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-   -   Need isolation headphones (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/48070-need-isolation-headphones.html)

Dave Largent July 21st, 2005 04:58 AM

Need isolation headphones
 
I shoot video sometimes around live bands. The
last one I shot I was in front of the stage with
my Sony 7506s and couldn't hear a single thing
of what was being recorded, even when I pushed the
headphones tight to my ears, which has helped in
the past.
I don't care much about accuracy, but I am looking for something over-the-ear, closed back. (I am not interested in the kind you insert into the ear canal.) Also looking for comfort, as I couldn't wear something that is clamping down like a vice on the head.

So these are the ones I've heard to consider for my purpose,
and would appreciate any comments on them, or any other
phones I should consider:

Audio-Technica ATH-M40fs
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Beyerdynamic DT770M
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Beyer also has this DT770 Pro
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

Senn HD280 Pro
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

David Ennis July 21st, 2005 05:41 AM

Dave, you aren't going to get 34-36 dB reduction from standard non-ear canal phones. Maybe they're out there somewhere, but not at any price that can be paid by us mortals. If such phones existed we would certainly have heard about them here.

But how about active noise cancelling phones? There are several makers now besides Bose. They don't take out the whole frequency range, but they do work in the range where most of the sound energy is.

John Travis July 21st, 2005 11:37 AM

I've heard these are good:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

And B&H even reccomends them for your purposes in their write-up:

"The result of the HN-7506 design is not only a vastly improved monitoring and mixing perspective, but also diminished listening fatigue and long term ear damage. These headphones are also recommended for live music recording and mixing, for eventual broadcast or commercial CD distribution."

However, they're $285 which might make them too exspensive. But for what you want them for, I think you might have to pay that much or even more.

Brian Wells July 21st, 2005 11:44 AM

Have you seen ExtremeHeadphones.com?
With 29db attenuation for $139 they are a pretty reasonable bit of kit. . .

Jeremy Davidson July 21st, 2005 11:51 AM

I have the Sennheiser HD-280's (I don't remember if mine were labeled "Pro" or not, but the price is roughly what I remember paying), and they don't seem to isolate much better than the Sony MDR-7506's. Personally I like the 7506's slightly better as they are a little bit lighter and more comfortable. I can do a more thorough A/B comparison if that would help you out, but I think you'll find them very similar to what you already have.

I'm not familiar with any of the other ones you listed.

Dave Largent July 21st, 2005 01:54 PM

Yes, Jeremy, i would like to know it the 280s are
no more isolating than the 7506s.

Dave Largent July 23rd, 2005 07:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian A. Wells
Have you seen ExtremeHeadphones.com?
With 29db attenuation for $139 they are a pretty reasonable bit of kit. . .

Those look interesting, with only a very low 32
ohms of impedance, so that just about anything you
plug them into would give plenty of volume.
Had some good reviews, too.

Dave Largent July 23rd, 2005 07:41 AM

But, Fred, do you think something like active
noise cancelling phones would really work with
a band, where the sound frequency is all over the spectrum?
I thought the actives are more for when it's just
one steady background sound you are trying to
isolate from.

Dave Largent July 23rd, 2005 07:44 AM

One thing I noticed about the HN-7506s is that they weigh about 5X what most headphones weigh.

Douglas Spotted Eagle July 23rd, 2005 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave Largent
But, Fred, do you think something like active
noise cancelling phones would really work with
a band, where the sound frequency is all over the spectrum?
I thought the actives are more for when it's just
one steady background sound you are trying to
isolate from.

This would be correct, the sound would have a "pumping" or "breathing" attribute. I've never tried noise canceling in a live concert environment, but I have tried them working around monsterous waterfalls with a full complement of shifting frequencies. It was enough to drive you mad.

Dave Largent July 23rd, 2005 08:00 AM

Jeremy,
I was able to take a quick listen in the studio
last night to the the 280 Pros and the 770Ms up
against the 7506s. This was mostly to get an
idea of how isolating they were, and the volume levels
they can be driven to with a camcorder (Sony PD).
I didn't bother auditioning the ATs because they really are not
advertised as being "isolating", that I saw.
Last week I shot around a live band with the
AT3032 using 20dB of attenuation. I used the
7506s and couldn't anything I was recording, even
with when I pushed the phones up against my ears.
The result was I ended up with some distortion in
parts. In hindsight I think I should have used 30dB
of attenuation.
Anyways, tonight I shoot around an 8- or 10-piece band,
that mostly does classic rock. I'll try out one of the
phones and see how it goes for prolonged comfort.
I would imagine it's one thing to put phones on for 5 minutes
in the studio and another to wear them for 2 hours straight.
I'll post a review of these phones soon.

Dave Largent August 1st, 2005 03:40 AM

Just wanted to get back with a few quick impressions.
I tried the 770s with the Sony PD and VX cams around a live band and found that the Sony cams couldn't drive them to a sufficient volume to overcome the volume of the
band so the 770s didn't really help me out. (I was located right in front of the stage.) I am now looking for a headphone amp to drive the 770Ms to a loulder level.
I was able to compare the three phones back at the studio
a bit more. The 280s give noticeably more isolation than
the 7506s. Senn claims the 280s give 32dB of attenuation,
and I've noticed in user comments that the "high attenuation" of these phones is often mentioned. In comparison, the 770Ms provide even more attenuation. Beyer claims
35dB attenuation. I will compare them like this.
When I put on the 7506s with traffic going by outside the studio, it was like putting on phones with not much attenuation of the ambient. With the 280s, it was like putting on phones that
attenuate a good amount of ambience. When I put on the
770s, it was like I walked into a another room -- a very quiet room. You could still hear the cars going by but it seemed the attenuation was at another level as compared to the
280s. (Hard to describe but it was vaguely disorienting when I put these phones on, that's why I say it was at a different level.) I would say the 280s seem to attenuate about 75% of what the 770Ms do. And the 7206s seem to attenuate about 33% of what the 280s do.
All three of these phones sound very different. I usually use the 7506s for dialog and I tried the Beyers out on this job
and they sounded so different that I thought at first there
might be a problem. Dialogue with the 7206s is right in your
face but with the Beyers it is much more subdued. The 7206s are just hyped so much for dialogue. I think the Beyers
are more neutral/flatter. When you're used to listening to
music with the 7206s you notice the flatness of the Beyers
as maybe being dark. Just for listening to music for enjoyment I'd stick with the 7206s. I really didn't care for the
sound of the 280s in comparison to the 7206s. The 280s had more life in them, more like the 7206s, as compared to the
very laid-back 770s, but there didn't seem to be as much
separation of the instruments nor as much spatial locationing
(stereo image) of the instruments as compared to the 7206s and 770s. Basically, it just sounded to me like the 7206s used higher-quality components in the headphone speakers.
I did read where someone with the 770s in their studio boasted that some people say they get the best results with
mixing with headphones using his 770s than the mixes they
get using any other headphones. For those times where you
have to use headphones to mix (maybe home studio late at night) this may be true seeing as they seem more flat. I've tried mixing with the 7506s and the
results were not good. I like the 7506s for detail work such as noise reduction. The 280s just didn't seem to offer the detail of the other two models.
As far as comfort, the 280s definately came out on the
bottom here. For me with a larger head, the seal around the ears didn't seem the best and I never could get them to feel
real comfortable around the ears. Also, there was always
pressure at the top from the band. A girl in the studio (with a small head) tried them on. Her comments were that the 280s are "tighter" than the 770s, and that the 770 went on easier and is more comfortable. For myself, one thing that
really stood out in this test is how comfortable the 770s were
right out of the box! By the way, they come with a really nice thick-foam padded case. The case is not small, but the
phones don't fold up like the 7206s do. I've read where people say the 770s are quite durable but that the 280s
can be fragile at the plastic swivel parts of the headband.
The 770 headband is all metal.
By the way, this is the new 770M model, which is listed on
the Beyer site as being for drummer and for front-of-house
sound engineers and it is listed as having much more
attenuation than their 770 Pro model.
The 7206s had the loudest volume, the 280s were in the
middle, and the 770s were lowest volume, but there wasn't
a lot of difference between them.
I really haven't spent much time with these phones yet but if anyone should have any questions about these three models of phones you are welcome to ask.
I'm no big audio expert or anything but these are just my impressions based upon using phones regularly in the
studio and in the field for video production.

Patrick King August 1st, 2005 05:07 AM

Dave,

Very good information, but Chris is giving away periods and paragraphs here. Help us read you.

So the 7206 Sony headset seemed to be your favorite, correct?

Dave Largent August 1st, 2005 07:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Patrick King
Dave,
So the 7206 Sony headset seemed to be your favorite, correct?

Well, I didn't care for the way the Senn 280 sounded
or felt when I had it on -- and like I said, someone
with a small head tried it on and didn't care for it
either. Now, perhaps for the money it is an alright
value but I can't say because I've never tried any
other closed-back over-the-ear headphones other than
the 7206s, which are my usual phones.
I haven't spent much time with the Beyers to really say,
but I do need isolation phones for out in the field
and the 7206s do not cut it at all when working in
loud surroundings. One alternative to the Beyers is
the 7506HN phones but those things weigh 3 pounds
whereas the ones I've looked at here way about 1/2
pound. Three pounds is just too much for me and
no one else in the studio would wear them because
of the weight.
The ExtremeHeadphones (mentioned earlier) look
interesting. They claim 29dB of isolation, which is
less than what the 280s and the 770s claim so ...
Maybe once I work with the Beyers more I'll
have more to say about them. I did notice that they
seemed to have good spatial locationing of the
instruments, which is I think referred to as "sound
stage".

Jeremy Davidson August 1st, 2005 08:17 AM

I finally was able to try my own comparison of my Senn 280's and the Sony 7506's (the power was out over the weekend mentioned in my last post, so I had other things to take care of).

The Sennheisers did seem to isolate slightly better than the Sony's, but I'm attributing some of that to the fact that they seemed to press harder to my ears (stiffer headband I think). I did have some trouble with them when I first got them because they seemed uncomfortable after several minutes. I found that tilting the headband slightly farther forward than usual helped a lot, and now I just position them that way without thinking about it.

I also noticed that the Sony's seemed a little louder than the Sennheiser's. For the test I powered them off of a Soundcraft mixer, but when I use the Sennheiser's with my GL2 I do usually leave the output volume at max.

If isolation were not an issue I think I'd go for the 7506's, as they are still more comfortable. One of these days I may look into the in-ear monitors (as I'm also a musician), but I've got some other upgrades to make first.

'Hope this helps you out.

Jacques Mersereau August 1st, 2005 10:24 AM

I'm jumping in here very late, but here is another thing to try.

Etymotic earbuds and shooters muffs.

http://www.etymotic.com/\

I have not personally used these earbuds, but lots of folks on this
board like them a lot.

You have to be very careful when using headphones in a high SPL surrounding.
When you have to turn them up all the way, and still cannot hear
what is happening, I would guess you are damaging your hearing.

Earbuds will help with isolation and the heavy duty shooters muffs
covering your ears will
give even more isolation meaning you don't have to crank the earbuds.
I found some shooters muffs I like at Cabelas for $20. They are blue
and have nice comfortable pads enabling long wear times. I can't
remember the brand name.

Again, be careful with your hearing.

Brett Whited August 1st, 2005 11:29 AM

Has anyone tried the 7506's little brother: the 7505s? Are they comparable to the 7506s? I like the compact design better, but if they aren't going to cancel any sound out (even a little bit) then I'll go for the 7506's.
Thanks
-Brett

Jos Svendsen August 1st, 2005 12:22 PM

I have been using the Ex29 (www.extremeheadphones.com) with a Canon Xl1s in a live bandsituation, and they are very good for this. In fact i found myself next to the bass stack without noticing it - exept for the pounding in my stomach.

I later tried a nomal set of AKG D240's and they ware useless in this environment.

It was a "normal" rockband in a small venue, so it was not death metal volume. I had no problem monitoring the sound from the XL1s, when the band was playing at a volume where you had to shout at full volume in order to be understood 20 feet from stage. The EX29 headphones has a somewhat undefined top, and are not usable as all round phones. But for monitoring in noisy environment they are perfect. And they look sort of StarTrekish

However there are alternatives. Beyer Dynamic DT-770M gives more damping > 36 dBs and Vic Firth SIH1 less at 24 dBs.

Halfdan J. Damskier August 8th, 2005 03:02 AM

This is an interesting thread. I am new to all this, so I wont be able to make any statements on headphones whatsoever. Just wanted to say I noticed that right now and "for a limited time" Front End Audio have the afforementioned Extreme Isolation Headphones on sale for 90 USD. http://frontendaudio.com/Extreme%20I...Headphones.htm

Douglas Spotted Eagle August 8th, 2005 07:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Halfdan J. Damskier
This is an interesting thread. I am new to all this, so I wont be able to make any statements on headphones whatsoever. Just wanted to say I noticed that right now and "for a limited time" Front End Audio have the afforementioned Extreme Isolation Headphones on sale for 90 USD. http://frontendaudio.com/Extreme%20I...Headphones.htm

Hmm...I've never heard of "Front End Audio". I'll have to check those out. Thanks for the tip. And welcome to the forum!

Dave Largent August 8th, 2005 10:03 AM

I like the low impedance on those Exteme Headphones,
which means most any type of consumer device would drive them to a high volume. The one issue I've had with the
Beyers is their higher impedance, which means my
cam can't drive them to the higher volume levels
without a headphone amp, which I haven't picked up
yet. I've seen some headphone amps in the $60
range.
I found a couple of website forums where headphones
and everything related to them are discussed
by hobbiests, but I can't recall the addresses
off the top of my head.

Halfdan J. Damskier August 8th, 2005 12:21 PM

Thanks for the welcome Douglas! Must admit that I hadn't run "Front End Audio" through resellerratings etc. Being from Europe I'd forgotten what a problem scam operations are in the US. After reading your post I did a seach on them and couldn't find any reviews on the company. However, Google brought up a couple of interesting links.

The company is mentioned here: http://mixonline.com/news/audio_front_end_audio/

(copy & paste if hot link doesn't work)

and this place is apparently co-sponsored by them: http://www.mojopie.com/

I haven't done any business with them myself, so I can't say whether they are for real or not - but the above links do seem to give them some credibility.

See you around Douglas!

-----------------------

To Brett Whited: If you can use the advice of a newbie; read on. I own a pair of Sony 7505s and I like the sound of them. However, to my ears, they don't really cancel out a lot of sound. I am wearing them unplugged as I write these lines, and I hear the sound of my computer's fan loud and clear through their sparse foam cushioning. Also you should know that unless you have circular shaped ears, with a diameter of 40mm or less, they wont go around your ears, but on top of them - something which I don't find all that comfortable. If you compare the specs of the 7505 and 7506 you will also notice that there are some differences. I'll let the pros comment on the specs as I can't help you on that. I did notice, however, that the two headphones almost weigh the same - but my guess is that the true "around the ear" shape of the 7506s would make them more noise cancelling and a lot more comfortable to wear. I'll keep my 7505s for now, but if I were you I would go for Sony's 7506.

Dean Sensui August 8th, 2005 06:59 PM

I now use Futuresonics EM3's in the field to make sure that I'm hearing what the camera's getting and not ambient sound.

http://www.futuresonics.com/

Was using Sony MDR-V6's but couldn't get enough isolation to know exactly what the mic was picking up.

Eventually I'll opt for the custom fitted earpieces. If I had to do it over again I'd probably opt for the custom fitted ones right off the bat.

Jos Svendsen August 9th, 2005 01:29 AM

There is an interesting thing about these extreme isolation headphones, that makes you sympathize with deaf people. We all know the viewfinder-syndrome, where you are so occupied looking in the viewfinder, that you sort of ignores the rest of the world. This might be fatal, if you are recording events like live volcanoes or war.

The extreme isolation headphones has the same effect. You drift into your own world of silence away from the real world. I was recording a theater performance - not very noisy, but I used my EX29 in order to be 101 % sure that the sound was good. I was adrift in a world of silence, that ended when my wife banged me on the head. She had tried to get in contact with me for 2-3 minutes, but I had an eye glued to my XL1s viewfinder and was using my EX29's, so I was totally lost.

Since then she had her own pair pf Ex29's for use in her musicproduction with Apples Garageband, meaning that entering a room in our home late in the evening is done with a blinking of the lights. Because either I am NLE'ing or she is Garagebanding and in both cases lost to the real world.

The kid has learned to poke mum or dad with a little pointy finger, when we have the funny headphones on. *He* likes the reaction of num or dad going into heart-attack-mode.

Dave Largent August 9th, 2005 02:15 AM

I'm not sure about this but doesn't hearing have
something to do with balance, such as when you
walk?

Steve House August 9th, 2005 04:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave Largent
I'm not sure about this but doesn't hearing have
something to do with balance, such as when you
walk?

The ears are where the balance sensors are located but balance is not related to sound detection per se. Of course injuries or disease that affect hearing would also be liable to affect the balance organs as well but simply blocking off sounds at the ear would not.

Dave Largent August 9th, 2005 04:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fred Retread
Dave, you aren't going to get 34-36 dB reduction from standard non-ear canal phones. Maybe they're out there somewhere, but not at any price that can be paid by us mortals. If such phones existed we would certainly have heard about them here.

Well, Fred, I don't really know about the real dB reduction
with the Beyers but I have seen how many say that the
Senn 280s are pretty isolating, and the Beyers are
noticeably more isolating.
Myself, I'm not interested in ear canal phones. For one,
I am constantly putting the phones on, taking them
off, on, and off. Probably 30X a day when I'm on the
job. I really wonder if the ear canal type would be
recommended for this usage?

Dave Largent August 30th, 2005 02:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jos Svendsen
I have been using the Ex29 (www.extremeheadphones.com) with a Canon Xl1s in a live bandsituation, and they are very good for this. In fact i dBs.

How are the comfort on those Extreme Isolation?
I've been looking at getting a headphone amp
for my DT770Ms but have been thinking
about maybe trying the Extremes seeing as
an amp is in the area of $75 anyway, so this
way I'd have 2 headphones.

Jos Svendsen August 30th, 2005 01:12 PM

All these headphones have a quite tight fit i order to make sure sound is not leaking in.

It took me some time to get used to the EX29s.

Cheers

Dave Largent September 17th, 2005 03:54 AM

Just wanted to say that I've finally been able to
get what I wanted out of the Beyer DT770M.
The problem I had at first was that they seemed
to isolate pretty good but the camcorder wouldn't
drive them to enough volume. Well, now I've
used them with a Sound Devices MixPre.
With the SD headphone level set at about 1/3
of max, I get all the volume I need. And I can really
see how these phones do offer very significant
isolation as compared to the Sony 7506s.
As far as how they sound, I can't really say yet.
My main goal was to be able to make sure
I was getting distortion in loud environments, and
that I think the Beyers will do.
My initial impression is that the Beyers are weak
in the mids but I wonder if this may help if you
ever have to mix with phones. For example, I've
heard it said that if you mix with phones
(dialog and music) and the vocals sound good
with phones, that the vocals will be too low in reality.
So if phones are weak on mids, perhaps they will
give a vocals mix that is more like what you'll
get with near field monitors. Anyone care to comment
on this hypothesis?

Stu Holmes September 17th, 2005 02:11 PM

Dave

I agree with Jacques (above).
Try using some good in-ear phones PLUS some commercial ear-defenders.
i.e. the sort of thing people working in undustrial factory wear. These can be bought in almost any hardware store.

The combinatio of a good in-ear phone with quite a bit of attenuation themselves plus the ear-defenders (i use them if i got watchin drag-racing) is what you need to be able to hear in a loud rock-band environment. I think anything else is just complicating the issue.

i recommend Sony MDR-EX71SL for in-ear phones. they block quite a bit of sound.

Dave Largent September 18th, 2005 04:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Dave

I agree with Jacques (above).
Try using some good in-ear phones PLUS some commercial ear-defenders.i recommend Sony MDR-EX71SL for in-ear phones. they block quite a bit of sound.


Some of us, such as myself, would just not be interested
in shoving mini-speakers inside of our ears, so this is not
an option.
As to your comment that anything but in-the-ear
headphones is "complicating the issue", I have said
that I believe I have found a solution to the issue with
these Beyerdynamics.

Stu Holmes September 18th, 2005 12:57 PM

OK Dave, that was purely my opinion as to a solution for your problem.

If you don't like my proffered solution then of course it's your prerogative to just ignore it, rather than post a rather impolite retort. Don't knock stuff til you've tried it.

best regards


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