The Best Headphones for Mixing – Why you need open back headphones: Explained

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The best headphones for mixing in 2019 are Open Back Headphones. Generally. That’s beginning to change. If you’re mixing in a home studio and you don’t have the best monitors or the best monitor setup, or don’t know how to acoustically treat your room, open back headphones may be better than closed back headphones or even a good set of studio speakers/monitors.

Song by OldManRei
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Mitch Gilmore at Revolution Music
Filmed and Produced by Revolution Music

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GEAR USED IN THIS VIDEO:

SPEAKER STANDS:

CAMERA:
Canon 80D
Sandisk 32gb Extreme

LENSES:
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8

AUDIO:
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
Rode M3

SOFTWARE:
Cubase Pro 9
Protools 12
Waves

#headphones #mixing #homestudio #openback #gaming #headset
what's up guys it's mushy from revolution music and today I'm going to be telling you why I think you might need a pair of open-back headphones in your studio this is revolution music where we talk about real home studio solutions that you can achieve on any budget and produce an awesome quality product so today we're going to talk about open-back headphones now you might be asking what are open-back headphones well essentially they're a pair of headphones that actually have the backs of them open and they're different to closed back headphones because obviously they have a closed back now most of you have seen many different versions of closed back headphones closed back headphones are pretty much the most commonly used headphone and the back of them is closed off so that it limits the noise coming from the outside and this makes a lot of sense because when you're listening to headphones you don't want noise from outside coming in and you also don't want the noise from the headphone that you're hearing coming out so then why would we have open-back headphones well the problem with closed back headphones is because of their enclosed back design it actually changes the frequency response of the speakers in the headphone typically having a closed back on a set of headphones will increase the low-end response but it also can potentially muddy up the low mids and give a less true representation of the original sound source and while some enhance low-end might be great for a listening environment just as a casual listener this isn't actually what we want to hear as professional mix engineers as mix engineers we want to hear the truest flattest most accurate representation of the sound source we're trying to listen to so that way we can accurately manipulate it within the stereo space put it this way if you're hearing a lot of accentuate a bass because of a closed back headphone design well then you might end up cutting a lot of that bass out of the mix and end up with a mix that isn't as basic as it needs to be or you might find that you EQ the bass in a way that doesn't actually sound good on all speaker setups now closed back headphones have their purpose in the – do we use them for artists because we don't want headphones Vil coming into the microphones that we're recording with we also don't want outside noise getting into their headphones if they're playing in a room with other artists but for mixing this is where open-back headphones shine open-back headphones typically have a grille on the outside of the headphone to allow for some of the energy created by the speakers in your headphone to escape and this by design gives a truer sound of the original sound source so when mixing a pair of open-back headphones can give you a true representation of what you're trying to listen to and make it much easier to mix and this is why open-back headphones are typically found in a mixing environment and this is a generalization is that open-back headphones a much clearer and truer and have a much more natural high frequency response as well whilst a closed back headphone will have a more enhanced low-frequency response and is catered more towards listening rather than mixing but there are those pros and cons to both you wouldn't find someone typically using a pair of open-back headphones in a live recording environment but you do however find a lot of people mixing on closed back headphones and this is okay I mean everyone's got to use what they've got and if all you have is a pair of closed back headphones that's a fine start you might find a pair of open-back headphones give you much better mixing results now another reason why you might want to use a pair of open-back headphones is in replacement of a set of studio monitors for you people out there that actually have a set of studio monitors if you're mixed environment isn't acoustically treated like you can see mine is you can see a lot of the acoustic panels in the background and I've treated this space acoustically so that my monitors give an accurate representation of the original recorded material to allow me for more accurate mixing but if you're in an environment that isn't the most ideal acoustically a pair of headphones might be your best option and that's most of us when we first start out most of us start out in a bedroom or a garage or just some sort of standard square walled room that isn't acoustically treated and isn't gonna give us the best quality audio frequency response so unless you've acoustically treated your mix space monitors might not actually be the best answer for you and if you're actually interested in acoustically treating your room I'll post a link up here and you can check that out but if you don't have the time or the budget or aren't comfortable in building acoustic treatment a great pair of open-back headphones is really really good place to start now the headphones I use are a pair of San Heiser HD 650s and these aren't cheap by any means but they're about the price of a mid-level set of monitors they can be picked up anywhere between four to five hundred dollars and there are a set of headphones that I would recommend to anyone to mix on these headphones are completely over the ear which I like because it makes it comfortable while I work with them and the velvet covering on each of the pads is very very comfortable when you're mixing for long periods of time with headphones on now I actually found mine secondhand for a little under three hundred dollars on eBay and the seller actually thought that the left headphone was broken but I was lucky the driver had actually just come on clipped and all I did was cut that back into place and replace all the velvet pads for a few dollars and I had a working set of HD 650 s for around three hundred dollars now you might be also asking why would I be using a set of HD 650 see if I've got an acoustically treated mix environment with a decent set of monitors and the answer is I use both I use both my headphones and my speakers and I flip back and forth during a mixed session just to check that the general mix is balanced well because sometimes you need a different perspective and chucking a set of headphones on will give you that and by mixing with these two different sound sources I get a very good general idea of where my mix is at also the other reason why I mixed with both headphones and monitors is that these are the two environments that most people are going to be listening to music typically you're gonna find a lot of people listening on headphones or they're gonna be listening on different varieties of Bluetooth speakers car speakers so want to make sure that it sounds good on both sources and to be honest at the end of a mix I'll also listen to my mix on a set of commercial speakers I'll check it on a Bluetooth Sony speak I'll check the mix on a pair of earbuds and even a cheap pair of Sennheiser closed back headphones just to see that my mix overall is where I want it to be now for anyone out there that's looking for a pair of headphones I'll put some recommendations down below but you can pick up a very good pair of open-back headphones for around three to four hundred dollars typically and they're made by all the top headphone manufacturers and that includes sennheiser biodynamic AKG and a few others and a special mention at the time of making this video nomen have actually made a pair of closed back headphones that are supposed to compete with open-back headphones so that's quite interesting and that kind of turns the table on the argument of clothes back first about headphones but I'm yet to check those out so I can't completely comment on those yet but it's very exciting that they've gone in that direction but at this point I would recommend any open back set of headphones just check out some reviews before you buy them and I think the most important thing is actually are they comfortable so try and get to a store to maybe try some out because if you're wearing headphones for mixing you only be wearing them for a long period of time and everyone's faces are different everyone's heads are different and headphones fit quite differently on every different person so it's important to go try them out make sure there's something that you could work in for a long period of time because you can imagine spending a few hundred dollars on a nice pair of open-back headphones and then wearing them for a few hours and then hating them because they squeeze your head a bit too tight or they don't fit around your ears properly or don't sit on your head nicely if you've got any more questions about headphones or studio gear or acoustic treatment please hit like please hit subscribe and hit me up in the comment sections down below I Mitch from revolution music and I'll catch you soon

The Best Headphones for Mixing – Why you need open back headphones: Explained

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