Studio headphones are a type of studio monitor that provides accurate audio reproduction. They are designed to be used in studio settings where acoustic isolation is important, such as on live sound stages or recording studios. Studio headphones are a must for studio recording, sound mixing, and mastering. They offer a very accurate sound reproduction because they have an open back or closed-back design, which is perfect for studio use.
There are two main types of studio headphones: open back and closed back. Open-back studio monitors have perforated metal grilles so some sound can escape, while closed-back studio monitors have solid enclosures with no holes for the sound to escape through. The benefits of each type will differ depending on what you're looking for in your purchase decision.
Many studio owners and professionals use open-back studio headphones because they allow more sound to escape the ear cup than closed-back studio headphones. This means that you can hear your surroundings better, which is important in some situations such as when there is an air conditioning unit nearby or if someone has their music turned up loud on the other side of the room. However, this also means that outside noise will not be blocked out as well with open back studio headphones.
Closed-back studio headphones have a seal around each ear cup so no sound can escape from them- these are good for those who want to block out any outside noise while listening to audio material at high volumes without disturbing others
If you are in the market to buy studio headphones, this post will answer your questions about types of studio headphones, open back vs closed-back studio headphones, frequency response range, and more!
Best Studio Headphones: Buying Guide
Size Of The Driver:
The size of the driver is important to note because it determines the volume of your headset. The bigger the driver would be the higher the volume would be. The minimum driver size is 8 mm while the maximum is 50 mm. Also important is what material the driver is made of and that would determine how good the sound quality ultimately is.
Impedance determines the sound quality of your pair of headsets as well. The lower the impedance, the better the sound quality would be. studio headphones should have a high impedance so as to produce sound without any distortions or enhancements and also with good sensitivity, thus producing clear acoustics. The impedance of studio headphones usually ranges between 16 to 600 ohms.
A good pair of studio headphones should be able to effectively reproduce frequencies within the range of frequency a normal human ear can hear which is 20Hz to 2kHz. Studio headphones, unlike other headphones, should produce flat frequency in order to produce sound as it is without any distortions or enhancements.
This defines how well the headphones can convert electrical signals into acoustical signals. Thus, the higher the sensitivity, the better the sound quality the headphones will be able to provide.
Wired Or Wireless:
There are ample options to choose from and with the progressing technology a lot of wired and wireless options have come about with multiple variations and special features. In choosing studio headphones, unlike normal ones, wired headphones are more preferable and beneficial because most studio equipment works better with wired headphones.
Wireless headphones might provide ease in your personal mobility and they affect your recording quality as they compress signals in the process of transmitting. So, it's better to go with headphones that are wired because you won't be moving that much during the intensive process of recording anyway.
To ensure you don't face fatigue or trouble when recording or mixing for longer periods of time, you should take into account if the headphones you're going for will prove to be comfortable. Ensure that the padding is adequate and soft enough to aid comfortability for longer times of your recording process. Recording is already a process that requires concentration and labor, thus to help it go smoothly make sure your headphones are comfortable on your head and fit you well.
The durability of your headphones is important because studio headphones are a pretty cost-consuming investment. however because they don't come cheap, they also provide value for money. When choosing which ones to go for, you can consider which ones have replaceable parts so if something falls dysfunctional.
You can just get it fixed instead o having to buy a new one. This would ensure durability. You should also take care of the material that they're made of and ensure that it's strong and sturdy. There are a lot of options with strong materials to choose from on the market.
Open-back Headphones vs Closed-back headphones
There are basically two types of studio headphones.
1. Open back headphones - These are studio headphones that have a perforated cover over the driver unit to allow air and sound waves to pass through. This also makes them look really cool!
2. Closed-back headphones - These are studio headphones that do not have any openings or holes on their cup, thus allowing no external sounds from entering inside your ear cups. It provides good insulation from outside noise.
The major difference between open-back and closed-back headphones is the sound leakage. open-back headphones typically leak more sound to the outside world, which means that if you're listening in a quiet studio environment (or at home), it will be heard by anyone around you. Closed-back headphones provide better isolation from external sounds and therefore they are recommended for studio use where privacy is important.
The upside of open-back headphones is that they have a wide dynamic range and clear imaging.
But, the downsides of open-back headphones are that open studio environments require more isolation from noise, as sound leakage is not desirable, especially if you're recording vocalists/instruments at the same time. Open studio headphone designs generally provide less noise attenuation than closed studio headphone models.
The pros of closed-back headphones are that better for private listening where you don't want other people to hear what your music sounds like or in live situations such as DJ gigs etc. because they allow no external sounds through them thus providing optimal insulation against ambient noises which can ruin your mixes!
The cons however would be that due to their great ability to isolate outside sounds, it creates poor dynamics with low sound leakage. Closed backs might feel warmer due to their great ability to isolate outside sounds however even though studio headphones provide less noise attenuation than open studio headphone models, they still offer moderate isolation from outside sounds.
10 Best Studio Headphones in 2023
Beyerdynamic - DT 990 Pro
Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X
V-MODA - M-200
SHURE - SRH1540
AKG - K92
Sennheiser HD 650
Beyerdynamic DT 880
1. Beyerdynamic - DT 990 Pro
- Open over-ear headphones, ideal for professional mixing, mastering and editing
- Perfect for studio applications thanks to their transparent, spacious, strong bass and...
- The soft, circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort
- Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship - Made in Germany
Brand: Beyerdynamic | Ear Placement: Over-Ear | Color: Gray | Connectivity Technology: Wired | Model Name: DT 990 PRO
Want to enjoy your work like never before? Beyerdynamic’s DT 990 Pro is the perfect partner. This open over-ear headphone design not only boasts a fully transparent, spacious, and powerful sound that will simply blow you away, but it also comes with an incredibly soft, circumaural, and replaceable velour earpad for high wearing comfort. The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones are made for the pros.
With its robust exterior construction and durable materials made in Germany, this product will be your best friend in the studio - quickly becoming indispensable when editing or mixing professional recordings or mastering tracks at home. It is perfect for mixing or mastering tasks in a studio setting with sensitive near-fields.
The classic over-ear construction features quality materials that ensure durability and longevity while providing an inviting cable to accommodate any working style.
If you're looking for a high-quality pair of professional-grade headphones, the DT 990 Pro is should be your top choice. Plus they sound good enough that you'll be chasing after some golden (and buttery) bass with your first few verses. The wide-open design delivers pristine sound to your ears without any obstruction - both inside and out.
Whether you're a serious pro in the studio, or just looking for a better sound, this is your headphone. It's gentle on your ears and built to last with quality that would put most over-ear headphones to shame.
What’s more: an invaluable 3m coiled cable makes sure there's no restriction on movement while you're moving from one mixer to another to check levels.
They're perfect for studio applications, mixing tracks, or mastering music, and their appearance will make you want to plug them in as soon as possible.
2. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X
- THIS PHOTO4LESS TOP VALUE KIT INCLUDES: Audio-Technica ATH-M50xWH Professional Monitor...
- FOR STUDIO AND ON THE ROAD: 90° swiveling earcups for easy, one-ear monitoring, and...
- COMFORTABLE FIT: Professional-grade earpad and headband material delivers more durability...
- EXCELLENT SOUND ISOLATION: Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound...
Brand: Audio-Technica | Ear Placement: Over-Ear | Color: Black | Connectivity Technology: Wired | Model Name: ATH-M50x
These are the best performing headphones on the market.
Feel privileged audiophiles aglow with smug satisfaction at their purchase decision, or confident music lovers who know they've invested in a true professional-grade headphone set. Either way, there's no disappointment here even if all of your expectations are exceeded—the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X will meet them head-on and deliver amazing clarity throughout an extended frequency range with deep accurate bass response.
They're made for professionals but anyone serious about sound should feel comfortable using these profitable pieces of equipment because it doesn't matter where you wear these circumaural models without compromising comfort.
The ATH-M50X headphones from Audio-Technica are a professional favorite for pros and recordists, with one earcup that can swivel to ease multitasking or you can flip the earcups flat up about 90 degrees for easy tabletop monitoring.
Padded adjustable headbands and high-quality earpad material deliver more durability and comfort during long periods of use.
They're fitted with proprietary 45-millimeter large-aperture drivers with copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils and rare earth magnets, providing exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range with deep accurate bass response.
Proprietary circumaural design contours around ears effectively for excellent sound isolation in loud environments, making it great as a vocalist's preview monitor as well as a recording engineer's mixing headphone.
You can’t find a better headphone out there that has the M50X's tone accuracy with its industry-leading level isolation technology - this is what separates it from its competition. Put simply: The Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphone was made for professionals who want pristine sound quality without having to worry about outside interference noise ruining their studio session.
With exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range, deep accurate bass response, and 90-degree swiveling earcups for easy one-ear monitoring, these cans are critically acclaimed.
That’s why they're one of the best studio headphones you can buy right now, because if pro-grade sound quality is your priority then these are a wise investment worth looking into.
3. Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X
- Closed over-ear headphones for professional mixing at home or in the studio
- Perfect for studio recordings thanks to the their pure and high-resolution sound
- Hard-wearing, durable, and robust workmanship Made in Germany
- The world famous DT770 Pro Headphones deliver unmatched quality in sound reproduction at...
Brand: Beyerdynamic | Color: Gray | Connectivity Technology: Wired | Model Name: DT 770 PRO 80 | Form Factor: Over-Ear
Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X are closed-back over-ear headphones, perfect for studio and stage recordings.
The straightforward modern design is paired with an innovative bass reflex system that provides booming audio - perfect for any listener who finds themselves in a loud environment often.
Listeners will surely be impressed with the quality of these high-end headphones. Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X is designed to provide an accurate listening experience thanks to its Pure High-Resolution Sound technology which provides a clean sound without sacrificing dynamics and tone.
But don't think these just sound good; Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X also provides high wearing comfort all day long thanks to their soft, circumaural velour ear pads.
But the real selling point here is how durable they are! A single-sided cable lasting 3 meters is worse than short so you won't be pulling the cord loose every time you get up - plus it's connected to strong branched attachment points near the plug which helps guard against breakage.
The replaceable, velour ear pads ensure hours of continuous comfortable use while the bass reflex system enhances this deep pure sound. This product is manufactured in Germany ensuring it’s durable and robust construction for any aspiring engineer or producer!
The DT700 Pros are a mix of durability and innovation. You don't have to worry about breaking these over your head on the way home from the studio, but also just as importantly, you will sound great. They're professional enough for listing to overdubs in a dim studio or vividly monitoring vocals on stage with their durable construction and ground-breaking bass response system that lets you feel what you can no longer see—the vibration of those drums hitting those speakers instead of having it all muffled by thin headphones.
4. V-MODA - M-200
- Reference studio sound fine-tuned by Roland engineered and proclaimed “Best new...
- Lightweight metal build adjustable headband for single ear monitoring + improved sweat...
- 50mm drivers with neodymium magnets and CCAW voice coils for precision listening mixing...
- Large replaceable magnetic memory foam cushions and 100% PU leather headband for hours of...
Brand: V-MODA | Color: Matte Black | Connectivity Technology: Wired | Model Name: M-200 | Form Factor: Over-Ear
You'll find them an indispensable part of mastering music or mixing vocals.
The sound is so well balanced through the 50mm drivers with neodymium magnets and CCAW voice coils for playback optimized for professional use in studios too.
When you need comfort and precision, look no further! These Audiophile M-200s will deliver detail like never before.
They feature a replaceable ear cushion made from comfortable memory foam fabric with a 100% PU leather headband that meets all expectations for long hours of listening without discomfort or irritation to the sensitive skin around the ears because it is easy to clean, soft to touch, and quick to dry.
These are a master-grade pair of headphones that are lightweight and constructed with materials that are sweat-resistant. What you get is pure stealthy perfection for your sound.
Whether you are mixing tracks or just listening to music on the go, these have studio tuned 50mm, drivers, with neodymium magnets and CCAW voice coils lending themselves to precision attention
The high affordances also make this perfect for professional applications like recording artists who need reliable equipment that will last during extended sessions while still
A long-lasting, lightweight design makes it notoriously easy to steer your audio experience in new directions.
5. SHURE - SRH1540
- 40 mm neodymium drivers deliver superior acoustic performance for an expansive soundstage...
- Diaphragm developed with APTIV Film for improved linearity and lower THD (total harmonic...
- Closed-back, circumaural design rests comfortably over the ears and reduces background...
- Lightweight construction features aircraft-grade aluminum alloy yoke and carbon fiber cap...
Brand: Shure | Color: Black | Model Name: SRH1540-BK | Form Factor: Over-Ear | Noise Control: Sound Isolation
Shure SRH1540 is a studio reference headphone that provides an unmatched listening experience with its 40-mm neodymium drivers delivering superior acoustic performance and comfort for hours of use on and off your head.
They deliver an expansive soundstage with clear, high notes and warm bass. They are lightweight thanks to the aircraft-grade aluminum alloy yoke and carbon fiber cap. The closed-back design rests comfortably over your ears reducing background noise. You can also tinker around without worry thanks to SHURE’s steel driver framing that offers reliable performance at all levels of listening.
The SRH1540 is a closed, circumaural stereo headphone that will provide you with an unimaginable listening experience. With 40 mm neodymium drivers and APTIV film for warmer lows and greater linearity, the SRH1540's audio quality is unparalleled.
With its aluminum alloy yoke and carbon fiber cap; lightweight construction; steel driver frame with vented center pole piece - which reduces internal resonance and maximizes sound output - this is one of SHURE's best headphones to date.
6. AKG - K92
- Precisely Balanced Response Provides Reference-Monitor Accuracy
- Professional 40Mm Drivers For Extended 16Hz - 20Khz Frequency Response
- Over-Ear Design And Lightweight Construction For Exceptional Comfort
- Closed-Back Design Maximizes Isolation
Brand: AKG Pro Audio | Color: Black | Connectivity Technology: Wired | Model Name: K92 | Form Factor: Over-Ear
These pro-grade headphones deliver all the big sound you crave in an easy-to-wear package so comfortable, you'll barely notice them. The self-adjusting headband ensures they fit just right - where they should be providing maximum comfort during long listening sessions so you can enjoy your favorite tunes all day long without even making contact with your ears.
Whether your listening goal is being immersed in your tunes or catching every note of live performance, these are the authentic mix masters for getting there without breaking a sweat.
Able to produce reference-quality sound, the AKG K92 is ideal for professionals in all audio fields. The professionally balanced response provides increased accuracy in different frequency ranges for obtaining an accurate mix that can be mastered by listening to speakers or recording onto digital media.
With a closed-back design that maximizes isolation, these over-ear headphones are perfect when needing to listen to lower volumes while still being heard without ambient noise interfering with your playback.
When it comes to sound, the AKG - K92 is precision-tuned and offers great value for money with its 40mm drivers and its low-profile design which provide you nothing but exceptional comfort.
7. Sennheiser HD 650
- Specially designed acoustic silk ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range...
- Improved frequency response is 10 39,500 Hertz ( 10 dB)
- Hand selected matched driver elements; Highly optimized magnet systems for minimum...
- High power neodymium magnets deliver maximum efficiency; 3.5 millimetre jack plug....
Brand: Sennheiser Pro Audio | Ear Placement: Over-Ear | Color: Gray | Connectivity Technology: Wired | Model Name: HD 650
Technology has finally caught up to your ears with the HD 650 Headphones by Sennheiser. With a frequency response that ranges from 10-40000 Hz and incorporating all of today's most advanced technology into its design, these headphones will blow you away.
Maximum precision and quality come together to create the Sennheiser HD 650. With improved frequency response, you hear every minute detail.
The hand-selected matched drivers of this product shine with highly optimized magnet systems that deliver minimal harmonic and inter-modulation distortion for an unrivaled performance. The specially designed acoustic silk ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range and helps to reduce THD to an incredible 0,05%.
Your music will be beautifully rendered thanks to improved frequency response which is 10-40000 Hertz (10 dB) hand-selected matched driver elements; highly optimized magnet systems for minimum harmonic and intermodulation distortion using high power neodymium magnets deliver maximum efficiency in lightweight aluminum voice coils for fast transient response.
Conveniently connected via a 3.5-millimeter jack plug on the headphones themselves, discover your next favorite album or lyric thanks to these superior Sennheiser HD 650 headphones that also provide an exceptional transient response with lightweight aluminum voice coils for quick ruptures in your audio signal as it travels from point A to point B all day long.
Ideal for studio use as well as everyday casual listening, these studio headphones are designed specifically to meet the needs of audio engineers. They provide a natural and accurate sound reproduction that is essential when monitoring live music or studio recording work.
If you're looking for the best of the best, these are your headphones! From durable components down to precise damping, Sennheiser has absolutely everything right.
During long hours of listening pleasure, you won't even notice you're wearing them, thanks to their exceptional design and weight distribution.
The HD 650 studio headphones are the perfect addition for professionals in all audio fields including studio monitoring applications as well as everyday casual listening; they provide an accurate sound reproduction ideal when working with sensitive material or recording live music. Crafted from durable components down to precise damping, Sennheiser has absolutely everything right.
8. Beyerdynamic DT 880
- Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro Professional Studio Headphones. Semi-open, diffuse-field studio...
- Comfortable fit due to rugged, adjustable, soft padded headband construction. Robust, easy...
- Single-sided cable. Velour, circum-aural (around the ear) ear pads. Supplied in a nylon...
- Headphone design (operating principle) Semi-open. Headphone impedance 250 ohms. Headphone...
Brand: Beyerdynamic | Ear Placement: Over-Ear | Color: Gray | Connectivity Technology: Wired | Model Name: DT-880-PRO-250
The DT 880 offers analytical sound while remaining the most comfortable of the studio headphones. It rejects ambient noise with circum-aural ear pads that are made from velour. The DT 880 analyzes sound faster than slower speakers so you get more crispness in your mixes. They allow soft tones without compromising mids or highs so you can enjoy more detail when mixing vocals or synth lines.
All parts are replaceable, service is easy, and it's robust enough to take some tough handling on busy sets!
These semi-open, diffuse-field studio headphones provide analytical sound, a comfortable fit due to rugged adjustable soft padded headband construction, and robust easy serviceable construction. It comes with a single-sided cable and is equipped with velour circum-aural (around the ear) ear pads; supplied in a nylon carrying case
If you're looking for a superior studio headphone that accurately reproduces sound without sacrificing comfort, look no further than the Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro Professional Studio Headphones.
These headphones are insulated against electromagnetic interference and offer robust, easy serviceable construction as all parts can be easily replaced. The semi-open acoustic principle ensures an absolutely analytical sound even at high volume levels.
You'll enjoy hours of fatigue-free listening with consummate clarity thanks to their single-sided cable design which eliminates the annoying "cable tangle" problem for improved convenience - it even comes with a soft nylon carrying case!
9. Sony MDR-7506
- Neodymium magnets and 40mm drivers for powerful, detailed sound
- Closed-ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises
- 9.8-foot cord ends in gold-plated plug and it is not deatachable; 1/4-inch adapter...
- These large diaphragm, foldable headphones feature a rugged construction, a secure, highly...
Brand: Sony | Color: Black | Connectivity Technology: Wired | Model Name: Sony MDR | Form Factor: Over-Ear
The Sony MDR-7506 Headphones come with a complete set of features to take your listening experience from good to great. Neodymium magnets and 40-millimeter drivers produce a powerful, detailed sound that will please the most discerning audiophile's ears. With high-performance sound and accurate response to 10Hz - 20kHz, this set of premium headphones with the closed-ear design is perfect for any aspiring musician or home recording.
Closed ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises, these headphones are a must-have for those who need isolation from distraction without sacrificing fidelity. Get ready to experience your favorite tracks as if they were playing right in front of you with stunning clarity and powerful bass thanks to these expansive 40mm drivers.
The 9.8-foot cord ends in a gold plated plug and it is not detachable and a 1/4 inch adapter is included so you can easily connect to whatever device you prefer.
These durable, studio headphones provide you with lightweight comfort and fantastic sound quality. These closed-back design cans can store neatly or be tossed into your carry-on for use on the plane. They fold into a compact size, travel bag included, so you can take them anywhere.
These high-end headphones provide all the benefits of closed-back headphones with their spacious sound stage but without any sense of claustrophobia or heat build-up.
10. Sennheiser HD280PRO
- High ambient noise attenuation
- Accurate, linear sound reproduction
- Soft earpads for a comfortable fit
- Folding and rotating earcups for space-saving transport
Brand: Sennheiser | Color: Black, silver | Connectivity Technology: Wired | Form Factor: Over-Ear | Noise Control: Sound Isolation
The HD280PRO is Heavy-duty enough for professionals, these cans are perfect for office workers and audiophile friends alike.
Not only do they come with padded cushions so there are no complaints about discomfort after two hours of listening, but they also come with an adjustable headband so you feel totally comfortable all day long.
Molded from a soft, lightweight plastic material known for its extreme durability and resilience in the most adverse of environments. Modern-day engineering has created what they call “Leatherette,” an innovative new material that will revolutionize your listening experience.
The HD280Pro is designed with leatherette cushions to provide comfort while implementing noise isolating properties to aid in reducing environmental interference that can sometimes interrupt your most critical moments in sound clarity. With a custom padded headband design that provides extra retention without discomfort, this is the perfect choice for all-day use!
The studio headphones also come with a soft carrying pouch for protection when on the road or at home in storage, no matter where they go your HD280Pro studio headphones are going to be there.
Seriously, you're looking at headphones that can go louder than any other and still sound just as good. The adjustable headband and leatherette cushions make these a comfortable pair of ears for those long days at your desk or those intense concerts with too many cymbals crashing around you.
On top of all this, they block out even the loudest noises from their noise isolating quality. Add in a standard 3-pole 1/4" adapter to really ensure that no matter what device you have, it's going to take care of business whether you're listening through computer speakers or dinner party headphones
The closed-ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises, which makes it perfect for office use. Get ready to experience your favorite tracks as if they were playing right in front of you with stunning clarity and powerful bass thanks to these expansive 40mm drivers.
Plugging this headset into any audio device will prove that these are clearly the highest quality out there!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between studio headphones and regular over-the-ear headphones?
Studio headphones are specifically designed for studio use. They have an extended frequency response, accurate sound reproduction, strong bass performance, low impedance to match most audio equipment including professional mixers or recording devices with headphone jacks or output jacks without hums or buzzing sounds when in use.
Regular over-the-headphones are made more for casual listening purposes at-home entertainment systems where radio frequencies are not important but the quality of music playback is prioritized.
What studio headphone types are there?
Studio headphones must be closed back to prevent sound from leaking out and it also provides isolation for the listener so that they do not hear ambient noise.
There are two studio headphone types: open-back and closed-back studio monitors.
What studio headphones do music producers use?
A studio headphone is a vital tool for any studio producer. It allows them to listen and mix tracks more accurately due to the extended frequency range of studio monitor types that can easily reproduce high or low frequencies without distortion which regular headphones may have.
What studio headphone brands are the most popular?
The studio headphone industry is dominated by two major companies in particular: Sony and Sennheiser. They make high-quality products with an affordable price range for all budgets, providing both open-back (more natural spacious soundstage) or closed-back (precise clarity of bass reproduction at loud volumes without distortion).
What are the Pros and Cons of Studio Headphones
The pros of studio headphones are that they have a high impedance so as to produce sound without any distortions or enhancements and also with good sensitivity, thus producing clear acoustics.
Cons would be the relatively higher cost than standard consumer headphone models because studio headphones use better materials like aluminum voice coil formers which provide lower mass for a faster transient response.
Whether you’re looking for a new set of headphones or just want to know more about the different types, we hope this guide has helped. The best studio headphones are those that provide great sound and comfort as well as versatility to suit your individual needs. With so many options available on the market today, it can be difficult choosing between them all. Take your time when making your decision; there is always another pair out there waiting to make an impression!
If you want to get into studio production, then it's important that you do your research and purchase the right equipment. One of the major pieces is a sound monitoring system like headphones or speakers which can help ensure you're getting an accurate reading on how things sound in your recording space. We hope the list we have compiled above helps you when you're out to buy your set of studio headphones.
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