1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Semi/open Headphones for practicing bass & recording songs.

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Blue Swede, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. Hi all,

    So I realize this subject has probably been beaten to death. Therefore I will try to be very specific as to what my needs are.

    1. I want a pair of over ear headphones, open or semi-open - not closed - for practicing, recording and mixing songs. I already have a pair of closed ones.

    2. I own a Focusrite 2i4 mk1, theyre good with up to 200 Ohm cans but from various googling they seem ok with 250 Ohm ones as well albeit with slightly quieter output.

    3. I want a focused bass response with fast decay, but I don't need them to get ridiculously low as I suffer from mild tinnitus and I've noticed my ears get very tired from too much low end. This is another reason I can't have closed ones as I feel like pressure keeps building up over time.

    4. I need them to be comfortable for something like 30mins to 1 hour at most, but obviously this is a very individual matter hard to recommend on.

    5. I would prefer to spend no more than 200€ for them and if they end up cheaper that's a welcomed bonus.

    6. My other gear involves a sadowsky 5er, tc polytune, an fea labs de-cl and a noble preamp going into the focusrite. I currently mainly use garageband whilst assessing what DAW I would like to really learn.

    So far AKG 701/702, beyerdynamic dt 880/990 seem like the best ones for me but I would really like recomendations on all kinds.

    Unfortunately I can't try most of these on as I don't live close to a shop that stocks them. So initially I’m looking forward to what you al think!

    Thanks :thumbsup:
  2. giacomobass


    Dec 30, 2011
    I own the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (250 Ohms) and they're just awesome for tracking and mixing and for critical listening: extremely detailed, and most importantly they do not emphasize low frequencies as my other cans (closed-back Denon AH-D2000) do, albeit in a flattering and very musical way. Never had volume issues with my mixer (Mackie 1402-VLZ3) or audio interface (MOTU Traveler): they both drive them with no problem despite the relatively high impedance. YMMV
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    Blue Swede likes this.
  3. Thanks for the insight. Did you ever feel like they were tiring to listen to after a while? Are they comfortable to wear? Even after say 30-45 mins?
  4. giacomobass


    Dec 30, 2011
    No, never, as long as I keep them at an acceptable volume level (i.e., not too loud). They are extremely comfortable on my head and around my ears; I literally keep them on for hours when practicing or recording, with no fatigue at all. The pads just tend to get a little sweaty after an hour or so.
    Blue Swede likes this.
  5. I own the AKG K701 and the Massdrop Sennheiser HD650 besides some closed headphones. Both are comfortable for me. I like the sound of both a lot. The Sennheiser have a bit more low end, but in a pleasant way. The Massdrop version of the Sennheiser is a real bargain.
    Blue Swede likes this.
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i think you want "reference monitor" headphones...especially for mixing. while all of the manufacturers 'cheat' the specs (some more than others), a reference type will give you 20hz-20khz, flat.

    of the two you mentioned in the OP: i only have real-world experience with the AKGs = both are great as reference monitor headphones. good luck with your choice(s)! :thumbsup:
    Blue Swede likes this.
  7. I've never heard of massdrop, so they buy the rights to produce something cheaper than the OEM and sell it to a wider audience for less? Sounds like the HD 650 ones have gotten very close to the original product. However, in Europe they cost $270 via massdrop, and I found a deal on the original HD 650s for $350 shipped locally. Which ones to get? :nailbiting:

    Yeah it's tricky when you see 5-35K HZ for example, I don't really want my ears to be thumped by sub bass frequencies...But I am definitely looking for something fairly flat, but not boring either :rolleyes:....
  8. pocket_groover

    pocket_groover Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    Northern California
    Have you looked at Grado heaphones? They've been around for years and years and consistently get good ratings from various sources including Consumer Reports. They are open style and comfortable. I've had a pair of cheaper Grado SR60's for a long time. The best ones are SR325e and SR225e ($295 and $200 respectively) but even the cheaper SR80e ($100) and SR60e ($80) are rated high.
  9. Staredge


    Aug 7, 2010
    Germantown, MD
    I have the Grado SR80s. Took some getting used to as I’m used to having bass boosted in cheap headphones, but I really like them. No problem for me wearing them for an hour or two.
  10. The Massdrop Sennheiser phones are made by Sennheiser. They are not OEM products or counterfeits in any way. The same is true for the AKG headphones Massdrop sells. The Massdrop HD6xx look a bit different - I like the looks - and they only come with one cable that is a bit short and has a 3,5 mm plug for smartphones, but an adapter is included. Otherwise they are the same as the HD650. I live in Berlin, where Sennheiser has its own shop, but ordered the ones from Massdrop.
    Comfort is a very personal thing. I have the older austrian version of the K701 from AKG and for me they are among the most comfortable headphones to wear for a long time. Others have complaint about the headband being umcomfortable. I never noticed the headband. The Sennheisers are comfortable, too. For me.
  11. ofajen


    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    The venerable HD 600 is also excellent, if you can find a deal on them that fits your budget.

  12. Thanks everyone for your input! After going back and forth on the Sennheiser HD 650/Massdrop 6xx and looking into headphone amps since I would need one to drive them, I realised I was going to completely blow my budget of €200. So instead I have ordered a pair of AKG k712 pro cans that I got a good deal on. I also looked into Grados, but the price gets a bit inflated as soon as they cross the big pond and even though I would love to try them, with AKG should anything go wrong its a lot closer to spares and repairs in Europe.

    The K712 pros have reviewed favorably and the cost will be less than half of a pair of HD650s + amp. This means I can plug them straight into my sound card as well as wear them with my phone in the backyard for instance.

    I will return with feedback and discuss how they worked out for me in case someone else should be interested!

    Thanks again for everyone's input.
  13. Good choice! The K7... from AKG were much more expensive years ago when still made in Austria.
  14. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Sennheiser HD600. $300
  15. Picked up the headphones yesterday and have only tried them on briefly so here are my first impressions:
    • They’re feather light! As in you almost forget you have them on.
    • The open design was definitely the right choice for me. It means I can hear if someone needs me (wife/kids), while saving my ears from excessive bassbuildup.
    • I like the vast soundscape and separation, really helps with extracting the details from a song - for instance when learning a new bassline from a record.

    So far so good :thumbsup:

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.