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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

Im going to get me some quality headphones. I will be using them for listening to music, play along, and sometimes recording myself play(just for training purposes only, so any music bleed dosent matter)

Im wondering if I will be able to hear myself as clearly when I'm playing along with them on? Should I buy headphones that's less isolated? or should I get full isolated and listening to myself trough the mic?

Or is it more ideal to have the play along on speakers?

Thanks for help
 

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Heck, just get yourself a pair of fairly inexpensive headphones of any of the type you mention and try them out. There's a time and place for as much isolation as possible, to have some bleed, lots of bleed, or to play with speakers. There's nothing more "ideal" than the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I need some good ones anyway for listening. I mostly just play in my alone in my room with playalongs. Am I right thinking some open headphones would be ideal for this?
 

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Or should I get full isolated and listening to myself trough the mic?
Should you decide to go with 'full isolated' headphones, try playing with them on, but keep the mic off. What you are going to hear is the reed and nothing else. It's quite amazing, if you never did that before. Joseph Allard was quoted as saying: Play the reed, not the mouthpiece. Now, just how can you tell, with all that rich sound coming from brass and enriched even more by the echoes? Well, with the isolating headphones on, you are going to hear the reed and nothing else. I do it once in a while while practicing my etudes, it helps me hear and heal the core of my sound.
 

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I have a 20 year old pair of Pioneer headphones that I'm quite fond of. Beat the living hell out of them, but they still sound great! I'll try to track them down for you. Last I saw, they were still being sold at Guitar Center for about $90.
 

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I'm getting set up to record over backing tracks for my own edification. I have regular full-cancel phones with 1/8" stereo plug, a 'Zoom' recorder and the software on my PC that came with the Zoom, which is like a simple PC 'studio'. I'll be able to mix the track back through the phones along with the sax so I can hear everything like in a real studio. I bought the 'Zoom' so I can also take it on the gig just to pick up what I'm doing along with whatever bleeds in from the band or set it up out front somewhere to hear how I'm doing in the mix.
My phones are cheap ones so I might get a better set but still of the same type.
 

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Good luck! There are many choices around these days. You should go to your local big box music store and try a bunch.

Over the years I've had good luck with the Sennheiser (HD 280) Headphones on my studio soundstage. They are robust and have decent sound - under $100.

I have Vic Firth isolation headphones in the drum room and they work really well for their intended use - you could wear these on the gun range they isolate so well. (also under $100)

I'm using some pricier AKG semi open back cans in my control room (AKG 701). I like them as much for their comfort as the sound. I frequently use them for sax practice just because I can get a great mix and control the volume...
 

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Grado SR80 are well known among audiophiles as a great "bang for the buck" headphone. They're open headphones, they actually look kind of cheapo, but the sound quality is very good.
 

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+1 for the Grado, although I like the sound of the SR60's even better (seemed flatter frequency range to me). I have an old pair, ~20 years, still use em. Highly recommended.

Also check out AKG phones. I have a pair of AKG 702's, they have a "semi-open" back which means you can hear your horn, good for tracking. They are very detailed, full frequency range with flat response. Around $200, so not cheap, but not expensive either :)
 

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I have a pair of Grado "Prestige" SR60's which are about 20 years old and are getting a bit "ratty" - so I bought and now use Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professionals and they work great for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for answers, tho im not looking for actual model recommendations. Im looking if anyone have some expert opinion if I should I get some closed or open back headphones, and what is the best for sax playing.
 

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Thanks for answers, tho im not looking for actual model recommendations. Im looking if anyone have some expert opinion if I should I get some closed or open back headphones, and what is the best for sax playing.
I'm no expert , but since I record mainly with backing tracks, I use open back for recording. I listen to ONLY the backing track through the DAW monitor and the open back headphones allow me to hear my sax (or flute) playing clearly while recording. It takes a bit of DAW volume adjustment of the backing track - but for me it works well. Hope this helps.
 

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Thanks for answers, tho im not looking for actual model recommendations. Im looking if anyone have some expert opinion if I should I get some closed or open back headphones, and what is the best for sax playing.
This really depends on personal preference, end use - and budget. Headphones can run under $50- over $1000. Specialty isolation closed back cans for drummers could be perfect for you - if you’re wanting a decent mix with no external bleed. Open backed cans are usually more detailed but not as suitable for delicate recording. If you’re to the point where you want to get more involved in recording, they may not be best. Usually open back headphones are more comfortable over time. Durability is also a factor - are you more concerned with fidelity or longevity? What’s the budget? What’s your preferred genre? Do you like it loud? Quiet? It’s time to pony up with more detail if you didn’t find the answer you like....
 

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I got myself a pair of Sennheiser RS120 wireless headphones. They can be a bit iffy because you need to dial in the frequency like on an old radio and the sound quality is not as great as my old Sennheisers but the important thing is that I am not attached to any equipment. The cable is always in the way, either it is too short or too long and then you step on it and that's even worse. They are semi-closed, so you get enough of your sound on top of the backing track but if you use any of the inexpensive recording boxes like a Yamaha Steinberg UR22, they have a headphones out and you get the backing track along with your own audio signal mixed in.

The other nice thing about them is the docking station, you hang them up and they automatically charge the non-proprietary AAA batteries. So no fussing around with BP-6X batteries that come in a gazillion different form factors or anything else that you cannot buy in a supermarket.

Plus, they are RF and not blue tooth, so there is no lag!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This really depends on personal preference, end use - and budget. Headphones can run under $50- over $1000. Specialty isolation closed back cans for drummers could be perfect for you - if you’re wanting a decent mix with no external bleed. Open backed cans are usually more detailed but not as suitable for delicate recording. If you’re to the point where you want to get more involved in recording, they may not be best. Usually open back headphones are more comfortable over time. Durability is also a factor - are you more concerned with fidelity or longevity? What’s the budget? What’s your preferred genre? Do you like it loud? Quiet? It’s time to pony up with more detail if you didn’t find the answer you like....
I like quiet jazz mostly. Im thinking either senheister hd800 or 650. I only record for myself to listen to for practice purposes. I like to have good quality on the backing, and hear my sax well when I play.
 

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Good luck! There are many choices around these days. You should go to your local big box music store and try a bunch.
I have Vic Firth isolation headphones in the drum room and they work really well for their intended use - you could wear these on the gun range they isolate so well. (also under $100) .
+1 found Vic Firth at big box store under $55 for my daughter. Used on drums & keys.
+1 on post #15 too.
 

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I have both open (Grado SR80s) and closed (AT MX40X) headphones.

The open headphones are unmatched for listening to music (in a quiet room). However, if you have access to a microphone and an audio interface (which you will need for recording anyway), closed-back headphones work much better for practicing. Among the advantages of using closed back headphones are:

1. You'll be able to hear yourself the way an audience would, and you will thus get used to shaping your sound to match the way you would want to be heard.
2. The closed back headphones can provide some hearing protection in case you're practicing loudly and/or in a 'live' room.
3. You can independently control your volume and that of your accompaniment/backing track/etc.

About 90% of my saxophone practice is into a microphone with closed-back headphones in a WhisperRoom. For flute and clarinet, which are significantly quieter, I spend much more time practicing without headphones in an open room.
 
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