Re: Headphones vs Gear
True high end headphones like Stax or some such can be expensive. But there's no value in "designer" headphones. I have 3 sets of headphones in my project studio.
Grado SR-80 which are the most natural sounding and give a number of very expensive cans a run for their money. They are completely open even though they go over your ear. They don't block out anything.
AKG K-240 which are semi open. I use these for tracking as they cut some of the sound but I can still hear my drums naturally enough that I don't have to fight the latency in my recording set up and still be able to play as if I weren't wearing cans.
Sony MDR7506. Probably as ubiquitous in studios as Yamaha NS-10s. Actually sound a bit like NS-10s in that they are a taste forward. More like typical studio monitors and makes it easier to hear little things in the background or how much reverb you have on a mix. Also very common in live sound because of the sound and closed back.
Each of these costs around $99. There is no need to spend $200-300+ unless you really feel the need for something like higher end Grados, the aforementioned Beyer Dynamics or some such. Often the designer cans have some extremely hyped and unbalanced frequency response. Beats are horrible in that regard. There are people who have endorsement deals and work with them, but they have to listen to a lot of reference material to learn how to compensate. The couple of other designer phones I've put on at stores have been almost as bad.