Quantcast Can reference headphones substitute reference monitors? - digitalFAQ Forum
Go Back    Forum > Digital Video > Video Project Help > Edit Video, Audio

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
03-07-2019, 09:37 AM
fujrer fujrer is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 13
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I am going to buy a (cheap) reference monitors for audio restoration of captured VHS. But I am not only one person in our room and the sound would annoy the others. It would be great to replace speakers for headphones. But I have no idea whether some good reference headphones can fully subtitute the speakers? Or at least replace it most of the time and speakers use only for a quick check after restoration?
Reply With Quote
Someday, 12:01 PM
admin's Avatar
Ads / Sponsors
 
Join Date: ∞
Posts: 42
Thanks: ∞
Thanked 42 Times in 42 Posts
  #2  
03-07-2019, 10:15 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA
Posts: 3,398
Thanked 1,066 Times in 889 Posts
There's no such thing as "cheap reference monitors". Speakers are either cheap generic items or very expensive (genuine) reference stuff. Don't waste your money. Good headphones will run circles around cheap speakers 24/7/365 and don't require high volumes to give you very full-sounding output.

Cheap BestBuy headphones? Get serious.
Go with moderate priced audiophile quality that can get enough output from typical, low-wattage PC audio card outputs without disturbing everyone around you. Even Grado's entry-level phones are famous the world over as reference-quality drivers:
https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinf...number=GRSR80E
https://www.amazon.com/Grado-SR80e-P...gateway&sr=8-6
Outside North America: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grado-SR80e.../dp/B00L1LXOWS
Reply With Quote
  #3  
03-07-2019, 10:47 AM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 8,279
Thanked 1,370 Times in 1,205 Posts
As sanlyn says, there's no such animal as "cheap" when it comes to reference-grade.

However, there were some near-reference speakers about 15-20 years ago, namely the Monsoon MH-500 and MH-501 flat planar speakers. They had an exceptional audio response curve that was just shy of being truly reference grade. This is what I use, and that's why I use them. And it was arguable that some of the lower-cost "reference" speakers actually performed worse than the MH-500/501.

You must be careful buying these. After a decade or two, misuse/abuse, mishandling, and mis-storage can render them problematic. Sellers lie, or are audio incompetent, so never take their word that the speakers are fine. The biggest issue is that the puck is often missing, or damage (again, misuse/abuse, mishandling, bad storage). Without that to control the output, the audio is distorted at 100%, and the speakers are oversized paperweights. Most also need the OEM AC adapter brick replaced, it's a POS, adds noise to the line. A couple times per year, a good set shows up.

I can't use headphones, but others here do. And Sennheiser is their choice, for about $200-300 per set (varies per model, and we always waited for sales + promo/coupons to get that ~$200 price point).

Don't make the mistake of buying "gamer" speakers/headphones, as that stuff is distorted garbage.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- Find television shows, cartoons, DVDs and Blu-ray releases at the TVPast forums.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
03-07-2019, 10:54 AM
fujrer fujrer is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 13
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
There's no such thing as "cheap reference monitors". Speakers are either cheap generic items or very expensive (genuine) reference stuff. Don't waste your money. Good headphones will run circles around cheap speakers 24/7/365 and don't require high volumes to give you very full-sounding output.

Cheap BestBuy headphones? Get serious. Go with moderate priced audiophile quality that can get enough output from typical, low-wattage PC audio card outputs without disturbing everyone around you. Even Grado's entry-level phones are famous the world over as reference-quality drivers:
https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinf...number=GRSR80E
https://www.amazon.com/Grado-SR80e-P...gateway&sr=8-6
Outside North America: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grado-SR80e.../dp/B00L1LXOWS
Thank You Sanlyn. Well, I would like to use it for serious work . From what I've read here, near reference Monsoons are (were) acceptable. And those were not so pricey. I assumed buying speakers around 150-200 USD. Lord Smurf talked in some thread about using 4 pairs of monitors in his setup. I thought that monitors was favoured option for some reason. But if you say headphones are able to provide the same service I will be very happy .

My cocncern about it is not to miss sound flaws or not to start to do something what could be in conflict with best practices.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
03-07-2019, 11:00 AM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 8,279
Thanked 1,370 Times in 1,205 Posts
Headphone miss the acoustics of the audio. It sounds compressed. Wavelengths of audio travel at different speeds, and reverberate. With speakers, that never happens, and so richness of tones is not heard.

Hearing also becomes a problem. When you pipe audio directly into your ears, your brain attenuates the sounds differently. (The reason I cannot listen to headphone is because MS has "broken" my attenuation. So headphones are like sticking a hot poker in my ear, it physically hurts to have audio that close to my eardrum. It's also why I hate talking on the phone.)

I was into digital audio in the early 90s, even before digital video. A career path not taken.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- Find television shows, cartoons, DVDs and Blu-ray releases at the TVPast forums.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
03-07-2019, 12:49 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA
Posts: 3,398
Thanked 1,066 Times in 889 Posts
u poo=bah ewveerybdamn thing in sight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Headphone miss the acoustics of the audio. It sounds compressed. Wavelengths of audio travel at different speeds, and reverberate. With speakers, that never happens, and so richness of tones is not heard.

Hearing also becomes a problem. When you pipe audio directly into your ears, your brain attenuates the sounds differently. (The reason I cannot listen to headphone is because MS has "broken" my attenuation. So headphones are like sticking a hot poker in my ear, it physically hurts to have audio that close to my eardrum. It's also why I hate talking on the phone.)

I was into digital audio in the early 90s, even before digital video. A career path not taken.
You should have stuck with it longer. Sounds compressed? Have any bidea how much a crossover network does to speakers? Talk about compression and phasing problems. They don't exist with good phones. C',mon, nobody uses those icky SONY or Yamaha or godawful Bose phones any more, you may as well use ear muffs.

Next time, try it before you poo-bah everything in sight. You don't need to turn up good phones until you're ear's guts are impacted with exploding ear wax. Their dynamic range and vast soundstage will surprise the hell out of you at lower volumes than you ever experienced with those cheapskate buds from CircuitCity. I'll lay down down hard money you never heard a Grado product or anything close to modern audiophile phones. And the SR80e's are made for low-output devices like PC cards and those godawful portable players that scream dirty nasty mp3 compression into to your brain. Try it first, and let us know. I did and so have many others.


Reply With Quote
  #7  
03-07-2019, 01:53 PM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 8,279
Thanked 1,370 Times in 1,205 Posts
If you want a second opinion, this is a fairly accurate article: https://www.cnet.com/news/headphones...hich-is-better
He does go on some tangets, however.

Remember, I worked for studios. This is the sort of conversation we'd have. I remember in-depth conversations on digital audio compression, the theory vs. practice, consumer habits, "audiophiles" (fringe consumers, often steeped in myth), the science of how/why. There were times to use headphones, and times to not. Headphones are to listen for details, but speakers/monitors are to judge how it'll actually sound.

And like I said, I can't use headphones anymore. However, this brand or that doesn't change the science behind audio. Headphones will always sound small, mostly due to speaker size/watt. That's what I mean by "compressed", not actual compression. Sound is supposed to reverberate/bounce off walls, over surfaces, and that's where acoustics comes in. That's how sound exists. When you remove that, you flatten the sound. When you pipe it directly into your ears, your brain interprets it differently.

Some of my friends in Nashville were also recording artists, and I was on sets a number of times. Not to work, just as moral support, and to watch, but I took notice of the control booths and operators (probably even asked a question or two). That's a reason I started adding mixers and whatnot to my own video setup, having picked up some tips at a session.

Getting back to the 1st post, yes, headphones can help with restoration, if professional headphones for audio work. But you need to listen to it from the high-end reference/near-reference speakers as well, as headphones can mask things that are obvious when heard via the monitors.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- Find television shows, cartoons, DVDs and Blu-ray releases at the TVPast forums.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
03-07-2019, 04:23 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA
Posts: 3,398
Thanked 1,066 Times in 889 Posts
Well, then, we agree to differ. If I'm going to go with loudspeakers I need big ones with 10" center subwoofers in a 15-to-20-foot acoustically dead room, not two smallish gizmos 18 inches in front of my face with 1/2" metal tweeters and teentsy 4-inch to 6-inch so-called "woofers". The only way around that small-corner limitation that I can tolerate is a good set of headphones.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
03-07-2019, 06:12 PM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 8,279
Thanked 1,370 Times in 1,205 Posts
I'm reminded of the opening scene of Back to the Future. Now those were speakers.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- Find television shows, cartoons, DVDs and Blu-ray releases at the TVPast forums.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
03-07-2019, 08:28 PM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: East Coast, USA
Posts: 120
Thanked 32 Times in 25 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
C',mon, nobody uses those icky SONY or Yamaha or godawful Bose phones any more, you may as well use ear muffs.
I hope you aren't talking smack about them Sony MDR-7506's.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
03-07-2019, 09:59 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA
Posts: 3,398
Thanked 1,066 Times in 889 Posts
I have tried with extended auditions every SONY headset made since 1984, and I still have a couple of the early ones around (one is an MDR circa 1985, I don't recall the number. And they still work with my old portable SONY CD player). I never liked their metallic sound. If you like your video hard, your midrange thin, soundstage depth relatively limited but somewhat inn your face, and your bass a but loose, SONY is the design you need to stay with. Not for me. I keep thinking their signature sound will materially change, but it never seems to. But that sound is very popular, I know. I wish it was a clean as their highest-end BD player, but it isn't. You can debate certain esthetic qualities, but you can't argue with money.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
03-08-2019, 01:54 PM
captainvic captainvic is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 26
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
In a perfect world, we'd all have reference quality monitors in a perfect room with no coloration from the sound bouncing off of walls. That's the goal – to accurately hear what your audio sounds like.

In the real world, there is no such thing as a perfect room or perfect speakers. And we must work within a budget!

I like Dynaudio BM5A monitors. They're not "cheap" but not too expensive. For the money, you could do much worse.

Ideally, it’s good to listen on both monitors and headphones to crosscheck your work. You want to be sure you’re not missing something or hearing something that's not really there. I just picked up a pair of Sennheiser HD600 headphones and so far, I'm impressed. The frequency response seems to be closer to ideal (flat) than other headphones I've tried.

And back to that point about "the room," understand that your room is the single most important variable in the quality of sound you hear. More specifically, the way you position your speakers can either work with or work against the sound of the room. An "OK" pair of speakers properly positioned to work with the sound of the room will likely sound better than the best speakers positioned poorly. Read Jim Smith’s Get Better Sound for more info.
Reply With Quote
The following users thank captainvic for this useful post: lordsmurf (03-08-2019)
Reply




Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is VCR blue screen a reference point? Angies_Husband Capture, Record, Transfer 9 02-27-2019 06:19 PM
Post processing on analog capture to match a reference video lollo2 Restore, Filter, Improve Quality 2 09-16-2017 02:45 AM
H.264 settings in MainConcept Reference naripeddi Encode, Convert for discs 4 07-17-2013 11:47 PM
Frameserve from Premiere CS4 to Main Concept Reference naripeddi Encode, Convert for discs 3 12-14-2011 02:14 AM
JVC DR-M100S Resolution and Bitrate Reference Sheet robjv1 Capture, Record, Transfer 2 09-18-2011 06:00 AM

Thread Tools



 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:13 PM