Thread: Best headphones for in field audio monitoring

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  1. #1 Best headphones for in field audio monitoring 
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    Hi REDUSERS,

    We're in the market for a couple of new in field audio monitoring headphones. I'd like to hear you opinions and inputs on which ones to get.

    Which ones do you guys use? Which ones are your fav?

    Cheers

    Morgan
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  2. #2  
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    Sony MDR-7056 would be the most popular. Remote Audio HN-7056 are amazing if you want fantastic isolation.



    Sennheiser HD 280 / Sennheiser HD 26 / Sennheiser HD 25 are all popular options as well.

    Senal also has ok options if you want something super affordable. (Senal SMH-1000 or Senal SMH-500)
    http://IronFilm.co.nz/Sound/ (Sound Recordist based in Auckland, NZ. Happy to travel too)
    https://www.youtube.com/c/SoundSpeeding
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  3. #3  
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    Thanks for the input, David. You mean the Sony MDR 7506? We have those and are wondering if there're anything better out there. I'm gonna check out the Sennheiser.
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  4. #4  
    I'm going to second David's response. I like the Sony 7506s, personally, though I've also tried Sennheiser HD 280s and don't have any complaints. (A little less comfortable, but a little more isolation.) Also nice that they're a standard, so I know what to expect when I encounter them.

    Is there something specific you feel you're missing with the Sonys? Need more isolation, or feel you're missing detail or bass or something else? You can definitely spend more on headphones. (Some of which are noted in David's answer.)
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    Senior Member PatrickFaith's Avatar
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    I just noticed Andrew Scheps just commented on this and seems to agree with you guys ( and he is mixing major labels):

    I do mix in headphones quite a lot. It started because I was travelling a lot and needed to keep working. Then when we first moved to the UK I didn't have an ideal place to set up my speakers so I mixed a lot on headphones and then checked everything on speakers before sending it out. The more time I've spent on headphones, the fewer changes there are when I switch to the speakers. I use Sony MDR-7506 headphones, but I think it's because I'm just used to them and they also sound like the Tannoy SRM-10B speakers I mix on. They are bright but relatively flat.

    I wouldn't recommend mixing on headphones for everyone, but it is a great way to take control of your acoustic environment . You're basically wearing your studio on your head and it sounds exactly the same no matter where you go!

    I never use frequency response correction software or any crosstalk functions. I think for me I just hear the extra processing, even though it might make it more like an acoustic environment. But remember, there are no right answers to things like this, and the whole point is to have a listening environment where you can be creative and your mixes translate to whatever system somebody might listen to your mix in.
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  6. #6  
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    This works pretty good https://www.sonarworks.com/
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    I replaced a pair of Sennheiser HD-280's with a pair of Sony MDR-7506.

    The Sony's feel more comfortable (and lighter, even if they aren't actually) than the Senn's, both with a pair of Garfield Softie Earpad covers on.

    The Sony's also have a solid padded piece of leather on the headband, while the HD-280's are plastic with a padded band of faux-leather that flakes off (and appear more plasticky in general).

    In terms of sound, in direct comparisons (with music, not location sound), they're quite different.

    To my ears, the Sony MDR-7506's have a darker sound overall, with more of a bass effect, while still having defined treble.

    While the Sennheiser HD-280's have a brighter sound overall (which makes them seem louder, or even annoying), with much less bass effect (eg. you can still hear there's a bass instrument there, but it doesn't reverberate and sounds sort of flat). The treble is also less defined (eg. cymbals just sound like something tapping on metal rather than ringing like you'd expect).

    In fact comparing them right now, the Sony MDR-7506's are just better all round, except that the HD-280's are just a bit better at blocking outside noise (not enough so to make a difference to me).

    I'm not an audiophile, but I've heard/read how you do actually want a more flat/less coloured sound when using reference-type headphones for monitoring purposes, but I don't think that's what I'm hearing with the Sennheiser HD-280's, they just sound like they're not rendering the lows and highs as accurately as the Sony MDR-7506's. And I don't get the impression when listening live to location recordings that the MDR-7506's are obscuring anything, they're just easier on the ears in general.
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  8. #8  
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    My Sony 7506s are fine actually. I'm quite happy with them. I'm just wondering if there're something significantly better out there.

    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by M Harvey View Post
    I'm going to second David's response. I like the Sony 7506s, personally, though I've also tried Sennheiser HD 280s and don't have any complaints. (A little less comfortable, but a little more isolation.) Also nice that they're a standard, so I know what to expect when I encounter them.

    Is there something specific you feel you're missing with the Sonys? Need more isolation, or feel you're missing detail or bass or something else? You can definitely spend more on headphones. (Some of which are noted in David's answer.)
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Ryan View Post
    Thanks for the input, David. You mean the Sony MDR 7506? We have those and are wondering if there're anything better out there. I'm gonna check out the Sennheiser.
    WHOOPS! I got the 5 and the 0 the wrong way round.... hadn't had my coffee yet!

    But yes, I mean those. Everything from no budget student shorts through to hollywood blockbusters have been mixed with those headphones from Sony. The exact same headphone drivers are in the HN-7506 as well, which Whit Norris and many others use. Check out the video I linked to in the description of my own video which I shared beforehand:




    Now, are there "better" options? Arguably yes, but now you're getting into highly subjective territory.

    Just whatever you buy, make sure they're closed back headphones.

    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickFaith View Post
    I just noticed Andrew Scheps just commented on this and seems to agree with you guys ( and he is mixing major labels):
    Well that is great he loves the Sonys as well, it is important to keep in mind that mix engineers in a studio have quite different needs to location sound mixers.
    http://IronFilm.co.nz/Sound/ (Sound Recordist based in Auckland, NZ. Happy to travel too)
    https://www.youtube.com/c/SoundSpeeding
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member andrewhake's Avatar
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    I use the 7506 and also recently the IER-M7 - https://www.sony.com/electronics/in-...dphones/ier-m7

    Having a nice in ear monitor is great if I want a slightly smaller setup and even more isolation. The HD280 definitely aren't as comfortable as the 7506 for me personally, they have a bit more isolation, but mainly seems to be due to how much more they are squeezing against your head.
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