When looking at the headphones, you will notice that some headphones have the unit facing outwards and others facing inwards. The types that have the controller inward are known as “closed back” because the unit is closed.
These types are generally less expensive and are a good starter kit over studio headphones. The downside is that there is less room for the bass to develop, and you will have a less traditional acoustic interaction as everything is “locked in.”
Two stable pairs of these would be the Sony MDR-7506s that I own in addition to the Audio-Technica ATH-M50. If I did it again, I would buy the M50s, although the 7506s were needed after college for audio production, and I can’t justify spending $120 with minimal performance within the sound quality.
Whenever drivers lookout, they are known as “Open Back Headphones.” With the driver facing outward, it allows some sound to escape and generally makes the bass more responsive and natural.
They tend to get a bit more expensive, but most music engineers prefer them for mixing. This is because the bass is more responsive and allows your ears to breathe more, which is ideal for long mixing sessions. They are not the best for tracking as they will bleed out the sound that will be heard while recording.
It’s really up to you at the end of the day, as no pair of ears is alike and we all perceive sound in different ways. Take some time to try out other headphones and listen; you’ll find out when you get the best studio headphones for your situation.
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