Everybody loves good music. When you listen to music without a good sound output, you won’t get the good feel. Thanks to a whole lot of good audio devices like the home theater, headphones, earphones, boom-box and so on available for us to select and groove to our favorite beats.
How do I choose a headphone?
To make a good choice of headphone to use, you can apply the following factors to select the best.
Type Of Operation (Mixing, Mastering or Monitoring)
Choose the Technology: Open-back, Closed-back or Semi-open.
Low-Cost Vs High-Cost Headphones.
Let us explain the impacts of the points highlighted above on making your choice.
We look at the operational output desired from your headphone. Do you want a headphone dedicated to only mixing? Do you want a headphone that can be used for either mixing or monitoring purpose or both?
Once you can understand the purpose why you want to buy such headphones, it makes your choice of selection balanced.
Mainly this is for sound engineers who deal with sound and want to get a particular sound output. Also music lovers who love to monitor or hear a particular sound output can use this method to make a choice.
Headphones come in three stages based on technology used in their development. There are two primary technologies used in headphones creation. These are open back and the closed back.
Open Back Headphones: Sound quality is the priority here. This is good for people who need headphones for mixing work. Certainly you get the best in sound quality from using this type of headphones.
Closed back headphones: This is best for those looking for complete isolation even amongst a very noisy environment. This focuses on the sound (music) keeping all other disturbances and ambient noise at away. This is good for recording work.
The Closed back headphones covers the ear in design. However, the sound quality will not be something comparable to that of open back headphones.
There is a hybrid (Semi)—one that cuts across both open and closed back headphones.
So this type of headphones will provide you with lesser sound leaks than an open back and with good sound quality with low distortion and impressive lower frequency response.
No matter the type of headphone chosen, you have to know the end result. In this situation, no matter the type chosen, the goal is Accuracy in the mix.
For sound mixing, the quality depends on 2 things-- your skill and your gears. Without gear which provide you accurate frequencies, you can’t achieve a pro mix. No matter how skilled you are.
So, when choosing headphones for audio mixing or mastering, keep in mind that how flat the frequency spectrum that headphone provides you.
This is a way of isolating headphone sound from the outside noise as well as stops the headphone sound leaking outside. Isolation is done with the use of a foam on the headphone ear pad.
It is recommended to take this into consideration before you buy your studio headphones.
Isolation is an important factor in recording studios. A well-isolated headphone stops the click tracks leaking outside and capturing by the microphones, as well as stops the outside noise so that the musician or vocalist don’t get distracted by the noise.
Isolation in open back headphones aids to prevent outside noise from entering the headphone enclosure. Hence, open back headphones are good for sound mixing.
While closed back headphones, isolation works in 2 way. Neither sound leak out from the headphone nor outside noise comes into the headphone.
Besides, understand that isolation is important when choosing the type of headphone you want to buy.
When using any gadget, you have to consider how comfortable you can be on them. You may feel comfortable wearing a headphone for a short time but when worn for long periods, many become uncomfortable.
The larger the ear cups the better when selecting closed-back, circumaural headphones. For headphones that rest on your ear, smaller is better, and fabric padding or leather can soften the pressure.
Note: Open back headphones are very comfortable because the pressure generated inside the driver enclosure get out from the back and make the sound more comfortable like listening to monitors. Don’t use closed-back headphones in long sessions. If you are using closed back headphones, take breaks between session.
Another important factor in making a choice of headphone is durability. Ask yourself how durable is this gear. Do not waste money buying a gear that wont’t last or that will spoil sooner.
Also, if you need to carry your headphone every where every time for your work then make sure it is portable enough. You just have to be careful with them and put them in a protective case when they’re not in use. Hence, you should also carefully inspect the hinges, cables and the pads.
There are 2 tips to help you when looking to buy a durable headphone:
Choose a better brand Always go for tested headphones not newly launched (read customer reviews on shopping sites)
Type of activity to involve the headphone usage matters here. For listening to music during physical activity, lightweight portables headphone perfect for this purpose. For studio work, heavier closed-back can be used. These days, however, laptop computers and compact interfaces have made on-location recording more popular.
This application requires closed-back, sealed-cup headphones that are bulkier. Fold-up designs are more portable and protect the headphones in transit. It’s wise to have some sort of case for your recording headphones if they are to travel.
Look at your gear and technology and see what type of plug you'll need. The most common connection for music listening is a 1/8" mini plug, but if you plan on using an interface, you'll likely need a 1/4" plug.
Another factor to consider here is the Wire length. This is important if you are going to use your headphone apart from your mixing desk. However, for vocal rooms, you may use extension cables. But make sure your headphone’s wire length is as enough as it fits for most kind of operations in your studio.
Now everything boils down to your budget. Many people don’t have enough money to afford costly gears. Interestingly, there are many low-cost studio headphones to use and to get a perfect mix or monitoring.
You have to understand that manufacturers make costly headphones because they have an X-factor which low costs gears do not have.
For those who have more than enough cash to spare, then price does not matter.
You will get what you pay for. Of course, always do your research and check out high-authority reviews, but headphones really do tend to be of much better quality the higher they go in price
This doesn’t mean you won't find good headphones that are on the cheaper side.
So, if you’re into some kind of professional music production work then you’ll definitely need your audio devices to be of professional grade, especially your headphones. Also for music lovers who would love to have a feel of good music, then you have to get a good sound headphone to enjoy music.
Now, studio headphones are bit different than the consumer headphones due to multiple reasons. DJs, audio mixing artists, professional studio recording artists simply cannot do their job without their studio headphones.
With these points highlighted in this post, trust you know what to look out for when you want to buy a sound headphone. SPAR has lots of headphones which suits your need. We want to help our consumers i making choice through valuable knowledge of some of the products they buy.
Visit any SPAR store today and get the best in value.