What headphones/earphones provide the most attenuation? 30+db

Discussion in 'Pro Audio' started by Matthew Blake, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. What I want to do is be able to play my mic'ed drums along to music and
    have it sound good and not be too loud. If I use regular headphones the
    drums are so loud that even if I max out my headphones the music is barely
    loud enough to hear through the drums and then obviously I have to wear
    earplugs so everything is muffled and sounds like crap.

    So what I would like are headphones or earphones that block out so much
    outside sound that I can get a nice clear, even mix between my mic'ed
    drums and cd tracks at a -comfortable- level. I've read about the gk-music
    ultraphones ($219.00) which are basically 29db gun muffs with sony 7506
    drivers in them, my dad had a pair of the same muffs so i tested them
    out, just put regular cheapo earbuds in, put the muffs on, mixed in the mic'ed
    drums with a cd track and even then the drums were still too loud and I still
    had to crank the cd player fairly high.. not nearly as bad as with regular
    headphones but it still wasn't quite enough attenuation for my liking..

    So what are my options? Reading google groups I found out about the Sennheiser
    HD 280 Pro's which have 32db attenuation and cost $99.99. Whats the quality
    like on those? How would it compare to my Audio Technica ATH-M40fs?
    Are there any other iso headphones out there? I also found out about isolation
    earphones http://www.microphonesolutions.com/ear-monitors.html
    some of which block out 41db.. these seem great however to get that kind of
    attenuation you have to use foam tips which need to be constantly replaced..
    also I don't know what the quality is like on these things.. headphones would
    be ideal just because they're so easy to put on and take off, you don't have
    to clean them or change tips, etc.. i figure worst case scenario i could get
    a pair of of 30 db iso earphones with the non-disposable rubber tips and wear
    light muffs over them however I'd like to get an all in one solution.

    if you have any advice, please share! :)
    Matthew Blake, Jan 26, 2005
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  2. What I want to do is be able to play my mic'ed drums along to music
    the er-6's alone? there's no way thats enough attenuation for me..
    they only have about 20db noise reduction, 27 with the foam tips.
    Matthew Blake, Jan 26, 2005
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  3. If you really want LOTS of isolation, what about using some earplugs
    no i wouldn't like that. its not looking like i'm going to find any
    headphones that isolate enough for my needs, i guess i'm just going to
    get some isolation ear phones with custom molds and wear gun muffs over
    them.. that would surely do the job. time for a new thread.
    Matthew Blake, Jan 26, 2005
  4. Matthew Blake

    litepipe Guest

    litepipe, Jan 26, 2005
  5. Usually available for ~$75 from Etronics.

    Quite good for the price.

    That will definitely give you the most isolation.
    Kurt Albershardt, Jan 26, 2005
  6. Matthew Blake

    Room2b Guest

    What I want to do is be able to play my mic'ed drums along to music

    As a recordist, I've had good experience with the Trew Audio extreme
    isolation headphones....they're Sony MDR-7506 drivers in isolation
    shells. http://www.remoteaudio.com/hn7506.htm .
    Room2b, Jan 26, 2005
  7. er....this may be a silly question, but even if the drums have to be
    miced, do the speakers HAVE to be pointing at you?

    CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
    "Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
    Laurence Payne, Jan 26, 2005
  8. What I want to do is be able to play my mic'ed drums along to music and
    there are no speakers, the mic'ed drums go into the mixer, the cd player
    goes into the mixer, and i'd put my headphones on and listen to the cd
    player and drums together in a clean, even mix at a comfortable volume.
    Matthew Blake, Jan 26, 2005
  9. Matthew Blake

    Mike Rivers Guest

    Once again, this begs the standard rec.audio.pro question: "What do
    you want them for?"

    If you're looking for something that allows you to listen to tunes on
    your Walkman while at your day job breaking up concrete with a
    jackhammer, that's one thing. The ear plug style phones under the
    safety ear protection that you should have for your job is the right

    If you're looking for headphones for mixing music in a loud club or
    concert where you need to make critical mix decisions without being
    confused by the ambient sound, look no further. It isn't going to

    The kind of noise that you want to isolate from makes a difference,
    too. The active noise cancelling headphones are good for continuous
    low frequency noise. They work very well on an airplane, but they
    don't do much for impact noise like a jackhammer or or a small
    nearly unmuffled engine like a chain saw or lawn mower.

    I'm really Mike Rivers - ()
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
    Mike Rivers, Jan 26, 2005
  10. Get some electronic drums......

    psychodave.thomas, Jan 26, 2005
  11. Matthew Blake

    LightningRod Guest

    Unless of course he's asking because he likes real drums like a lot of
    us do.
    LightningRod, Jan 26, 2005
  12. Matthew Blake

    Ben Bradley Guest

    So what frequency(ies) are these attentuation numbers measured at?
    Is there a standard for this? ISTR there might be some official OSHA
    standard for measuring muffs intended specifically for reducing SPL,
    but since earphones/headphones aren't intended solely for
    attentuation, it seems they could use whatever measurements they
    wanted (visualize a marketing person with a pair of dice).
    Frequency response will surely vary between different phones/muffs.
    High frequencies are a lot easier to isolate than lows, and how well a
    device fits into or around the ear can have a large effect on
    isolation (obvious to anyone who has used earphones/muffs much at
    In short, I don't trust those numbers to correlate well to
    percieved attentuation. Perhaps someone who knows more about how these
    are measured could comment here.
    Ben Bradley, Jan 26, 2005
  13. Matthew Blake

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    Normally they are measured at 1 KC, I believe.
    Right, but if you ask the manufacturer of the plugs or muffs, they will
    usually be willing to give you response curves which actually have some
    info. At least Cook Safety Products, whose plugs we get on government
    lowest-bid contracts, do.

    The exception to all of this are the piston-type muffs which are used
    for shooting. Those contact diaphragms which only seal when a shock
    wave hits them, so they basically provide no attenuation at all until
    there is a strong short impulse to close the seals. These things are
    sort of hard to measure, but they are also useless for all of these
    One scalar value doesn't even come close to telling the whole story,
    Scott Dorsey, Jan 26, 2005
  14. I like them too. I work with a drummer who is a big guy who likes to
    hit the drums real hard.
    He also has nice 7 ply maple drums that are very loud. He also wears
    heaphones along with cotton in his ears. Says his drums hurt his ears.
    I say, play softer. No, can't do that cause the drums don't feel
    right. He finally bought electronic drums. Problem solved. :>)
    Dummers, don't get me started.......

    psychodave.thomas, Jan 26, 2005
  15. Matthew Blake

    Carey Carlan Guest

    (Matthew Blake) wrote in
    Ahh, there we have it. No headphone or muff blocks low frequencies well.
    If you're pumping the full spectrum of drum sound into your headphones,
    you're getting double bass (from the headphone amp and bleed from the
    drums). Severely chop the bass from your drums going to the mixer and see
    how that balances.
    Carey Carlan, Jan 27, 2005
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