Mixing Headphones (Help ?)

Hi folks,

i have had Cubase Artist 6 for about 18 x months now and i am trying to learn more about Mixing etc (as it is all quite new to me). i am eventually planning to kit out an area of my very small flat with some accoustic treatment and a pair of near field monitors.

i have asked a few people in the industry via You Tube and also people i know here in the UK on this (below) particular matter, but to be honest nobody has yet given me a clear answer and recommeded a single product. i just receive elusive type answers to what i thought was a basic question.

So, i am looking to purchase a pair of dedicated Mixing headphones but i am really not sure what to buy. At the moment i want to learn how to Mix via headphones and i always listen to music via headphones (so they would get lots of use). i am guessing i need Flat Response headphones but apart from that i am pretty clueless (esp. regarding makes and models).

i know there is something of a dividing line between those who like to Mix with headphones and those who do not. :open_mouth:

Thanks in advance.


Beyerdynamic DT770 or DT880, Sennheiser HD600. Those are my favourites.

Thanks man,

Thats really helpful indeed as i did not have a clue.

The Sennheisers are about £100 more than the Beyerdynamic. So within my budget as i only wanted to spend between £150 - £200 max.

Not at all sure what ‘Open Monitoring’, ‘Semi Open’ and ‘Closed Dynamic’ mean ?? :confused:

Is Beyerdynamic the same company Beyer who make microphones etc ??

So are these models specifically designed for the studio engineer who requires them for the sole purpose of Mixing/Mastering ??

Much appreciated.

I use DT880 Pros. Kim uses DT770s, I think. I’ve also used AKG240 Studios and Ms.

Beyerdynamic is indeed the same company that makes microphones. The Sennheisers IMO do not sound anywhere near as nice as the Beyerdynamics.

DT770s on Amazon @ $180 if you want closed back (250 Ohm model).
DT880 Pro @ $240 if you want semi-open (250 Ohm model).

Ta man, this is the one i was thinking about.


(£180 on ebay).

But what does OPEN and SEMI OPEN mean please ??

Closed Headphones are constructed in such a way so as to prevent sound leaking out (and by the same token to prevent extraneous sound i.e. blocking, coming in) and are therefore good for recording where you don’t want the artist’s cue bleeding into the mic. They tend however, to be somewhat fatiguing because of this isolation from the surrounding environment.
Open headphones allow extraneous sound in but also leak sound out. They are prefered by many however for mixing as they can be worn for longer periods of time, because they less fatiguing; feel more natural and less isolated, plus they are usually physically lighter.
Semi open, as you might guess, are designed to be somewhere in between these two types.

Top man. Thats really great advice !!! :mrgreen:

Headphones are a particularly personal item of gear, and to ask for opinions on which are best is an ambiguous question, you’ll get near as many opinions as there are makes and models.
If your interested, I use AKG K271MkII (Closed) for tracking and K601 (Open) for mixing.
I’m not however going to try and persuade your decision, by telling you to get them too.
I recommend to anybody that they actually find a store with a good selection of namebrand “studio” or “reference” fullrange phones and try them on for a while and listen to some reference material that you are familiar with (I’d be leary about buying them online!) Ideal would be if you could take a couple of models home with you to try and then return the ones you decide against.
Remember always however, that regardless of what you use (even monitors) the key to mixing is in the translation to other reproduction configurations. Always mix down a test version of your projects and listen to them on other systems (livingroom HIFI, in your Car, MP3 player on earbuds, at the beach or in the garden out in the open etc.). You have to get to know your chosen monitors, and because of their very nature this is even more critical with headphones.

akg k271mk 2 £100 very good hedphones

Thats great, thanks again !!

Yes, i do agree with what you are saying and i can also tell that you are speaking from experience. A few people have told me to go to a music shop to try-before-buy. There problem here (without wishing to put myself down) is that in all honesty i don’t really know what i should be listening for !! In the same way that if my dad took me to a music shop to buy a keyboard before my very first paino lesson, well obviously i would be clueless !! Just from reading these replies i am 100% more knowledgable about the topic so i am slowly getting to grips with the makes, models and terminology.

The Beyerdynamics got very good reviews in the various article i have read -


And yes, the use of headphones will be a part of the chain in trying my Mixes on many different mediums.


Thanks FF,

They have a detachable lead which is also not coiled (which i like).

yes they are great headphones I use them most, if you went for a pair of them as a midrange closed cup studio headset you would not be disappointed as they have become one of the industry standards over the last few years :wink:

Hi again,

i have been looking at a couple of pairs of headphones and related online reviews.

BeyerDynamic DT880 (250 Ohm) and the DT800 (600 Ohm).

What i don’t get is that i think you need to buy a headphone amp (although it says they can run without one to a certain extent) ?? If so, why don’t BeyerDynamic include one in the sale of the headphones (or at least as an optional add on) ??

Will driving headphones with an amp make any different to the fact that i am using them for Mixing / Mastering ?? What i mean is will the incusion of an amp interfere with my perceptions when mixing/setting Volumes is Cubase ??

Cheers guys,


One important piece of information is missing from your posts as well as your signature, and this is your audio interface.
Most interfaces have a dedicated phones output and is usually sufficient without requiring any seperate headphone amplifier. The Beyerdynamic DT880 are no different than most other studio phones in this regard though it appears to be available in a variety of impedance specs (32,250,600). Again you need to check your interface’s specs.

i thought my Audio Interface was the Steingberg C12+ which came with my Artist 6 package ?? This has a headphone output facility.

Or are you refering to something different. i am a novice so please bear with me !!

Yes the C12+ should be able to drive these headphones without the need for an amp.

Thank you.

But if i plug the headphones into my mp3 player then will i need i amp ??

Though if i was going to buy an amp would this Fiio £30 model do the job :-


If you want to use it with an MP3 player then you will probably need the 32 Ω model. Same might apply to the Flio, I’m not familiar with it.

i am looking to buy the 250 Ohm model to use for mixing with Cubase, but also to use it with my mp3 player. So for this latter medium i am guessing i will need the Flio headphone amp ??