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Old March 1st, 2009, 07:12 AM   #1
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Best closed headphones

Can anyone recommend a good type of closed headphone? I need it to monitor sound on my xh-a1, mainly for interviews in a loud environment. I do check the audio levels in my camera but started working with a wireless audio receiver since last week and i absolutely want to hear what my camera is receiving. This means the headphone has to seal off outside sound as much as possible. I"ll be doing interviews nearby loudspeakers on a dancefloor, probably generating 90-100 db.
Also it should not be to bulky and comfortable to wear.
Any suggestions?
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Old March 1st, 2009, 07:31 AM   #2
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Industry standards are the Sony MDR-7506 or Sennheiser HD25 or HD280. If you really need shielding from outside noise, Remote Audio makes a set, the HN-7506, that takes Sony's elements and mounts them in high noise level protection earpieces. You might also consider in-ear monitors from Etymotics and others such as musicians use for ear protection on stage.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 07:44 AM   #3
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I use the HD 25-1 which was specifically designed for the job.

The new HD 380 Pro also look interesting and fold flat in a special case.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 07:56 AM   #4
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I use the HD 25-1 which was specifically designed for the job.
I will admit to wearing these at noisy events even when not recording. (I have been known to take a camera to a disco as a prop so that I can protect what's left of my hearing with them).

I do use them for monitoring as well :-)
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Old March 1st, 2009, 11:19 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tips, I had not thought about in-ear monitors, a bit more expensive but I think it's worth the investment.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 02:03 PM   #6
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No doubt: Sennheiser HD 25-1 II. Industry standard here in Europe.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 05:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips, I had not thought about in-ear monitors, a bit more expensive but I think it's worth the investment.
Check out Etymotics E4S and several models from Ultimate Ears. Note that in-ear monitors ARE NOT simple iPod style ear buds. Ultimate Ears even offers several models that are custom moulded on castings of your ear canal you have made at an audiologist's office and send with your order to give you the ultimate in fit and external noise exclusion.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 07:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Also it should not be to bulky and comfortable to wear.
Any suggestions?
I can tell you what I personally didn't care for in my recent adventures in closed headphones.

I tried the Sony MDR-V6, a headphone with some legendary status in monitoring circles. I came away totally unimpressed with:
1) the pressure they put on my head (comfort very poor)
2) the sound (too harsh at the higher end)
3) as well as the sound isolation (definitely not enough)

They did not totally envelop my ears like bigger headphones do, which may be the reason sound isolation was so poor. I have average adult male ears, btw :)

So I would personally avoid those as well as their replacement 'cause the replacement MDR-V7506 is physically identical; even if the sound is different I wouldn't touch them just based on comfort and noise isolation.

Today I may get chance to listen to some Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro headphones. If and when I do, I will report back. I have tried these on while I was waiting to be served at the local sound store. Good news is they were verrrry comfortable to me, and they blocked out a fair chunk of store noise, but haven't demo'd them playing music yet. They may be classed as 'bulky' to you, though. One nice advantage of the Sony MDR-V6 was their ability to be folded away neatly.

Anyway, I am also looking for a real good pair of closed phones and may just impulse buy them today.

There is lots of talk of the Sennheiser HD280 Pro, too. Personally haven't tried those (yet). I think the talk of high headband pressure was putting me off on those, from memory.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 11:25 PM   #9
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There is lots of talk of the Sennheiser HD280 Pro, too. Personally haven't tried those (yet). I think the talk of high headband pressure was putting me off on those, from memory.
I've got two pairs of the HD280 Pros - one at work; one at home (well, with my son now...) They are a bit tight, until they break in. But seriously, for noise isolation and security in the field when your hands are full, being tight is better than being loose.

If you don't like tight cans, consider storing them on a volleyball or something that helps stretch them out.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 01:44 AM   #10
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The two most popular cans are the Sony 7506's and the Sennheiser HD280's. I have the HD280's and they are fine but I warn you that the isolation is still not that great. I sometimes record bands and the isolation is better in the midrange, but the lowend breaks through more easily.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 02:27 AM   #11
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Thanks all, this is really helpful. About the in-ear plugs, after doing some research and because it's a bigger investment I find it difficult to decide just based on the information on a website, it's almost like getting a pair of glasses that needs some personal assistance to choose the right ones and I haven"t found a store in Belgium yet that manufactures these. I think that I will be going for a Sennheiser HD 25-1 II which I found for just under 150euro, they are just the right size and based on some user experiences I read it's seems like a very good choice for my purpose, no?
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 02:54 AM   #12
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I think that I will be going for a Sennheiser HD 25-1 II which I found for just under 150euro, they are just the right size and based on some user experiences I read it's seems like a very good choice for my purpose, no?
I listened to those just a few hours ago and came away unimpressed. The sound is definitely nothing to write home about. I also don't like the fit (they seemed to be resting on my ears a bit). Over-all, unremarkable.

As promised, I have listened to the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro headphones (as well as about 20 others from various makes the store had ready to listen to). I love them the best. So why didn't I walk out of there with one? They only had the 250ohm impedance version (Beyerdynamic make an 80ohm version of the same 'phone). 80ohms = higher volumes on portables, because they are more easily driven.

There was only one headphone more comfortable to me than the Beyerdynamic, too... and they were the Audio-Technica models with the 'wing' system, which is still by far the most comfortable headphone I've ever had the pleasure of putting on; I just didn't like the sound of the Audio-Technica models on display (they only had two or three, and only one of those had their wing design).

In short: demo the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro if you get a chance. It's light-years ahead of the Sennheiser HD25-1 II. A very balanced, non-fatiguing sound. Some would say warm, I would call it accurate and pleasing.

Edit: I also tried the Sennheiser HD280 Pro. It's a very inoffensive sound, I guess... but nothing grabbed me about this 'phone. Sounded sort of cheap to my ears, especially compared to the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro. Head tightness wasn't as bad as I imagined, but still I felt it get worse after a couple minutes... and I had to take them off.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 03:23 AM   #13
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I have Sony MDR-7506 and MDR-7509 phones, and while they are good (MDR-7506 are a kinda standard in movie business) I still like my new Audio-Technica ATH-M50 better. Slightly better isolation, more comfortable, better bass.

Audio-Technica - Microphones, headphones, wireless microphone systems, noise-cancelling headphones & more : ATH-M50 : Professional Studio Monitor Headphones -
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Old March 5th, 2009, 11:19 AM   #14
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I use Vic Firth isolating headphones when recording in a loud environment. They're made to be worn by drummers, so they cut out a significant amount of environmental sound. You can find them at any decent store that sells musical instruments. They are a bit bulkier than normal headphones.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 11:50 AM   #15
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I too, have the Sony MDR-7506, and it works fine for me. The only problem I have is the ear cushions. They come off periodically and I have to be gentle when placing them over my ears. It's a bit of a challenge to put the cushions back on while recording a live event.

My question would be, if I may, is there a replacement cushion that works better? Stays on the phones? Or do I need to upgrade headphones?
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