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Earphones or closed headphones?


realtrance

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Hey there,

 

I have to do some close listening in a noisy environment with accurate reproduction; would people here recommend the Shure E4C, or Etymotic or Sennheiser equivalent in-ear phones, or a closed headset like the Sennheiser HD-280 instead? Extended comfort is less important than top audiophile quality, or portability.

 

Thanks! :wave:

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The only way to go is with closed headsets.

The Sennheiser should work out superbly for you.

 

You'll find that not only will you encounter better audiophile quality, but better extended comfort as well.

 

In the noisy environment the closed headsets will help to block out the outside noise, enabling you to hear the source better.

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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Come to think of it, if price is no object, there are a couple companies, I think Sony being one of them, that offer noise canceling headsets.

Expensive, but they might be what you need

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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I own a set of Seinheiser noise cancelling headphones and they work good on the train and plane to reduce the constant background noise but I'm not so thrilled with the actual sound. I personally prefer around the ear headphones for a tighter bass sound and the physical reduction of extraneous noise.

 

Bose also makes a noise cancellation model that also physically blocks out additional sound (around the ear headphones) and are advertised for pilots. They are expensive but I wish I had those.

 

Actually I really just use the Seinheisers to block out the noise so I can enjoy the relative peace and quiet on the plane or train. I bought them for noise cancellation and not for 'sound' per se.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Sorry to disagree, but . . .

 

I absolutely LOVE my Etyomitc E4-Ps, which create "noise cancellation" the old-fashioned way: by plugging your ear canals to external sound. (The earphones get inserted into the ear canals much like earplugs, with the same decibel-reducing effects.) I much prefer the approach of the Etys to the "active" noise-cancellation used on phones like the Bose and Sennheisers. And, for audio quality, the Etymotics are astonishing. It's a true, audiophile-quality product. Plus, they fit in a package smaller than a cigarette box, which makes them extremely portable and perfect for travel. (I laugh every time I'm on a plance and see someone unpacking that massive box containing their Bose noise-cancelling headphones.)

 

All things considered, I'd got with the Etys.

 

Noah

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I'd avoid in ear phones at all costs if you like your hearing at all, and if you have to use headphones use them for short periods of time and give your ears a break. Quickest way to permanently damage your hearing is in-ear phones followed quickly by normal headphones.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Originally posted by NoahZark:

All things considered, I'd got with the Etys.

 

Noah

I'll bet he meant to say, "All things considered, I'd go with the Etys." :)

 

 

I think the headphones would be my choice over the earphones. :thu:

 

Of course, it wouldn't hurt to try both. In fact, I'd bet dollars to donuts that before this project is over, you will. ;)

 

Good luck,

 

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Originally posted by kanker, allegedly:

I'd avoid in ear phones at all costs if you like your hearing at all, and if you have to use headphones use them for short periods of time and give your ears a break. Quickest way to permanently damage your hearing is in-ear phones followed quickly by normal headphones.

Only volume damages your hearing. Headphones/earphones do not. Many musicians have hearing damage from standing near acoustic drums, for instance. We don't even have to mention guitar players. ;)

 

Excessive volume hurts your ears, regardless of the source.

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Originally posted by Prague:

Many musicians have hearing damage from standing near acoustic drums, for instance. We don't even have to mention guitar players. ;)

 

Excessive volume hurts your ears, regardless of the source.

Damn drummers. :rolleyes:

 

Ummmmm, damn guitarists. :rolleyes:

 

dammit. :mad:

 

(What were you saying?)

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Thanks for all the quick advice!

 

I'm leery of sticking things in my ears or eyes for extended periods of time, no matter what the latest fashion is. So, no contacts, and earphones for short sessions at most (I always feel inclined to push them in a little further, to make them less peak-y and more bass-y, Danger Will Robinson).

 

How do you "test" a pair of earphones? Do they offer fresh in-ear pieces for each customer? Where?

 

Just in case I do end up trying both, why Etymotic rather than Shure? I've heard good things about both, any significant differences worth reporting?

 

Another thing that makes me leery of earphones is their specs indicate _no_ info re: frequency response, THD, stuff you used to take for granted in any stereo equipment packaging and report.

 

Is there any solid info on earphone specs in general, vs. headphones?

 

Thanks again! :)

 

rt

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"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Originally posted by Prague:

Only volume damages your hearing. Headphones/earphones do not. Many musicians have hearing damage from standing near acoustic drums, for instance. We don't even have to mention guitar players. ;)

 

Excessive volume hurts your ears, regardless of the source.

While I will not disagree with your points, I will say that headphones and earbuds make it a hell of a lot easier for you to cause permanent damage without realizing it. Think about it - stick a sound source all the way into your ear canal and then crank it. Surround your ear with a sound source and crank it.

 

Check out the SPL's that headphones are capable of - http://www.rane.com/note100.html (scroll down)

 

Now check out the US gov't guidelines for noise in the workplace, and note that the bulk of the headphones you'll find that you would want to work with are capable of producing SPL's that are way beyond what the US gov't would allow for even 15 minutes (and the US guidelines start with 8 hours a day at 90 dB, which is enough exposure to cause some hearing damage to begin with).

TABLE G-16 - PERMISSIBLE NOISE EXPOSURES (1)

______________________________________________________________

|

Duration per day, hours | Sound level dBA slow response

____________________________|_________________________________

|

8...........................| 90

6...........................| 92

4...........................| 95

3...........................| 97

2...........................| 100

1 1/2 ......................| 102

1...........................| 105

1/2 ........................| 110

1/4 or less................| 115

____________________________|________________________________

Footnote(1) When the daily noise exposure is composed of two or

more periods of noise exposure of different levels, their combined

effect should be considered, rather than the individual effect of

each. If the sum of the following fractions: C(1)/T(1) + C(2)/T(2)

C(n)/T(n) exceeds unity, then, the mixed exposure should be

considered to exceed the limit value. Cn indicates the total time of

exposure at a specified noise level, and Tn indicates the total time

of exposure permitted at that level. Exposure to impulsive or impact

noise should not exceed 140 dB peak sound pressure level.

I would definitely recommend that if realtrance HAS to use headphones, that the noise canceling ones are the ones to get simply because they will allow the use of the phones a lower volumes. Still, take frequent breaks. The ear needs its rest too, and you'll damage it easily without knowing it if you push it too hard - the ear doesn't cause you pain when it's been damaged.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Just for comparison's sake, here's another table, one that I would think is even more rational than the US gov't list

 

o Recommended maximum allowable exposure times (by Nova Scotia Department of Labour) are:

 

16 hours for 80 dBA sound

8 hours for 85 dBA sound

4 hours for 90 dBA sound

2 hours for 95 dBA sound

1 hour for 100 dBA sound

30 min for 105 dBA sound

15 min for 110 dBA sound

7.5 min for 115 dBA sound

0 min for above 115 dBA sound (there should

be no exposure at

this level!)

 

A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Originally posted by kanker, allegedly:

While I will not disagree with your points, I will say that headphones and earbuds make it a hell of a lot easier for you to cause permanent damage without realizing it.

All things that cause damage are done when we aren't thinking. :D Being stupid is easy for those that don't know what they're doing. Speakers or headphones won't matter.

 

Most of the near-deaf musicians out there have done so without headphones. Less use is part of this, but they also arent aware that 2 feet away from a crash cymbal can cause lots of problems. Sound from a headphone is extremely easy to control (a volume knob) and no more prone to danger than anything else.

 

I've set all my phones amps for a max of 95dB. They won't get any louder when cranked to 10. A very simple thing to do. Guitar amps and drumsets have no such control.

 

Good dB info to include, though. If people know what they're doing, everything is safe.

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Originally posted by kanker, allegedly:

Just for comparison's sake, here's another table, one that I would think is even more rational than the US gov't list

Rational? It's no different than lowering a speed limit on a street. If you lower everything to zero then you have 100% safety.

 

It's great to have dB info. How many people think about this when with live music or playback, though? Who refuses to use an amp/speaker combo because it exceeds 95dB? No one. ;)

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While we're veering slightly away from my original question, I'd add that you have to not only know what db range causes what risk, but whether your average listening levels are veering into the risk range. I use a simple meter to monitor this, and it helps immensely.

 

This is a reason I really don't like any "compressed" music (in dynamic range), as it increases the average level of loudness. Yes, it will seem louder at lower levels, but I think it leads to exposing your ears to scenarios closer to the damage scenarios science has elaborated than listening to music with "realistic" dynamic range would.

 

I ended up getting both a pair of Shure E3s and the Sennheiser HD-280s, they'll each serve a purpose. The latter will be the accurate monitor phones I need. I love the clarity in the high-end of the HD-600 I have, but the closed nature of the HD-280's gives me the silent background I need in the environment I'm working on something to be able to really listen into the inner details I'm after right now.

 

The E3s will be fine for my CD player. :)

 

Thanks again!

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