Headphones

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Headphones

Postby briber » 28 Nov 2019 10:15

Hello,

I am still trying to get my head round the workings of the instrument of torture sitting in the corner (my Genos). So addictive.

Over the years I have used, at times, a number of headphones of varying quality, mostly cheap. With my Impending downsizing, ( providing my daughter manages to sell her house so she can buy mine,) I am considering a good quality pair of headphones and have looked at several wireless, Bluetooth and am looking for advice,( particularly Hugh, I know you use headphones extensively on your AR,)

The type of set I'm considering is, Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT Wireless Over-Ear Portable Headphones. I'm somewhat deaf and in normal use wear hearing aides. The headphones I use at present are not too bad but in view of the qualities of the Genos thought a better quality pair may be beneficial.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Regards,

Brian L
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Re: Headphones

Postby Hugh-AR » 28 Nov 2019 20:17

Hi Brian,

I've had a look at the headphones you are thinking of buying and am quite impressed with the specifications. I've never had headphones before that operate with bluetooth, so can't comment on how good they would be.

When I first looked at wireless headphones, the choice I had was either 'infra-red' or 'radio' headphones. I had some infra-red headphones to begin with, but these only work in 'line of sight'. They were OK for watching the television without having the television speakers on (eg. at night when the children were in bed), but as soon as you went out of the room they no longer picked up the signal.

The next ones I had were 'radio headphones' .. and these are the ones I have now. These are brilliant, as I can listen to eg. MP3s anywhere in the house. So I can listen to music whilst cooking, or washing up .. and even outside! But I never use them when playing the organ .. for two reasons. First, they have a Volume Control on them, which is OK for listening to MP3s as you can turn the volume up or down. But when I set my organ up for recording you need to have the Master Volume Control on the organ set in the right place. And how would I know where that was if I am controlling the volume in the headphones as well? And second, the quality was not that good. No 'depth', and a bit 'tinny' sounding.

Then I bought some Sennheiser HD205 headphones which are 'wired' to the AR via the jack plug. No volume control on them, and the quality was superb! A good bass, and I wear these now for recording all the MP3s I put up in the Forum. You can judge for yourselves what you think of the 'balance' between the bass and the higher frequencies. As far as I am concerned the sound I get from the headphones is as good as what I can hear when I unplug the headphones and listen to the sound from the organ directly. The only thing I have to be careful of is not to get up from the organ with the headphones still on and walk out of the room! One of our AR Group Members did this and broke the end of the jack plug off, which got stuck in the socket. He had to get an engineer out to replace the socket in his organ.

Then a bit later, I bought some (wired) Sony MDR-XB300 headphones because they were advertised as having an 'enhanced' bass .. and I like a lot of bass! Particularly when listening to YouTube clips. But these were a disaster for the organ, as with the bass being 'over the top' from the organ, I would turn the bass volume on the organ down to compensate. Then when I listened to my recording through the organ's speakers, I could hardly hear any bass! So these headphones are relegated to being used on my laptop. But even then, I often have to listen to Members' MP3s (particularly my own) with the Sennheiser headphones instead of the Sony ones as the bass from the Sony ones is way, way too loud! Yes, I now have two sets of the same Sennheiser headphones, one connected permanently to the organ, and the other to use on the laptop in conjunction with the Sony ones.

Now, the headphones I bought above are priced £30 to £75 .. and the ones you are looking at are over £160, so reckon they are not in the same league (unless the extra price is because they are 'bluetooth'). But what I would suggest is that you don't buy any headphones that have a volume control on them; and also to listen to them in operation to hear what they sound like to you. This is impossible if you are buying them from Amazon .. in fact, you couldn't do this anywhere, I'm sure. There is probably a 'health and safety' reason why you can't. But maybe you have a friend who has some and can listen to theirs? In the comments from people who have bought the headphones you are looking at, someone said, "these headphones are very accurate with a little extra bass" and it's that last statement that would worry me a bit.

Then at the end of the day, listening is very personal. But I would say that 'over the ear' headphones are a must, must. They give a better sound, and if you wear hearing aids you will get a more accurate perception of the balance between the higher and lower frequencies. I know there is some debate as to whether you should wear hearing aids or not with headphones, but I always do to make sure I get the balance right!

Hugh
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Re: Headphones

Postby briber » 28 Nov 2019 23:55

Hello Hugh,

I knew you wouldn't let me down. Thank you for your prompt reply, and the detail you have provided, much appreciated.

I was hoping to get Bluetooth as I wanted to use them for multiple tasks, ( as usual I try to get as much out of equipment as possible,) and whilst I can get by with wired, I dislike the cable trailing round me when I'm playing. I tend to move quite a bit, in time, (I think) and even though my new beast lacks pedals, my brain and feet haven't accepted that, yet.

I've had a look at the ones you recommend and they seem to be a nice piece of kit. In fact I looked at the Sennheiser web site and see they have a number of units of quite reasonable price so will have to check them out before deciding. I note with interest your comment that you wear your hearing aids with headphones. Something that didn't occur to me. When I do get the new set I'll have to try that out.

Once again, Thank you for your help,

Kind Regards,

Brian L
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Re: Headphones

Postby Hugh-AR » 29 Nov 2019 00:36

Hi Brian,

Well, if you think about it, if I am out and about in the park without my hearing aids (this would only happen if I forgot to put them in, as I do wear them all the time) I don't hear the birds (well, maybe seagulls, as they screeeech!!). This is because my hearing loss is of the higher frequencies (isn't that the same with everybody as we get older?). So my hearing aids 'up' the volume of the higher frequencies so I then can hear the birds.

So when I am playing my organ and listening through the speakers .. with my hearing aids in, of course .. I would set the volumes of eg. 4' strings to the level I want to hear them. Now, if I didn't have my hearing aids in I would have 'upped' those volumes to a level I could hear. But then for anyone with normal hearing those strings would be screeeching like those seagulls!

So, when I am playing with my headphones on, I need my hearing aids in to get that same balance. But then the hearing aids I have are 'behind the ear' (so my 'over the ear' headphones sit over them .. more or less), and I have grommets (domes) with holes in actually in the ear.

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This means that sounds can get straight in to my ear through those holes .. and the higher frequencies are just amplified proportionally to suit my hearing loss. My hearing aids don't amplify any of the bass as I hear that as a normal person would, via those holes. Maybe the situation would be different if I had moulded pieces in the ear. This is what my wife has:

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... as she is very deaf, and if she had domes like mine then sound would come out of those holes and feed back into the microphone (with her having to have the volume up so high) and cause 'howling'. So all her sound reaches her ear via the microphone. When she answers the telephone there is no point in her putting the handset 'to' her ear. She has to put it over the top of her ear, where the microphone is.

If anyone has a comment to make about (a) types of headphone to use, (b) using headphones when playing, or (c) using hearing aids .. please post a Reply to this Topic.

Hugh
It's all about the music. Yamaha AR 80 Player.
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