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  #1  
Old 03-27-2008, 04:16 AM
RobertM RobertM is offline
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Default Best Head Phones for Practicing

I am looking for good head phones to use while practicing. When I play along with records, I don't want to blow out my ears--either by using traditional head phones or iPod ear pieces or by using general ear plugs and cranking up the volume (and thereby annoying the neighbors).

Here are the devices I've come across to solve this problem:

- Shure e2 in-ear phones
- Vic Firth SIH1 Stereo Isolation Head Phones
- UE in-ear monitor phones (http://www.ultimateears.com)
- MetroPhones

I have heard customer complaints about the Vic Firth and MetroPhones--basically, they do not work as well as the companies claim. On the other hand, I do not have experience with in-ear monitors from UE or Shure and thus do not know if they'll be useful.

Any suggestions or comments?
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:50 AM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

I have some cheap things that i got at like wal-mart or something. It said noise canceling on them and they were like 20 bucks. They work fine for me.
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Old 03-27-2008, 05:59 AM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

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Old 03-27-2008, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

I use some DJ Sennheiser ones as i do DJ-ing as well but they have limiter so if i use the either DJ-ing to drumming the sound people (or myself) cant blow my ears away. Also protect my ears from my loud drumming, especially high-end cymbals noise but at the same time allow me to hear what im playing by reducing the DB levels.

Does any of that make sense?
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

I like my Sony MDR V-600. Lightweight, great sound. I also wear a set of foam earplugs between the headphones and my ears to add another layer of protection to my hearing.
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Old 03-27-2008, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

I use the Direct Sound Extreme Isolation headphones and they are great. Very comfortable and they do a great job of isolation. http://www.extremeheadphones.com/
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

I liked the isolation that the Vic Firth cans gave, but they were uncomfortable and the sound quality was really lacking. I've also tried to use regular studio monitor headphones but they really weren't protecting my hearing enough and I had to crank them to damaging levels just to hear what I was playing along to.

I don't have the Shure E2s... I think they have been discontinued, but there are many different names for the ~$100 shure in ear monitors. SE110, E2, SCL2 are all pretty much the same. I have the SCL2 and I'm very happy with them... it's like a better sounding pair of iPod headphones + isolation + they stay put in your ears like they are glued in. I tried the various interchangeable earpieces, and the ones that are made out of earplug material are excellent.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

I've got the $100 Sure in ears (I think they are the EC2) and they are great in ears for the price. I've practiced with them a few times and still prefer an over the ear headphone, you'll get better bass reponse and overall sound quality if you invest the same amount into the headphones. Like I mentioned in my post earlier for protection I use a pair of foam earplugs between the phones and my ears. Still offers good clarity but cuts down on the harmful volume and frequency's
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Old 03-29-2008, 06:10 AM
RobertM RobertM is offline
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

Thanks for the varied feedback! What do you all think of Koss Head Phones?

http://www.koss.com/koss/kossweb.nsf...c%5Enp%5EKEB79

I agree with Konaboy that over-the-ear phones would probably be better for sound isolation, but I don't want to pay +$300 for Bose phones. Those direct extreme phones look like they might do the job and be less expensive, and the UE (universal ear) in-ear phones and others seem good, too.

I worry about the MetroPhones and Vic Firth SIH1 phones--they sound good in print, but I hear and read so many complaints about them.
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Old 03-29-2008, 06:13 AM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

Ultimate Ear's top of the line stuff seems to be very highly regarded in the community (but it's very expensive). If money is a factor, I suggest you broaden your search within in-ear headphones. As a group, in-ear phones have great external noise attenuation and sound quality. Because they rest in the ear canal, the sound dampening basically functions like ear plugs (which work better than headphone sound killers) but with the added benefit of giving you a way to listen to something else. Just take a look at some UE, Shure, and Etymotic models for instance. There should be something in your price/quality range. Headphone.com is a good resource, by the way.
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  #11  
Old 03-29-2008, 08:20 AM
RobertM RobertM is offline
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

Hauk,

Thanks for that Web resource! This site actually confirms some other research/comparisons I've done--on the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro. CNet and Headphone.com both rate these cans as better in quality and value to the UE in-ears in the comparable price range. It appears that the UE in-ears only really stand out in the +$300 range. From what I've read, the Sennheiser HD 280s seem to stand out really--high quality sound, ambient reduction, etc., etc.
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:58 AM
RobertM RobertM is offline
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

Alongside the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro cans, the Sennheiser HD 595 models also seem really great. Headphones.com claims that the HD 595s offer such clear acoustic, organic clarity that you can hear fingers slide on fretboards, lips on horn mouthpieces, etc. The 595s also cost about $100 more than the 280s.

I think I'm definitely leaning towards Sennheiser, just not sure between the 280 Pro and the HD 595.
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertM View Post
Alongside the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro cans, the Sennheiser HD 595 models also seem really great. Headphones.com claims that the HD 595s offer such clear acoustic, organic clarity that you can hear fingers slide on fretboards, lips on horn mouthpieces, etc. The 595s also cost about $100 more than the 280s.

I think I'm definitely leaning towards Sennheiser, just not sure between the 280 Pro and the HD 595.

I would highly recommend just like with buying drum stuff you try to get to a store and try them on. My dad had some Senheiser's I loved, they were old enough that they were discontinued. So when I wore out the first set of V600 (after 10 years of heavy use) which I really loved (mainly the ear padding from sweating) I was convinced I wanted Senheisers. After trying 4-5 different pair they just didn't fit me right so I went back to the v-600. It's a trial and error thing with what will fit and feel good to you, just like pedals and sticks.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

Circa late 1970's I used Koss Pro 4AAs and then for a couple decades the Koss Pro 4X. Good, solid around-the-ear phones and not overly expensive. I don't think they make them anymore though. The last pair pretty much fell apart from over use a couple years ago and I went with the Sennheiser HD280 Pro. Very comfortable but a tad shy on the bass end. Overall, very good. I recently picked up an Ultrasone Proline 550 at rmcaudio.com for a very good price. Not quite as comfortable as the Sennheisers but they sound a little better.
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Old 03-30-2008, 02:23 AM
RobertM RobertM is offline
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

I agree: the bass on the HD 280 Pros isn't super strong, but the cans work very well. I tried out a pair at a music shop today: they worked well with just listening and while playing along with drums. I sat behind a Pearl Masters Maple kit and then a Tama SC Birch/Bubinga and played along with some tracks via my iPod, and the Sennheisers worked super well: I could hear the music I was playing along to perfectly well without my actual drum playing interfering at all. So, in my mind, perfect cans for practicing your playing to a CD, iPod, or the like. And the HD 280s are under $100 and basically offer just as good sound cancellation as the Bose Noise Cancellation head phones that cost over $300.

So far so good for the Sennheiser HD 280s. Jim: I'll check out those Ultrasone Prolines you recommend. Having a bit more bass would be nice. Ideally, I love significant bass with really high treble so that the cymbals/hi-hats come through crystal clear on recordings.

Thanks to all for the great advice and suggestions.
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  #16  
Old 03-30-2008, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

I have a pair of HD 280's they are very nice. For playing along to drums they work very well as long as you are not playing extremely loud, then you might have to crank it up a little bit more. I got mine for $70, it was definitely a $70 well spent.
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  #17  
Old 03-30-2008, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

I was in the same situation about two months ago. and got de sennheiser hd280's. they do the job just fine and I'm very happy with them. good sound and great isolation.
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  #18  
Old 04-05-2008, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

Another vote for the HD280s.. They fit over your entire ear and have very great sound.

When my band practices cover songs, I plug the phones into my iPod to play along with the music as we learn it and if I want to converse with someone, I have to take them off my ears because you can't hear them speak! They really isolate the outside noise well.
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  #19  
Old 04-05-2008, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

I've been using Extreme Isolation model EX-29 for a couple weeks now and really like them. They're a comfortable fit, solid noise reduction, and good sound quality. They work great for monitoring or practicing.
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

Honestly I was all up for getting the HD-280s, even went into the shop to buy them...

Then the guy figured out I was a drummer and made me try the Direct Sound Extreme Isolation Headphones.

They suck the sound level down. Brilliant. I bought them off Ebay, about a hundred dollars cheaper than the HD280s.

Try them out before you commit to anything, you'll like them.
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  #21  
Old 04-07-2008, 05:21 AM
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Trip McNealy Trip McNealy is offline
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Default Re: Best Head Phones for Practicing

Quote:
Originally Posted by oops View Post
Honestly I was all up for getting the HD-280s, even went into the shop to buy them...

Then the guy figured out I was a drummer and made me try the Direct Sound Extreme Isolation Headphones.

They suck the sound level down. Brilliant. I bought them off Ebay, about a hundred dollars cheaper than the HD280s.

Try them out before you commit to anything, you'll like them.
Wow, you must've gotten a refund/rebate too!!!

My HD280s were $99 from B&H Photo. A hundred dollars cheaper is basically free! :)
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