As a filmmaker, video creator or whatever moniker you give yourself in this field, and no matter you shoot on an iPhone or an ARRI, the one common denominator we all share, apart for the visuals obviously, is the audio.
Unless you are shooting Marcel Marceau (even that doesn’t wash if you watch “The Plank” by the way).
But so many forget the importance of audio as we have mentioned time and time again, not just in the way it is gathered by using sub-standard equipment as against quality microphones designed for the exact environment in which you are you are shooting (see our guide here as to mic types and when to use each), but also when editing and monitoring playback in your favourite NLE such as Vegas Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, FCP X, Avid Composer and so on.
In other words, the studio speakers and headphones you use when assembling the finished product.
We’ll look at studio speakers in another article (meaning I’ll cheat here and throw that ball to audio expert – and brother – Graeme) and instead concentrate on headphones.
Now I am old school: I detest earbuds with a passion, much preferring the “original” full over-head / over-ear style with a proper cable, although I can appreciate wireless can have an advantage. Over the years I have tried, and still have, many models of headphones from various vendors, with a particular soft spot for a pair of mini-Akais that had travelled thousands of kilometres between the west and east coast of Australia on Qantas and Virgin flights before press junkets became a thing of the past.
Sadly, these were waylaid in the back of a Jetstar seat somewhere between Perth and Brisbane, never to be seen again. My bad.
But for my editing, I have decided on the Sennheiser HD 300 Pro. For a number of very good reasons.
One, they are extremely comfortable and able to worn for extended periods without “ear fatigue” or getting a headache. Second, the sound reproduction is amazing. I am blessed with very good hearing in terms of frequency range, and the HD 300 Pro repro everything from the bottom to the top end very faithfully and from the most delicate sound to the loudest explosion without distorting.
And third, they won’t break the bank. At $369 (and that includes free shipping if you buy direct apparently), they are damn good value in my opinion.
There is a generous amount of cord length, and both standard and mini headphone sockets are catered for, and for those with a bigger than average noggin, the Sennheiser HD 300 Pro comfortably extend to cater.
On the smallest of downsides, because of their very nature, they are a little bulky and so not really suitable as an in-flight travelling companion, but realistically, this is not their raison d’être.
If you are a spec nerd, then the following table will make you fizz just a little, but for the rest of us, simply put, for the price, quality and comfort, in all my searches over the years, I have yet to find better.
Specifications: Sennheiser HD 300 Pro Headphones