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Best Headphone For Location

Published : 21st October 2004

Hi to all CML-Audio.

I would just like to ask what is the best headset for location sound recording.

Regards
Eduardo Tuviera


>Hi to all CML-Audio. I would just like to ask what is the best headset for >location sound recording.

Well the Sony MDR 7506 is probably the most common headphone here in the US. About US$100 at most outlets. That's what I use. Some people prefer Sennheiser HD-25 and HD-280. Some find the 280 flatter and better isolated, and some find they fit their ears and heads better. The Sennheiser’s cost, say US$75 more than the 7506.

The 7506 aren't perfect, but they're flawed in a manner in which a lot of people are accustomed. Some mixers can go on at great length about the choice of headphones.

As for which is best, what do you want to record?

Jim

Edits words, produces docs, records sounds
Based in the San Francisco, CA USA area

Jim Feeley
POV Media
http://www.povmedia.com


> As for which is best, what do you want to record?

I agree with Jim Feeley in his point above. I may also add generally, how do you want to hear your audio?

In my experience I always preferred the Sennheiser studio headphones for their flat frequency response. There is no discoloration in reproducing the music so you hear exactly what the audio gives you. On the other hand, my previous experience with Sony studio headphones were also great in a sense that it does add highs and lows into the audio.

So, how do you want to hear your audio? Everyday music lovers who listen with their portables generally do not prefer the Senn because they need good, loud music without the need to pump up the volume. People who demand flat response will prefer the Senn because this will enable them to hear exactly how the audio is presented and make the necessary equalization as they see fit.

Both were comfortable, but I felt that the Sennheiser HD280 Pro provided more isolation from outside noise. Initial use would be too tight around the head, but it will conform in time. If you are to get Sony studio headphones make sure to get the ones that wrap around the ears, not those that press directly on the ear (varies on model) - these could be stressful for your ear on extended wearing.

Btw, HD280 Pro sells for the same price as the Sony (USD100) if you look around the internet in legitimate places like bhphotovideo.com or Amazon.com

Regards,

Raymond Ocampo
Editor/Cinematographer
San Francisco, CA


Hello Eduardo,

For most standard field work: interviews, talent on a set, wild sound, etc., I use the Sony 7506 as a decent headset. If I'm in high noise areas: factories, airport runway, rock concerts (not as the recordist or mixer for stage!), I like my David Clarks.

Basically they are an aircraft rated headset with Sony 7506 guts and custom baffling. Some do not like to wear David Clarks for extended periods of time, because they do grip your head to maintain isolation. A director with whom I work is adamant about his Beyer Dynamic DT990's, when on set with talent and especially when working with wireless systems.

Best Regards,
Nick Mueller
Director of Photography
Washington, D.C.


>A director with whom I work is adamant about his Beyer Dynamic >DT990's, when on set with talent and especially when working with >wireless systems.

I'm adamant on almost anything Beyer-Dynamic.

Jeffery Haas
freelance editor, camera operator
Dallas, Texas


>People who demand flat response will prefer the Senn because this >will enable them to hear exactly how the audio is presented and make >the necessary equalization as they see fit.

I tend not to make EQ tweaks on location. In post, sure. But I don't often use headphones there. One advantage of the mild low boost in the Sony 7506 is that you (well, I) can more easily hear handling noise. And they fold up nice and small.

Lots of different headphones have their advocates. There are more options than Raymond and I mentioned. But be prepared to spend at least US$100, go for something that fits your head and ears, that provides the isolation you want, and so on. You could spend less, but I find the investment worth it.

>Btw, HD280 Pro sells for the same price as the Sony (US$100)

Raymond's right about that. I had the price of the HD25 (US$200 or so) stuck in my head.

Anyway, hopefully these posts will get you off in the right direction.

Jim Feeley
POV Media


Jim Feeley writes:

>The 7506 aren't perfect, but they're flawed in a manner in which a lot of >people are accustomed.

It's not just that. Specifically, they have a very bright high end. This lets field recordists hear certain kinds of unwanted nigh-frequency noises (including excessive system noise) very acutely.

You wouldn't want to use 7506s for post-production mixing or reference, though -- they're too bright for that. In fact, you don't want to use headphones AT ALL as a reference for doing final audio mixes (Hollywood types would say "re-recording"). For that you need reference-quality loudspeakers properly installed in an acoustically appropriate environment.

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP/Audio dabbler
Marin County, CA


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