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Topic: Headphones to speakers - any recommendations?

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  1. #1

    Question Headphones to speakers - any recommendations?

    Headphones have been my preferred listening choice for years. However, I remember seeing a thread awhile back where the consensus seemed to be that speakers are better for doing sound production work. I have a pair of Altec Lansing ACS340 computer speakers (with subwoofer, of course). Would they be adequate, or should I replace them with something else? Computer speaker technology has come a long way, and prices have come down a lot. So I hope that someone could recommend speakers that'll do the job without costing me an arm, a leg, and a few other body parts I'm rather attached to.

    I'd really appreciate hearing from anyone in the know on all this.

    Thanks!

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

  2. #2

    Re: Headphones to speakers - any recommendations?

    Yes, mixing/mastering on headphones is not the way to go (IMHO).

    I am using Mackie HR824 Near Field monitors and they are really great! Highly recommended. They are powered and balanced to match each other. I came from using an amplifier and two Klipsch Heresies combined with two Yamaha NS-10M near fields to the Mackies and the Mackies blow my previous system away - plus less clutter in the studio.

    I recall when Mackie consoles were known as the Most Agonizing Consoles Known In Existence (M-A-C-K-I-E) but they've come a long way. These speakers are tough to beat.

    Here is a link to the newer models:

    Mackie HR824
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  3. #3

    Re: Headphones to speakers - any recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by reberclark View Post
    Yes, mixing/mastering on headphones is not the way to go (IMHO).

    I am using Mackie HR824 Near Field monitors and they are really great! Highly recommended. They are powered and balanced to match each other. I came from using an amplifier and two Klipsch Heresies combined with two Yamaha NS-10M near fields to the Mackies and the Mackies blow my previous system away - plus less clutter in the studio.

    I recall when Mackie consoles were known as the Most Agonizing Consoles Known In Existence (M-A-C-K-I-E) but they've come a long way. These speakers are tough to beat.

    Here is a link to the newer models:

    Mackie HR824
    Thanks for your recommendation. Unfortunately, those speakers are pretty much beyond my budget. Also I'm looking for computer speakers, and I really need something I can run off of my sound card.

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Headphones to speakers - any recommendations?

    Well, now, for years, I used my spare stereo system, input directly from sound card to stereo input. It worked well until the stereo finally died. Now, I usually use my Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones. The only thing I dislike about them is that coiled cable. I have intensely disliked coiled cords since the first one I encountered, in the early sixties!!!

    Richard

  5. #5

    Re: Headphones to speakers - any recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Johnson View Post
    Thanks for your recommendation. Unfortunately, those speakers are pretty much beyond my budget. Also I'm looking for computer speakers, and I really need something I can run off of my sound card.

    Steve
    I believe Logitech has some very good sounding computer speaker systems. My wife uses one at work - when we auditioned the systems they sounded really really good!
    Here's one on Amazon:

    Logitech Speaker System
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  6. #6

    Re: Headphones to speakers - any recommendations?

    Well, they are not too cheap but, Bose, Bose, Bose.
    The sound quality, frequency range, and clarity is incredible.
    Think of it as an investment...

    I have a pair of the Bose desktop stereo speakers connected to a 24-bit Kenwood receiver.
    (old school-ish)
    This is similar to what I have -> Bose

    I would also not use a sub woofer... don't think you would want to push those frequencies while mixing.

    M
    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music
    http://www.miserymadebeautiful.com

  7. #7

    Re: Headphones to speakers - any recommendations?

    I completely agree with reberclark, mixing on headphones is not the way to go. After I switched to studio monitors, I'm kind of appalled at how off my mixes were that I did using headphones. The bass, for example, is much weaker than my headphones gave the impression of.

    If you are looking for regular speakers for your computer, I would recommend checking out NewEgg. Just make sure that you research the speakers to find one with a rather flat frequency response. This will make a world of difference as most speakers are made to appeal to the general audience rather than to the professional artist.

    Another solution to look into are the Alesis M1Active 320 and 520 USB monitors. They are rather inexpensive but should provide a better sound than regular speakers. You can get the M1 Active 320s for as low as $69 for a pair and the M1 Active 520s for as low as $149 for a pair. These monitors are small and will also act as standard speakers for your computer with a tad bit of a better sound.

    Finally, the best solution, even though it would be more expensive, is to slowly build your system up by starting with an investment in an audio interface and later a full set of studio monitors. I personally use an M-Audio FastTrack Pro with M-Audio Studiophile BX5a monitors, along with Sony MDR-7506 headphones. However, this may best be a long-term goal rather than an immediate change as it takes a good bit of research to find what will work best for you.

    In Summary: Computer speakers are good, but studio monitors are better. Take a look at the Alesis M1 Active USB series as they may be the best solution for you. Also look into investing in an audio interface and standard studio monitors in the later on down the road.
    Colton J. Provias
    Film Score Composer, Location Sound Mixer, and Sound Editor
    Full-stack Web Developer

  8. #8

    Re: Headphones to speakers - any recommendations?

    Gentlemen,

    Thanks much for your responses. After years of serving me well, my old Altec Lansings will soon be getting the heave-ho. Got some good ideas from ya'll, and Colton, I think I like your recommendations the best.

    Really appreciate the help -- thanks again!

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

  9. #9
    Senior Member dominick's Avatar
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    Re: Headphones to speakers - any recommendations?

    [QUOTE=C J Pro;663748]I completely agree with reberclark, mixing on headphones is not the way to go. After I switched to studio monitors, I'm kind of appalled at how off my mixes were that I did using headphones. The bass, for example, is much weaker than my headphones gave the impression of.

    [QUOTE]

    CJ Pro,

    I think this is a good argument to support the use of headphones. I would say that your studio monitors are lacking in bass, that may be better reproduced on your headphones.

    As they were mentioned earlier by rwayland, I have found that the Senn HD 280 Pro is probably better than most $500+ speaker systems and it usually costs about $100. However, I have always liked the Beyerdynamic DT770 or DT880 for even better sound quality.

    This always takes me back to the question of which is better, for mixing or listening to music. If speakers are better, than those of us who usually listen on headphones must be missing something and vice versa. I believe it just comes down to the quality of your speakers, or the little speakers in your headphones (which usually cost much less for comparable sound quality). Then again, there is our own brain preferences for certain sound signatures. So the answer usually comes down to buy something that you like, because how people listen to your music will be somewhere between cheap ear-buds to expensive stereo speaker systems.
    Wider is better.

  10. #10

    Re: Headphones to speakers - any recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by dominick View Post
    CJ Pro,

    I think this is a good argument to support the use of headphones. I would say that your studio monitors are lacking in bass, that may be better reproduced on your headphones.

    As they were mentioned earlier by rwayland, I have found that the Senn HD 280 Pro is probably better than most $500+ speaker systems and it usually costs about $100. However, I have always liked the Beyerdynamic DT770 or DT880 for even better sound quality.

    This always takes me back to the question of which is better, for mixing or listening to music. If speakers are better, than those of us who usually listen on headphones must be missing something and vice versa. I believe it just comes down to the quality of your speakers, or the little speakers in your headphones (which usually cost much less for comparable sound quality). Then again, there is our own brain preferences for certain sound signatures. So the answer usually comes down to buy something that you like, because how people listen to your music will be somewhere between cheap ear-buds to expensive stereo speaker systems.
    I was leaning toward the Sony MDR-7506 headphones, but...

    Sennheiser has always been a great name in audio. The specs on the HD 280 Pro look great, plus they seem to be a bargain at the price. (Sorry, but the Beyerdynamics are a little too expensive for my budget.) Another advantage is that the Senns are the only headphones recommended to me that I can purchase at Best Buy. This is actually kinda important because I tend to be pretty hard on my headphones. For a few extra bucks I buy the extended waranty. Then if the headband breaks or one of the earpieces falls off (which is what usually happens to me), I can take the headphones back in and get a replacement without having to pay full cost for a new pair.

    Thanks, Dominick -- you helped me make my choice!

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

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