Sound mixing and headphones...a bit confused.

I recently bought a pair of TASCAM TH-02 “studio” headphones. These seem to make things sound differently than my “normal” headphones.

When I listen to one of my projects through my “normal” headphones, they seem to have a bit more “bass” to them, then when I listen through the “studio” headphones.

So which ones do I wear, when? I want to know what’s accurate, so when I actually do my (basic, admittedly) sound mixing, effects, and such, I’ll know what it’ll sound like when it’s played.

Thanks again, all!

The pros will tell you, “Don’t mix on headphones.” :wink: Headphone listening is just a “different experience” than listening to speakers so it’s hard to tell what your mix will sound like on speakers. But I read about one pro mixing engineer who does use headphones because he moves around from studio-to-studio and he can get consistency that he can’t get with different monitors in different studios. He says you don’t need super-good headphones but you need to “learn your headphones” so you know what s good mix sounds like. And he says it took him years to get good at it…

You should have a known-good reference recording and if doesn’t sound right on your headphones you can equalize them to get a good sound and then stick with that equalization. Then periodically re-listen to your reference recording to “keep your ears calibrated”. (You’ll need an equalizer that works with your soundcard, or a hardware equalizer. The Audacity equalizer is for equalizing your audio files, and it’s not intended to equalize your playback/monitoring system.)

I don’t know if those TASCAM headphones are particularly good or bad… [u][/u] has some independent measurements & reviews but I didn’t find your headphone with a quick-browse through the listings.

If you’re going to compare measurements & reviews it’s important to have apples-to-apples comparisons and a consistent measurement setup. Headphones are notoriously difficult to measure and two different labs (or two different manufacturers) will probably get different results. And, the “audiophile” community is full of nonsense and most reviews & manufacturer’s specs are useless. :frowning:

A “studio” headphone shouldn’t be different from a “hi-fi” headphone. Both should be designed for accurate reproduction. A studio headphone should also be rugged, reliable, and comfortable for an extended period of time. Certain monitoring situations require closed/sealed headphones so probably most “studio” headphones are sealed.

Thanks, @DVDdoug.

That said, I don’t have a pair of monitors, and the only real way I feel I can listen to the project is through either headphones or “studio” headphones.

I’m just not sure which I should use when adjusting levels and such.

I don’t want to do it with just the laptop speakers, because I have a feeling that won’t work well. So I’m wondering about the “studio” headphones I have versus a “regular” pair of headphones. The TASCAMs are marketed as “studio” headphones, and my understanding is that they’re engineered and constructed differently than regular headphones. Kind of like the difference between monitors and speakers.

There’s another layer to this. When people gather to do make movie magic, they almost always do it with a pair of Sony MDR-7506 headphones. They have a lot going for them. They fold up. They’re sealed against the head and the cable comes from one side.

They’re hard to break and they arrive with adapters to plug them into either 1/4 inch or 1/8 inch sockets.


Their claim to fame is not comfortable listening. It’s that they can show you errors and sound problems before anybody else hears them.

Bass Boost is a feature of generic headphones. I bought a pair at a music store while on vacation and abandoned them immediately when I got home and compared them to better units.

If you’re forced into one or the other, mix to the studio ones.

And then play the work on a larger sound system when you can.