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Headpones good?
HTS
post Jun 12 2008, 21:18
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Are headphones good for music listening? I put on a cheap plantronics one, and the sound was much clearer and detailed than my 5.1 system of pc speakers. And even the low frequencies are clear! So are headphones the best way to listen to music?

Even if so, do they cause hearing damage? I don't mean the cheap earplugs, I meant the good noise cancelling ones.
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Gow
post Jun 12 2008, 21:30
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Yes, headphones are good for music listening. Best way is debatable but it has always depended on evironment and equipment.

Headphones will only cause hearing damage if you turn them up too high. Don't turn them up too high and clean the wax out your ear every so often if you used inner ear monitors (the little headphones that go in your ear). Do that and you shouldn't damage your hearing.

Noise canceling headphones can introduce a electronic hum that can be heard in quiet environments. An alternative is to stick heaphones into hear protection designed for extremely loud enviroments.

Like so: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/548578/headp...nating_headset/


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HTS
post Jun 12 2008, 21:37
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QUOTE (Gow @ Jun 12 2008, 16:30) *
Yes, headphones are good for music listening. Best way is debatable but it has always depended on evironment and equipment.

Headphones will only cause hearing damage if you turn them up too high. Don't turn them up too high and clean the wax out your ear every so often if you used inner ear monitors (the little headphones that go in your ear). Do that and you shouldn't damage your hearing.

Noise canceling headphones can introduce a electronic hum that can be heard in quiet environments. An alternative is to stick heaphones into hear protection designed for extremely loud enviroments.

Like so: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/548578/headp...nating_headset/

So what I don't understand is, why can headphones, with such small size, produce so much detail? I'm surprised to hear details in the music that my 5.1 speaker system didn't produce as clearly!

Is there some inherent advantage to headphones over loudspeakers? Because the PC speakers are bad because they are light and small compared to those large Klipsch cabinet sized speakers.

Another thing is, there are there "surround" headphones around, are they the best? If so, can you recommend one for me?

Thanks.
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Gow
post Jun 13 2008, 04:58
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QUOTE (HTS @ Jun 12 2008, 16:37) *
So what I don't understand is, why can headphones, with such small size, produce so much detail? I'm surprised to hear details in the music that my 5.1 speaker system didn't produce as clearly!


It is not sending the sound-waves into a large space where the setup becomes extremely important. It is just sending the sound-waves right into the ear.

As for PC Speakers, some are good and some aren't, as with all speakers it depends on build quality. Bose makes great speakers that are really tiny and have good sound by using all of that little speaker to reproduce the sound. Other makers do it in various ways. Some have a more bass sound, others treble and others natural but that is all dependent upon the listener's preferences.

Hear with your ears to make the judgement.

Surround speakers are relatively new as most still stick with the tried and true stereo format as almost all music is designed for the stereo format.

For headphone selection it comes down to these criteria:

1) In ear, on ear or over the ear?

2) Closed can or open diaphragm?

3) Price point?

4) Use? (Environment)

5) If going high grade for use with mp3 player, does the player have a suitable amp for the headphones or will it need a headphone amplifier?

You can check out http://www.head-fi.org/ for headphone suggestions as that is all they really deal with.

I use Alessandro Music Series One $99 (open diaphragm, on the ear) from their site. They are re-branded, re-tuned Grado SR-125s. Open diaphragm is good for sound reproduction but it suffers in noisy environments. I could probably supplement them with that headphone trick in that video. They have a natural sound.

One good closed over the ear headphone maker is Sennheiser, the HD-595, 555 and 280 are pretty good.
Another one is AKG.

Inner ear monitors...not sure...the only pair I bought was the Etymotic ER-6i (or something like that) and I don't use them anymore. Gave them to my sister in favor of having the Alessandro's.

DJ Headphones can also be an option, this are the on the ear swivel cup headphones. Sony and Technics make a good pair and they are usually pretty heavy duty.

I can't really suggest what headphone is good for you as I don't have your ears. Just try some out at a local audio store, call around to find a suitable store for that purpose before just going out. Also, read through Head-fi and take what they say with a grain of salt.


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HTS
post Jun 13 2008, 06:21
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QUOTE (Gow @ Jun 12 2008, 23:58) *
For headphone selection it comes down to these criteria:

1) In ear, on ear or over the ear?

2) Closed can or open diaphragm?

3) Price point?

4) Use? (Environment)

5) If going high grade for use with mp3 player, does the player have a suitable amp for the headphones or will it need a headphone amplifier?

1)Not in ear.
2)doesn't matter
3)sub 100 dollars
4)home, infront of pc.
5)I listen to FLAC.

So are the headphones you recommend all stereo? I watch dvds and dvd audio that has 5.1 channels, and I really like to not downmix them.
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Gow
post Jun 13 2008, 20:29
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QUOTE (Leto Atreides II @ Jun 13 2008, 00:02) *
Not all those Sennheiser headphones you mentioned are closed. Sennheiser has lots that are open but are still circumaural (fit around the ear).


I was making a general list and was not going for the nitty gritty details. I know the 555 and 595 are open diaphragm circumaural. Heh, you could have added some suggestions for HTS though instead od being picky. tongue.gif

QUOTE (HTS @ Jun 13 2008, 01:21) *
1)Not in ear.
2)doesn't matter
3)sub 100 dollars
4)home, infront of pc.
5)I listen to FLAC.

So are the headphones you recommend all stereo? I watch dvds and dvd audio that has 5.1 channels, and I really like to not downmix them.


Some good sub-100 headphones are the Sennheiser HD-555 and HD-280, Grado SR-60 and SR-80, Alessandro Music Series One, Sony MDR-V700DJ, AKG K81DJ, Razer Pirahna, and I am sure there others.

All will work great for PC use, Razer is a headset (in case the detail police come again) and comes with a pretty good microphone.

However, none of these headphones are useful as 5.1 surround sound headphones. Although I see a few on Amazon and people mentioning JVC 5.1 surround sound adapter: http://www.amazon.com/JVC-SUDH1-Surround-H...4438&sr=8-7

I don't know much about them though as I use stereo headphones for listening to music and watching some shows but use a home theatre system for watching shows in DTS, Dolby 5.1, etc.

I am sure someone out there knows a lot about 5.1 headphone setups but that someone is not me, which as many informed members of HA has there should be at least one to stand up and know the answer. Why they haven't answered is beyond me.


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