Monitors or headphones, which one is better?

Producing, mixing or even listening to music can be very different depending on whether you are using monitor speakers or headphones.

What usually happens in the real world outside (of the studio) is that we receive the two audio streams from your left and right ear simultaneously  and then analyse the differences in frequency and timing between them to distinguish the direction of a sound.

However when you listen to sound with headphones, your two ears receive the audio stream at the same time. All panned instruments feel a bit more widely spread than they actually are, and reverbs and delays appear far wider and deeper.

On the other hand what happens when using monitors is that the natural reverb of your room smoothes all soundwaves and adds ambience, depending on your specific room acoustics. If your track is well produced though, it should sound great on everything from car speakers to a pair of wireless headphones. When you produce and mix you should try to use ass many references as possible to ensure your track sounds good on all sound systems.

We asked some of our top selling producers on Edmwarrios to tell us more about their preferred way of producing music:

“I use both, I have Genelec 8340 AMP and Sennheiser HD 650 with Sonnarworks Room & Headphones correction for the best results. I love my speakers a lot, use it almost 90% of time, only at night I take my headphones, but back in a days when I have JBL Lsr 305 speakers I prefer Sennheiser HD650 headphones, because they has more linear and transparent sound compare to JBL speakers.”

“I use both, but I prefer the monitors,  headphones give me a lot of headache and tire me a lot faster”

“I prefer to use my studio monitors, as I can listen to these for a long time without my ears getting tired. In addition, this allows me to hear the balance and the bass frequencies far better and more accurately than with headphones. With this, I make sure that the bass is not too loud or muddy. I use my headphones mainly to hear the details in the mix that are more difficult to perceive on a speaker. Especially details in the (background) effects, drums or vocals are much more audible with headphones. This ultimately makes the mix more professional in the clarity of the upper frequencies.”

“I work now this 8 years with the same headphones Sennheiser HD25 that are really good because the frequency range is the more stable of the industry then you can have a more precise mixdown/mastering. I’ve also bought speakers 2 years ago, small JBL 305 speakers, which is much better than headphones to work on space and stereolisation. For me, both are importants because they each get positive and negative points. ”

“I use predominantly speakers. Specifically, Sven SPS-820 is used in production,  YAMAHA HS5, iPhone 7, Xiaomi Mi 9 and one old speaker in my car are used in post-production. I do these auditions on different devices to work out the sound of certain instruments well - I like to make accents. I can use headphones (Philips SHP 2700) too for the same purpose.”

Jun 14 2021
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Martin Nikolov
Hello! I'm Martin from My Ghost Market staff.
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