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Brent Finnegan

Best behind-the-neck headphones?

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I'm going to be working on an indie in Death Valley in April. I sunburn quickly (Irish skin) and will be mixing in-the-bag for a good numer of wandering-in-the-desert scenes (otherwise, I'll be at the cart, under an umbrella). I have a wide-brimmed hat I'd like to wear to keep the sun off my neck and face when I'm in-the-bag, but the hat doesn't fit over my headphones. I currently own a pair of Sony MDRs and Sennheiser 280s.

 

I was looking at the Sennheiser PMX 90s, but don't know about the sound quality of those for mixing. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/751876-REG/Sennheiser_PMX90_PMX_90_On_Ear_Behind_the_Neck.html

 

Are those any good? Are there any good quality behind-the-neck (or over-the ear) headphones you'd recommend? (particularly for use in sometimes gusty desert conditions)

 

 

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Check out the hat further down the page. http://www.soundkit.co.uk/acatalog/Odds_and_ends_and_consumables.html

It's a dealer based in the UK but you might be able to find something similar stateside.

Trev

Ps I've Irish skin but I'm in Ireland so it's only a problem twice a year (if I'm lucky).

Hardly worth the investment was it Trev ;-)

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With a hat, I use the PMX 60 Sennheiser. Not bad (better than the Sony's offerings), actually this is the best I found. I tried, a few years ago, all the models I could get my hands on.

Don't know about the PMX *90*, the PMX60 is more expensive, so is supposed to be better (?)

 

This is a consumer product, look at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-PMX-60-Lightweight-Headphones/dp/B00009LI55

In any case, the behind-the-neck design is a nice approach in some case (run-n-gun, reality shows, extreme conditions) where the practicality take precedence, but there is a trade-off in the audio quality.

I learned to live with the drawbacks quite well.

Works for me.

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You might need to google search to find them, but there are a few threads about in-ear headphones. Some people just like them, some people needed them because of hard hats etc etc etc. You lose a little something not being able to flip off one ear easily, but it does the job. 

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No trade off in audio quality with my Westone 4. They sound great and are very accurate. Don't have the bass boost like the Westone 3s or my 7506s for that matter. I even like them better than my old Etymotics. They also have excellent isolation with the standard foam inserts. They are pricey at $450 but worth it. I was able check out a bunch of IEMs at the Inmotion store at the Atlanta Airport where I was sold on Westone 4s. They fit my ears great and are very comfortable.

Andy

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No trade off in audio quality with my Westone 4. They sound great and are very accurate. Don't have the bass boost like the Westone 3s or my 7506s for that matter. I even like them better than my old Etymotics. They also have excellent isolation with the standard foam inserts. They are pricey at $450 but worth it. I was able check out a bunch of IEMs at the Inmotion store at the Atlanta Airport where I was sold on Westone 4s. They fit my ears great and are very comfortable.

Andy

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I'll have to try those Westone.

I carry my old Etymotics in the bag at any time for high level of ambient noise situations, but the problem I got with the IEM's is that they are difficult to put/remove. And since they protect very well from the outside noise, you have to put/remove them often, loosing a few seconds each time.

But they have their place, of course.

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I use the Koala hat (on the suggestion of my pal, Steve Deichen), and just use regular Sony MDR-7506's. It works fine, though you look a little goofy. That hat has saved me from severe sunburn about a dozen times, or at least turned severe burn into mild burn. 

 

If it's a scripted drama, I'd take refuge in the DIT tent, or maybe invest in a Sound Department tent of your own. They're only about $500-$600 or so, and it's a worthy investment if you're gonna be outside for a long schedule. 

 

At least, April in Death Valley is better than August in Death Valley...

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Shure IEMs are good, the higher up the SE range you go, the better they get. I can't stand using them for 'normal' mixing, but if I'm wearing head protection, then I have no choice. Use Comply foams or even better, get custom moulds made and they get even better.

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Thanks for the tip, Lloyd.

 

The more I think about it, if I can't afford good IEMs, I'm going to need closed-back headphones, like the HD-25s. I don't think the PMX 60s or 90s will work. The consumer reviews for those mention a lot of sound leaking out, which makes me think it will cause problems for me if the wind picks up.

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Gotta tell ya... I bought and used the Westone UM2's ($279) and promptly returned them. Sounded like I was listening to dialogue through a pillow. Even the new $29 Apple earbuds for my iPhone sounded better. Now, they are obviously NOT a 3-way or even 4-way driven IEM but, for $279, I expect a lot greater accuracy and performance. Pay close attention to the high and low frequency response. You'll want an IEM that enables you to hear frequencies above 16kHz, and for boom handling & wind noise or plosives, you'll want to hear down to 20Hz with some accentuated low end (IMO). All the isolation in the world won't help if the drivers cannot give you proper, accurate frequency response.

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The Soundman Sun Hat from Koala...

 

 

I use the Koala hat...

Absolutely my vote.

It was designed to what you described as your need for this shoot.

Best,

Steven

 

PS Who looks goofy Marc? ???

lol

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