If you’re in the market for studio monitors or headphones, there are many different things that should weigh into your decision. One of the most important things is how often you use your soundboards and headphones. This article will explore some of the pros and cons of both options and help you make a decision about what is best for you.
Headphones are great if you don’t want to disturb your roommates and family with external noise. However, studio recordings are often difficult to create without the aid of a pair of headphones. There are some noise reduction and tonal correction that are inherent in headphones, but it’s hard to obtain without a soundboard. If your mixes are already mastered, then headphones are fine. Otherwise, you might consider getting studio monitors instead.
Headphones can be used during mixing or for tracking, depending on the quality of the headphones and the soundboard you’re using. A common argument against headphones is that they can pick up extraneous noise. Some producers claim that headphones can cause “forced matrix” effects where certain sounds mix together. Studio monitors do a much better job at blocking out background noise. Some DJs use headphones exclusively, while others rely on them during a set as a source of monitor input.
In terms of sound, headphones are generally superior to studio monitors. Headphones are able to capture more detail and are less prone to sound artifacts. This makes headphones more suited to studio recordings where the noise reduction is more important. The noise reduction of headphones is particularly beneficial if the source of the recording is an acoustic drum set. However, studio monitors can also have a similar effect.
Studio monitors are also better if you don’t want to move around too much when working. Wireless headphones allow you to keep a station free of mobile equipment and can even be used in the workplace. For this reason, if you’re working in a noisy environment, headphones are more suitable.
The final question to answer when deciding between monitors and headphones is whether or not you prefer using soundboards or headphones. Both can produce excellent quality sound, though many people prefer the quality of headphones when working in a professional setting. Headphones can also produce a better sound than soundboards. If you work in an environment where soundboards are used, however, you’ll definitely get a better sound with a headphone than with a soundboard.