Budget headphones

matt_drummer

Junior Member
Hi guys!

I'm looking for a affordable pair of headphones, with noise isolation ( not cancelling). I've read a lot about the Vic Firth's headphones, and I still don't know if they're actually worth buying.
Please tell me what do you think of the Vic Firth's, and maybe you've got some ideas of other headphones that could be good for me.

Thanks
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Affordable is relative. D you mean under $100 for example? In that case, I'd say that the Vic Firth phones are your only choice, assuming that isolation and cost are most important. They're not going to give you great sound though, in case that's important. And it should be important, because you will end up buying better phones in the future, thereby spending a lot more than you're willing to spend now.

I think the next version up from there price-wise are the Extreme Isolation phones, which are okay... I've tried them twice over the last 10 years, including their current 'improved' model, and will never use them again. They have a thin cable coming from each earcup, which you may or may not find to be inconvenient. They're around $125, and some drummers do like them. I'll admit that they sound better than the Vic Firths.

I think those are your budget choices. If you're willing to spend more, say $219, there's another option that has served me perfectly over the last dozen years or so, both live and in the studio.

Bermuda
 

Superman

Gold Member
Bermuda, which do you recommend for $219? I currently use the Vic Firth ones which I don't have any problems with. However I believe that your hearing is priceless and I'd be willing to upgrade for something better. Thanks..
 

makinao

Silver Member
Sennheiser HD280 Pro and Sony MDR-7506. Both closed back with good isolation, come with good to very good reviews, and priced just cents below US$100 at most online stores.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Bermuda, which do you recommend for $219? I currently use the Vic Firth ones which I don't have any problems with. However I believe that your hearing is priceless and I'd be willing to upgrade for something better. Thanks..
The isolation is great on those, so hearing protection isn't the issue. The sound quality is just not great.

Sennheiser HD280 Pro and Sony MDR-7506. Both closed back with good isolation, come with good to very good reviews, and priced just cents below US$100 at most online stores.
I use the 7506 at home, and those are also the same drivers in the Ultraphones. I don't know about the Sennheisers, but I wouldn't say the Sony phones have suitable isolation from acoustic or amplified instruments.

And a quick note about using iso phones - if you have bushy/thick hair that prevents the earcup from sealing around your ear, you won't get good (or possibly any) isolation. I'm not saying users should shave their heads, bug let's just say that Kenny Aronoff will enjoy the best isolation, whereas Questlove won't. :O

Bermuda
 

Frank

Gold Member
I used to use the Vic Firth headphones. That pair lasted a few years but died recently. I replaced them with the Kat headphones.
Some places sell them for $69. I got mine for $49 at a local chain. They work well for me.

http://www.katpercussion.com/ktui26.html
 
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force3005

Silver Member
Hey Matt, thanks for joining DW. I have been using my Vic Firth’s for the past ten years and they work just fine. I practice about two hours a day or so about five days a week. I run my headphones through a small four channel PA. The click and CD sound fine through the headphones. Don't be fooled by the price. Good luck and let us know how it goes, your new friends at DW.
 

makinao

Silver Member
I use the 7506 at home, and those are also the same drivers in the Ultraphones. I don't know about the Sennheisers, but I wouldn't say the Sony phones have suitable isolation from acoustic or amplified instruments.
I have the Sennheiser 280 and its bigger brother the 380. I bought them primarily for location recording, but ended up using them for everything from studio to travelling to falling asleep. Isolation is much better than the 7506 and ATH m50.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Sennheiser HD280 Pro and Sony MDR-7506. Both closed back with good isolation, come with good to very good reviews, and priced just cents below US$100 at most online stores.
I've used both the Sennheiser HD280 Pro and Sony MDR-7506 for field location audio recording. Between the two I give the nod to the Sennheiser HD280 Pro. Good isolation and very comfortable headphones.

For even more isolation and a pair of phones that will stay absolutely glued to your head, the Sennheiser HD 25-1 II is amazing. DJ's rave about these phones staying in place. Only thing is if you have sensitive ears, these can feel like a vise exerting pressure to some individuals' ears. These are my "go to" cans for everything. If you get a set of these also consider ordering the extended Sennheiser coiled replacement cable for a longer, more comfortable cable with some reach.
 

matt_drummer

Junior Member
And what do you guys think about Beyerdynamic DT 770 M? I've heard a lot of good things about them, and they're about the same as Ultraphones when it comes to price.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
I had the BD DT770's and they weren't my style. They were the 70 ohm version so they required a small amp to properly power them. I didn't have an amp, so I wasn't getting everything they could give me. I think they have a 32 ohm version now which should be much easier to drive. Anyway, the ear cups are soft, velvety material which feels nice, but if you are sweating while playing drums it can get kind of gross. I also didn't feel that they isolated that well. They didn't clamp your head very tightly, so sound leaks in when moving around. Great studio monitors if you have an amp and are sitting still (and not sweating), but not that great for drumming.

I have AT M50's as well, but these are just fatiguing. My ears just hurt after about half an hour of listening. I really don't recommend them because of this. Okay isolation, and easy to drive, fake leather ear cups don't absorb sweat, so it has a few things going for it, but if your head just hurts while listening to them, its hard to recommend them.

My most recent purchase of headphones were the Brainwavz HM5's. Very neutral headphone, non fatiguing, easily driven, tight clamp force on your head, and big, soft fake leather ear cups. They have pretty darn good isolation (not 100% sound isolating) but I can't hear people talking at regular volumes when I wear these. They aren't too expensive either. If I were to recommend a not too expensive headphone with some decent sound isolation and good/great sound quality, I would recommend these.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I tend to use Sony MDR-750X, though some combination of perspiration and personal body chemistry tends to make the ear pads disintegrate. I have a drawer full of aftermarket replacement muffs that aren't so bad.
 

ghostnoted

Member
The best isolation you'll get are from earphones. They give you the best seal, which limits noise. Most of them come with different size earpads so you can find the best fit. Over-ears won't be as effective unless you go high end ($200+) or they have a noise cancelling capability. If you need something just to play along with where you can effectively hear, I suggest something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Ultimate-600vi-Noise-Isolating-Headset/dp/B003YKG2UK/ref=sr_1_11?s=aht&srs=2529810011&ie=UTF8&qid=1452023628&sr=1-11&keywords=earphones

I had a similar pair and used them in practice and for just commutes as well.
 

M Charli

Junior Member
I can recommend you two headphones:

  • Sennheiser HD280
  • Sony MDR7506

Both are closed back [ drum ], and offer a decent amount of noise isolation. Sound quality is better than Vic Firth's, too.
Thanks for your suggestion! Highly recommended and I'd also like to add Beyerdynamic's Pro. Cheersxx
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
something like the MEE m6 PRO on amazon is half the price and 5x the sound quality.

I have the vic's. They are built to last and isolate well, but the sound quality is meh. There is a huge lack of low end. They should make a new version with some solid lows.

It really depends on what you need. Playing an ekit with no low end is disappointing. When I upgraded my vic's to some decent IEM's I found a new love for my Rolands. Same with micing up the kit and playing with the mixer. Drums produce a large amount of lows that I want to hear.
 
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