Which headphone for Kemper and music production/mixing?

  • Hi everyone!

    I'm using my Kemper almost exclusively through headphones at the moment. I can't use monitors. My current headphones are actually not at all made for that (Sony whxm3) but I still get a pretty good guitar sound. It is time to upgrade though. I would like something that renders a nice Kemper guitar sound, as well as something neutral enough for music producing/mixing. Also, I'd like it to be open-back, as I'm subject to ear fatigue and tinnitus. I read plenty of good things about the Sennheiser HD600, which apparently goes very well with the Kemper, and might fit my music production/mixing purposes. However, I've read that the Sennheiser HD600 need/deserve a headphone amp, which is something I absolutely don't want to buy. The Beyerdynamics apparently don't have enough mids for a nice guitar sound and are too bright agressive.

    I need some other open back headphone that will be nice for Kemper + music production/mixing. I'd be grateful if I could get some suggestions!! I really don't know what to buy at this point haha.

    Have a nice day and looking forward to reading your posts.

  • I just went through the process of getting Headphones primarily for the Kemper. I tried quite a few, among them both the HD600 and the HD660S, as well as a variety of BeyerDynamics after discussions here on the forum.

    Both Sennheisers are really, really nice and they beat the BDs in my opinion. Sennheisers were a bit more mellow in the highs, without losing definition or information, BDs a bit harsher. It made them more comfortable to the ears, and I could play the Sennheisers louder than the BDs without discomfort. I'm not really mixing or anything but I do know that the HD600 are somewhat of an entry-level industry standard so you're not making any mistakes there. The Kemper's headphone amp is well suited for both the HD600 and HD660S.

    I finally went with the HD660S.

    If you want to use the headphone out from your interface that could be a factor to check though. My Scarlett 8i6 seems to drive the 150 ohm HD660S just fine. They sound good. The 300 ohm HD600 will be a bit of a stretch according to the internet. I usually use the KPA as my headphone amp anyway because it sounds a wee bit sweeter through the KPA than the Scarlett.

  • I did a fair amount of research before finally settling on the Sennheiser HD600. They are very good near-FRFR headphones which have been popular for 20 years with music professionals among others. Absolutely no need for a headphone amp when paired with the Kemper.

  • I used to have the Beyerdynamic-880 Pro but they just didn‘t work with the Kemper (I would have needed an external headphone amp to get them to open up). Sold them and spoke to Thomann where they suggested the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X for guitar. They just sound perfect to me. Quite a revelation after the Beyerdynamic.

  • I looked at wireless as well and there aren’t really any satisfying solution with both low latency and really good audio quality. If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of quality, you can go with an IEM system.

  • I have beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro and I am quite happy with them. Very balanced & neutral sound. Offering of the open back headphones is quite limited though.

    Thank you for the suggestion! I am surprise though as I've been reading that those very headphones are supposed to not suit guitar sound well (bad mids apparently) and are apparently too sharp

    Has Somebody else had success with the beyerdynamic DT990 ?

    I've read that even with the great KPA headphone input, the Sennheiser alone without headphone amp won't be given justice, also there's no way my scarlett 2i2 will be enough for either the HD600 or 660 therefore I won't go with sennheiser I think

    any other suggestion for a nice pair of open back for kemper + music production?

    I did a fair amount of research before finally settling on the Sennheiser HD600. They are very good near-FRFR headphones which have been popular for 20 years with music professionals among others. Absolutely no need for a headphone amp when paired with the Kemper.

    oh ok! however I'd also need the Headphones for mixing + producing while its plugged in my scarlett 2i2, it won't work for me therefore I think

  • Are you sure the 660S won't work with the Scarlett? They sound just fine with my 8i6. As I said the sound is better through the Kemper but I do think that has more to do with the Kemper Headphone amp than the headphone impedance.

    AKG K-702 have been suggested every now and then. With a 62 ohm rating they should be easier for your interface to drive.

    My Grado SR-80 sound almost as good as the 660S directly from the Kemper, and even my iPhone has no trouble powering those decently. They sound better with a proper source though of course. They aren't as flat as the Sennheisers but they are affordable and sound great.

    I'm just listening to music through my Kemper headphone amp as I'm writing this. That amp is really good.

  • Hi, my two cents on the topic, based on the experience in the last months.

    I had 2 x AKG K271 MkII (closed) due to previous mixing and modeling stuffs. And they drove me crazy because it was really difficult to manage the sound tweaking. Then with the KPA the result was worse than ever. A simple dB/Freq diagram oh that headphone helped me to understand that the purchase was a mess. Not for the headphone itself, but for the application.

    After several tests and comparisons, including dB/freq diagrams i switched to a BeyerDynamic DT880 Pro. Such a phenomenal linear headphone, specifically done for mixing/modeling. It is such a great balanced object. The next big feature is that the DT880 is "half closed" , so it is perfect if you play KPA per headphone for long sessions. A full closed is definitely more "fatigue" for the ears.

    As mentioned. i have a small headphone amp too to optimize the DT880 performance. Thomann sells small headphone amps for small money and they are valid and good.

    The 2 AKGs? One was sold for "partial financing" the DT880, and the other one is used by my drummer as "his session monitoring" headphone.

  • I use:

    • Hd600 for mixing
    • Hd25 for playing guitar through kemper
    • Sony whxm3 for non-critical music listening (exp. in noisy environments)

    Open back hd600 causes more ear fatigue than hd25 for guitar playing. Probably because the construction requires to compensate too much with volume to get that nice punch and in-your-face feel.