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  #1  
Old 06-21-2012, 10:26 PM
gibeachhead gibeachhead is offline
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Default Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

I don't like In Ear Monitors....I currently use the Vic Firth Isolation headphones, but they are horrible. They don't isolate the drums very well (horrible cupping around the ears), and as a result I am playing the music on my iPod at the highest level. I know it's damaging my ears and it's time to get some better headphones that actually isolate.

I've been looking around and I really don't want to pay more than $100. My choice has come down to two sets:

KOSS Pro4AA: http://www.amazon.com/Koss-Pro-4AA-S...pr_product_top

Or

Metronome Studio Kans Isolation: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-a...ing-headphones

The KOSS gets great reviews, but many people seem to use them for listening to music and mixing, I need them mainly for use while playing my drums. So I wonder if they are good isolation headphones for drummers?

The Metronomes get negative reviews, but most reviews for those are over 3 years old (so maybe they have changed for the better?).

Both do get good marks on audio quality. What I really like about the Metronomes is that the ear cups are gel-filled, whereas the KOSS are air filled. Reading the reviews it seems that the Metronomes gel filled cups give you better isolation; but people say the gel tends to leak out over time (again, most of those reviews are old, maybe they fixed the leaking problem?).

Anyways, opinions are much appreciated here. If you own either one or can share your knowledge on the matter, I do appreciate it!
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2012, 04:44 AM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Once you get use to the in ears you will never use anything else, so much cleaner sounding and no feedback problems like speaker monitors, and not hot and sweaty or bulky like headphones, plus if you use ones that have the foam sleeves like Shure they isolate really well and stay in place and dont move around like headphones can.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Even though i usually hate in-ear kinds of headphones, instead of buying really expensive isolation headphones, i bought a pair of those noise isolating ear-covers that construction workers use, and i just wear high quality in-ear headphones (With the isolating headset over them) and they work pretty well!
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomate View Post
Even though i usually hate in-ear kinds of headphones, instead of buying really expensive isolation headphones, i bought a pair of those noise isolating ear-covers that construction workers use, and i just wear high quality in-ear headphones (With the isolating headset over them) and they work pretty well!
I did the same thing just with vic firth headphones, they didn't plug in. Those actually cancelled out the noise better than the plug in vic firth ones.
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2012, 06:58 AM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomate View Post
Even though i usually hate in-ear kinds of headphones, instead of buying really expensive isolation headphones, i bought a pair of those noise isolating ear-covers that construction workers use, and i just wear high quality in-ear headphones (With the isolating headset over them) and they work pretty well!
Works perfect for me too. I insert my high quality in-ear plugs first. Then over those I place headphones used at the shooting range. The iPod is kept at about 25% volume because the shooting range headphones really silence the drums.

As a bonus, you can jog or workout with the in-ear plugs since they are not big or bulky. If you want to protect your hearing, just use the rifle range headphones when you practice on your kit. I got my headphones for less than $20 at the sporting goods store.
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2012, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

I was just about to recommend the Vic Firth-phones, lol....
I'm using them and I think they're great. Either way, it's up to you...
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2012, 02:43 AM
gibeachhead gibeachhead is offline
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Thanks for the replies so far.

I have vic firth isolation headphones with the speakesr in them (~3 years old). They suck, the audio quality is terrible and there is no good seal around your ear...so they don't isolate well and volume is played at max.

I also have the standard blue (no speaker) isolation headphones by Vic firth. Those are amazing, those block out everything, problem is I need to hear my music (so they are only good for playing sans music or with a band mate). I do not want to use headphones/earphones under those, it doesn't work for me.

I can't stand things in my ear so isolation headphones are the way to go, I'm just not sure to get the Koss or the Metronomes. No stores in my area have either to try, so I gotta go based on Internet reviews. I need the one with the best seal around the ear/head (both get good marks on audio quality).
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  #8  
Old 06-27-2012, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Direct Sound EX-29 Extreme Isolation. 28db of isolation. also sound good for listening to music.

http://www.google.com/search?q=diect...ntu&channel=fs
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2012, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Ultraphones by GK-music.com have been my choice for several years.

Re the seal around your ears, keep in mind that if you have bushy/long hair, no cup will seal well.

Bermuda
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2012, 08:28 PM
gibeachhead gibeachhead is offline
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Ultraphones by GK-music.com have been my choice for several years.

Re the seal around your ears, keep in mind that if you have bushy/long hair, no cup will seal well.

Bermuda
Wow, those look great! The extra deep cup looks to accommodate the speaker and give enough empty space for your ear w/ a good seal.

They are double my budget, but I need to save my ears.

I'll have to think about it. Thanks Bermuda.
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  #11  
Old 06-27-2012, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

This is probably absolutely no help...but I picked up some Klipsch S4 noise isolating ear buds. Primarily I got them to ride motorcycle as at higher speeds the Skull Candy ear buds didn't get the job done.

I haven't tried them with my drums yet (newborn baby in the house) but I used them when I mowed the lawn and couldn't hear my mower at all.
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2012, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mls View Post
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
Yes or the Audio Technica ATH-50M.
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  #13  
Old 06-28-2012, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mls View Post
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
+ 1

I bought these 6 months ago -- they are superior -- and in your price range.


http://www.sennheiserusa.com/profess...280-PRO_004974
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  #14  
Old 06-28-2012, 07:09 PM
gibeachhead gibeachhead is offline
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterCylinder View Post
+ 1

I bought these 6 months ago -- they are superior -- and in your price range.


http://www.sennheiserusa.com/profess...280-PRO_004974
Superior to the ultraphones?

They isolate well and are tested to stay on your head while drumming? How tight is the cupping around the ears?

Forgive my suspicion, they look like normal listening/studio headphones. I know they say they isolate; but I'm weary they are made more for stationary listening and lack the ability to fit tight and isolate in movement.

To reply to some other posts: I have the Audio Technical MTH-50M and those in no way are isolating headphones. You cannot use those while drumming, they are strictly for listening or studio work.

I'm still leaning toward the ultraphones, I think I might just wait and save up more to get the right pair.
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  #15  
Old 06-28-2012, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gibeachhead View Post
To reply to some other posts: I have the Audio Technical MTH-50M and those in no way are isolating headphones. You cannot use those while drumming, they are strictly for listening or studio work.
Well, it depends on how much isolation you want, I use them while playing drums in my home studio and they work fine.
I also own the Sennheiser 280 pro, they isolate a few db more than the ATH-50.
So not much difference regarding that aspect.

Those Ultraphones look solid although not very comfortable.
I think in-ears could also be great although I've tried several general (as in: cheaper) ones and never got them to fit right so the isolation (and sound quality) was pretty bad.
I think I'll have to save up for custom made ones.
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  #16  
Old 06-29-2012, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

I would recommend the Shure SRH 440 headphones with a slight modification of the SRH 840 ear pads. These headphones isolate very well, are very comfortable around the ears, they are lightweight, compared to the SRH 840, they are about $120 USD and they sound great. I own two pairs and also two pairs of the SRH 840. I also have the Audio Technica 50M and wouldn't consider them isolation headphones. The 50s also have an exaggerated low frequency response that I find quite annoying. I also have the Sennheiser 280s, but the Shure 440 beats them hands down in both comfort and sonic quality.

Just my opinion.
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  #17  
Old 07-01-2012, 02:46 AM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by marko138 View Post
This is probably absolutely no help...but I picked up some Klipsch S4 noise isolating ear buds. Primarily I got them to ride motorcycle as at higher speeds the Skull Candy ear buds didn't get the job done.

I haven't tried them with my drums yet (newborn baby in the house) but I used them when I mowed the lawn and couldn't hear my mower at all.
Just want to update this in case any of you are interested...

I used the S4 while riding my motorcycle today. They work great. Block out plenty of wind noise at highway speeds.

Still haven't played drums with them...but I will.
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  #18  
Old 07-01-2012, 05:27 AM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

I have a pair of Studio Kans and they can get pretty heavy/uncomfortable after a while. I would recommend in ears instead.
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  #19  
Old 07-11-2012, 02:44 AM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Klipsch S-4i

I have the HD-280s and have had the Firths.

The 280s don't isolate nearly as well and have less low end. The Firths isolate but get uncomfortable and have crappy frequency extremes.

Once you get the S-4is in right they are amazing. Bass is a bit higher than flat but helps for drums.

(To get them in right slowly turn them until they go all the way in. they go so far it is a bit unnerving. If you don't have great bass they are not in right)
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  #20  
Old 07-11-2012, 04:25 AM
gibeachhead gibeachhead is offline
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

So I did make a decision and the new isolation headphones should be here tomorrow. I went with headphones (I'll tell which ones once I post a review), I cannot tolerate in ear monitors.

I feel very confident in my purchase and will post a review of them after I've had a few days and many hours playing with them!

Thanks for everybody's responses in this thread!
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  #21  
Old 07-11-2012, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gibeachhead View Post
I cannot tolerate in ear monitors.
I never liked them either, but it only takes a couple weeks to get use to them then you will never go back to headphones or a speaker monitor, sound quality is much better, isolation is better, they stay in place and dont move around and their not hot and sweaty or heavy like headphones and you dont need to eq for feedback like a speaker monitor so the sound is much crisper and they look much more professional live, nothing looks worse live than a drummer wearing a set of headphones.
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  #22  
Old 07-20-2012, 11:19 PM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mls View Post
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
+2 on these.......upgraded from my vic firth's to these and have no complaints...they sound great and fit snug.
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  #23  
Old 07-27-2012, 11:10 PM
gibeachhead gibeachhead is offline
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Ultraphones by GK-music.com have been my choice for several years.

Re the seal around your ears, keep in mind that if you have bushy/long hair, no cup will seal well.

Bermuda
I went with Bermuda's suggestion and I haven't look back.

Amazing isolation, extremely comfortable, they don't move/tight snug fit, excellent audio quality (highs and lows).

It really is amazing how I can play tracks at half the volume through this headset and be able to hear the music just fine along with my playing. These are exactly what I envisioned in my head as the perfect pair of isolation headphones for drummers.

My ears are very grateful for these headphones.
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  #24  
Old 07-30-2012, 05:22 PM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by marko138 View Post
Just want to update this in case any of you are interested...

I used the S4 while riding my motorcycle today. They work great. Block out plenty of wind noise at highway speeds.

Still haven't played drums with them...but I will.
Finally got to play my drums with these S4 headphones. They work well for playing along to music. Seal out plenty of noise. I like them.
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  #25  
Old 07-30-2012, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

I use the M audio IE10 they ran like 100 tax. M audio makes some great in ear monitors. they are very good quality.

They have more expensive ones if your budget allows but you really don't need them. I've gigged and practiced with these for 4 years and the sound quality is the same as the day I bought them, Clear bass mids and highs. Just a suggestion good luck.
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  #26  
Old 07-31-2012, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Those GK-Music UltraPhones are clearly a popular choice; they seem to pop up everywhere with top musicians. I have a pair of Sennheiser hd280s and a pair of Shure srh840s, both of which are great, but in my case, I'm practicing with the drums unmiced, and I find that I can't hear a lot of the sound, especially the higher pitches, coming from the drums. The isolation is just too much. I'm guessing that the UltraPhones would have the same issue. I recently read the review in Drum! Magazine and learned that GK-Music also has SuperPhones with the same high quality audio but with less isolation. Based on the review, it sounds like those are perfect for practicing with unmiced drums. Anyone have any experience with the SuperPhones?
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  #27  
Old 07-31-2012, 04:08 PM
EcnivZeud EcnivZeud is offline
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

Beyerdynamic D770M cancel all the frequency range very well so you can still hear your cymbals shimmering and the snare ringing while you play, but at a lower level.
The audio quality is very good (its brother the D770 Pro is widely used in recording studios), so you hear all the music clearly while you play and don't need to put the volume too loud. All these makes it a perfect pair of headphones for the drums.
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  #28  
Old 08-01-2012, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Isolation headphones. Need opinions please!

No clear winners here, seems to be a combination of drummer specific headphones and a broader selection of studio headphones.

I have the Firths, and don't really feel they give that much isolation, although I have not any direct comparisons, I used to have a pretty low end pair of in ears, and I felt they blocked more, especially compared to how low the ipod volume was set for these compared to the Firths, plus the Firths, for me any way, get really sweaty.

I switched as I felt an well sealing over ear isolation headphone would be better for my hearing, but now I am not so sure.
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