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View Full Version : Headphones are for ... er ... um


chest
04-03-2008, 05:21 AM
Now and again, I wonder about getting good headphones - eg, as discussed on this forum, Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro, or Sennheiser HD650.

But ...
--- I wouldn't rely on the headphones for mixing, and
--- I wouldn't use them for listening to CDs.


The only uses I can think of at present are:

--- checking a mix with headphones, for:
..... -- details I might miss using monitors, or
..... -- how it would sound to someone listening on headphones

--- hearing a mix without the influence of my room's below-par acoustics

--- listening to tracks whilst recording audio with a mic nearby.


For some of these things, my old, poor-quality headphones are good enough.

For the audio recording, I imagine the (open) Sennheisers ought to be avoided.


In this context:

(1) Do you think I'd get much benefit from good headphones?
(2) Is there much to gain by getting the significantly more expensive Sennheiser HD650 rather than the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro?

Finally, do headphones have some really valuable use that I've not mentioned above?

Armadillo
04-03-2008, 05:38 AM
Have a look here..

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan07/articles/mixingheadphones.htm


And this is funny actually....well from my point of view....while doing a search for that article I noticed that SOS have just published in their magazine this month a question I made on their forum.
Fame at last lol.
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr08/articles/qa0408_4.htm

As a matter of fact I now bought Sennheiser HD650 and are selling my monitors. Not because I don't want monitors, but I think it's pointless having sub-standard monitors. Looking to get Adam A7's at some point.

Vincent Bergbahn
04-03-2008, 06:03 AM
Get AKG

I recommend AKG 701s. I have them and love them. Gottem for 255 on the net.

chest
04-03-2008, 06:03 AM
Thanks for the links, Armadillo, though they're about mixing on headphones, which is something I don't want to do. It's other uses I'm wondering about.

chest
04-03-2008, 06:05 AM
Thanks for the recommendation, Vincent, I'll bear that in mind.

I'm mainly looking at why I'd buy any good headphones, rather than which ones to choose.

Armadillo
04-03-2008, 06:13 AM
In that case it's purely a matter of how much spendulas you've got. You'd probably be fine with your current headphones unless of course they are some $10 DJ ones.
And again if you have some fairly high-end Genelecs (or similar) headphones probably won't do much for you.

MrAlex
04-03-2008, 09:19 AM
I got me a $2 set of headphones. I make sure it sounds good on those. Then I mix on my monitors, and make sure it sounds good on those. Then I go back to the headphones and if it still sounds good then I whack a CD in my car (with stock stereo), check it out on a cheap hi-fi, play it through my laptop speakers and then I can be sure it will work well on most monitoring devices.

My perspective is if it doesn't sound good through cheap and nasty headphones, as well as through expensive and top notch monitors, then you've narrowed the appeal of your music to either one or the other.

So in answer to #1 I guess it depends on your perspective.

My answer to #2 is that headphones let you work at night when at home without upsetting the significant other and heaven forbid waking the children.

Jonathan Kranz
04-03-2008, 10:17 AM
You can find some great deals on Sennheiser HD580's... which are very close to the 650's. You do need a good headphone amp in general for Sennheisers, otherwise you'll find yourself cranking your interface much higher than what you're used to. I use them often when writing late at night:cool:

lilycat
04-03-2008, 11:26 PM
I love my 650's. I have a great pair of Mackie HR824's as my main studio monitors but it's funny - slipping on the headphones while the Mackie's are still playing something, the sound just continues flawlessly - no disruption, though perhaps a slight improvement in clarity for the headphones.

I've never mixed anything with the AKG 701's but my understanding of them vs the 650's is that it's just a matter of taste - they are both excellent.

admin
04-04-2008, 06:38 AM
Is this in relation to mixing with EW products, otherwise why is it here?

Do you really love this forum so much that you want to discuss hardware here also? If so, we'll start a section for it and adjust the forum rules, but if we do, NO advertising including links and/or prices.

Andrew Sigler
04-04-2008, 07:06 AM
You can find some great deals on Sennheiser HD580's... which are very close to the 650's. You do need a good headphone amp in general for Sennheisers, otherwise you'll find yourself cranking your interface much higher than what you're used to. I use them often when writing late at night:cool:

Jonathan, don't you know the rules!?!?

ADMIN'S a COMIN'!!!

Pietro
04-04-2008, 07:33 AM
Is this in relation to mixing with EW products, otherwise why is it here?

Do you really love this forum so much that you want to discuss hardware here also? If so, we'll start a section for it and adjust the forum rules, but if we do, NO advertising including links and/or prices.

Might not be a bad idea :)

There are people on these forums, we feel, that could help us in chosing certain gear, which in fact, as we ask here, not on other forums, will be used in connection with EW products.

Computers and other hardware stuff dilemas - it's all part of our work, why wouldn't we ask for advice people, who mostly use the same software - software from EastWest?

- Piotr

MrAlex
04-04-2008, 07:39 AM
You could of course add a condition of entry to the hypothetical general / tech discussion forum section that restricts access only to registered users of the software if it is that much of a concern.

I agree with Pietro. I wouldn't know about lightpipe & midi over lan if it weren't for these forums.

drum4umusic
04-04-2008, 08:02 AM
Yes, I also agree with Pietro. Is it safe to say that a majority of the people that read, (have registered here) and have posted on this forum, are in deed, EW users?

Also, items such as Macs, PC's, soundcards to use, etc., along with software such Logic, Cubase, Sonar are discussed on the forum all the time. With great impunity I might add! Yet I'm not sure why headphones would be an off limit topic.

I'm a big fan of EW and their products and I find the discussion of problems and the benefits of using some third party products, such as hardware, incredibly valuable to me and my work.

I understand that in order to prevent kaos in the cosmos, some rules need to be set up on behalf of the forum. Perhaps some concessions can be made here.

chest
04-04-2008, 08:58 AM
Is this in relation to mixing with EW products, otherwise why is it here?

Do you really love this forum so much that you want to discuss hardware here also? If so, we'll start a section for it and adjust the forum rules, but if we do, NO advertising including links and/or prices.

Might not be a bad idea :)

There are people on these forums, we feel, that could help us in chosing certain gear, which in fact, as we ask here, not on other forums, will be used in connection with EW products.

Computers and other hardware stuff dilemas - it's all part of our work, why wouldn't we ask for advice people, who mostly use the same software - software from EastWest?

- Piotr

Yes, my question implicitly concerned usage with EW products, even though (as I've said) I don't want to make my mixing dependent on headphones. In the past there have been several threads concerned with headphones, with useful advice from people about different models. I thought it wouldn't be too contentious to broaden the question a little and ask what other roles headphones can play beyond that of creating the mix - even if it turned out that uses were identified that didn't actually involve EW products, though I suppose EW might regard straying like that from EW products as a misuse of EW's forum resources.

I agree with Piotr's remarks.

Of course EW must have rules about advertising and other aspects of forum usage, and I think I've detected a recent step change in the stringency with which they're applied. But if you can, as you suggested above, consider tweaking the rules for situations that don't involve products (such as hardware) that compete with EW's, I expect that would indeed be appreciated by forum users. However, if someone asked, for instance, to have recommendations for headphones suitable for mixing EWQLSO, I'd have though EW wouldn't be harmed if brands and prices were mentioned? Of course, you won't want people surreptitiously slipping in advertising in the guise of questions or answers about hardware, so it's not simple and clear-cut to say what off-EW-product (if any) was acceptable: "Get yourself back in the right mood for mixing by taking a break and cooking a steak on a BurnItAll barbecue - only $99.99 from all bad hardware stores."

About the "love this forum..." remark: perhaps "love" is a stronger word than I'd use, but there's an ambiance here and forum members whose views I appreciate, which together make this forum a pleasure to use. Compare the feel of Cubase.net. I think the difference probably stems from the level of satisfaction with the products and the evident concern that Doug & Nick show over their customers' experience with their products.

RCRees
04-04-2008, 09:22 AM
Might not be a bad idea :)

There are people on these forums, we feel, that could help us in chosing certain gear, which in fact, as we ask here, not on other forums, will be used in connection with EW products.

Computers and other hardware stuff dilemas - it's all part of our work, why wouldn't we ask for advice people, who mostly use the same software - software from EastWest?

- Piotr

I agree. I was also gently nudged by "admin" for my thread about XP Physical Address Extension. I saw no problem because in my world EVERYTHING is about EW libraries. The technical advice I've discovered in this community has greatly expanded my ability to use these wonderful libraries. I trust and admire EW and I also trust and admire the users of this forum... for all kinds of advice. And moving into the 64bit world of Play, I'm thinking I may need some more help in the future. Perhaps a separate forum to talk about tech issues (with all advertising banned) would be a good idea, i.e., the separate section on Midi that is really useful to all EW users.

Thanks,

Rob

Dave Bourke
04-04-2008, 09:46 AM
Well, why stop at questions about headphones? We all use lots of different hardware in conjunction with EW software – MIDI interfaces, audio interfaces, third-party mice and computer keyboards, etc. Where do you draw the line?

If you want advice or information about headphones, there are specialist websites (we've all heard of Google, right?) And for audio pro rather than audiophile advice, right off the top of my head, GearSlutz and KVRAudio come to mind.

I come here for news, techniques, tips, and tricks involving EW software. Personally, I wouldn't welcome dilution of these forums with questions about subjects that properly belong elsewhere.

Just my two cents...

Kind regards.

LEX
04-04-2008, 10:17 AM
I found my HD650's to be the closest to my JBL's.

Almost as if I put my JBL's on my ears.

LEX

chest
04-04-2008, 10:58 AM
Well, why stop at questions about headphones? We all use lots of different hardware in conjunction with EW software – MIDI interfaces, audio interfaces, third-party mice and computer keyboards, etc. Where do you draw the line?
Dave, I'm surprised you haven't noticed there already has been a lot of discussion about audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces, hard disc drives, MIDI keyboards, and other stuff (including headphones) - all without complaint from EW, and apparently appreciated by forum users.

If you want advice or information about headphones, there are specialist websites (we've all heard of Google, right?) And for audio pro rather than audiophile advice, right off the top of my head, GearSlutz and KVRAudio come to mind.
If you look again at my OP, you'll see I wasn't asking for recommended models - I was asking about the roles of headphones (in studio use with EW products) and about the way I'd benefit from having better headphones than I currently have.

I come here for news, techniques, tips, and tricks involving EW software. Personally, I wouldn't welcome dilution of these forums with questions about subjects that properly belong elsewhere.
There was a hint, above, that EW might be generous enough with forum resources to create a hardware section. If you steered clear of that, you wouldn't be troubled by dilution.

Vincent Bergbahn
04-04-2008, 02:04 PM
Yes please start an EW with hardware section. It's not that other sites don't cover hardware, it's that I want to know about people who have the best results with EW stuff and hardware. I want to know what the Composers are using. Not every Dj wannabe and audiophile guy. This site is about pro music production and haw to do it. That's why I want to talk about everything from idea to process to hardware to masterpiece, here with EW owner and professionals. Blogs as resources are great don't let is just be about complaining and tech requests. This forum is big part of the product serving as the enabling information to make the whole thing work.

Admin do it... Make this site the number one headquarters of midi orchestration and composing.

Thanks.....

gstitt
04-05-2008, 04:21 AM
Yes please start an EW with hardware section. It's not that other sites don't cover hardware, it's that I want to know about people who have the best results with EW stuff and hardware. I want to know what the Composers are using. Not every Dj wannabe and audiophile guy. This site is about pro music production and haw to do it. That's why I want to talk about everything from idea to process to hardware to masterpiece, here with EW owner and professionals. Blogs as resources are great don't let is just be about complaining and tech requests. This forum is big part of the product serving as the enabling information to make the whole thing work.

+1 for me. I spend a lot of time on other forums, and in my opinion, they are almost useless for a lot of midi orchestration related hw questions. For example, after asking about a machine with > 8 GB of memory, I have had people respond saying I'm dumb because you never need more than 2 GB and then go into a long rant about how memory doesn't make computers faster. Clearly, the world of midi orchestration has different views.

I like discussing hw on this forum because everyone has the same interests, and it is easy to get the best advice.

V o n h ö g e n
04-05-2008, 10:58 AM
I am a bit confused by the discussion here. :confused: Over the past years, there have been countless threads with members asking for all kinds of hardware advice, and I don't recall seeing any official warning for breaking forum rules because of this. I wonder what the problem is with this thread. :confused: It's obvious that the topic is related to EW products. After all, it's in the interest of every customer to be able to hear EW samples in the best possible sound quality.

Therefore, I recommend the magnificent Sennheiser HD650. Like Jonathan Kranz already said, you will need a very good headphone amp if you really want to benefit from the unsurpassed quality of the Sennheiser HD650. If money is not an issue, you could try out the hand-built Graham Slee Solo Headphone Amp. Make sure the DACs of your soundcard have a decent SNR (mine has 116 dB).

- Jerome Vonhögen

chest
04-09-2008, 12:02 PM
... 650's. You do need a good headphone amp in general for Sennheisers, otherwise you'll find yourself cranking your interface much higher than what you're used to...
A lot of people seem to like the Sennheiser HD650 headphones very much.

This thing about their needing a headphone amp: is it just because they're ~600 ohms, or are they inherrently quiet, over-and-above what the impedence suggests?

Is the amp's purpose just to boost the volume, or is it about sound quality?

I've found out that the 250-ohm Beyerdynamic DT770 headphones (although rather quiet on my hi-fi system) work OK with the important headphone outputs on my studio equipment, all with plenty of volume to spare. Does this give any indication of whether the HD650s (with a bit over double the impedence of the DT770s) would be loud enough without a headphone amp?

Can anyone say how well the HD650s perform when plugged into the headphone output of the "Audiodock" (break-out box) unit that's part of the Emu 1820m (for PC sound)?

Jonathan Kranz
04-09-2008, 12:07 PM
A lot of people seem to like the Sennheiser HD650 headphones very much.

This thing about their needing a headphone amp: is it just because they're ~600 ohms, or are they inherrently quiet, over-and-above what the impedence suggests?

Is the amp's purpose just to boost the volume, or is it about sound quality?

I've found out that the 250-ohm Beyerdynamic DT770 headphones (although rather quiet on my hi-fi system) work OK with the important headphone outputs on my studio equipment, all with plenty of volume to spare. Does this give any indication of whether the HD650s (with a bit over double the impedence of the DT770s) would be loud enough without a headphone amp?

Can anyone say how well the HD650s perform when plugged into the headphone output of the "Audiodock" (break-out box) unit that's part of the Emu 1820m (for PC sound)?

All I know is that the volume knob on my MOTU 2408 was always about a quarter to a third higher when using the Sennheisers, as opposed to some Sony 7506's that I was using previously. Always got a nice surprise when switching on the monitors!

-Jonathan

nickysnd
04-09-2008, 01:58 PM
All I know is that the volume knob on my MOTU 2408 was always about a quarter to a third higher when using the Sennheisers, as opposed to some Sony 7506's that I was using previously. Always got a nice surprise when switching on the monitors!

-Jonathan
Ah, but that's normal, it's caused by impedance difference between headphones and speakers. That's why many soundcards have separate outputs (and volume knobs) for headphones. (I even have two separate outputs/knobs for two headphones, in addition to speakers outputs)

LEX
04-09-2008, 08:43 PM
Here is the rule:

Output ohm must be lower than input ohm.
Or, the output of the device must be lower than the headphones.

Here is the problem with the Sony's and the 2408's.

The sony headphone ohms are 24 ohms.
I am pretty sure the MOTU is about 50 or 60 ohms.

So you are loading the headphones down, and will eventually destroy them.

This is why many pro headphone are much higher in ohms.

milliwatts have something to do with it as well.
For example, the Presonus Central Station is rated at 60 ohms/150mW per channel where the Mbox is rated at 50 ohms/6mW per channel.

The HD650's are 300 ohms, not 600.

I also have the 770's, but the Pro 80's (80 ohms) and the output is fine on everything.

Just look up the ohm and mW rating of your EMU.

Emu must be lower ohms than your headphones.

LEX

chest
04-10-2008, 07:35 AM
Aha! Thanks, LEX - and, in particular, for correcting my mistake about the HD650's impedence.

The EMU manual says the output impedence is only 22 ohms, so that's miles less than the headphones' impedence (as reqd by the rule LEX gave). In fact, the manual says "Low impedence headphones (< 300 ohms) may cause additional distortion." (Under 300 ohms is low, now?)

Given the amount of spare volume there was when using the 250-ohm DT770s on the studio equipment, I suppose that means there's little danger that the HD 650s (at 300 ohms) would be too quiet - unless the HD650s are just inherrently quieter for the same power usage?

Is anyone aware of having to turn up the volume to make the HD650s the same loudness as the DT770s?

LEX
04-10-2008, 11:56 AM
Aha! Thanks, LEX - and, in particular, for correcting my mistake about the HD650's impedence.

The EMU manual says the output impedence is only 22 ohms, so that's miles less than the headphones' impedence (as reqd by the rule LEX gave). In fact, the manual says "Low impedence headphones (< 300 ohms) may cause additional distortion." (Under 300 ohms is low, now?)

Given the amount of spare volume there was when using the 250-ohm DT770s on the studio equipment, I suppose that means there's little danger that the HD 650s (at 300 ohms) would be too quiet - unless the HD650s are just inherrently quieter for the same power usage?

Is anyone aware of having to turn up the volume to make the HD650s the same loudness as the DT770s?

You should be fine with the HD650's or the BD's.

Low impedence headphones would be the Sony 7506's. (24ohm) They would likely load down and distort.
250 and 300 isn't really that much, and it is likely you wont hear the difference.

LEX