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Mixing on Headphones with Quality Audiophile headphones

By Cleer Audio

Whether you're a professional audio engineer or a weekend warrior, chances are you own a pair of heavy-duty headphones. When it comes to finding the best headphones for mixing, the most obvious benefit is that they provide a realistic audio reference within chaotic sound environments. They will help you focus on small details and will not disturb the neighbors.

Things to consider when choosing the best mixing headphones

When you're mixing, it doesn't matter if you're using the world's most beautiful mixer and the most impressive special effects. NPR is the best if you're trying to hear a true representation of your music. This is where professional mixing headphones differ from their cousins, the regular consumer headphones.

Consumer headphones are designed for pleasant listening, so they tend to have a sound profile that emphasizes big bass and bright highs. You can reduce the bass, but you play your new mix in another format and suddenly it sounds loud and weak.

Professional mixing headphones, on the other hand, aim to deliver a true and accurate translation of your mix, even if it's not perfect. When your mix is ​​exposed, warts and all, you can listen carefully and make informed decisions without paying for the "sound" of your headphones.

What is better for mixing, open-back or closed-back headphones?

Both options provide sonic benefits; The right choice for you depends largely on how you work.

Closed-back headphones have earcups that are closed in front of them. This design provides significant sound isolation, preventing sound from escaping and preventing ambient sound from entering. This level of sound isolation makes closed-back headphones perfect for mixing without distractions in noisy environments and for recording in the studio when artists need to hear their mix without sound echoing.

Open-back headphones with earcups with vented backs allow airflow and provide a spacious feel with wide, airy airflow. Their natural, speaker-like response makes them ideal for close listening, making them popular with mixing professionals.

This is why Cleer NEXT is such a great option when it comes to mixing. These open-back audiophile headphones offer a superior sound experience – all packed into a beautifully designed shell. And the best part? Soft sheepskin earcups offer next level comfort for those long mixing sessions.

What about on-ear or over-ear headphones?

Headphone design falls into two categories. On-ear headphones have a large, soft earcup that wraps around your ear. They usually provide a wider sound image than headphones because their drivers are placed (sometimes with custom components) by your ears, creating a sound effect that mimics the sound coming from the speakers.

Over-ear headphones usually feature larger drivers; in general, the larger the speaker, the higher the frequency response, especially in the low end. Over-ear headphones (or more) sit in your ear. They're smaller and lighter (and usually cheaper) than headphones, making them a great choice for life and travel.

Over-the-ear headphones are more comfortable than over-the-ear headphones in the long run because they wrap around your ears.

What does mixing mean in audio?

Sound mixing is a combination of art and technology with the ultimate goal of creating a new sonic reality. A good mix is ​​not enough if the technical side is taken into consideration, and it must convey the message of the song and strengthen its impact.

The mixing engineer follows this line carefully, always prioritizing the music, where they apply their technical skills, deep knowledge of the processing equipment, and the interpretation of the new level to achieve artistic results.

Is it good to mix with headphones?

In some cases, working with headphones can give you a more accurate mix. Headphones will usually give you a better bass response, especially if you don't have a subwoofer to work with. Most industrial monitors you'll use in your home theater aren't good enough to produce sub-bass frequencies.

It also has something to do with the room, of course, as some rooms will make you hear more bass than others. Because headphones are closer to your ears, they often have the advantage of having more bass response. Speaking of music, the sound will bounce off the walls of your house when you use the speaker.

Hearing different reflections will affect the way you mix, which can make a difference to how it sounds if your home theater isn't set up properly. When you use headphones, this is a problem you don't have to worry about!

What are the rules for mixing with headphones?

When it comes to mixing, nothing beats a good pair of home theater monitors in a good-sounding environment. But what if your space has horrible acoustics? Or if you want to work at night? What if you want to blend in on the road? If these conditions describe you, you may have no other choice but to mix with headphones.

Headphones are great for reference and revealing a little detail in your work, but they bring their own problems.

That said, many professional musicians, engineers, and designers often mix headphones, either by choice or by necessity. So how do you create a sounding mix with headphones? Here are a few tips.

Avoid excessive panning

When you listen to a studio recording, the sound from the left speaker reaches not only your left ear but also your right ear (and vice versa).

Because of this, playing loud music over the speakers doesn't completely remove it from the other ear. This is not the case with headphones - when the music is loud in the headphones, the sound is completely absent from the other channel.

Therefore, when mixing through headphones, try to minimize the use of hard panning. This way, every sound in your mix will be, at least to some extent, in both channels. This will lead to a more natural overall sound.

Use the speaker for guidance

When mixing with a studio monitor, it's a good idea to check your mix with headphones when you think you've got it locked down so you can make final adjustments. It's the easiest way to make sure your work sounds good on your microphone and headphones.

The same concept applies when mixing through headphones. Find a pair of speakers (even if it's in your car) and use them to check the time reference. Otherwise, you may end up with a mix that sounds great in your headphones but not well anywhere else.

Invest in open-back headphones

Closed-back headphones are great for monitoring because they prevent sound from escaping and entering your microphone. That said, they also trap pressure inside the helmet, creating false low frequencies. While this bass trap makes listening fun and more engaging, it also alters your perception of your frequency response.

That's why open-back headphones like the Cleer NEXT work so well for critical applications — their frequency response will help you make better choices when mixing.

Get a high-quality headphone amp

When using studio monitors, sound engineers spend top dollar on pro-level speakers, controllers, and D/A converters. And why wouldn't they? If you can't hear it, you can't mix it. The same is true if you are mixing with headphones. This is where headphone amplifiers come in, ensuring that you hear all the details of your mix with precision and accuracy.

Next level mixing with Cleer NEXT

When it comes to mixing audio, there are so many factors to consider. By investing in a pair of Cleer Next Audiophile headphones you can hear every detail. It’s never been easier to mix next-level sound, don’t you think?

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