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Headphone Suggestions? Studio Headphones
Old 22nd March 2010
  #1
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Highphi's Avatar
 

Talking Headphone Suggestions?

Hey guys, so I have nice little 2trk mobile rig here: Apogee Duet, Mac Book, FMR RNP, and a Presonus HP60. I have no idea what to get for headphones. Been away from the game for a few years. What do you all suggest? Currently looking at the Sony MDR 7506's.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #2
Gear Addict
It depends upon your budget. The SOny MDR 7506's are okay...not great, but worth the 100 bucks or so. I have a bunch for my clients and artists. I have a pair of Ultrasone 750's they cost $350. I find them to have decent isolation, to be non-fatiguing, very comfortable and very accurate. That said, Grado's are extremely well regarded. I have a pair of Beyer 770's which are pretty nice too. Some people really like the Sennheisers.

The Sonys are OK. But I would audition a few others and see what I liked best at what price point.

Danny
Old 22nd March 2010
  #3
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Teddy Ray's Avatar
 

AKG 701s... really amazing phones.


AT ath m50s for backup
Old 22nd March 2010
  #4
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ATH-M50

I used to have the Senn 280 phones but have now completely switched to the ATH-M50 for remote monitoring. Nice balanced sound, decent amount of bass and pretty good speed for closed back phones. Pretty good value for money too.

Baithak
Old 22nd March 2010
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baithak View Post
I used to have the Senn 280 phones but have now completely switched to the ATH-M50 for remote monitoring. Nice balanced sound, decent amount of bass and pretty good speed for closed back phones. Pretty good value for money too.
That's exactly my story too. My 280's got stolen so I decided to give the M50's a shot. They were a bit more expensive but well worth it.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #6
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tenor39's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy Ray View Post
AKG 701s... really amazing phones.


AT ath m50s for backup
Aren't the 701's open-back phones? Not a good choice for on-site monitoring. Same goes for the Grados. They are (the 701's), however, one of the best set of cans I've listened to in a long time.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #7
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my studio phones are senn HD600s and they are fab, but as tenor mentions, they are open back, not good for onsite, or for studio overdubbing. i think the 7506s are great for remote work. - efficient, closed back, sturdy, comfortable and affordable.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #8
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Aside from the fact that there are dozens of threads on this, I'll give my usual recommendation. Denon. Their AH-D7000 down to their AH-D1001K are the best value IMHO at every price point they represent, improving, of course, as you go up the line. They're closed back, very comfortable, and in my extensive experience with searching for the most neutral reference headphones, are the most neutral and revealing, and are about the only cans that do low bass justice. The AT-M50s are decent but opaque and have a rather lumpy and inaccurate response in comparison. The Grados are not even trying to be neutral. The AKG 701s are bright and bass shy. The Beyers are similar with slightly better low bass and a bit more of a suck out in the upper mids. The Sennheisers are warm and sweet but muddy, not to mention open backed, as are the AKGs. All the Ultrasones have a pretty iratic frequency response.

For the best isolation the Etymotic Research ER 4S, 4P or the cheaper 6 are great if a bit lean and bright.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #9
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Teddy Ray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
The AKG 701s are bright and bass shy
neither nor! ... The only cans i have EVER heard that match that description-- Sennheiser hd600/650(somewhat) and the hd800(which I have on extended loan from a friend)-- the most unnatural, hyped high-end cans I have ever laid ears upon. yech

as for the 701s... they need a LONG run-in period. I think it took mine maybe 3 and a half weeks of continuous up-time(with signal being pumped through them) to settle in.. the standard net wisdom is around 300 hours..

They just put out what goes in...need a lot of juice, though..


forgot the iso caveat..

definitely the ETY ER-4.

fantastic for isolation, and they dont give up much to the big boys(the circumaural)

I bought them in Germany in 2003 after being turned on to them by my recording mentor at the time.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #10
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Teddy Ray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baithak View Post
I used to have the Senn 280 phones but have now completely switched to the ATH-M50 for remote monitoring. Nice balanced sound, decent amount of bass and pretty good speed for closed back phones. Pretty good value for money too.

Baithak
the 280s are great once you soup them up a bit.. I have 4 pairs of them, all "tacked"

The Mind of Game :The Mind of Game
Old 22nd March 2010
  #11
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy Ray View Post
neither nor! ...
We'll have to agree to disagree there. I've run mine in way plenty and they have little low bass and are still bright in comparison to neutral. I do respect them. They were one of my references for a while until I got fed up with what they were[n't] doing.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #12
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Teddy Ray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
We'll have to agree to disagree there. I've run mine in way plenty and they have little low bass and are still bright in comparison to neutral. I do respect them. They were one of my references for a while until I got fed up with what they were[n't] doing.
Sounds like you have an amp mismatch. they are fussy with regards to amp selection. They do everything the 800s, 600s, and stax omega IIs(all of which I have/use) can do low-end wise..they just dont hype


the sound you are describing.... HD800...to a T.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baithak View Post
I used to have the Senn 280 phones but have now completely switched to the ATH-M50 for remote monitoring. Nice balanced sound, decent amount of bass and pretty good speed for closed back phones. Pretty good value for money too.

Baithak
I have Sony MDR 7506 and 7509, but prefer Audio Technica ATH-M50 for remote work. Good isolation, good sound. Second choice would be MDR 7506, they are comfortable and a kind of reference in the film/video side of the fence.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #14
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I bought a pair of these awhile back and they have become very useful if you're interested in isolation, something that is very high on my list. I don't use headphones for mixing at all, only monitoring so isolation is most important and sound quality second on my list.
EX-29 Headphones
Old 22nd March 2010
  #15
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Karl Jackson's Avatar
 

Dave Rat has been looking into this very question in a very thorough (and entertaining) way: The Mighty Headphone Quest.

I use Sony 7506 (with Beyer DT250 earpads) and Beyer DT250s for remote and live work, and Sennheiser HD650s for studio work where isolation is less important. The 7506s have good isolation and are durable, but lack low end response compared to the 250s. I also have a pair of Beyer DT770Pros, but find them not to be tonally accurate.

kj
Old 22nd March 2010
  #16
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I used Sony 7506 (still great for monitoring dialog/ambient sound in the video environment) for years... switched a year ago to UltraSone 650HDs. Much better (more accurate, extended LF, less fatiguing) for music recording/location mixes. And they don't make my head hurt.

Whatever you do, load a dozen favorite AIF or WAV versions of music similar to what you'll be recording/mixing onto an iPod or a CD, and actually listen critically (not just three minutes with the sales guy over your shoulder), A/B, A/C, B/C... the cream will rise rather quickly. Then, go back a couple of days later and listen to the top two for a bit more extended periods. Worked for me.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #17
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Tommy-boy's Avatar
 

I use 7506s. There are probably better cans out there, but these get the job done and I'm very used to them.

-Tom
Old 22nd March 2010
  #18
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy Ray View Post
Sounds like you have an amp mismatch. they are fussy with regards to amp selection. They do everything the 800s, 600s, and stax omega IIs(all of which I have/use) can do low-end wise..they just dont hype
Here's a frequency response graph, and a link to their explanation of how to interpret their graphs, from the HeadRoom site comparing the Denon AH-D2000 with the AKG K701. Headroom makes a strong point that in order for headphones to sound flat, they should have a depressed upper midrange to make up for the ears' sensitivity there and slightly depressed upper frequencies to make up for the close proximity of the headphones to the ear, as well as a slowly rising bass to make up for the lack of bass feel of speakers in a room.

They actually point to the Denons as the most text book correct of any headphones they've measured. You'll notice the response of the 701s drops off below about 80 hz, while the Denons have an ideal slow rise all the way to 30 Hz. The Denons are also devoid of the gentle upper bass hump that 701s exhibit as well as the Sennheisers. What appears to be relatively flat response in the upper range of the 701s is actually not ideal, especially with their peak between 6-8k.

Regardless of the measurements, I became frustrated with how the 701s translate to unhyped full range speakers, which invariably were less bright and had more low bass than the 701s were showing me.

As I said before, I did like their open revealing sound, but compared to the Denons, they were not accurate enough for my purposes.

Learning Center - About Headphone Measurements | HeadRoom Audio
Attached Thumbnails
Headphone Suggestions?-graphcompare.php.png  
Old 22nd March 2010
  #19
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MDR 7506 are comfortable for long stints, very rugged, and a known quality. A bit of an industry standard, which has its plusses, even if they are not the absolute best sounding. I use them for a lot of listening for pleasure at work with a Duet. They are an easy drive, and the sound is good.

Etymotic ER-4 sound better, have superb isolation, and fit in a tiny carry case. As an ear canal headphone how well you cope with using them for long stints is very personal. I use the flanged plastic eartips, and they work well, but after a couple of hours they can become uncomfortable. The foam tips are an option, or you can have custom ear moulds made, which I keep promising myself I will have done. Again, the ER-4 is also something of an industry standard, albeit less well known. Also used for a lot of audio research work.

I also have a pair of HD 650s, which are great for critical listening, but the Duet doesn't seem to drive as well as my dedicated amp. Superb sound, but as noted above, open backed - also bulky, more fragile, and really just not suited to location work. They don't leave home.

Personally, I would pick the ER-4S. Superb sound, fantastic isolation, very very small, and with a lightweight setup like described, that is a good thing. (Don't bother with the ER-4P version, it is more efficient, but the ER-4S is more than efficient enough with every source I have tried.)
Old 22nd March 2010
  #20
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Vaughan View Post
Personally, I would pick the ER-4S. Superb sound, fantastic isolation, very very small, and with a lightweight setup like described, that is a good thing. (Don't bother with the ER-4P version, it is more efficient, but the ER-4S is more than efficient enough with every source I have tried.)
The 4P also has a bit more bass, which is not a bad thing for these.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #21
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Teddy Ray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Jackson View Post
Dave Rat has been looking into this very question in a very thorough (and entertaining) way: The Mighty Headphone Quest.

I use Sony 7506 (with Beyer DT250 earpads) and Beyer DT250s for remote and live work, and Sennheiser HD650s for studio work where isolation is less important. The 7506s have good isolation and are durable, but lack low end response compared to the 250s. I also have a pair of Beyer DT770Pros, but find them not to be tonally accurate.

kj
Top, we used those in the Army Europe Band..all of those. Must be a military thing>
Old 22nd March 2010
  #22
It is interesting to see what music headphones manufacturers use to show of and test their own equipment. At the NAMM show in January, just about every maker had Ultrasone headphones at their booth. If you can't spring for a 750 or 650, look at the Yamaha rh10ms, same s-logic technology. Not mentioned very often around here, but I think they are easily the best sounding phones in their price range.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #23
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My use of headphones is mainly in a field recording situation, mainly in classical and jazz fields, often in conditions far from ideal. Comfort, isolation and consistency rank highly - and ability to be driven from a good headphone amp. Mainly used with either Nagra V, RME FF400 or SD302.

I started with DT250s (80 ohm version), then was recommended the AT M50s. These were an improvement in many respects compared to the DT250s, but then acquired a pair of the Senn HD25-1 II phones and now these are top of the pile. Extended frequency response, comfortable and really good isolation (very important where you can't put a lot of distance between yourself and what is being recorded, which happens to me frequently.) Important to detect faults or noises in what is being recorded, without having the sound so loud your eardrums go concave.

But it is also important to have a pair of open-back phones for playback and 'client-reference'. Currently using the ATH AD1000 Premiums - also use these for monitoring where circumstances permit. They appear to me to correlate better with what is experienced with loudspeaker playback.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #24
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The AKG K 701 and K 702 are really extraordinarily good. They sound stunning and are very comfortable. At only $250 when ordering online they're a no-brainer in my opinion.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #25
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K701

AKG K701 are very good open back headphones. I like them a lot!
Old 22nd March 2010
  #26
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Beyer DT 880 Pro is my personal choice...
Old 23rd March 2010
  #27
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On-site, these are what I use... 7506s with a *twist*:

Posthorn | Remote Audio HN-7506
Old 23rd March 2010
  #28
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Highphi's Avatar
 

Thanks for all the posts guys! Tried the ATH-M50's today... didn't really care for them. Do they need some break in time? Searching out a pair of Sennheiser 280's to demo.
Old 23rd March 2010
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highphi View Post
Thanks for all the posts guys! Tried the ATH-M50's today... didn't really care for them. Do they need some break in time? Searching out a pair of Sennheiser 280's to demo.
All transducers need break in. Some take longer than others is all.
Old 23rd March 2010
  #30
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Nirvana5253's Avatar
 

Just posting my usual vote for the Shure SRH440's (or 840's if you want to spring for the extra scratch)

Excellent response, a dream to wear for long sessions and decent isolation for 100 bucks. kicks the pants off 7506's (although I have a pair of those for my backups) - and AFAIK, Sony doesnt build their stuff to milspec like Shure. Def a plus when throwing bags and cases about. That said, I'm sure both would work great but just giving you more options to consider that have been battle tested so-to-speak
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