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Movie headphones... Stereo/Surround? Wireless?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I am trying to find a pair of headphones mainly for watching movies(bluray/dvd) in my bedroom. During the daylight hours it is usually too noisy to focus on watching anything w/ speakers. At night either still too noisy or I need to be quiet. Will sometimes be used for gaming on the PS3. Also occasionally PC gaming if it sounds much better than my current headset. Won't be used for listening to music...



I don't need audiophile quality, just good quality.


To get a good movie experience I was also considering some sort of "surround" option. Either dolby headphone or something similar.


I have also been considering wireless because I will be 8-10+ feet away from the TV and don't want to deal with long cables or extensions. Also every single headset/headphones I have ever had end up with the wires getting damaged over time. I know most people here care most about the best quality, but I am probably more concerned with comfort and convenience as long as the quality is good.


I got my dad a pair of Sony MDR DS-3000 wireless surround headphones for xmas. Listened to them for a few hours and the surround effect was obviously emulated, but still fairly convincing. It sounded like it created a bigger soundstage than just stereo and the dialogue was very crisp and much easier to understand than before. Downside is that there seems to be a constant hiss regardless of the audio source. I couldn't find anything to watch with a lot of very quiet scenes to see if the hiss would be loud enough to bother me, but it is always there.


Was also looking at:

Sony MDR DS-6000 (2.4ghz wireless radio vs the DS-3000 infrared)

Pioneer SE-DIR800C


Both are supposedly hiss-free. The pioneer looks like exactly what I want... Except it has a 90 day warranty(tells me that pioneer expects it to break) and I have found many reports of these breaking because they are made of cheap plastic. I want something that I should not expect to break without abuse.


I have been trying to compare various "surround" implementations vs stereo. There is a dolby headphone demo on youtube that just sounds awesome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fligG_SLnOc


I also watched my pearl harbor DVD which has a dolby headphone soundtrack and wasn't impressed, didn't sound like the youtube demo and didn't seem too different from regular stereo.


The sony attempt at a surround effect doesn't sound too bad to me.


Was watching the two towers on DVD and it sounded pretty good just with my gaming headset connected to the TV.


 If I connect my headset(using my altec lansing gaming headset at the moment) to my LG 32LE5400 TV I am not sure if it simply downmixes to stereo or adds any effects or unusual processing. The TV has some cheesy attempt at surround for the built in speakers called "infinite sound" and I am not sure if that is implemented while listening with headphones or not.


Also am considering a device such as the JVC Victor SU-DH1 to implement dolby headphone but haven't heard enough to decide whether dolby headphone is something I would want or not.


Also would consider something like a receiver or amp if its not too expensive.


My current setup looks like this PS3->TV(HDMI connection)... for Bluray/DVD & games. Or occasionally I use PS3 media server to stream content from my PC to the PS3.


Ideal budget $100, max budget $260 total.  

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

Still trying to make a decision... If I can't decide I might just go with an extension cord and use my current headset or earbuds or whatever I can find until they break. I know very well that bigger/better material goods do not lead to increased happiness... Often the opposite. I know most people here would recommend some sort of wired headphone, and I guess I am still open to it. Also as far as movie watching goes I might be more comfortable if I re-arrange my room and simply place a comfortable recliner 6 feet away from the TV instead :p Does anyone have any more demos of dolby headphone or competing technology that might help me make a decision?

post #3 of 14

I use Sennheiser RS-140s for watching TV. They're radio not infared so I can walk to another room and still hear the program. The sound quality is decent and they are comfortable. The 140 is an older model but I'd suspect the new Senn wireless line is even better.

post #4 of 14

 Go with a wired solution.


Try a Astro MixAmp and a pair of headphones like the AD700.

post #5 of 14

Second the Astro Mixamp suggestion.  There is now a wireless version available (5.8 GHz).  In my setup it works extremely well.  I was pleasantly surprised at how good it sounds even with a DTS HD-MA soundtrack on Blu-Ray movies (I was originally shopping the SU-DH1 because I was concerned about DTS support, but as it turns out, whatever my Blu-Ray player puts out on Toslink for a DTS HD-MA soundtrack works very well with the Mixamp's Dolbly Headphone implementation).

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

hmm yes the mixamp seems like it may be a good solution. Too bad I didn't see that earlier. Could have bought one of those for my dad for xmas. He has a ~$200 pair of grado headphones that he occasionally uses- would have been better than the sony MDR DS-3000 most likely when paired with the mixamp. The mixamp looks pretty nifty.

post #7 of 14
I'd go for a Sony MDR-V6 and an extension cord. Maybe $100 total, though I've seen refurb MDR-V6 headphones sell around $50. They're really quite good headphones and you'll enjoy them with music, as well. They're closed so you'll cut down on external noise and they also fold up in case you want to take them with you. You'll sometimes find the MDR-V6 in bricks'n'mortar shops, so look around and give them a listen if you find them for sale locally.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

yeah I think closed may be the way to go. thanks for all the suggestions.

post #9 of 14

In my experience the best option for headphones for gaming and movie's is open and with dolby headphone dsp.  Closed headphones, the one's i've owned, sound less life like and canned then open headphones.  And adding dolby headphone opens up the sound field considerably more.  I'd highly recommend getting a pair of dt880 2005's or the k702's, along with the wireless version of the mixamp.

post #10 of 14

The surround DSP is essential for movies.  Make sure to get something with it like a receiver or a mixamp.  Good choices for headphones would be a Denon D2000 or Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80.  Unfortunately that will put you over budget unless you buy used.

post #11 of 14

I have the Sennheiser RS-140, they are available on Amazon for $120. I really like them for ambient music and movies. The bass is just not there for hi-fi although it is present. I am returning my Bests Solo HD by Dre and the RS-140 are better just not as bassy. They have a lot of range and are really comfortable.


Good Luck.

post #12 of 14

x2 re: Mixamp 5.8


Virtual surround, wireless, works with any stereo analog headphones, clean sound, $100 + ship.


I have both mixamps. The wired one is for gaming in my bedroom and the wireless one I use in my living room for movies. The 5.8 suffers from no noticeable degradation in SQ due to being wireless. Neither mixamp will decode DTS. They only do Dolby Digital -> Dolby Headphone, which I find completely acceptable.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

thanks for all the good suggestions, and where can you find the mixamp for $100 +shipping?

post #14 of 14

The 5.8 was $100+shipping direct from Astro's website prior to the new year... but I thought that was a promotional price. 


Ah yes, checked it, price went up to $140 for the 5.8!  Wired is at its usual price of $130.

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