Moving into a smaller space (monitor advice)

thanks it seems a good option to try at least. i’ve never heard pro audio headphones to be honest.

man, some sales pitch! i’ll try them out after trying out a pair of great headphones i think

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hmm, sounds promising!

yeah for sure. learned that lesson the hard way. mine is reasonably under control now i know when to spot much better than before. and low volumes is perfect for me now

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hmm yeah sonorworks seems to pop up. it’s a one time license right ?

the ilouds keep popping up too. they are good to try at least!

Yes. It’s great.

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Yeah, it’s a one time fee. If I remember correctly, they have two prices, one for just headphones, and one for headphones and monitors. And then, if you do go monitors also, you do need to buy one of their mics as well for the calibration.


I love the audio technica R70x. They are very detailed and absurdaly confortable. They weight next to nothing in your head.
Take a look at those, might be worth it if you like open back headphones.

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Hi Alume,

After going through the process of building a studio in a small room (3x3m the “impossible” room) my advice would be to keep your monitors and start spending your extra money on thick bass traps (I use Gik soffit and monster bass traps). You’ll need a lot of them. This will be the best speaker upgrade you’ll make for the money. If you still want a monitor change after that, you have a treated room to test new speakers in, and you should test several. From what I have read online (no first hand experience) the AMT tweeter in the Adam’s sound quite sharp and might contribute to the fatigue, but blasting monitors in a untreated room will be fatiguing no matter what.

Spend quite some time to find the best placement for your speakers in the room, don’t follow the 1/3 of the room stuff you read online. In a small room the rules doesn’t matter. You need to find out what works in your room by listening in all available places. You will probably sit close to a wall with a very small stereo triangle not far from the speakers. Also, keeping things symmetrical might not be the best. For my studio, I’m sitting a bit off center to combat some low frequency nulls for an overall better response (Don’t to to much measuring, you’ll go mad. I did.). It’s only going to be compromises in a small room.

Use headphones with a crossfeed simulator or something like the Phonitor 2 by SPL, you can dial in crossfeed and angle to better represent speakers. Used HD-600, HD-650 or DT-770 are good value. LCD-X if you have the budget. Headphones won’t replace speakers for mixing though, I find mix balance and compression really difficult to dial in on headphones. You can’t feel the music in the same way. But it may also be my inexperience.

Ps. Regarding Neumann. I have used Genelec 8020 (sounds awful in my studio), tested HEDD type 07 mk2, type 20 mk2 with and without Bass 08. Ended up with the Neumann KH-310, really happy with those, built like cinder blocks. Also, you get WAY MORE detail with a 3-way monitor, the difference between type 07 and type 20 is night and day. Closed speakers worked much better in my small room.

TL;DR: 1. Speaker placement, 2. speaker placement, 3. speaker placement 4. a lot of thick bass traps

Clap tests (can’t provide any bass tests, but it’s a lot better):

No treatment (producing in this would be hell)

Some treatment (Hofa)

More treatment (Hofa + Gik)


Hmm intersting, maybe I can split a license with a mate

Keep the A7X’s. Specially if you are used to how they sound. I own both the KH 120 & the A7X. Both are great and have pros & cons. It’s just my opinion but I think the Adams are more “fun” but tiring and the Neumanns are more lets say analytical.

If bass is your problem just put a filter on you master bus. Cut some of the low lows, try something around 40-50Hz with a nice gentle slope.

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TL;DR: IK Multimedia iLoud MTM rock for small spaces.
also, they have DSP and come with reference microphone & calibration software – very helpful for working in spaces with poor acoustic treatment.


Wow that Phonitor looks sexy! Happy to hear the nuemanns are treating you well. Really toward the lcd-x but honestly I can’t afford it atm

Thanks for all the suggestions so far! It’s really helping me making a clear picture.

Atm, im still leaning towards selling the A7x, It’s also simply a “clean slate” thingy. After 10 years of music production I feel like a want a breath of fresh air. If it turns out to be a mistake I can always find them used pretty easily.

Furthermore, small speakers and headphones seems like the way to go. I can borrow a pair of genelec 8020’s from a friend. I’ll start out with those and probably start saving up for a pair of compact monitors like the neumann hk120’s. The adam’s are just too bulky atm making my space feel cramped.

regarding headphones, I’m really digging the LCD-x vibes. Looks like beautiful craftsmanship. Sadly I can’t splash that kind of cash atm. I’m looking at the DT 1990 pro’s which would be more in range with my budget after learning those and see how my mixer translate I can always decide to get lcd-xs or Neuman hk120’s if needed.

Third option is contact Thomann and ask if its possible to try out the hk120’s and LCD-X’s and try them out for a month and follow my instincts

And yeah as @flos said getting some treatment might be a good idea too!

I’d also like to add that a friend of mine has a treated studio with barefoot monitors just a 20 min bicycle ride away so mixing stems and making adjustments after I dial in my track at home should be a great addition to my process

Over the past 15 years I’ve tried many different headphones at various price levels, but the DT700 Pro X are one of the best cans for electronic music (IMO better than DT1990), way above their price point.

Will check them out! I have a pair of beaten down 990 pro’s too

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do you use them for tracking or mixing?

They are much better than DT990. I’m using them for everything now :slight_smile: even for mastering.
I also tried DT900 Pro X, but they don’t have such a nice lowend as DT700.

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For a small room, I recommend Neumann KH80 with MA-1 room correction and some treatment at the back (bass traps) and side walls (panel absorbers) and a ceiling absorber panel.
In the nearfield, you can get almost the same response as with a larger setup including a subwoofer in a larger room, albeit at lower levels.
For headphones, check out the Neumann NDH30, or Beyer Custom One Pro, preferably the old model, which has less fatiguing high mids/treble than the newer iterations.