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Author Topic: Time to get some new headphones. What's out there?  (Read 3008 times)

bruce gering

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Time to get some new headphones. What's out there?
« on: February 05, 2013, 12:07:12 pm »

Note: This is NOT a "What's the best kick drum mic?" topic.

I need to replace my ancient beat up headphones. I figure ~$125-$150 should be able to net me something decent. The 2 factors I am looking for besides budget are isolation and accurate reproduction, not necessarily in that order. I definitely DO NOT want some hyped-up low end dj-esque cans that tell you nothing.

I am also looking for a decent "budget" pair (~$50) with the same qualities, with isolation a key factor.

What's out there?
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dick rees

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Re: Time to get some new headphones. What's out there?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 12:20:14 pm »

Note: This is NOT a "What's the best kick drum mic?" topic.

I need to replace my ancient beat up headphones. I figure ~$125-$150 should be able to net me something decent. The 2 factors I am looking for besides budget are isolation and accurate reproduction, not necessarily in that order. I definitely DO NOT want some hyped-up low end dj-esque cans that tell you nothing.

I am also looking for a decent "budget" pair (~$50) with the same qualities, with isolation a key factor.

What's out there?

My best bet in sonic quality for the money would be the Sennheiser 280's for just under $100.

As far as "isolation" and "cheap"......pick one.
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Time to get some new headphones. What's out there?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 12:25:20 pm »

Note: This is NOT a "What's the best kick drum mic?" topic.

I need to replace my ancient beat up headphones. I figure ~$125-$150 should be able to net me something decent. The 2 factors I am looking for besides budget are isolation and accurate reproduction, not necessarily in that order. I definitely DO NOT want some hyped-up low end dj-esque cans that tell you nothing.

I am also looking for a decent "budget" pair (~$50) with the same qualities, with isolation a key factor.

What's out there?

For budget ones AKG K44s(around $50-60) sound pretty good and the isolation is decent too; that said I haven't compared them to many others so there may be a better option. The K44s tend to sound best when driven by a headphone amp; my iPad had trouble driving them properly but my Macbook did alright although they were even better with an amp.
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Evan Hunter

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Re: Time to get some new headphones. What's out there?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 12:26:57 pm »

I carry a pair of  audio technica ath-m50 to every gig, there might be better options but they sound damn good and they are pretty tough too. I have been VERY happy.
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Samuel Rees

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Time to get some new headphones. What's out there?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 12:28:19 pm »

My best bet in sonic quality for the money would be the Sennheiser 280's for just under $100.

As far as "isolation" and "cheap"......pick one.

+1
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Chuck Simon

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Re: Time to get some new headphones. What's out there?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 12:45:52 pm »

My best bet in sonic quality for the money would be the Sennheiser 280's for just under $100.

As far as "isolation" and "cheap"......pick one.

I agree.  I picked up a pair on Amazon for just under $100.00.  They offer pretty good isolation.
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dick rees

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Re: Time to get some new headphones. What's out there?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 01:01:00 pm »

I agree.  I picked up a pair on Amazon for just under $100.00.  They offer pretty good isolation.

This comes up every time the question gets asked.

While I recommend the 280's for sonic pleasure, they can in no way be considered "isolation phones".  Any headset will offer some "isolation", but that does not classify them as "isolation" units.

The true isolation sets will give 10+db over regular cans.  The Vic Firth models rate at around 25db down from outside sound.  The GK Ultraphones (which I use) rate a bit higher at 27-29db below ambient.

Of course, these measurements are frequency dependent.  Nothing's going to stop the LF when you're mixing seated just behind a stack of subs.......


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Chuck Simon

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Re: Time to get some new headphones. What's out there?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 01:18:40 pm »

This comes up every time the question gets asked.

While I recommend the 280's for sonic pleasure, they can in no way be considered "isolation phones".  Any headset will offer some "isolation", but that does not classify them as "isolation" units.

The true isolation sets will give 10+db over regular cans.  The Vic Firth models rate at around 25db down from outside sound.  The GK Ultraphones (which I use) rate a bit higher at 27-29db below ambient.

Of course, these measurements are frequency dependent.  Nothing's going to stop the LF when you're mixing seated just behind a stack of subs.......

Man, you really like to argue - even with someone who agreed with you!  Nobody here called the 280 "isolation phones".  I said that they offer "pretty good" isolation.  Sennheiser claims "Up to 32 dB of ambient noise attenuation"
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 01:20:49 pm by Chuck Simon »
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dick rees

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Re: Time to get some new headphones. What's out there?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 01:47:58 pm »

Man, you really like to argue - even with someone who agreed with you!  Nobody here called the 280 "isolation phones".  I said that they offer "pretty good" isolation.  Sennheiser claims "Up to 32 dB of ambient noise attenuation"

Unfortunately, the 32 dB figure is at the frequency MOST attenuated.  They hedge their explanation by stating  "up to".

I own and use the 280's as well as some real isolation phones.  The 280's have little to no attenuation of outside sound compared to real iso-phones.

I'm not arguing with you on this, Chuck.  I just want to make it clearly understood in any thread dealing with headphones and isolation that there is a drastic difference between true isolation units and all the rest of the models out there.  The difference between real isolation phones and the others really is night and day.
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Steve Milner

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Re: Time to get some new headphones. What's out there?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 01:48:49 pm »

 If you're looking for headphones, you might want to take a look at Dave Rat's work in recent years as he tried to pick out a new pair. There are youtube videos he created, along with quite a bit of writing on the subject. Even he says in his videos that people have questioned his measurement method / technique, but it's interesting to me all the same.
 I personally use the Audio Technica ATH-M50 cans for my everyday work, but I also own maybe 6 other pairs of high quality cans from Beyer-Dynamic, AKG, Ultimate-Ears ... and even a pair of the deluxe Bose Noise Canceling phones that my girlfriend gave me for christmas.

 Gotta admit, that although I wouldn't use them for professional work, the Bose cans are a pleasure to own and use for casual listening. A few carefully placed pieces of gaff tape took care of the Bose logos and the stupid (on) light... much better now.
 
 Here is the link to Dave's blog with quite a bit of info...

 http://www.ratsound.com/cblog/archives/369-The-Mighty-Headphone-Quest-Part-7.html
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