Recommendations for home studio / computer / conferencing Phones
Mar 14, 2011 at 4:18 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

Psychlist1972

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I work from home, and wear headphones > 12 hours a day. I do a lot of teleconferencing, and need to be able to make out individual speakers on the line. This is challenging to impossible with headphones that are open. I had a pair of inexpensive noise cancelling phones in the past that worked reasonably well for the conferencing, but completely blew for everything else. I use a Samson C01U for my mic (I record a lot of video as part of my job) so I don't need a headset/mic combo.
 
I noodle around with creating electronica (ambient, some berlin school type stuff) with my synthesizers. I also listen to the same type of music (mostly electronica, some rock, some classical) on the same machine. I don't need to go nuts with bass, but I would like to have reasonable response down to very low drones (think the ambient "space" noise/drone in some movies)
 
Music, computer sounds, synths in my DAW etc. all currently come out through the DAC in my Novation x-station (previously through an e-mu 1616). I'm not sure if that's considered amplified in the head-fi world :)
 
I can't wear ear buds as they hurt almost immediately, no matter what size gel I use.
 
I have a relatively big head (see my avatar) and want the phones around my ears, not on them. Anything on my ears all day tends to either slide off or hurt. Plus, I enjoy the isolation of closed-back around-the-ear designs (I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old who are upstairs playing with/torturing mom while I work).
 
I did a ton of research here, and ended up discounting a number of my early selections. Right now, I'm partial to the Audio-technica A900s based on reviews/specs. I was sold on the Denon AHD2000s before that (despite the price), until I saw all the broken screw complaints. As a woodworker, I LOVE the look of all the woodies out there (especially the cherry cans), but the prices are a bit nuts.
 
So...looking for recommendations in the < $300 range, preferably around $200.
 
In a nutshell, I need something that is:
  1. Good at isolating a good bit of outside noise
  2. Around ear
  3. Good at letting me hear voices on conference calls (office communicator. Think skype/messenger)
  4. Good for electronica music
 
Any recommendations on others I should consider besides the A900?
 
Pete
 
Mar 14, 2011 at 4:57 AM Post #2 of 15

Deep Funk

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Welcome to Head-Fi and sorry for your wallet...
 
Sennheiser PX200 II, impressive for its size... (On ear, very comfortable)
 
Otherwise a semi open full size studio headphone with good bass extension is all you need.
 
Mar 14, 2011 at 8:55 AM Post #3 of 15

Digital-Pride

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Here are some additional options for your consideration:
 
Audio-Technica ATH-M50, PRO700MKII
 
AKG K272HD
 
Beyerdynamic DT 48, DT 150, DT 250, DT 770(32 or 250 Ohm versions)
 
Sennheiser HD 280PRO, HD 380PRO
 
Shure SRH 840
 
Sony MDR-V6, 7506, V900HD, 7509HD
 
Ultrasone PRO 750, PRO 900
 
With all of the options here you'll find excellent noise isolation as well as exceptional overall sound quality.
 
Mar 14, 2011 at 10:30 AM Post #4 of 15

lejaz

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The dt250 should fit the bill, IMO. Very comfortable and more neutral than the sony v6/7506. Also dt150, but I've not heard that one myself. You don't want semi-open like the k240s ... you'll hear all the outside distractions.
 
Mar 14, 2011 at 1:32 PM Post #5 of 15

Deep Funk

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Excellent noise cancellation? Digital-Pride, if I want excellent noise cancellation a K181 DJ is much better than a MDR V6. Not all the headphones you mentioned are 'that' excellent. 
 
Mar 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM Post #6 of 15

Digital-Pride

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Quote:
Excellent noise cancellation? Digital-Pride, if I want excellent noise cancellation a K181 DJ is much better than a MDR V6. Not all the headphones you mentioned are 'that' excellent. 



Of the headphones I suggested most of them are studio monitors, which one can assume to be at least decent in terms of sound isolation(after all they designed with studio work in mind).  The V6 is acually a pretty good option, not I'm disagreeing with you the K81DJs do look nice.
 
Mar 14, 2011 at 4:24 PM Post #7 of 15

Deep Funk

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K181 DJ, not K81 and if you think a V6 - which I had - offers good isolation, it is decent at most. I would prefer a PX200 II for isolation alone and mind you a K81/518 offers isolation a V6 cannot offer. 
 
Mar 14, 2011 at 10:50 PM Post #8 of 15

Psychlist1972

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Thanks all.
 
I'm partial to big ear cups that aren't going to press into my ears all day (remember, I wear these for roughly 12 hours, broken up by only a few breaks)
 
The Beyerdynamic DT770-PRO was on your list here. Those look like they'd be big enough. What's the sound profile look like for those?
 
I couldn't find any reviews listed here. I did find this; based on that, the phones don't look good. The Sennheiser HD 380 Pro is in the same price range and appear to also have a nice large ear cup (lots of clamping complaints on Amazon on those, however).
 
I wish there were good places around here where you could try out different headphones (without cooties, of course).
 
Pete
 
Mar 14, 2011 at 11:56 PM Post #9 of 15

eucariote

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DT250-250 are great headphones with decent isolation, but they really need an amp and do not have much soundstage.  They are pretty comfortable and not huge if you'll be doing video conferencing.  DT770-80 do sound pretty strident/thumpy, I'd stay away from those, but higher ohm models are more neutral.  K271 are extremely comfortable and offer the best isolation I've heard in a closed headphone.  Their bass is really thin but their mids are great and they absolutely need an amp.  If you can live without bass they could be a good option.  The latter two models have huge earcups- good for comfort, bad for self-image/video.  Denons are very comfortable and enjoyable, but they are not great for voice or mixing imo due to weak mids and pronounced bass & treble.
 
Mar 15, 2011 at 1:19 AM Post #10 of 15

Psychlist1972

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@eucariote
 
Thanks. No problems with big headphones; my team is known for looking like a bunch of radio personalities on the conference calls since we do so much video and podcast work and use the same equipment for the calls :)
 
I'll check out the K271s as well. Recommendation on an amp that won't break the bank but pairs well with those?
 
Pete
 
Mar 15, 2011 at 4:54 AM Post #12 of 15

Acix

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Quote:
@eucariote
 
Thanks. No problems with big headphones; my team is known for looking like a bunch of radio personalities on the conference calls since we do so much video and podcast work and use the same equipment for the calls :)
 
I'll check out the K271s as well. Recommendation on an amp that won't break the bank but pairs well with those?
 
Pete



The K271MKll, are good...as well the GMP 8.35, and the M-50.
 
Mar 15, 2011 at 10:44 PM Post #13 of 15

eucariote

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Quote:
 
I'll check out the K271s as well. Recommendation on an amp that won't break the bank but pairs well with those?
 


Tough one.  Saint Panda's uber closed headphone review said that K271 work well with a tube amp, mentioning that they had the best sound quality of all the 15 closed headphones tested- given the right equipment.  However with my transformer-coupled tube amp they were a disaster (only headphone I've owned that sounded worse with the amp) and my stereo didn't work particularly well them either, so I sold them off.  Check out posts from people who love their K271 and see what they're using.  I'm normally not a believer in big sound differences with different amps (check out Melosz amp comparison thread, where expensive amps don't fare much better than cheap ones)- but in this case the headphones do seem picky.
 
 
Mar 16, 2011 at 2:28 AM Post #14 of 15

Uncle Erik

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The Sony MDR-7509HD should fit the bill. I really enjoy my pair.

But if you can use open headphones, take a look at the Sennheiser HD-600. Isolation isn't a strong point, but they're excellent and you'd probably really enjoy them with music. For a little more isolation, the Beyerdynamic DT880 might work, too.
 
Mar 20, 2011 at 11:02 PM Post #15 of 15

Psychlist1972

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I decided to bite the bullet and try out the M-50s mentioned in this thread. They were inexpensive enough and have pretty high ratings. Unfortunately, the reviews here on that set all start with "I've never owned high-end headphones before..." so I need to take them with a grain or three of salt :)
 
If they work out, wonderful. If not, they'll be a backup set and I'll save up for one of the other pairs listed here.
 
Thank again for the recommendations and help.
 
Pete
 

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