Advice needed on mixing headphones please

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by NickL, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. NickL

    NickL New Member

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    Nov 23, 2013
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    I am looking to buy headphones which I will primarily use for audio mixing. The DT 880 appear to be the most widely recommended headphones for mixing so, assuming that these are the best at the price, there are a couple of things that I need to clarify about them – if possible.

    Firstly, they have a semi open design and so sound leaks out of them; I would like to try to get a feel for how significant this is. Are we talking about just someone sitting beside me on a train hearing sounds from my headphones (assuming a moderate level of volume) or would the entire train carriage hear the sound?

    Secondly, the DT 880 comes in 3 models – 32, 250 and 600 ohms. I will be using the headphones primarily with a PC but would also like to use them with my iPad. If I understand the position correctly, I either need to get the 32 ohm version or one of the others plus amplifier. If I take the easy option and buy the 32 ohm model, what am I giving up? Are the other models better? Also, I notice that the 250 ohm model is cheaper than the other two – why is this, please?

    Thanks.
     
  2. john-hifi

    john-hifi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The DT880 is a great choice for audio mixing. They do leak sound, not as much as some open backed headphones but enough for people near you to listen to your music.

    If you don't get an amp then go for the 32ohm. The headphones do get better the higher the impedance, the sound is more balanced and controlled - but you will need a decent amp to get the best of this. Something like the FiiO E12 would be great.

    The PRO version was designed for studio use - so they have heavier clamping force, a coiled cable and they only come in the 250ohm version. The premium was more for the home/casual listener so the clamping force isn't as tight, they have a straight cable and come with a carry case.
     
  3. NickL

    NickL New Member

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    Nov 23, 2013
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    Thanks for the quick response. So for mixing, the 600 ohm model appears to be a better bet.
    I had a look at the Fiio E12 - it appears to be limited to 300 ohm max headphones so presumably would only work for the 250 ohm model. Would I be limiting myself to desk top amps if I go for the 600 ohm model?

    Thanks
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    I very much doubt that there could be an electrical or impedance issue for the FiiO E12 in driving a 600 ohm headphone. The issue is most likely one of power and efficiency.
     
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