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Mesh

Headphone suggestions please

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Well, just to be contrarian, I have used both Sennheiser hd280 and 380pro, have used both for tracking and mixing, and I much prefer the 380 . . . of course the 380's have much bigger and more forgiving earcups, for the fat-eared bretheren out there, such as myself.

 

I think the 280's underwent a redesign a year or so ago, fwiw.

 

And I like the better bass response in the 380's, because if you have bass-light headphones, you have no idea how it translates onto proper systems. You can't mix bass frequencies if you can't hear them, and you won't hear most of them in headphones, anyway. So the 380's get you a little closer. But I agree, the 380's have decent detail but it's still a $200 headphone.

 

Well, I have no idea about Sonarworks - and I'm willing to bet there are better mixing headphones out there at some pretty prices. Better detail, too.

 

cheers,

-Tom

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I am talking about the 280's and 380's as tracking phones only, not for mixing, I wouldn't use either for mixing. Have you compared the isolation between the two? The 380's are shocking. If my TV is on, I put on the 380's and can still hear it very well but with less treble frequencies, the 280's cut out half the volume from the TV easily.

Same as playing acoustic or electric guitar and recording. If I record playing the electric, I can still hear the raw string sound quite clearly on the 380's but the 280's cut it out quite a bit. You can't know what your recording if you can't separate the natural instrument sound from the recording sound you hear in your phones. The sound of my recordings has improved just by moving to the 280's. I can play some clean strat rhythm guitar and think it sounds full of flavor but what I am really hearing is the combination of the raw string sound leaking into the phones together with the recording sound in the phones. When I play it back it sounds dry. This is nowhere near as bad with the 280's because I hear much less of the strings leaking in and straight away I can hear the recording sound more predominantly.

There's no way I could recommend the 380's for monitoring recordings and tracking for home musicians who are close to their instrument when recording, the isolation just isn't there. I would agree that perhaps the 380's might be better for mixing if you are into mixing on closed back phones but the bass is misleading for me, it doesn't duplicate to other systems at least I haven't been able to do that. Music sounds more 'alive' and sonically powerful on the 380's they are certainly better for listening to music and are really quite good for just listening. But for monitoring live recordings.....yuck!

 

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Posted (edited)

I just looked at the stats and sennheiser are saying that the isolation is the same for both (32db). This cant be right, there is a massive difference for me, I will have to check this out more.

EDIT: I just checked the pads, on the 280 the pads are pretty new as the headphones are fairly new, about 2cm thick and very firm, my 380's that I've had for a while, and they have been a bit thrashed, the pads are 1-1.5cm, well worn and have the consistency of jelly, this could be an influencing factor in the difference of isolation. wont know until i get new pads.

Edited by Tezza
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6 hours ago, Tezza said:

I am talking about the 280's and 380's as tracking phones only, not for mixing, I wouldn't use either for mixing. Have you compared the isolation between the two? The 380's are shocking. If my TV is on, I put on the 380's and can still hear it very well but with less treble frequencies, the 280's cut out half the volume from the TV easily.

Same as playing acoustic or electric guitar and recording. If I record playing the electric, I can still hear the raw string sound quite clearly on the 380's but the 280's cut it out quite a bit. You can't know what your recording if you can't separate the natural instrument sound from the recording sound you hear in your phones. The sound of my recordings has improved just by moving to the 280's. I can play some clean strat rhythm guitar and think it sounds full of flavor but what I am really hearing is the combination of the raw string sound leaking into the phones together with the recording sound in the phones. When I play it back it sounds dry. This is nowhere near as bad with the 280's because I hear much less of the strings leaking in and straight away I can hear the recording sound more predominantly.

There's no way I could recommend the 380's for monitoring recordings and tracking for home musicians who are close to their instrument when recording, the isolation just isn't there. I would agree that perhaps the 380's might be better for mixing if you are into mixing on closed back phones but the bass is misleading for me, it doesn't duplicate to other systems at least I haven't been able to do that. Music sounds more 'alive' and sonically powerful on the 380's they are certainly better for listening to music and are really quite good for just listening. But for monitoring live recordings.....yuck!

 

Fun! It sounds like A) your pinnas are not as old or as fat as mine - the 280's earcups rest on top of my pinnas, crushing them into submission, and thus whatever benefits in "isolation" you might be getting, I lose completely, because all I can hear is the earcup rubbing on my pinnas as I move my head!

 

For me, the 380's completely surround my ear and that's all the isolation I really want. You sound like you work in a much more acoustically particular fashion when tracking than I do - which is fine! I bet your stuff sounds good. But I would never be concerned with pick noise coming off the strings while I'm laying something down. Just different.

 

Glad you like the 280's ! I'm not 100% in love with the 380's for mixing, I know I'm getting some details smeared - but I just don't want to go buy the best Sennheisers for $800 or whatever.

 

cheers,

-Tom

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Thanks everyone for chiming in....a lot of very helpful tips. My ears aren't 'big' and the ath-m50x sounds very good to me....which is what I'm going with. Now that I see it's going for $129 at Amazon (just the headphones), not sure if I need to get the FiiO A1 amp and extra cables bundled for $165:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KMFGBFF/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07KMFGBFF

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1 minute ago, Mesh said:

Thanks everyone for chiming in....a lot of very helpful tips. My ears aren't 'big' and the ath-m50x sounds very good to me....which is what I'm going with. Now that I see it's going for $129 at Amazon (just the headphones), not sure if I need to get the FiiO A1 amp and extra cables bundled for $165:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KMFGBFF/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07KMFGBFF

Just the headphones? They should come in a box with an adapter, a short cable, a long cable, and a coiled cable. If you have an audio interface already you'll be fine. Also the headphones don't need to be driven by anything else, you can plug them into your smartphone or whatever - no issues.

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1 minute ago, ChernobylStudios said:

Just the headphones? They should come in a box with an adapter, a short cable, a long cable, and a coiled cable. If you have an audio interface already you'll be fine. Also the headphones don't need to be driven by anything else, you can plug them into your smartphone or whatever - no issues.

Sorry, I wasn't clear....yeah, all you mentioned is included in the headphones. The bundle is with the amp, hard shell case, and extra, extra cables. :)

Good to know the m50x doesn't need anything to be driven.....$129 is a good price. Thanks for chiming in!! 

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Mesh, you're going to do well with those M50's. I can't think of another model that's as versatile for the price (and most of us paid more than $129 for ours). Isolation is decent enough for tracking, frequency response is good enough for at the least the early stages of the mix process, transients are clear enough for detail editing, and they're not bad for just kicking back and listening for enjoyment.

That said, I have moved away from the M50 as a single do-all headphone solution. All headphones compromise something. It's about physics, which no amount of money can defy. The M50 achieves a practical balance of compromises, but...

For tracking, I want better isolation. For mixing I want a less-hyped bass. For lying in the dark listening to music, I want clarity and a flat response. Because no single headphone model can do all that, I've resigned myself to having a different headphone for each purpose.

The M50s still serve for editing tasks such as Melodyne tweaking and cutting/fading clips, but the HD280Pro's superior isolation and midrangey-ness makes it better suited for vocal tracking. The HD650s are for pleasure listening only, being too nice-sounding for critical listening but deeply satisfying for immersing myself in my favorite music. I use the very similar but less-expensive HD558s for travel, just because they're older so I wouldn't be as heartbroken if they got crushed in transit.

 

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Thanks Bit.......good to know all you Pro's recommend the M50x and I'm looking forward to getting back at the DAW.

Cheers all!!

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1 minute ago, Mesh said:

I'm looking forward to getting back at the DAW

Are you under, erm, pressure from "you know who?"

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15 hours ago, synkrotron said:

Are you under, erm, pressure from "you know who?"

Interestingly, on this occasion, it's a 'no'. :ph34r:

This is my own doing. :D

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I should've jumped on that $129 deal yesterday....it's back to $149 now.

Still will get it though, after price shopping a bit. ;)

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Hey Mesh,

I bought my son the ATH M40x. They were very comfortable. They sounded good too. A little bass hype, but they would be very serviceable for tracking/mixing. They're supported by Sonarworks, so that would take the bass hype out of the equation, and you can get em at Amazon for $79!

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Thanks Leadfoot!!

I was actually looking at the m40x as well, but fell for the clarity and quality of the m50x's. Will look around for the best price on this.

Cheers!!

Mesh

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16 hours ago, Mesh said:

but fell for the clarity and quality of the m50x's

And, besides, the M50X has a removable cable, which I think is essential.

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7 hours ago, synkrotron said:

the M50X has a removable cable, which I think is essential.

I've seen a few say that, but I have no idea why it matters - they don't work without it.

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