March 29, 2016 at 3:24PM

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Monitoring Audio - Best Headphones on an Indi Budget

I'm looking for a new pair or headphones, some with a bow, to monitor my audio on set.
I have an eye on the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, the Sennheiser HD 380 Pro and the AKG K-271 MK II.
Any suggestions? Or any other headphones I might have overlooked?

11 Comments

The industry standard for the past 15+ years has been the Sony MDR-7506 which sell for less than $100. ( I own two pairs of these )

Over the past few years the Senal SMH-1000 headphones came on the market, which are a clone of the Sony MDR-7506 with the main difference being that they have a detachable cable that makes them easier to store or replace the main audio cable.

The one big benefit to using the Sony 7506 headphones is that there are so many of these headphones in use that it's fairly easy to get parts to repair a damaged set. ( I've been careful, so no damage after 6 years of use )

March 29, 2016 at 4:54PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32727

I've looked a bit around and found out that the MDR-7506 is about 25 years old by now. There is now the Sony MDR-7510 which seems to be much better (at least at it's specs, it's very difficult to get some of those headphones to test them before buying them). However, is there any noticeable increase of quality when you compare the MDR-7506 to the MDR-7510?

March 30, 2016 at 4:11PM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
2175

Hmmm...

The MDR-7510 specs don't appear to be much better than the MDR-7506 to me. Yes they have a wider frequency range, but this range is beyond normal human hearing so I really doubt that it would make much if any difference when used on a film set.

There is a good reason why the MDR-7506 has been the standard for 15+ years: They are affordable, they work perfectly on outdoor and indoor sets, and they are comfortable when wearing them all day.

If you have money to burn then I would buy the MDR-7510 set, otherwise the MDR-7506 has been good enough for the rest of the world for 15+ years, so they should be good enough for you.

March 31, 2016 at 11:04AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32727

I think the MDR-7510 is just the MDR-7506 in a more robust/modern design (f. e. the cables which used to be outside the body of the 7506 are now inside the 7510's). And the 7510 just cost about 20€ more thatn the 7506.

April 1, 2016 at 3:52PM, Edited April 1, 3:52PM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
2175

Sorry, I just realized that I was thinking of the MDR-7520 headphones that cost about 3.5 times as much as the MDR-7506.

The MDR-7510 are very close in price to the 7506 set but with a slightly more modern design, so it might be worth paying the extra for the MDR-7510 set. ( $25 more than the 7506 headphones at B&H Photo )

April 4, 2016 at 5:53PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32727

I have a pair of Sennheiser DT 770's that I use, primarily for studio work. They sound big & lush and make for great critical listening. And they're comfortable - I can usually wear them for quite awhile without my ears becoming sore.

Though in the environment you're working in, I'm curious if perhaps a flatter sound response is more ideal? Maybe consider something like the AKG K240. They're known for their flat, unbiased, accuracy - and are relatively inexpensive. Less than $60.

March 31, 2016 at 1:13PM, Edited March 31, 1:13PM

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Matt McGinley
Music Producer & Composer
4

For field/studio recording you normally want headphones with a flat un-colored sound that will accurately represent the sound that is being recorded. They are very different than the type of headphones you would use at home. ( when you first hear these "recording" headphones you will notice that they have a bit of a "dead" sound compared to recreational headphones )

March 31, 2016 at 3:00PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32727

Yes, that's why I'm looking for some good headphones for monitoring. Until now I've used the AKG K-530 which in fact are HiFi headphones that use to manipulate the sound more than they should for monitoring.

April 1, 2016 at 3:57PM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
2175

The problem with the AKG K-240 (all versions) is that they are open back. Not ideal for real time monitoring.

April 1, 2016 at 3:56PM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
2175

We have had good luck with Audio Technica ATH-M50x. The switchable cables are great and sound is solid.

April 2, 2016 at 4:15PM

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The LazyCat
CEO
1

I use and highly recommend the Shure SRH840:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/634560-REG/Shure_SRH840_SRH840_Pro...

It's great for monitoring and, when you have become familiar with its way of handling low frequences, even serves as a main mixing tool (which is not the case with most of closed headphones).

April 7, 2016 at 7:15AM, Edited April 7, 7:17AM

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