Headphone Recommendations

Hello everyone,

New Renoise user here. I like a simplified set-up, and I’m a hobbyist with kids, so I prefer to keep my music gear as a laptop and a set of headphones. What headphones would be ideal in this arrangement, with Renoise being my primary way of working?



What’s your price range?

Realistically, $100 or so.

I have and like a set of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Pretty flat response so they’re good (enough) for when you can’t have actual studio monitors.

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Koss porta pro
it is cheap and ugly but very comfortable, my fav headphone
middle and high are moderate / bass are bombastic

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I am happy with beyerdynamic dt770 pro for the purpose of using renoise on a laptop. Very good bass, not too much of it, and detailed enough for some simple mixing tasks.


I have the same set as OopslFly and i’m quite happy with it. Very comfortable, quite sturdy and detailed sound.
I have porta pro’s, and they’re ok for listening in quiet suroundings, but i would never mix with those.

I also can recommend the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro. But if you want use it directly plugged into the laptop or an USB audio interface, then i prefer the 80 ohms or even the 32 ohms model. Because the 250 ohms would be too quiet because this is more for users who use it with power amps in pro studios.

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Thanks everyone! I will look into all of your recommendations : )

Just a follow up, and not that important because I can’t afford it anyways but,

Am I missing out on much by plugging headphones directly into laptop and trying to produce good-sounding music? As opposed to plugging into a power amp/audio interface? I plan to be only using plugins, no hardware synths.

using a headphone amp is definitely recommended when working with high impedance headphones (> 150 ohm), since not only will the signal get louder but the drivers will produce their specified spectrum. Otherwise the sound can lack low end and clarity.

Also, if not already mentioned - if you can work in an quiet environment, get a pair of open headphones as opposed to closed ones.
But anyways, i also own the DT-770 Pro for noisy situations and got used to them.
It’s always a good idea to look at some measurements : https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/headphones/measurements/brands-a-i/

Besides a set of active monitors i use a pair of Sennheiser HD 650 which are a classic with a relatively flat response. They are driven via an external DAC and a separate amp.
Good equipment can get pricy but it’s worth it most of the time.

The amp is for better sound at high volume, or high volume at all with high impedance headphones.

A good dac will also give better quality with high quality headphones/speakers. I think it is the subtle background layers that become easier to percive, and less gritty sound aka better (clearer) highs.

How good the sound will be with your laptop depends on how good the sound chip and amp in the laptop are…can be shitty with no bass and grit as highs, but can also be okay to work with.

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I use a macbook pro 2015. Not sure if that’s considered good/bad.

I took my ATH-M50x on a trip for use with a Surface Pro 4 and was happy with the sound. I didn’t do any rigorous testing, but they were loud enough and sounded good.

I have used Sennheiser HD-558 with jack to mini-jack adapter on a macbook pro 2013, was working just fine… now i have a focusrite audio interface and not sure if I hear any difference.

Surprised nobody’s mentioned the Sony MDR-7506 on this thread. They’re a studio standard for headphone monitoring and they’re about 80 bucks new. I got a pair a year or two ago and love pretty much everything about them.

AKG 271 MK2. A couple of years a go I tested most of the ones mentioned already, and they all sounded…good…lot’s of bass…great for listening to music, but maybe suboptimal for mixing. The AKG were the only ones that did not over-represent the low end.

I have these also. When I first heard them I thought it’s broken.

I think first and foremost you need headphones that sounds good else you won’t enjoy making music… over time you’ll probably learn how they coloring your sound by listening to your music everywhere and then can make a decent mix with them… at least that’s what I am doing :smiley:

Thanks everyone! A lot of good advice and headphones to research further.