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Old January 9th, 2006, 08:37 PM   #1
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Do I really need expensive headphones?

Hello all,

I have a brand new Z1 and a RODE NTG-1 and have not yet bought any headphones because I can't get my head around the huge price differences.

They range from next to nothing to AU$400+

Is there a certain feature I should be looking for in a good set of headphones?

I know I used to use a $50 pair but they ended up stuffed after just a few weeks (though they were used in a classroom by many, many rough 12 year old kids).

If I had some idea of what to look for in headphones I'd feel better about buying some rather than just giving myself a budget and buying any old set that might be a rip off.

Thanks for your help,
-- John.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 08:47 PM   #2
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What types of projects will you be doing?
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Old January 9th, 2006, 09:09 PM   #3
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Movie making primarily.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 09:31 PM   #4
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I was using a pair of Sony MDR V6's but am now using Future Sonics Ears. Takes a little bit to get used to having to stick something in your ears -- not as convenient as just popping on headphones. But the isolation is very helpful. Allows me to determine if I'm hearing what the mic is picking up, rather than getting fooled by what's leaking past the headphones.

Price isn't bad: $99.

The Future Sonics FS1 universal earphones look interesting. They weren't out when I bought the Future Sonics Ears.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 10:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hewat
Hello all,

I have a brand new Z1 and a RODE NTG-1 and have not yet bought any headphones because I can't get my head around the huge price differences.

They range from next to nothing to AU$400+

Is there a certain feature I should be looking for in a good set of headphones?

I know I used to use a $50 pair but they ended up stuffed after just a few weeks (though they were used in a classroom by many, many rough 12 year old kids).

If I had some idea of what to look for in headphones I'd feel better about buying some rather than just giving myself a budget and buying any old set that might be a rip off.

Thanks for your help,
-- John.
SOny MDR 7506....done.

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Old January 9th, 2006, 11:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford
SOny MDR 7506....done.

Ty Ford
Really? They're quite a bit more expensive than I was going to pay. About $240 Australian.

What do they have that something of about half to three-quarters of the price don't have?

I guess that's my concern - I have no idea where my money's going with headphones.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 02:17 AM   #7
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To get an idea, got to an audio place and listen to really good headphones compared to cheap nasty ones.
There's a world of difference you can only experience through your ears.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 03:40 AM   #8
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Ebay Australia has a pair of 7506's going for A$180.
Pro headphones are not cheap. But if you like a bargain,
try out the Sony MDR-250V. (should be around A$50 or less).
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Old January 10th, 2006, 08:17 AM   #9
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From my experience in recording, I'd say any closed type headphones are fine for making sure that you're getting the audio and nothing is drastically wrong with it. As long as you can hear what is being recorded it should be fine. You can use the meters on the LCD of your camera to make sure the sound isn't clipping.

Now, in post production, I just made the mistake of using headphones to edit... bad mistake. I'll only use studio monitors for editing from now on.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hewat
Really? They're quite a bit more expensive than I was going to pay. About $240 Australian.

What do they have that something of about half to three-quarters of the price don't have?

I guess that's my concern - I have no idea where my money's going with headphones.
Yes, they don't suck. They are pretty much standard for here in the US. Over here they are $99 USD. Does that translate about right?


Regards,

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Old January 10th, 2006, 05:32 PM   #11
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The Sony 7506 and 7509 (more expensive) are very good headphones and highly recommended.

I use the 7509's but the 7506 are generally considered the industry standard.

On the other hand, while these are very good closed back headphones, they are not "Sound Isolating" headphones. If you are in front of a rock band, or in any other very loud envirnment, you will not be able to tell what sounds are coming through the headphones versus the sounds leaking in through the headphones.

One company does take the drivers from the Sony 7506 and package it in another, more sound isolating, package. I have not tried these and they are even more expensive.

I am on a Top Fuel Dragboat racing team. The race creates a very loud environment. During the race passes, I can not tell if any sound is being recorded or not, since the noise comes right through the headphones from the outside.

However, the Sony 7509's play back the sound so well that it sounds just like being there! It is truely amazing.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 11:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford
Over here they are $99 USD. Does that translate about right?
Not even close.

Generally speaking I expect to pay about one and a half times as much in AU$ as US$. But these headphones are almost two and a half times more expensive!

I'm going to get a pair from eBay US.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 02:28 AM   #13
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"I am on a Top Fuel Dragboat racing team. The race creates a very loud environment."

Naw! It can't be more than 280db! Wimp! :)
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Old January 11th, 2006, 02:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton
I am on a Top Fuel Dragboat racing team. The race creates a very loud environment. During the race passes, I can not tell if any sound is being recorded or not, since the noise comes right through the headphones from the outside.
It's for situations like this where isolation earphones come in handy.

I made the mistake once of thinking the sound I was hearing was audio coming through the camera. It was sound leaking past the headphones, and I missed noticing a misplaced lav mic. Fortunately we double-mic the guest in that particular circumstance and that saved the day. Otherwise it would have been a mess.

Since then I switched to isolating earphones.

Because they knock out extraneous noise, I can listen to them at lower levels. They also work great on long airline flights when connected to an iPod.

If you're in an environment with a harmful level of noise, these might also prove valuable. Some rock musicians are starting to use them and that's why they come in that hideous flesh-colored plastic.

I tried the Shure E3C's but found them lacking in bass response, which is important when trying to detect wind noise. The Futuresonics have a lot better audio quality. The higher-end "Ear Monitors", I assume, is probably even better than the "Ears" but I wasn't willing to spend that much.

If I were to do it again, I'd probably try their "ExtremeMac" earphones. A little more expensive but they look like they might be a little more convenient to put on.

The best of the line, of course, requires a custom-fit earpiece. An audiologist at Costco can help with that procedure. I'm considering that option, too.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 05:44 AM   #15
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John,
another Aussie here, we've got just about all types of headphones including Sony 7509s and yes they're expensive over here. For cans to use with cameras they're worse than useless! They're simply not sensitive enough, sure great sound for use in post but in the field forget them and any of the high price ones.
For field work stick to the cheap Behringers, HPS3000 are OK, or better still pick up a few pairs of Takstar DJ Headphones off of eBay, sold by "aunoreserve", should get them for around AUD 30 including delivery. Not the worlds best sound but very sensitive, you even get two pairs of leads in the deal, one coiled and one straight! So far we've resold over 30 pairs out of our shop, one customer bought 9 pairs, and so far not one complaint.
If you really want to use expensive cans in the field, get a headphone amp, without it it's very hard to tell what you're hearing from the headphones and what's coming in through the sides of them.
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