What's at Headphone out with DD/dts playing?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Todd Hochard, Aug 15, 2001.

  1. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I've been thinking of getting some headphones, so that I might be able to actually hear what I'm watching at night while my daughter is sleeping. This got me thinking:
    1. What will be at the output of the headphone jack on the receiver (Denon AVR-3300) when listening to DD via the digital input? Anything? How about with dts? Do I get full range, downmixed 5.1, with LFE?
    2. What about at the output of my DVD player's headphone jack when playing dts? (Denon DVD-2500)
    3. Is this really going to suck, compared to 5.1? [​IMG]
    4. What might be a decent set of headphones, with a budget of, say, $100?
    I could answer the first few questions myself, except that I have no headphones at home. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    Todd
     
  2. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    Well...here are my experiences using a set of cans on the headphone output of an old Sony DVP-S3000: If I selected the 5.1 track, I would only get front L and R through the headphones. That player would not downmix to the headphone output. I had to select a 2-channel soundtrack to get all the information to the headphones.
    I haven't tried either your receiver or DVD player, so I am not sure if either one will downmix from the 5.1 soundtrack. However, I doubt it. If they won't, you can listen to the stereo soundtrack just fine. After all, headphones are only 2-channel!
    As for headphone recommendations, AKG makes some spectacular cans, like the K240M which sell for around $90. Sennheiser also comes to mind with the HD495 which also go for around $90.
     
  3. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    From my experience with HK on DTS or DD it downmixes 5.1 to accomdate the headphones. So all sound usually heard in the rear is now apart of the left and right channels. A good headset will really give you good seperation, not 5.1 obviously but IMHO enjoyable.
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  4. Scott Quick

    Scott Quick Agent

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    Normally, any receiver just taps off the left/right speaker outputs for headphone operation... a 680-1000 ohm resistor is added in line with each channel at the jack. My Denon 2700 does this, as do others I have tested: Pioneer, H/K, Sony, Technics, Sony ES, Onkyo, and Yamaha. I haven't tried any of the new Denons (i.e. past the "01" series... 3802, 4802, 2802, etc.)
    If you're looking for surround sound in headphones, let me advise you on a few things. I have tried many different surround sound emuators for headphones. At this point, only 1 (ONE) has actually done any sort of surround sound processing: the Sennheiser DSP Pro, usually packaged with a pair of Sennheiser HD580 headphones. This actually performs Dolby Pro Logic processing and HRTF to give a binaural output to be used with ANY set of stereo headphones. Pretty cool. Different people have different results. There is quite a long setup process to go through for the user, but it is well worth it in my opinion. A coworker of mine tried it and wasn't impressed. I, on the other hand, was astounded. Sennheiser generalized HRTF's for 15 different head and ear shapes. If your head and ears don't fit one of the profiles, things can sound off center (as with my coworker), or reversed (front is back, back is front). I watched Twister, the Jackal, and Saving Private Ryan. Literally, it was AMAZING. Things actually sounded behind me and in front of me.
    Unfortunately, Sennheiser stopped manufacturering this due to a very unwelcoming market... they just couldn't sell them. If you can find one at UBID or EBAY, by all means go for it. They were originally selling for over $500, were closed out at $300, and I have found them once in a while going for less than $100. The HD580 phones that come with it are worth that, so you really can't go wrong.
    First off, NO, I don't work for Sennheiser. I do, however, work in the field of headphones (sorry, it would be inappropriate to disclose whom). The thing to watch for in future/new recievers is Dolby Headphone. It performs a similar function that Sennheiser was using to create a binaural effect through the headphones. It will decode DPL and DD and put it through the headphones to give a full surround effect through the phones. I haven't had the opportunity to test one of these units out yet, as we are awaiting a new chip release.
    Dolby Headphone is already included in:
    Lufthansa German Airlines & Qantas Airlines & Singapore International Airlines (in flight movies with Dolby Headphone outputs to each seat), many new name brand computer laptops (Packard Bell, Dell, Sony, etc), and the first home unit is an integrated amplifier by Marantz - PS-17SA amplifier. So far, this unit is only available in Japan. The current DVD software decoder programs also include software decoding (found on the laptops): DVMatics, PowerDVD, WinDVD, SoftDVD MAX, Pure DIVA, Real Jukebox plugin.
    Other surround sound units I've tried that really suck: Sony MDR-DS5000 and MDR-DS5100, Sennheiser DSP 360, Memorex, other Sony Gyroscopic surround, any that have SRS surround simulation (i.e. Sennheiser RS60), and many more...
    What should you do? Find a good deal on the Sennheiser DSP Pro/580 pack. Otherwise, wait for Dolby Headphone to become more prevelant.
    As far as recommendations for cans go:
    quote:
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    As for headphone recommendations, AKG makes some spectacular cans, like the K240M which sell for around $90. Sennheiser also comes to mind with the HD495 which also go for around $90.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The HD490 is the same sound as the HD495, and there are much better options for your money. No matter how many people blatantly say "Sennheiser, Grado (or any other company) make the best headphones in the world," take it with a grain of salt. (Tim Hoover: I'm not ripping on you here... the previous comment has nothing to do with you or your post as you haven't stated such a thing).
    My recommendations, based strictly on sound quality - not price. And in no particular order.
    *Sony MDR-V900 (vintage = MDR-7506)
    *Sennheiser HD480 (vintage)
    *Koss ESP/950 (electrostatic)
    *Sennheiser HD580 & HD600
    *Koss A-250 (the newer version)
    Price/Performance ratio: (all sound better than HD490) And again in no particular order.
    *Koss Pro4AA (requires quite a bit of power to drive)
    *Koss Porta Pro or Sporta Pro (great for discman or home)
    *Sony MDR-V500DJ
    *AKG 240M (require lots of power to drive them)
    *Koss A-130
    *Sennheiser HD500 Fusion (remove the foam inserts covering the earplate... much better sound. bass tightens up, midtones made Jewel sound like she was in front of me, instead of behind a downed comforter - a worthwhile and FREE modification)
    I was kinda' vague on the surround phones thing, so if y'all have any questions, let me know.
    Scott
    >
     
  5. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Everything I've tested also just give L/R- you can turn off the dolby diital processing on my receiver and it downmixes automatically.
    As far a getting surround from headphones, Scott mentioned disliking the sony stuff- however the sony supposedly actually do Dolby and DTS (connected via digital to a transmaitter unit which send multichannel encoded signal to the headphones).
    http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/S-XXoJuc07fJJ/ProdView.asp?s=0&c=1&g=50100&I=158MDRDS51&o=&a=
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  6. donovan_chin

    donovan_chin Stunt Coordinator

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    It's still basically a downmix with additional processing of the signal through the DSP to simulate surround.
    Most higher end Yamaha receivers have what they call the "silent cinema" mode where it actually does this. It's better than just having both the fronts and rears through the right and left headphones because it gives a feel of surround but it's definitely nowhere near to 5.1
    We'll all have to wait for the Dolby headphones for that.
     
  7. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Thanks, everyone for all the info, particularly Scott.
    I picked up the Sennheiser HD500, and the DSP360 (little brother to the DSP Pro) for a total of $75. I would have liked the user adjustments of the DSPPro, but I couldn't find it for what I was willing to pay.
    We'll see how this turns out.
    Oh, I got to thinking about this- Since the analog L/R outputs of DVD player always contain the downmixed audio of a DD5.1 track, I ought to get the same thing at the headphone jack of the player. dts provides nothing from the analog output, so that answers that. I just didn't want to have to monkey with the system setup- just plug in and go. I can even leave the receiver off!
    Todd
     
  8. Seungsoo Hwang

    Seungsoo Hwang Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are gonna get the Sony 7506's, just get the Sony V6's instead and save yourself the money. They are exactly the same except for the gold plated plug.
    And they still make em, I dunno what the "vintage" is all about.
     
  9. Scott Quick

    Scott Quick Agent

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    quote:
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    As far a getting surround from headphones, Scott mentioned disliking the sony stuff- however the sony supposedly actually do Dolby and DTS (connected via digital to a transmaitter unit which send multichannel encoded signal to the headphones).
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vince, the Sony products do indeed perform DD and DTS processing. However, the "downmixing" processing that is done to the headphone output is just plain nasty. THink of sound from a tin can, but WORSE... much worse. I can't expect you to take my word for it, especially since it costs $500. All I can say is, thank the Lord that the company picked up the bill for testing purposes. If I had spent even $20 on the unit, I'd be upset. My coworkers feel the same way. Best advise: go to your local dealer, and try it out for yourself to understand the "tin can" phenomenon.
    quote:
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    Thanks, everyone for all the info, particularly Scott.
    I picked up the Sennheiser HD500, and the DSP360 (little brother to the DSP Pro) for a total of $75. I would have liked the user adjustments of the DSPPro, but I couldn't find it for what I was willing to pay.
    quote:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hey man, no problem. My pleasure. I do definetly recommend the mod to the HD500 that I recommended in my first post. Well, the HD500's alone are worth $75 (at least that's the going price for them). So, if you got the DSP 360 in there with it, I guess its not that bad of a deal. I wasn't all that impressed with the DSP 360, but it does do an appropriate job of getting rid of the "in-you-head" sound of normal stereo output to headphones. Trust me on the DSP Pro - it is worth future consideration.
    quote:
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    If you are gonna get the Sony 7506's, just get the Sony V6's instead and save yourself the money. They are exactly the same except for the gold plated plug.
    And they still make em, I dunno what the "vintage" is all about.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Actually, Sony doesn't make the V6 model any longer. It (V6 or 7506) has been replaced again by the V600 and the updated V900. ($129 and $199 MSRP respectively) Just check out the new stuff on the website. So, that it what I meant by "vintage" [​IMG] And yes, the 7506 and V6 are exactly the same acoustic design.
    People here apparently really like the Sony 7506. Its a nice phone, but it does have some rather nasty characteristics in frequency response. A few have mentioned extra/boomy bass, but lets not forget the 15dB peak at 11kHz... as well as a handful of others reaching +10dB above 5kHz. Don't get me wrong, its a nice phone, but there are certainly much better ones.
    HTH,
    Scott >
     
  10. Seungsoo Hwang

    Seungsoo Hwang Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Scott Quick

    Scott Quick Agent

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    quote:
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    Actually, if you have a Fry's Electronics near you, then they still sell the Sony V6, as well as Djmart.com and I've seen it sometimes at Guitar Center as well, although they usually just have the 7506s. About the bass, I find the V6/7506 to have lots of it, but it isn't boomy, its some of the best and lowest reaching bass I've heard out of headphones. Your mileage may vary . All in all, it's a great closed
     
  12. Seungsoo Hwang

    Seungsoo Hwang Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry to keep beating this up [​IMG], but I'm pretty sure they are still producing the v6/7506s.. where did you hear they are no longer in production?
     

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