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Old May 21st, 2013, 02:09 AM   #1
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Closed headphones for loud sets?

Any suggestions for a good pair of headphones that I can monitor a band with? I need something that can block out really loud sounds from the band.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 02:59 AM   #2
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

By their design most headphones have the transducers close to your ears so feed you with a pretty direct sound source.

Isolating external sounds all together can be quite a problem and we use OTTO headsets for coms on outside broadcasts but I find that they isolate so much that they make me feel dizzy.

I just did some soccer for FOX and Abu Dhabi media and found that the sony 7506 and sennheiser HD25-2 were very acceptable for isolating ambient PA and crowd noise that was hitting up to 97 db.

The sennheiser 280's are also a good choice but I would steer clear of specialist aviation type headsets as their bandwidth tends to be limited to optimise them for coms or speech reproduction.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 03:03 AM   #3
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

Thanks Gary,
I actually couldn't hear a thing in my Sony 7506's. The camera position is too close to the sound for me to hear.

I'll take a look at the Senny's.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 03:42 AM   #4
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

Sony 7506 or sennheiser HD25-2 / 280 will do fine but you will never remove all of the ambient band noise, you could also try the sony MDR DJ 800 headphones and the sennheiser HD 25 sits on top of your ear so gives a better fit for rejection.

Most closed headphones have a rejection of around 50 db's so even with a band hitting 90-100 db you will reject half of the ambient level.

Bear in mind though that you are never going to be able to mix or monitor accurate levels with a full band playing in the background, you need to be in an isolated room to do that.

The rock concert camera people use OTTO or similar headsets but they are just for talkback and not critical audio monitoring.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 06:02 AM   #5
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

Without any doubt 'Beyer Dynamic DT100 . They are a recording industry standard that are rugged, great at shutting out noise and will go on for ever. I have used them in every type of recording situation from studio to location and prefer them to everything else. Every professional studio has lots of them and every single component is replaceable should you somehow damage them. Even the cable will release if you stand on it, rather than ripping the wiring out!

They are slightlty light on the bass end, but for the rest of the frequency range they are very accurate. They won't win beauty prizes either, but they are the Dog's B*******s as far as I am concerned.

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Old May 21st, 2013, 06:48 AM   #6
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

With a band that loud hearing protection is as important as monitoring. I'd go with a pair of IEMs and wear high-noise protection earmuffs such as those worn by people working on an airport tarmac or carrier flight deck over them.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 08:31 AM   #7
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

Many years ago, my favorite was the Koss Pro4-AA. They had liquid-filled cushions which were excellent at blocking sound leakage. Unfortunately, they were discontinued around the 1980s. More recently, Koss revived the model number; however, an engineer at Koss told me that they no longer have liquid-filled cushions (too many complaints about fluid leakage), so the isolation is not as good as the originals. I have not tried the current version of Pro4-AA.

Koss did recommend, and I did try, the Koss QZ99. This model has significantly better isolation than the Sennheiser 280 Pro, and the sound is acceptable, although I like the 280's transducer better.

FWIW, Sennheiser specs the 280's as "up to 32dB" of attenuation. I can't find isolation specs for the QZ99. I would be surprised if many headphones achieve 50dB isolation. With any headphones, you'll find that there is always less isolation at lower frequencies, compared to higher frequencies.

Be sure to heed Steve House's comment about hearing protection! Your ears can't be repaired or replaced. If the band is 100dB, and the headphones reduce that down to 70dB, you will be inclined to raise playback level back up to 100dB or more in order to hear over the leakage. That will damage your ears before you know it!
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Old May 21st, 2013, 08:40 AM   #8
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

Yes, I agree completely with Mr. House. While very popular ( I own several pair myself) the Sony MDR series and Senheiser 2xx series are simply NOT suitable for blocking that kind of extreme ambient sound.

Hard shell hearing protectors (David Clark is a leading brand name) with some kind of IEM inside will be FAR more effective than ANY of those popular traditional headphone designs. David Clark (and equivalent) are required hearing protection on the deck of aircraft carriers and other high-noise workplaces.

There is also the option of the Remote Audio HN-7506 High Noise Headset. Which is effectively a pair of MDR 7506 transducers inside David Clark ear cups.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 09:09 AM   #9
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
With a band that loud hearing protection is as important as monitoring. I'd go with a pair of IEMs and wear high-noise protection earmuffs such as those worn by people working on an airport tarmac or carrier flight deck over them.
Yes, this is the only safe way to go. I agree.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
FWIW, Sennheiser specs the 280's as "up to 32dB" of attenuation. I can't find isolation specs for the QZ99. I would be surprised if many headphones achieve 50dB isolation. With any headphones, you'll find that there is always less isolation at lower frequencies, compared to higher frequencies.
Attenuation is virtually zero at low frequencies up to about 1kHz with most closed headphones and then increases as frequency rises - to the quoted "up to" figure will only be at the highest frequencies. This would be true of all headphones and not just the Sennheiser.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
Be sure to heed Steve House's comment about hearing protection! Your ears can't be repaired or replaced. If the band is 100dB, and the headphones reduce that down to 70dB, you will be inclined to raise playback level back up to 100dB or more in order to hear over the leakage. That will damage your ears before you know it!
Agreed - as I also said above.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 12:12 PM   #10
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

IEMs are the only way to go in a loud environment. I use Westone ER-5 here. There are a number of good brands out there- listening will tell you which you'll like the most. The custom mold will be expensive, but for me, saving hearing is absolutely worth it.

Even with IEMs, the most you'll get of isolation is in the mid-30 dB range because of bone conduction. Vibrations will hit your skull and transfer into your ears. You can probably get a few more dB of reduction by isolating your IEMs with a very heavy set of industrial hearing protectors- I'm thinking the ones with the oil-filled muffs... Just a set of ear phones won't do enough.

Oh and the Sennheiser 280 does about as well as any of the major headphones out there, but it sure doesn't feel like 30+dB of isolation. I'd guess that in reality, it feels more like 15-20. You still will need to crank the volume to get over the leakage.

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Old May 21st, 2013, 01:14 PM   #11
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

Ok, the issue as you see in this video is the closeness to the speakers. Yes I wear ear plugs.
This is what I do in my spare time when I'm not shooting corporate stuff. It's my hobby. how sick is that, shooting on your day off. This the Gator by The bay festival in San Diego. Some friends of mine put it on and I always shoot some of the acts.
The problem is 4 stages. I set the audio at one stage and it's good. I go to another stage and return later and the audio has changed and I really can't hear it in my 7506's.
the video will show you how close I am. I am not allowed to run cables any further than where I'm at. I know I could use a butt plug but I had an issue with that before too.

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Old May 21st, 2013, 03:55 PM   #12
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

I use Sony MDR-V6 headphones to monitor when I'm shooting. They're pretty effective at minimizing a loud environment. I did a shoot of an appearance of a celebrity a few days ago, and I was standing right in front of the main PA speakers at times. It was bearable with the MDR-V6's on, but really uncomfortable the moment I took them off.

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Old May 21st, 2013, 04:09 PM   #13
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

I also made the amateur mistake a couple of times of just looking at the meters bouncing and assuming I was ok?

How can you make a mistake like that 28 years in is beyond me.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 05:15 AM   #14
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Maas View Post
Oh and the Sennheiser 280 does about as well as any of the major headphones out there, but it sure doesn't feel like 30+dB of isolation. I'd guess that in reality, it feels more like 15-20. You still will need to crank the volume to get over the leakage.
Don't forget that isolation varies with frequency and the 30dB+ would only be at the highest frequencies.

At around 5kHz, then I would think that 15-20dB would be correct.

You always have to read these figures with a pinch of salt, understanding that the quoted figure will probably be at 20kHz and it will be s=less at lower frequencies.

And - yes - I have had some headphones measured to the hearing protector spec. and have seen the graph of the tested headphones.

For best protection I would use IEMs (as you suggest) with passive or active ear defenders - eg: Peltor - on top.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 02:54 PM   #15
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Re: Closed headphones for loud sets?

What great information these guys provide. I seldom shoot bands, my equivalent was NASCAR. No hearing protection will actually cause pain. For me, to much hearing protection in some areas was a safety issue, like the garage when the cars are not in a predictable pattern. You need to hear them coming because the rule is THEY have the right-of way. With loud motors running all over the place you need to know which one is moving and about to run you over (not kidding). And yes, they go fast there too. So Sennheiser 280 HD are my choice. Major cancellation as far as cans off the shelf go. I also carried real muffs and a pocket full of foamies.

The only worthwhile input I have here that was not mentioned is heat. I'm based out of Phoenix, I can take a lot of heat, but sometimes it gets ridiculous. Your taking something that would keep your head warm in January in Minot, MN and working hard with it at 100 degrees. Sweat in your eyes and viewfinder is a PITA.

Al, I have seen several of your videos here, cool stuff. As you pick a solution keep heat in mind (I don't have a good solution). Here is the desert heat is not just uncomfortable, it can be debilitating. The 280s are HOT, my only dislike for them.

Steve
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Last edited by Steven Digges; May 24th, 2013 at 02:57 PM. Reason: SP, some day I will learn sennheiser...
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