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Helix through headphones sounds awful

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Same here for MDR7506, or V6 (more or less the same). I've never tried anything else, I took a chance on these and stuck with them. No problems with either. I don't have them hooked directly into Helix's headphone jack, but through a secondary audio system to which Helix's spdif is connected. But it sounds pretty much the same this way as connected to Helix's headphone output.

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The question isn't really whether Helix sounds good in a given set of phones. If you also play through FRFRs or a PA, it's whether it sounds like the other systems you use. If you're recording, it's whether the tones you make in phones translate well to a variety of playback environments.

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After growing accustomed to (i.e. learning) the subtle yet distinct characteristics of each of my playback listening systems, (Main Studio Monitors, Near Field Monitors, FRFR Monitors, Headphones, IEMs, etc) I've gotten very good results by switching between and amongst them to cross check levels, mixes, EQ settings, etc. The several pair of Sony MDR-V6 I have, have been incredibly reliable and never let me down.

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This is too bad. You shouldnt need the "perfect" monitoring device for a $1500 unit to sound good. It was never an issue with my POD or any of my other modelers. Helix has a very small sweet spot.

 

Yeah, my HD500 Bean sounded perfect through my Shure SRH840 44 ohm headphones, no tweaking required.  Directly connecting the Headphones to the Helix is unlistenable, just awful.  But if I connect the Helix to my Focusrite 6i6 (either XLR or Line or S/PDIF, usually S/PDIF just cause it's easy) and use the headphones through the Focusrite it sounds fine.

 

I have yet to try to record out of the headphone jack to see if it's the jack or the low impedance of my headphones that is the problem.  It would be nice to be able to direct connect when I want to be quiet.  I have too many other things to spend $100 to $200 on when I have a workaround.

 

But I do get it that there's always tradeoffs in engineering a product.  Nothing ever works with everything, so gotta choose as best you can.

 

I've read all these threads (I thought), hadn't heard of that 8X rule of thumb or what the Helix jack impedance was.  Glad I stopped by, thanks guys.

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This is too bad. You shouldnt need the "perfect" monitoring device for a $1500 unit to sound good. It was never an issue with my POD or any of my other modelers. Helix has a very small sweet spot.

It's called bottlenecking...

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[...]  Nothing ever works with everything, so gotta choose as best you can.

 

I've read all these threads (I thought), hadn't heard of that 12X rule of thumb or what the Helix jack impedance was.  [...]

 

Find the right tools by yourself you must...

 

YodaMaaan.gif

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Here is what I found when I tried to monitor through headphones and was unimpressed with the sound...

 

This is how all of my patches are configured...

  1. I have one path, without an IR, out to a 1/4" output go a tube power amp and guitar speaker for stage monitoring and
  2. I have another path, with an IR, out to an XLR to feed the P.A.

In the Global settings, under Headphone Monitor, I had that set as MULTI which would mix the IR and non-IR signal to the Headphones... (We all know that the non-IR signal is buzzy and that was what I was hearing. :( )

 

So, If you have IR and non-IR paths, and you want to monitor using Headphones, make sure that you are sending only the IR-affected path to the headphones

 

(On Page 3 of 4 of Global Settings, make sure that Headphones Monitor is set to the output where your IR is.)

 

I hope this helps

 

seeya

 

Joe

 

GREAT tip!

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I've known about the impedance matching rule long ago and was concerned a bit about it, but seems like this may not be an issue - I'm using Helix with Sennheiser Momentum 2 Wireless, which are only 28 Ohms in passive mode (i.e. connected with cable and NR off). Helix sounds simply amazing through these. I did find that I have lot less leeway when gain staging patches - those cans are unforgivable and will show every bit of digital "clipping" (yes, float point means no real clipping, but you can still drive block too hot and get this fizz of sorts). The tip above with global settings may also help, but I'd suggest you try Guitar In Pad - didn't realise how much it affected my guitar until I listened through headphones (Strat fitted with EMG's DG-SA set. No pad required for DiMarzio Area pickups as they're lower output).

 

Of course it may also be something else altogether...   :)

 

Anyway, my first post in this forum after months of being actively passive reader. Thanks to all for wealth of knowledge - I'm sure OP will find solution with your help!

 

Greetings from middle of nowhere on the Indian Ocean!

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Ask L6, they told me. The Helix is low impedance 12 ohm for fidelity issues, and the 8x rule of thumb is audiophile savvy. Hi impedance can jacks do not sound very good. The Helix is lower impedance than the POD. The POD always sounded bad in headphones to me but using the outboard mixer headphone feed does OK same w the Helix. I do not like the sound right off the Helix in cans. I use a little Mackie mixer in my rig to convert my other chains from unbalanced TS to balanced XLR out to my EV FRFR system. If I run feeds from the Helix to it the headphone jack on the mixer sounds much better than right out of the Helix jack. My normal feeds from the Helix are stereo XLR into my power amp rig. For headphones I prefer to tap an outboard feed rather than the Helix which breaks up and distorts pretty easily. 

 

I think this response needs to be stickied at the top of the forum.  This is exactly my experience with headphones and Helix.  My headphones are 44 ohm and sound like CRAP out of the Helix jack (Shure SRH840).  Totally overdriven distorted signal at minimal volume.  Out of my Focusrite 6i6 or out of my computer when I'm direct to DAW with Helix, they sound fine to me.  So I live with that.

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Amen...there are tons of guys out there, even good players, who've spent years not really knowing what they actually sound like. Personally, I don't miss my "amp in the room" at all. Consistency is priceless. For me, reproducible results are far easier to obtain running direct, with just a floor monitor for stage volume. No futzing around with mics and minimal (if any) EQing at the board. I'll never go back to an amp.

 

ditto.... I'm sick of setting up my amp, mics and Eq'ing every time. No more amps for me, at least for live playing. 

But I do have to say, headphone quality will have a huge impact on what you hear. The cheapos can't handle the sound unless played at very low volume.

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I have a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 ohm, and I think they sound really good directly in the Helix - all around just an awesome pair of cans:

 

https://www.amazon.com/beyerdynamic-DT-770-Pro-ohm/dp/B0016MNAAI/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1476308019&sr=1-1&keywords=beyerdynamic%2Bdt%2B770%2Bpro%2B80%2Bohms&th=1

 

 

I have the same headphones and mine sound awful???????

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It still all (90%) comes down to good/bad is subjective. If someone happens to like the way their white ear buds sound, then it's good. Yes, the specs will get you pointed in the right direction sometimes, but you'll always find someone out there who just loves their Sony Walkman headphones from 1986. 

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It still all (90%) comes down to good/bad is subjective. If someone happens to like the way their white ear buds sound, then it's good. Yes, the specs will get you pointed in the right direction sometimes, but you'll always find someone out there who just loves their Sony Walkman headphones from 1986.

Amen. Every "My ________ sounds like crap with helix" thread is a waste of time. The reasons why Player A with "X" model headphones hates the way it sounds, and Player B with the same cans thinks the tone was hand deliver by a choir of angels are too numerous to bother contemplating...and nobody is "right" or "wrong". There's no playbook for this stuff. Turn knobs until it sounds good to YOU, because you're the only one who knows what "good" means anyway...failing that, try a different pair of cans.

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It depends from the headphones you use...

The phones output of the Helix has 12 ohm. According 1/8 rule a headphone should have not less than 96 ohm. Line 6 support recommends to use the headphones between 150-300 ohm.

 
I have Helix LT and I tried a few headphones:
 
Sony MDR-7510 (24 Ohm)...sounded awful
AiAiAi T-2 (32 Ohm)...sounded awful
Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro (250 Ohm)...sounded quite good, but it was hard to drive...and uncomfortable to wear for a longer periods and don't liked a curly cable.
Sennheiser HD-650 (300 Ohm)... sounded very, very good! Nice warm sound, good sound stage. Highly recommended!

 

I ended up with Sennheiser HD 600 (300 ohm). It sounds amazing! Clear, extremely detailed sound...! Very comfortable to wear, nice design!  I would highly recommend it!!!

 

P.S. sorry for my english :)

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My Shure SRH840 sound real rubbish through the Helix, which is a real pity.  When I find some spare cash looks like I'll have to buy a headphone amp of some description to sort the issue out.  I've never had a problem with any other audio equipment of any type, so why the helix should sound so bad is beyond me.  I've tried everyone else in the house headphones too and they all sound pants.

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I've tried everyone else in the house headphones too and they all sound pants.

Then it's not the headphones...

 

You should be able to "force", for lack of a better term, a decent sound out of just about any chosen monitoring method...it's all about how you got go about setting up your tones. Now obviously, using cheapo headphones or lousy PC desktop speakers will admittedly make creating patches harder, but if you can't get a decent sound from ANYTHING, then the problem ain't the speakers or headphones.

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Then it's not the headphones...

You should be able to "force", for lack of a better term, a decent sound out of just about any chosen monitoring method...it's all about how you got go about setting up your tones. Now obviously, using cheapo headphones or lousy PC desktop speakers will admittedly make creating patches harder, but if you can't get a decent sound from ANYTHING, then the problem ain't the speakers or headphones.

I get a great sound through my dxr10's and my Yamaha amp and monitor audio speakers as well as my krk studio monitors. The problem is definitely with the helix headphone out and not my patches. Although, if you know what sort of alterations we should all be making to our patches to make our studio quality headphones sound good with a helix, I'm always ready to learn buddy.

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I get a great sound through my dxr10's and my Yamaha amp and monitor audio speakers as well as my krk studio monitors. The problem is definitely with the helix headphone out and not my patches. Although, if you know what sort of alterations we should all be making to our patches to make our studio quality headphones sound good with a helix, I'm always ready to learn buddy.

Well there are no magic universal settings for anything, whether it's headphones, studio monitors, a PA, etc. If you gets sounds that you like through other means, then as you've said, it isn't the patches. If none of the headphones you try can produce anything useful, then perhaps there is problem with the Helix's headphone output... anything is possible. You can always open a support ticket and see what they tell you.

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Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 250 Ohm here, my Helix sounds great.Of course I have a section with my presets sets for Headphone, with different curves.

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So I've heard people say that going from the helix into another device with a headphones out sorts the issue for most, has anyone just used a headphone amp? I think it may be my best option and also maybe the cheapest fix. What do you all think?

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I have read all the posts on this subject and I think there is actually a fault with phone output, the reason I have come to this conclusion is when I first had my Helix listening to my through the headphone output with my Beydynamic 770 rated 80 ohms sounded just fine. Good volume no distortion the same as listening through my interface. Now it doesn’t, to get any sort of quality the volume has to be set very low, past twelve a clock and it distorts and sounds awful.

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So I've heard people say that going from the helix into another device with a headphones out sorts the issue for most, has anyone just used a headphone amp? I think it may be my best option and also maybe the cheapest fix. What do you all think?

Personally, I’ve no issues with my various headphones and the output from Helix.

 

Although, if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive headphone amp you might like to check out the Behringer HA400 Micro Amp Headphone Amplifier. Tiny box with 4 separate output sockets, which is really handy to have when a couple of other people need to listen in. That’s basically all I ever need it for but, it does the job.

http://www.inta-audio.com/studio-recording-c57/headphones-c638/headphone-amps-c644/behringer-ha400-micro-amp-headphone-amplifier-p7017/s7024?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=behringer-ha400-micro-amp-headphone-amplifier-zb213&utm_campaign=product%2Blisting%2Bads&gclid=Cj0KCQiAiKrUBRD6ARIsADS2OLkCUjVAXzrQVgv7xnCQt1_ARFlotmmH0G_PlWj6Mqh4h14h679GVdsaAlmwEALw_wcB

 

Also, I don’t know If you have already looked at this thread from almost a year ago:

http://line6.com/support/topic/26959-the-mother-of-all-headphone-complaint-answers/?hl=headphone+amp

Don’t know if it will help but, hey! The comment from Digital Igloo @ #31 is quite interesting.

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I have read all the posts on this subject and I think there is actually a fault with phone output, the reason I have come to this conclusion is when I first had my Helix listening to my through the headphone output with my Beydynamic 770 rated 80 ohms sounded just fine. Good volume no distortion the same as listening through my interface. Now it doesn’t, to get any sort of quality the volume has to be set very low, past twelve a clock and it distorts and sounds awful.

I would submit a trouble ticket with Line 6, that doesn’t sound right at all. I use the same headphones and can crank them to the point of discomfort without encountering any distortion.

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Thanks for this, I will submit a ticket even though I don’t use the phone socket as I use my interface. It isn’t right because it doesn’t work properly and it has nothing to do with settings etc. Thanks again.

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The Helix is a very low impedance headphone out level. Ideally audiophiles say that headphones up to 8x the impedance of the output are good. The Helix is like 12ohm.

I too was always troubled by headphone sound and I use high end ByerDynamics. I found that tapping the headphone out off my little mixer I use offers a much better sound so you might try using a headphone amp off the Helix they are not much. My little Mackie Mixer I use to convert my other rigs unbalanced to balanced was like $60 I think. 

Anyway nothing I have ever used sounded good to me out of the headphone jack except for my GR-55 synth when I had that. 

 

This is a great idea how did you hook up cables for headphone use ? did you need a splitter from stereo from mixer to mono 

I am using a rig kontrol 3 pedal board 

This is not an amplifier just a mix board how is it that it that you seem to be using it as an amp

After some investigation mixer will not act as an amplifier but maybe helps a bit

Thank you

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See the pod for me sounded pretty good through about anything i plugged it into. The one thing about that thing was that it allowed for rough "calibration" depending on what you were running it into.  Holding the ^ v  arrows as it powered up and the letters A,B,C,D flashed. You chose C or whatever if you were going into a a combo amp, maybe A if you were running into a power amp. 

 

Ive always alleged that the very lack of this option on the Helix might be one reason for the inconsistency.  

 

It does have that. It has global EQ so you can tweak it yourself. So, for example, set your tones to work with your speaker, then set the global EQ to sound good in your headphones. When you practice with headphones, turn on global EQ. When you play live, turn it off.

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I have read all the posts on this subject and I think there is actually a fault with phone output, the reason I have come to this conclusion is when I first had my Helix listening to my through the headphone output with my Beydynamic 770 rated 80 ohms sounded just fine. Good volume no distortion the same as listening through my interface. Now it doesn’t, to get any sort of quality the volume has to be set very low, past twelve a clock and it distorts and sounds awful.

I noticed that if I have my preset output set to multi and in Global Settings>Ins Outs>Headphones Monitor set to Multi, the output to the phones is quite high. I set the headphones monitor to just XLR the output goes down because it is not "layering" the additional outputs. 

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Another vote for the DT770 80 ohms.  I have created every single patch I'm made on Helix with them, including all of the Helix video content I've done for my YouTube channel.  Heck, I've gotten so used to them that I'll mix tracks with them.  Our bedroom is directly below my studio in the house and I have the same "wife problem" as the OP  ;)

 

I don't have any issues with my patches translating well with various PA, monitoring, and/or FRFR.  If the venue doesn't have good monitoring I have an Alto TS110A I can bring with me. 

 

All the patches I've made with the DT770's sound good across the spectrum. 

 

I plug straight into the the Helix headphone jack, and I keep the level up pretty high when I'm making patches.  As close to gig level as possible.  Which these days gig level isn't nearly as loud as it was when I was in my 20's thankfully!  

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I plug straight into the the Helix headphone jack, and I keep the level up pretty high when I'm making patches. As close to gig level as possible. Which these days gig level isn't nearly as loud as it was when I was in my 20's thankfully!

WHAT?!?!?!?!???!ðŸ˜

 

I wonder if creating tones will get easier or harder, as we all get progressively deaf...😉

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The BeyerDynamic DT-770 exist in any of Four (4) different Impedance variations: 32 Ohms, 80 Ohms, 250 Ohms, or 600 Ohms. The first three variations are commonly available. The 600 Ohm variation is less commonly seen. 

 

https://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/catalog/product/view/_ignore_category/1/id/2912/s/dt-770-pro/

 

There are also a few special purpose versions of the DT-770.

DT-770 M with increased ambient noise isolation (35dB) for Drummers and FOH use; available in 80 or 32 Ohm version.

There has also been a DT-770 Limited. 

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WHAT?!?!?!?!???!

 

I wonder if creating tones will get easier or harder, as we all get progressively deaf...

I imagine our eq preferences will "change" over time  ;)

 

I don't want to over play it, I'm not cranking up to the point where I'm having pain or ringing in my ears.  I remember those days from back when 100 watt tube amps were the norm on stage.  

 

These days most of my gigs I run direct and just use the house monitors.  In smaller venues the levels aren't crazy high at all.   

 

I think overall concerts/live sound has gotten better.  I saw Guns N Roses last year and was only about 20 rows back.  I didn't need ear plugs, and while it was loud, it wasn't overwhelming.  And it sounded really good.  There were no amps on stage and the soundman was able to do his job.  

 

In years past I know I've gone to club shows where my ears would ring for a couple of days afterwards.  I'm really happy that the trend seems to be going to better sound and not just LOUD  :)

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I imagine our eq preferences will "change" over time ;)

 

I don't want to over play it, I'm not cranking up to the point where I'm having pain or ringing in my ears. I remember those days from back when 100 watt tube amps were the norm on stage.

 

These days most of my gigs I run direct and just use the house monitors. In smaller venues the levels aren't crazy high at all.

 

I think overall concerts/live sound has gotten better. I saw Guns N Roses last year and was only about 20 rows back. I didn't need ear plugs, and while it was loud, it wasn't overwhelming. And it sounded really good. There were no amps on stage and the soundman was able to do his job.

 

In years past I know I've gone to club shows where my ears would ring for a couple of days afterwards. I'm really happy that the trend seems to be going to better sound and not just LOUD :)

Indeed. My "if it's too loud, you're too old" days are long gone. I've been gigging since I was 16...nearly 30 years ago (jeez that's depressing, lol) and I remained immortal, and without earplugs until about 25 when the first signs of tinnitus started to appear...haven't stepped on stage, or gone to a show without them since. Thankfully it never got worse...only detectable in especially quiet environments, which I don't find myself in much, lol.

 

Its no joke though... even a lot of symphony musicians and pit orchestra players end up with hearing loss, and that's without a roaring 100W amp behind them and crash cymbals 4 feet from their heads.

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The BeyerDynamic DT-770 exist in any of Four (4) different Impedance variations: 32 Ohms, 80 Ohms, 250 Ohms, or 600 Ohms..The first three variations are commonly available. The 600 Ohm variation is less commonly seen. 

 

https://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/catalog/product/view/_ignore_category/1/id/2912/s/dt-770-pro/

 

 

"The chief impedance is 250...250 and 80...80 and 250.... The two impedances are 250 and 80...and 32.... The *three* impedances are 250, 80, and 32...and 600.... The *four*...no... *Amongst* the impedances are such values as 250, 80, 32, 600.... I'll come in again"

 

spanish-inquisition.jpg

 

(And nice red uniforms..)

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Helix through headphones sounds great

 

- what's all the fuss about?

- use good headphones of the right impedance

- here's the latest Sonarworks studio headphone guide

- cut Helix highs to mimic guitar cabinet frequency response (a lot crappier than headphone response)

- add a tiny bit of room reverb to create some ambiance and space

- Monty Python uses Sennheiser's

 

 

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It depends from the headphones you use...

The phones output of the Helix has 12 ohm. According 1/8 rule a headphone should have not less than 96 ohm. Line 6 support recommends to use the headphones between 150-300 ohm.

 
I have Helix LT and I tried a few headphones:
 
Sony MDR-7510 (24 Ohm)...sounded awful
AiAiAi T-2 (32 Ohm)...sounded awful
Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro (250 Ohm)...sounded quite good, but it was hard to drive...and uncomfortable to wear for a longer periods and don't liked a curly cable.
Sennheiser HD-650 (300 Ohm)... sounded very, very good! Nice warm sound, good sound stage. Highly recommended!

 

I ended up with Sennheiser HD 600 (300 ohm). It sounds amazing! Clear, extremely detailed sound...! Very comfortable to wear, nice design!  I would highly recommend it!!!

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I bought an Alto ZMX862 mixer and much better now listening to headphones - I was debating on a Mackie but read in another forum good things about Alto - keep in mind I am using mine thru a rig kontrol 3 using helix native - thanks to Soundog for few questions I had on routing cables hes a great addition to the forum :) anyone want to know how I set it up and knob positions just ask

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