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Author Topic: DPA d:Fine Headsets  (Read 8803 times)

George Dougherty

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DPA d:Fine Headsets
« on: November 28, 2011, 11:32:34 pm »

Sell your e6's (or most anything else under $1K) and pick up either the Omni or Cardioid version of the DPA d:Fine headset.

I've had it on multiple speakers and every single one is amazed at the feel of it and how it's so comfortable to wear.  I love how easy it is to fit to pretty much any head.  There's no bending, flexing, etc.  Stick the stub behind the earlobe, stretch the self-coiling loop around the top of the ear and slide the boom forward or backward to place it where you want.  You can bend the boom slightly if necessary to better track the curve of anyone's face, but I don't often need to do much.  I've used most of the headset styles on the market and the d:fine is by far the best single ear design available.  It holds nearly as well as the reverse spectacle styles with none of the discomfort.

The capsule on the cardioid is a side address rather than front facing so it predominantly picks up the speaker, rather than everything the front of the mic is pointed at.  This is the same setup as DPA's old reverse spectacle headset mic, and the capsule is reportedly the same, though it's built into a smaller flatter housing.

Sound quality, is typical DPA.  Flat, natural, what you hear is what you get.  I traded up from AT Microsets and find little need to EQ unlike the AT's.  Same with the E6's I've used.  I notch feedback and pull any anomalies from placement on the cardioid, but with good placement that's practically nill.

Cable assembly is replaceable, mic boom is replaceable, earpiece is replaceable.  Typical DPA microdot to connector of your choice adapters on the end of the cable.  Adapters aren't cheap, but they're a lifetime warranty item.

Price is in the $6-700 range with an adapter for your wireless, but it's worth every penny in my book.  Replacement cable is about $70 if it can't be repaired for less.  Boom is a little over $400 if you do something to the element.
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Frederik Rosenkjśr

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Re: DPA d:Fine Headsets
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 04:32:04 am »

Thanks for writing this! I've been wanting to hear about how this one works, especially how tight it stays put.

IIRC, they make different cables for this model so you don't have to use MicroDot and converter, but instead you can get cables directly to MiniXLR or whatever you need. At least a few types available.
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Simon Ryder

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Re: DPA d:Fine Headsets
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 06:46:06 am »

I am truly blown away by the D-Fine.

I used 5 of them on a science show that I tour with the other week. The show features some pretty intense explosions (138dB plus at close range) and finding headsets that don't lose capsules has been problematic.

The new cardioid DPAs stood up to it.

The sound quality is superb but what really impressed me is how loud these things get without much need for EQ to remove feedback.

The show itself is extremely loud with 2000 screaming kids at a time. The cast wander out into the auditorium regularly, invariably passing directly in front of the main PA (usually D&B Q7s) within about a meter and a half. I was able to get the level and sound quality that I wanted with not a trace of feedback, without having to mute the mics as the cast passed directly in front of the main FOH system. I needed 4 cuts on the parametric channel EQ to make them that stable.

I can't recommend these enough.
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Frederik Rosenkjśr

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Re: DPA d:Fine Headsets
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 08:12:01 am »

I am truly blown away by the D-Fine.

I used 5 of them on a science show that I tour with the other week. The show features some pretty intense explosions (138dB plus at close range) and finding headsets that don't lose capsules has been problematic.

The new cardioid DPAs stood up to it.

The sound quality is superb but what really impressed me is how loud these things get without much need for EQ to remove feedback.

The show itself is extremely loud with 2000 screaming kids at a time. The cast wander out into the auditorium regularly, invariably passing directly in front of the main PA (usually D&B Q7s) within about a meter and a half. I was able to get the level and sound quality that I wanted with not a trace of feedback, without having to mute the mics as the cast passed directly in front of the main FOH system. I needed 4 cuts on the parametric channel EQ to make them that stable.

I can't recommend these enough.

Cool!

How do you find their physical stability? I mean - how well does that ear-hook work? I'm really hoping it's good, but I've never tried any of the one-ear solutions before and I'm having problems imagining it to sit tight enough...

Other than that there's the cable-issue, which is why I dumped the DPA-headsets for MiPro's way way cheaper more or less as good sounding, far far more durable lav mics (since I'm using Mipro wireless). But I do miss the cardioid option and if this ear-hook works, it looks like it could be a game changer in terms of ease of use/mounting and unmounting...?

I guess it's too early to tell about the cable stability, but if I'm correct that they offer various cable termination options so you don't have to use the clumsy adaptors, then that's definitely a step in the right direction.

I wish they would make thicker cable options, though. The cable is almost never visible anyway, and from my experience with Mipro's cable I know for a fact that it IS indeed possible to make it more durable. And that by a factor 20 or so...
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 08:13:33 am by Frederik Rosenkjśr »
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George Dougherty

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Re: DPA d:Fine Headsets
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2011, 10:21:40 am »

Cool!

How do you find their physical stability? I mean - how well does that ear-hook work? I'm really hoping it's good, but I've never tried any of the one-ear solutions before and I'm having problems imagining it to sit tight enough...

Other than that there's the cable-issue, which is why I dumped the DPA-headsets for MiPro's way way cheaper more or less as good sounding, far far more durable lav mics (since I'm using Mipro wireless). But I do miss the cardioid option and if this ear-hook works, it looks like it could be a game changer in terms of ease of use/mounting and unmounting...?

I guess it's too early to tell about the cable stability, but if I'm correct that they offer various cable termination options so you don't have to use the clumsy adaptors, then that's definitely a step in the right direction.

I wish they would make thicker cable options, though. The cable is almost never visible anyway, and from my experience with Mipro's cable I know for a fact that it IS indeed possible to make it more durable. And that by a factor 20 or so...
Actually, I find the adapters to be a godsend.  I can use the mic with an AT wireless one week, shure the next, Sennheiser the next, etc.  You can get them as noted with a fixed connector but that kills some of the versatility and it's far easier to swap a microdot than to remove the boom and ear clip from the cable assembly.  Not that either of those are particularly difficult.

The mic is light enough I find I have to use the cable clip to keep it from moving all over.  If you check the Parkour demo video on the website it looks like they taped the cable to the back of the guy's neck with medical tape.  Using the clip to relieve counter-pressure from the cable weight, the earpiece stays put very nicely.  I've had other people besides myself jump around and shake all over to see how well it does hold.  We were all impressed.

To your comment about durability, unlike previous DPA headsets though, the cable assembly is replaceable without also replacing the boom.  Takes about 20 seconds to swap a whole cable.  According to the guys at DPA if you take good care of your cable, most notably winding it up over/under rather than just coiling it, the cable holds up very well.  It's "kevlar reinforced" which may or may not make a huge difference but it doesn't feel flimsy and fragile like the Audio Technica MicroSet cables I've used.  Thankfully it's also not overly stiff like I find the cables on the MiPro headsets.

Have a buddy who works in the US headquarters and he gave me a tour of their new products.  The mindset now seems to be modular reuse.  A handful of capsule options, a boatload of accessory and mic body options and you can do most anything with a little set of mics. 
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 10:24:51 am by George Dougherty »
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: DPA d:Fine Headsets
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2011, 07:49:15 pm »

Sell your e6's (or most anything else under $1K) and pick up either the Omni or Cardioid version of the DPA d:Fine headset.

I've had it on multiple speakers and every single one is amazed at the feel of it and how it's so comfortable to wear.  I love how easy it is to fit to pretty much any head.  There's no bending, flexing, etc.  Stick the stub behind the earlobe, stretch the self-coiling loop around the top of the ear and slide the boom forward or backward to place it where you want.  You can bend the boom slightly if necessary to better track the curve of anyone's face, but I don't often need to do much.  I've used most of the headset styles on the market and the d:fine is by far the best single ear design available.  It holds nearly as well as the reverse spectacle styles with none of the discomfort.

The capsule on the cardioid is a side address rather than front facing so it predominantly picks up the speaker, rather than everything the front of the mic is pointed at.  This is the same setup as DPA's old reverse spectacle headset mic, and the capsule is reportedly the same, though it's built into a smaller flatter housing.

Sound quality, is typical DPA.  Flat, natural, what you hear is what you get.  I traded up from AT Microsets and find little need to EQ unlike the AT's.  Same with the E6's I've used.  I notch feedback and pull any anomalies from placement on the cardioid, but with good placement that's practically nill.

Cable assembly is replaceable, mic boom is replaceable, earpiece is replaceable.  Typical DPA microdot to connector of your choice adapters on the end of the cable.  Adapters aren't cheap, but they're a lifetime warranty item.

Price is in the $6-700 range with an adapter for your wireless, but it's worth every penny in my book.  Replacement cable is about $70 if it can't be repaired for less.  Boom is a little over $400 if you do something to the element.

I've been using the DPA 4088 for a while and really like it.

The only problem I've had is if anything touches the boom like long hair, beards or earings, there's quite a bit of noise. It's not a problem with the 4066 omni mic.

Is that a problem with this mic?
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George Dougherty

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Re: DPA d:Fine Headsets
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2011, 12:23:30 am »

I've been using the DPA 4088 for a while and really like it.

The only problem I've had is if anything touches the boom like long hair, beards or earings, there's quite a bit of noise. It's not a problem with the 4066 omni mic.

Is that a problem with this mic?
Omni's are less susceptible to that and wind noise.  I haven't seen a micro headset that doesn't have microphonics to some extent. I usually have short stubble on my face and it makes noise scratching over that. If it gets too far forward its fairly sensitive to breath, but it comes with a windscreen.
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Simon Ryder

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Re: DPA d:Fine Headsets
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2011, 07:18:57 am »

Omni's are less susceptible to that and wind noise.  I haven't seen a micro headset that doesn't have microphonics to some extent. I usually have short stubble on my face and it makes noise scratching over that. If it gets too far forward its fairly sensitive to breath, but it comes with a windscreen.

Actually I was quite surprised at how little noise comes from rubbing against the face. One of the cast and I both have beards and the noise wasn't noticable. We did use the windscreen.

The over ear hook works extremely well, is very comfortable and extremely stable. One cast member did manage to dislodge one but that was down to removing the coat that the cable was clipped to. On the comfort side of things, you barely notice that you are wearing one.

Caveat - I am now a DPA main dealer. Whilst my views as stated above are genuine and born from experience, I do also now have a financial interest in selling the things.

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George Dougherty

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Re: DPA d:Fine Headsets
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2011, 11:04:49 am »

Actually I was quite surprised at how little noise comes from rubbing against the face. One of the cast and I both have beards and the noise wasn't noticable. We did use the windscreen.

My test was indoors without the windscreen. That would certainly explain the difference in results.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2011, 11:06:44 am by George Dougherty »
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