As a musician you already know that there is nothing more important than the sound of your music. You not only want to produce clear audio at all times, but you want to be able to hear it as well. Fortunately, there are a variety of different models on the market that are clearly capable of producing what you are looking for. The only problem is making a selection between all the different models and manufactures. So, what exactly do you need to consider when investing in a set of studio headphones?
Considering The Plug Adapter
You would be surprised to learn just how many headphones these days are designed to plug directly into smartphones. Of course, this is a convenient and unique feature if you are using a smartphone, but if you are recording or in the studio, there is a good chance that you are going to be utilizing an audio interface. This means that this is going to require a 1/4 – inch plug, whereas the smartphones utilize a 1/8- inch plug. Always make sure that whatever you are investing in will actually fit your equipment. Of course, you can always purchase an additional adapter, but this means another trip to the store and another expense that you weren’t expecting.
Sweetened And Flat Frequency Responses
Listening to the same piece of music through different headphones can have a major effect on what the overall product sounds like. There is no doubt that you can hear and notice some of the differences right away. This is due to the sweeting or EQing of the headphones. For instance, some headphones might put more emphasis on their bass frequencies, whereas others will focus more on different features. Whatever the situation is, most general studio headphones offer some kind of sweetening. In most cases users can find two different basic sweetening modes on studio headphones.
First, you have the free field (FF) and second, you have the defined field (DF). The FF was designed to stimulate an open listening environment without providing reflection. The second option (DF) really was designed with stimulating sounds in a closed listening environment like a small room or booth. Most recording artists prefer a flat frequency response, because it really allows you to customize your levels to your own specific preferences.
Do You Want Open Or Closed?
You have probably discovered that two of the most popular models of studio headphones are the open or closed-back studio headphones. Most serious recording artists prefer the closed-back style, because the earcups are completely sealed, which means they don’t allow any music to leak in or out at any time. You certainly don’t want your background music or feedback in your headphones to leaking into your microphone while you are recording vocals. In addition to this, if you are recording with other individuals, you want to be able to solely focus on your performance and nothing else.
Closed-back models are excellent when it comes to limiting the amount of sound that you will pickup for the other instruments in the studio. This pretty much means that you are only going to head what’s in your headphone monitor mix. So, why would anyone prefer the open-back models? Well, the open-back models obviously have open earcups, which provides for a more spacious, open sound. They are excellent if you want to pickup on other instruments or vocals. In fact, open-back models are excellent when it comes to mixing and mastering.
Considering The Fit
Since studio headphones come in either over the ear or on the ear, you are going to have to choose the one that is most comfortable to you. You will be in the studio for long hours at a time, so fit and comfortable are without a doubt one of the more important factors to consider.