AKG: Using headphones while editing? Here’s everything you need to know

There are many situations where headphones are nice to use while you’re editing. They’re important when you’re focusing on the small details of your project. Headphones are also capable of drowning out all the noise around you, allowing you to focus on your edit. With everything muted around you, there’s nothing overpowering your project’s audio.

Headphones also ensure the sounds of editing won’t disturb those around you. If you have roommates, they’ll likely get annoyed hearing the same piece of dialogue or music over and over. Imagine traveling on a plane or working in a coffee shop. Headphones allow you to work in public places without disturbing those around you. Ultimately, headphones are essential in modern workflows.

AKG K371-BT Professional Studio Headphones are made for modern workflows. In the past, it might have been good advice to edit without using headphones. That’s no longer the case. The AKG K371-BT allows editors to not only focus on their work, but they provide the comfort and reliability they needed to work efficiently.

Introducing the Harman Target Curve

For many years, it was believed that you shouldn’t use headphones while editing. While that might have been good advice in the past, that was all changed by the Harman Target Curve. The Harman Target Curve created the standard that many editors and recording artists use to ensure their audio sounds good to listeners.

According to Dr. Sean Olive, an AKG DR focused on audiology, the Harman Target Curve is the result of an 8-year ongoing Harman research project on the perception and measurement of headphone sound quality. Over the 8-year research project, Dr. Sean Olive and his researchers have been able to develop and test the Harman Target Curve.

“Hundreds of listeners both trained and untrained across a range of ages, cultures and demographics rated their sound preferences for headphones tuned to different frequency responses that simulated both current models of headphones in market, as well as a curve based on the in-room response of an accurate JBL Professional Monitor,” said Dr. Olive. “What we found is the vast majority of listeners preferred the headphone that was tuned to match a JBL Professional Monitor defined as the Harman Target Curve.”

In the early 2010s, Sean Olive, along with his colleagues, started blind testing headphones. The ultimate goal was to find what kinds of sounds listeners like best. The project began with just six sets of headphones with 10 listeners. However, after publishing his research, Olive and his colleagues were able to branch out and test hundreds of headphones with hundreds of listeners worldwide.

Essentially, the results of these studies resulted in The Harman Target Curve and created a standard that matches the monitoring experience of the recording artist to the consumer. Headphone designers are able to measure the response of their sets of headphones and compare it to the Harman curve.

“Headphones tuned to the Harman Target Curve will satisfy the widest range of listeners and guarantee that music mixed through the headphone will sound neutral when reproduced through accurate loudspeakers and other headphones tuned to the Harman Target Curve,” said Dr. Olive.

Start your editing using a reference track

So, when you start editing, you want to use a reference track. If you’re unfamiliar with reference tracks, they are mixed and mastered songs you use as tools to measure your mix. It can also be used as a blueprint for your overall arrangement. Essentially, reference tracks make sure your mix sounds professionally done.

The track that you use should be something that you know well. You should be able to easily identify all the differences in your listening environment and get used to those differences. Be sure to use your headphones to test your edits. Opt to test the edits with both wired headphones and through Bluetooth. Testing your edits this way will give you a better perspective on how your viewers will be experiencing the audio you create. Not everyone will be listening to your video the same way. Be sure to test every way you can to ensure that you know how your video will sound wired and over Bluetooth.

Headphones are great for hearing the little details

One of the best things about using headphones is that you can listen closely to everything that’s in your audio track. When it comes down to it, you need to be able to focus on where one audio track ends. For example, there can be a pop or a difference in the sound from the change in the noise floor. Headphones allow you to more reliably hear those sounds if they’re present. You want to ensure the video had the cleanest sound possible. It’s better to use headphones because it focuses your edit’s sound directly into your ears, not into the surrounding environment.

Headphones are designed to reproduce audio signals into sound for you to hear. Naturally, some headphones are better at reproducing frequencies and there may be slight differences. Depending on the headphones you use, they may emphasize or deemphasize frequencies and result in the final sound being altered. You need to make sure that the headphones you use have a good frequency response so you can accurately hear your audio and catch all the small details. The AKG K371-BT features a frequency response of 5 Hz to 40 kHz. This range allows you to achieve better clarity when you’re accessing the small issues with your edit.

If you’re going to be editing for a long period of time, consider using over-ear headphones

Editing sessions are almost never short. Certain headphones, depending on the earpads used, can be incredibly uncomfortable after a few hours of wearing them. This might not be an issue for those of us that max quick video edits, but there are many that work hours per day for weeks on a project. You want to use a pair of headphones that won’t affect your comfort while editing. Nothing’s more distracting than your ears hurting while you’re trying to finish up an edit.

For those long editing sessions, you want to use over-ear headphones. They provide more comfort over long periods of time. Why is that? On-ear headphones press directly onto your outer ear. Over-ear headphones don’t. Instead, their pads surround the ear, never pressing directly onto the ear.

Headphones with an over-ear and closed-back design will help you stay comfortable during long editing sessions. Found with the AKG K371-BT, a closed-back design ensures you’re able to mix accurately. Closed-back headphones are fully sealed around the back. This essentially captures all the sound inside, directing the sound towards your ear. Closed-back headphones also block out a lot more outside noise compared to open-back headphones. They allow you to focus your listening better.

AKG K371-BT Professional Studio Headphones

K371-BT’s are precision-engineered to match AKG’s reference response acoustic target to reproduce natural, balanced audio in extraordinary detail, so you can make more confident decisions when you’re mixing and editing.

It’s important for the headphones you’re using to catch all the small details in your audio. The AKG K371-BT’s frequency response of 5 Hz to 40 kHz allows them to offer more clarity when listening and assessing issues. Additionally, their closed-back, over-ear design makes it much easier to catch these issues. They offer isolation for improved frequency response. The frequency response essentially refers to the frequencies of sound the headphones are capable of producing. This means the AKG K371-BT more accurately responds and produces the frequencies it receives into the sound it sends out.

Comfort is incredibly important as you’re working. The AKG K371-BT’s closed-back, over-ear design allows you to work for hours on end and won’t irritate your ears as you work. The close-back design allows you to focus on your work even in noisy environments. Close-back headphones are also great at blocking out distracting noise in your environment.

Also, with the AKG K371-BT, you can choose to edit with either wired or wireless listening. You can also switch between the two to see how your audio sounds over wired and wireless. In total, when listening via Bluetooth, the headphones’ battery life last up to 40-hours. This kind of battery life supports video editors looking to work long hours on their projects. They’ll be able to run for almost two days without having to stop and charge. At the same time, you can opt for wired listening by just connecting one of the headphones’ included cables.

Something we haven’t talked about yet is portability, which is also very important for headphones. Modern workflows often require content creators and editors to work while on the go. Oftentimes, they’ll do just as much, if not more, work on laptops, tablets and mobile phones than on a desktop. Not everyone has the time or opportunity to edit on their desktops. So, that means you’ll sometimes edit audio on the go. To be able to hear what you’re working on and not disturb people around you, you need to have headphones with you. That’s where headphone portability comes into play. The AKG K371-BT can collapse nicely, allowing it to fit right into a bag. So you can carry them around with you without trouble.

Now go and edit with confidence

The AKG K371-BT Professional Studio Headphones empower editors to do the work that they do. With its reliable frequency response as well as its over-ear, closed-back design, you can edit for long periods of time and keep focused on the task at hand. Essentially, these headphones allow for high productivity throughout the entire audio editing process. Additionally, you can test your audio over wired and Bluetooth to ensure it sounds good no matter how your audience listens to it. At the same time, you can bring the headphones with you wherever you go due to its collapsible design. Thanks to the AKG K371-BT Professional Studio Headphones, you can now go and confidently edit using headphones.

Learn more at: AKG.com

A technological powerhouse with more than 1,500 international patent applications and the largest, best-equipped research and development facilities in the world, AKG has spent more than 65 years developing and perfecting products for live music, recording, broadcast and permanent installation.

Related Content