isolation/protection headphone

lagwagon06

New member
Hi guys,

I started to play drums again, after a few years and I am looking for a great isolation/protection headphone to practice.
My hearing protection is gonna be more important than the actual sound quality of the headphone. Indeed I will use the heaphone mainly to record tracks with a metronome, to practice over "unmixed pre-production", and sometimes over mixed songs.

Anyway, I have been reading a lot about multiple headphones the last few days, and I am getting confused on what I should get. So far I am leaning toward :
The vic firth SIH2 / Extreme isolation 25 or 29 / DT770M . These headphones, in this order, seems to offer 25 / 29 / 35 db of isolation. However after reading multiple threads, it seems that the 35db of isolation of the DT770M are actually not isolating as much as the 25db of SIH2. Not sure about the ex25/ex29, concerning isolation, some says it s better, other not, than the Vic firth.

I know a lot of people love the GK ultraphones, but these are out of my price range considering the shipping costs to my place.

Let me know what would be the best option for me, considering that isolation/protection is the most important. The best would be advice from people that had the chance to try multiple headphones.

Thanks !
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I know you’re talking about headphones, but I think in your pArticular boat (not a lot $$$), I think the Shure SE215 ($99) in-ear monitor would be a good compromise. The idea is to isolate so you’re not turning the volume up to hear over the incoming drum sound. They’re not like custom in-ears that can block close to 100% out, but they’re also not $500. If you have adequate isolation from the earbud, you won’t turn up the volume and will save your hearing over the long run.
 

lagwagon06

New member
Thanks for your answer.
I was leaning toward headphones, because I thought in-ears would offer less protection when compared to headphones. Indeed, having the click/music right in your ear might not be the best solution for me.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I have the Shure 215's. Yes, they protect well...especially if you trade out the black foam ear pads with the rubber grey ones (they are included). For the price, they really don't sound that bad!
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
If we're talking cheap, I use my earbuds and I put a set of $8 Wal-Mart shooting muffs over my ears.
This is exactly what I was going to say. They work great depending on how much isolation you need. And how loud you play.
With the shooting ear muffs your hearing is well protected.
And you can adjust the music level in the earbuds to match what your hearing from your drums.


.
 

n3kr0

Junior Member
I bought the Shure SE215 and they do isolate well, but i could never figure out how well they protect. I have been using Alpine Music Pro even when i go to the cinema, they turn down the volume but they also protect the earing from the damaging levels with the attenuation Filters. And that is what i dind't read anywhere about the Shure SE215 and anykind of filters or any other well known brand for that matter. They just state Sound isolation, not sound protection. Does anyone know that for a fact?
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Just buy the new model Vic Firths for $80 and be done with it. Great sound quality for the money (much improved over the former version), easier to use than earbuds under mufflers or “in ears”, and with care they will last you years.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
For budget conscious buyers the Vic Firth isolation headphones are good. Soupcansham's and Hollywood Jim's method is even cheaper and probably works almost as well.

I use the Ultraphones, not cheap but pro. They are a set of shooting muffs with good Sony drivers mounted in them. Very recognizable due to the red stripe thingy. Many players use them.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I also have the newer Vic headphones with the cord for music, and they are awesome to use for practice! I can play along to incoming music at a real low volume, nd hear the drums perfectly over top of it. My ears are now not being assaulted by either sound source. They are also very comfortable to wear for long periods of time, as I tend to play for 2-3 hours at a time.

I also use them for marching band practice, and that really saves my ears when we are inside
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
My anecdotal experience is that "any" isolation, even a winter hat with ear flaps, is wholly sufficient when compared to not using protection.

While I'm not suggesting everyone go out and get a winter hat, I want the takeaway to be that you don't need the expensive over-the-top protection that is being marketed by most manufacturers. Almost any over-ear headphones will protect your hearing and allow you to hear the monitor signal. Prioritize comfort/fitment/durability/sweat-absorbtion/serviceability over other marketing bullet points.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
My anecdotal experience is that "any" isolation, even a winter hat with ear flaps, is wholly sufficient when compared to not using protection.

While I'm not suggesting everyone go out and get a winter hat, I want the takeaway to be that you don't need the expensive over-the-top protection that is being marketed by most manufacturers. Almost any over-ear headphones will protect your hearing and allow you to hear the monitor signal. Prioritize comfort/fitment/durability/sweat-absorbtion/serviceability over other marketing bullet points.
Respectfully....disagree.

There is a measurable and easily discerned difference between standard over the ear headphones and proper “isolation” headphones or hearing protection earmuffs.
Simple test. Without playing music, put on a pair of closed back “headphones” and hit a crash cymbal good and hard. Now repeat that process using a rated pair of “isolation” headphones like the Vic Virths or the Ultraphones mentioned above.

You will have no problem determining which ones are really protecting your hearing properly.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
People's milage may vary. I prefer headphones as I think they're more practical to take on and off constantly. For long days of practice it's also probably better to not block your ears completely all day long.

I don't need so much isolation in my room, so Iæm currently using a pair of Ultrasone Pro 550s.


For heavy isolation you also got the Ultraphones.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
Custom ear mold/plugs. I use Microsonic Pulse and have -15db and -25db attenuation filters.
Once you go this route I don't think you'll ever go back.
Best fidelity, comfort and protection that you can get.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Respectfully....disagree.

There is a measurable and easily discerned difference between standard over the ear headphones and proper “isolation” headphones or hearing protection earmuffs.
While anyone can easily distinguish between the db/SPL of the bleed through and level of isolation in your test, you'll find that both protect your ears just fine. Even low-brow solutions like lawn&garden ear-cups, cotton balls, and wadded TP do the job. The ultimate point is that "anything" beats "nothing" by a ridiculous margin. "Great" beats "low-brow" by a far less consequential margin. Yes, the margin exists. No, it's not going to make a difference on your next ear-exam.

@anyone else... Regardless of which opinion you agree with, you should always use some (any) form of hearing protection.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
KamaK might suggest to someone with a budget and desire for a Black Beauty or a Dunnett to instead simply just go for the Pearl Export Steel snare since any snare is better than no snare. :)
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Personally I don't want to be fully isolated.

I get the plugs that have the attenuation built in to stop the really loud sounds and allow the rest through. When I want to practice to music I just put standard studio phones over them. I do the same when I'm recording. Monitor phones over my vater ear plugs.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I use earbuds that isolate and have a decimal limiter of 82. Pelter 3M earbuds around $50. The sound is OK not great
 
Top