When we talk about the most popular headphones available in the market – Beats is one of the top brands that comes to our mind. Mainly because of the good quality they have maintained over time. Beats work well for studying, working in the gym, etc. but are Beats Pro good for mixing?
No, Beats are not good for mixing. They are not accurate and revealing, they are colored and intended to create a sound that is different than the original recording – which many people love. For mixing, I prefer the classic professional brands and their actual studio headphones, like the Sony MDR 7506, Beyerdynamic 990, AKG K702 / K712, Sennheiser HD600 / HD650, and so on.
These are designed specifically to be revealing and to make it easy to hear the flaws in the recordings so you can work to remedy those flaws. Headphones with artificially color the sound to make all music sound a certain way, like the Beats models, are the opposite of accurate and revealing.
Why Beats Headphones Are Not Ideal for Mixing?
Beats Pro is one of the best headphones that you will come across in the market. Especially after the company – Apple acquired the brand.
Beats headphones exaggerate bass, so it will sound a lot different when played on other headphones and speakers.
However, if you ask anyone who is an audio enthusiast, they will never recommend beats for audio mixing. Why is that? We have tried to explain the main reason here.
Beats Pro headphones have a closed-back design. The Closed bag design helps the listeners to isolate the sound and prevent the noisy environment to ruin the listening experience. This quality makes beats headphones very good for general listening when you are on a bus or outside your house.
However, music professionals and producers do not encourage using closed bag headphones for audio mixing because they believe that closed-back headphones prevent you from having a deeper and wider steal your experience when you are mixing the sounds. As the sound you hear is in isolation, it does not provide you with a balanced approach towards your mix.
There are better options available
As a sound engineer, you have a lot of better options available in the market for audio mixing. And when you choose beats pro for mixing your audio, you are depriving yourself of the best headphones that are available on the market for a balanced mixing experience.
Beats Pro is great for your everyday routine, but if you are someone who works in the music industry – you can do better. For example, you can use Sony headphones or Sennheiser headphones. They will provide you with a holistic approach to where do you want mixing experience rather than an imbalanced approach.
One of the main reasons why people prefer beats bro headphones is that they have a strong base. Well, this is a good quality to have for your headphones – it will not be the best fit for you as a sound engineer.
Mainly because, when you will hit your max on beats pro headphones – the base of the mix will be boosted by the headphones. The boosted base will provide you with an accurate representation of how your mix will sound on a different pair of headphones.
And if you will mix your sound using beats bro, then your mix will not sound similar on other headphones or speakers. Therefore, it is important to use headphones that have a balanced approach towards the base and frequency response so that you do not get an inaccurate representation and impression of your mix.
You cannot hear accurate sounds
And lastly, you should not prefer beats pro as a sound engineer because the sound that they produce is not accurate, beats pro headphones have a feature that boosts the base and limit the overall frequency of your headphones. So when you’re listening to the songs, they sound more bassy.
It is a good thing when you are a bass enthusiast, but if you are someone who is working as a sound engineer or mixer, then this quality will be detrimental to your sound mixing career.
Can you make beats headphones good for mixing?
Beats Pro headphones are not recommended for an ideal audio mixing experience. You can still make them work, by toggling a few things here and there. Here’s how you can do it.
Sound engineers use A lot of tricks when they are mixing audio in the studio. One of those tricks is that sound engineers prefer using studio monitors while mixing their audio. Mainly because when they use studio monitors, it is easier for them to hear both left and right speakers simultaneously.
However, when you’re using headphones, you do not have the privilege to hear both sides. It’s because the sound is divided between your ears. The left side of the channel is heard in the left ear and the right channel is heard by the right ear only.
However, when you use a Crossfield plug-in – it will engineer the sound so that you feel like you are hearing the sound from a speaker rather than headphones. When you use a Crossfeed plug-in on your beats pro headphones, you will hear the sounds like they are playing on a studio monitor rather than headphones. This technique will provide you with a holistic approach so that you can make your audio better by listening to the overall version that the Crossfeed Plug-in the lights.
When you use headphones like beats pro – they make the sound of the audio more bassy. It is good for your listening experience but it can create an unrealistic impression of how your sound mix actually sounds. This is why sound engineers prefer studio headphones or monitors for mixing sounds.
However, technology is an amazing thing – it makes the impossible, possible. You can use software like Sonarworks SoundID for better collaboration between your audio mixing monitors and headphones. You will have to select the model of your headphones and the software will equalize the sound to make it as flat as possible. This will make it easier for you to mix your sound in the studio. Although it is not the best approach for creating the best audio mix, if you cannot afford proper audio mixing gear – then this trick will save you from a lot of trouble.
3 Ideal headphones for mixing audio
Now that we know beats pro are not the ideal mixing headphones, here is a compilation of the best mixing headphones that are available in the market.
1. Sony MDR- 7506
Sony MDR- 7506 is one the oldest audio mixing headphones in the market, but they are still among the best. One of the best things about these headphones is that they are extremely lightweight, so when you are working in your studio for long hours, your back and neck will not hurt from wearing them for prolonged periods.
On top of this, the MDR 7506 has a very advocate isolation audio design. So when you are mixing the audio, they will provide you with balanced and holistic isolation rather than blocking all the sound that is available in the studio. This way, you can mix your audio using contrast with your environment.
Similarly, these headphones are built with a very high-end quality design. You can have them as your main audio mixing headphones for years and they will not disappoint you.
The main disadvantage of these headphones is that they produce very harsh and bright audio. This can be annoying while mixing the audio, as you cannot turn the volume up. Similarly, these headphones have a very lacking low-end sub-bass.
2. Beyerdynamic 990
Beyerdynamic 990 has an open-back design, which is ideal for audio mixing. The open-back design makes your sound more spacious, this means that they sound closer to speakers.
On top of this, these headphones have padded ear cups that make it extremely comfortable for you to wear them for long periods when you are working in the studio on your next banger Audio.
sound experts have reviewed these headphones, they quote that Beyerdynamic 990 are one of the best headphones for audio mixing as they come at an incredible price. Similarly, their sound is well balanced and flat (exactly what you need).
There aren’t a lot of problems with these headphones. However, there is one tiny issue that can bother you – they do not have sound isolation due to the open-back design. So, you will need a quiet place for mixing the audio.
3. Neumann HDH20
Neumann HDH20 is one of the most expensive pairs of headphones that you can find in the market but rightfully so. The finish of these headphones is premium with an aluminum coating that will feel very nice to your ears and hands.
The earpads are also comfortable. On top of this, the sound is very well balanced with balanced highs and lows. The best way to describe their headphones is – realistic. And that is what you need for the best audio mixing experience.
The main con of Neumann HDH20 is its price. They are priced at around 500 dollars which can be expensive if you are just starting audio mixing. However, if you are a professional that can afford to splurge on your audio then go for it. You will not find a better pair of headphones for audio mixing.
Audio mixing is a tricky subject. And using the correct pair of headphones is crucial for a better mix. Headphones like Beats pro are great for your gym session but they do not qualify as the best mixing headphones because they make the sounds sound more bassy.
However, headphones like Neumann HDH20 are better for mixing because they produce a more realistic sound. You will hear a blanched mix rather than a tuned sound. This will help you produce the best sound mix that will sound the same on each device.