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Topic: Noise-cancelling studio phones?

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  1. #1

    Noise-cancelling studio phones?

    Do any companies make high-quality noise-cancelling studio phones? I own the Bose Quietcomfort 2 headphones. For music, they're great. For mixing, they're crap. It's overly bassy/muffly.

    There must be a market for this. I'm sure there are a lot of people who have to deal with the immense noise inherent in a multiple-machine setups. It makes for a nice migraine. I have mine in a ventilated closet... sounds like a wind-tunnel in there.

    If there in fact no noise-cancelling studio phones, what existing set of headphones block out noise while retaining sound quality/clarity/fidelity?

    Cheers.

  2. #2

    Re: Noise-cancelling studio phones?

    If you're having that much noise, perhaps you should look into or invest in quieter computer components than noise-reducing headphones. Sometimes, you might not even need to spend money. For instance, my main DAW computer, after a little while of use, would begin to produce a very loud hum, louder than a nearby air conditioner. I had no idea what it was, and I was all ready to switch out my power supply, graphics card, and case, when I had a friend look at it. He opened the case, blew out all the dust, cleaned the processor fan, put it back in, and now it's much quieter. It was just dust interfering with the processor fan - that was it.
    Zircon Studios - Original music for media, electronica, sound design, and synthesis.

  3. #3

    Re: Noise-cancelling studio phones?

    All of the specs for noise cancelling phones that I've read have horrid bass response. They generally start at 200 Hz, rather than 20.

    A better bet would be in-ear monitors. There are some high-end ones that are customized for your ears. The wireless ones come with limiters, so you don't blow out your eardrums.

    An even better bet is to eliminate the noise in your room. No matter how great your phones are, they won't give you the stereo image that you get with good old cones and boxes.

    -JF

  4. #4

    Re: Noise-cancelling studio phones?

    No no, I can barely hear my computers - they're in the closet (with weather stripping and a towel covering the bottom. ) For now it's my keyboard fan that's driving me up the wall. It's loud as hell. Hearing that for hours on end... it's fatiguing. That and the window a/c unit, when I do turn it on. Plus the occasional mother/sister banter.

  5. #5

    Re: Noise-cancelling studio phones?

    Hi Aaron. These may or may not be to your liking, but I've found the in-ear Etymotic ER-4 have worked pretty well for me over the past year. Using the foam eartips, they cut a significant amount of outside noise. http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er4.aspx
    Jim Casella
    Tapspace

  6. #6

    Re: Noise-cancelling studio phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by A_Sapp
    For now it's my keyboard fan that's driving me up the wall. It's loud as hell. Hearing that for hours on end... it's fatiguing. That and the window a/c unit, when I do turn it on. Plus the occasional mother/sister banter.
    It would probably be cheaper to find a used MIDI controller without a fan than to get quality NR headphones. You can turn off the A/C for periods when working. There are no cheap replacements or off-switches for mothers and sisters though.

    -JF

  7. #7

    Re: Noise-cancelling studio phones?

    Senheiser HD-280 are the best sounding, quietest headphones I have used. For $99, you won't be disappointed. They have a slightly scooped midrange, that is very aesthitically sounding to the ears. If I have to do any mixing in headphones....though I don't like to.....I use my Sen's.
    Jonathan Kerr
    J.Kerr Music, Inc

  8. #8

    Re: Noise-cancelling studio phones?

    Actually headphones are greatly affected by the ergonomic factors which vary so much between people (no two people's head and ears are the same).

    So all you can do is experiment. I find AKG headphones to sound great and are quite comfortable for me, but for the best isolation and best overall sound and bass response (hyped high end notwithstanding), I prefer my SONY MDR 7506's though they are not nearly as comfortable to wear for more than 15 miniutes.

  9. #9

    Re: Noise-cancelling studio phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by jkerr
    Senheiser HD-280 are the best sounding, quietest headphones I have used. For $99, you won't be disappointed. They have a slightly scooped midrange, that is very aesthitically sounding to the ears. If I have to do any mixing in headphones....though I don't like to.....I use my Sen's.
    I echo the recommendation. I use an earlier model of the HD line that I picked up for $75 and I do ALL of my mixing on them (no monitors used whatsoever). I have received no complaints at all about my mixing or mastering either.
    Zircon Studios - Original music for media, electronica, sound design, and synthesis.

  10. #10

    Re: Noise-cancelling studio phones?

    I've also got a pair of HD 280 Pros. They're very nice and neutral. I don't find them scooped at all, especially compared to Sony MDR-7506s, which have a hyped high end.

    But the noise rejection is limited. They help with fan noise, but if some outside sound annoys you without them, it will still annoy you with the phone on.

    If you open up your keyboard and find that your fan is of the 12-volt variety, you can likely replace it with something very quiet for under $15. If you're using it in an air conditioned room, you can get away with less air movement. They probably designed the keyboard to work reliably on stage in the Phoenix sun.

    -JF

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