Cheap, Durable phones for a high school radio station
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WMTH-FM

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On the reccomendations from this site, i've picked up a couple of pairs of KSC-50s for my own use. I'm not wild about the fit, but if I hold them to my ear they work fine. I'm the engineer at our student-run high school radio station, and the phones we got last year, some Sony ones, probably MDR-7502 got broken very quickly. Of course I wouldn't put over the ear ones in there ever, because nobody would use them. So, what i'm looking for is a very durable open-air phone, as cheap as possible, with either good sound or the ability to switch drivers with a pair of 50s. Also need a durable closed design for running the soundboard at live events.
 
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Jeff Guidry

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The new Koss UR40 that MacDEF is in the process of reviewing might fit the bill...they are an open headphone that use the same drivers as the KSC-50. Durability though has not been determined...if you aren't buying a quality built can that was specifically designed for high use and abuse, like the Sony MDR-V6, then you cannot reasonably expect headphones to last very long. When it comes to durability, you most certainly get what you pay for...if you spend 30 dollars on a headphone today that breaks in 6 months, that's a much worse value than buying a headphone for 70 dollars that lasts you for 10-20 years...
 
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cym

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well, I'm in a related situation. The station I engineer for has a history of headphones getting broken within the first two weeks, so I'm looking at buying a sturdy pair that won't break our meager budget. also, a plus would be the ability to monitor the studio sets that we do (I've been using event20/20's for band monitoring, and a pair of fat behringers for the board).

but, my qualifications are closed and durable. I'm wondering, why do you need open heads for the main pair? I'd be concerned with leakage into the mic, and accurate monitoring of interviews (adequate broadcast-volume checking isolation). We've had problems with feedback on closed phones even (though perhaps a variety of head sizes expanded the band making the small-people have bad seals). And, during interviews it's been imperative that we know how loud the guests are on the air, not just in the room (especially when there are 5 guests and 2 mics between them, with one guy running the board and doing the interview, fun).

So, here's my train of thought:

I've got a pair of v6's (actually two pair: one v6, and one v7056), and they seal pretty well, block out a decent amount of noise, and look durable as a horse. From reading around it seems these phones last years in toiling studio work without failing. actually, I bought a pair 2-years old and a pair new, and they both fit the same and seal the same.

the sound quality is very good overall, my only question would be whether vocals sound fatiguing on it, so I'm gonna run some dry spoken word through it tonight. my brother uses a pair constantly for recording, though, so I'm not too worried about it.

truthfully I haven't seen many phones around the $60 price range that look sturdy enough for constant on-off work (aka: abuse by djs), so I can't recommend any other possibilities. I will tell you this: cheapos break before you can say "you just heard from". the less plastic, the better. slightly swiveling heads are better (full swivel gets annoying). fold-up isn't really that great, but it's not dealbreaking.

and for running sound at live events, I'd recommend the v6's too. they're flat enough for monitoring, and sealed enough for isolation. you could look around and find better sound dampening, but it'll almost definetaly cost more.

so, my vote is for the v6's. I'd get a pair for live work, and if you like them, then get a pair for the booth. if you're in the mood for super-cheapy, I'd look at the ur20. headroom liked their sound for being a circumaural, and they're under 20 bucks. they'll probably break in a month, though. maybe wrap duct tape around the frame and they might last a year (keep the duct tape handy)

on a sidenote: I'm looking at the senn 202 for acoustic sets. cheap ($25, need 3 or 4 pair), and sealed, though not heavily soundproof (a little bleed with help the band stay sane). for full-amp studio sets I think we're going to use a single amped wedge for vocals alone anyway, so that's not a real issue. and they are cheap enough that breaking isn't a big problem. but, even the v6's could do this with ease and not break, so I'm thinking about knuckling down and buying v6's also. (but I'm ordering a pair of 202's right now to test them)

so, my current plan:
1x v6 for main board/mixing ($60)
1x v6 for solo interviews/sets (2x total) ($60)
3x 202 for multi-person intervews/sets (one person uses v6 + three use 202's, or two use v6 + three use 202's and the mixing guy runs sound from another room with 20/20's) ($75)

total price: $195

welp, hope this helps.


will
klpi
 
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WMTH-FM

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Hmm.... some good points. A closed phone probably would be better, now that I think about it. We have an ultralow budget, and the school doesn't really much care about it (We're running off of an 16-input mono board from 1983, our control room IS our studio, DJs double as engineers. As the person called engineer, I deal with the equipment.) So as such i'll probably start by modding a pair of UR40s as a trial, that's actually exactly what I'd been thinking, taping that hinge, and closing them up more by also covering the grill on the back, plus cutting the foam. We'll see how that works. I'd certainly rather have v6es, but it might be difficult to convince our sponsor to shell out the money, he sees nothing wrong with the so-broken-they-dont-adjust headphones I mentioned earlier. And our cash reserve, from what he's said before, is about a grand, if you believe it. Most of that's earmarked for a computer- we don't have one yet.
 
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