Here, check out Sennheiser HD600s vs Beyerdynamic DT880s vs AKG K271 Studios: http://www.headphone.com/technical/product…pare+Headphones
Very useful site: http://www.headphone.com/technical/product…/build-a-graph/
You can check out frequency response, impedance, distortion, isolation. Most models listed.
Basically, sorry if it makes me unpopular in some peoples’ books, stay away from AKG’s for mixing (imho).
The frequency response across the whole range is so far off. You get detail though. For some kinds of music they make great listening headphones. I know they’re quite popular in vocal booths too. You certainly get a good mid-range.
Sennheiser is what I used religiously for 10-ish years. Good detail, very comfortable, low fatigue, slick sounding… Only problem I have with them is the same problem I have with Mackie and Genelec monitors, which is the “produced” sound they give everything…
You listen to your mixes through Sennheisers, you get used to things sounding slick and modern. The problem is, you get used to a lifted top-end, smooth upper mids and deep lows, and your mixes come out with all the opposite characteristics. You miss the harsh top-end in the mix and don’t feel you need to work to get presense in the tops and lows. (it’s why NS10s remain so popular - they bring out all the problem areas in mixes and don’t really do anything flattering to the tops or lows. They still have the last word on mixes on when you’ve got £35k monitors in your studio.)
I’ve recently switched to Beyerdynamics and I think the DT990 Pro’s and DT880s are the best all-round mixing/writing headphones you’ll find. (in an untreated room, I’d say superior to probably any nearfield monitoring you’re going to get - it is just about impossible to get a useful low-end in an untreated room.)
They don’t sound as slick as Sennheiser, but they sound more honest and upfront. The sound’s kind of comparable to Dynaudio monitors, but obviously without the huge room problems you usually get from them - (being that they all go too low for most home studios and tend to need really careful placement)… Sennheiser I’d compare more to Mackie/Genelec.
So now I’ve switched to Beyerdynamic I feel like I can trust what I’m hearing much more than I could with Sennheisers. So it’s really quite easy to tell when you’ve got the mix right, and harshness and muddy lows and things are easy to pick up on.
I actually wish there was a near-field monitor which filled that gap Beyerdynamics do; somewhere between NS10s for honesty and Dynaudios for clarity.
DT880s are the semi-closed back. More detail, great transients, more expensive, good isolation. (ideal for mixing)
DT990 Pro’s are open-back. Very similar, less fatiguing (based on an electrostatic design), light and easy to use. (ideal for writing)
Just on the detail issue, in some ways I find the high-level detail of DT880s and Dynaudio monitors difficult to work with. You can never really tell when a percussion track or reverb’s going to disappear on a regular hifi. Or when a mix is just going to sound too dry… So sometimes the more accurate representation of detail makes mixing easier… 990s are my first choice (and under £100). Look at the frequency curves on the headphone site and imagine those inverted -> that’s roughly the character your mixes will take on if you use them. If you see the curve NS10s produce, it’s a kind of anti-loudness effect with a really lifted 1khz region. So mixes always come off them with a bit of a smiley face and smooth upper-mid’s, which sounds - obviously - much slicker and more expensive than mixes coming off monitors with huge extended lows and tops and so much detail you end up mixing your reverbs in at sub-audible levels.