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Headphone Opinions

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by steve_man, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    I'm planning on getting a new mackie spike in the next week or so and have been looking at a few pairs of heaphones.

    After going through some reviews I think I'd be interested in a set of Sony 7506 (or mdr v6). Unfortuantely the selection around my parts is nothing spectacular and I haven't been able to come across a pair of sonys for a reasonable price (I'm not willing to pay the full retail price for a pair of sonys). I've also been hearing a lot about the sennheiser HD 280s but again can't find a pair due to bad selection around my town. Some cans that I have come across are the HD 500's, a few pairs of AKGs, and possibly a set of Grado (but no promises).

    I'm looking for something that I can use when recording myself playing bass and drum tracks. Nothing too fancy ... just something that won't colour my tone and that won't take away from the groove. Have any reccomendations?
  2. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    I have a couple pairs of Senn HD580's. These used to be Sennheiser's #1 audiophile phone; they were bumped from that spot when the HD600 came out (minor improvements), and again when the HD650 came out (again, minor tweaks).

    All three are, essentially, the same phone. But now that the 600's and 650's are out, great deals can be had on the 580's (I've seen them recently for about $140; came across a screamin' deal a few years ago to grab mine for $120 each). Extremely comfortable, accurate, non-fatiguing cans. And IMO, you get about 99% of what the 600's and 650's give you, at less than half the price.

    They are high-impedance phones, though.... won't work well with portable players....
  3. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    I'm probobly going to have a hard time trying to find a pair like the the HD 580s - 600s around where I live, especially at a good price! For that reason I'm looking for something functional first and fancy next. But if I had it my way I'd have a set of Sony 7506s (not paying full retail price for it).
  4. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Search the usual places for a deal - ebay, pricegrabber, mysimon, etc.

    Before I got into higher-quality recording and mixing I never would have believed what a difference a good pair of headphones can make! I love my 7506's and would not enjoy living the rest of my life without them!
  5. FWIW i got a pair of the hd 280's for as a christmas present..

    i was pretty excited until i took them out of the box and they snapped right through the headband as soon as i went to put them on my head! (I at first thought that maybe i have an abnormally large head, but upon further inverstigation, it seems that this is not the case..)

    anyway.. i took them back and the store swapped them over. 2 months later, it happened again. Obviously this must have been a faulty batch.. but to be honest i didn't think much of their construction anyway. they just felt a little too fragile for my liking.

    i swapped them again for some top line beyerdynamics.. the model escapes me at the moment. but they're a lot more rugged (and feel more comfortable, to me) and i wouldn't feel too worried about throwing them in the car/bag to take to a session or uni. although, i obviously still take good care of them.

    anyway... good luck in your search.

  6. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    I have Sony 7506, Sennheiser HD600, Koss Porta Pro and Koss the Plug.
    My take on each:

    Sony 7506
    + most rugged, undestructable, comfortable, collapsible
    + closed, does not leak out
    + medium impedance
    +/- non flat sound, strong, but tight bass, bump on high mids (may sound harsh) This is con or pro depending on application - it can be useful for recording a bass track - to enhance the fundamental and edge of bass tone, but I find them too hyped for general music listening. Snare and hihats can be harsh.

    Sennheiser HD600
    + most comfortable - like a teddy bear hug :D
    + great very detailed, balanced sound, reasonably flat, good for late night mixing
    +/- bass response is rather "flat" can be felt bass shy for us bass heads
    - high impedance (not loud enough on portable players)
    - open - leak out

    Koss Porta Pro
    + light, comfortable, collapsible
    + good for general listening, most involving into music (I actually prefer them to HD600, as these still make some "distance" from the music, like you were sitting in fifth row in the auditorium; with Porta Pro you feel "on the stage with the band")
    + low impedance - loud enough everywhere
    - not flat and not enough details for mixing
    +/- hyped bass around 100 Hz
    + lifetime guarantee - I have had changed without question at their centre allmost all parts of the phones several times, mine are n-th generation of the same phones, no worry about damage

    Koss the Plug
    +/- these are plugs so for some it is uncomfortable, but I have included them because these are my recent favorite for recording bass - you have all the details, can feel the massive fundamental of bass tone, everything is clear, make you feel you are soaked into the music.
    I was very pleasantly surprised at the recording session after trying the above Sonys, AKGs in studio and ultimately tried the Plugs and voila - instant satisfaction.
    For the price they are at least worth trying for this purpose.

    Well, I dont know if helped you..
    There is also some potential contender - Beyerdynamic DT770 - I have tried them very briefly, but these very well might be the sh*t overall for recording, listening and mixing.

    Also after buying headphones they would benefit from burning-in - just let the music play through them nonstop like two three days on normal or slightly louder listening level. It will loose all the coils and membranes and remove the initial harshness which could otherwise detract you when you take them out of the box. This is not the myth, I have proved it several times. Some brands benefit from it more, some less.
  7. WarThumb


    Dec 13, 2005
    I just love my Beyerdynamics 770 Pro! Perfect for bass!
    I got them for $180 (Europe). Perfect for late night playing in the apartment.
  8. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    Thanks for the input guys.

    I will not be trying to do a whole lot of mixing. Very minimal. The focus will be on the bass.

    As for buying on ebay or other places online no body sells to Canada. And I really don't want to get stuck with customs to pay even more than the retail price for the set I do go out to buy.

    thanks for the run through nemo. This only confirms more to myself that I would love a set of Sony 7506s so I'm still looking for a place that sells them for a decent price. But I will check out those koss plugs.
  9. I've got a pair of Sennheiser HD280 Pro's and I absolutely love them. They feel the most solid of any plastic-based headphones I've ever owned and they have great definition in the midrange. The way the bass response rolls off can be a challenge sometimes, but it is easy to EQ it out. Plus you can run them off anything because they're only 64-ohm, you can get them refurbished by Sennheiser, and they're only $99 from most places. I actually use them for both live personal monitoring (the isolation is great at upto -32dB) and with my iPod (Phish's "Story of the Ghost" sounds amazing through them).

    Hope this helps!
  10. barthanatos

    barthanatos Insert witty comment here

    Feb 8, 2006
    South Carolina
    I've got the Senn HD600s and love them... for what they are intended for: high-fidelity listening with LOW background noise levels, and this either from the headphone jack on my receiver, or if I am using a portable CD player, amped by a "Total Airhead" headphone amplifier (headphone.com - super great info at this website. Super great.)

    But those were useless for practicing the drums, as you have to make your ears bleed to be able to hear them over the drums, as they are not sealed.

    So I picked up a pair of Etymotic ER4S earbuds. Frickin' awesome. But... still love the Senns 'cause they are way comfier.

    But... the Sony MDR-F1 is even more comfy. Amazing. Also very hi-fi and similar price. It's a crazy world we live in, isn't it?

    Ha ha... Sennheiser Orpheus... look 'em up.
  11. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    still looking around for a set of korg plugs. I'm sure I can find a set of those.

    I've heard some stuff about the Etymotics as well. They would be very hard for me to find around town but what about something like the Shure e3c? I've seen these (along with the e2c) in a whole bunch of stores and liked the idea of an in ear monitor.
  12. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    sorry ...
    I had to fix the korg remark on my first post too. :smug:
  13. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    +1 on the Sennheiser HD280 Pro's...very good sounding, easy to drive without a very high signal, and very good isolation.
  14. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    I ordered a set of koss plugs today. I found a set of 7506s but they're were from the sony store (paying full retail price).
    I figure the koss's should satisfy me for now but I'm going to keep looking for a set of 7506s.

    Thanks for all your input.
  15. Interceptor

    Interceptor Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    I love my Sony 7506's. Use them for late night practice and studio work. Comfortable, decent isolation and I agree completly with nemo's opinions. I always use my own 'phones tracking, I know what they sound like. The other neat thing is Sony sells all the service parts for them - you can fix them if they get damaged!

    Try Full Compass for them.
  16. I'm gonna second the HD280 and the 7506. I've sold both of them, and think they are both great cans. But you're not going to find these for cheap, unless you get them used.

    Rock on
  17. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Salinas, CA
    Of all the phones I tried, the most pleasing TO ME were Grado SR225s. Not as sizzly as the Sony phones, better bass (clean, controlled, full sounding) than Beyer or Sennheiser. Nothing but haapiness since they joined the family years ago! YMMV.

  18. tubster


    Feb 5, 2003
    Southwest Spain
    I have used this place for headphones and it a great pro resource.

    They are huge GRADO fans as am I and they really know what is what. Send them an email stating exactly the characteristics you are looking for and I'm sure they will give you some great options.

  19. bsullivan


    Dec 13, 2005
    Lansing, MI

    Another Beyerdynamic vote. I have an older version of the 770 (670 I think but they are at a friends at the moment).

    Excellent bass response. Very closed (read: isolation). If you plan on tracking any vocals something semi closed like the AKG's would be a better choice.

    I've recorded a lot of tracks with Beyers. Very comfortable and they won't fatigue your ears (read: no excessive mid hype).

    A good set of headphones is a solid investment. I've had mine for 7 years.