Isolating headphones for PA work. Suggestions please

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of tonmeister tonmeister 8 years, 3 months ago.

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    Profile photo of timhum

    My usual work is recording sound for broadcast not PA so my usual cans, Beyer 250, are woefully inadequate for isolation. I sit in front of a very loud Big Band (too loud actually but I am not the MD). I reinforce the solos and have a wedge for the vocalist.
    Although I do not need a pair of cans for this I also have a desire to record the band straight to stereo for the band leader, I could multi track it of course but I can give him the result on the night and avoid a lot of unpaid hours work if I can hear what is going onto the memory stick and be confident it is a reasonable mix.
    So, any suggestions from some PA mixers here? All suggestions welcome. Until then I may use a pair of in ears and a set of ear defenders over them, yes they are that loud and I do not have a better place to sit and mix!

    Profile photo of GCumbee

    First of all and I think others will agree. There is no way to 100% isolating yourself from sound that loud. You pickup sound from your whole head as well as your body. Low end is picked up through your whole body so judging it is nearly impossible in the same room.

    I have been mixing for live television for 40yrs. I always demand to be isolated. I have gone to some extremes to be. From relocating TV remote trucks to building an actual room within a venue just to be isolated. Then we were not completely but better than exposed.

    That said, there are several headphones made for studio drummers. I have recorded guys wearing them. They are much like those used by shooters for gun target shooting. Only with high quality elements. I don’t know those brands. You might search around. I do have a pair of CAD Audio drummer headphones that were just given to me by CAD. I am a dealer and they gave them to me for a large order I placed. I have not tried them.

    Hope that helps some.


    Profile photo of MarkPAman

    I will agree!

    To be honest you in-ears with ear defenders over them may be difficult to better.
    How about getting some wireless IEMs and setting up the mix while sitting in a quieter location with an iPad?

    Profile photo of timhum

    Thanks for those suggestions guys. I have always demanded a separate room for mixing music and prefer to monitor on speakers where I can of course.
    I will look out for drummers cans George. I might try a drummers forum! I did a gig recently and the PA mixer I took feeds from seemed happy with headphones on but I could hear nothing worthwhile until my cans broke up with every pluck of the bass guitar. I clean forgot to ask him what he was wearing.
    Please keep the suggestions coming, cheers,


    Profile photo of Stix

    I use a pair of Audio Technica noise cancelling headphones with very good results – they reduce the PA noise considerably (20dB approx) so you can monitor without needing your phones really loud. Time align them to the PA first with the iLive PAFL delay so all the bass frequencies that still get through are coherent. I use them every gig and now hate using non noise cancelling headphones live. Mine are an older version but similar to these: ATH-ANC9 Quietpoint noise cancelling Headphones.

    Profile photo of Jim C
    Jim C

    I have a pair of the EX-29 headphones. They work as well as you can get, I’ve worn them when placing drum mics.

    Profile photo of Alchemicus

    i use Beyerdynamic dt770pro 32 ohm

    Profile photo of tonmeister

    My choice is old-school, and not necessarily the highest of fi, but reliable and quite good, isolation wise: Koss Pro4AA. Heavy to wear, but they really get the job done and don’t break the bank.

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