In search of new headphones

The first thing I did was use them in a “live” context—a jam with two others. But we’re all playing modular synths, which is not the same as guitar or piano. However, if I just plug in a keyboard and noodle on that, I can’t feel any latency at all.

Some people may feel they are sensitive to 16ms latency. I have my doubts. If you’re a guitarist, where you’ve got an even more tactile connection to the strings than on a piano, then maybe?

Ahhh thanks. I’m here now trying different buffer sizes in Ableton, and you’re right the difference around that 16ms size is pretty subtle.

Of course, latency is cumulative. If you‘re playing your guitar through Ableton, then your interface and Ableton are each adding a little, too. This morning I did some testing with the with the synth >>> interface >>> Bitwig with a reverb plugin >>> interface >>> Mackie >>> TMA-2 Wireless+. This is the configuration how I will usually use the wireless headphones.

I don’t know what the total latency is for this setup, but it’s still lower than I notice when playing the keyboard.

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I bought a cheap ath-m50x and they are excellent for hearing a bit of extra rumble.

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Same exact experience here. The freedom of being wireless with no noticeable latency is nice. do you do any field recording by chance? I just tried it out this past weekend it was quite liberating to walk away from my setup and monitor from afar. I fidget naturally so it’s nice to be able to not worry about picking up my unwanted noises.

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Yeah guitar/bass here. I hate having the headphone cable to deal with but I can definitely feel 16ms of latency. I monitor in at 0 latency through my interface and not the DAW.

This is the only reason I haven’t grabbed some yet, they seem very cool though. For sampling, writing music they would be fine for me.

the Neumann NDH30 are backordered but they are on display for demo at B&H, so I went down to go try them out. I really really liked them, more so than the NDH20. I was just listening straight off an iPhone dongle but it still sounded great.

“detailed” is truly the right word. the highs are clear without feeling hyped like the other headphones I compared them to. the overall sound feels very dry and close in the way the NDH20s do, but without feeling so closed-in. I don’t think it’s just marketing, they really do sound a lot like the KH monitors (which I’m a big fan of).

I was able to get it covered as a work expense, so I put in an order, though the B&H rep didn’t have any indication of an ETA on them. will report back whenever they eventually arrive!

I bought a pair of Beyer DT770s back in May. Now I’m getting some quite bad distortion in the right ear with certain frequencies. I read that this can be an issue with hairs getting on the speaker diaphragm, so I opened them up and gave them a clean, though I couldn’t see anything that might be causing the problem. The distortion is still there unfortunately :frowning:
I wondered if anyone else has experienced this? I bought these partly because they are repairable, and indeed they were very easy to disassemble, which is great. Just wondering what the best option would be to get this sorted out.

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Can you not just contact Beyer and return under warranty? Seems like it’s 2 year, and it seems like a fault…

I had these in middle school and just cranked the heck out the volume with them. It’s a wonder I have any hearing left at all.

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Not at all to jump on @Lemmy, but to make a tangential, general observation:

I’m seeing loads of posts on-line (perhaps more elsewhere than on Lines) of this pattern:

I have a _____ and it is doing this unexpected thing _____. Has anyone else had this problem?

I recognize this urge in myself.

I gather this is a symptom of how generally toxic the customer relationship has become: We now all have such negative general associations with “official” customer service and technical support that official channels are now automatically the last resort, even when the specific manufacturer or service in question may offer excellent customer service. I suspect that most of this toxicity is by the design of the large-scale, faceless service sector (cable, telecom, energy, travel, web services etc.) and also probably the giant consumer electronics and appliance companies, but it seems to be effectively ruining the customer relationship for everyone.

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Yes, possibly. I am open to other options though, in the spirit of ‘fix it yourself’, which is my usual approach, and to avoid the hassle of exchanging them. Also thought it would be worth checking my experience against others to see if I might end up with the same issue again, if they were replaced.

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as for my experience: i have a daily used DT770 from 10+ years back, cat(s), hairs, never stored in any kind of protective bag, and no buzzing/distortion problem.
I would just return under guarantee.

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Okay, I finally took the plunge on the W+ Link for my aiaiai cans. I was hesitant but they just work and they’re awesome. Highly recommend.

The experience of making music while being able to step away from the setup is huge. I can go walk to another room and change my perspective instantly. Someone upthread also mentioned it was great for field recording, and I can confirm.

If you’re in the fence, go for it. I’m coming from an “upgrade what you have within the same ecosystem” perspective. Happy to answer questions.

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This may sound like a weird question, but do you feel there’s noticeably more freedom of movement when actually using the headphones in front of the setup and not around the house or on the move?

Thing is, I have a pair of wired headphones I like, but unless I sit or stand perfectly still, and with no controllers / instruments on my lap, it’s always going to be a tangled mess or some cable in the way of something else. It’s very much a first world problem like always, but I feel myself wishing I had wireless everything just because so I could… kind of, rearrange stuff, lean forward, take something from the table to my lap, move from one chair to another, to couch, or whatever, without having to always detangle something - even if I was running a battery powered setup :slight_smile:

I guess I’m wondering how much it actually changes the situation to use wireless headphones - I’m imagining there’s a big difference, but then again the cable mess never completely goes away…

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The difference sure can be huge. I did okay with wired headphones when I was just stationary in front of a small modular, but now I have to move back and forth along a large desk, and often further to interact with a computer. It got ridiculous—I either had to keep switching headphones (!) or I had to contend with a super long cable I was constantly stepping on, that raked across my desk, and that dragged on my cans. I think most people just rely on speakers in this situation, but I can’t really do that in a NYC apartment. So, it depends on your particular situation.

I think the criterion is straightforward: if the headphone cable is driving you nuts, then the W+ might be worth investigation.

Edit: there’s one significant drawback to the W+ in that you have to keep recharging both the cans and the transmitter. Also, I still switch headphones when I need to do critical listening, but that’s generally a separate phase of my process.

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I wish I had made the change sooner. I had the longest coiled aiaiai cable that was utterly destroyed and re-soldered, and I only truly upgraded because they no longer carry it.

If you’re even remotely interested in them and have an aiaiai setup you enjoy, you should upgrade. For ergonomics and everything you outlined, it changes the game.

EDIT: They also act as low-latency transmitters between setups given the stereo line I/O (just watch the headphone gain :wink:)

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Purchasing them now, I’ve been watching them for a while and haven’t seen a price lower than what they have now at Thomann. Thanks for your messages!

Having used the aiaiai W+ for a while, there are a few “first generation” design choices I am finding annoying:

  • The power buttons are long press—I’d much rather just have a plain old switches
  • The charging port on the headphones is a pain to get to
  • The L and R markings are hard to find/read, and seem to be backwards

(To be clear, these are nitpicks—the product is a welcome solution)

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These really are nitpicks considering the gain. I’m reaaallly on the fence on the aiaiai but everybody seem to say they just work and sound good enough? I find that pretty incredible honestly !