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Helix through headphones sounds awful


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Another vote for the DT770 80 ohms.  I have created every single patch I'm made on Helix with them, including all of the Helix video content I've done for my YouTube channel.  Heck, I've gotten so used to them that I'll mix tracks with them.  Our bedroom is directly below my studio in the house and I have the same "wife problem" as the OP  ;)


I don't have any issues with my patches translating well with various PA, monitoring, and/or FRFR.  If the venue doesn't have good monitoring I have an Alto TS110A I can bring with me. 


All the patches I've made with the DT770's sound good across the spectrum. 


I plug straight into the the Helix headphone jack, and I keep the level up pretty high when I'm making patches.  As close to gig level as possible.  Which these days gig level isn't nearly as loud as it was when I was in my 20's thankfully!  



I could use some help trying to get some 80ohm DT-770's to sound right coming out of a Helix Rack i just got today 

I'm just trying to play along with some tracks coming off my PC through the USB cable is all 

I think I must have some settings messed up the headphones just sound weak seemed to 

sound alot better coming out the AX8 which I was planning on returning in favor of the Helix Rack 

Are there any particular setting that i need to look at ?


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  • 3 months later...

i dig this thread again cause i just ordered a new pair of headphones: The Beyerdynamic DT770pro 80 Ohms. I ordered this because of all the recommendations here  (and elsewhere) and because i loved my old HD990 (now broken) for its natural sound (listening music, not guitar) and his comfort for my head/ears.


Reading across all the headphone threads, the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro and the Sennheiser HD600/HD650 seem to be the most called when the target is to  get a sound close to good studio monitors. I would like to have cans where i can practice at night with about the same sound and without creating different patches for speakers and headphones.

My 7" studio monitors are pretty linear (+/- 1.2 dB on axis 50-20.000 Hz measured )and my 12" power monitors can be adjusted to taste cause they have free programmable DSPs onboard.


Now i found some sources for the frequency response of the DT77 Pro. Even if different sources show some small differences, they all show a dip at about 3.500 Hz of about 6 dB and a broad peak at about 8500 Hz + 6 dB. The Sennheiser HD600 seems to be more linear. +/- 6 dB from 200 to 9000 Hz seem not unimportant to me.




The last can i used was a old AKG K66 wich sounds awfull producing a lot of fizz (distorted guitar) wich is'nt completly to eliminate by EQs. So yes - i'm afraid of fizz.

Unfortually, this cheap K66 is to old to find measurements to compare and to identify the critical frequency range.


Regarding the response of the DT770, it does'nt seem really linear to me and i suppose that the peak @ 9000 Hz could add unwanted fizz. Please tell me, that i'm wrong :)





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just received my DT770-80 listening some first takes music and Helix demos from the web (Fremen, Glenn Delaune.....) so far so pretty good, even if the headphone amp of mys office computers soundcard probably isn't great. :)

Will see how it does on the real machine this evening.

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  • 4 months later...

I use my 1/4” Helix headphone into a personal monitor mixer into my earbuds.

There is a reoccurring dropout in signal strength where I loose signal strength in my ears.

Its weird because at set up, my ears sound great. About fifteen minutes into a rehearsal the signal drops out.

When try to dial in more signal at the Helix my earbuds clip.

i have tried various Global Line & Instrument settings with no resolve.

Any ideas?

Trying to protect what remains of the hearing I have left.

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On 4/27/2017 at 1:34 PM, cruisinon2 said:

Amen. Every "My ________ sounds like crap with helix" thread is a waste of time. The reasons why Player A with "X" model headphones hates the way it sounds, and Player B with the same cans thinks the tone was hand deliver by a choir of angels are too numerous to bother contemplating...and nobody is "right" or "wrong". There's no playbook for this stuff. Turn knobs until it sounds good to YOU, because you're the only one who knows what "good" means anyway...failing that, try a different pair of cans.




I know if this wasn't read the first time it won't be this time either. But I had to try..., sigh....

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I set up a Send to my personal mixer and included a compressor and limiter in the signal. I Played for about an hour with this set up and the in ears sounded OK.  there is no distortion or drop out. The jury is out on the compression and limiter. At the end of the day I realize that using a mono jack in the  stereo headphone out was probably the cause of the drop out and distortion in my ears. I should have realized this sooner. Thanks

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On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 2:15 PM, landon79 said:

I've never had one modeler that sounded good through headphones.  Maybe a better solution is to get a set of noise cancelling headphones for your wife - that would probably be easier.

My old school Pod 2.0 sounds fantastic thru headphones.  My Helix Stomp sounds horrible thru headphones.  All the presets sound thin and buzzy.  This so called high level expensive unit should not be that difficult to use with headphones! Is there an adjustment that can be made on the eq?  All I want is to sit on my couch and play thru the stomp with my headphones.  And I can't.  So I am just about ready to ship this back.  

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Mine sounded great through headphones, both Helix and Stomp, so I doubt there's anything wrong. Shouldn't need a bunch of EQ - depending on what mic you are using, like a bright brittle dynamic, you might try some high cut on the cabinet. I rarely have found I need a separate EQ block. Otherwise, just dial in the amp, add a little reverb, and you should get good results. Depending on headphones, of course - some sound better than others. So much depends on the playback system - whether that's external speakers or headphones - both need to be good quality and suited to your preferences.


Good luck!

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My two cents: I have been using Helix Native for more than year with small USB interfaces at home with DT770 which I like and use both home and in studio. Now on Helix LT - what a difference! This thing has great AD and DA converters and/or (?) headphone amp. I feel it like it is comparable to hi class studio audio interfaces.

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  • 2 months later...

I approached Helix native like  it was a piece of end consumer gear. Stuff like guitar rig & s-gear come pre-setup to sound great even with a PC audiocard & home headphones.

Now helix native sounded like one big mess/wall of sound through my home headphones & speakers. After reading topics like these, and this guy explenation:


The issue is just not knowing any of this stuff, lack of gear  and you lack of reference.


I plugged my URII Line out to my Peavey Viper 30 guitar input, set it to the clean settings and yes Helix came alive. And now I understood what my speakers & headphones tried to output. The crap is just part of the signal & only my amp seemed to be able to correctly handle it. Now my "bad" sounding speaker function as tweaters for my peavey guitar modeling amp. The computer speakers just can't output the helix distortion.


Is still not fully understand the fact what comes out of ableton from Helix Native, doesn't sound like a finished product on computer speakers, like most of the other plugins do.

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I have a pair of Focal monitoring headphones from 5-6yrs ago that still sound great.  My helix sounds pretty fantastic through them.   

Looks like newer Focal monitoring headphones are cheaper than when I bought my version.   Not sure how the new ones stack up against other current ones of similar price.  I'd have to do some research.

Anyway, @ the original poster.  yeah...headphones make a huge difference.  Do some research.  Go listen to through bunch.  Sleep on it if you're dumping a big amount of cash on some nice ones before you buy so you don't have any buyers remorse after lol

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  • 6 months later...
  • 3 months later...

The global settings tip is very helpful.


I have the Sonarworks program, which "flattens" headphones and shows the corresponding curve needed to do so. The differences among headphones are HUGE, even for so-called studio models. And, there are differences among headphones of the same make and model - the Sonarworks compensation curves are for an "average" of multiple headphones.


I'm acutely aware of this because I do a lot of mastering, and trying to create a master that translates over different speakers and headphones is hellishly difficult. The best I can hope for (or any mastering engineer for that matter) is something that sounds a little bit bad over everything, instead of okay on some systems and REALLY bad on others.


FWIW Sennheiser 650 headphones have the flattest response, but of course, they're really expensive and has nothing to do with guitar amps or even PAs... 

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  • 1 year later...

FWIW, I just figured I would throw my 2 cents in.  I just switched over to Helix and only Helix and nothing but Helix, from my old tried and true rig which consisted of two 2 tube amp heads, one through a 4x12 cab, and one through a 2x12 (though not used at the same time, at least not too often) and an analog pedal board (the RV-6 and DD-200 were digital, so mostly analog), or through a Two Notes Torpedo Captor 16 with a Two Notes CABM+ whenever I did any recording without fooling with all the mics, which became always because the Two Notes products were great and produced fantastic results.


Anyway, several factors played into this such as, getting a little older, not playing out quite as often, and others, but the biggest is the fact that my wife and I moved to a different place and the new spot is not secluded or set apart from the surrounding homes in the area whatsoever, also, I no longer have my detached garage, so it got to the point that I was rarely able to plug in my amps and really jam the way I liked to, and so I began looking for an alternative, at which point every other suggestion was "Helix is the answer", so it didn't take long for me to decide to try it.  It took a little longer before I decided to sell most of my gear, but after I began to get the hang of the Helix and became comfortable with it, it blew me away and still does today.  Sometimes I look at it, and as cool as it looks, I still ask myself "how can I actually be happy with this and have no regrets whatsoever about selling my gear", yet I am and there is really no question in my mind about it.  The Helix alone does WORLDS more than my other gear could ever hope to, and I'm still working on patches that push what I know how to do with it and take it to new levels, and I have a blast doing it.  And even the guys I play with who gave me grief have ALL been silenced at this point, and one of them even went and bought a Helix himself and has already told me it's all he's bringing next time we jam.  He's always calling me asking me how to do this or that, which brings me to the subject at hand.


He mentioned to me one evening on a call not long ago that he plugged headphones into it and that it sounded terrible, and I trust his ear for tone and his ability to achieve a decent one from just about anything he's given. So I asked him what cans he was using and he told me a pair of JBL over ears.  So I let him borrow my Sennheizer HD 300 Pros, and a half hour after I left he hit me up and thanked me and basically said problem solved.  I then told him I prefer my Audio Technica M50x set over the 300 Pros, and not just by a little bit, but A LOT.  Two days later he came to return my 300 Pros and thanked me again for the other suggestion, saying that he agreed the M50x monitors blow the 300 Pros out of the water.  I prefer them, but the 300 Pros have their uses too.  I've come to find that I actually prefer them when I'm playing stuff that's clean and ambient.  Perhaps it's the flatter response, as opposed to the slight bump up in the low end that I otherwise much prefer from the M50x set, or maybe it's the added openness/airiness from the drivers being a bit further off the ear (similar to DT770 Pro 80s which are great as well), or maybe it's both along with something else I haven't put my finger on, but the Fender Strat through a clean amp does sound better to me through the Sennheizers, and it only gets better when you start adding reverbs, flangers, delays and the like.


Anyway, I know this is alot, but the gyst is that I personally don't believe too many exceptions were made when they engineered the Helix at all.  As a guy who came into using one completely green and new to the digital world from a backround of nothing but tube amps and cabs with minimal effects, the Helix has been anything BUT a device that displays any evidence of corners that may have been cut or areas that did not receive a proper thinking through prior to it's being put into production.  Rather, it embodies the idea of an "all bases covered" (and THOROUGHLY) type of device in every way that I can think of, certainly every one that definitely counts for something.  I can't think of another device I've encountered in my 25 years of playing guitar that comes anywhere close to achieving what the Helix has, and then you take the price point into consideration.  $1500 might be a chunk, but my perception tells me that it could have been priced plenty higher and would be just as deserving of the praise it has received, and I've been so pleased with it that if I ever do think about what it cost me, it's just that I can't believe it didn't cost more.  I learned how to do some killer stuff in NO TIME, and it only took watching a few youtube videos from guitar channels I watch anyway.  


The Helix is an amazing and fully featured tool, and every one of those features is extremely well thought out from every angle.  The last thing any team building a device like this would settle on if they were going to settle on anything, would be one of it's options for monitoring and being heard.   From a 100% honest standpoint, perhaps offering a bit of constructive criticism, but without intending to be in any way offensive, and perhaps in hopes it might save anyone learning the Helix some time if they were to happen upon this thread/post.....   If you aren't getting a completely usable, great tone using headphones, the first thing to troubleshoot should be "possibilities in regard to user error".  I think its been said before in relation to this subject, in this very post if I recall correctly, and others...  Why would one spend $1500 on a piece of gear such as this, only to plug a set of $40 skull candy headphones up to it?  And if one were to do so... when the result is less than satisfactory, why does avoiding the headphone out and posting on a forum about how the units heaphone out is insufficient and lackluster, seem to be the logical next step forward, as opposed to taking into consideration that perhaps there is a reason music supply stores sell headphones too, not just Target?  And while the music store cans are obviously more pricey than most of the Target offerings, perhaps there is something to that yet as well.  You might think of it like this...  You bought a Helix at $1500 rather than an ME-80 at $300 or a GT-1 at $150 or $200, why?  Likely the answer or at least part of it has to do with quality, and the fact that in every way, the Helix outperforms those other products.  So much so that it is well worth spending $1200 more than an ME-80 to own one.  Well, the same can be said for headphones.  There is a difference between headphones and studio monitoring headphones, a very big difference, and while one need not spend the $500 to $600 for some of the most expensive sets out there, still, finding and purchasing a budget set or something priced in the middle somewhere is certainly an improvement over whatever set they have beside the ipods at Target to be sure.  Personally I prefer the Audio Technica M50x headphone monitors over anything else when it comes to playing and recording/tracking guitar.  A set of M50x headphone monitors will only set you back $149 at your local guitar shop, and if they don't have them its only because they sold the last set, because these are some of the most popular studio cans on the market period, and their price-point only aids further in making them a best seller.  You can also order them from any one of a ton of different places online, if you can't think of anywhere else, try the "A" word place, they'll be a lock to have M50x or any other type your heart desires.  A couple other sets that sound great but won't cause you to be late on your car payment, are Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pros (there are 3 different sub-models of these though, so research the differences between the 32, 80, and 250 ohm sets before you run out and spend your money.  Don't want to mess with an extra headphone amp, then the 250's probably aren't for you, although with the proper setup they are very very hard to beat in terms of frequency response and the amount of detail they produce.  Think you're chops are mistake free, play through a set of these and I promise they'll show you EVERYTHING you DO still need work on...  Able to drop $180 on cans, but want to make sure you can use them across all your devices, the 32s are definitely your best bet.  If you want the best option for plugging straight into the Helix and that's the sound you are focused on, the 80s won't steer you wrong) and lastly, Sennheizer HD 300 Pros will run you $200, have amazingly flat response and are extremely accurate at only 32 ohms, so they will also work just fine with your phone, tablet or xbox.  Its worth mentioning the M50x set is 32 ohms as well so will work with all devices as well and sound just as amazing on all of them as they will with the Helix.


Not getting good headphone tone straight into your headphone jack...  Don't be "that guy" (or girl for that matter), common sense may not be so common, but try it on for size anyway and in this case I can assure you you won't be let down.  I can't promise the sound will translate the same through FRFRs or a tube power amp, or any power amp and cab, or even your desktop monitors, but I'm confident in saying any one of the 3 suggestions above will put you close enough that you can figure it out with minimal tweaking necessary.  If not, box the headphones back up, do the same with your Helix, and send them both back from whentz they came and find something on which your $1500 would be more wisely spent because for right now the Helix is a little too advanced.  Maybe think about purchasing and mastering a POD GO after which you could give Helix another go.

















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  • 1 year later...

Thread revival......

Newbie "hear" (pun), but not within the world of music or forums.
I greatly apprecaite the oppertunity to become involved within the Line 6 community!

Just bought the HELIX floor and testing out with the provided patches.

The hiss and white noise through my AKG K240 headphones is loud and beyond acceptable no matter the gain setting.....

This must be a common issue and with overall fix?

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