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Old 02-27-2012, 06:20 PM
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Default Classical Music Headphones Suggestions

Hello everybody!

I'm posting a few questions on behalf of me dad. He likes classical music but is finding it hard to enjoy listening to the songs on his sansaclip and his current cheapish IEMs.

At first i don't think he was getting a good seal with them, but now i think he has but finds that due to classical music being quiet at sections he 'hears' his own body too much (especially when walking about).

I kinda get what he means. When u have ear plugs in and you are cut off from hearing the outside world your body tends to listen to its inner self and you focus more on the bones in your body thumping (when u walk), yer heartbeat etc etc.

When i sleep at night, sometimes i hear amplified body sounds through the pillow im resting my head on, it can be quite annoying and stop me from sleeping (and im not usually a light sleeper, i can block out taps dripping etc).

It's worse for him when walking in town and hearing cars also passing him by (remember he has a tight seal with his current IEMS, but he's listening to classical music which can drop off suddenly to extremely quiet sections).

So I'm wondering if anyone here who is a fan of classical music in particular has felt the same way in the past and found any solutions?

This is not a problem i experience. I listen to a variety of musical genres and even fairly quiet soundtrack pieces (like the recent Jane Eyre soundtrack) i don't really have any issues as i have volume up quite high. When the volume is high you can't 'hear' your own body anymore so this is really a classical/IEM issue only (when listening to pop such as Pink Floyd etc its not an issue for him).

I might tell him to 'man up' (lol) and up the volume but my dad also has tinnitus so perhaps upping the volume isn't a viable solution.

First thing to try is perhaps help him find a GOOD pair of IEMs geared towards the classical musician buff that has excellent seal properties with minimal sound escaping and outside noise coming in (for when he's in town and can't hear cars pass by etc). I know from personal experience different IEMS do do a better job in blocking out the outside noise than others (as well as different tips).

We're not keen to use can style headphones due to their bulk, but if we had to choose cans we'd have to consider extremely low profile and also good noise cancellation properties. But IEMS is the preferable route.

Then i wanted to ask, is there a program or rockbox feature that assists a user in listening to classical, that automatically raises the volume of the quiet section and perhaps compensates by lowering the loud sections (ie so the user doesnt have to constantly adjust volume). I'm not meaning replaygain whereby volume from track to track is trying to be consistent but from within the track itself.
This might not be a good idea tho as yer taking away the song from its original intention, but thought worth mentioning.

So come on all you ABI classical music buffs, lets hear how you do it!
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:40 PM
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The process that makes quiet sections of music louder is called dynamic range compression. As far as I know, Rockbox does indeed have compressor function available in the sound setting menu. I never used this function so I can't really comment on how good it is (and I currently don't use Rockbox on any of my players). Either way, its there, so if you do want to test it out, go ahead. Personally, I would advise against using it, since a large dynamic range is of utmost importance in classical music.

Instead, what you want is an IEM that has very little microphonics in the cable. An example of an IEM with a great cable is the Sennheiser IE8. Using ear guides such as the ones that come with Phonak Audeo PFE will also reduce microphonics.

As for the sensation of hearing one's heartbeat - I find that using Comply foam (or presumably any type of foam) reduces this sensation greatly.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:43 PM
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Cheers man, but what exactly do you mean by "Using ear guides such as the ones that come with Phonak Audeo PFE will also reduce microphonics"? Are u referring to how to just insert the fone in proper?
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:39 PM
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It sounds like he may be getting such a good seal that you could be describing noise he’s getting from bone conduction. I think this because you state “he 'hears' his own body too much (especially when walking about).” I get this from my custom IEM’s while wearing hard shoes or if I make the mistake to chew something and in certain other situations. I’ve found that wearing soft shoes, like good sneakers and changing some behavior can lesson most annoying sounds. I’ve also found that this can also happen with regular IEMs that insert deep and you get an excellent seal, I eliminate them the same way.

Edit: as jupitreas stated, foam helps me on regular IEMs as well
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceBanner View Post
Cheers man, but what exactly do you mean by "Using ear guides such as the ones that come with Phonak Audeo PFE will also reduce microphonics"? Are u referring to how to just insert the fone in proper?
I meant that using silicon guides such as these: http://www.audeoworld.com/en/US/Prod...eearguides.htm to securely hold the cables over the ears will definitely reduce microphonics.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:53 PM
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fantastic, cheers for this.

Ok so all we need now is dfkt to make his presence known and suggest a good set of IEMs for the dude that likes classical.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceBanner View Post
... suggest a good set of IEMs for the dude that likes classical.
Budget? or is there none


Edit: I've been thinking a lot about this question you pose and if there's no budget the SM3 would seem to me to be great with classical music. BTW I don't own them but there are a few owners here you could ask.
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Last edited by WalkGood; 02-28-2012 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:38 PM
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For classical, a balanced armature design would be very good. These vary from the $45 Meelectronics A151 on up. The Etymotic HF5 for around $95 on Amazon isolates very well. The new Sony XBA-1($80 list) is said to sound great.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:47 PM
Mikerman Mikerman is offline
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A simple thing to help reduce microphonics: an inexpensive clip to hold the earphone cable in place, to stop it from rubbing against one's clothing.

$.99 shipped on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nip-Clip-Cla...item415980907a

Or 3 for $1.08 shipped (reasonable, for what clips like this are): http://www.ebay.com/itm/3x-Headphone...item20c06dec19

Last edited by Mikerman; 02-28-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:00 PM
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Yer all being very helpful. He currently owns the RHA MA-350 (http://www.trustedreviews.com/rha-ma...dphones_review) and i don't think they have shirt clips :O

I will pass all this info onto him.

Thank you all very much for your help
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SOURCE: Xclef (gone) | Cowon X5(gone) | Cowon D2 (dead) | Sansaclip+ RB | Sansa ClipZip RB | Cowon i9+ (32gb) | Cowon C2 (4gb)
HPs: Soundmagic E10's | Hippo VB's | UE 600's | Superlux HD 668B | Superlux HD660 | Sony XBA3 | Sony XBA2VP
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