Anyone mix on iPhone headphones (or similar)


#1

Hey y’all,

Just had a random thought and so putting it out there to see what everyone’s take on it is.

So - I hear on a lot of websites that Yamaha NS10s are popularly used for mixing on. Due to them being pretty crummy as monitor speakers, but mix engineers saying that if you can get a good sound out of them, it will sound good on anything.

I wonder if this theory is reasonable for mixing on something like iPhone headphones. I mean, they must be a general enough representation of what music would sound like on a large range of playback media. Since we never can tell if our music will come out of TV speakers, a PC monitor, Cinema screen on high-def system. Perhaps mixing should be done on something average quality.

Cheers dudes.


#2

If you know how the music sounds on your iPhone headphones really well - to that degree you probably can mix your track, with some knowledge of course. But it’s rather for ‘uncommon’ situations, when you’re on the road, for example.

If you’re in studio - the best use for iPhone headphones is to use them as an additional monitoring source (considering you have some great main monitors or pro-headphones). The more you’ll test your mix on different devices (iPhones, car, TV, some shitty china speakers etc.) - the better results you may achieve.


#3

Absolutely not. Ever.


#4

Don’t mix on iPhone headphones,because they are made to boost bass and do a lot of other things,they would be very hard to learn because their sound is changing according to the signal,they are the opposite of neutral sounding headphones.
Just go grab some Beyerdynamics Custom ONE Pro,AudioTechnica M50 or Sennheiser HD 25 II.
iPhone headphones are only good if you want to hear how your music sounds on commercial headphones but that is their only use.
I made a mistake mixing on some cheap headphones,made 3 tracks (i was very inspired) while i was waiting for my studio headphones to arrive,all 3 got hard rejected and sounded like crap on new headphones,2 days of work wasted.


#5

I’ve always thought this theory was a pile of crap. Why? Because to me, it’s not saying anything about the source (the mixing or mastering of the music) but what you are playing it through. If you play a good mix through a crappy system, will the mix do magic on the system and make it sound good? No, it will most likely just prove that it’s a crappy system.
If you mix and master on a good system, and it ends up sounding decent on a bad system or an inferior system, then that to me would be a good indication. You want to try to get a system that gives you the truest representation of what you are actually doing. If you start by mixing on a poor system, or an inferior system, then you may have it happen where you make it sound good on just that system, but then it will sound like crap on a good system. It’s just not possible to make it sound good on every possible set up or system. For instance, nothing sounds good on Beats headphones (ok, that was a joke).
Sorry for the rambling.


#6
thesecession said

Absolutely not. Ever.

+1


#7
SoundCity said
thesecession said

Absolutely not. Ever.

+1

I should have just done that :slight_smile:


#8

:wink:


#9
benskia said

Perhaps mixing should be done on something average quality.


#10

I used to mix on some cheap headphones (can’t even remember the make/model, but they were about £25 at most), and thought that was fine, but when I switched to a proper audio interface and decent headphones (mid-range Sennheiser), it was like having cotton wool taken out of my ears.

It’s much easier to mix on better speakers and with better headphones because you can hear what the music actually sounds like, as opposed to other systems which colour the sound (e.g. boosting the bass/treble).

For example, if you mix on a system that boosts the bass, then try it on a system that doesn’t, you’ll find the bass has disappeared.

Once the track is mixed, it might be an idea to try it on some home systems/laptops/headphones/mobile phones. God knows what our clients are listening on.


#11

as has been stated, the trick of course is to get it so it sounds good on any speaker. the only way to do this is to mix on something high quality that doesn’t color the sound, and afterwards test it on some speakers you know well, like your car speakers.


#12

The thing is,when you listen on monitoring speakers/headphones it is much harder to make it sound good,because you will be able to hear everything,from bass being too boomy to resonating frequencies (ear bleed),once your track sounds great on your monitoring system it just has to sound good on every other system,i also love to use frequency analyzer and compare my track to other similar tracks.


#13

For years I’ve been using some average ~$40 Creative computer speakers (in a different room) as my secondary reference, because I figure there’s a decent chance people might be listening on something similar. Lately, though,
I’ve been wondering if it’s also worth checking mixes straight out of my phone…because I’m sure more than a few buyers have gotten their first impressions via their handset.


#14

Based on my albeit limited experience recording and producing: it’s possible to make a good recording with a crappy mic, crappy preamp, crappy interface and even in a crappy room, as long as the musicians and the material are good. But IMO it’s not possible to make a good mix on crappy monitors and headphones. If I had to do it all over again, I would have spent a lot more resources on the output chain first before investing on the front end.

That said, I don’t think it hurts to use the end user experience (iPod phones or whatever) as a reference.


#15
jhunger said

Based on my albeit limited experience recording and producing: it’s possible to make a good recording with a crappy mic, crappy preamp, crappy interface and even in a crappy room, as long as the musicians and the material are good. But IMO it’s not possible to make a good mix on crappy monitors and headphones. If I had to do it all over again, I would have spent a lot more resources on the output chain first before investing on the front end.

That said, I don’t think it hurts to use the end user experience (iPod phones or whatever) as a reference.

I enjoy making my crappy music sound crap! :)

#16

Dude, even on a professional headphones it’s not very good to mix tracks, plus it’s not healthy for your ears.


#17

That would be dreadful my friend.


#18
jhunger said

Based on my albeit limited experience recording and producing: it’s possible to make a good recording with a crappy mic, crappy preamp, crappy interface and even in a crappy room, as long as the musicians and the material are good. But IMO it’s not possible to make a good mix on crappy monitors and headphones. If I had to do it all over again, I would have spent a lot more resources on the output chain first before investing on the front end.

That said, I don’t think it hurts to use the end user experience (iPod phones or whatever) as a reference.

Yes sir!!!..well said!