Headphone recomendations for sound creation

I do sound design on VCV and a number of other synthesizers in the box. I’ve always designed for my own use, but I might want to send some of these things into the world. I’m thinking about a good set of cans for auditioning the work before inflicting it on others. So far I’m strongly considering Sennheiser HD600s, and I’m wondering if there are others I should consider as alternates. If so, then why?

Of course a nice set of powerful and accurate monitors would be nice, but that and the heavily treated room aren’t in the budget right now.

hd600 is cool, also check AUTOEQ correction (amount of subbass is really a personal taste) for them and you’re nearly all set. https://github.com/jaakkopasanen/AutoEq/tree/master/results/oratory1990/harman_over-ear_2018/Sennheiser%20HD%20600

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Thanks. My goal is to completely avoid hyping any frequency range. I just want the truth and nothing but. :wink:

So sennhs with those eq settings would be perfect for that purpose!

beyer dynamic DT770 or DT880 very comfortable and mostly accurate for headphones. Sonarworks to tame high end characteristics…


I second the BD , I have the DT 770 pro. And they are well worth it, as well as affordable.

Thirded, I have BD too :wink:

I recently purchased a new headphones for similar reasons to your own. I’ve been very happy with my AKG K371s. In addition to their neutral sound profile, one of the features that sold me on them was the fact that they have a replaceable and standard mini-XLR cable. I’ve also been pleased with their overall build quality and comfort. At around $150USD, I have found them to be an excellent purchase.

probably obvious but…DJ headphones may be uncomfortable over long periods of time. Also you don’t need “swivel”. I bought (70 euro, 15 years ago) the cheapest AKG ones and have been happy with their relatively flat sound. I still use them over my KRK monitors to check the low end since I don’t have a subwoofer.

Oddly, I’m now looking at the much cheaper SHP9500. Just about all the cans will need some EQ for flatness. Note that I’m listening with not-exactly-young ears. I just want to not get lied to about defects when I’m trying to create a good preset. The main critical use is preset programming and maybe mixing some synth demos.

Be careful what you ask for, you might get it, as they say.

So you want flat, transparent, reference headphones? Here are the cheapest ones I know (actually I know of no other ones at any price, even by the same brand): Audio-Technica ATH-M40x, $99 list price.

But don’t trust me, check for yourself (and let me know if you can detect when they come in and out: I definitely can’t): Audio-Technica ATH-M40x vs Sony MDR7506 vs Sennheiser HD280 Best $100 Headphone Review.

I should have added that I detest closed backs. They’ve always sounded rather boxy to me.

So if closed back are not for you - sennh 600 is still best bang for buck) or dt880, but expensive

The BD 880 pro’s are great and have a flat response throughout the range.

I’ve got 990 pro’s which have a little bass and treble boost, I like the sound for listening but sometimes wish I’d gone for the 880s for mixing. They are super comfortable to wear for long hours on end.

I’ve also got the closed back ATH-M50x which also sound good - nowhere near as comfortable though.

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HD600 are great out of the box, I wouldn’t mess with adding eq to them, this practice rarely ends well…You just need to spend some time in getting used to their sound.

Plus you should also add a pair of decent monitors, I’m afraid mixing only on headphones will not be sufficient.

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The HD280 in the video do sound a little boxy. The MDR-7506 don’t, they are a tiny bit too bright though. The ATH-M40x however, well, don’t have a sound at all, they’re like acoustic glass.

I still have my hd580 since 1997 and always love :heart: it.

But since 2017 I have the akg 701 too that I use only for vcv dev, and love :heart: them too (and they are really open!).
The 701 are really inexpensive, you can find it for $100


Yeah, AKG is awesome, I have the 712 Pro, and they are very very good.

For those doing some headphone shopping, one thing that in my opinion should perhaps be just as important as sound quality is comfort. We can have the best sound in the world, but if after 15 minutes ours ears hurt and all we want to do is to throw them out of the window, then it will not have been a good purchase! :slight_smile:


This. I cannot wear headphones for longer than about ten minutes as my ears overheat and get too uncomfortable. Anyone know of any decent cans that are aimed specifically at solving this problem?

Edit: Can’t stand in ear either.