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mbrendzel

Headphones for Helix

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I searched the forum archives and didn't see the topic covered; I apologize if it has been.

 

I just ordered a Helix and I'm new to this kind of higher end gear and would appreciate some recommendations/thoughts/guidance on what to look for in a pair of headphones to use with Helix.  

 

My situation is that I'm a middle-aged, living room guitarist, who usually only gets time to play after my wife and kids are asleep for the night. So, I expect that headphones will be the primary output for the Helix.  I aspire to start recording in the near future, but the probability that I do that is low.  Therefore, headphones that can serve double-duty would be great, but getting a set that emphasizes the strengths of the Helix is more important.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Hi there!

 

I'd personally recommend Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro. I was a sound pro for many years and still make lots of music and use them for everything! They are very detailed and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

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I use the Sennheiser HD280 Pro. Used them for a long time with the HD500 and always did a great job.

I've heared a lot of good things about the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro too.

The Sennheiser seem to have a little more bass which I personally like.

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Hi there!

 

I'd personally recommend Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro. I was a sound pro for many years and still make lots of music and use them for everything! They are very detailed and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

 

I have tried those a few weeks ago in the music shop and they sound very clean and even. They are available with different impendance. Just of curiosity: what impendance do you use with the helix?

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Hi there!

 

I'd personally recommend Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro. I was a sound pro for many years and still make lots of music and use them for everything! They are very detailed and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

 

+1 on the DT 770 Pro headphones....love mine.  I have the 80 ohm version and they work well on the Helix....not sure what the difference in the various ohm versions is or how that affects the usage....can anyone shed some light on this? 

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Lower impedance versions would be more appropriate for portable uses, such as being powered by portable devices. They are easier to drive. I don't think that means you can't use lower impedance ones for other purposes though.

 

Does anyone know the advantage(s) of having higher impedance?

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I have tried those a few weeks ago in the music shop and they sound very clean and even. They are available with different impendance. Just of curiosity: what impendance do you use with the helix?

I use the 250 OHM ones. They get loud enough!

 

Regarding headphone impedance heres a bit out of a Sound on Sound article touching on the subject:  http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan03/articles/impedanceworkshop.asp

 

Headphones, like loudspeakers, also present a load impedance to the driving amplifier. However, there are three main classes of headphone design — and I'm talking just about impedances here, not the arguments over closed-backed, open-backed, or in-ear designs. The impedance of a headphone is determined by the design of its voice coils — the length and size of wire used, the number of turns around the former, and so on. Consequently, the impedance will affect the volume produced by the headphone — but so too will the strength of the magnet, and several other aspects of the design. The best guide is the quoted sensitivity of the headphone in terms of decibels per milliwatt (dB/mW). The design of the amplifier used to drive the headphones will also have a significant bearing on the output volume.

Broadly, headphones can be categorised into three groups by their impedance: broadcast, professional or portable. The 'broadcast' group have a relatively high impedance, typically of between 1.5k(omega) and 2k(omega). The idea behind this relatively high impedance is so that the headphones can be plugged into a patch bay to monitor a signal source without loading it unduly and causing a drop in the level. The ubiquitous Beyer DT100 can be specified with a 2k(omega) impedance, for example.

The next group are the 'professional' designs which typically range from 150(omega) to 600(omega). Within this group it is often the case that the lower the impedance the higher the volume. It is an obvious marketing ploy, but, given two otherwise similar designs, the one with the lower impedance will sound louder when plugged into the same amplifier — and, of course, some purchasers may be swayed into purchasing one pair of headphones over another simply because of the extra volume. The Sennheiser HD250 is available with a 150(omega) impedance, for example.

The third group are the designs intended for use with portable CD players and the like. Power is the product of voltage and current, but, since the supply voltage to the amplifiers is limited (because you're using batteries), more power requires more current. That can only be achieved if the headphones have a low impedance. Typical designs provide impedances in the 8-32(omega) region — the Sony MDR7509 is specified with a 24(omega) impedance, for example.

Increasingly, people tend to use high-quality 'professional'-impedance headphones with portable equipment, and this is rarely a problem, except that the maximum volume will be reduced compared to a lower-impedance design — which is no bad thing in most cases and could potentially increase the battery life of the player. It is worth noting that most manufacturers offer a variety of impedance options with many of their headphone models — Beyerdynamic are particularly comprehensive in this respect, but it is often worth asking the question if a favoured model appears not to be of a suitable impedance for your application.

 

In my head, headphone impedance is only a convenience issue depending on what you're plugging them into.

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Does anyone have suggestions for GOOD wireless headphones to run with the Helix? 

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I use the 250 OHM ones. They get loud enough!

 

...

 

In my head, headphone impedance is only a convenience issue depending on what you're plugging them into.

 

Thanks for your answer and this article. Interessting - I've thought that higher impendance does also effect the quality of the sound.

My Sennheiser HD280 Pro are 80 OHMs and the headphone volume is at 13 o'clock.

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Thanks for the replies.  I had forgotten to mention my budget- $300 being the most I'd be prepared to spend (after that I'd expect any improvements would be too subtle for me to appreciate).  So, the recommended Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro seems like the way to go.  Since the Helix is not powered by batteries, and based on Bhanga's comment, it'd seem like a 250-Ohm version should be fine.

 

Thanks for the replies. 

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Does anyone have suggestions for GOOD wireless headphones to run with the Helix? 

 

Old topic but nobody really answered the wireless portion and I'm wondering the same thing.  I have a set of old (and not that great) sony wireless that aren't working so well these days and that don't really have ideal quality to match the helix itself.

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My Shure SRH-840 44 ohm headphones sound like crap with the Helix.  I'm assuming it's because of their very low impedance.  They sound great with my computer and with my Focusrite 6i6 interface.  But with Helix, they sound very thin and crackly and just plain awful.  That said, I'm in the market for a new set of higher impedance headphones that I can use for Helix, too.

 

(I've been wondering, however, if perhaps the problem is in the Helix, but I'll have to test it with some higher impedance headphones before I go that route)

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Sennheiser SR120 works just nice but presets sound totally different if you connect helix to FRFR or PA.

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Beyerdynamic DT 880 pro (250 ohm)

 

^^ These are great and I would say more apt as reference cans than the closed back DT 770s which I think can sound boxy.

 

All down to budget I guess.

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Does anyone have suggestions for GOOD wireless headphones to run with the Helix?

I have Sony mdr-rf985r wireless headphones. They sound "good enough" to me. I use them for practice. If you have a hankerin for awesome tone, they are probably not for you. I will say they don't sound bad. Just not great.

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Two words: OPEN BACK.

Beyerdynamics DT 880 are semi open and my cans of choice, but any open back phones will allow you to "feel" the guitar a little more by letting a little of the acoustic guitar sound in. I find this to be very helpful and adds to a natural sensation when playing

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Two words: OPEN BACK.

Beyerdynamics DT 880 are semi open and my cans of choice, but any open back phones will allow you to "feel" the guitar a little more by letting a little of the acoustic guitar sound in. I find this to be very helpful and adds to a natural sensation when playing

Unfortunatley this is not always possible. I live in a flat and needed closed Headphones. Had the Sennheiser HD280 and now I use the HD380 - they sound great and the feel is also very good.

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There is an alternative for buying a new set of headphones is there not?

 

What about running one of the outputs either headphone, or 1/4 line out into a small headphone amp. This should get around the impedance issue should it not?

 

It should also be cheaper than buying a new set of good headphones.

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Unfortunatley this is not always possible. I live in a flat and needed closed Headphones. Had the Sennheiser HD280 and now I use the HD380 - they sound great and the feel is also very good.

Even at a volume sufficient to blow you back into last week, you're neighbors are never gonna hear open back headphones through a wall. And if they can, then they also know every TV show you watch, and can transcribe your half of every phone conversation. Someone sitting a few feet away in the same room will certainly hear you, but a closed door is more than sufficient to block it out.

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There is an alternative for buying a new set of headphones is there not?

 

What about running one of the outputs either headphone, or 1/4 line out into a small headphone amp. This should get around the impedance issue should it not?

 

It should also be cheaper than buying a new set of good headphones.

Absolutely a valid method!

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Even at a volume sufficient to blow you back into last week, you're neighbors are never gonna hear open back headphones through a wall. And if they can, then they also know every TV show you watch, and can transcribe your half of every phone conversation. Someone sitting a few feet away in the same room will certainly hear you, but a closed door is more than sufficient to block it out.

It's not the noise that comes out, it's what comes in ;-)

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It's not the noise that comes out, it's what comes in ;-)

Doesn't take much volume to drown that out either...I can't even hear the phone ring when it's 2 feet away.

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Doesn't take much volume to drown that out either...I can't even hear the phone ring when it's 2 feet away.

We have two differnent usage and opinions here and that's fine. I understand your standpoint but I have a different usage and live in different circumstances, so everything is fine - just accept there are more options. Live is not a one way street.

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There is an alternative for buying a new set of headphones is there not?

 

What about running one of the outputs either headphone, or 1/4 line out into a small headphone amp. This should get around the impedance issue should it not?

 

It should also be cheaper than buying a new set of good headphones.

 Sure nuff, yes there is an alternative option - grab yourself to one of these little boxes - cheap and effective. Works a treat!

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-Ultra-Compact-4-Channel-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B000KIPT30/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480941893&sr=8-1&keywords=behringer+headphone+amp

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Same here. I use them for everything, although I do not have them plugged directly into Helix. You can usually find these for less than $100.

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Sony MDR-7506.

 

Boom ting.

 

Pretty much an industry standard and very well priced. At least in my industry (broadcast TV).

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I've been using Sony MDR-V6 (63 Ohms, 106 dB/mW Sensitivity) direct from the Helix's headphone jack without any distortion nor overload problems. Also have a pair of Shure SE530 IEM (36 Ohms, 119 dB/mW Sensitivity) that work great direct from Helix's headphone jack.

 

Edited to clarify..., the Helix sounds great through the above units as well as through the near field monitors, the main monitors, and the powered amp cab. I interchange amongst them for a broader reliability of the results.

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When I first got my Helix, I was mostly on the living room couch, using a pair of AKG 240s that I've had for years. Took me a fair while to get comfortable, but I eventually did started liking Helix a lot.

 

But when I got a pair of powered FRFRs (Alesis Alpha 112s) and took them down to three "studio", I had to redo my patches completely. Now that I have, and have built a lot of newer ones that TBH I think totally blow away my older ones, I'm very happy again.

 

Moral of the story, for me, is that nothing is the same as anything else. If you want to sound good through some particular FRFRs, or phones, or whatever, build your patches there. The adjustments you make in response to what you hear far overshadow the actual differences in phones or speakers. Not that different ones don't sound different, of course they do, but still.

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