How Do You Use EQ Before Headphones?

First of all, I do use monitor speakers primarily. But sometimes I need headphones. And it seems most of them have bumps and dips at certain frequencies. If I am trying to correct some known frequency response issues in headphones, it would seem I'd need to insert an EQ before I hear the audio in the phones. If I'm using (because I am :P) a Focusrite interface for audio output from my computer, and have my headphones plugged into the interface, how would this work? Or is there maybe a software way to do this?

My latest use cases are podcast and/or other VO editing. So it's pretty important to have accurate audio to work with. And I usually use Adobe Audition.


rob aylestone

Well-known member
Does your focusrite have the headphone outlet addressable separately? The one's I'm familiar with mirror the main stereo outs on the headphones. You could if you have a pair of unused output use those to go to an external headphone amp, and then insert an EQ onto that output. I suspect I'd try a 32 band graphic, but I'm not convinced that doing this actually works properly. I like to use Beyer DT100 headphones in the studio and they certainly don't sound like speakers, or the pair of nice 'hi-fi' Sennheiser I have - but I have learned their 'sound' and I can make mix judgements on them that are close to the speakers. I couldn't EQ them to sound like speakers - perhaps because of the isolation between ears that you don't get with speakers. I'm not certain the frequency response is the vital thing here.


You put an EQ on your master track, adjust it for the headphones. And remember to turn it off when you are done so you don't mistakenly adjust your mix when listening with monitors later.

mark skinner

Active member
Lots of mid grade to high end headphones have EQ presets designed specifically for them , to give them a flatter response. Sometimes you can find these presets online without purchasing software intended for this purpose. ms