of separation between the left channel and the right channel, creating an artificial, excessive, but very detailed stereo image. This feature can be used when checking the location of different sounds in the overall stereo image.
At the same time, it should be clear to us that when we listen to the mix on speakers or studio monitors we will get a narrower and less detailed stereo image. This way the headphones can be used as a ‘magnifying glass’ for our stereo.
Uneven power perception of low frequencies:
Another serious problem with using studio headphones as a monitoring tool is that different people will perceive different bass volumes when listening to headphones. Factors such as the distance between the earphone diaphragm and the listener’s ear will cause a difference in the perceived bass level.
The way the earphones close and seal the ear will also play a role in the coloring of the sound. For example, when we attach the headphones to the ear we get stronger bass. This, of course, is a significant problem in a studio environment where we want to monitor as accurately and balanced as possible and with as little as bias.
Open headphones VS closed headphones:
Open (or semi-open) studio headphones are capable of dealing with the bass problem described above. These studio headsets have an open acoustic structure that allows for a more neutral and less ‘painted’ sound than closed headphones. These headphones also feel lighter on the ear and can work longer with them.
Open Studio Headphones
For the purpose of studio monitoring and further reference to studio monitors, Open studio headsets are the best headphones that will provide the best results. At the same time, the significant drawback of open studio headsets is that they do not isolate the user from outside noise and leaks. That is when recording the sound coming from the headphones will reach the recording microphones – which can be a significant problem.
Which Headphones Why and How Much?
Personal Preferences - Closed Headphones
If one has to choose one of the two types of headphones, I would choose closed-back ones, paying attention to their tendency to leak when recording. Another element to consider before choosing a studio headset is how comfortable they sit on the ear. Since we often need extended work with headphones, it is desirable to have comfort and ‘ease’ on the ear whenever possible. But choosing between open and closed studio headphones is also a matter of taste and comfort and the nature of your work.
How To Choose Headphones for EDM Music Production
Steven Slate Audio VSX Studio Headphones with Modeling Software
Steven Slate Audio VSX headphones provide leading-edge modeling software that places you in a myriad of virtual mixing environments. It’s the ultimate mix reference. This sonically neutral headset provides you with multiple speaker options per room and global output speaker EQ. It boasts beryllium drivers for an ultra-detailed sound, while a patented APS system harnesses air pressure to optimize your low end. A pair of Steven Slate Audio VSX headphones are rugged enough to withstand the rigors of studio life. It can survive sweat, humidity, drops, temperature, and extended high-volume listening. A no-tangle cable rounds out the VSX’s generous features set. Simply put, if you’re struggling against a poor mixing environment, you need Steven Slate Audio’s VSX modeling headphones. It’s guaranteed to elevate your mixes.
Neumann NDH 20 Closed-back Studio Headphones
Neumann’s NDH 20 closed-back studio headphones deliver excellent isolation with the linear frequency response, solid stereo imaging, and outstanding resolution you expect from a Neumann monitor. Featuring circumaural memory foam ear pads designed for superior isolation and exceptional comfort during long listening sessions, NDH 20 headphones are perfect for any critical monitoring or mixing task, even in noisy environments. Distracting resonances in the midband mar the performance of many closed-back designs, rendering them unsuitable for critical mix decisions. The NDH 20s take after Neumann’s acclaimed studio loudspeakers, delivering unerring accuracy free from mechanically induced colorations.
ADAM Audio Studio Pro SP-5 Closed-back Headphones
Unnatural spatial imaging can make mixing on headphones difficult. Not so with ADAM Audio’s Studio Pro SP-5. Thanks to Ultrasone’s S-LOGIC Plus technology, sonic objects will be placed exactly where you’d expect them to be. Beyond that, this innovative technology also significantly reduces ear fatigue. Aside from their spot-on imaging, these headphones also uncover the nuanced details professionals need to make appropriate mixing decisions, by virtue of their revealing 8Hz–38kHz frequency response. Their premium-quality closed-back design also gives you excellent acoustic isolation — a must for mixing on mobile production systems. Studio Pro SP-5 headphones include two connection cables and a semirigid transport box.critical monitoring or mixing task, even in noisy environments. Distracting resonances in the midband mar the performance of many closed-back designs, rendering them unsuitable for critical mix decisions. The NDH 20s take after Neumann’s acclaimed studio loudspeakers, delivering unerring accuracy free from mechanically induced colorations.
Incorrect use of headphones can damage your ears! As creators and sound people our ears are our most important tools. When using headphones, it is recommended to keep the volume low and take frequent breaks at work. In order to keep your ear fresh, we recommend that you open studio headsets and try as little as possible to use in-ear headsets, also studio protectors. Watch out and you won’t know tinnitus!