Headphones/Earphones for studio?

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I have some recording planned in the near future and I need to pull the trigger on some headphones/earphones now so that I'm ready. Hope no-one minds me posting this in general discussion but I was hoping to get a bit more exposure..

So, I tried recording tonight using my skull candy earphones on my ipod, was a disaster trying to hear the music at full blast, time to finally get some cans, but then I remembered everyone plugs IEMs on this forum too.

I lean towards headphones because I can share them with band mates when listening back to recording whereas with IEMS you kinda don't wanna share earwax around. IEMs also cost alot more from what I've seen, and I'm not sure but do they need to be moulded to your ears if you want isolation? I do plan on a live career in drumming, and the IEM is probably alot more fashionable. Is one better than the other for studio?

I have moulded musicians earplugs so I'm aware of how much better they block out sound than sticking any old earbuds in your ears.

Anyway I really like Travis Orbin and I checked out what he uses, and he uses these.

http://www.extremeheadphones.com/products/ex-29-headphones

Any opinions?

If you prefer EIMs, which ones should I be looking at?

Thanks for any help!
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I use the GK Music Ultraphones on stage, and in the studio. Excellent sound, excellent isolation. I've tried the Extreme Isolation phones and others, and nothing comes close. See http://www.gk-music.com/ultraphones.htm

The importance of good iso phonmes ion the studio is not just so youv can hear what you want, but so the mics don't pick up the sound in your phones, especially when playing to a click. Nothing worse than a quiet passage with a click being heard in the background.

Bermuda
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Thanks.

Ex-29's I can get for $120 delivered, whereas Ultraphones are $230 + postage.

It looks like they only sell GK direct 'cos I can't find them anywhere else.

Will have a think about it. Price puts it up around moulded IEM territory though...
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Ex-29's I can get for $120 delivered, whereas Ultraphones are $230 + postage.
Yeah, I know it's tough to spend almost twice as much on something, be glad they're both relatively modest amounts. Are the GK phones twice as good as those? At least.

Let's put it this way... you get what you pay for. And the GK phones are actually not very expensive compared to other phones out there that don't offer isolation.

And you really don't need the vinyl case, so knock off $10.

Bermuda
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I'll take your word for it, will see what price + postage they quote.

But can anyone tell me if one is better than the other, iems vs headphones? I've already let myself get excited about headphones but thinking ahead I think I'd rather not wear headphones on stage. More I think about it, maybe moulded earphones could work in both studio and on stage. Probably sounds like I'm nitpicking I know..
 
A

audiotech

Guest
Personally I'll try to use closed back headphones in as many situations as possible and absolutely in the studio for tracking and critically analyzing a mix or microphone placement. A lot of times I'll remove my headphones to give another person the ability to critically hear what I'm hearing, for the sake of hygiene, this wouldn't work with earbuds.

Dennis
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I tried the Vic firth ones out today, I know theyre only for practice but I realized that you can hardly hear what you're playing with these isolating headphones. I guess the idea is that you're listening to your drums through the mics as you record. Probably an obvious thing but I have almost no recording experience other than recording jams.

Yak yak

Ultra phones are 280 after postage.. ho hum. Might do it.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Hey Bermuda? Have you tried the Beyerdynamic DT 770 M?
Haven't seen those in person. Judging by the photol of the cushy earpads, I don't get the impression they isolate as well as the Peltor heraring protectors used for the Ultraphones. Yeah, I see they "spec" at 35db, but we still have to try them on and see.

Unfortunately, the Ultraphones aren't available at retail, so trying them is a leap of faith based on word of mouth or the testimonials on their site.

One comment about any set of phones, if you have bushy or thick hair, and the phones can't make a good seal around your ear, it results in less (or no) isolation. I generally keep my hair short, but on tour, I keep it very short for the best isolation against stage volume and ambience (which includes slapback.) I wouldn't ask anyone to change their looks forn the sake of headphones, and in those cases, molds might be the alternative. They will be a lot more than phones, however. And, a younger persons ears change throghout their life, so new molds are a good idea every 5 years or so. They're a real commitment.

Bermuda
 

imispgh

Senior Member
Klipsch S-4. Sound excellent with the bass tipped up a bit which helps. i can hear the kick. Excellent isolation. (If the bass isn't good and they don't isolate extremely well they are not in right. Twist slow and push. When it hits the spot you will know)

Tried Firts - Crappy bass and treble and get uncomfortable

Have Sennheiser HD-280 - bass a bit shy and don't isolate nearly as well as the S-4s. Look at their reviews. Very well thought of
 

ermghoti

Silver Member
I have both Senn 280HDs and 7506s (the drivers used in the GKs). I like the Sonys better overall, but had a very bad experience on drums with them.

I was recording a friend's band for a demo, and couldn't get a snare sound, everything was dry and clacky .Tried everything, different positions, different mics, different tuning, multiple mics. Fortunately, it was a set-up day, and I had time to fix it before the recording session proper started. When I got home and sparked up my monitors, I was surprised at how decent the sound actually was. At some point in my fiddling, long after I had given up taking notes, I had stumbled upon an absolutely magical sound, I think with a SM57, but no idea how I had placed it. Couldn't quite replicate it, but I got a decent sound anyway.

While the Sonys are more accurate overall, IMO, they are not to be trusted around maybe 250-500 Hz or so, and I use the Senns to set up drums now. I'll check the sound through the Sonys to make sure nothing weird is happening in the mids and highs afterwards.

YMMV
 

noahJT

Junior Member
For studios, the biggest thing for a performer is having something that won't bleed into the recording.

For this reason, even though it may seem tacky, a lot of big name engineers I've worked with have asked if I had a pair of Vic Firth Isolation headphones that I'd want to use. The sound quality is good enough, they don't bleed, and if you use them for practice, it's great cuz you'll already be comfortable with them.

Now if you want something that's a bit more pricey, check out the Shure SRH840s or anything from that model line. Pretty much industry standard recording headphones for general use (other than maybe the times you want an open pair for mixing/mastering, but you def don't want that for recording!)
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
With a few recording dates coming up I pulled the trigger on the ultraphones. Very excited to try them out.

Thanks all for the tips, and Bermuda, I hope they're as good as you say.
 
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