Ten Of The Best: Headphones For Music Production
We offer a selection of our recommended headphones for studio use, picking out our top choices at a range of…
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Price (pair): £1,078
Design: 2-way ported
Woofer: 6.5-inch cone
Tweeter: 1-inch metal dome
Frequency response: 48 Hz – 20 kHz
Genelec’s monitors have never been in doubt sonically, but in recent years they’ve lost ground slightly in terms of price as their rivals have developed increasingly affordable products. The likes of the classic 8000 series are still excellent monitors, but with such good value for money to be found elsewhere it’s unsurprising that Genelec have retaliated with something a little cheaper. The recently introduced M series addresses the issue in simple terms: this is a more affordable Genelec range which sacrifices very little in the way of sonics.
Pitched as the first product in Genelec’s new Music Creation series, the M040s and the smaller, cheaper M030s are aimed squarely at home studios, smaller project studios and music makers. The M040s have still got that characteristic Genelec sound: bright and forward, some might even say a little flattering, but undeniably revealing. The compromises Genelec have made to bring the price down all make sense in the context of smaller studios. In comparison to the highly regarded 8040s, the most notable difference is that the M040s sacrifice a little bit of bottom-end response and overall volume.
The 8040s also offer a slightly more versatile array of tone controls, but it’s worth noting one feature of the M series which makes them more suitable in the typical home studio: the downward-facing port means that placement near walls becomes much less of an issue than with the rearward-facing port of the 8000 series.
The M040s also include a number of interesting eco-friendly features: natural composite construction, efficient class D amps, and Genelec’s intelligent signal sensing feature, which switches the amps automatically to a low-power standby mode when not in use; all of thse may not be selling points exactly, but a refreshing nod to environmental friendliness is welcome (and disappointingly absent in much of the field of pro audio tech).
Overall, the M040 offers a sensible series of compromises which reduce costs while retaining all of the best characteristics of the Genelec sound. The M040s punch above their weight at this price point. At the time of writing they’ve only been on sale a few months, but expect to see a lot of these in studios over the next few years as more people realise what they have to offer.
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* SoundCloud only offers ad-based monetization with a 10-20% payout and all music is made available to non-paying users which generates very low earnings on a per-stream basis
** Digital distributors and record labels typically keep an estimated 47% of Spotify and Apple Music earnings leaving their artists with only about 23% and 24.5% respectively
*** Spotify forces artists to participate into a “Freemium” model where most users don’t pay for music which generates very low earnings on a per-stream basis and significantly dilutes overall earnings per stream
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