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Thread: Headphones recommendations?

  1. #1

    Default Headphones recommendations?

    I searched the forum, but can't find a thread on headphones for practicing on the electrics. Suggestions?

    I'm reading reviews and trying to understand how important high impedance is, whether it's worth paying more for.

    Any wireless options worth exploring?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    Good brands (full size, not IEMs) are Akg, Grado, Audio Technica, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamics, Shure, Sony and if you want to read reviews, there's http://www.head-fi.org/f/3/equipment-forums. The thing is that headphones that sound great to most people might be uncomfortable to you for whatever reason, like I hate coiled cables but other people don't seem to mind. And the imaging or headstage is also personal preference. So it's best to take your source (mobile phone, laptop w/DAC, etc) to a dealer where you can try lots of them or at least mail order from some place where you can get a no hassle refund.

    I believe audiophiles use high impedance eg. 600 ohms with their high end amps, but if you're using, say a generic mixer, amp head or interface focusrite 2i2, steinberg ur22, presonus etc, any low impedance can should work decently well.
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  4. #3

    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    I did a really in-depth study on cans when shopping years ago and settled on Beyerdynamics DT-250's. These are the can's used extensively in the European TV and radio broadcast system. Reasons:

    - as close as you're going to get in an uncolored, near-field monitor sound

    - closed cups for better isolation for both the wearer and non-wearers - the latter is very important if you're recording with mics and listening to click/backing tracks in cans as most will bleed sound that's picked up by the mic[s]

    - neodymium magnets are light, powerful and articulate

    - built for industrial use - I've had these for almost 20 years now and aside the plastic covering over the headband tearing [it's rubber but is easily "fixed" with a roll of black electric tape] they've only gotten better with time.

    - since they're built for industry, replacement parts are available, unlike consumer and prosumer cans

    I've gone through many consumer and prosumer cans over the years that screw with the sound by adding bass frequencies and are shoddily built so they fall apart after a few months/years of use with no hope of fixing or sourcing parts - once they break they end up in landfills. DT-250's, OTOH, have been going for years and even though I bought a backup set just in case, I expect will keep going for years.

    Cons:

    - I find the curly cord a PITA and wish I could get a straight cord, but I understand why they use the curly cord as those work better for broadcast TV purposes, which is the bulk of their market.

    - Until they're broken in, the cups can be a bit tight on the ears when worn over long periods.

    Hope this helps

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    Registered User Toni Schula's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    Regarding impedance:
    IMHO the only reason for 600 Ohms is to match the phones to high level sources. E.g. to the speaker output of your HiFi. Also the standardised impdance for line level signals is 600 Ohms. You can directly use 600 Ohms headphones with any line level output e.g. of a preamp. (Attention! This can be very loud! A special adapter is needed. Don't try that with low impedance phones, you will fry them and your ears...)

    For all other use cases, lower impedance is beneficial. Typicall headphones for mp3 players or modern HiFi equipment (which does not re-use the power amplifier) are in the 35-ish range.

  7. #5

    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    I'm really happy with my AudioTechnicas. Don't remember the model but they were in the $150-200 range. A huge selling point is the easily replaceable cords. Just a plug and twist. I've got some Sonys that sound great, but need rewriting. The ATs Rock. Now out of the studio in a less harsh environment for serious vinyl listening sessions, Grado.
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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    I'm a big fan of the Sennheiser HD 280 which runs for around $100. I went through a phase where I was mostly making music on synths and computers and I was extremely happy with these. I've also used them with my Yamaha S200 electric violin and was happy with the sound. I've owned them now for maybe thirteen years, and they've held up reasonably well with only minor cosmetic wear.

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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    For listening to music, I most love my Grado 225s with their open design. But when practicing, I prefer the closed design of my Sennheiser HD-somethings or even better, my son's AT-50s. The ATs are great all-around, comfortable cans.

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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    since my first push of the red button, I have used Sony 7506 cans and still do, been more than 20 years and I'm on my second set.

    Dan
    Last edited by dtb; Jan-23-2017 at 1:55pm. Reason: typing error
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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    I think the first decision is whether you want open or closed headphones. This is pretty much a matter of personal preference. Do you need to cancel out background noise? Then you probably need closed headphones. If you want to hear the door bell or whether your baby just woke up and is crying, then open headphones are better. Open headphones are also more polite to other family members as they are still able to communicate with you without yelling 5 times. I prefer open designs. When wearing a set of closed headphones I swet and get hot ears pretty fast. I also prefer the acoustics of open headphones (within the same price range, of course). I prefer neutral and analytic sounding headphones as opposed to e.g. bass heavy or "warm" sounding ones.

    As others above, I would also recommend Grado headphones. I've been using my Grado SR-200's for over 25 years now and I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again (or their successor SR-225). I frequently get compliments on their sound from friends that do a lot of hobby audio engeneering...

    But the headphones that I use most of the time (on the computer, or practising electric instruments) is the Koss Porta Pro. This is a real classic, introduced in 1984. In 1994, when I bought mine they cost $120, now you can get them for $40. I'm not sure, however, whether they have the same quality today.

    Peter
    Last edited by DroneAlone; Jan-25-2017 at 5:44pm. Reason: grammar

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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    I've got some Shure SRH440 phones that I like a lot. Pretty accurate and comfortable.
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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    I use Sennheiser HD 203's, which are economical and comfy (though I echo DroneAlone's comments ^^), and have a nice, long, uncoiled cord. However, the bottom end is a bit too hyped for me. I'm going to look at some of the suggestions above for more neutral cans. But if you're on the cheap plan, the 203's get the job done.

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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    my duet partner just bought the AKG 702. They sound great!

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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    My buddy who rides the bus regularly (GF in the City ) got noise cancelling headphones
    to suppress all the other noises conversations, etc.

    then what he chooses to listen to has less competition.



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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    Sorry folks, but I recommend a good pair of room speakers, cranked above conversation level, before headphones, which for me the cans were for studio/tracking stuff..

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    You see in ear wireless monitors on most location news presenters

    and the Big Music show Pros get custom molded ear canal fittings for their in ear monitors..

    Headset Mics are showing up on sports commentators as well..
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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by anntorrence View Post
    I searched the forum, but can't find a thread on headphones for practicing on the electrics. Suggestions?

    I'm reading reviews and trying to understand how important high impedance is, whether it's worth paying more for.

    Any wireless options worth exploring?
    I'm not sure what you mean by Practicing on the Electrics. Wireless headphones are kind of a pain. I think the idea is good but the result is prone to dropping out and overly 'compressed' (think digitized) sound.
    Sennheiser uses a lot of plastic and they break after a few years, even though they have a real nice sound. Audio Technica is a respected name as well as Beyerdynamics. Good stuff. I love my Grado SR325's with a headphone preamp going to my laptop for listening and recording. But any of these in this price range are pretty good. Cheap cans of any brand suck. No exceptions. I've been thru a lot of 50 - 100 dollar headphones. (Add it up and I could be in listening heaven by now.)

  20. #17

    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    I use Grado 325i's fed through an Audient ID14. That combination has minimal latency, with a DI in and 1/4 HP out. Short cables help.

  21. #18

    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    I would recommend NOT getting expensive headphones JUST for guitar, but if you're planning on listening to music with them as well, check out HeadRoom: Stereo Headphones, Amps & DACs, Wireless, Noise Canceling, Ear Canal, Earbud, Audio Cables & Accessories. Just about any HP will sound good with guitar. I personally don't use HP's when I am searching for the right tone.

    If you want more suggestions, you may check Head-Fi or HeadphonesUnboxed websites.

  22. #19

    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by Practicing on the Electrics. ...
    I assumed the OP meant using headphones instead of the amplifier speakers, while practicing playing an electric mandolin or other electric instrument.

    For such practicing, IMO (FWIW) it isn't required to get too fancy, just about anything will work as long as it doesn't have that extra-exaggerated bass response that some headphones do.

    Everyone's priorities are going to be a little bit different...

    As to "recommendations"... that's a tough one... what *I* use isn't necessarily what someone else would be willing to put up with...

    In my case, I wouldn't recognize nor value/appreciate "hi-fi" if it came up and bit me on the behind, nowadays here are the only things I care about in a set of headphones:

    1. Lightweight. I typically use headphones many hours per day (we use headphones for literally everything here, even all of our TV and radio), and after an hour or two the heavier ones become tiresome. I opted to not repair my excellent old Sony Studio Monitor headphones when they broke, because I was tired of their weight. Went and bought some ultra-cheapies instead, been using this model for several years now.

    2. Adjustable or bendable, so as to not pinch my ears. These cheap ones I have now, required several sessions of heat-treatment (I used a hair dryer) to make the plastic top-band part flexible enough so I could bend it out to where it would *stay* bent, because they were way too tight at first. Bending them like this is a gamble though, have to be exceptionally careful and delicate about it, otherwise they could break instead of bending.

    3. Absolutely *NO* "enhanced bass" that exaggerates the bass sounds. I don't typically listen to genres where extra-loud bass is required. Enhanced-bass headphones make regular music sound weird.


    ------------------------------
    So, what model exactly, am I using? (CAUTION: Long-winded ramble follows, skip if preferred.) Well this is a little embarassing, in a world where money equals importance, but this is what I use nowadays, even though it's cheap and tawdry and the mic doesn't work (don't want the mic anyway, just fold up the mic so it isn't in your way) : yeah these low-end Logitech H111 headphones are actually what I use for casual practicing at home.

    They are certainly *not* marketed as being hi-fi or anything like that.

    (Lol now I have yet another 'reason' for why my multi-track YouTube videos sound the way they do, ha! as these are the headphones I use for adjusting volume levels when mixing my tracks, these particular Logitech headphones are *so* not designed for that, eek).

    Anyway that model also gets bad reviews online, and yeah the reliability is mediocre, so if you take a chance on one of these, buy locally and keep your receipt & packaging in case you need to return it because they have had problems with "bad batches" in the past. The main thing is, don't yank them around or the wires come loose. Sometimes the wires come loose anyway, but if they're mistreated it accelerates the process. Oh and this is the model that I had to heat-treat to make them fit, even though I have a little pin head these were way too tight until modified.

    So I can't really say as I'd "recommend" that model as a first experience in headphones, but I use them and if they break I will buy identical replacements because, for me, I can easily work around their deficiencies. Might not be other people's cup of tea though.
    Last edited by JL277z; Mar-14-2017 at 6:13am. Reason: Fix formatting.

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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    I really like my audio-technica ATH-m35
    Jason Anderson

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  24. #21
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    4 months later, OP* realizes he cannot just plug the headphones into his electric Mandolin right?
    even though the headphone has a 1/4" plug..

    You need a Preamp with a headphone Out , jack.. in the signal chain.


    A 2 channel mixer is cheap, and can do that..

    * [and others reading this]


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  25. #22

    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    It might be a good idea to avoid these ones.

  26. #23

    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    It might be a good idea to avoid these ones.

    I just saw that too!
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  27. #24
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    Yea, wireless probably has a Lithium rechargeable battery in it.. that had issues..


    I remember when the airline headsets were just air powered, .. hoses to them,
    the speaker was in the armrest, pushing the air out thru the 2 hoses.
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  28. #25

    Default Re: Headphones recommendations?

    I use Sony MDRZX110 folding over-ear phones. Cost me $40 Cdn but currently on clearance for $10 at Walmart. Surprisingly durable in that cheap portable phones usually break or malfunction within a year or much less. I always stick these in my jacket pocket or backpack and despite the fragile looking plastic balljoint that folds the earpieces inline with the headband, they are still unbroken and functional after two or three years of this maltreatment. Sound is perfectly adequate for practice or casual listening. Recommend.

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