Hey, guess what?

People who say “you can’t mix on headphones” are silly gooses.

Do I enjoy mixing on studio monitors?


Do I enjoy mixing on headphones?

Again, yes.

Why? Because I really love mixing. And you should, too. It’s stupid fun.

But there are things to consider when mixing on headphones. There are good and bad parts to both headphones and speakers.

What are they?

Graham and I hash it out in detail on the latest episode of the Simply Recording Podcast. You can give ‘er a listen right here:


That’s all for today.

Joe Gilder
Home Studio Corner

P.S. If you’re super anxious to “get your mix on,” but you don’t have any tracks to work with, I gotcha covered:


8 Responses to ““You Can’t Mix on Headphones””

      • Jon Rohland

        I tend to think stuff like that is a bit gimmicky and distracts from just training your ears to work with whatever straightforward monitoring setup you already have (whether headphones or otherwise). Too much processing there and you could find yourself going in circles.

        I demoed the Focusrite VRM Box at NAMM, cycling through the different settings. They all sounded a bit weird until I got to one that sounded great… “which one is that? oh… BYPASS.” 😉

        But hey, the proof is in the pudding, so if it helps your mixes, I’m not going to be a hater!

  1. Andrew

    I agree Joe! Yes you can mix on headphones! We just all need to be familiar with how they sound (as in what frequencies are being exaggerated and which ones are neglected. Most lower end headphones have a smile EQ or in other words the lows and highs are overly boosted).

    Also, I find referencing songs you’re very familiar with works in combination with using headphones (matching or A/B-ing’ the lows and highs even mids on certain pro tracks to your projects can help one stay in “The Ballpark”).

    And last but not least a “Spectrum Analyzer” or visual of how you frequencies are working together helps for meticulous details (MAY WANT TO BE CAREFUL WITH THIS ONE: you can get caught up with mixing with your eyes than your ears LOL).

    Good stuff Joe!

  2. Jon Rohland

    I’ve had to mix through headphones lately more often than not, just because the only time I can spend mixing is when kiddos are sleeping. But I’ve been very happy with the results from using different IEMs I own (Shure 315, M-Audio IE-30)… they seem considerably more flat than other cans I own, such as my old Sony MD7506s, which always seemed a tad scooped in the mids and heavy in the bass. It’s also likely that I just know them well since I listen to music on them throughout the day at work. Either way, I’ll do a first pass with those IEMs, then sanity check the next day in car (bassier system) and iPhone buds (weak bass). More often than not I’ve found there aren’t any glaring issues.

  3. Sad Panda

    Yeah, for sure. If you learn your listening environment and what it sounds like, you can mix on iPod ear buds even. I mix on Sennheiser HD280s knowing they kind of exaggerate the bottom end. To keep from losing the bottom on other systems, I exaggerate it slightly in my ears. No prob, Bob.

  4. Matt Rod

    SHhhhh… (seriously)

    I mixed this track on headphones (and yes, I would MUCH prefer to mix in a good room with ProAcs or K+H’s). Used Sennheiser hd650’s.


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