If you are a musician who needs headphones for mixing, it can be difficult to find a pair of headphones that will give you the best accuracy in sound while making sure that your mix translates well for listeners with other speakers and listening devices. You might have tried out different headphones and still haven’t found the ones that work just right.
Today, we’re going to give you some tips on choosing the best pair of headphones for your mixing needs. Whether you are looking for closed-back or open-back, this article will help you decide what’s best for your needs. Let’s get started!
What Are Closed Back Headphones?
Closed-back headphones have complete covers over them. All components such as the drivers, the microphone, and even the battery are usually located in the headphone’s ear cups. They have no room for sound leakage and do not have ports where sound can escape. It also makes them perfect for studio applications as they do not contaminate the acoustics of a room like open-back headphones do. Closed-back headphones are also preferred by musicians who play live because they can block the sound leakage and make sure that the sound comes directly.
What Are Open Back Headphones?
Open headphones deliver a more authentic sound than closed-back headphones. However, open-back headphones tend to leak sound, making them unsuitable for highlighting the nuances of your mix. Although, open-back headphones work better for monitoring live performances and serving as a reference during mixing. This makes them great to use when you are casually listening to music. Another reason sound engineers prefer them is that they do not alter the acoustics of a room like closed-back headphones do. So if you’re in the recording studio and there’s a reverb or echo in the room, open-back headphones can help keep the ambient sound intact as you listen.
Which one is best for mixing between these two?
Now that we know what closed-back and open-back headphones are, it is time to get down to what you need your headphones to do. Closed-back headphones are great for monitoring while mixing. This is because they guarantee that the sounds coming from the instrument you’re playing will not interfere with the mix. You have complete control over the sound, perfect for excessive noise or other distracting sounds in your work environment.
On the other hand, open-back headphones are great for mixing, especially when you’re in a studio. They will let you easily hear what you need to without completely cutting you off from the background sounds. They also come with a more flexible headband design for increased comfort when wearing them on your head for extended periods. This makes them good headphones to use if you want to do some mixing while on the road. You can try out different headphones when you’re on the road and see which ones work best for your needs before you buy them.
What Matters When Mixing?
Before choosing the right pair of headphones, it is important to find out what matters when mixing. Although many factors play a role in how good your mix is, a few things matter more than others. You need to know how these factors affect your mix when choosing the right headphones for mixing.
First, you need to ensure that your headphones can accurately reproduce all of the frequencies in your mix. To do this, make sure the headphones are equipped with a frequency response that is ideal for the type of music you play. The frequency response will tell you how good the reproduction of the frequencies is within a specific range. So if you’re mixing an EDM track, you need to make sure that your headphones have a good frequency response range from 10Hz to 20,000Hz.
When using the headphones for critical listening, three frequencies matter the most – bass, middle, and treble. These are the frequencies that have the most variations from one instrument to another. For example, a cello and violin might both be violins but have different sounds because they produce different frequencies. Similarly, other instruments tend to produce different frequencies, so you need to choose headphones that can accurately reproduce all of these frequencies.
Which one to opt for, closed-back or open-back headphones for mixing?
In the end, you have many choices to make when you choose your next pair of headphones and choosing the right one can be difficult. Ultimately, it depends on what your needs are and how you’ll be using them. However, if you want to use them for mixing purposes, we highly recommend going with closed-back headphones. That’s because they are the most effective for isolating outside sound and keeping your mix intact.
In the end, closed-back headphones would be our choice if we had to choose between the two. That’s because they are better for detail listening when mixing. Since open-back headphones are not used to mix, everything that leaks from them can ruin your mix. This makes them a pretty risky option in our book. However, if you’re going for comfort, there are more open-back headphones than closed ones.