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Re: Field Headphones?

Subject: Re: Field Headphones?
From: Walter Knapp <>
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 00:58:11 -0400
Michael P. Moore wrote:
> Oops...I meant to change the subject line...
> Does anyone have any recommendations for decent field headphones that
> can take a good beating and probably end up getting rained upon?

First criteria should be the quality of the sound. It does no good to be
light, waterproof, etc. if you cannot hear what you are recording well
enough. Otherwise that awful background noise won't be noticed until you
get back. You want to hear the details out there where you have a chance
of doing something about them. Don't cut corners on headphones.

Second, as you get into more sensitive mics/turning the gain up, you
need headphones that seal well to your head. Otherwise you get to pick
up feedback. Sometimes you can find a spec for the acoustic isolation or
something that will give you a clue. With the high sensitivity stuff I
use I have to be careful never to point the mic in my direction even
with a good seal. A good seal will allow you to play the headphones loud
enough to hear that faint background.

Third, headphones are somewhat a personal preference. You will be
wearing them lots, so need to try them on if possible. What is
comfortable to one person may be awful to another.

Following those criteria, I use Sony MDR-V900's, both in the field and
editing later. The pair I'm using now is several years old, have been
soaked in sweat, light rain and so on. And still give as good a sound as
the spare pair I have that I've not used much at all. They have also
been dropped, cooked in the car and so on too. The joints are slightly
looser than when new, but that just makes them a little more
comfortable. I do use as much care as possible about my equipment,
others would kill headphones much quicker than I will.



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