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Cheap Headphones

Sony MDR-ZX100
Sony MDR-ZX100

Sony MDR-ZX100

Over the years while making beats and mixing I discovered something that helped me pinpoint where my bass is in the mix. Cheap headphones always gave me a good perspective on the lows and low mids. Expensive headphones are not necessary all the time especially for bass because most expensive headphones can handle deeper lows than most commercial playback systems. When checking your mix, you need a real world reference to make sure your mix will translate to as many systems as possible. Cheap headphones have helped the most when trying to solve mud issues in my opinion.

The best headphones to use are the ones that cover your ears. I never tested ear buds but headphones that cover your ears are better for your hearing anyway. People think getting the most expensive headphones will be better but in my experience the cheaper the better. And when I say cheap, I mean anywhere from $10 to $20. You can buy any brand. Some are worse than others but the worse ones are better. The cheaper headphones start to distort immediately when your bass is too loud. When you start lowering the bass or whatever you do to control bass, you will start to hear the distortion go away. The distortion is an indicator to let you know you bass is too strong. When you can hear your mix clear with no distortion in cheap headphones you know you are on the right path.

Like I said previously above, it doesn’t matter what brand you use but I can recommend a few. I tend to like Sony headphones for the job so I highly recommend the Sony MDR-ZX100. Check out Monoprice for headphones. Any cheap one they sell should work. You can find headphones for the task at just about any place like Best Buy, Walgreens, Walmart etc. Click on the links below so you can grab you a pair.

Now remember, don’t depend on cheap headphones for your entire mix session. Cheap headphones lack detail so don’t depend on them for your main reference. I use my main monitors to do most of my mix and use the cheap headphones for 2nd reference.

Audio Technica
Sony MDR-ZX100
Sennheiser HD201

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I'm a musician who loves to write about music gear. Feel free to give me a shout.

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