KRK Studio Monitors for your ears

17 Jul

 

[UPDATE 07/22/2011] After using the KRK’s for a week now, I really got to like them. They are good & useful really … so they are a recantation  for people that need / want a good, comfortable & analytic sounding headphones.

Well I’ll try o keep it brief ;)
That topic goes back too my audio-roots, I used a lot of different Headphones from cheap to expensive … all kinds of brands.

My favorites so far:

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

Beyerdynamic DT 250

SONY MDR-7506

Sennheiser HD 650

Sennheiser HD 201

Oh BTW I’m not a fan of the commonly used Sennheiser HD25 or any of the AKG headphones, just saying.

First of all: I just have to say we use KRK Rokit PR6 G2 (and PR5 G2) back here and I love them.

So i was kinda happy to see that there are KRK headphone available now too.

I did go for the KRK KNS-6400 (100 Bucks) because they are more affordable and almost identical to the KNS-8400 (150 Bucks) except for a bit wider frequency spectrum, better foam thingy and a volume control on the cable.

So that is that. Now to the essential question(s): how do they sound and are they usable?

To give you a bit of a reference and a kind of comparison I throw in two other headphones I used for quiet a while now:

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO (160-190 Bucks) Sennheiser HD 201 (20-30bucks)

Keep in mind, all that is kind of matter of taste (as with Audio-Monitors as well)

So here we go:

 

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

- very solid

- powerful sound

- good isolation

- strong low-end … beautiful high range … almost Hi Fi (like B&W Speakers …almost!)

- very nice sounding ( a bit too nice )

- not that of a neutral sound (but still very good)

- you can enjoy listening to stuff with them (esp. Film-Soundtracks and Movies)

- a bit big & heavy to wear …you “feel” them

So a very good high-class headphones for professional use & “entertainment” (so to speak)

Back here in Germany they are considered as a Studio-Standard

 

Sennheiser HD 201

- good sound for the money

- pleasant sound not annoying or too aggressive sound (mid range) like cheap ones usually have

- good low-end (a good kick)

- flat sound (a bit boring) there a lot of details missing (esp. in the high range)

- not very neutral and analytic

- not that good of an isolation

- they “hurt” after wearing them for more than 1-2 hours (not that comfortable)

So yes its a cheap headphone and in a way you can hear & feel that but on the other hand its maybe one of the best sounding and most usable (and widely used) headphone in that price-rage. So totally ok.

 

KRK KNS-6400

- very neutral and analytic sound

- quite powerful but not too much kick

- nice low-end, good high range (very “reasonable”)

- very comfortable (to wear) even more than 1-2 hours

- good isolation

- you can catch stuff pretty good if something is wrong with a recording or edit

- tend to sound a lil bit “harsh” if you listen to stuff too loud (and i mean really toooooo loud)

- they might sound a bit “dry” (that can be good sometimes)

- maybe a bit emphasizing in the 200-600 Hz range for some stuff (for my taste)

- no “wow effect” (but that is good bcuz you want them to be neutral)

So they indeed sound like KRK Studio Monitors for your ears. Very solid, well made and “neutral’ish” sounding headphones. You really can use them to spot issues with your recording or edit. They might not be as enjoyable as the DT770 Pro’s or any other more Hi Fi oriented headphones. So, yes there is now “wow-effect” in terms of that your stuff suddenly sound like a Timbaland production and you don’t had to do something for that …But what would be the point of having too pleasing sound … that would miss the target of these headphones (so to speak). If something sounds really bad on these KRK headphones it is really bad. So yes they kinda keep their promise (KRK Studio Monitors for your ears).

Verdict

Solid and usable. Go get them if you need neutral and comfortable headphones, especially if you have and like KRK’s as your audio monitors. Don’t get them if you “only” need nice sounding headphones for listening to your Classic or Jazz Music … they are not made for that. For Studio use they are totally ok (well actually they ROCK … IMO)

On thing though: Headphone can NOT replace audio-monitors (speakers) when it comes to a good sound mix (regardless which brand or price) it’s just a too special or different of an “hearing point” so to speak. You will not get the same sound / “timbre” out of headphones … ever. I don’t use them for mixing, just for editing or recording or maybe just in case I really can’t use monitors in some situations. 90% of the time I use audio monitors only for my work. Though i have to say it is kinda essential to have good headphones around. It’s nice or essential to be able to listen “closely” / deeper into something or to check a mix or an edit (spot a edit inaccuracy or something like that)

One last thing

As with your Audio-Monitors or even Video-Monitors (for that matter) you have to get to know them in a way. How they “have to” sound for certain stuff/work/job/material. So I tend to listen to my favorite stuff/music/movies/own work I already know (how it sounds on other monitors even my speakers at home or in my car).

So you can make the most use out of your new headphones … that might take a while (like a few days or weeks ;) … just saying.

Well that wasn’t Brief, was it?!

 

Oh BTW more about Audio at my “old” Blog-post: “its all about audio

 

 

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9 Responses to “KRK Studio Monitors for your ears”

  1. markbmp 18/07/2011 at 07:51 #

    Cool. Thanks for the time you took to write this. Been needing a second set of headphones and I think you just persuaded me to buy a new set of studio speakers for my edit suite. LOL. Not your intention, but your review gave me some food for thought :)

    • Michael 18/07/2011 at 08:08 #

      haha thanks mate :) … well i don’t get any money from KRK so no not my intention at all! ;) lol
      its always good to have some good studio speakers first and go for nice headphones after that … bcuz as i said headphones can’t replace studio speakers.
      Oh and BTW in my opinion the KRK’s Speakers are the best you can get for the money.

  2. Connor Crosby 22/07/2011 at 20:13 #

    I use Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones. They’re pretty good, but seem to hurt after a lot of use.

    • Michael 22/07/2011 at 21:41 #

      yep thats why non of the Audio Technica headphones are on my list they are known of these issues … 3-5h with the KRK’s are quite ok …

  3. mike 05/11/2011 at 00:43 #

    When being out in the field I’ve had really good luck with the SONY MDR-7506 headphones. They’re pretty durable, block outside noise well, and seem to reproduce the sound quite well. I’m sure there are other headphones that sound better, but when you’re running around with a camera, there are other things to be concerned about besides sound quality

  4. Tim 24/05/2012 at 06:49 #

    I was planning on getting the KRK KNS 6400 but you mentioned that you wouldn’t recommend it for listening to jazz music. Could you explain why?

    Thanks.

  5. JUAN 20/12/2012 at 18:55 #

    Hi I just went for the KRK 8400 , we will see, I want them for mixing at home….I do have also KRK monitors.

    • Michael 24/01/2013 at 16:38 #

      cool … as i said headphones (any kind) are actually not really good for mixing … always make ur final mix / master on good speakers … headphones just are not made for that task ;)

      • eljuan777 27/01/2013 at 08:30 #

        KRK 8400, really great! stereo field cyrstal clear and wide, bass are not represented, but I think is better. You can hear the bass really well but not boom bass. the highs are very clear and defined….

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