Decent Monitoring Headphones? at DVinfo.net

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Old May 6th, 2006, 01:34 AM   #1
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Decent Monitoring Headphones?

Hi, all.

I am in a situation where I often film actors in noisy, public environments. It is performance-based and films on the street and on the fly. I do not have the luxury of a sound/tech team -- just myself. I recently purchased a Rode Videomic for my GL2, which seems like it is going be an improvement over the onboard mic.

Something I haven't been able to locate on this site is any thread discussing specific monitoring headphones. Does anyone have any recommendations or experience with on a decent pair of headphones I could pick up for monitoring? I would prefer to keep it under $50, if possible. Lightweight and/or portable would be a plus.

BTW, since this is my first post, I would like to thank the collective whole here at DVInfo.net. I have been reading these forums for about a year now and have benefitted from the expertise of everyone on here. Thanks to everyone for your help and keep up the good work.

--Bob
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Old May 6th, 2006, 05:47 AM   #2
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There are some threads on headphones in the XL1 section that you might find of interest; e.g., http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ight=headphone
YOucan find threads in the GL1`/2 section as well, just do a forum search on headphone.

The defacto standard for monitoring headphones is arguably the Sony MDR-7506, but they are a bit above your price point (more like $100). The Sony MDR-V600 are around $65 street price and provide good sound, and I find the work well for me (I use them aminly wiht a tripod mounted camera). However the coiled cord is a bit long and has to be managed, and they are not tiny.

Look for somethig comfortable that does not get in your way while shooting. If yo can, try befoer you buy. Many stores, both retail and pro sound, have demo racks so you can try headphones.

Be aware that the XL and GL headphone output has limited power capability and works best with high efficiency headphones. Some folks have encounted issues when using some low efficiency type headphones - they do nto get enough volume in the headphones.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 05:51 AM   #3
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Make sure the lead is a curly wurly one! Oh yes . .
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Old May 6th, 2006, 06:49 AM   #4
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HEY BOB! Fellow Detroiter! Go PISTONS!

Actually I'm on a tight budget myself, and I get quite a bit of good, but resonably priced stuff from Guitar Center. Also I have a larger foldable headphone that I bought from Radio Shack for around $35.00. If background noise is a serious concern, mabey a set of Noise Cancelling headphone will be the better option.

Have a good one!

Dave
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Old May 6th, 2006, 11:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for all of the help! (And yes, GO PISTONS!)

I will take a look at some local stores and see what I find.

--Bob
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Old May 9th, 2006, 11:21 AM   #6
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Decent Headphones

Hi Bob: You state that you are shooting in noisy areas quite a bit. 1. The GL 1,2 & most camcorders do not have the output power to adequately drive 60 to 150 ohm headphone transducers; which is what you are dealing with in any quality headphone. You really need a battery operated headphone amplifier to drive them. 2. Do not consider cheap phones as they do not give a good seal around the ear which you will need in noisy environments.

I recommend Sennheiser HD280 phones. They can sell on the street for $99-.
They do fold inward to transport them & they give at least 25 db isolation from outside sounds & they have a coiled cord. They were originally designed for headphone systems in recording studios. They are rugged & they give true reproduction of the audio. I design & build my own headphone amps for listening to my classical CD's.

Hope this helps.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 12:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Wilson
I recommend Sennheiser HD280 phones.

. . ..

They do fold inward to transport them & they give at least 25 db isolation from outside sounds & they have a coiled cord. They were originally designed for headphone systems in recording studios. They are rugged & they give true reproduction of the audio. I design & build my own headphone amps for listening to my classical CD's.

Hope this helps.

Yup, I got 'em. A wee bit big on the head and hot for in the field work - only complaint. But they do knock out a lot of ambient so you DO hear what is coming at you through the mics.

. and yes they have a curly wurly cable.

Tell me? Just WHEN are manufacturers gonna supply a right-angled plug - as an option? Screw it on - DONE!!

Grazie
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Old May 9th, 2006, 12:53 PM   #8
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Ah, headphones to isolate all except what is being picked up by the mikes.
In working on my first music video my client who is a Latin Grammey award winner said he would coach me on the best kind of head phones. The prices so far quoted are, in his humble opion, amatauer. He feels that when you spend about $200.00 (usa dollars) then you approach a quality that professionals need. He says you want to hear the sound you are capturing with out the influence of the camera etc.
So, I guess what I am trying to say: IF you are even remotely considering being or becoming a "Pro" get your sound equipment up to par. Now I must admit I am struggling with a "cheap" head set ($100.oo). It does not isolate ambient sounds. It isn't till I am back editing that I can really hear what I got, and it is good. It is just while I am shooting I do not know FOR CERTIAN that I got the sound that will work.
So, as soon as my jar of quarters is full I am taking my client along to the music store and get a good set of isolating head phones. I already have on "loan" from him a SENNHEISER K3-U shotgun (I was told it is very good and judging by my results I tend to agree). I used it on a wedding two weeks ago for "interviews". Amazing!! Clear voices with the background still there but NOT in the way. Good sense of place AND clear talking.
I used a BeachTek for the XLR interface on my GL2. I am a happy camper.
Next month I will be taping the presentation of the CD of a young singer. She will be singing the songs on the CD. One of the songs was my first Music Video. We are fine tuning the video and soon, very soon I will post it on this forum.
I can have great images but sound is SO IMPORTANT it can ruin a production.
Yours,
Tom
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Old May 9th, 2006, 05:04 PM   #9
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i use the sony MDRV-700DJ studio monitors and i love them. kinda expensive but they have a good bass output and frequency range
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Old May 9th, 2006, 09:05 PM   #10
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One thing to keep in mind is balance. Field recording is full of unavoidable ambient noise, and further limited by the quality of the mics you use and their placement (and on the camcorder is the pits), and the quality of the input amps on your camcorder. It rarely if ever presents a studio environment. In summary, it ain't Hi-Fi. If using a $100 mic shooting a wedding, $250 headphones may not help much over a $100 model for yor video shooting. (Although they may be worth having for other purposes though.) The extra $150 could be applied to other needs.

When buying headphones for video make sure they are comfortable, allow you to use the camcorder without problems, work with your camcorder, provide sound quality that meets your needs, and are within your budget. Buying a headphome amp to allow use of specific hadphones may be OK for some folks, but it is another piece of gear to lug about and power. If working as a one man production company you may not want to have to deal with it. That is your call.

Noise canceling headphones mainly cancel low frequency noise such as jet engines, and may not be of significant help for higher frequency noise compared to standard over-the-ear headphones. Benefit will depend on the noise spectrum at venue in which you shoot.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 11:13 AM   #11
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Headphones for field monitoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Elliott
Ah, headphones to isolate all except what is being picked up by the mikes.
In working on my first music video my client who is a Latin Grammey award winner said he would coach me on the best kind of head phones. The prices so far quoted are, in his humble opion, amatauer. He feels that when you spend about $200.00 (usa dollars) then you approach a quality that professionals need. He says you want to hear the sound you are capturing with out the influence of the camera etc.
Yours,
Tom
I take issue with the opinion of the Latin Grammy award winners thinking that a set of phones that sell for less than $200- are not worthy of consideration.
The facts are Sennheiser HD280s have a frequency response from 25hz to 30khz plus. The bass response is very true & balanced, not hyped. I made a live recording w my mini disc recorder & the 280's faithfully reproduce the air handler noise which is in the 20 to 35hz region. They were specifically designed to be used by musicians & engineers in professional recording studios & present an accurate & sonically balanced sound field. List price $199-.

I have 40 yrs. experience as a recording engineer, studio designer & designer & manufacturer of custom electronics for recording studios. I am no longer active in the recording industry.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 06:07 PM   #12
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Dear Bill,
I fully understand your position. And since I am just learning about sound etc in addition to my capabilities to produce images, I more or less follow this person (my client) and his opinion and in this particular case the possiblity is that one version of headphones vs another is much like which is better MAC or PC. This is not to put your experience down or even question it. ;-)
I really appreciate your input and taking the time to give me more information to make an informed choice when I can upgrade the head phones. I have a shotgun mike that Paul (my client) gave me to do interviews in a loud background location situation such as weddings. The mike was originally in the 1K to 2K$$$. Well I did the interview three weeks ago during a wedding assignment. GREAT! Clear voice with just enough back ground sounds on the track to give a sense of place. It went through my BeackTek xlr on the bottom of my GL2.
When Paul described what he expects from headphones and my experience with the mike I will probably go with Pauls coaching. And when I have some more experience I will repost on this board.
Thanks again for the valuable information.
Yours,
Tom
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Old May 16th, 2006, 06:39 PM   #13
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To one and all,
My first music video since 1969;
http://www.tom-elliott-photography.com/Eliza_Video
Large file. Still looking for a compressor that would have as good as this one.
I might be better to just download it to your hard disk then play.
Tom
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Old May 16th, 2006, 08:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Bernard
Yup, I got 'em. A wee bit big on the head and hot for in the field work - only complaint. But they do knock out a lot of ambient so you DO hear what is coming at you through the mics.
Pimp your phones. Go to your local airport and find the store where you buy pilot supplies and get yourself some cloth earcup covers and the sheepskin noggin pad.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Elliott
I already have on "loan" from him a SENNHEISER K3-U shotgun (I was told it is very good and judging by my results I tend to agree).
Tom - I'm pretty sure the Sennheiser K3U is the power supply unit only, not sold anymore. (currently Senn have the K6 for eg.)
There should the actual mic head attached to the K3U unit, maybe something like ME80 (shotgun)?
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