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Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

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Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Mar 21, 2021 2:42 pm

My current setup at home has a serious 5G RFI interference issue from neighboring cell transmitters (we are on the top floor and they are right above us).

Unfortunately, this gets picked up by powered monitors and makes monitoring and mixing impossible. I do not have this issue when using headphones, so I am thinking about getting a pair of reference grade headphones for monitoring and mixing.

I am considering a pair of Neumann NDH 20s, and am wondering if anyone had any experience with them. Due to COVID, there is no way to audition them in person.

I need closed back, prefer over-ear.

Any other suggestions would be helpful as well.

Thanks!
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby James Perrett » Sun Mar 21, 2021 2:53 pm

I found the Sonarworks headphone reviews quite useful when I was looking for a quality pair of headphones recently.

https://www.sonarworks.com/soundid-refe ... r-reviews/

I'm not a Sonarworks user so in my case I was looking for something that sounded good with no correction and settled on the Sennheiser HD600. However, I'm not sure what to suggest if you need closed back as most reference headphones are open backed.
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Mar 21, 2021 2:55 pm

Thanks, James!
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:05 pm

You say you want headphones for mixing, but you're specifying closed back? Open back are more suited to mix work.

For mixing duties I have Sennheiser HD650, AKG K702 and AKG712. My favourites by far are the AKGs.
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:08 pm

Hi Elf, yes, they will have to be multipurpose and open back is not an option. My music corner is not dedicated, it’s a shared space.
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:43 pm

Not your priority, I know, but decent monitors shouldn't suffer RFI. While I know some speakers are poor, often the problem is in the connecting wiring, and your situation is one where Neutriks emc connectors may well be justified.
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:57 pm

Thanks, Hugh! I shall look into it!
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby CS70 » Sun Mar 21, 2021 8:20 pm

Concur that it shouldn't really be interference in the monitors if there's none in headphone - as it's only last part of the signal path that is different, so troubleshooting should be possible.

That said: I've eyed the Neumanns before getting my LCD-X but, as you, I couldn't test them (unlike the Audeze, which were available in a local hi-fi shop).

Under the premise that any headphone needs to be learned to some extent (but so does any speaker+room combo), and basing myself on the SOS review by Sam, I would have risked buying them, and may at some point do so.

The reason is that at the side of my desk I've always the LCD-X but also one of my closed back tracking headphones (the AT M50x) and I find myself often wanting to tweak things a little while I'm tracking... so every mix gets effectively done on three monitoring systems - the Audio-Technica, the Audeze and of course the speakers! Over time, I've actually learnt the M50x well enough that moves I do while wearing them translate surprisingly well on other systems. The obvious advantage is that with closed back I can mix a little in the evenings and late at night at home, something that the pandemic has made absolutely critical.

My reasoning is that, if I can do that with the M50x, it should be even easier (with enough practice) to do it with the Neumanns.

So yeah, if I'd been looking for another pair of cans, I would definitely consider the Neumanns once again. Not sure if this helps you in the slightest, though! :D
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Mar 21, 2021 8:32 pm

LOL that’s actually quite helpful!
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby Aled Hughes » Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:32 pm

Not used them, but the Austrian Audio models look nice too.
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:35 pm

Thanks, Aled!
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby Ben Asaro » Thu Mar 25, 2021 1:38 pm

After doing a considerable amount of research, I've decided on two things:

1) I'm probably going to want a decent headphone amplifier. I've been looking at the Rupert Neve RNHP, but am open to any suggestions in/around/under that price point.

2) I'm considering widening my search to include open back, but have a question in that regard, as I've never owned open-back headphones before. How "bad" (i.e., pronounced) is the leakage from them? (I know that depends in part on how loud I am monitoring; assume 'fairly loud') If I were listening to music on them, would someone sat 7-8 feet away be able to clearly hear what I am listening to? As my music corner is just that: a corner in a multi-purpose room in our small NYC apartment, I don't think significant leakage will be acceptable.

Thanks!!
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:06 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:would someone sat 7-8 feet away be able to clearly hear what I am listening to?
Practically guaranteed, I'm afraid. :cry:
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:07 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:...open to any suggestions in/around/under that price point.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/grace-design-m900

2) ...as I've never owned open-back headphones before. How "bad" (i.e., pronounced) is the leakage from them?[/quote]

Quite obvious to anyone nearby.

would someone sat 7-8 feet away be able to clearly hear what I am listening to?

Probably not clearly, but it would certainly be annoying !
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Re: Question about improving my headphone monitoring at home (Neumann NDH 20)

Postby Ben Asaro » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:07 pm

The Elf wrote:
Ben Asaro wrote:would someone sat 7-8 feet away be able to clearly hear what I am listening to?
Practically guaranteed, I'm afraid. :cry:
That's what I was afraid of. Hmmm, okay I'll have to give this some more thought.

Thanks, Elf! :)
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