Wednesday, 7 April 2010

If you really love music, you'll spend a lot of money on Headphones

I seriously think that dedicated headphone listening is underrated these days. Especially with music you love the most.

I'm not talking about your iPod earbuds, or any in-ear tacky headphone on any mp3 player you listen to on the bus to work. I only use these to half listen to music so that I have an interesting soundtrack to my lonely walks.

No, I'm talking about taking some music you love and putting some awesomely huge expensive earphones on and just listening.

Of course, I'm not saying you can't love music without some huge expensive headphones. But its something you need to try at least once.

I've been on a bit of a headphone binge recently. I've been spending a lot of time away from my Studio with my bigger speakers and monitors which I love blasting music from. So as not to annoy my Girlfriend whilst I work on these damned essays and take some time to do my blogs, I've brought my closed ear Sennheiser headphones with me.

If you're curious, they're Sennheiser HD280 closed ear headphones. I got these for using in the studio, as they have great isolation (in that nobody can really hear what I'm listening to, and I can't hear a damn thing when I'm listening to anything on them). My actual proper listening headphones are a pair of Sennheiser HD600s, which cost me a small fortune and are open backed (so everyone can hear what I'm listening to and I can hear stuff in the room). Since they're open backed they tend to be for real critical listening. And they're also the most comfortable headphones in existence; my HD280s are less comfortable for long listening periods.

So what, I spent £300 on headphones for my studio.

Nothing compares to listening to your favourite album on headphones, especially ones with the isolation levels that my HD280s provide. You're literally surrounded by a wall of music which envelops you, all thats left is to close your eyes and let it take you wherever it takes you.

When mixing music in the studio, this is generally a less desirable way to mix due to the odd way that the stereo field is represented. But for listening back to stuff that's already been done in the studio and mixed down into purchasable music, its fantastic. Especially if there's some interesting production on it.

Just try it...take your favourite music. Try something that's usually too long, chilled, arty, proggy, whatever. Set aside an hour or so, and get hold of some really expensive headphones that completely cover your ears. Big, comfortable open backed headphones will give you the best immersive and comfortable experience, but as these can cost upwards of £200 for a pair I can understand if you don't want to.

In fact, check out the previous review of Porcupine Tree albums, pick one and have a listen through some really nice headphones. Just sit back, close your eyes and let it take you somewhere. I guarantee you'll enjoy it.

Keep loving music,

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. I'm always amazed at the detail I hear in headphones. There will be things I have never heard before, even if I've listened to a particular record 100 times.

    So excited about my HD650s...they'll be here soon... ;-)