Music lovers love headphones because they offer the best audio quality, cancel external noise, and enable you to immerse deep in the musical experience. Even though earphones have their uses, they interfere with the sound quality and can be uncomfortable for some people.
Headphones are of two types, in terms of their functionality: regular and studio, as is evident from this website. Producers, mix engineers, studio recording, podcasting, and sound professionals use studio headphones.
But how are they different from regular headphones? What are some details you must know about them before buying one? You can find the answers below.
Characteristics of studio headphones
As mentioned above, studio headphones are meant for professional use and vary from regular ones in source audio representation, frequency range and quality construction.
So, you ought to know the following characteristics, especially if it’s your first time buying one of these.
They isolate the sound
Musicians, DJs and other professionals prefer using studio headphones to prevent the sound from leaking out. It is essential to avoid leakage sound because if the sound leaks, the hot mic (a microphone that you have turned on) would catch the sound and distort the entire recording.
Instead of open-backed designs that allow air passage from their ear cups, a closed-back is ideal for recording sessions, which is what these devices do. Some of the most common disturbances that produce face during sessions are:
- interaction with speakers
- feedback from the microphone
- performers touching the microphone even slightly
- creaking sounds
- squeaky sounds produced by weak cables or connections
- humming noises caused by an underlying electrical issue
Provide accurate sound representation
Even the slightest alteration in the sound can cause problems for a mix engineer or producer. Regular headphones usually add their effect and modify the sound in one way or another, while these phones offer you an accurate representation of the audio signals.
In technical terms, it’s known as the colouration of sound, referring to the impurity in audio when it passes through a device. It could also mean minimal amounts of harmonic distortion, changes in the frequency response, and dynamic compression.
Although colouration could be desirable for casual listening, they are unwanted in professional recordings because you should receive the sound in its raw form. Even the slightest alteration or filtration could hide any flaws, making it problematic for the sound engineer.
They have a sturdy build
Once you have seen studio headphones a few times, you can quickly identify them from regular ones because of their thick ear pads that prevent sound from escaping and a robust cable connection.
Most of the cable in these instruments is user-replaceable with a ¼ inches jack and includes a screw-on measuring about 3.5 millimetres along with a ¼ inches adaptor. They last for a long time and endure long audio sessions. Hence their rugged appearance compared to regular headphones.
What should you check before buying?
Manufacturers use metal, leather, carbon fibre, and other materials to give them the sturdiness they require for regular use, so you should select one that you find most comfortable.
Type of ear pads
Most ear pads in these devices are leather or velour made, as comfortable as the other. Many people prefer leather ear pads because they don’t soak the grease, oil and hair, unlike velour.
Mid-range in sound refers to the middle range of the sound spectrum, between 500 Hz to 4 kHz, and occupies the highest importance amongst the sound frequencies because most of the audible sounds occur in this range. You must check whether the mid-range is well-defined and open.
Before buying a pair of studio earphones, you must pay attention to the minutest details since that will affect your sound quality during the recording and production process.
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