EP36 - A big mistake in evaluating headphones

EP36 - A big mistake in evaluating headphones

If you're anything like me, you love listening to music and testing out new headphones. However, I've realized that one of the biggest mistakes I've been making is how I evaluate these headphones. Here's what I've learned and why it matters.


The Common Pitfall 

When we get a new pair of headphones, it's natural to push them to the limit with songs we're extremely familiar with. We often use well-produced, polished tracks to test the performance. While this seems logical, it's not the best way to evaluate studio-grade monitoring systems.


Why Finished Products Aren't Ideal for Testing 

Listening to a well-mixed and mastered track on new headphones only tells you how the headphones handle a perfectly balanced mix. These tracks have been meticulously tuned, balanced, and polished, with all mistakes removed. When you listen to such a track, you're hearing the best possible version of the music, which doesn't reveal much about the headphones' true capabilities.


The Importance of Raw Mixes

The real test of headphones is how they handle raw mixes—those that aren't perfectly balanced and still contain mistakes. When you use a raw mix, you can identify which headphones reveal the imperfections and allow you to correct them. This is crucial for mixing and mastering, as it ensures that your final product will translate well across different devices and environments.


The Translation Issue

A pair of headphones that makes a raw mix sound great might not translate well to other systems. If the headphones are compensating for the mix's flaws, those flaws will still be present when the mix is played on other devices, like car speakers or a friend's sound system. This can result in a mix that sounds boomy, lacks certain frequencies, or is overly sibilant.


My Personal Experience

A few years back, I started listening to more raw mixes and noticed that mistakes were very obvious on certain headphones, including our S4X model. These mistakes were also apparent on other systems, which helped me identify the best headphones for mixing and mastering.



Always use a mix with mistakes when comparing studio gear. This approach will reveal which headphones accurately show the flaws in your mix, allowing you to correct them and ensure that your final product translates well across all systems.

Remember, polished mixes will sound great on anything, but raw mixes will help you find the true performance of your headphones.

 For more insights and updates, stay tuned to our blog and follow us on social media. If you have any questions or need further advice, feel free to reach out. 

Happy mixing! 

Rok Gulič

00:00 INTRO
00:25 Where the mistake happens and why
01:50 What you don't see or hear
03:45 The translation explained
06:40 The use of drums in evaluating

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