Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Headphones.

Which headphones do you guys use while working, if use them at all?

I am planning to buy one, ideally if price was not as issue I would buy the BOSE QuietComfort

http://www.bose.com/products/headphones/

Thanks,

Prakash S
Friday, March 21, 2003

At work Sennheiser HD-580s and at home Sennheiser HD-600s. You owe it to yourself to check out Sennheisers if you're looking for nice headphones.

Andy
Friday, March 21, 2003

I can't listen to music while I'm working.  For some reason, it seems to pull me out of the zone, so it's hard for me to focus.  Weird, eh?

anon
Friday, March 21, 2003

+1 for Sennheiser. I have a pair of HD-570s, but the 600s are just outstanding (and out of the price range I wanted to spend).

Brad (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Friday, March 21, 2003

Sennheiser HD-600 driven by a modified Musical Fidelity X-CANS tube headphone amp.  Source is a Sony CA70ES changer.

The new Sennheiser PX-100 cans are outstanding for $40 and can be driven nicely with typical consumer devices (portable CD players, minidiscs, etc) as well as a decent PC sound card.  Worth a look if you are on a budget.  Hell, worth a look just to have a spare set laying around.

www.headphone.com is the place to check out all known headphones, amps, cables, and associated gizmos.  Not the cheapest, but a selection second to none.

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Friday, March 21, 2003

Cool website, thanks.

After the enlightenment, I am looking at the "In Ear Canal" types,

Etymotic:
http://www.etymotic.com/product_list/product_list_product.asp?audience_category_id=1&product_type_id=2&product_number=ER-6

Shure:
http://www.shure.com/earphones/eseries_e2c.asp

what do you guys think?

I used a Sennheiser (don't know the model - i think my frined paid something around 80-90 for it)  - didn't like the fit (sine I wear spectacles sometimes), after using it for around an hour - ear started to hurt...., good sound quality though.

Prakash S
Friday, March 21, 2003

Spoke to one of the guys at HeadPhone.com - for starters it is an actual person who picks up the phone (no machine - wooHoo), he gave me excellent advice on both.

According to him:

The Shure is good if you listen to songs with a lot of bass (modren rock kind of stuff), while the Etymotic is good for high definition (classical).

The Etymotic is slightly more comfortable, but expensive by $30.

Prakash S
Friday, March 21, 2003

I don't see why Sennheiser HD570-600s would lead to ear fatigue; the things push against your skull instead of the ear.

It's possible for people to hear when you're using the Sennheisers, but only in silent rooms.  It won't be audible in most computer rooms.

I also use $12 Sony earbuds for portability; they're not bad.  Probably bad for ear bacteria levels though.  And you really don't want to let people use them.

Tj
Friday, March 21, 2003

I haven't tried any of the Sennheisers, but I do own a pair of Grado SR60s.  For the price you pay (I got them for 60-70 at qaudio.com), they sound _excellent_.

Note that if you're using them at work, they leak sound so these may not work for you if you like your music loud and everybody else in the office works in dead silence.

jonathan
Friday, March 21, 2003

Caution from a tinnitus sufferer: Over an extended headphone listening session folks tend to turn up the volume.  The same is true if you are masking "outside" noise.  Headphones can be very damaging to your hearing over time.

What is tinnitus like? Imagine how your ears ring after a loud rock concert.  In my case, I woke up one day with that ringing in my ears and the ringing has never stoped, nor will it ever stop.  It only gets worse.

tk
Friday, March 21, 2003

I have heard about the tinnitus thing being mentioned from time to time.

Prakash S
Friday, March 21, 2003

I use these, because music distracts me if  I'm not concentrating, and I don't hear it if I am:
http://www.walgreens.com/store/product.jhtml?PRODID=362489&CATID=100217

Oh wait, that doesn't answer your question. 

anonymous
Friday, March 21, 2003

the grado SR60s sound the best out of any headphone under $200. however like someone else said, they are not closed, so they leak sound.

i have had the entymotics. they are great for isolation. however there is one really annoying thing, which makes me not recommend them (aside from the fact that they are super expensive): they are TOO sensitive and isolating. thus...if you ever move, and jostle the cord...you can hear the "woosh" sound of the cord brushing against your shirt...amplified really loud. it becomes very distracting if you fidget around a lot, like i do. they are also VERY isolating...you can't really hear ANYTHING outside of the phones, which ends up being kind of weird.

choppy
Friday, March 21, 2003

I know what you mean Choppy, but that's FUN when you get used to it. Feed the wire up inside your shirt and it won't make so much noise. Quiet enough for walking around, although I'll probably get run over soon...

optimistic coder
Friday, March 21, 2003

For those of you who are interested in, but do not yet own an "in ear canal" phone like the Etymotic models I _highly_ recommend the Sony MDR-EX70LP for $50.  I have used these extensively in both a (somewhat noisy) college library driven off my laptop's headphone OUT and on numerous (extremely noisy) trans-atlantic marathon flights driven off a Sony Minidisc player.  Very good sounds and outstanding isolation for the price.  Worth a look if you can find them, Sony sells them directly from their website.

For those of you that haven't taken a look at the Minidisc format for portable tunes, these have always worked well for me.  I am using the MZ-R90 which features digital and analog inputs which means it makes a perfect highly-portable live recording rig.

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Friday, March 21, 2003

Should have also mentioned that the Grados, most any Grados, are excellent as well.  Very high on the "bang for buck" scale, and much easier to drive than the HD-600 Sennheisers.

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Friday, March 21, 2003

actually i forgot to mention the sony MDR ex70LPs. I bought a set when i was in japan and they were a godsend on the flight back. i prefer them to the etymotics because they don't have the "cord woosh" problem I described above.  the only thing i don't like about the sonys is that the cord seems to be about 30 feet long, which leaves a lot of extra slack to deal with when plugged into my ipod.  i think there is a special "short cord" version of the sonys, originally designed for use with MD player + remote.

the grados also have a weird way-too-long cord, but if you want to get DIY, there are a number of sites that describe how to do cord mods.

choppy
Friday, March 21, 2003

I am not too crazy about the whoosh sounds, thanks for letting me know. - this rules out the

Checking the sony out, the specs as the Shure.. for $50 lesser, ....unfortunately it says that it is currently unavailable.

thanks again guys.

Prakash S
Friday, March 21, 2003

Funny thing, I just pulled out a recent copy of Stereophile (April 2003) and looked through their list of recommended headphones.

Of the 5 headphones on the list, 2 are Sennheister (model HD 600, Class A, $449; model HD 580, Class B, $260) and 2 are Grado (model SR125, Class B, $150; model SR60, Class C, $69).

The Sennheiser HD 600 are considered by their staff to be the best dynamic headphones ever (although they did recommend driving them with a $3,333 tube headphone amp *snicker*). A perhaps more reasonable choice is their Class B rated Musical Fidelity X-Can V2 tube amplifier; I've heard the original X-Can, and it was a superb headphone amp, but definitely out of reach of the casual listener at $300.

The only other pair of headphones on the list were the $4000 electrostatic Stax Omega SR-007, which requires a ~ $3000 amplifier to drive. Yeah, sure. :)

Brad (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Saturday, March 22, 2003

Oh, a quick bit about the Stereophile ratings. Class A is the best in class, irregardless of issues like price. Class B is the next best thing, and generally still considered expensive. Class C is somewhat lower quality than A or B, but represents "affordable high quality".

Brad (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Saturday, March 22, 2003

I use Sennheiser HD 600s with an Antique Sound Lab MG Head DT headphone amplifier.

http://www.divertech.com/mgheaddt.html

The Musical Fidelity X-CANS V2 amplifiers also come highly recommended, but were impossible to purchase about a year ago when I finally went for the MG Head DT.

The sound is spectacular, with no fatigue, and they don't seem to disturb anyone around the listener.

I also purchased a pair of the Etymotic ER-6 Isolator headphones for future use with a laptop or other portable listening device.

http://www.etymotic.com/musicians/er6more.html

As I have less experience using the Etymotics, I can't comment much on their faults, other than perhaps the strange prerequisite of wetting them before putting them in.

"Excuse me, did I just see you sucking on those headphones before you stuck them in your ears?"

Steven E. Harris
Sunday, March 23, 2003

I went ahead and purchased the Shure  , the rest sound too expensive :-)

Prakash S
Sunday, March 23, 2003

The Sennheiser HD-570s I bought from Best Buy were less than $100 (I think around $80, but I'm not sure).

Brad (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Sunday, March 23, 2003

To avoid the trap of forever turning up the volume, try a portable CD player with ADSL.

The trouble is that the 'safe' level at which ADSL is set is not enough to drown out conversation. So if anybody is talking within 12 feet of you, you're hosed.

Fernanda Stickpot
Monday, March 24, 2003

I used to have a great pair of Koss headphones that I need to replace after I broke the jack off in a cd player (my fault, not the products). The reason I loved them so much was because they were big enough to fit all the way over my ears and not give me headaches or make my ears red. I loved them,  they totally drowned out other sounds.

trollbooth
Monday, March 24, 2003

i use a pair of Aiwa HP-X222's i got from Best Buy for around $30.  They sound good enough for my integrated-sound card work computer and they have a really long cord that lets me move about my desk.  i've had them for about 2 yrs now, and they've been great.

nathan
Monday, March 24, 2003

Headphones aren't just for music.

I use them a lot just to block out noise.  They can be silent, or playing very soft background music (Classical, Renaissance, etc.).

Brent P. Newhall
Monday, March 24, 2003

What's Renaissance music?

Prakash S
Monday, March 24, 2003

Prakash:  Seriously?

Renaissance music is music from the Renaissance period.  Also known as medieval music, though that's rarely accurate.

Brent P. Newhall
Monday, March 24, 2003

well I seriously didn't know - ignorance is bliss:-)

do you have any CD Samplings or links to CD's.

thanks for educating this  modern rock listner:-)

Prakash S
Monday, March 24, 2003

I find 'Early Music' - think Elizabeth I - to be the best for
writing code to.

<URL: http://www.gimell.com/ >

For example Morales's extraordinary six-part Mass 'Si bona suscepimus'.

Ben

Ben Fowler
Monday, March 24, 2003

Renaissance music is not so good. Imagine vivaldi's four seasons played by a "recorder quartet," or the flemish women's choir singing the texts of Hildegaard of Bingen.  It is mostly played by professional orchestral musicians who didn't make it into a good symphony because they played too much D&D during conservatory.

choppy
Monday, March 24, 2003

Yeah, them Sennheisers are excellent. Got the HD570s at home, seriously comfy pieces and no mistake (I am quite sensitive to headphone comfort). Got HD470s at work, also good, and fairly cheap too.

The 600's are amazing for sound quality, but I can't see standard PC amplifiers driving them properly.

I find that listening to music distracts me less than standard office noise distractions. Its about the only place I can listen to music anymore since I moved house.

Richard
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Ben-
Where can you purchase Morales' CD that you rec'd?

Tom Clanton
Sunday, March 07, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home