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Best headphones for isolation

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Best headphones for isolation

Postby mozart999uk » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:22 pm

Got some building work due to happen next to my house. Looking for a pair of comfortable headphones with really good isolation that I can compose and mix on when the noise levels outside get to much. I'll be trying to check the mixes on my monitors when I can but may not always be able to.


Any suggestions?
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby John Willett » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:29 pm

I use Sennheiser HD 25 in these situations. :thumbup:
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby mozart999uk » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:32 pm

John Willett wrote:I use Sennheiser HD 25 in these situations. :thumbup:

Thanks John. I have a pair of those. Use them for tracking all the time. :-)

Wondered if there was anything with more isolation and perhaps more suited to mixing.....
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby Wonks » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:33 pm

Most decent mixing headphones are open backed, so not good for isolation. The closed-back ones that are suitable for mixing on, then to be in the higher price bracket (£1k+) . So it's a question of how much do you want to spend on a pair?

And John W, you need to be more specific as to which model of HD 25 you are talking about as there are/were (rather confusingly) quite a few.
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby mozart999uk » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:41 pm

Wonks wrote:Most decent mixing headphones are open backed, so not good for isolation. The closed-back ones that are suitable for mixing on, then to be in the higher price bracket (£1k+) . So it's a question of how much do you want to spend on a pair?

And John W, you need to be more specific as to which model of HD 25 you are talking about as there are/were (rather confusingly) quite a few.

Thanks for that, Wasn't thinking that expensive :-)

Maybe max of £250.

If I have to do any mission critical mixing I'll wait till the evenings and do them on the monitors.

I've got old HD25-1's. I've fitted foam earpads, which makes them loads more comfortable but I'm not sure they are as good with isolation as they were with the leather / plastic pads.
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby John Willett » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:08 pm

Wonks wrote:And John W, you need to be more specific as to which model of HD 25 you are talking about as there are/were (rather confusingly) quite a few.

The HD 25 (NOT SP) all have the same isolation and only differ in impedance and cable.

My own pair are the original HD 25-1 which I have had for almost 30 years.
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby CS70 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:13 pm

I track on AKG M50A and I've occasionally used them to quickly mix the occasional demo without that the results were unlistenable once I played the mix to the studio PA or the phone. Not sure if they'd work if a pneumatic hammer was being used just outside the window, but otherwise they isolate pretty well - I can lay down parts with the TV going on without problems.
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby mozart999uk » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:31 pm

CS70 wrote:I track on AKG M50A and I've occasionally used them to quickly mix the occasional demo without that the results were unlistenable once I played the mix to the studio PA or the phone. Not sure if they'd work if a pneumatic hammer was being used just outside the window, but otherwise they isolate pretty well - I can lay down parts with the TV going on without problems.

Thanks :-)

Been looking at the newer version the MT50x. Looks good.
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby mozart999uk » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:43 pm

AKG K550 a possibility?
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby The Korff » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:34 pm

The (very expensive) K812s have outstanding isolation, so the K550s might be worth checking out (though they look like a very different design). At the upper end of your budget are the Focal Spirit Professionals — they have great isolation, but partly due to the fact that they're quite a snug fit (Sam Inglis found them a little too tight when he reviewed them, but I didn't when I tried them; YMMV). Also, in Googling the Focals to see if they were the ones I was thinking of, I've just learned that they're selling as 'end of life' products. Which is odd, as I really liked them — quite DT770-esque, if I recall. I wonder if they've been replaced in the range, or are about to be?

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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby blinddrew » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:09 pm

Worth having a look at the DT770s as well. Especially since you could afford them and some correction software.
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby mozart999uk » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:18 am

blinddrew wrote:Worth having a look at the DT770s as well. Especially since you could afford them and some correction software.

Thanks. Wondered about the 770's. Gotta try and find a shop where I can try some out. Down in the deepest southwest - not a decent music shop for about 100 miles :headbang:
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby Wonks » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:05 am

mozart999uk wrote:Down in the deepest southwest - not a decent music shop for about 100 miles :headbang:

You could always get some from somewhere like Amazon and return them if you don't like them.
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:26 am

I've got the DT770's and DT880's. Whilst the DT770's are great for tracking I personally wouldn't use these for mixing on even with correction software. I much prefer the DT880's for mixing.
If I were after decent closed headphones for mixing I would up the budget and check out the Shure SRH1840 or Beyer DT1770 .
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby mozart999uk » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:57 am

Wonks wrote:
mozart999uk wrote:Down in the deepest southwest - not a decent music shop for about 100 miles :headbang:

You could always get some from somewhere like Amazon and return them if you don't like them.

Ahh yes could do that. I know some of the other shops don't like you returning headphones cos of ear hygiene ....
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby mozart999uk » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:57 am

dickiefunk wrote:I've got the DT770's and DT880's. Whilst the DT770's are great for tracking I personally wouldn't use these for mixing on even with correction software. I much prefer the DT880's for mixing.
If I were after decent closed headphones for mixing I would up the budget and check out the Shure SRH1840 or Beyer DT1770 .

Are the SRH 1840 not open backs?
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:47 pm

mozart999uk wrote:
dickiefunk wrote:I've got the DT770's and DT880's. Whilst the DT770's are great for tracking I personally wouldn't use these for mixing on even with correction software. I much prefer the DT880's for mixing.
If I were after decent closed headphones for mixing I would up the budget and check out the Shure SRH1840 or Beyer DT1770 .

Are the SRH 1840 not open backs?

Whoops typo! I meant the SRH1540
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby mozart999uk » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:11 pm

Whoops typo! I meant the SRH1540[/quote]

No worries. Thanks. They look great....
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby forumuser840717 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:13 pm

If you can find a pair secondhand or NOS, Beyer DT300 have some of the best isolation I've found in a pair of headphones - virtually ear defender type isolation - and surprisingly decent sound quality. One of the few pairs of cans I can mix on reasonably reliably when I'm sat in the room with an orchestra or loud band on PA or with high background noise at festivals or out and about.

They're comfortable for fairly long periods but to maintain the seal around the ear, they use some kind of foam/gel filled plastic ear surrounds and do exert a fair pressure on the head which, for people with wider heads could be uncomfortable. Also, in warm weather, because they seal very effectively they can become a bit sweaty on the ear with long periods of wear. That said I used them on a job in Jordan where temperatures were into the 40C range and wore them for a couple of hours at a time with no more problems than the HD600s and K240DFs I also had with me.

Alternatively, a pair of high quality in-ear headphones or IEMs can work under a pair of ear defenders but it's not always a good combination as the ear defenders can disrupt the operation of some types of IEMs (particularly ported designs) and cause them to exhibit higher coloration than usual.
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Re: Best headphones for isolation

Postby mozart999uk » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:48 pm

forumuser840717 wrote:If you can find a pair secondhand or NOS, Beyer DT300 have some of the best isolation I've found in a pair of headphones - virtually ear defender type isolation - and surprisingly decent sound quality. One of the few pairs of cans I can mix on reasonably reliably when I'm sat in the room with an orchestra or loud band on PA or with high background noise at festivals or out and about.

They're comfortable for fairly long periods but to maintain the seal around the ear, they use some kind of foam/gel filled plastic ear surrounds and do exert a fair pressure on the head which, for people with wider heads could be uncomfortable. Also, in warm weather, because they seal very effectively they can become a bit sweaty on the ear with long periods of wear. That said I used them on a job in Jordan where temperatures were into the 40C range and wore them for a couple of hours at a time with no more problems than the HD600s and K240DFs I also had with me.

Alternatively, a pair of high quality in-ear headphones or IEMs can work under a pair of ear defenders but it's not always a good combination as the ear defenders can disrupt the operation of some types of IEMs (particularly ported designs) and cause them to exhibit higher coloration than usual.


Thanks that's very useful info. I'll keep an eye out for a pair on ebay.
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