barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) UberDork
1/25/21 12:02 p.m.

The time has come that I'm looking into a good set of cans. 

Ive read reviews on the classic Sony 7506 and the AKG K371, and either seem like they'd do the job with the akg having an edge on comfort. 

Speaking of the job, the main use will be sound editing and engineering for my home music projects. I'm a borderline audiophile, but open minded, and also poor. 
What I'd like: isolation, clear and clean reproduction. Value. 
These won't be for use with my phone (primary music listening device) so a chord is preferred. Bluetooth is not necessary. 

I have a set of Bose (say what you will) bt earbuds that get the most use, and a set of on-ear Sony deals (can't remember the model) that sound good but I'd like some isolation if possible and over-ear comfort. 

Lastly, budget. I'm not exactly flush, but I have a birthday coming soon, so maybe max $150. I'll hear suggestions for anything but value is key. 


triumph7 Reader
1/25/21 6:19 p.m.

I've had a pair of Sony MDR-V6 headphones FOREVER and they are still the best sounding phones I've heard.  The latest versions are probably still a great choice and I've heard there is an AKG (?) ear pad replacement that fits the Sonys.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/25/21 6:32 p.m.

If it wasn't for the "isolation" part, I'd recommend looking at Grado headphones. 

flat4_5spd New Reader
1/25/21 6:52 p.m.

I like my Sennheiser HD280pros. The bass response seems slightly exaggerated, but they're pretty well balanced overall, acoustic isolation is decent and they're comfortable to wear. 

AaronT Reader
1/25/21 8:03 p.m.

Are you looking for cans or iems?

You sounds like a candidate for Etymotic SR2s.

barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) UberDork
1/25/21 8:06 p.m.

In reply to AaronT :


AaronT Reader
1/25/21 9:41 p.m.

Audio Technica ATH-m50 is the go-to recommendation for closed-back at that price point. But the AKG you mentioned in OP might be better for accuracy so I think that's your move.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/21 10:30 a.m.

I have a set of M40x at the theater that I absolutely love.  Talk about flat reproduction.  They are dead flat.  Lovely pieces.  I wouldn't say they are the greatest at blocking ambient sound, but very good.

I liked them so much I got some M30x for the home studio.  Technically not cans since they don't completely cover your ears, but the SOUND.  Ehrmagerd.  I tried them all at Guitar Center.  I didn't really look at prices at first since I didn't want to have perception bias.  I had it narrowed down to a Sennheiser something or other, and Audio Technica M30x.  I thought the ATs sounded a tiny bit better with maybe a little less ambient rejection.  When I looked and saw that the AT was $69 and the Sennheiser was $250... no brainer.  I live alone and my studio is pretty quiet.  YMMV.


barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) UberDork
1/26/21 11:23 a.m.

To clarify a little. 

Isolation. I'll be recording guitar the old school way, loudly, mic'd up in an adjacent room. So I'll need to be able to have some muffling while still being able to hear the metronome/mix. Same with vocals. I'll be building a small isolation box to stick my face into, but I'll need to be able to hear what the mic is picking up. 
Drums will be electric, bass will be direct. 

I don't need complete isolation, more like muffling. 

I appreciate the input so far. Keep it coming. 

superfund New Reader
1/26/21 12:03 p.m.

I have a pair of Koss Pro4S that have been pretty good so far. They might not be the most comfortable if your ears are a bit bigger though. If you are open to some in ears I had some Shure se215s that were really nice but the bag I had them in got stolen before I had too much time with them. 

93EXCivic MegaDork
1/26/21 12:10 p.m.

Tldr: suggestions- Fostex T40RP if you can't stretch your budget and have equipment that can provide enough power. DT880 Pro if you can stretch your budget a bit more and once again have the power. M50x if you don't have the equipment or you need something more portable. 


Having spent a lot of time doing competitive comparisons of headphones (both listening and frequency response testing), I will say that dead flat response headphones are not really the best to listen to but they are probably what you want to recording. I agree with Audio Technica suggestions. I mean I find the bass a touch boosted on the M50x but for sub $150 you aren't going to do better for recording and you are able to run them off anything. I actually dont think that the Sony's are that great. The bass response is too low. Grado's are great sounding headphones but the higher ranged is boosted. Probably my two favorite headphones I have ever tried out where the PS1000e and a set of heavily modified Grados but I don't think I would recommend either for recording. I don't know anything about that model AKG but vintage AKG K240s are excellent but you need a lot of power to run them. The modern ones are very disappointing in comparison. Personally I think Beyerdynamic DT880 Pros are hard to beat. They are uber comfortable, provide a very flat response. But you have to up your money a little and don't expect to run them off mobile devices since they are 250ohm. My other suggestion is Fostex T40RP which honestly would be my pick over the M50. The Fostex only suffers in soundstage and a bit on comfort versus the M50 but I found it to be more accurate. But once again it needs more power then the M50.


Also something I learned from several guys I talked to that had been Grammy winners or nominated was that they would actually use two sets of headphones, one for the mixing and second more audiophile style set to listen to the track and make final tweaks. 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
1/26/21 12:15 p.m.

I have a set of AKG K52's that I bought about 10 years ago now that are still great:

Got them on sale for like $29 at Guitar Center. They usually go on sale a few times a year. Full price, they are around $50, and I still say they are worth it at that price. They are perfect for studio monitors, as they have really flat sound reproduction. Only issue I've had after 10 years is the leatherette has worn off the earpieces.

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