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Headphones - looking for suggestions

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Josh Steinberg, Jul 14, 2019.

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  1. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Roger that!
     
  2. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    When you’re watching a movie with headphones and the disc has the choice between a lossless surround mix and a kissy stereo mix, which do you go for?
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I generally go with the lossless surround. My receiver does a good job downmixing, and the sound quality is better than the low bitrate stereo track.

    I don't hate it when I'm watching an old movie that only has stereo sound, though.
     
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  4. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    This thread reminded me of my Sony MDR-V7 headphones. I got a pair in the late 80’s early 90’s. There is the MDR-V6 which is still in production today. These headphones are not only great for music listening, they are used as studio monitors in recording studios too. I’ve even seen Kelsey Grammer wearing them on Frasier while on the air doing his radio show, if that was what I saw.

    The V6 is very well regarded to this day. The V7, which I own is not made anymore. They were marketed for digital and the drivers are made of titanium verses the Mylar used on the V6. I plugged them into my iPod and had a listen last night. They still sound great! I mostly listen to Apple Airpods at work, so it was a nice change to hear the Sony’s again. They have a great range with good bass, midrange and highs. The main issue with the Sony’s is the ear pads wear over time but fortunately there are lots of replacement options. I need to replace my ear pads. The Sony’s also come with a long cable, I think 3 feet, so you’d need an extension. The connector is a 1/4” standard stereo jack but it unscrews to reveal a 1/8” jack so you have two options.

    Josh, I know you’ve already made a purchase. Thought I’d mention the Sony headphones.
     
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  5. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    It depends. If the disc has a DTS Headphone: X mix, I'll choose that. Otherwise, I'll choose the lossless. Netflix is another story, though, where I'll choose the stereo mix, only because the 5.1 mix often sounds more muted when mixed down to stereo.
     
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  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    That was pretty much my instinct as well, so I'll start there - thanks gents!
     
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  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    The headphones arrived on Wednesday night.

    My initial first impression was great - sounded good and was comfortable to wear. Sampled them listening to the score for Superman: The Movie. I had been listening to the new soundtrack release extensively and I thought it made sense to try out the headphones with something I was very familiar with.

    I was a little less impressed with the second listen. I watched a movie and the sound was kinda muddy and indistinct. I also found them to be a little bulkier than they seemed at first, and not necessarily comfortable in my normal movie watching lazy lounging position.

    Gave them a third try and found the sound to be much better and the headphones more comfortable.

    I am thinking that these are great headphones and that I just need to get back in the habit of wearing them. I don’t think they’re actually uncomfortable, I’m just not used to it yet.

    And on further reflection for that disappointing second listen, I think I was actually hearing faults in the mix and not actually having a headphone problem at all.

    Once I get used to the weight and bulk I think I’m gonna love these.
     
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  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    There are mixes that were less of a problem with the more-neutral Seinnheisser cans, and there are mixes that really shine with the beyerdynamic cans.

    What I find is that the mixes that already juice the high end and low end can be a problem, since the DT 770s already de-emphasize the mid-ranges a little bit. In those cases, I have to turn up the volume on my receiver a bit and just deal with the fact that there are going to be certain sound elements that are too loud in the mix. A lot of movies that were mixed in the eighties, in particular, are guilty of this.

    Mixes that are neutral across the board, and mixes that emphasize the dialogue over the music and sound effects, are way better with the DT 770s than with the Seinheissers.
     
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  9. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Supporting Actor

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    So how effective are the various formats meant to replicate a surround sound environment with headphones? I used to have wireless Phillips headphones with "Dolby Headphone" and they were ok but never really created convincing surround effects----they were also huge. It was like wearing a C-clamp on your head. My Yamaha receiver has some processing designed to create a surround environment for movies but does not seem to do much. Is there actually a headphone or processing system which can create decent faux surround environment?
     
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  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I had a fantastic experience using these headphones to watch First Man.

    My home is cooled by window air conditioners, not central air - it’s effective but it’s noisy. This usually leaves me with two less than ideal choices for late night viewing. I can watch with the AC on and be physically comfortable, but at the cost of difficulty in hearing everything clearly, since I can’t turn it up too loud or I’ll wake my wife. Or, I can watch and listen at normal volume with the AC off and be uncomfortable.

    With First Man on headphones, I could hear everything and watch comfortably. And the headphones helped make the lunar sequence much more impactful because they both blocked out room noises while also making me feel a little like I was in an isolating space suit.

    Headphones also did a great job with that effects-heavy soundtrack! And were great with little nuances in dialogue like when Armstrong would mumble rather than speaking up.

    I ended up liking the movie more at home than I did in IMAX and the headphones played a part in that.
     
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  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    My only experience is on the Xbox1X with Dolby Atmos for headphones and I am completely sold on that. I don't watch movies in either my living room or basement via headphones, ever, sorry.
     
  12. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    As we discussed in the First Man thread in the Movies forum, I Redboxed this yesterday on Blu-Ray. I saw a lot of complaints about this mix, particularly that the low-end was underpowered, and I didn't experience that at all. Like you, I thought the sound was fantastic with my DT 770s.
     
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  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Agreed! And I liked the movie so much more on disc than I did in theaters that I ended up watching it again the next day with my wife on the surround sound system. Sounded great there too, but I think I liked it better with headphones. The headphones really helped emphasize the transitions between intense rocket launch sounds and quiet space sounds.

    I've watched a few black and white monaural films the past couple weeks with the headphones, and those older soundtracks have also sounded great on these headphones.

    Adam, fantastic recommendation, they keep getting better and better. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with them!
     
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