Waves NX Ocean Way Plugin – Review

So this plugin appears to be being pushed hard at the moment so I thought I would give it a listen and give my initial thoughts using it from within FL Studio (through a pair of “neutral” Surface Headphones).

First off I thought I would look at the officially supported headphones – I don’t have any of these, though I am pretty happy with my Surface headphones for normal use, I had been considering some alternative headphones following a review by Mike “In the Mix” Wynne (sadly the no 1 headset doesn’t feature in the supported headset list – though others do)

Headphones supported by this plugin:

Audeze EL-8 Closed-Back £500
Audeze iSine20 £500
Audeze Sine £400
Audio Technica ATH-M50x £130
AKG K-702
Beyerdynamic DT-880 (250) £200
Beyerdynamic DT-990 (250) £115
Senheiser HD-280 Pro £85
Senheiser HD-600 £300
Senheiser HD-800 £900
Shure SRH-440 £60
Sony MDR-7506 £90

(Prices just for guide purposes – click on the links for up to date price search)

The first thing to say is that there is a noticeable difference when this plugin is switched on – I am not sure that I feel like I am listening to a set of speakers (let alone a set in Nashville!) but at the same time I found the experience quite pleasing and perhaps mid way between listening to my monitor speakers and my headphones without this plugin (and perhaps unsurprisingly not a million miles away from what I might expect from a ‘mild binaural’ experience)

Snake Oil? Maybe? Maybe Not?

My experience so far has lead me to believe that the best position to be in for the mastering process is a treated sound proof neutral studio! However, not many of us have this luxury so the next best thing, in my experience, is to “sound test” a mix in multiple setups and in multiple locations – with an iterative process of tweaking a final mix until it covers all the bases. As such, I think this software is a good fit for one of these test locations – especially if you already have a set of supported headphones.
The cost at the time of this review was $58.32 with special offer code).
So definitely worth giving this plugin a (7 day) free trial -then decide for yourself if you think it is worth keeping. Ultimately, if I ever get to releasing anything that I come up with I may consider sending my results to a mastering studio (finances willing) – knowing that in some way this plugin will have played it’s part in giving me a better sound

NB You can get a free trial or purchase this plugin from here

… as far as my choice of a second (supported) headset for this plugin I have opted for these:

(Great price from http://www.bax-shop.co.uk)

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