Headphone Suggestions

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Tom Void
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Post by Tom Void » Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:57 pm

Jaan wrote:+1 for in ear monitors, much much better than headphones... if it's only for DJing you can't go wrong with $100 buds with custom molds...
"Crowd says; Look! The dj is browsing his iPhone!" (Just Kidding)
I just could never get used to having a bud in the ear, as when they are molded, you can't have it "on" any other way then all in.

When I Dj, it's just as essential for me, to be able to quickly switch between the "dominant ear" (ie. the one you primarily have stuck to the headphones) as that is almost only for queing in a track or session, and then both ears free towards monitors for a better perspective and depth of the transition.

I wouldn't risk the chance of ripping them out of my ears by accident, and IT WILL HAPPEN (to almost all drunk/deaf dj's like me :) as they are so flimsy and fragile they are in much greater risk of breaking.
It might be me who has a weird tendency of bouncing around like a mad rabbit when out plying, so if you are as stiff as a corpse, do try the buds and report back! I might learn from it, and change my style to a more minimalistic behaviour! :)

The HD25-1 is sturdy despite it's looks, and if anything breaks it can easily be switched, I think that will be harder with buds, as they aren't that easy to repair yourself.

Jaan
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Post by Jaan » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:00 pm

yeah that's true; have you considered custom fitted earplugs?
next month i have a few gigs and i'll be using er20s... i'll let you know how that goes :S
filthy

memes_33
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Post by memes_33 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:06 pm

audio technica's ATH-M50's are the best sounding headphones for under $500 i've heard - ever. as an AV consultant, i've tested a lot of headphones, and these rock. the only "complaint" i have with their sound is the bass tends to be a little hyped, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially given most headphones horrible response in the low frequencies.

if you are making mixes with any bass, these are accurate and will actually let you hear the sounds under 200 Hz
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Tom Void
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Post by Tom Void » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:15 pm

memes_33 wrote:...the bass tends to be a little hyped...

if you are making mixes with any bass, these are accurate...
Sorry to ask, but if they are "Hyped" in the bass, how can that ever become accurate as that is more like over-coloration of the sound?

dhilsabeck
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Post by dhilsabeck » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:17 pm

You can get a decent set of headphones for $100.

The Sennheiser HD 280's are very comfortable and fold flat for packing away into a backpack. I am rough on my gear and these have lasted me for years.

Sony MDR 7506. Not as good for traveling, but they sound very nice and they are also very comfortable. I personally think they sound better than the sennies, but that's just me.

I would go out and try some out if you have the option. I think headphones have to be comfortable.I personally don't care for the feel of AKG's despite their sonics or reputation so I would never buy them. Same goes for the Sennheiser HD 25's. Great sounding but I've got relatively large ears, so they're rather uncomfortable for me.

memes_33
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Post by memes_33 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:55 pm

maybe its because i'm not used to hearing bass like that from headphones, but even if it is hyped, i feel like i get an accurate reproduction of the sound. you know, if the bass is right, it sounds very present. if the bass is too much, they let you know.

at any rate, they are great for checking the low end in a home studio with crappy acoustics
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rikhyray
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Post by rikhyray » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:10 pm

M audio are just branded Ultimate ears and these and Shure are definitely the best. The upper range of those are more accusate then any headphones, rather amazing in details
BUT
After some time of using I realise they are more tiring then regular cans and there are 2 huge dangers
1. accidentally pulling out, along with your ear drum
2. accidental LOUD impulse
the problem is that any of the 2 can happen, and once is enough, you have to look for another profession. Too much of a risk for me.
Regarding DJing in ears are absolutely useless ( unlike for stage musicians) I wouldnt even think to use them for that, I need and like to have them on/off one ear, sometimes other. I did try to use IEM for DJing and it didnt work at all for me.
Here the HD 25 work the best though Ultrasone DJ 1 Pro are excellent- they tune them to easier detect HiHats and kick drum and they really have nice detail, make mixing easier. Still for me too heavy and make my ears sweat.

sunrahrahrah
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Post by sunrahrahrah » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:20 pm

I've had a pair of Grado sr-125s in studio for about a year now and I like them alot

I just got a pair of sennheiser px100 for ipod listening / running around the city, and they are also great

this is totally useless to you as a dj since both are open designs

db91977
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Post by db91977 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:25 pm

It may currently be "culturally incorrect" for a DJ to be seen not wearing headphones, but I can say that for playing in a band (bass guitar), they are great. More and more musicians are wearing them on-stage, and I can see why. The monitoring quality I get with the in-ears blows away the typical crappy floor wedge sound, and I can hear everything clearly with my custom mix.

You can plug them all the way in, or have them partially out. When they're partially out, the bass goes away, of course, but you can still hear enough of everything else for cues.

I can't vouch for the ruggedness of other in-ears, but over a couple of years of almost weekly gigs, my IE-10s have been stepped on, ripped out, sodas spilled on them, etc., but they just keep on working. Flimsy? Not.

You're in as much danger with headphones from over-loud transients, imho, especially circumaural type. And I've been in front of P.A. speakers when there was a really bad feedback squeal, and that's dangerous, too. Whatever the transducer type, you're running a risk. Maybe the answer to this is to have a comp/limiter inserted at the headphone output, no matter if you're using regular phones or earbuds.

--db

Tom Void wrote:
Jaan wrote:+1 for in ear monitors, much much better than headphones... if it's only for DJing you can't go wrong with $100 buds with custom molds...
"Crowd says; Look! The dj is browsing his iPhone!" (Just Kidding)
I just could never get used to having a bud in the ear, as when they are molded, you can't have it "on" any other way then all in.

When I Dj, it's just as essential for me, to be able to quickly switch between the "dominant ear" (ie. the one you primarily have stuck to the headphones) as that is almost only for queing in a track or session, and then both ears free towards monitors for a better perspective and depth of the transition.

I wouldn't risk the chance of ripping them out of my ears by accident, and IT WILL HAPPEN (to almost all drunk/deaf dj's like me :) as they are so flimsy and fragile they are in much greater risk of breaking.
It might be me who has a weird tendency of bouncing around like a mad rabbit when out plying, so if you are as stiff as a corpse, do try the buds and report back! I might learn from it, and change my style to a more minimalistic behaviour! :)

The HD25-1 is sturdy despite it's looks, and if anything breaks it can easily be switched, I think that will be harder with buds, as they aren't that easy to repair yourself.

Tom Void
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Post by Tom Void » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:13 am

db91977 wrote:It may currently be "culturally incorrect" for a DJ to be seen not wearing headphones, but I can say that for playing in a band (bass guitar), they are great.
You just hit the nail on the head, and I totally agree!

For me it's not so much a cultural thing, more like what's most hardwearing and practical in the indivdual situation, and not the least, what I feel comfortable using.
I have witnessed many different approaches to technology through the years, and my main conscern has never been to directly reject the new and savour the old, but just give it some space and time and se how it did on a longer run. My opinion on in-ears, is after having such for many years, they are still not suited for dj'ing.

However! I think good in-ears, are a fantastic help for live musicians, as they also, at least in chaos theory, eliminate some form of system latency´(always prescent in uncertain degrees) if you are on a PA.
Great idea with the limiter, if it was not too late, I would have carried one with me on dj gigs in the past.
Instead I have suffered the fatal dissease of "Progressive Loudness Dysfunction" which means that i crank up both the master volume and my headphones cue about 1 notch for each hour that passes!... or maybe I can blame it on Alchohol instead and get away with it!!!

On the serious side, in order to save what's left of my hearing, I have had to struggle hard to keep myself from using too loud volume in clubs when cueing, so it is just as much a case of willpower!
My best recommendation to avoid overdoing the volume in you headphones when you decide on which you want, is to choose at least a closed design. I have worked through 2 pairs of the old Pioneer SE-DJ5000's (These are only ggod for DJ use though! Not studio work) and are on my second set of Sennheiser, but that's probably all down to the beforementioned introduction of alcohol and bouncing around :)

:)

Kilroy
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Post by Kilroy » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:37 pm

I would recommend listening to a pair of Sennheiser HD280s. They are rugged, they are sealed, they are comfortable, they sound great, and at $99, they are in well within your price range. They are 64 ohms, so on any given sound source, they can be loud if you want them that way.

I use them for tracking vocals. They are also comfortable to wear with one side off your ear, and they are snug enough that they stay on your head that way.

K.

Kilroy
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Post by Kilroy » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:43 pm

Oh, and about in-ears. They are kind of like Live. After you have used them a while, you don't know how you did without them. You do need a really good sound tech though, because, as the poster above mentioned, you are putting your ears at risk.

They are a very personal choice, and more expensive does not necessarily mean better, depending on your needs. For example, I don't like a lot of isolation, and often play with one side out of my ear, so I do not like the E5s, which are about the most expensive you can buy, especially if you get moldings.

The tricky part is there is no place when you can try them out before you buy.

K.

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