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Headphones Recommendation

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Mike Bugera
Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 21, 2011 at 5:10:10 pm

I'm a video editor and a musician who uses headphones every day to both monitor my editing programs (all talking head and podium speakers) and listen to music.

I currently use a pair of AKG K44 closed ear headphones. I try not to boost the volume too loud with anything I listen to.

I've only been working like this since April and have noticed my hearing taking a bad hit since that time. Both ringing and difficulty hearing people in marginally noisy environments.

I'm looking at getting a better pair of headphones to hopefully help the situation. I'm willing to spend up to $350.00+. Any suggestions?


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Michael Martin
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 21, 2011 at 6:51:03 pm

i have pretty sensative hearing and when i can't use speakers i use akg k702 open back headphones. you're ears don't get the compression of closed back cans plus they sound very natural like listening to open air speakers. i can listen to them loud as i need to when mixing for hours without getting horrible ringing and fatigue. One comment that I've seen is that they need a little time to burn in but for your purposes you will not likely notice the need.

-Michael Martin
Martin Media Company LLC
Location Sound/Audio Post Production/Sound Design


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Michael Martin
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 21, 2011 at 6:51:04 pm

i have pretty sensative hearing and when i can't use speakers i use akg k702 open back headphones. you're ears don't get the compression of closed back cans plus they sound very natural like listening to open air speakers. i can listen to them loud as i need to when mixing for hours without getting horrible ringing and fatigue. One comment that I've seen is that they need a little time to burn in but for your purposes you will not likely notice the need.

-Michael Martin
Martin Media Company LLC
Location Sound/Audio Post Production/Sound Design


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Eric Toline
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 21, 2011 at 7:32:52 pm

Is there a specific reason you don't use good monitor speakers? To answer your original question, my choice are the Ultrasone line of HP. http://www.ultrasone.com (I think).

Eric


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Mike Bugera
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 21, 2011 at 9:02:09 pm

I work in a small office with two other employees within a close proximity. Can't really have external audio going. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check that out.

Mike



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Eric Toline
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 21, 2011 at 11:06:10 pm

The Ultrasones I use are HFI 680. Best phones I've ever used. IMO light years ahead of the industry de facto standard Sony 7506 especially for long term daily wearing. As an FYI about the Ultrasones, be prepared to relearn how to listen and evaluate what you're hearing.

Eric


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 21, 2011 at 10:08:20 pm

I like to suggest 2 types that I've been using recently:

Sennheiser HD480
(got some of these knocking around at work, a good workhorse IMO and you can get them level limited which is good for protecting your hearing)

Audio-Technica ATH M50
(my current favourites)


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Mark Spano
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 22, 2011 at 7:28:38 pm

If you don't mind in-ears instead of over-ears, I have and love a pair of Westone 3 in-ears that with the Comply inserts are the best and most comfortable pair of phones I've used. I listen to my iPod on the NYC subway and the volume level never goes above 30%. That's how good this combo is at naturally blocking external noise, and a tribute to the efficiency of the drivers. The key to stop the ringing I've always felt is to eliminate driver distortion and lower overall volume. These come through in spades. They are pricey, and so are the inserts, but so worth it for me at this point.



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Ty Ford
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 23, 2011 at 4:12:52 am

Hello Mike and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

I use Sony MDR7506 for recording and editing. I tried Eric's Ultrasones and they sounded phasey for some weird reason.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50 are getting good reviews (mine among them) for being comfortable and accurate. I bought six pair for the studio.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Craig Alan
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 26, 2011 at 7:24:01 pm

Ty how does the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 compare to the Sony MDR7506? I use the Sony both during production and in post.

Have link to your review?

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ty Ford
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 26, 2011 at 9:27:22 pm

Hi Craig,

The ATH-M50 are a little bigger, more cushy and not hyped on the top and bottom (as the MDR7506 are).

Regards,

Ty Ford

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Craig Alan
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 27, 2011 at 1:53:18 am

[Ty Ford] "not hyped on the top and bottom (as the MDR7506 are)."

If the 7506s are hyping the low and high end, why are they an industry standard for mixing? I had always read they were very accurate compared to consumer models costing way more that clearly sweeten the sound.

How do Sony MDR-7509HD Professional Monitor Headphones compare?

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ty Ford
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 27, 2011 at 2:29:36 am

Because they tell you things you need to know when low frequency noise or hiss creeps in. I have 2 pair. I also have 4 pair of ATH-M50.

Different phones for different jobs.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Craig Alan
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 27, 2011 at 5:47:57 am

thanks Ty,

so the ATH-M50 is better for mixing, the 7506 better for monitoring during a shoot?

How does Sony MDR-7509HD Professional Monitor Headphones compare?

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Eric Toline
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 27, 2011 at 9:26:00 am

You don't want to use any type of monitor that will give you a false sense of what you're hearing. We use HP's on a shoot because we have to, not because they're the best choice for the job. I've found the 7506 to have a lot of sizzle but no steak.

Eric


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Ty Ford
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 27, 2011 at 1:30:31 pm

Craig,

I'm pretty addicted to the 7506 for location audio because I have learned the curve and mentally transform the elevated bottom and top. The 7506 are more compact than the M50. I can collapse them and fit them right on top of my receivers and mixer.

I know a growing number of folks now use M50 for location audio. I use the M50 for clients/musicians in my studio because of their flatter response, closed back (low leakage) and comfort.

The MDR7509 I tried a few years back were very nice. I like them a lot. They are a little bulkier than the MDR7506, more like the M50, but like the M50 they are smoother than the 7506.

When you say "mixing", I want to make sure, folks don't get the idea that they should mix music on headphones for music projects. That's a bad idea. You really need monitors for that. I do use headphones for mic placement and tracking, though.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Craig Alan
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 27, 2011 at 6:19:30 pm

Thanks Ty,

I like the 7506s during a shoot much as you described. Very easy to pack and hang from whatever. My only complaints: i hate coiled cables. They tangle with almost anything. they stretch out in time becoming more of a mess. With a straight cable I can velcro it to prevent it from being pulled out/strained and to create a custom length. My other slight annoyance is I find the pads a tad small and the overall shape a bit tight for my head. No biggie but does get fatiguing after a while.

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Eric Toline
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 27, 2011 at 8:35:37 pm

Getting rid of the coil section on the 7506 can be done. Cut the cord at the top of the coil section and splice in a section of straight cable of what ever length you want. Add a 3.5 mm TRS plug and you're done. Not to be attempted by those who don't know how to solder the Sony Litz wire.

A couple of TA-3 M&F connectors at the cut point makes for a professional looking attachment and more durable connection.

Eric


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Jordan Wolf
Re: Headphones Recommendation
on Nov 23, 2011 at 5:03:07 am

Mike,

Whichever choice you go for, audition them first. Sure, some may require a little burn-in time, but that usually mellows them out a bit...nothing you can't compensate for mentally while demo'ing a few pairs.

You might want to look into the Sennheiser HD-25 cans and some stuff from Denon.

Also, Dave Rat (FOH engineer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers) did a comparison on various headphones a while ago. It was somewhat empirical since he used an RTA, but he also made judgments based on what he heard.

See here for what he decided on. You can also Google "Dave Rat Mighty Headphone Quest" and you should get a number of hits to his blog.

Wolf
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