It is no secret that music producers often get ridiculed for mixing and mastering their work only using headphones, especially when their headphones are very cheap. When you’re in a situation where you are ready to enhance your sound, but can’t afford the proper tools to reference your audio properly, Reference 3 for headphones is the calibration tool for you.
Sound Calibration Redefined
Sonarworks captured the EQ curves of select headphones, both consumer and professional, to accurately compensate for EQ curve dips and peaks that allows almost any headphone brand to be used for referencing the truest sound possible.
Yes, you read that correctly.
If you have any of the supported models, you can accurately simulate other brands they support. For example, I use AKG K240s & K7XX Massdrop Edition (more on that later), and considering Beats is one of the most popular headphone brands on the market, I am able to use Reference 3 to simulate the EQ curves of supported Beats models on my AKGs. And yes, it really sounds like I am wearing a Beats Mixr or Solo 3 instead of my AKGs (thankfully not!). You can even simulate other brands to get an idea of what your mix will sound like on other headphones.
A Force to be Reckoned With
I was very skeptical when I received a Facebook ad for Reference 3. The only reason I gave them a chance is because they offer both an online and free 21-day downloadable demo. I decided to test out the online demo and I was blown away. I didn’t even know I had a problem until I heard the differences.
Surely this was a gimmick?
I immediately downloaded the trial and began to experiment with the seemingly endless possibilities. Suddenly, my mixes sounded fuller and more alive. I truly cannot find the words to express how I felt when I began comparing both my AKG K240 and AKG K7XX Massdrop Edition.
My only complaint was they didn’t actually have my model, which is to be expected considering mine is an oddball of a model. However, the AKG K701 & 702 calibration presets were very close to my K7XX’s EQ curves. But if your model isn’t supported, and they’ll create a customized profile just for you for €99 without a license for Reference 3. But if you’re using cheap headphones to begin with AND they’re not one of the supported brands, it’s probably safe to say you’re better off buying a model they support. But don’t fret, because you can purchase combos that includes both the headphones and software license that is good for up to 3 workstations.