The cans that can, and the cans that cannot

If it’s time to replace your headphones; those faithful friends have given up their last dying whimpers and have gone to meet their maker; then what should you replace them with?

It can be a bit of a jungle out there with a massive range in price and all sorts of claims over what each model can do.

The older among you will remember there used to be one headphone for monitoring: the Beyer Dynamic DT-100. Close your eyes, think of any classic photo of a recording session and there they are in all their teutonic beige ugliness.

Headphones
What they’re recommending over on the ableton forum  https://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=187929

They always gave a 100% true reflection of the mix as it really exists, not as you might want it to. And the old adage was that if you could get it to sound good in them, then it would sound good anywhere.

The purists masochists among you, and you know who you are, have even been known to listen to ALL music via these classic reference headphones – “just to get the proper experience”.

But the truth is that they were never quite as robust, reliable or loud as you would want them to be.

So what else is out there these days?

There are the Sennheiser HD280s, a good buy if you are looking for something with a bit more oomph than the average pair. This guy is pretty adamant that the Sennheisers “do get loud“.  They’re also very robust and come with Sennheiser’s excellent two year warranty.

If money is no object you could go all out for the Shure SRH1840 Pro with the reassurance that they have ‘individually matched drivers’ and the knowledge that you’re being one of the best pro monitoring headphones around.  The price isn’t to be sniffed at, but those who use them swear by them.

If you’re looking for an all-rounder though, then you should consider the modern classic… the Sennheiser HD25-1 II Pro. There are two things that people say about them: “Possibly the greatest headphones ever made” and “the last pair of headphones you’ll ever own”.  They are not so ‘pro’ that you couldn’t use them for everyday listening when you are out and about, but they are serious enough to do a proper job, especially in noisy environments.  Almost every part is (easily) replaceable so people tend to use them for 10 years or more – the only reason you’ll need to replace them is if you leave them in a club or studio after a heavy session and you’re a bit “tired and emotional”

Of course everyone has different preferences and different requirements so if you’ve got any questions you are always welcome to get in touch. We’re always happy to give the best advice we can.

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