Any beginning producer needs a set of quality headphones. You’ve probably noticed by now that the song you play, and the song you hear isn’t always the same. If you have a laptop (especially a mac) you’ve noticed the speakers fill out the upper ranges pretty well. The vocals, keys, guitar, and even higher frequency (higher in pitch) drums like the symbols sound good; unfortunately the bass is almost entirely absent.
The absence of dynamic range we notice in speakers, can be said with many different sets of headphones. My current set of earbud headphones are great for getting solid bass in, and most noises from most songs are audible. The bass and highs are slightly boosted (like most headphones) but I love how the earbuds block out everything else when I press play. I use them consistently for travel (yes they even block out airplane engine noise) and workouts but I’ve found them to be lacking if I want to hear every sounds how the artist intended it to be heard.
When an artists comes out with a song, the mixing engineer (usually the same person with electronic producers) balances the different sounds to make a great mix. I needed a pair of headphones to hear songs the way the artist (and I) wanted the song to be heard. The Sony MDR7506 Headphones I found are it.
The 7506 is a closed-ear design. This means that the speakers sit over your ears (which I love for blocking out ambient noise). A 9.8 foot spring cord starts from the left headphone all the way to the gold plated 1/8-inch plug. The box includes a leather pouch that fits the headphones when they’re folded and a 1/4-inch adapter.
These pair of headphones are everywhere. Studios I’ve worked at, both big and small, have sets of these littered throughout. At clubs I’ve been to I usually spy at least one pair of these babies if I get the chance to look around. Artists I’ve talked to frequently reference these as a great pair to keep in your back pocket. They have a reputation for a reason. The gap between normal headphones and these are pretty big, even now after listening to regular headphones I try these on and I’m amazed at the difference. Sounds are crisper and wider and the track panning is much move obvious. I still get surprises listening to old song, suddenly I hear that arpeggiated guitar that ties the track together. They also sit comfortably when I’m taking in music for longer periods, especially great for mixing.
If you’re a fan of getting high quality products on the cheap like I am (and if you’re reading this you probably are) then these are another reason to upgrade your producing and listening needs. If you’re able to wait and knock the price down a few notches, I suggest cruising ebay for these since the prices really aren’t comparable elsewhere. If you want to pick these up now: Amazon has always been amazing to me, and they have these up for under $75. Enjoy your personal symphony.
If you have any experience with this set of headphones, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.