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Headphones recommendation

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby Moozeeck » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:50 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
So why do you want to change the ones you already have if they are basically all the same quality and sound in terms of specs?

I broke them by accident.

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Fair enough. Perhaps you should ask them to suggest $12 headphones for you too.

I remembered that , it was said earlier. I didn't talk to them now.

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
That's really stupid what you said, because everything has spec...

Yes, everything manufactured does have a spec of some form... but it's depressing how often the published spec is meaningless, even for high quality stuff... and for ultra low-cost products the spec is either not published at all, or even less helpful!

So show me a meaningful and useful published specification for any $12 headphone and I'll gladly change my mind!

;)

There are manufacturers like Genius, that publish full spec.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby Moozeeck » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:54 pm

Rincewind wrote:Much as I like chocolate, let's take a different analogy. What you are doing is going to a Rolls Royce dealer and asking about bicycles. You are then annoyed that you are getting advice about what colour your Silver Ghost should be whereas your real interest is a wheel pump. Just go to a bike dealer and buy what you want because we cannot help you.

It's not a good analogy. Rolls Royce is a car, and not a bicycle. It's not comparable.
And also, Rolls Royce is not a car, it's a status symbol. And beside, no one here can afford Rolls Royce, so don't put yourself on piedestal, it's cynical.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:03 pm

Okay... so let's consider the published 'full spec' for the HS-M200C model

Genius wrote:Specifications

Sensitivity 105 dB
Frequency response 20 Hz – 20K Hz
Cable length 1.8 m
Impedance 32 Ω
Microphone YES
Weight 57 g
Colors Black

It's great to know that it has a nominal impedance of 32 Ohms. Pretty much typical for the type, but a genuinely meaningful spec all the same. Same with the cable length, and colour and weight.

But sadly, none of these give any clue whatsoever as to the sound quality.

The sensitivity figure could have been useful, but we don't know what that figure is relative to. I presume it's supposed to be an SPL figure, but we don't know how much input power is required to achieve that output level, or whether it's a flat response measurement or a weighted figure....

Perhaps you're thinking the frequency response measurements are more helpful... but no. We don't know what the amplitude limits are for those frequency response figures. How many dB down from the nominal level is it at those extremes? -1dB, -3dB, -10dB what? It makes a massive difference to the actual performance.

And what is the amplitude variation between those limits? +/-0.25dB, +/-1dB, +/-3dB, +/-10dB? what? Again, massive differences!

So, as I said, not meaningful or useful specifications, and of no help whatsoever in judging sound quality or even in comparing the performance of different headphone models.

I know this relates to speakers rather than headphones, but the principles still apply:

https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/understanding-speaker-specifications

H
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby Moozeeck » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:06 pm

Let me just add one point.

I have some old speakers, they are not very good, they have very poor sound, bass isn't good, and they don't have fat, rich sound.
I used to check my mix on them, and when mix sounds good on them, then the mix sounds good on all speakers and headphones.

Same analogy I am using for headphones.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:08 pm

That's really great.

Still can't offer any recommendations for $12 headphones though.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby Moozeeck » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:04 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Okay... so let's consider the published 'full spec' for the HS-M200C model

Genius wrote:Specifications

Sensitivity 105 dB
Frequency response 20 Hz – 20K Hz
Cable length 1.8 m
Impedance 32 Ω
Microphone YES
Weight 57 g
Colors Black

It's great to know that it has a nominal impedance of 32 Ohms. Pretty much typical for the type, but a genuinely meaningful spec all the same. Same with the cable length, and colour and weight.

But sadly, none of these give any clue whatsoever as to the sound quality.

The sensitivity figure could have been useful, but we don't know what that figure is relative to. I presume it's supposed to be an SPL figure, but we don't know how much input power is required to achieve that output level, or whether it's a flat response measurement or a weighted figure....

Perhaps you're thinking the frequency response measurements are more helpful... but no. We don't know what the amplitude limits are for those frequency response figures. How many dB down from the nominal level is it at those extremes? -1dB, -3dB, -10dB what? It makes a massive difference to the actual performance.

And what is the amplitude variation between those limits? +/-0.25dB, +/-1dB, +/-3dB, +/-10dB? what? Again, massive differences!

So, as I said, not meaningful or useful specifications, and of no help whatsoever in judging sound quality or even in comparing the performance of different headphone models.

I know this relates to speakers rather than headphones, but the principles still apply:

https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/understanding-speaker-specifications

H

Evaluate based on what you have, not on what you don't have.
You say impedance of 32 Ohms is good, thats good to know, becacuse there are also some with 24 Ohms.
I guess frequency should be wide as much as possible.
Sensitivity I don't quite understand.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:16 pm

MOF wrote:
MOF, have you tried Waves Nx or a similar system? Give it a go, it will allow you to judge panning and levels better than phones alone. Obviously you'll probably want to sanity-check decisions on speakers, at least until you feel you can trust the system (if ever).

No I haven’t, I might buy Waves’ Abbey Road Studio 3 plugin some time but I think the combination of headphones and speakers is sufficient for now.
If I was constantly travelling with a laptop and had deadlines to fulfil then yes I’d buy it now.


I have the ARS3 plug as well as the NxVMR for comparison and TBF the NxVMR would be my preference to work on, leaving the ARS3 for occasional checking.

Be aware that you can get either plugin for a pittance bundled with the tracker device depending on the flavour of sale Waves run at the time (though currently the Abbey Road bundle isn't the best option, maybe next month!).

As you say, laptop-on-the-go or iPad - great use-case. But also for anyone in a situation where noise is an issue . . . obviously, and for the many (likely most) without effective or even any acoustic treatment.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:37 pm

Moozeeck wrote:Evaluate based on what you have, not on what you don't have.

If you don't have the information, you can't make an evaluation.

You say impedance of 32 Ohms is good, thats good to know, becacuse there are also some with 24 Ohms.

The impedance won't make any difference to the perceived quality. If all other parameters are exactly the same, a 24 Ohms model might seem fractionally louder than a 32 Ohms model... But different models also have different sensitivities so it's entirely possible that a 32 Ohms model could be louder than a different make with a 24 Ohms impedance!

That's why it's necessary to have full meaningful specs... With only a partial picture, you can't make an evaluation.

I guess frequency should be wide as much as possible.

Yes, I guess it should. So if one model is specified as 20Hz to 20kHz (+/-1dB) and another as15Hz to 22kHz (+/-10dB), which has the widest frequency response?

Sadly, If the spec doesn't provide those kinds of amplitude limits, you just dont know what are you comparing. A spec that just says something like 20Hz to 20kHz is utterly meaningless and worthless... But it looks good to someone who doesn't appreciate what's missing! They might just as well have said "it makes boom and tiz noises..." that would be just as imformative!

Sensitivity I don't quite understand.

That makes it hard to comprehend the relevance and importance of the specs then... ;)
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby IAA » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:53 pm

Hugh, your commitment to education knows no bounds. :clap: :angel: If this guy had to pay for this advice he’s not taking........ :wave: :headbang:
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:00 pm

He may or may not appreciate it, but over 650 other people have read this thread and I work on the basis that some of them will have learned something and will appreciate the efforts of all the contributors.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby MOF » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:08 pm

Most people on this forum give and/or receive advice, I do both.
The OP came here admitting failings in his mixes and refuses to take advice to make improvements.
It’s not as if we’ve suggested spending thousands of pounds to get that extra ten percent improvement.
We now find out that the headphones were damaged and need replacing, so my advice would be to get identical replacements if the budget is really that constrained and they were obviously good enough before they failed.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby MOF » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:38 pm

Be aware that you can get either plugin for a pittance bundled with the tracker device depending on the flavour of sale Waves run at the time (though currently the Abbey Road bundle isn't the best option, maybe next month!).

No doubt I’ll be doing that when there’s a sale on. My priorities right now are some different flavours of mic’ to add to my AKG C414b-uls (such as a ribbon and/or Aston Stealth/Sony Sm7b) and the Brainworx Focusrite plugin, talking of sales, it was on offer at $99 a few weeks ago, I downloaded the demo and then went to buy it but it’s gone back to $349.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:54 pm

Heh - hard to get too stressed about missing out on a software discount when they're offered so regularly and frequently anyway.

[edit] delete question about silent disco, unimportant
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:18 pm

This is all hilarious.

It reminds me of the late and much missed Nicholas Parsons: no hesitation, deviation or repetition.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:37 pm

MOF wrote:
Brainworx Focusrite plugin, talking of sales, it was on offer at $99 a few weeks ago, I downloaded the demo and then went to buy it but it’s gone back to $349.

Sometimes I have missed a sale and emailed the company politely asking if they could still provide the sale price because I was too slow to react. Sometimes they say yes, so doesn’t hurt to ask.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:02 pm

I'm reminded of the Father Ted skit where Ted is trying to explain to Dougal that the cows in the field are, in fact, larger than toy cow on the table, it's just that they're far away! Objective perception can be challenging at times......

A huge bouquet for Hugh for being the wonderful educationalist that he is :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby MOF » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:34 am

Sometimes I have missed a sale and emailed the company politely asking if they could still provide the sale price because I was too slow to react. Sometimes they say yes, so doesn’t hurt to ask.

I tried that, ever so nicely, but the answer was no.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby MOF » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:40 am

Heh - hard to get too stressed about missing out on a software discount when they're offered so regularly and frequently anyway.
That’s what I keep telling myself as I check their site each day, after day, after day....... :D
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby MOF » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:44 am

He may or may not appreciate it, but over 650 other people have read this thread and I work on the basis that some of them will have learned something and will appreciate the efforts of all the contributors.

I’m glad you can stay so positive Hugh.
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Re: Headphones recommendation

Postby MOF » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:51 am

I have some old speakers, they are not very good, they have very poor sound, bass isn't good, and they don't have fat, rich sound.
I used to check my mix on them, and when mix sounds good on them, then the mix sounds good on all speakers and headphones.

Same analogy I am using for headphones.

How do you know if your mix will sound good on good quality speakers and headphones?
Just using the standard earbuds supplied with my iPhone I can hear that your mix of The Professionals is not as good as it could be.
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