Tech Tip:Can I Use Headphones For Mixing?

Headphones can be helpful in getting a good mix, but don't rely on them exclusively. Near-field reference monitors are generally preferable, although there are times when headphones must be used - to keep things quiet or to prevent sound from bleeding into an open mic in the control room. Also, headphones are good for hearing certain kinds of sonic details that you might miss when you're listening through speakers.



Headphone speakers are very close to your ears, so a mix will sound a lot different through them than through monitors. Headphones can exaggerate effects like reverb and delay, so it's easy to use insufficient amounts and wind up with a mix that's too clean. Makes and models of headphones vary a lot. Be aware of the sound characteristics of the headphones you are working with, or your mix might sound a lot different than you expect when you hear it through speakers.



When you mix with headphones, your ears are likely to fatigue sooner than when you mix with reference monitors. Give yourself plenty of breaks to rest your ears.



For the best of both worlds, refer to both monitors and headphones when you mix.



Musician's Friend carries many headphones, including some higher-end professional models. Be sure to visit our Website to survey our selection.