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Old September 11th, 2013, 08:00 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
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Headphones for student use?

I'm trying to help recommend a package that will be used, initially and primarily, for recording "oral history" projects. This is educational in nature, non-commercial, and not for broadcast use. (The "history" aspect of the recordings is of primary importance; the audio quality less so.) They will want to assemble many identical kits, and because of the "many" aspect, price is important.

Right now I'm pondering headphones. I would like to find something that folds into a compact form factor, like the Sony 7506. It would be nice if they sound like the 7506, too... :-) But then there's reality.

The folks I'm working with would like to find something that's less expensive than the Sonys... and of course we realize there will be some compromise in terms of audio quality and/or the small form factor. Please try to think "low budget educational" and don't recommend something that would be used for network-level audio.

What all is out there? Any recommendations?
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Old September 12th, 2013, 12:50 AM   #2
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Re: Headphones for student use?

When you say 'educational', I was wondering who exactly will be using them.

I just did a quick calculation and worked out that I must have bought 2-3000 (no kidding) headphones for use in education over the last 25 years. I found that British secondary school kids can be the most destructive little darlings imaginable - proper little piranhas that can reduce new headphones to component parts in jig time. I must have tried nearly all the sub 20-per-unit models on the market. The really cheap ones often came with a high percentage pre-failed - OK they were always replaced, if somewhat grudgingly, by the supplier but that meant over-estimating so that we didn't run short. So the savings were much less than expected, and the cheap headphones simply couldn't last the constant use. I found that they had a life expectancy of hours rather days (never mind weeks), and the moulded construction meant they were impossible to repair

Of all the headphones that I sourced over the years, it was the Sennheisser models like the HD-435 which proved the best buy - the audio and build quality very good and the life expectancy was in years (provided the cables were heatshrinked to prevent separation and tripping hazard, and the foam pads were replaced when lost after use as frisbees in class).

But perhaps your High School kids are more civilised than ours?
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Old September 12th, 2013, 01:05 AM   #3
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Re: Headphones for student use?

I use the sony MDR-V300 as my general purpose headphones for directors and any other individual who needs to hear decent quality but who may trash a set of 7506.

They are light, compact with a long lead and have a good quality sound but can be folded up too, I also have some MDR-V150 but they are for the real low life who I know will trash them and they can not be folded up and are mainly for radio or coms.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 09:32 PM   #4
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Re: Headphones for student use?

Originally Posted by Colin McDonald View Post
When you say 'educational', I was wondering who exactly will be using them.
There's a somewhat independent group of folks, not formally connected with any educational institution. They're promoting "oral history" recordings. After getting a bit more organized, they'll try to interface with local public schools (probably high school age), perhaps some college students, and perhaps groups like Boy Scouts, to promote the idea.

One can only speculate about behavior issues and respect for property... speculate and pray. ;-)

I'm not familiar with the HD-435s and, unfortunately, they appear to be discontinued. I say "unfortunately" because my HD-280s are pretty much my favorite cans (except for high-end electrostatics, which I find to be impractical, to say the least).

Gary, I will perhaps order a pair of MDR-V300s and see how they stack up.

I'm wondering whether anyone else has a recommendation, while I'm in the mood to blow some money on a few samples...

Thanks, all.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:19 AM   #5
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Re: Headphones for student use?

My "these are likely to get trashed" headphones are Sennheiser HD202. I bought half a dozen through Guy Cochrane at DVEStore (a DVInfo sponsor) at what I consider to be a great price (under $30) and haven't killed a set yet, even though I WAS using a set to listen to audio books in bed while I slept (bad insomnia for a while).

Whether you believe in "break in" or not, I swear they sound better now that they have seen hundreds if not thousands of hours of audio material.
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