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Headphones - popping and distorting while playing bass guitar?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Dane Coles, May 11, 2017.

  1. Hi have a pair of SOL V10 headphones that sound great when listening to music - very thick and rich bass response. However, when I plug them into an amp and play my bass guitar, they pop and distort, even at low volumes.

    Why is this? What should I look for in a pair of bass-rich headphones that can handle bass guitar and still sound very thick and bottom-heavy while listening to music?
  2. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    During the recording and mixing process, audio is typically compressed and limited to some degree. Additionally, in some styles of music are heavily limited to increase the overall volume - hence the volume wars.

    Additionally if you listen to MP3s they are compressed even further (although that is technically data compression).

    So the signals from your bass amp will naturally have much more in the way of spikes and peaks than recorded music.
  3. Thanks, that explains that. I'd like to purchase a pair of headphones that wont distort my bass guitar when playing AND also enhance the bass on MP3s for listening to music. As much bass and low end as possible. Like two subwoofers for headphones. Not interested with flat EQ or neutral tones for monitoring. What should I look for?
  4. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    I go for headphones with the flatest response I can afford.

    However, from what I've read Beats are supposed to have exaggerated bass response, but other TBers will have more informed suggestions.
  5. IJBurns


    Apr 14, 2015
    Dallas, TX
    My only personal experience with this is I had a bad 1/4 to aux/headphone jack adapter. After about 15 minutes of dealing with the same issues you're having, I ran up to walmart or wherever and got a new adapter. Problem solved and I was listening through some sub-par $40 Sony phones. Probably not the case for you but that's all I got. ;)
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  6. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    What output on your amp are you plugging them in to?
    smogg likes this.
  7. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I have these and they take everything I throw at them.


    Audio Technica ath-m50x
    mcnach, gelinas666, shaggy45 and 3 others like this.
  8. Thumbs up on the AT's, really big bang for your buck IMO.

    SirMjac28 likes this.
  9. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I agree the only brand I use my other pair is over ten years old.
  10. Have you tried other headphones in the amp's headphone jack? Could be the jack is noisy, not the headphones.
  11. Tom McClintock

    Tom McClintock

    Jan 18, 2015
    The problem isn't the headphones. It's your amp.

    Hopefully the new Cafe Walter headphone amp will be out this year. Otherwise, the excellent HA-1A is a good solution.
  12. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    ATs great value for the money. I simply love my Sennheiser HD280 Pros.
  13. IJBurns


    Apr 14, 2015
    Dallas, TX
    Wait....so 1/4" speaker out from the amp isn't where headphones go? ;)
    SLO Surfer likes this.
  14. CaseyJ


    Jul 28, 2016
    Northern Indiana
    +1 on the Sennheiser headphones, I have two pair. Good sound, and not super expensive
  15. Nickweissmusic

    Nickweissmusic Knows all intervals from one Fred, to Juan octave Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    I teach lessons and perform live music in and around San Diego CA. Sometimes I even make money doing it!
    If you have Sony V6 or 7506, and they're popping, your amp is bad ;) I like AKG's too as far as open cans go, I've still got Austrian K240's. AT and Sennheiser are no slouches but never bought any; interestingly almost all my mics are Sennheiser and AT. Hard to say what the problem is, but I will say I was unimpressed by the SOL earbuds I purchased a year or so ago. You can get pro headphones for under $99, I use Sony V6 for pleasure and monitoring mixes outside the studio, 7506 for DJing, neither one is over $99. I think you might just be pushing the headphones from the amp too hard, or perhaps it's a manufacturing defect. Get an adapter if needed and try some other earbuds or something and see if you get the same results.
    LowDownHawkeye likes this.
  16. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    I have two pair of top quality headphones. One is a pair of Bose AE2 and the other is Sennheiser HD 518. Both sound great from the headphone jack in my amp and also in the U-Phoria UMC202 audio interface to my computer. Both are over ear style and the Bose blocks out most sounds and no one can hear them if they are not wearing them. The Sennheiser does not block out much in the way of outside sounds and my wife complained quite a bit about hearing everything I was listening to on my headphones - for me that kind of defeats the purpose of headphones. Both are excellent, but both are older models.
  17. You don't want exaggerated bass response just because you're playing bass, you could easily end up with a booming mess of noise.

    I use Sony MDR-7506 monitor headphones and they sound great plugged into my practice amp or my audio interface on my computer. They're ok for music listening in a pinch, but their main intended purpose is as audio monitors for recording. Quite popular in recording studios over the past few decades I read.
    LowDownHawkeye and dheafey like this.
  18. Right_Butterscotch64


    Oct 18, 2012
    Does your amp have a -10db pad/active button or active input? I get what you describe in my headphones on my MB500 if I don't hit the input pad button.
  19. MojoPenguin


    Jul 11, 2014
    Europe Bro'
    There is always the option of adding compression. Listening to the amp on my headphones, once I turn compression on my amp, they don't "crackle" on high volume spikes or especially when I use a wah or octaver. Actually thinking about it does need a limiter I think.
  20. iTzPrime


    May 30, 2016
    Reduce the gain to a minimal and up the volume, then it should be better
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 13, 2021

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