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What to look for in headphones?


Edmond Smith
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I use EX-29s from http://www.extremeheadphones.com/

great isolation so no worry about whether you're hearing your mics or just the bleed around the ear pads.  90% of what I do is bag work where I'm standing within 10 feet of the subject and the iso is great.

They're also durable as hell and designed with modularity in mind, basically any part on this thing can be replaced in the field, with no tools.  The headband, ear pads, drivers, cables; whatever.  I own two pairs of these, and the first pair I bought was horribly, horribly abused.  Stepped on, sat on, dropped, slammed in a car door, etc.  They held up through all of it.  I got a second pair with a shorter cable, so I didn't have to worry about the slack getting tangled up in my bag.  Even though the first pair is now my backup, it still sees pretty regular use.  Bought it about 2 years ago and no real issues.

Sound quality is at least as good as those Sony cans that proliferate, and in my opinion these are far more comfortable to wear.  Same price, too.  Couldn't speak too much to recreational use, since I exclusively listen to music with my HD650s, but they're certainly plenty good for any professional situation I've come across.

I really can't say enough good things about these cans.

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Couldn't speak too much to recreational use' date=' since I exclusively listen to music with my HD650s, but they're certainly plenty good for any professional situation I've come across.[/quote']

Yeah, I love the Sennheiser HD-600's for music (and plan to upgrade to the 650's at some point. Very comfortable, and they have a great "light and airy" feel. I'd use them for location sound if they weren't an open-back design. But I've been so used to the MDR-7506's for more than ten years, I'd be reluctant to change.

--Marc W.

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Headphones as we all know are a very personal choice

But here is my take .

I have HD25 with curly lead for when I am sitting down at my trolley.The curly cable I think is a must because there is nothing worse than standing up and seeing your cans hit the floor.

I also have 2 x MDR 7506 with talkback mics that came from Trew Audio with the duplex cable system which I give to boom ops

Then I know this is a bit old school but I have used these all my working life when I am working from a bag.The DT48 and yes I know they are a bit flat compared to HD25 and they also fit like a vice after a while. But they have never let me down and I have never had a complaint about my recording.Plus if you ever had to knock a nail in the DT48 would be the headphone of choice.

My tuppence worth

Best John Quinn

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apart of their response and isolation,

the HD-25 is the only one I can wear for a long day, they are very light and comfortable. Plus they are very durable and have replacement parts.

And the cable is light, robust and of the right size (in the short side)

The """standard""" in Europe for many many years

Just be shure to get the uncoiled short cable (unless you specifically like it otherwise, of course)

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Well,

I have used different headphones for different genres for years.

I started. many years ago, with Beyer DT 100s (not DT48, which were the standard then), or better still DT480s. They had good isolation, and a good flat frequency response. They were, however, large and heavy, so when the Sony 7506's came out I used them. The Sony's, however, I felt, had an accentuated LF response, which made me think I was hearing boom noises and handling, whereas in fact it was not loud enough to worry about.

Somewhere alonng the way I discovered Sennheiser HD250 Mk2's, and it was a revelation. They are quite large, but not too heavy. The sound is crystal clear, and as flat a s could be. They are around the ear and closed back, and I loved them dearly. They did, however, have a few problems, mostly that the cable connectors where they entered the earcups would become intermittent. Also that the cable was a Y lead to each ear. I developed a complicated modification that brought the cable out on one side, with a 'breakable' connector that would pop apart if I walked away from the recorder forgetting to take the HPs off. I also modified the connectors by warming them and bending such that they became far more long lasting. I kept about 5 pairs of these modified HD250s going for many years - still have them.

The HD250s, however, were not so great for documentary work, so I was using Ultrasones for that. Very good, but the headbands used to pop apart and break, so though I liked the sound and the isolation, they were not so brilliant. I have also noticed recently that the earpads rot quite swiftly, they go hard and brittle.

I recently discovered Sennhesier HMD26 headsets, which have a built in dynamic mic on a tiny goosneck. These are a great compromise. They are on the ear rather than around the ear (it has taken me ages to get used to that change) but are light, have a beautifully smooth Fz response, and yet offer pretty good ioso;ation. Parts are all easily available, and they seem to last well (no problems at all 6 months in).

I could go on for ages.......

Kindest regards,

Simon B

My choice for the past 6-7 years.

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wich model of Ultrasone do you use?

what's the origin of the mic attached?

I tried my best with Ultrasone for location sound and could not use them for more than an hour (too big and heavy compared to HD25) plus I was really scared of their bass response (a too realistic representation of the noisy environment we live in, it felt like a nightmare in exteriors :) For me they were great for music recording and certain atmos and "effects"

but again, would like to know which model you are happy with and try again in case I can see the light :)

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Somewhere alonng the way I discovered Sennheiser HD250 Mk2's, ........They did, however, have a few problems, mostly that the cable connectors where they entered the earcups would become intermittent..............

Kindest regards,

Simon B

It's exactly the same infuriating problem with the HD25's - I have four pairs. I've mentioned this to Sennheiser people at every opportunity, on the phone, at trade shows but I have to say they haven't seemed interested. I've bought MKII's thinking that would fix the problem but although they've changed from what looked like aluminium to what looks like gold they still go intermittent after a while, I now tin them with solder which works for a couple of months or so.

It's great having easily replaceable parts but the connector should be better.

Any suggestions for getting Sennheiser to make these connectors as good as they should be?

Write a letter, start a petition, form a Sennheiser Liberation Front?

Mick

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wich model of Ultrasone do you use?

what's the origin of the mic attached?

I tried my best with Ultrasone for location sound and could not use them for more than an hour (too big and heavy compared to HD25) plus I was really scared of their bass response (a too realistic representation of the noisy environment we live in, it felt like a nightmare in exteriors :) For me they were great for music recording and certain atmos and "effects"

but again, would like to know which model you are happy with and try again in case I can see the light :)

My Ultrasone's are the HFI-680. I'm not sure that's a current model now. The boom mic is a Shure WH-20. It requires a bit of gain so I built a small outboard preamp for it that boosts the signal to line level so I can keep it's input fader open all the time. The preamp has a push-to-talk button that keeps the mic out of the mix until I push the button but I can still talk to a boom op.

I'm surprised you didn't like the low end of the Ultras, I find it less than the low end of the Sony 7506 and the Ultra has a more natural, uncompressed sound, plus they are more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Suffice it to say that we all hear and interpret the same sounds differently.

Eric

 

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  • 6 months later...

" No love for the Senn HD-280 Pros huh? "

sez who ???

>:(

Also the AT 50's and several Beyer-Dynamic models

headphones are a rather subjective, and very personal choice ::)

Though not as popular in the production sound mixers catagory, there are also a lot of excellent headphones from AKG, Fostex and others not yet mentioned...

Edited by studiomprd
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" No love for the Senn HD-280 Pros huh? "

sez who ???

>:(

Also the AT 50's

headphones are a rather subjective, and very personal choice ::)

Yea thats kinda how I have always seen it, just kinda surprised when no one really mentioned liking them in this thread. I have a pair, but I might try the Sony's too. They are cheap enough to have both.

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Sound

Comfort

Isolation

Durability

Price.

Somewhat in that order.

I've been using a $500 pair of sonys lately. They look similar to the new 7506 design. They provide a good balance of all the above conditions (especially the comfort)... save the price. I get headaches pretty easily from the regular 7506s, even some ultrasones were giving me trouble. These are so far making me pretty happy.

Greg

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Sound

Comfort

Isolation

Durability

Price.

Somewhat in that order.

I've been using a $500 pair of sonys lately. They look similar to the new 7506 design. They provide a good balance of all the above conditions (especially the comfort)... save the price. I get headaches pretty easily from the regular 7506s, even some ultrasones were giving me trouble. These are so far making me pretty happy.

Greg

Is it the fit or the sound that gives you headaches?

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I have been happy using the Sony MDR 7506 for over 10 years. The first set that I bought lasted a long time.

after the pads wore out(velcro on the pads pulls off the thin black viny covering the foam) I got some velvet beyer replacements. Then somehow the black cable got pulled down from where it comes out of the left ear and then not to long after that happened, one of the speakers stopped reproducing sound,pretty much out of the blue.

I tried to fix them myself, but the way that the wires run through the headband made it hard for me to repair.

I decided I would just retire them and buy some new ones.

My newest 7506's ear pads come off more often than my older 7506's original earpads, and the coil cord feels a little different too.

I used the HD280 Pro a couple times. They sound good, nice isolation,sturdy build. Maybe they do nt fold up as well as the 7506?

Last week I stopped in the local pawn shop and found some Sony MDR-7509HD. I had never heard of them before, but I figured I could use them as backups. $60 seemed like a good deal to me!

They have bigger ear pads than the 7506's and are pretty comfortable, but I wonder if my ears would get too hot with them on a summer day.

They sound different than the 7506. hard to describe how, but the lows,mids,highs sound more seperated to me.

Anyway,They have been nice for listening to music.

Has anyone used in-ear phones and what did you think about them?

I have not ever used in ear phones,except for a few times with the iphone earpiece.

Im curious about the Etymotic ER-4 p/t . has anyone used them? Are they durable enough? Was the cord to microphonic?

Matt

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I believe Sony is mulling over replacing the MDR-7506 headphones with the new MDR-7510 ($150) and the MDR-7520 ($500):

Sony MDR-7510 specs

Sony MDR-7520 specs

I tried both at the NAB last April, and thought they were a little "boomier" than the MDR-7506's, reminiscent of the 7509's (which I also own). But I'd have to listen to them under better conditions to know for sure. Both looked very comfortable and well-made, but I'm so used to the 7506's at this point, it'd be hard to change.

--Marc W.

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Like most, I've used the sony7506 for years on location and in the studio. I tried the Sennheiser HD 280 and ... I really like them. I bought them as a cheap second set and found myself using them more and more. They are a little bulky, but the isolation is really good. They seemed a little tight on my head at first but they loosened up after a day of use, and the sound is less harsh to me than the 7506. I had a driver fail on one side and it was fixed by Sennheiser unnder wareanty.

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Switched to HFI-680 (from 7506) last spring and a few months later I can say I appreciate the uncolored lows response and so much less hear fatigue at the end of the day.

For comfort, i miss the 7506 though; they fit tighter on my head (never fell backwards) and don't dig a hole on top of my skull (they got a wider ring).

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Switched to HFI-680 (from 7506) last spring and a few months later I can say I appreciate the uncolored lows response and so much less hear fatigue at the end of the day.

For comfort, i miss the 7506 though; they fit tighter on my head (never fell backwards) and don't dig a hole on top of my skull (thicker ring).

Thank you for confirming my comments and findings about the Ultrasones.

Eric

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