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    Thoughts on wireless headphones


    Hi All,

    I've been toying with the idea of getting some wireless closed back headphones mostly for the purposes of monitoring in a home-studio context; being able to move around freely (well, at least more freely) seems like it could be a big bonus. It's occurred to me that something like Sennheiser RS160, for which the transmitter is able to run off batteries, might actually also be quite useful for field recording. Seems like it could be quite handy to be able to monitor audio from <=20m.

    Anyone have any thoughts?

    I'm thinking sound priority might not be my greatest priority here, but suspect it would be a mistake to choose something purely on the basis of features...

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    If you're using them in a performance context (listening for cues, etc) I think they will work... If you're using them to do mixes then you'll run into trouble quickly.

    There's a very noticeable drop off in fidelity with wireless headphones like these.

    I tend to think of them as more useful for entertainment purposes.

    soundbyter - free sound effects
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    xinaesthete wrote:
    I've been toying with the idea of getting some wireless closed back headphones mostly for the purposes of monitoring in a home-studio context; [...] might actually also be quite useful for field recording. Seems like it could be quite handy to be able to monitor audio from <=20m.

    Anyone have any thoughts?

    I'm thinking sound priority might not be my greatest priority here

    I'd strongly recommend *against* this idea.

    Whilst sound *quality* may not be your highest priority, my experience with wireless headphones is that radio interference can be a problem on the recorded audio.

    In my experience, hard wiring, especially with screened cable, is a much more reliable approach. So whilst I appreciate the convenience of wireless and wish it was something I could use, I must unfortunately advise against it for recording purposes.

    Now maybe the interference problem doesn't apply to headphones, only to wireless input sources, but I personally wouldn't risk it.

    You might want to borrow a pair and do some tests with e.g. cellphone interference deliberately generated by phoning or sending a text, and see if the results are more or less desirable with wireless vs wired headphones.

    Please come back and let us know how you got on? Good luck!

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    Many thanks Spleencast, the point about interference is a very good one that somehow passed me by.

    This being the case, I think I might go for some more conventional closed back monitoring headphones... at some point. I don't really record very much music although I do hope to get more in to the habit of it - I need to rope some friends in or get the motivation going one way or another, more than I need equipment!

    I suppose for working with non-acoustic sound sources wireless could still be a viable approach, giving the freedom to move around and use different controllers / electronic instruments... this applies to me sometimes, but I don't want to set up my environment to in any way discourage me from working with acoustic instruments and sounds - the main point of getting closed cans would be to better facilitate this. Besides, I have a perfectly nice pair of open-back headphones that I can use with non-acoustic sources, albeit with the hassle of a cable; I just thought maybe I'd kill two birds with one stone.

    Come to think of it, I suppose the interference could effect any non-digital elements. All the more reason to steer clear!

    Cheers.

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    I'm really glad my contribution was useful. smile

    I described my experiences with a few pairs of headphones in this thread which may be of interest:
    http://www.freesound.org/forum/off-topic/13416/

    For the last 6 months or so I've been using the Audio Technica ATH-M35 cans with ear pads from the Sony MDR-V6 and I've been delighted with them. But one thing I learnt was that every person's head is different and a good fit makes such a difference that it can outweigh almost every other consideration.

    So I'd recommend borrowing a few pairs if you can to try them out over a few weeks, and once you have an idea which fit best you'll know which ones work best for you. smile

    I'd recommend avoiding cans with coiled cable, the extra weight and drag and catching on things are a real pain. Straight cable works by far the best for me. The M35s have an extra long straight cable which is really handy.

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    Well, I eventually ordered some Sony 7506s after speaking to an audio geek friend who was happy with his... didn't really have the luxury of being able to try any for extended periods. However, they weren't actually in stock and it was taking the retailer a long time to get hold of them.

    My dad tempted me to look at a pair of Sennheiser PX210 BT which have generally good reviews and work either via Bluetooth or cable. I now have some of these but am not particularly happy with the choice. They sound ok (although nothing about them is a patch on my HD580s), but the cable that comes with them is a bit feeble/short and latency makes the utility of Bluetooth audio distinctly limited (there is also significant noise and degradation). They are nice and portable and quite handy for portable music listening... not sure whether to hold onto them given that I may still want to get others... I don't really need four pairs of headphones, do I??? wink

    Funnily enough, this subject seems to have been cause for more deliberation than buying a flat...

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