Are Beats Headphones good for mixing? If you are on a budget and want to pep up your DJ skills, you need to know more.
Music is an exciting world. While we all love to listen to music, some people love to mix songs and create different rhythms. A sequence of sound arrangements and voila! You have a beautiful collection of harmonic patterns.
Mixing sound isn’t an easy task. If you are tone-deaf, that’s different. But in case you are someone who is on a shoestring budget and wants to mix songs and musical notes, then it’s time to get innovative.
Well, for once, you do not need to gather the pots and pans for sound effects and all. What you need is a laptop with decent software and good headphones. When we are talking about headphones, you must be wondering about Beats headphones. Right?
Are Beats Headphones Suitable for Mixing As Many Claim Them To Be?
Before pondering too much into Beats headphones, first, understand sound mixing a bit more. Mixing is not just about chomping beats and rhythms together. There is an entire process for it.
An essential requirement of good sound mixing is a fitting room and subwoofers. Let’s dive deeper and find out. The soundproofing and the subwoofer help detect small bass changes essential for smoother music beat detection.
The Art of Mixing Music With Headphones
“Let the music play” is a beautiful classic song that most 90’s kids resonate with. But did you know that this evergreen song has over a hundred thousand mixed variations?
The original song had an outstanding tonal balance that made it a versatile choice for mixing.
So, what is the Tonal Balance?
Tonal Balance is a proper sequencing of the frequencies from low to high. The result is a uniform distribution of all the sounds in the music file. This means that every instrument and vocals are hearable without any discrepancy.
Production and mixing of songs solely based on the reception of headphones can be a very tricky situation. To make life a bit easier, one can pair up the headphones with a flat frequency.
Mixing with just headphones is not something any professional studio will ever agree with. However, it is not as bad as many assume. Let’s break it into a step-by-step process of music mixing for our readers to understand better.
- Always use a closed-back headphone of a good brand for the track to be mixed.
- Add on a good quality Amplifier.
- Reduce hard panning of mixing headphones to prevent distortion in the mix.
- Invest in a good software upgrade.
- Use a flat-screen monitor to be able to detect even the most minor frequency changes.
Standard Headphones vs. Studio Based Headphones
If you think buying an expensive pair of everyday headphones will work well with mixing music, you are absolutely on the wrong track. Are you feeling sad? Well, standard headphones will not work at all in the process of mixing. That’s a simple reality.
Regular headphones have a higher bass and treble. This is done to improve the listening aspect of the headphones. However, studio headphones are different. They are exact and accurate about even the tiniest flapping sound of birds and critters. This helps in identifying the correct notes in the music sheet.
Tips and Tricks for Mixing Music Using Headphones
Now that you are interested in diving deep into the world of sound mixing despite not having a professional setup, why not learn a few nice tricks to use? Next time around, you have your headphones on, and you are ready to mix; make sure to try these simple tricks. Who knows, maybe the result will boggle even Steve Aoki or DJ Snake.
Everyone needs to start from somewhere, and if that somewhere for you begins in your room with just your headphones, all help is sure to be welcome. Right?
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Be ready for mistakes.
You know it well that your headphones are never going to be enough for mixing music. There is bound to be discrepancy and faults. So, what do you do? Unsee it? No, of course not!
Listen in the loop and keep correcting the small mistakes in the note that you find. There is no better sound detector than the ears. For once, forget all about the angry neighbors, barking dogs, beeping scooters, and concentrate on the musical note emitting from your headphones.
Invest in a good pair of headphones
If not a mixing setup, at least invest in a good headphone. Save some good amount of cash and invest a few hundred quids on a brand that offers good bass and noise cancellation first and foremost.
Choose a pair that has a very flat frequency, as this is very crucial in the detection of signal fluctuations and EQ. Don’t make the mistake of buying traditional headphones that you use to listen to music.
Standard headphones do not showcase the minor low ends, and thus, this reduces the quality of the mix created. Also, check the boost and bass level well to get better clarity of the frequency response.
Compare the mix with multiple headphones.
Every mixing of headphones has its one characteristic trait. While some have a higher mids, the others may have a lower end. Tallying the different frequencies as observed by two separate headphones can better picture the notations and differences. Thus, in turn, helping us perfect the art of music mixing.
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Type of usability
How are you going to use your headphones? If you plan to spend hours simply self-evaluating every beat and note, it is vital to protect your ears first. Anything slightly out of the ordinary will mess up your ears for a lifetime. You do not want that. Right?
Heard of Studio Hangover?
Yes, you may face something if you spend too long amidst sound effects and land up with hearing sensitivity. Tinnitus is the end that you may have to face if you do not get a grip of yourself soon enough.
So what is the solution?
It is simple. Turn the volume a notch down, and you are good to go. A lower volume level does not allow too much sound frequency distortion and thus does not stress the eardrums. While controlling the temptation to crank it up to max, giving yourself a good break every few hours is also essential. Just like your body and mind, the ears also need rest.
What Qualities Does a Good Mixing Headphone Have?
Since you do not have the most technical elements of sound mixing like woofers, amps, etc., your headphones need to bear tremendous weight. After all, it has a considerable chunk of complicated functions to carry out by itself. So, even if it is not the best choice, it needs to prove that it is the only cheaper alternative.
The Basic setup
The minimal and basic setup should include a few large-screen monitors (at least two can do the job), a good quality Bluetooth surround system, and headphones.
The choice of the headphones
Since you do not have a studio setup, it is best to opt for low impedance headphones. These headphones can work fine when connected to any electronic device, unlike high impedance headphones that need a separate amp.
Ensure the headphones are well buffered to prevent any filtration of external noise into the music score field. Of course, since you will wear it for a long time, it needs to be comfortable too.
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The Choice for the Best Headphones for Mixing
While choosing headphones for mixing, there is one particular confusion many faces. It’s the choice between the three types of mixing headphones available in the market.
Each of these models has one attribute, be it positive or negative. Let’s take a quick peek and select the best one to suit us. Mixing headphones are of three types. They are –
A poor choice for mixing, recording, and composing, it is only suitable for enjoying music.
The most preferred choice in mixing headphones for recording as they do not permit sound exchange. One issue that’s quite common in these headphones is that when you increase the isolation, there is a marked reduction in the sound quality.
Open Back Headphones
Lightweight and suitable for extended use, they are a better option for mixing or composing only. In this case, every time there is a change in isolation, the clarity of the sound improves further.
There are two more types of Headphones that many may not know of. They are –
These headphones have ear cuffs around the ears where the cups cover the pinnae entirely, thus enclosing it completely.
This is an older generation version that’s rarely used now; these headphones do not block much sound as it allows air to circulate through them. This results in poor sound quality.
Best Brands For Mixing
While a few will perhaps recommend Beats sound mix range of well-rated headphones, there are a few perfect headphones that can be checked out too.
Reports state that despite being heavier on the pockets, these are some of the most opted headphones for song mixing.
- Technica ATH series
- A few specific SONY models
Why Are These The Best Brands?
- If you observe, you can find a common denominating factor between all these contenders for the best mixing headphones. They all have the common ‘over the ear closed back’ concept.
- With a more comprehensive frequency range from less than 50Hz to more than 15KHz, these headphones are potent devices that can detect the tiniest frequency changes.
- Soft earpads for comfortable prolonged wear aside, most of them are built to last a long time without needing a replacement.
Why Is Beats Not a Very Good Choice for Mixing?
Yes, the calm and chic Beats may seem like a good choice for newbies for mixing music. After all, who does not like the quirky and attention-grabbing design and color? Beats’ main USP is precisely that.
Now when technicalities are discussed, things slowly begin to descend downwards. Let’s see why.
- Firstly Beats does not have a sturdy enough driver to withstand long hours of continuous music recordings and compositions. Within a short timeframe, the audio quality begins to distort, and everything is a downhill journey from here on.
- Beats rely more on the bass than the trebles and mid-range frequencies. This is why Beats is more often used by people who are more into bass-heavy music.
Answers To More Questions About Mixing Headphones
What kind of headphones should I use for mixing?
The headphones that have the best frequency stability are the most suitable ones to use for mixing. Most open-back headphones are perfect for this purpose. They allow minimal air and noise seepage, thus giving a better quality of mixing.
Are Beats headphones good for making beats?
Despite the name Beat, it is not a suitable brand for any musical composition work especially recording and mixing.
Can you DJ with Beats?
Beats headphone range under the DRE model, and EP series highlights the good ends with various acoustic changes. With fine-tuning of the bass, they are usable for DJing.
What are the best headphones for mixing?
Some of the well-versed names in the world of Headphone mixing include the Beyerdynamic series, AKG, KRK series, etc.
The Final Verdict
Truth to be told, when all facts are carefully assessed, there is no denying that Beats does not hold ground in front of Mixing headphones like AKG, KRK, etc. It cannot detect the more fine-tunings of music sheets.
Beats Headphones are a consumer brand meant for a fun time listening to music as a fan. They are not suitable as a pro audio brand for creating musical technicalities such as mixing.
However, if you do have a Beats headphone simply lying around, there is no harm in giving it a bit of practice just for the sake of learning the art. If you find that they do the job for you, do let us know so that other readers can also benefit from your experience.