Beats headphones best: Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless Review

Best Beats Headphones in 2023

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Best beats earbuds

Beats Fit Pro

Best beats earbuds

Beats Fit Pro

$180 at Amazon$200 at Walmart$200 at adorama.com

Pros
  • Secure fit thanks to wingtip design
  • Multiple ear tip sizes help get a customized fit
  • Can make calls
  • Wide array of colors available
  • Longer battery life than Studio Buds
  • Apple h2 chip
  • Best audio quality of all the earbuds
Cons
  • Expensive when not on sale
  • Some might not like the wingtip design

The Beats Fit Pro is undisputedly the best pair of earbuds you can buy if you’re going off of tech alone. For starters, the Fit Pros have the same Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) you get in AirPods Pro, as well as adaptive EQ listening and spatial audio. What really makes the Fit Pros stand out is its outfitted with an Apple h2 processing chip, enabling features like automatic switching between Apple devices, automatic audio sharing (with another pair of Beats or AirPods), and hands-free Siri assistance.

Last to mention is the physical design notes which are unique to the Fit Pros. The most apparent note is the wingtip design on each earbud to create a secure fit—you also get three silicone ear tips to switch out in order to get the most customized fit. As for storage, you get a square charging case that can power the Fit Pros for up to 30 hours.

The deal breaker on the Fit Pros doesn’t necessarily come down to lack of tech, but rather a preference for fit, as some might not want an earbud with the wing tip design.

Read more: Best Fitness Smartwatches

Battery Life Up to 6 hours with ANC on (24 hours with help of charging case). 7 hours in Adaptive EQ (30 hours with help of charging case).
Headphone Chip Apple h2 Chip
Active Noise Cancellation? Yes
Voice Call Capabilities? Yes
Charging Case? Yes

best beats headphones

Beats Studio 3 Over-Ear Headphones

best beats headphones

Beats Studio 3 Over-Ear Headphones

Now 54% Off

$160 at Amazon$245 at Walmart$250 at B&H Photo

Pros
  • Active Noise Cancellation and Spatial Audio help create premium listening experience
  • Comfortable over-ear design
  • Several colors available
  • Can take and make phone calls (rare for over-ear headphones)
  • Long lifespan
  • 22 hours of battery life with ANC on
Cons
  • Expensive when not on sale
  • Ear cups can wear down fast if used for gym purposes

The crown jewel of the Beats headphones, so to speak, the Studio 3 headphones are immersive over-ear headphones made to drown out outside noise and give you top-tier audio quality. Unlike the Solo 3, Studio 3 is outfitted with Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode, so you can switch back and forth between how much sound you wish to let in at any given time. With noise cancellation on, they pack up to 22 hours of battery life (a seriously long time for ANC to stay on) and, when off, up to 40 hours of battery life. Similar to Solo 3, Studio 3 has on-ear play, pause, and skip controls.

So what does Studio 3 do best? Comfort. The ear cups blissfully hug around your ear without confining them into a tight space and without pressing too hard into your head. The sound quality is much more focused thanks to the over-ear design, so you can feel the entirety of the spatial audio features working to give you a premium listening experience.

Studio 3 can be used in all types of environments, and even though they are not waterproof and sweatproof, we still found them to be a comfortable choice for the gym and light running. If you do use them for fitness, be aware the ear cups might wear down quickly; we recommend keeping your eyes peeled on swapping the cups with third-party replacements that are more sweat resistant.

Battery Life Up to 22 hours with ANC on. Up to 40 hours with ANC off.
Headphone Chip Apple W1 Chip
Active Noise Cancellation? Yes
Voice Call Capabilities? Yes
Charging Case? No

Best beats for working out

Beats Powerbeats Pro

Best beats for working out

Beats Powerbeats Pro

Now 40% Off

$150 at Amazon$200 at Walmart$190 at QVC

Pros
  • Hook design keeps earbuds locked-in
  • Long battery life
  • Uses Apple h2 chip
  • Sweat and water resistant
Cons
  • Better suited for fitness than everyday use
  • No Active Noise Cancellation

Powerbeats Pro are the fitness earbuds that keep on giving. They are most known for their secure hook design, which helps hold the earbud in a locked-in position through the most intense workout sessions. Powerbeats Pro also has a long nine-hour battery life and sweat and water resistance. The one thing the Powerbeats Pro doesn’t have is Active Noise Cancellation, but they make up for it with an Apple h2 chip, which helps ensure more seamless pairing with Apple devices and features like audio sharing and Siri assistance. The Powerbeats Pro comes with voice call capability too, as well as a charging case that powers for up to 24 hours.

It’s hard to exactly pindown where the Powerbeats Pro sit among the Beats earbuds because they’re so unique. You can wear these for everyday use, especially if you’re a fan of the over-ear hook design, but where the Powerbeats Pro shine is when used for fitness purposes. If you’re tired of your earbuds falling short in the gym then a pair of Powerbeats Pros should be added to your gym bag in the near future.

Battery Life Up to 9 hours (24 hours with help of charging case)
Headphone Chip Apple h2 Chip
Active Noise Cancellation? No
Voice Call Capabilities? Yes
Charging Case? Yes

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Most Underrated Beats Earbuds

Beats Flex

Most Underrated Beats Earbuds

Beats Flex

Now 43% Off

$40 at Amazon$49 at Walmart$50 at B&H Photo

Pros
  • Under $75
  • Can make phone calls
  • Lightweight and easy to travel with
  • Long 12-hour battery life
  • Water and sweat resistant
  • Great for the gym
Cons
  • No Active Noise Cancellation
  • No charging case
  • Some might not like the corded design

The most affordable Beats you can buy, the Flex Earbuds pack high-quality sound and voice call capabilities for under $75. Sure they are still somewhat of a “corded” headphone (if you can even call it that) but due to the design, they run a long 12 hours per charge: also known as the longest standalone charge of the Beats earbuds.

The downside to the Flex is you do not get noise cancellation and you do not get a charging case, so they might not be the most suitable for those who like to carry their earbuds on them at all times. But thanks to its portability and long battery life, the Flex can exist in any scenario. The Flex is also sweat- and water-resistant, making them a solid choice for the gym especially.

Read more: Best Treadmills

Battery Life Up to 12 hours
Headphone Chip Apple W1 Chip
Active Noise Cancellation? No
Voice Call Capabilities? Yes
Charging Case? No

best beats earbuds for everyday use

Beats Studio Buds

best beats earbuds for everyday use

Beats Studio Buds

Now 40% Off

$90 at Amazon$160 at Walmart$150 at adorama. com

Pros
  • Great price point
  • Wide array of colors available
  • Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode
  • Generous battery life when used with charging case
Cons
  • Fit Pros have a more customized earbud fit
  • Not as long of battery life as Fit Pros

Studio Buds have the most traditional earbud fit of the Beats lineup. The Studio Buds are close to the performance of the Fit Pros, except they have lower battery life and are outfitted with a custom Bluetooth chip, as opposed to the Apple h2 chip. The Studio Buds do have Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode though. They also have call capability and sweat and water resistance, making them perfect for everyday use and for fitness.

What Studio Buds do best is they provide an excellent price point for a pair of high-quality earbuds. You don’t get as long of a battery life as the Fit Pros, but the Studio Buds still have respectable juice. The Fit Pros also have the traditional earbud design going for them, so if you like that fit then these will give you the same comfort.

Battery Life Up to 5 hours with ANC on (15 hours with help of charging case). Up to 8 hours with ANC off (24 hours with help of charging case)
Headphone Chip Beats Custom Bluetooth Chip
Active Noise Cancellation? Yes
Voice Call Capabilities? Yes
Charging Case? Yes

Beats Headphones with the best battery life

Beats Solo 3 On-Ear Headphones

Beats Headphones with the best battery life

Beats Solo 3 On-Ear Headphones

Shop at Amazon

Pros
  • Marathon 40-hour battery life
  • Great price point
  • Wide array of colors available
  • Compact and travel-friendly price
Cons
  • Not ideal for gym use
  • No Active Noise Cancellation (Studio 3 has ANC)

The on-ear and over-ear Beats headphones are best suited for those who are really looking to enjoy their music or podcasts. The Solo 3 has been a mainstay in the Beats lineup for years thanks to its ability to pack deep bass and crisp audio for a friendly price point (only $200). Special features that stand out include a marathon 40-hour battery life; ear cup controls that can pause, play, and skip; and a compact and minimalist design that doesn’t take up much space.

If you are looking for a pair of on-ear headphones that you can carry around for everyday use or for travel, then the Solo 3 is a fine choice. As for fitness? It’s possible you could wear them working out, but due to the plastic ear cups and on-ear fit, we find the headphones become prone to slipping off and moving around when sweat gets involved. The Solo 3 is also not waterproof, let alone sweatproof.

Read more: Best Travel Gadgets

Battery Life Up to 40 hours
Headphone Chip Apple W1 Chip
Active Noise Cancellation? No
Voice Call Capabilities? Yes
Charging Case? No

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What to Consider When Buying Beats Headphones

All Beats headphones have solid audio quality but due to the range in prices (from $70 to $350), there are obviously going to be models that provide better listening experiences than others. Aside from price point, here are some factors to consider when buying the best Beats headphones for your lifestyle.

Apple User vs. Android User

As mentioned earlier Apple owns Beats. Most Beats headphones are outfitted with Apple chips, thus making the headphones pair as fast to your iPhone as a pair of AirPods does. Some of the Apple chips also allow for Siri assistance and fun features like audio sharing with other Beats and AirPods. This is all to say Beats headphones provide the best value if you have an iPhone.

If you have an Android, don’t fret. All Beats headphones work with Android and provide a quality listening experience, however, you simply do not get the Apple ecosystem features that are baked into the Beats headphones. It’s not a huge downside, but it’s still a downside nonetheless.

Purpose of Headphone Use

Write down what you plan on using your Beats headphones for. What are your listening habits and priorities? Are you planning on buying a pair of Beats for everyday use or for fitness only? Knowing what you want will give you a better chance at buying Beats that best fit your needs.

Active Noise Cancellation

The last thing that’s worth considering is how much you want to prioritize audio quality. If you want the best quality, then choosing a pair of Beats with Active Noise Cancellation is going to help block out surrounding sounds and give you an immersive experience.

Only a few Beats headphone models have ANC, so keep that in mind when shopping the entire lineup. The feature will likely cost you a bit more but you will likely find spending more on your Beats for the feature was a worthy investment.

How We Selected the Best Beats Headphones

We consulted with Men’s Health‘s fitness and gear editors to review the latest Beats headphones. Experts, including our gear and commerce editor John Thompson, evaluated each pair of Beats on fit, durability, comfort, and performance. We also considered price points, as some Beats headphones provide a better overall value than others.

John Thompson

Gear and Commerce Editor

John Thompson is the Gear and Commerce Editor at Men’s Health, where he covers fashion, grooming, gear, and technology. He was previously the Style & Gear Editor at BroBible.com, and a commerce writer for TheManual.com. His interests include shopping for rare vintage clothes and following his favorite baseball team, the Kansas City Royals. 

The Best Beats Headphones and Earbuds of 2022

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1

Best Beats for Most Consumers

Studio Buds Wireless Earbuds

1

Best Beats for Most Consumers

Studio Buds Wireless Earbuds

Now 40% Off

$90 at Amazon$100 at Walmart$110 at B&H Photo

Pros
  • Excellent audio performance
  • Lightweight and comfy
  • Reasonable price
Cons
  • Could use the Apple h2 chip

Key Specs

  • Custom audio drivers
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life (24 hours with charging case)
  • Customizable controls

The Beats Studio Buds — our favorite wireless earbuds overall — are the best option for most upgraders and our favorite for most buyers. The impossibly compact earphones offer a comfy fit with button controls and the brand’s signature sound with stellar noise cancellation at a great price point. Plus, they can play equally nicely with iPhone and Android phones.

The earphones’ battery life is also great, especially considering how tiny they are. You can grab a pair of Studio Buds in black, white, or red. And the Beats Studio Buds are on sale right now on Amazon.

More: A Review of the Beats Studio Buds

2

Budget Beats

Flex Wireless Earphones

2

Budget Beats

Flex Wireless Earphones

Now 43% Off

$40 at Amazon$40 at Walmart$60 at B&H Photo

Pros
  • Good sound
  • Long battery life
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • No rating for water resistance

Key Specs

  • Apple W1 chip
  • Up to 12 hours of battery life
  • Magnetic design

The Beats Flex are among our favorite wireless earbuds, thanks to a sleek design, good sound quality, and seamless fit, all at an incredible $50 price point. Rather impressively, the product also works well with Android phones — there’s a mobile app for rapidly pairing the buds, as well as for keeping an eye on their battery status.

Thanks to their neckband design, the Flex earbuds have longer battery life than true wireless Beats earphones. You can charge them via a USB-C connector. While testing the Flex, I liked how conveniently the buds snapped together via magnets when not in use.

3

Most Feature-Packed Beats

Fit Pro Wireless Earbuds

3

Most Feature-Packed Beats

Fit Pro Wireless Earbuds

Now 10% Off

$180 at Amazon$200 at Walmart$200 at B&H Photo

Pros
  • Excellent audio performance
  • Comfy and secure fit
  • Eye-catching design
Cons
  • Case lacks wireless charging
  • Apple h2 chip
  • Up to 6 hours of battery life (24 hours with charging case)
  • Spatial audio support

The Beats Fit Pro are the brand’s latest, most feature-packed true wireless earbuds. Compared to the cheaper Beats Studio Buds, the Fit Pro earphones have a more secure fit with additional wingtips and Apple’s h2 chip. In addition to seamless Apple connectivity, the chip brings support for even more lifelike spatial audio with dynamic head tracking and hands-free access to Siri.

Of course, the buds also deliver great sound, dependable noise cancellation, and solid battery life. However, we wish their case were compatible with wireless charging, especially considering their price point. You can order the Fit Pro in black, white, gray, and purple, with each version sporting a contrasting Beats logo.

More: The Best Headphones and Earbuds for Exercising

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4

Most Secure Fit

Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones

4

Most Secure Fit

Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones

Now 40% Off

$150 at Amazon$180 at Walmart

Pros
  • Powerful sound
  • Very secure fit
  • Convenient button controls
Cons
  • Bulky charging case

Key Specs

  • Apple h2 chip
  • Up to 9 hours of battery life (24 hours with charging case)
  • Tactile button controls

The Powerbeats Pro completely wireless earbuds offer a secure around-ear fit and powerful sound, making them great for workout warriors. We also like the buds’ conveniently placed volume and playback button controls, which sets them apart from their newer siblings.

Other highlights of the earphones include long battery life and a charging case with an onboard Lightning connector. You can order the product in a multitude of colors.

More: A Review of the Powerbeats Pro

5

Over-Ear Beats

Studio3 Wireless Headphones

5

Over-Ear Beats

Studio3 Wireless Headphones

Now 54% Off

$160 at Amazon$260 at Walmart$269 at adorama.com

Pros
  • Great sound quality
  • Timelessly cool design
  • Fast-charging tech
Cons
  • Dated microUSB charging connector

Key Specs

  • Apple W1 chip
  • Up to 22 hours of battery life
  • Bundled cable for wired playback

Almost half a decade after their debut, the Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones are still the brand’s finest over-ear option, offering reliable noise cancellation and great sound. Available in seven colors, the cans are also timelessly cool and instantly recognizable.

The product has solid battery life and a super convenient Fast Fuel charging feature. The latter will get you 3 hours’ worth of playback after only 10 minutes.

More: Noise-Canceling Headphones for Every Lifestyle and Budget

6

Classic Beats

Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones

6

Classic Beats

Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones

Now 42% Off

$115 at Amazon$129 at Walmart$190 at QVC

Pros
  • Good audio quality
  • Instantly recognizable design
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Dated microUSB charging connector

Key Specs

  • Apple W1 chip
  • Up to 40 hours of battery life
  • Bundled cable for wired playback

Launched in 2016, the Beat Solo3 Wireless headphones are still a solid option to consider. They deliver excellent sound, effortless pairing with Apple hardware, and amazing battery life.

The cans’ battery endurance comes courtesy of Apple’s proprietary W1 chip. This hardware feature also enables the headset to deliver up to 3 hours of playback after only 5 minutes of charging.

Stefan Vazharov

Senior Technology Editor

Stefan is the senior technology editor for BestProducts.com, where he’s been covering the tech industry and testing the latest gadgets since 2015. He has more than a decade of experience covering consumer tech products, especially smartphones, tablets, laptops, and audio gear. He was previously the US editor for GSMArena.com; his work can also be found on Popular Mechanics and other Hearst publications.In the rare moments when he’s not playing with a new gadget, Stefan likes to watch live Premier League games or hang out with his cat and rabbit. He’s also an espresso snob.

Which headphones are better: wired or wireless

A huge amount of technology today works without wires, although for only a few decades this possibility seemed fantastic. The new technology has also touched the headphone segment. Thanks to such a feature as the absence of wires in the headphones, a person expands his possibilities in using technology and improves ease of use. But before you go for a new acquisition, you should thoroughly understand the question of which headphones are better to choose, wired or wireless.

Contents

Features of different types of headphones

The wired models carry sound waves through a cable. A wired connection of the headset to a smartphone, tablet, laptop or other sound source imposes some restrictions on movement, which is not always convenient. But in operation, the device is much more stable than wireless opponents.

The sound transmission technology of wireless devices is different: the connection between the source of sound waves and the headphones is carried out by means of radio sensors or Bluetooth adapters. Due to the lack of wires, the headset is mobile and easy to use, including while walking or exercising. The probability of failures in the reception and transmission of signals limits the stability of sound reproduction.

What are wireless headphones

There is no point in talking about designs of headphones, since they are almost the same for wireless and wired headsets. But to pay attention to the type of connection of wireless devices is still worth it. To date, the most common three options for sound transmission.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth enabled devices are most commonly used for smartphones and laptops . Of course, when compared with a radio signal, the technology is significantly inferior in many respects. The signal range is not too long, the battery charge is consumed much faster, the sound quality leaves much to be desired. But today the development of this particular technology is progressing, and gradually a headset of better and better quality appears on the market.

2.4 GHz radio channel

Devices operating on a 2. 4 GHz radio signal are mainly used when working with personal computers, TVs, set-top boxes . You can also find excellent solutions for laptops. A distinctive feature of this headset is the best sound quality . It is generally accepted that with such a transmission there is no sound distortion, but this largely depends on the source and the headset itself.

The range of such accessories reaches 100 m, which significantly exceeds the capabilities of Bluetooth devices.

Siberia 840 wireless headphones

IR sensor

Wireless devices based on the use of an IR module will be the perfect and most correct solution for connoisseurs of high-quality music sound. Thanks to the use of an infrared channel, it is possible to transmit large data packets, while the sound remains voluminous, caressing. To make the sound richer, many of these models use built-in audio amplifiers that run on battery power.

But such models have several disadvantages. First of all, this is a very high price with a small assortment of models on the modern choice. Another point is short range . The headset and the source must be within sight, so moving around the rooms in the house simply will not work.

Advantages and disadvantages of

It is impossible to give an unambiguous answer about the best choice in favor of one or another sound reproduction technology. The choice will depend on the intended purpose of the upcoming purchase and the characteristics of a particular headphone model. It is recommended to take into account the poles and minuses inherent in a wired and wireless headset.

Wired audio devices

In favor of headphones connected via the audio jack, the following points are noted.

  1. More than Accurate and high-quality sound reproduction of through direct signal transmission and no need for encoding and decoding.
  2. High quality cabled devices are more affordable than Bluetooth counterparts with similar features.
  3. Wired connection ensures the continuity of the transmission of the sound wave.

Cons:

  1. The wire can be twisted if used carelessly, which leads to a violation of the integrity of the cable and damage to the plug.
  2. Not suitable for mobile use while walking and playing sports.

Wireless headphones

The advantages of a Bluetooth headset include the following factors.

  1. Mobile headset, provides interaction with the sound source at a distance of 9-10 meters without wires.
  2. Headphones are convenient for use with a smartphone in the conditions of morning jogging, walking or on the way to work, study.
  3. Multipurpose . Auto connection to a smartphone, a microphone that allows you to answer calls through the headset, auto pause, voice functions and much more. Feature set varies by model.

Disadvantages:

  1. Headphones require power supply from charger (included or purchased separately).
  2. Due to the need to use codecs, the quality of sound reproduction is inferior to wired counterparts.
  3. The price tag for a quality wireless headset is high.

Selection based on the technology used

Depending on the source with which the devices will be used, there are also certain nuances of choice.

The best option for TV , which has such a function as SmartTV, will be headphones made on Bluetooth technology. Very rarely, a TV has built-in infrared or radio signal transmission modules. Therefore, the choice is significantly limited, and you will need to pay attention to sound quality and functionality.
Choosing a high-quality headset for smartphone is a little more difficult, since often you will have to use it on the street, in transport or in the office. Models on the radio signal are also unlikely to fit, since most modern smartphones contain only a Bluetooth module.

Tip! To ensure that the headphones do not let in noise, you should choose models with good sound insulation.

Selecting the model for the computer is much easier, since this technique involves several communication options – this is both a radio signal and Bluetooth. The length of the signal does not really matter, since rarely, when used, a person will be far removed. It is best to focus on sound quality when choosing in such cases.

Naturally, with a long search, you can find a more versatile option that will satisfy all requirements and become a good choice for all types of equipment. But more often than not, multifunctionality negatively affects sound quality and appearance.

Summing up

In conclusion, I would like to note that with all the obvious advantages of devices operating on a remote signal, users are sometimes stopped by their lower quality sound. Not surprisingly, many experts recommend using wired accessories to evaluate the full capabilities of speaker systems. And it is best to choose hybrid models , which, when located close to the sound source, can be used with wires, and if necessary, removal is used to transmit information radio signal.

Are monitors really better for mixing than headphones?

As a rule, professionals will say that a good pair of monitors is ideal. However, decent monitors cost “decently”. That is why headphones are the obvious and most attractive choice in this matter. Also, newbies on a low budget are tempted to think that they can avoid spending on room acoustics.
So, is it possible to mix exclusively with headphones? Are monitors really better than headphones for mixing? And even if it is, are there any that are better than the rest? We will try to answer all these questions.
Further in our article:
• Why is monitoring so important in studio mixing?
• Why are monitors considered better than headphones?
• Technical differences: headphones vs monitors
• Is it possible to completely mix a song with headphones? Verdict

WHY MONITORING IS SO IMPORTANT


Monitoring is an integral part of the audio workflow and is, in fact, the main occupation of any engineer. It is an essential component of the recording, mixing and mastering processes. In fact, monitoring serves several purposes in the studio, namely:


First, the producer or sound designer always carefully analyzes all the technical sound components. The fine details of your track are edited and perfected during the mixing/monitoring process. Among others, aspects such as correcting the pitch and removing unnecessary resonances / reflections, clicks, clicks and hiss are also technical points.

Mixing is a detailed and multifaceted job of a producer, where everyone wants to control this detail, and use equipment that can reproduce the true small details of the track. Mixing requires impeccable attention to detail, which can only be improved with the monitoring equipment of your choice.

2. PORTABILITY AND SOUND EXPERIENCE
Monitoring in this regard will also determine the overall portability of the song. Portability means the ability to listen to a song in headphones and on any room (and not only) acoustics with more or less the same sound sensations. A song should sound amazing no matter where or how you listen to it. The truth is that sometimes these discrepancies can occur depending on the choice of monitoring when mixing, for example, headphones or monitors (we will look at this aspect a bit later).

Producers/engineers need to be very precise about what the listener will end up hearing when listening to a song. This is why the question becomes more and more critical: Are monitors better for mixing than headphones?

WHY ARE MONITORS BETTER THAN HEADPHONES?

Why are monitors a priority? You probably already know that among professionals, the opinion that studio monitors are better is more popular. Many pros will now argue that the most ideal option is to use both together … which, to be honest, is justified. But since we are talking about choosing one of them for the sake of economy and efficiency, we must naturally compare first.

Monitors are generally considered to be the best of the two. This is because monitor mixes tend to be easier to mix with the “speaker first, then headphones” method rather than the other way around. Headphone-to-monitor mixing often requires a lot more knob twisting and adjustments, basically doubling the time and effort involved.

TECHNICAL DIFFERENCE: HEADPHONES VS

MONITORS

Replacing monitor speakers with headphones may seem like a common thing to some. And while this provides a number of advantages, there are some difficulties. Let’s look at the key differences between them.

SOUND PERCEPTION
There are many significant differences between audio playback through monitor speakers and headphones. Many of these variations are related to how sound is perceived by the human auditory system. In the real world, we have a sense of directional sound based on changes in time and frequency. That is, whether sounds reach the left or right ear first, which creates a stereo image in the head.

MONITORS
The deciding factor in listening through monitors will be the reflections in the room. Additional resonances, in contrast to the directional sound, create more ambient (scattering). Such an acoustically unprepared room environment will greatly affect the perception of sound. Monitoring through the speakers will give you a better sense of how the song will sound in a real environment, more specifically in a space with air and reflections. And here, of course, getting a good mix will be more difficult. Songs are usually heard in public places, or at least on the radio, and are certainly not intended to be listened to exclusively with headphones. In general, if you manage to mix a track so that it sounds good on studio monitors, then it will definitely sound good on headphones.

HEADPHONES
Headphones, on the other hand, do not have room acoustics factor. Listeners perceive sound with both ears at the same time, without delay. Because of this, you hear the sound exactly as it was produced, including reverbs, panned instruments, smooth as well as delays, all without room reflections.
The inconvenience in this approach is that there is a danger of mixing too sterile, making an unreal sound. Music doesn’t sound as lively on headphones, so you’ll likely want to liven it up with more reverb than you need later. However, you hear more details in headphones that are usually missed in a monitor mix. Headphones are especially useful for detecting slight clipping, clicks, pitch distortion, and rhythmic grid skew.

PROS AND CONS OF MIXING WITH HEADPHONES

Of course, there are engineers who will say that they perfectly mix tracks using only headphones. In fact, this is very real if they understand the subject and know what to pay attention to in the sound, and most importantly, what to watch out for in such mixing. When mixing with headphones only, there is a risk of making the wrong decisions, because headphone mixes can sound very different when listening to monitors.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST HEADPHONES

• As noted earlier, mixes can be sterile and “dry”. In particular, this applies to vocals and synthesizers. Headphone mixes tend to lack liveliness when played through speakers.
• Musicians often mix in too narrow a stereo field. After all, we all want to achieve the right depth and width between the instruments in the mix, so that’s important too.
• Effects such as delay, panning, and reverb are overly audible when mixed with headphones. Therefore, later, when checking on room acoustics, their lack may be felt. Widen the pan so the mix sounds better on the speakers.
• Volume levels can also be a problem. Small elements of loudness differences can be misunderstood when mixing with headphones. For example, more gentle vocal harmonies will be clearly audible in headphones, but in monitors, they may be too soft and possibly quiet. The opposite effect occurs with drums, in headphones everything seems moderate, but through the speakers they can sound too loud.

PROS AND CONS OF MIXING WITH HEADPHONES

Despite the fact that mixing with headphones can be a bit of a problem, there are a number of benefits that shouldn’t be completely discounted. Among them:
• WORK IN SILENCE – let’s start with the fact that you do not disturb roommates and neighbors! Especially if your studio budget does not include an article about soundproofing.
• IT’S CHEAP – an aspect already covered above. Not only do you have to spend money on soundproofing, but also on the acoustic design of the control room, especially if your studio is more of a control room than a recording room. The acoustic solutions in the room are definitely worth it, but the conversation is no longer just about a good price for monitors, but also acoustic panels and foam rubber at least.
• DETAILS ARE HEARED BRIGHTER – this is a more technical aspect. The linear sound of a good pair of quality studio monitors will highlight all the bumps in the track. However, the headphones will sit right on top of your ears, which means you’ll hear those details even more vividly.
• MOBILITY – If you mix a lot while traveling, headphones definitely have an advantage here. You can, of course, carry monitors with you everywhere, or you can rely on the compactness of headphones.

SO, IS IT POSSIBLE TO COMPLETELY MIX A SONG IN HEADPHONES?

Even if you take into account all the factors described above, it certainly will not be an “easy walk” in the woods.
Within all the technical components, mixing a song with headphones is possible. The ideal scenario for any studio is to have headphone and monitor listening options. Thus, there is a chance to make the track sound more alive, and not miss any blots and mistakes when listening to headphones.
If you pay attention to the points considered below, there is a chance to get by with just headphones.
CHOICE
Depending on your situation (budget, private room, etc.), you will have to decide which headphones to choose. A good pair of quality headphones will solve many problems. In most cases of large professional studios, the choice of producers often falls on open headphones.

CLOSED HEADPHONES

However, in most home studios, the recording room and control room are usually the same room. In environments where recording and mixing can happen at the same time, it is best to choose a closed pair of headphones. The Beyerdynamic DT770 250 ohm might be perfect for these needs.
Alternatively, for a more moderate budget, there is the Sony MDR7506 Professional. They are good for beginners. Whatever you choose, remember – in this situation, you need closed ones.

VERDICT: ARE MONITORS BETTER THAN HEADPHONES FOR MIXING?

And now, the word to the judges: what is still better for mixing, monitors or headphones?
If the above key points in the difference in mixing in headphones and monitors are not exhaustive, then at least they will shed light on this beginner’s question. To be honest, each of the two types of monitoring has its own set of advantages that will only complement each other when used together. Headphones are good for some mixing elements, monitors for others.