Mixing Question - Compositions sound good on headphones but super bassy on speakers?

Hi - Newbie question - I do all my writing, arranging & mixing on a pair of DT-770s (I don't have a treated room to mix in, live in a very thin-walled apartment, and can't afford good studio monitors anyway.) I've noticed that while my compositions sound good on both pro and consumer headphones, when I play them through normal consumer-grade speakers they always have way more bass. For example, in this piece (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBT8aAUb2MA) the LABS Soft Piano sounds great in headphones, but on regular computer speakers it's got so much low end that it distorts. I've tested many pieces from Spitfire, Jon Meyer, and others and they all sound great through these same speakers.

Admittedly I know very little about mixing. I've read articles and watched videos about mixing and EQ but they all seem to be tailored for people who already know what they're doing. Should I be doing some sort of massive EQ reduction on the low end? Any ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks!


  • I havent tried that Labs piano, but I encountered something similar when mixing a track on headphones, that I only later noticed on room speakers, when I first used a similar Spitfire piano instrument. It wasn't that the piano track was too loud in the mix, but that the velocity of some of the key strokes/notes was too high when input. I did some manual editing of the velocities. Afterwards, I had more headroom with which to increase the piano track volume without this kind of distortion occurring.

  • That's quite the can of worms. It's worth noting that consumer "Hifi" speakers and headphones don't have the same frequency response as studio monitors. Monitors are designed to have a flat response across frequencies, but home audio speakers usually emphasise the bass and the top end. However, your DT-770s will do this too and are notably bass-heavy (there's a frequency resonse chart in the review here https://www.soundguys.com/beyerdynamic-dt-770-studio-80ohm-review-15348/ ) so I would have thought that this would cancel out your tendency to make mixes that are bass-heavy.

    Then there's also the question of how loud you're playing back your mixes and the effect that Fletcher-Munson curves have (the way the ear hears louds sounds and quiet sounds changes with frequency).

    And if you're hearing distortion, how hot were you recording the LABS piano? Did you have the plugin volume up to 400%, by any chance?

    For what it's worth, I haven't noticed the soft piano to be overly bass-heavy.

  • Thanks for the help everybody! I'll follow your suggestions and see if I can figure this out.