Headphones and headsets are among the most important audio gear for a music producer. They can be used in multiple ways, and offer a more detailed approach during the recording a particular track or during beat making, so that the sound engineer or the producer can listen carefully, compare and correct any imperfections spotted.
The difference between headphones and headsets, is the addition of a microphone for the headsets. Headsets are very commonly used by games, so that they can easily communicate with each other during the game session, but they are also used by sound engineer who want to listen and communicate simultaneously, with the artist that is recording vocals or instruments in the booth.
Headphones are very effective when it comes to comparing the song in progress with a reference track. The sound engineer or the music producer, can focus and hear everything in great detail when using the headphones, and can spot any minor differences or slight adjustments that need to be made in order to improve the overall quality of a song during the mixing progress.
Regarding the audio mastering process, headphones and headsets are tools of major importance too. This is because they offer another listening means to the audio engineer, and he can accurately compare multiple tracks, and manage to adjust their volume and loudness levels so that they sound similar to each other.
This is very important for every music producer, audio engineer and artists, as properly mastered projects gain a huge sound quality advantage, which helps them sound ideal from most stereo playback devices, no matter the volume or the listening environment.
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Last but not least, headphones and headsets, help the beatmakers and the producers who work in home studios that are not fully soundproofed keep the noise at the minimum to avoid noise issues with the neighbors. Being practical is very important when producing music.
What to consider before purchasing headphones for beat making
The sound quality of your headphones is your number one priority when it comes to deciding which pair to choose. You should read carefully every review available and test the headphones yourself, so that you can make sure that they deliver the sound you want, and if it is enough to satisfy your requirements.
Make sure that the headphones you choose provide a broad frequency range, so that you can listen to as many frequency bands as possible, equally well in order to be able to process them in detail. Make a case of listening to multiple different sounding songs with the headphones, so that you can decide on their overall functionality.
You need to acquire a solidly built set of headphones, so that it can last over time. Headphones and headsets tend to be sensitive audio gear and they break pretty easily, as they are design to be elastic and comfortable.
Try to stick with the most trusted manufacturers, and learn everything you can about the durability of the product you are about to purchase. Make sure that the set of your preference is made out of high quality material, and read what previous users of the product have to say.
Headphones and headsets come with a number of features. Headsets have microphones applied on the main body of the product, and you can find headphones with additional volume controls, equalizing controls, cables, headphone stands, waterproof headphones, noise canceling headphones, different types of head bands and ear cups, wireless headphones, on-wire adjustment controls and many more.
You have to decide which types of features are necessary for the intended use of your headphones, and purchase the set that offer the ones that you want.
The general rule when it comes to headphones like most sound equipment, is the more the more money you are willing to invest, the better the product. Fortunately, there are many affordable headphone and headset options for those on a budget, and the prices can go up to several thousand dollars.
You have to stick to your own budget’s limitations and acquire a set of headphones within the price range of your convenience. Make sure that you pay for the appropriate features and sound quality, as well as a product with a solid structure, so that your headphones can tolerate overuse and be functional.
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Best headphones for beat making
1 – Audio-Technica ATH-M40x
The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is an amazingly balanced set of headphones. It has great sound stages, and provides the appropriate stereo imaging for the user. It has the ability of isolating the external noises, and keeping the producer focused on the mix without any distractions.
The low ends of the headphones are very warm, with any excessive boosts, and they manage to turn the overall sound of most tracks into very smooth, balanced flat projections. A slight punchiness can be detected as we move up the frequency range, and you can notice the kicks sounding subtly strong, providing a sense of stability as they make the track heavier.
The basslines tend to sound very precise, and they are naturally controlled without causing muddiness or unwanted results to the rest of the frequencies. The mid frequencies sound very clear and flat, without changing the overall neutral perspective of the sound these headphones try to achieve.
The structure of the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is top quality. The manufacturers did a great job creating a very solid and strong build for the particular headphones model. They feel very comfortable, even in situations of extended use, such as long practicing sessions, which is a nice advantage for artists like drummers who have a difficult job during such sessions.
In the package, there all the necessary cables included. The quality of the cables is similar to the structure of the headphones, as they feel very strong and as elastic as it gets. The headphones are collapsible, which makes them very easy to carry around or place them on your desk without using too much space.
To sum up, the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones have a fascinating design, they look very professional and their built is strong enough to tolerate rough studio sessions. They provide high quality sound for the user, and they come in a very logical price considering their capabilities. One of the best choices for sound engineers and music producers.
2 – Sony MDR7506
If you are one of the demanding people looking for top quality studio headphones, the Sony MDR7506 are the perfect headphones for you. They are considered to be one of the finest set of headphones in the market, and there are several good reasons that make this statement true.
The sound quality of the particular headphones is more than fascinating. They have a very balanced frequency distribution, which takes the neutrality of the sound to the next level. Definitely, a great choice for audio engineers that want flat sounding headphones for mixing and mastering purposes.
The low, medium and high frequencies, which are the main frequency bands of the spectrum feel overbalanced, without the slightest enhancements in their sound. The loudness they provide is more than enough to make everything sound clean and clear, and their accuracy is practically excellent, as you can hear every single sound in detail.
The design of the Sony MDR7506 is very nice. Their structure is solid, and they have a great feeling when touched. They look great took, like every professional set of headphones should, without any unnecessary additions. Their minimalistic approach is what makes them eye-appealing.
They particular headphones have a decent noise isolation. When used in low volume levels, you can hear some minor external sound coming from the studio environment. When you increase the volume, they manage to keep you focused on the sounds that they deliver. Furthermore, they have very low sound leakage, which is nice because this way you keep the disturbance of other people in the room to the minimum, while the majority of the sound is delivered to the users’ ears.
The cables included are fairly long, and they feel strong enough. You can notice additional rubber reinforcements on every cable, which will help them withstand overuse. Overall, the comfortable headband of the Sony MDR7506, their nice and strong built, along with their high sound quality, make them one of the best headphone sets for studio use.
3 – Grado SR80e
The Grado SR80e are considered to be among the best options of studio headphones for the money. They deliver great sound quality, they have very balanced frequency distribution and there are no issues with excessive boosts in certain frequency bands, which helps to maintain their sound as flat as possible.
These headphones are a delicate product, so the user should consider handling them carefully so that they can last for long periods of time. Their structure feels very elastic, and they are very comfortable when used in the studio, as long as they are used cautiously. Consider purchasing a headphone stand for the particular headphones, so that they have their own placement to avoid too much contact with the rest of the gear when not used.
They are open-back headphones, and the housings tend to spin around the headband, which is a minor issue as the cables can get twisted with the main body of the headphones. The Grado SR80e, have very nice and soft ear buds, which make them very comfortable around the ears and help keeping the sound flat.
These headphones deliver outstanding sound. Being their main focus, they manage to provide amazing mid frequencies, with a very slight presence which adds a nice colorization to the overall sound. The low ends are rather punchy than warm, without making the low mids muddy. The high frequencies are bright, crisp and clear, which makes the overall sound of the product very accurate. A great set of headphones for making music and audio mixing, within a decent price range considering their quality.
4 – Logitech G533 Wireless
The Logitech G533 is a wireless headsets with great sound quality. There is not much included in the package as there are no cables need to operate the particular headset, except from the unit itself and the USB dongle along with some very simple inserts.
It is very easy to set up the headset, as you only need to take it out of the package, plug the USB dongle in and the drivers are automatically recognized and updated by your operating system. After the installation process, which takes only a few seconds, you can start using the headset immediately.
Although the Logitech G533 is mainly design for gaming purposes, they can be used in the studio as well as they deliver excellent sound quality, with very balanced frequencies. That being said, you can notice some slight boosts in the mid frequencies, which add a more crispy character to the overall sound.
The low ends of the headset are amazing. They provide a very warm bassy sound, and they manage to maintain the low and mid low frequencies extremely smooth, to make the listening experience more than ear-pleasing. The high ends of the headset are as clear as it gets, and they provide a nice sense of accuracy, as you are able to listen to every individual sound without any effort at all.
The stereo imaging is amazing. Everything feels very natural and the Logitech G533 create a nice soundstage. They are very functional and they have great performance. If you need to adjust the leveling or the equalization, you can download the dedicated software from the official website of Logitech, and install it to customize the experience. Overall, a great headset with awesome levels of functionality.
5 – AIAIAI TMA-2
For those looking for a headset with great structure quality, the AIAIAI TMA-2 is the perfect solution. The particular product may not be the most eye-appealing in the market, but it is a very well-built headset, with a very strong structure that can tolerate overuse easily. The unit provide a very sturdy feel and the design is very simplistic and professional looking up to a point.
The sound quality of the headset is awesome. It provides decently balanced sound, treating most of the frequencies equally, with the exception of the high ends where it adds slight colorization. This makes the sound very bright and crispy, and adds to clearness and detail of the sound.
The AIAIAI TMA-2 has a very nice microphone applied on the main body of the set. It has nice sound quality for a headset microphone, and can be used for communication purposes with the artist recording in the booth. It is very flexible, which makes it very easy to bend and place it at the rear side of the headset when not used.
The noise cancellation levels of the particular headset are great and they get the job done. The producer or the sound engineer can easily focus on the mix without any environmental distractions. The cushions are very soft, and they provide a nice comfortable feeling for the user, which is very handy during long recording or practicing sessions in the studio.
All in all, the AIAIAI TMA-2 is a more than decent headset. Although like most headsets, it was mainly design for gaming purposes, it can work great for studio purposes and provide great sound quality to the music producer. A nice headset option within a logical price range.