What isolation earphones/iems to buy?

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

  1. Skip this paragraph if you don't want any backstory :) I like to play my drums
    along with music, but since I started playing on an electronic drumset I'm used
    to having my drums sound great, mixed in perfectly with the cd track, with total
    control over volume levels. Obviously thats a bit harder with acoustic drums.
    Since I'm going to be micing my drums to record my plan was to get a pair of
    isolation headphones and mix in the mic'ed drums with the cd track.. from what
    I'd found the ultraphones from GK-music were the best at 29db. To see if they
    were good enough I put in some cheapo earbuds and borrowed a pair of the very
    same gun muffs they use.. it didn't do it for me, I still had to play the cd
    track too loud to get an even mix, and there was a fair amount of bass leaking
    through.. if there's a better pair of isolation headphones out there, please
    let me know..

    So I've come to the conclusion that the best solution is probably a pair of
    isolation earphones (shure e3, etymotic er6, er4, etc..) with a pair of
    those gunmuffs worn over top.. the muffs only cost like something $18..
    I can't imagine that kind of a setup not giving me enough isolation...?
    But which ones to buy? There are so many companies and models, are there
    some that are universally known 'among the best in quality and value'?
    I'd like a pair that allows custom earmolds, from what I've read that gives
    the best isolation, fit/bass, and comfort.. since I'll be getting some
    custom fit earplugs it shouldn't be too expensive to get a second mold.
    I don't want to spend a fortune, I'm not going to be playing any gigs
    or anything like that and they have to sound good playing back music..
    I read that some are more suited for recordings vs live music and vice
    versa.. I'm also not familiar with the whole impedance thing but ideally
    I'd like something I could also use on my mp3 player as reg. earphones.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
    Matthew Blake, Jan 26, 2005
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  2. Matthew Blake

    powerst Guest


    Look at the Koss PRO/4AA:

    powerst, Jan 26, 2005
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  3. Matthew Blake

    rick hollett Guest

    Play quieter? Strange concept to some, but in fact anyone interested in
    hearing at all in their later years(let alone the broad dynamic range of
    music), should turn it down now! Consider the damage occuring to those poor
    schmoes in the audience who don't know any better. I once worked with a bass
    player who used earplugs. When I asked him to turn down as he was drowning
    out the piano and sax, he said he wouldn't be able to hear his bass. Duh!
    maybe if he removed the plugs! Obviously the whole volume issue is off the
    rails(pun intended)

    hearing intact

    Rick Hollett
    rick hollett, Jan 26, 2005
  4. Matthew Blake

    Arny Krueger Guest

    Long story short, based on my experiences two alternatives to look at
    seriously are Futuresonics and Shure ER3s - at least if you want to keep
    your costs under $200.
    Arny Krueger, Jan 26, 2005
  5. Matthew Blake

    georgeh Guest

    I once worked with a drummer who wore plugs, then bashed the shit out
    of everything, whether the song needed it or not.
    georgeh, Jan 26, 2005
  6. So I've come to the conclusion that the best solution is probably a pair of
    can't find anything on leightning
    Matthew Blake, Jan 26, 2005
  7. So I've come to the conclusion that the best solution is probably a pair of
    heh nevermind
    Matthew Blake, Jan 26, 2005
  8. Long story short, based on my experiences two alternatives to look at
    yeah the er4's looked nice but they're pricey, i was leaning towards the
    e3's.. what did you decide and are you happy with your choice?
    Matthew Blake, Jan 26, 2005
  9. you've made an awful lot of assumptions, let me just say most are wrong.
    i'm not interested in getting into it i'm just looking for suggestions
    on what earphones to buy, if you can help let me know.
    Matthew Blake, Jan 26, 2005
  10. Matthew Blake

    Arny Krueger Guest

    I have a pair of each and find them both pleasurable to listen to.
    Arny Krueger, Jan 26, 2005
  11. Matthew Blake

    novamusic Guest

    Most cheapos have little bass to begin with, and may not seat properly,
    which will also reduce bass.
    I've used ER6s and shure E1s, both good, with good bass when seated
    properly. THe ER6s have a peak at around 3k which you may or may not
    like. Almost any good-quality buds will be improved in both bass
    response and isolation by custom molds.

    But even a good bud set with custom molds may not be as good as a great
    set of regular headphones for tracking. It just depends on the mix, the
    room, and other factors.

    Investigate both options, then make a choice based on what's best for
    you. As far as regular headphones are concerned, drummers here have
    seemed to like Fostex 'phones (T20, T40). I'm sure there are many other
    good options as well.
    Mikey Wozniak
    Nova Music Productions
    this sig is haiku
    novamusic, Jan 26, 2005
  12. Matthew Blake

    IanMEmery Guest

    I own sensaphonics,Westone um2's, E5's. I rate them in that order.
    Sensa's are custom kind of a pain if you need to continually remove
    them but the sweetest @ $700.
    UM2's even full range sound great base and a buyers choice @ $350.
    Shure are kinda tin'ey and short on base. My ears tend to ring after
    use when equalized to taste. Not cause of DB's mostly cause the sweet
    spot is a higher freq their hype tags out at around $500.
    It's my two cents.
    Ian M Emery
    IanMEmery, Jan 26, 2005
  13. Dudes,
    i thought sensaphonics were just the silicone custom molds, there's
    an actual sensaphonic earphone? the earphones you listed are a little
    out of my price range :) i guess i should have been clearer
    Matthew Blake, Jan 26, 2005
  14. Only once? :)

    CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
    "Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
    Laurence Payne, Jan 26, 2005
  15. Matthew Blake

    rick hollett Guest

    I put an old pair of sennheisers in my ear defenders. Drummers love them.
    Cuts the room sound by 30 db or so

    Rick Hollett
    rick hollett, Jan 27, 2005
  16. Matthew Blake

    saxofunk Guest

    Check out the pro line of Sony headphones, decent isolation and great
    response 7506 is a good model ($100-$150) though the 7509s are better,
    sturdier, loud, and fit ears a little better I think ($200). Top of the
    line Sonys are the V*00 series, 6 and 700 are pretty amazing

    saxofunk, Jan 27, 2005
  17. Matthew Blake

    georgeh Guest

    I used to use a pair of the V600s in the studio before I got my 7506/V6's. I found the V600 to have a very hyped bass which masked
    many problems when tracking. The V6's, otoh, are the consumer version
    of the 7506 and allow me to hear most "problems" with ease. That said,
    NONE of them are "iso" headphones. A few companies DO put 7506 drivers
    into iso shells, though. They tend to be somewhat pricey, but work
    pretty well.
    georgeh, Jan 28, 2005
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