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Isolation Headphones & HD25 types

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Isolation Headphones & HD25 types

Postby tonemangler » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:11 pm

Hi

I have a pair of Sennheiser HD265's and although they are closed back I find the click track sometimes leaks into the recordings of my acoustic guitar, for example during soft picking or when a note is dying off to silence. I was glad to see this month's article on headphones but was wondering if there is a particular model that is known to have the best isolation when it comes to tracking.

Thanks,

Paul
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby Richard901 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:17 pm

This site might help, but I'm not sure how up to date it is:

http://www.headphone.com/learning-cente ... -graph.php
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:31 pm

Sennheiser HD25-IIs are very widely recommended for this, and I would agree. The new Focal Spirit phones offer impressive isolation, too.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby Dynamic Mike » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:25 am

HD25-II's are pretty much the go to isolation phones (especially if you wear glasses) but even with these I get some leakage with quiet close miked stuff. For solo acoustic stuff I set up a click on an audio track and either automate the volume, or just chop it up crudely & drag down or ramp the waveform in Cubase. I'm sure there's probably some clever side-chain gating version of this the real pro's use. Sometimes it sounds okay when you're recording but the click only becomes noticeable once you add something like mix-bus compression.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby Btyreman2013 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:00 am

I use sennheiser HD280 pros for tracking, they are great for stopping all leakages into mics
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby tonemangler » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:38 am

Thanks to all for the replies.

Richard d901: I checked out the site and was able to compare the Sennheisers, however the Focal wasn't on the list. Still very informative.

Sam Inglis: I reread your review of the Focal Spirit Pro and you did mention the Sennheiser HD25II as the industry standard in this regard (I don't know how I forgot that!). I do wear glasses while tracking, especially if a lyric sheet is involved, so I do have concerns about the fit of the Focal. As far as the HD25II I noticed in a YouTube review that the quarter inch plug was an elbow type which would be fiddly for me due to the ergonomics of my mixer. I was planning on buying a second set for mixing, but if you had to mix with either the HD25II or the Focal which would you choose?

Dynamic Mike: I like your idea of having the click on an audio track and then automating. I will use this in the future, thanks.

Btyreman2013: The HD280 pros look very similar to my HD265's, I'm not sure if they would offer better isolation, but I will put them on my short list.

Thanks again,

Paul
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby Sam Inglis » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:36 am

From a sonic point of view, I think it's mainly a question of getting to know the sound of the headphones. Like any pair of closed-back phones, both the HD25s and the Spirits have a 'sound' of their own, but once you'd got used to it, I'd have thought they would be about equally useful (or not) for mixing.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby Dynamic Mike » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:55 pm

They're a couple of years old now but my HD25II's have a straight jack. The Sennheiser spares site seems to offer both options for the replacement 3.5m cable so maybe that's what was on the review that you saw.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby John Willett » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:12 pm

Dynamic Mike wrote:They're a couple of years old now but my HD25II's have a straight jack. The Sennheiser spares site seems to offer both options for the replacement 3.5m cable so maybe that's what was on the review that you saw.

Only the HD 25-1 (and HD 25-1 II) had the rt.angled jack - and the cable is short.

The HD 25-1 had a 1.2m cable and the HD 25-1 II has a 1.5m cable.

All other versions have a straight jack.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby tonemangler » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:54 am

My searches only bring up the HD 25-1 II, so I assume this is the latest incarnation of this model. As John Willett states the cable is short and right angled. I do have an extension cable but it's 10m long which is kind of overkill for a small bedroom studio.

I must say that I've had a lot of problems with the cable of my Sennheiser HD265, the part that connects to the right ear cup was not making a good connection where the signal would periodically cut out, I would have to wiggle it until it would cut in again. I bought a new cable ( not cheap either) and within a few months the same problem occurred. Also the quarter inch adapter was not a screw on type and would easily come off, and when reconnected only one channel of the stereo field could be heard. I would have to fiddle with it for what seemed like hours before it would work properly. Eventually I left the plug inserted in my mixer not daring to touch it!

To put it mildly I don't have a great deal of confidence in the Sennheiser cable, but maybe this was an isolated case with my headphones since the HD25's are so popular.

Hopefully I'll find a store that carries both the HD25-1 II and the Focal Spirit Pro so I can compare them at the same time.

Thanks for all the help.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby chris... » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:54 am

HD25 rocks.

I have two pairs and have failed to break either after 10-15 years of trying.

Pretty much all the headphones I had previously ended up with cable/connector type faults.

The right-angled plug is fine, but if you really need straight, then just get a short lead - preferably one that goes from 3.5 (headphone end) to 6.5 (mixer end) so you won't need the senn adaptor.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby Dynamic Mike » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:25 am

tonemangler wrote:My searches only bring up the HD 25-1 II, so I assume this is the latest incarnation of this model.
You don't want the HD25-1 II, you want HD25 II http://www.decks.co.uk/products/headphones/sennheiser/hd25_2m

DM
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby Daniel Drummond » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:19 pm

Others ways around it:
1) use a visual metronome (app on yourphone or the "midi bug");
2) have someone listen to the metronome in the control room and conduct you through the studio glass;
3) get a vic-firth isolation phone;
4) get a ear protection cover (for industries and construction) and use an ear-phone inside it.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby tonemangler » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:58 am

chris... wrote:HD25 rocks.

I have two pairs and have failed to break either after 10-15 years of trying.

Pretty much all the headphones I had previously ended up with cable/connector type faults.

The right-angled plug is fine, but if you really need straight, then just get a short lead - preferably one that goes from 3.5 (headphone end) to 6.5 (mixer end) so you won't need the senn adaptor.

It's good to hear that they're durable that's a definite plus. I do have a very long...that doesn't sound right...I should say I own a headphone extension cord that is very long which I was whining about since my studio is small and cramped. It will work fine, I'll just coil up the excess.

Cheers.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby tonemangler » Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:12 am

Dynamic Mike wrote:
tonemangler wrote:My searches only bring up the HD 25-1 II, so I assume this is the latest incarnation of this model.
You don't want the HD25-1 II, you want HD25 II http://www.decks.co.uk/products/headphones/sennheiser/hd25_2...

DM

I've tried searching for the HD25 II but I can't find them on this side of the pond. On Ebay there was one listing but the seller was from United Kingdom. In North America I've found the HD-25 SPII which looks different. The HD 25-1 II looks identical to the HD25 II except for the cable. I assume the degree of isolation is the same on both.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby tonemangler » Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:15 am

Daniel Drummond wrote:Others ways around it:
1) use a visual metronome (app on yourphone or the "midi bug");
2) have someone listen to the metronome in the control room and conduct you through the studio glass;
3) get a vic-firth isolation phone;
4) get a ear protection cover (for industries and construction) and use an ear-phone inside it.

This sounds a little too outside the box for me.

Thanks anyway.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby John Willett » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:09 am

tonemangler wrote:My searches only bring up the HD 25-1 II, so I assume this is the latest incarnation of this model.

There was no change in the headphones themselves between the Mk.I and Mk.II models.

The only changes were the length of the -1 cable (from 1.2m to 1.5m), more cable options (eg: there was a 2m version and a coiled cable version added in the Mk.II series) and the adaptor was changed to a screw-on type, rather than a plug-on one.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby John Willett » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:11 am

chris... wrote:HD25 rocks.

I have two pairs and have failed to break either after 10-15 years of trying.

Yours are new ones then :D

I bought mine in 1989 - still going strong after 25 years use (4th set of earpads, though and on the second set of headband pads).
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby John Willett » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:18 am

tonemangler wrote:
Dynamic Mike wrote:
tonemangler wrote:My searches only bring up the HD 25-1 II, so I assume this is the latest incarnation of this model.
You don't want the HD25-1 II, you want HD25 II http://www.decks.co.uk/products/headphones/sennheiser/hd25_2...

DM

I've tried searching for the HD25 II but I can't find them on this side of the pond. On Ebay there was one listing but the seller was from United Kingdom. In North America I've found the HD-25 SPII which looks different. The HD 25-1 II looks identical to the HD25 II except for the cable. I assume the degree of isolation is the same on both.

Talk to Sennheiser Canada.

the versions are:-

HD 25-1 II - 70Ω - 1.5m steel cable with rt.angled connector.

HD 25 II - 70Ω - 2m steel cable with straight connector.

HD 25-C II - 70Ω - 2/3m coiled copper cable with straight connector.

HD 25-13 II - 600Ω - 3m steel cable with straight connector.

All the above have the split headband and single-sided cable.

The one below has a cheap headband and a double-sided "Y" cable and lower quality downrated capsules:

HD 25-SP II - 90Ω - 3m steel cable with straight connector.
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Re: Best Isolation Headphones?

Postby tonemangler » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:06 pm

John Willett wrote:

Talk to Sennheiser Canada.

the versions are:-

HD 25-1 II - 70Ω - 1.5m steel cable with rt.angled connector.

HD 25 II - 70Ω - 2m steel cable with straight connector.

HD 25-C II - 70Ω - 2/3m coiled copper cable with straight connector.

HD 25-13 II - 600Ω - 3m steel cable with straight connector.

All the above have the split headband and single-sided cable.

The one below has a cheap headband and a double-sided "Y" cable and lower quality downrated capsules:

HD 25-SP II - 90Ω - 3m steel cable with straight connector.

Thanks for the info

On the Sennheiser Canada website only the HD 25-1 II is shown, I've emailed them to see if I can buy the other model here.

It's a drag that the second model has a shorter cable, I assume it's because these phones are geared towards the DJ market.
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