Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high noise environments

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tomtailford
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Hi all,
 
Can I ask the audiophiles for some recommendations please!
 
I'm always concious of spending loads of money on headphones, but at the moment I am spending £30 every 6 months as the consumer sennheiser 3.5mm cables tend to just stop working after that sort of time.
 
Primary use is for commentators, so there is a lot of background noise from crowd, and they will be used for up to 5 hours at a gig, so comfort is quite important.
 
I think that a 1/4" connection is probably preferred as it's likely that the cable will be thicker and more hard wearing.
 
I've used a lot of Sennheiser gear in the past, but not really bothered what brand they are, as long as they perform well, are comfortable and built to last!
 
Thanks for any suggestions,
 
Tom
MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007
Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
We mostly use Sennheiser HD25's for this sort of job although I also sometimes use sony 7506.
 
The HD25's are modular so you can replace parts if they break, the Beyer DT100's are also a possibility although I personally think they are too big these days but once again you can get spare parts for them.
 
You may wish to use a headset with the mic on as well but the HMD and HME 25's from sennheiser are now discontinued so you have to buy the HMD or HME 26's which are not as modular and cost nearly £400 a set.
 
I got some HME 26 aviation headsets off e-bay recently and they were £80 a set but I had to re-wire them for XLR use and they also need phantom power. 
MAGLINK
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Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
P.S you may also find this box useful as you can feed three headsets from it with individual level control:
tomtailford
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Joined: Oct 17 2007
Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
Thanks Gary, will look at those options now!
tomtailford
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Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
Just noticed there are a variety of HD25s on the market:
 
HD25
HD25-1 II
HD2525-SP II
 
Do you think they are all suitable? The Sony's seem reasonably priced!
 
DAVE M
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Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
I use Beyer DT770's
 
there is a version intended for drummers that has a higher isolation factor
paulears
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Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
HD25s are popular, but I hate them because my ears are quite big and the pressure of the HD25s is on a tender part of my ear, so after an hour or so, they were quite painful. I'm sold on Beyer 100/108/109s for this kind of thing - but in the summer, they do make your ears sweat. Ok in the winter. The double muff and mic could even be used for commentary - not a full range mic like some of the others in the range, but ok.
MAGLINK
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Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
 
I use these chinese sonys all the time and they are as cheap as chips so if they get trashed it is not too much to loose.
 
The HD25-1-mk2 are the best ones but they also do a basic model with no spare ear pads but the SP version is not very good as it has a reduced headband.
 
tomtailford
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Joined: Oct 17 2007
Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
I've gone for some of the "OEM Sony's"
 
I just hope they are a little more hard wearing than the £30 Sennheisers I have (HD202).
 
Is it particularly hard to solder on a 3.5mm or 1/4" adapter to my "broken" Sennheisers? Was thinking that might be an idea also!
MAGLINK
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Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
It depends on the cable as sometimes it can be like a conductive fibre but most of the sennheisers have steel cables.
 
The sonys are good value and reasonably robust but you can never account for a muppet operator who sits on them or chucks them on the floor and that is why I buy the cheap ones rather than the £120 a set type.
DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999
Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
you have nothing to loose by tying to solder a cable on.
 
I'd add a 3.5 as that's the common camera jack now, and hopefully you have loads of cable. so try and keep trimming if it's no good. Buy a decent jack
 
 
 
 and use an adaptor to UP in size rather than down, as it saves the socket on the device from strain.
I prefer to use the right angled plugs if possible as they minimise strain but don't fit all sockets.
Also, I would generally prefer a cable based adaptor than a solid one. You can wrap the cable around the top handle of a camera as strain relief.
My Beyer HP's have a 1/4" screw on jack to adapt the 3.5 and that type is ok
paulears
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Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
Soldering a plug to tinsel cable is a a horrible job. If anyone has a better way of removing the enamel on the tinsel wires, so you can solder  I'd love to hear it. My current practice is to scrape off 5mm at the end, and then use emery cloth to 'polish' up this bit once you can see the strands - then a short application of a big hot iron seems to let you tin the end. Making a decent joint doing this is pretty reliable with practice, but there has to be a better way! The Sennheiser and Sony ones are the most tricky.
steve
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Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
paulears wrote:
Soldering a plug to tinsel cable is a a horrible job. If anyone has a better way of removing the enamel on the tinsel wires, so you can solder  I'd love to hear it. My current practice is to scrape off 5mm at the end, and then use emery cloth to 'polish' up this bit once you can see the strands - then a short application of a big hot iron seems to let you tin the end. Making a decent joint doing this is pretty reliable with practice, but there has to be a better way! The Sennheiser and Sony ones are the most tricky.
 
The 'tinsel' wire sounds like it needs to be treated the same as litz wire, used many years ago on RF components. The technique there was to gently remove the enamel from the individual strands with flour paper before tinning.
Maybe there is a small crimp that would allow easy connections to be made.
John Willett
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Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
tomtailford wrote:
Just noticed there are a variety of HD25s on the market:
 
HD25
HD25-1 II
HD2525-SP II
 
Do you think they are all suitable? The Sony's seem reasonably priced!
 
 
The suitable one is the HD 25-1 II.
 
The differences are:-
HD 25
Generic term - there are no headphones with only this title
 
HD 25-1 II      
70Ω - 1.5m steel cable with rt.angled 3.5mm jack and adaptor to 1/4" jack.
 
HD 25 II         
70Ω - 2m steel cable with straight 3.5mm jack and adaptor to 1/4" jack.
 
HD 25-C II     
70Ω - 2/3m copper coiled cable with straight 3.5mm jack and adaptor to 1/4" jack.
 
HD 25-13 II    
600Ω - 3m steel cable with straight 1/4" jack.
 
All the above have a split headband, a single-sided cable and the option to use one-eared.
 
 
HD 25-SP II   
65Ω - 3m steel cable with straight 3.5mm jack and adaptor to 1/4" jack.
This is a low-cost version and not as good as the others.
This has a simple plastic headband and the cable comes separately from each earpiece.
 
 
The HD 25 is 120dB efficient and works very well with battery equipment.  The Sony is about 14dB less sensitive and needs more "welly" from the headphone amp.
 
Oh - the HD 25 headphones are very tough.  I bought mine (HD 25-1) in 1989 or 1990 and they are still going strong after over 22 years - I have replaced the earpads about 4 times over that period (I now use the more comfortable velour ones) and the headband pads lasted 20 years before they needed replacing.
 

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

johnd
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Joined: Mar 8 2009
Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
I was intrigued by this debate and read some reviews of the HD 25-1 II, in particular, which seem to get glowing reviews (Thomann in Germany and Amazon have these at a bit over £150).
Reading the reviews threw up the process of 'burning in'. I have never heard of this before but attach a link explaining what it's all about (Alfie) http://www.head-fi.org/t/56744/headphone-burn-in-faq
 
MAGLINK
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Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
All dynamic transducers need a few hours of operation from new to make them sound better. 
 
I bought a pair of QUAD loudspeakers a few years ago and they sounded dreadful out of the box but after a few hours being driven at good levels they mellowed and were a lot better.
 
It will also explain why older mics tend to have a warmer sound. 
paulears
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Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
Quote:
Is burn in actually real?
The idea of burn in has always been controversial. Some people say that there is evidence that proves it while others say that there is evidence to disprove it. Some consider the phenomenon to be purely psychological conditioning while others insist upon physical changes to the drivers, and some agree upon a combination of the two. You are free to be a believer, and you are free to be a skeptic. Whether or not you believe in it and the position you take on the subject is a choice that you should make for yourself.
 
Good advice - as we say here in suffolk - Oi reckon it's a load of squit myself!
 
I've never ever found my equipment changing sound like this. Some mics get mellower - but I've got some identical models 25 years or more apart and can't tell the difference, yet I have others that have changed. Age, spit, damp weather? Who knows? The idea of burning in  a pair of headphones seems to not be something the makers recommend as a 'need to do' feature. Snake oil hi-fi claptrap - sorry, just my own thoughts.
 
MAGLINK
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Re: Hard wearing headphones with good performance in high ...
I think it is more prevalent with the modern magnets (neodynium?0as they can be a bit rigid to the diaphragm in modern transducers, certainly the latest version of the RE50 can be lacking in audio quality if used in cold environments and we tend to keep them in our jacket pockets on the footie terraces.
 
The chinese sony 7506's certainly sound better now I have used them a few times and even sound smoother than the genuine ones I bought a few years ago.