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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Jan-17 > GEAR of the YEAR

GEAR of the YEAR

It’s our January issue and that can mean only one thing: the MusicTech annual Gear Of The Year awards! So it’s time for the big reveal, as we announce our 12 big winners of 2016…

MT Feature Gear Of The Year

MusicTech ’s Gear Of The Year awards have quickly become ‘the ones to win’ within the music-production industry. They have become so in demand that we even have our own awards show in London (head to to see some video from the evening).

It was a hotly contested competition to decide the winning and highly commended products in each of our 12 categories, and over the next dozen or so pages, we will be unveiling the 2016 award-winners. If you’re unfamiliar with how our Gear Of The Year works, here’s a quick recap. The most important thing to know with the MusicTech awards is that they are voted for by you, the readers, plus a smattering of MusicTech experts. Over the last couple of issues, we’ve been running an online survey across 12 music-production categories, now including a special category just for modular synths as that area is (still) exploding in popularity.

We’ve also included everything else, of course, from software to hardware, accessories to high-end outboard. So let’s get to it – time to roll out the red carpet and announce our winning 12…



Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro


Price €599

Contact Beyerdynamic/ =Polar Audio on 01444 258258

Web and

So, to the first of our awards – and it’s time for Best Accessory. That covers pretty much everything small, from headphones to studio gadgets, from books to sample collections. There were several varied and excellent releases in the shortlist – we particularly loved both the Bright Sparks film (in which several synth pioneers are interviewed) and Sylvia Massy’s excellent Recording Unhinged book. But it’s two sets of headphones that win out, with the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pros taking the top spot. This is perhaps unsurprising, as the original 1770s are something of a studio legend in headphone circles, so many of you will be familiar with the originals. These updates do take the design and sound on a notch – we’ll deal with the price first, as they are not cheap, but as with monitors, you do have to spend with headphones to get sets that are accurate, comfortable and vibey for long listening sessions, surely the Holy Trinity of qualities for both monitors and headphones. Thankfully, these headphones tick the boxes for all three aspects.

They have a lovely sound and comfort balance that will have you saying ‘Ooh, listen to this’ to anyone passing your studio…

Comfort levels are fantastic and the soft foam pads and the headphones’ light weight offer a great feel and isolation – among the best we’ve come across. They also sit very well on your head and aren’t too cumbersome during extended sessions.

We actually compared them to two sets of reference ’phones: our standard Audio Technicas (£269) and our new AKGs, which weigh in at £1,300. “And you know what?” we said in our review. “The DT 1770s sit exactly where they should price-wise, somewhere in between. They offer a great mix of both, a lovely sound and comfort balance that will have you saying ‘Ooh listen to this’ through them to anyone ‘lucky enough’ to be passing your studio, and easily accurate enough for you to pick out several mix elements and put them in the right damn place, which is really what any monitoring (speaker or headphone) is all about at the end of the day.

“Yes, they’re expensive. But, as we always say when it comes to good accuracy, comfort and long-session wearing, they’re worth it. The best just got better.”

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