02005-01-03 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

Matt asked me about headphones and here is my answer:

I use several different types of headphones…

I have an indestructible pair of Sony MDR-V600. They are a little bass-heavy, but are used by many musicians and road engineers. Canton has a pair he loves and used onstage in 2003. They last forever. About $75.

On the high end I use a pair of Stax Ear Speakers in the studio – they have a frequency range of 7-41,000Hz (yes, Seven to Fortyonethousand!)… But they are pricey at around two grand as you need a Stax Pre-amp as well. Here is a link to the US dealer. These Ear Speakers have unbelievably definition and clarity.

For Travel I use the Bose QuietComfort 2 headphones. They get rid of some of the noise on a bus or plane. These cans are also bass-heavy, but you need the extra bass in a noisy environment – just don’t mix an album on these.

For performing I use FutureSonics Ear monitors – these don’t actually sound very hi-fi, but are great onstage. Something about the EQ curve of these phones allows the ears not to get tired. I have been using these for ten years, since we recorded Viva!, but the drivers were updated 4 years ago. About $900 plus your ear molds from an Audiologist for around $50.

I would like to try a pair of these Ultimate Ears, but I am not sure they would work as well onstage as the FutureSonic – although they might be better for iPod listening.

By the way, I often listen to my iPod on the regular buds that come with them. I feel that I need to know what the music sounds like for the average person, somebody who doesn’t care to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars. For that reason I also check my music mixes on a couple of cheap stereos I bought for just that purpose.


  1. Tito Martinez

    Wow, I wish I had a pair of Stax’ for my studio. My only quetion is: With the hearing spectrum being from 20Hz to 20KHz, how useful is this extra definition? Is the frequency response flat, or are there any eq curves on them? I bet these things must sound freacking incredible, and then a tube amp to go with them… man!!! My budget allows me only to buy consumer grade stuff, so you bet I would give my right arm to mix a project with one of these.


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