Jan 11, 2018

Closed Cans or IEMs?

I am looking for a suggestion for a pair for listening at work. Presently I have a set of Sennheiser HD500, and despite their age, I love their sound. However, being open, my coworkers can hear my music when I'm in a foul mood and playing it louder than necessary.
I would like to stick to cans so they're easier to take off and put on, which I do more than several times throughout the day. However, high sound quality is required. If I cannot get as good a sound from closed cans as I can from IEMs, I will deal with popping the IEMs in and out.
A friend has recommended the Beyerdynamic DT770 in 250Ohm. And while they aren't in the same price category, the reviews for the NuForce EDC IEMs have piqued my interest. My budget is $200, and I plan on purchasing a DAC/AMP in the near future, so a high resistance model doesn't bother me.
Should I go ahead with the DT770? Forego the inherent sound weirdness of closed cans for the IEMs? If there's a better set of IEMs, I don't mind paying more than the NuForce EDCs run.
I generally listen to rock and electronic, with a moderate bass bump, mid cut, and small high boost.
Thanks for any input.

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Denon AH-C820 is one superb IEM. I've progressively gone up Denon's line of earbuds through the years and even their more budget friendly IEMs never disappoint, but these are on a totally different level.
The Sony MDR1000 ones where you just sorta do the Royal Wave thing to a side of the cans, to listen to the bothersome interlopers at work, then they go away,, and the music returns...

These are the ones for travel/commuting too, these or the QC35II's
The DT770's are actually surprisingly open sounding if that is something that you are looking for. I have them and i regularly think i hear someone talking behind me or calling my name, which then just turns out to be the music. They are really comfortable and very easily driveable (my phone can easily drive them and on my 300$ laptop i only have to listen to them on a volume of 24 when i am in a crowded room to cut almost all of the noise out. Recommended for sure!
Not sure what you mean by the inherent sound weirdness of closed cans. I tend to use circumaural monitors because most of the time I'm using them to monitor a recording and need the flat response. (Open-back isn't really a choice for this because of feedback.) I haven't noticed any inherent weirdness, though.

In any case, I've got the NuForce EDC IEMs. I like them for music, but they don't have anything close to a flat response. There are some higher frequencies that don't show up much at all, and the bass is pretty heavily boosted. Fine for music, but I can't use them for monitoring.

But yeah, IEMs aren't ideal in an office setting. I get people coming in every couple of minutes to ask questions. Extracting an IEM from my ear canal every time someone walks in starts to get old after about two or three times. That doesn't even get me to 9am most days. I can flip back an ear cup on my monitors with a shrug (a maneuver I learned from Allen Williams, so credit to him.) Way the heck easier to do.
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I primarily do VO and field recording, and occasionally do foley. Especially in the case of field recording open backs aren't an option because of feedback.

I guess a better way to put it is "as flat as I can get it". I'd prefer completely flat because it's really my best bet for picking up issues when in the field. I took a look at the frequency response of the Sony MDR 7506, and you're right. It's more wobbly than I would've expected: http://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/report/hp/sony-mdr-7506.php

I knew it dropped off below 50Hz, but I was surprised to see the +6dB bump around 10k. Not an ideal situation for picking up wind rumble while recording birds, but wind will typically extend high enough above 50Hz to still hear it.

Here's the same site's review of the Sennheiser HD 600 open-back cans: http://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/report/hp/sennheiser-hd-600.php

It's got a similar drop below 50Hz, though I like how flat it is around 200-300Hz. But it falls off above 7k. Even if feedback wasn't an issue, that's a show stopper for monitoring bird calls.

I take your point about resonance issues with closed-back cans, but for the work I'm doing I'll stick with the ones I'm using.
DT880 would be my pick for a neutral monitor: http://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/report/hp/beyerdynamic-dt-880-pro.php

I'd take them over the HD600
I would say if you don't mind the over ears the dt770 will be great the sub bass is nice and overall its a very nice sounding headphone. Some IEMs have good bass but for the same price I am not sure you get the same sound quality as in a full size headphone.
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