Well there you go… that’s a snapshot of our headphone cupboard after it’s been tidied… we really do need to a new ayi!!!
Today’s rant is about one of dbstudios favourite topic… headphones; and if you don’t know your circumaural from your supra-aural, your moving coil from your electrostatic then all is forgiven… but if you don’t walk away from here without knowing the sickest “cans” (and if you don’t get the 57 varieties reference your just dumb lol) on the street then you’re banned from the studio at least until the next time we need to make up our party guest list!!!
We have not quite hundreds lying around at the studio… but as with any live /tracking studio we have plenty… both for artists to monitor themselves as they are playing and/or dubbing, for us to monitor them when they are playing and/or dubbing but also very importantly for us to listen to the final mixes/master tracks before they are released in the various wave formats (usually red book and MP3) from the studio; then of course there are the cans or sometimes “buds” (headphones that fit snugly into the auditory canal) that we wear when we are out and about… so are you sitting comfortably?
For artist “foldback” we have a pile of AKG K271 (now available as a Mark II update for around 200 US) lying around… they are reasonably priced very comfortable and have a good acoustic profile though we have had some reliability issues which in a studio is a big issue but they still way out perform the entry level ATH supra-aurals (meaning they sit on rather than surround your ears) that we originally bought.
For monitoring (as an engineer/producer) i don’t go anywhere without my M-Audio Studiophile Q40s (40 referring to the size of the driver) a closed back dynamic headphone that is just part of my daily ritual… exceptionally comfortable (which if you are doing a 10 hour session is of paramount importance) with an absolutely flawless frequency response and ability to capture acoustic separation and detail; each engineer will have his favourite but these are mine and at under 200 USD they are great value. Taking a brief value aside you might like to recall the most expensive ever headphones that were marketed, made by Sennheiser they retailed at 15,000 USD but can now fetch over 20 – 25,000 as they made only 300 of these gems.
Now what about when we are out and about?!? As world class producers we need to send out the right message. You can’t go wrong with any of the Skullcandy uber-cool earbuds range, Bang & Olufsen A8 V2 if you are trying to look opulent (http://daftshopping.com) or if you’re down on the street and like your bass fatter than fat i go for “beats” by dr dre (http://beatsbydre.com).