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inexpensive isolation headphones Studio Headphones
Old 30th August 2007
  #1
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inexpensive isolation headphones

Are there some decent choices here? I have a set of Grado reference for my do-da headphones but was looking for something in the $25-40 range. Or should I just go ahead and spend $90 on the Extremes? I would only use them for recording my amp in the same room I'm in, maybe vocals.
Old 30th August 2007
  #2
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Geert van den Berg's Avatar
 

I am wondering this as well, are there any cheap iso headphones which would allow musicians not too use a stupidly high headphone volume and still hearing some details with a loud drummer and amps in the room??

What about the expensive options? Do those work well?

Haven't had much time to investigate into this, but was planning to try some out...
Old 30th August 2007
  #3
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I have several pairs of Vic Firth Isolation Headphones. You can find them for about $50 to $60. They sound like ass but the do isolate well. I've yet to have a pair break so they hold up pretty well too.

For drum or guitar tracking they work OK. As I said, they don't sound great but you really don't need audiophile sound to track drums or metal guitar.
Old 30th August 2007
  #4
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I haven't checked them out yet but Mercenary Audio has "MoreMe" headphones designed for the abusive gigging musician. $40.00 I think.
Old 30th August 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8th_note View Post
I have several pairs of Vic Firth Isolation Headphones. You can find them for about $50 to $60. They sound like ass but the do isolate well. I've yet to have a pair break so they hold up pretty well too.

For drum or guitar tracking they work OK. As I said, they don't sound great but you really don't need audiophile sound to track drums or metal guitar.
Metal guitar? did you not notice my name? OLD Cane. Didn't Dan Electro or somebody make a metal guitar once.....I mean....uh, back in the day. I feel young and spry now.

I was just looking at the Firth. I think they were $45 so that's good to know they do isolated well.

I'll check ou tthe MoreMe too. Thanks guys.
Old 30th August 2007
  #6
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I just used some audio technica headphones for a project...they worked quite well...fairly isolated from the mics...descent sound...built well...etc

D.
Old 30th August 2007
  #7
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Quote:
Metal guitar? did you not notice my name? OLD Cane. Didn't Dan Electro or somebody make a metal guitar once.....I mean....uh, back in the day. I feel young and spry now.
heh That's funny. I didn't even look at your avatar. Yeah, you probably thought I meant some kind of dobro or something. Well, as one geezer to another - these punks wouldn't know what a real metal guitar is.
Old 31st August 2007
  #8
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Harvey Gerst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andsonic View Post
I haven't checked them out yet but Mercenary Audio has "MoreMe" headphones designed for the abusive gigging musician. $40.00 I think.
30 bucks for the fancy MoreMe's, 20 bucks for the standard MoreMe's.
Old 31st August 2007
  #9
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Pohaku's Avatar
 

The More Me's work fine. Harvey Gerst, who sometimes posts here (see the Thriller SM7 thread) is responsible for those.

Check them out here:

MoreMe Studio Headphones

heh
Old 31st August 2007
  #10
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Pohaku's Avatar
 

Great timing Harvey! hehheh
Old 31st August 2007
  #11
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Harvey Gerst's Avatar
Oh yeah, if you buy four MoreMe's, most dealers will throw in a 5th pair for free.
Old 31st August 2007
  #12
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bitman's Avatar
With those extreme isolation headphones, you can stand in front of a wailing drummer and wish you could turn up the snare kick and or overheads.

They make my humble one-room basement commercial studio possible. We setup drums in the center, guitar amps on either side separated from the drums by only gobos, bass goes direct and everything gets close miced and turned up. The extreme isolation headphones go on each player and mine and they all have little 12 channel mixers so they can balance thier own mixes. All while standing in the same room as a maniac drummer.

-Works because a SM57 with it's nose up to an amp on 5 doesn't hear much drums and the drums are so darn loud they really drown out the guitars so the inter-istrument bleed is almost not there at all when you solo the individual tracks.

Absolutly none of this happens without the fact that the extreme isolation phones knock the sound down 30db. This is enough to feel like you are deaf when you put them on.

I case you are wondering, bands with this format and an acoustic instument gets the acoustic instument(s) tracking upstairs with the band video on the TV set! And the audio comming through headphones that snake up the stairs.

:Ron
Old 31st August 2007
  #13
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When my cat chewed through the wire right at the earpiece on two sets of my 7506s, I had to scramble for some tracking phones. I've got working 240Ms and 7506s for overdubbing artists to chose from, so I just ordered the buy 4 get 1 free deal at Mercenary on the More Mes. I also popped for 5 of the 25' extensions as the leads are very short.
When they arrived, I plugged in a pair, put on a CD, and thought to myself "WOW, these things sound like feces!"
I plugged in the Sonys and AKGs just to confirm that they were having their asses handed to them, then sat back to ponder a return. I've never really had a problem with stuff from Mercenary before, and I have more than a few mics in the locker that have the brand name covered because they just work, cost nothing, and Harvey Gerst pointed this fact out to the world. So I decided to hold on to them and try 'em on the next tracking session.
My intern was setting the room up, so I had him plug in all five pairs and I sent a playback to them. Walking into the room, I was trying to figure out what he had botched as it was dead quiet. I picked up a pair of phones and as soon as I spread the earpieces I realized the track was blasting at a painful level. I made the intern put them on, and again, dead quiet. Swapped in a pair of 7506s and I could immediately hear the high bleed from across the room. These things eliminate bleed to a level I could not accomplish before with the 7506s, and obviously the semi-open 240Ms. I mean cut a whisper vocal, with five guys standing in the room, a blaring cue mix, and try to find any bleed on playback.
Apparently, I've been using the wrong tracking phones for a long time, cause this was a revelation.
So, yeah, these aren't for recreational use and the band usually gets a lot bigger smile when they come into the control room for playback. We're having an easier time getting cue mixes at lower levels, and of course, no bleed issues whatsoever. I'm sure there must be pricier closed phones that accomplish the same feat while sounding better, but I'm happy with these. Just gotta remember to put some pepper on the leads, freakin cats...
Old 31st August 2007
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitman View Post
you can stand in front of a wailing drummer and wish you could turn up the snare kick and or overheads.
:Ron
Ha! Yeah, like that'll ever happen!

Hey 8th, I used to have a couple of guitar stores. The kids (I was a whole 28 at the time) would come in, crank a Laney or Marshall stack up until the walls puffed out and they sounded like they were starting up a chainsaw, stand in a circle (I think there is a name for this) and take turns playing the intro to Crazy Train. Invariably one would always turn to me and ask "hey, man (that means dude for you youngsters out there), got a distortion pedal?"

I grew up playing Ray Price, Howlin' Wolf and Deep Purple. ZZ Top was a milestone for me. It proved you could play blues and make a living from it. 25 years later I got a day job so I can retire sometime in the future. I'm really not that old. I've just been married so long I look like I am.
Old 31st August 2007
  #15
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Harvey Gerst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by subspace View Post
...so I just ordered the buy 4 get 1 free deal at Mercenary on the MoreMes. I also popped for 5 of the 25' extensions as the leads are very short.

When they arrived, I plugged in a pair, put on a CD, and thought to myself "WOW, these things sound like feces!"

My intern was setting the room up, so I had him plug in all five pairs and I sent a playback to them. Walking into the room, I was trying to figure out what he had botched as it was dead quiet. I picked up a pair of phones and as soon as I spread the earpieces I realized the track was blasting at a painful level.

I made the intern put them on, and again, dead quiet. Swapped in a pair of 7506s and I could immediately hear the high bleed from across the room. These things eliminate bleed to a level I could not accomplish before with the 7506s, and obviously the semi-open 240Ms. I mean cut a whisper vocal, with five guys standing in the room, a blaring cue mix, and try to find any bleed on playback.

Apparently, I've been using the wrong tracking phones for a long time, cause this was a revelation.

So, yeah, these aren't for recreational use and the band usually gets a lot bigger smile when they come into the control room for playback. We're having an easier time getting cue mixes at lower levels, and of course, no bleed issues whatsoever. I'm sure there must be pricier closed phones that accomplish the same feat while sounding better, but I'm happy with these. Just gotta remember to put some pepper on the leads, freakin cats...
I think I point out in the owners manual that they sound ****ty. But so do NS-10s. The whole point is that they DO isolate, and they don't have the screaming high end of the 7506's so you don't get the ear fatigue, and they're a lot heavier duty than most phones, so you can toss them around and they probably won't break.

I sure as hell never meant to get into the headphone business, but the breakage was eating my lunch, so I looked around for something cheap that would do the job. As an engineer, I don't like to use them for listening, but as a musician, they work great for hearing yourself.
Old 31st August 2007
  #16
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are the iso headphone the big ones that seem like the ones used when clearing jetplanes from the runway/?

or is it the new noise canceling that are quite a fad on the consumer market?
Old 31st August 2007
  #17
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Harvey Gerst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilbers View Post
are the iso headphone the big ones that seem like the ones used when clearing jet planes from the runway?

or is it the new noise canceling that are quite a fad on the consumer market?
Most of the "iso" phones are like the jet plane type, and they clamp your head in a vise-like grip.
Old 31st August 2007
  #18
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Harey, they have a coiled cable, don' they? that was the only thing I saw I didn't like. But, the extension looks like it's strait so that should work. My concern is that coil dragging my Firebox off the desk if I move too far like for moving mics around.
Old 31st August 2007
  #19
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Harvey Gerst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Cane View Post
Harey, they have a coiled cable, don' they? that was the only thing I saw I didn't like. But, the extension looks like it's strait so that should work. My concern is that coil dragging my Firebox off the desk if I move too far like for moving mics around.
Yup, they have a damn short coil cord. But, it turned out to be a good thing, since it keeps the connector off the floor when you use the 25' straight extension cable.
Old 31st August 2007
  #20
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I have a set of the Deluxes and I love them for tracking (I use HD600's for critical listening). I just wanted to point out that the MoreMe's are backed by one of the best warranties I've ever seen, and I've observed Harvey back that up (as recounted or played out in various message board threads).
Old 31st August 2007
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey Gerst View Post
I think I point out in the owners manual that they sound ****ty. But so do NS-10s. The whole point is that they DO isolate, and they don't have the screaming high end of the 7506's so you don't get the ear fatigue
But how much do they attenuate the surrounding sound? Extreme Iso's attenuate approx. 25 dB according to the website... but there's no such info on the More Me website.

I'd like the most attenuation possible, but don't want in-ears, which would not be practical...
Old 31st August 2007
  #22
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Harvey Gerst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geert van den Berg View Post
But how much do they attenuate the surrounding sound? Extreme Iso's attenuate approx. 25 dB according to the website... but there's no such info on the More Me website.

I'd like the most attenuation possible, but don't want in-ears, which would not be practical...
I don't know; I'll run some tests this weekend and see. Now, where the hell is my HP calibrated Volt/dB meter? It's around here someplace.

Just remember, this thread started out as a question about "cheap iso phones".
Old 1st September 2007
  #23
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+1 for the Vic Firths!
Old 1st September 2007
  #24
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They look good, Harvey. I'm checking into them now. For the price, man oh man. The Firths look good and so do the EI models and the other ones as they keep going up in price. Lots of good stuff out there. But for $37 with the extension I think we have a winner.
Old 1st September 2007
  #25
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Harvey Gerst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Cane View Post
They look good, Harvey. I'm checking into them now. For the price, man oh man. The Firths look good and so do the EI models and the other ones as they keep going up in price. Lots of good stuff out there. But for $37 with the extension I think we have a winner.
When you buy four Deluxe, we throw in a free pair, so if you buy four Deluxe MoreMe's and five cables, the actual total cost is around $31 each, not $37.
Old 1st September 2007
  #26
these are inexpensive and sound a bit like vic firth but dont weigh so much;

THE T.BONE HD-990D - Svensk International Cyberstore

alright for loud stuff.


i guess most isolated headphones sound crap. gonna put old japanese noname drivers with decent sound into my blasted noname isolated ones and see if they´re gonna make me happy.

i like Beyerdynamic DT 770 M for loud stuff but they´re not cheap.
Old 1st September 2007
  #27
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thewelfareline's Avatar
 



just ordered 2 pair of these, extreeme isolation ex-25. i'll let you know how they work out. they ran me 60 bucks a pair i believe. i only wish they came with 1/4" jacks instead of those awful adapters. as far as the morme headphones go, i have 4 pair, never broke, have a usable sound but i dont really thing the isolation is all that great on them
Old 1st September 2007
  #28
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Geert van den Berg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilgrill View Post
these are inexpensive and sound a bit like vic firth but dont weigh so much;

THE T.BONE HD-990D - Svensk International Cyberstore

alright for loud stuff.

i guess most isolated headphones sound crap. gonna put old japanese noname drivers with decent sound into my blasted noname isolated ones and see if they´re gonna make me happy.
By cheap noname drivers you are talking about the tbone headphones, right?

So you have a pair of those?

I am not really interested in audio quality, the players should just be able to hear themselves well over a drumkit...

The tbones are 30 euro's cheaper than the Vic Virths, that is quite a lot of money, I'd like to have 4 iso's... so that's quite a difference.
Old 1st September 2007
  #29
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esaias's Avatar
..and on the more expensive side, the Beyer DT770M (note the M version) is one damn good headphone, very good isolation, comfy to wear, rugged construction and the sound is good (+ there is a volume control)

-Tomi
Old 2nd September 2007
  #30
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you guys have all been very helpful. I only need this to record my amp. the drums are done in a different room (meaning different studio-so no one ask why I don't just put the amp in a different room!). I'd like them to sound good so I can use them to help with mic placement but once I get the set up down I won't need to do it again. I'm not a studio for hire, just doing my own stuff and that's all it'll ever be so I can tinker with placement enough to get it right once and then just leave it alone. Trial and error will be fine. Cheap will do on the phones as long as I can hear the cue. This is why I just need one set. There won't be any other players here needing mixes.
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