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Old December 26th, 2007, 08:32 AM   #1
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Headphones for Editing

Well, I have all my Vegas issues working and now I am editing at home. Unfortunately, no one in the house appears to enjoy listening to the same audio over and over. I am looking for a good set of headphones to use during the editing process.

Price is an object, but I need to know the truth on the quality of sound I can get from good to professional headphones. Also, these phones will be working from the PC outputs. I think that the impedance of the headphones will be a concern also.

Anyone with recommendations?

Thanks in advance,

Chris
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Old December 26th, 2007, 08:38 AM   #2
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Sennheiser HD-25 is my first choice for just about everything. If you need high impedance then look at something like BeyerDynamic DT-100.

Whatever you decide, look up the specs, look for reviews. For editing you need to be listening to everything as "flat" as possible.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 11:47 AM   #3
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You cant go wrong with Sony MDR7506 , most audio guys tend to love these, and they average under $100.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 12:12 PM   #4
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You can do lots of editing on headphones, at the cost of some fatigue.

You'll want to do all final eq, compression, volume and pan decisions on speakers, unless you anticipate your viewers using headphones.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #5
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Fostex T-20 or Sony MDR-7506. T-20's have been an industry standard for years, like the AKG K-240's. I've had a pair of T-20's for over 10 years, they are very rugged and a nice defined sound with flat response. 7506's have been very popular over the last 7 or 8 years as well. They are a little juiced up sounding but still relatively accurate.

As mentioned earlier in this thread it would be wise to recommend mixing out the final mix through speakers as this is the only way to fully hear the spatial stereo mix. Headphones are isolated left/right sound sources and do not give the imaging a good set of reference monitors would provide. EQ and other accoustic elements can also be somewhat misleading on headphones compared to monitors.

I do know what you mean by people being frustrated by the same audio being played over and over. Much of my initial draft work is done with headphones but I will still always do final mixing, level setting, eq and processing while playing through near field monitors.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gerry Gallegos View Post
You cant go wrong with Sony MDR7506 , most audio guys tend to love these, and they average under $100.
yes, those headphones are solid field and studio performers.

I recently picked up a set of AKG K271 and they are definitely one step up from the 7506. However, they are much more difficult to transport, very bulky. $155 shipped from various places on the web

I'm moving the 7506 to field duty and bringing the AKG to replace it in the editing studio.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 03:29 PM   #7
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I agree Seth. Headphones tire me out and ultimately I stopped using them. It is not possible to accurately manage the audio with headphones, as least that has been the case for me. But there are simply times I have to wear them for the same reasons Chris needs them.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; December 26th, 2007 at 04:41 PM.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #8
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I used to be firmly on the K271 (or, for less money, K240DF) wagon, but I'm really fond of the Shure in-ear monitors. The response on the e4c is flat as can be, and the quality of the sound-field knocks the K271s for a loop.

The e2c's are a nice low-cost alternative. It comes down to whether you're more comfortable spending your time with things in your ears or on them.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 03:59 PM   #9
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I purchased the Sony 7509HD which has proven to be a great move. The frequency response is excellent and they are comfortable to wear all day.

Go to a music store in your area and try them all if you must.

I only use headphones when editing on the road with my Macbook Pro. While in the studio I do not use headphones except for a one time listen when the mix is done.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 04:09 PM   #10
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For some audio work like dialogue editing and NR headphones are useful because they let you hear everything.

However, for mixing, I strongly suggest that you don't mix on headphones since a lot of sounds will be too subtle/quiet for people not on headphones. So your audience will miss sounds that they are supposed to hear! If you listen to music on both headphones and earbuds (while on the bus/train) you'll probably notice this.

So ideally you want a good pair of studio reference monitors. I'd not spend too much on headphones (e.g. get something entry level like AKG K-44) for that reason.

2- At an audiophile store where I live (Bay/Bloor Radio) you can listen to a number of different headphones and hear the difference for yourself. Perhaps you can find a store like that in your area... it should be a fun trip even if you don't buy anything.

3- What sound card are you using? The ones built into motherboards (especially laptops) will have a lot of noise in them that you'll be able to hear on headphones... e.g. when I transfer files on the hard drive or over the Internet, I can hear sounds on my headphones.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 06:22 PM   #11
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Take a listen to a pair of Senn HD 280 Pros. They are more natural than Sony 7506/7509s, but less dead than the AKGs. The Sonys tend to be scooped and pretty, which is fine when in the field, but not so good for checking your mix.

And I'll second the comments above:
* Headphones bring out details that people won't hear in many environments
* Headphones don't give the correct pan/phase/soundstage info
* Headphones can be fatiguing.

Advantages are:
* For $100 you can get headphones that are keepers. "Keeper" monitors often cost 10x that.
* You can mix into the night
* You can mix in a noisy environment
* You can use them when doing live recording.

If you get a chance, audition a few pairs before buying. (And then buy from the people who took the time to let you audition. If you quote them a web price, they'll probably honor it.)
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Old December 27th, 2007, 09:09 AM   #12
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One other tip (sorry if I'm repeating something that's already been said):

When auditioning headphones (or speakers, for that matter) take along a CD with some of your own material on it and ask if that could be used to try them out. If you're planning to put dialogue into your project then include some dialogue-only and some dialogue-over-music material on the CD.

I go along with the sentiment that phones are good up to a point - timing, spatial positioning of audio in the mix, rough mixing etc - but ideally you should then be listening on proper reference monitors for finalising your audio. 'Proper' = not hi-fi speakers = expensive.

FWIW I use Beyer Dynamic DT-100's. Ugly as sin but sound fine and are comfortable to use for extended periods. Also, the cable is user-replaceable, which is a nice feature.

Anyone know if there is a mini-jack cable for the DT100's? As standard they come with 1/4" jacks and adding an adaptor to convert it to 1/8" puts too much strain on the headphone socket on my XL2.

Last edited by Ian Stark; December 27th, 2007 at 09:14 AM. Reason: Added references to DT100's
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Old December 27th, 2007, 05:36 PM   #13
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Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the information. My plan is to get a set of reasonable priced headphones to do my preliminary work. Then when the time is available, do final audio editing using speakers.

This information has made me approach editing in a much more focused and planned process. This forum has so much information, it is priceless!

Thanks again,

Chris
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Old December 28th, 2007, 04:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Stark View Post

I go along with the sentiment that phones are good up to a point - timing, spatial positioning of audio in the mix, rough mixing etc - but ideally you should then be listening on proper reference monitors for finalising your audio. 'Proper' = not hi-fi speakers = expensive.
I have to disagree with this. It's often how things are done, and, yes, I use near-field monitors for *mixing*, but, unless you're having your stuff mastered by someone else, you should listen, at least once as a last pass, on whatever you expect your media to be played back on. The same goes for viewing.

It's certainly nice to be able to use high-end gear that really expresses the sound field and gives you nice level frequency response at some point, but it is absolutely critical that your media be targeted for the actual target (which can, of course, be the combination of multiple targets).

Most of us can't listen on a set of Genelecs and know exactly what things will sound like on an all-in-one home system (my wife can), which makes it worth having a crap system to preview on. I'm not saying Bose crappy, but somewhere around Polk crappy.

Look in high-end recording studios and you'll almost always find the "real world setup" speakers ready to be switched on and monitored through. You finalize as close to your target as you can.
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Old December 28th, 2007, 05:25 PM   #15
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Hi Matthew,

I absolutely agree that you should run your audio through as many outputs as possible to check that your mix works well on a wide variety of equipment. When necessary I run mine through any combination of Sony hi-fi speakers, a pc speaker setup, a mono speaker (!), domestic headphones, a domestic TV and a home cinema system.

In my case this isn't the last pass - it goes on throughout the mixing process (like I say, when necessary - if I know it's only destined for the web, for example, I won't bother listening through all outputs).

But if I had to choose, I would go for the flat response of a pair of reference monitors over any other speaker or headphone setup any time - and there is absolutely no way I would trust my mix to what I might hear from a set of manufacturer sweetened domestic speakers, other than to check it works.
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