Why Are In-Ear Headphones Better?
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  1. #1

    Default Why Are In-Ear Headphones Better?

    Can you guys explain why in-ear headphones are better for protecting ones hearing? It seems like in-ear headphones are becoming more popular among djs. I usually use over-ear headphones and I am very careful of not turning the volume up too much. If the venue is really loud sometimes I leave my headphones on with the volume turned all the way down, does this help protect your ears any?

  2. #2
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    They block out more sound than on-ear headphones.
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    I can see them blocking some sound but wouldn't you have to still turn them up pretty high in order to listen to your cue over the house system? Would they not damage your ears more since they are closer to your ear?

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    They block more sound, so you need less volume to be able to hear your Cue. Distance does not in itself have an impact on hearing damage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by makar1 View Post
    Distance does not in itself have an impact on hearing damage.
    Actually it does, sound pressure is a function of distance and power. Or else you would get deaf on your first festival while in the crowd.

    In-ear headphones are way worse than others for those who don't understand it's purpose. It will get your ears damaged really quick if you use them at high volumes. I have friends that suffered hearing loss because of in-ear headphones.

    IMO the best option to keep your ears safe is to use high-quality ear plugs. You will be able to use normal headphones AND hear the club's soundsystem without concern. I've created a thread in this forum some time ago to know the best ear plugs and these ones seem to be the best: http://www.etymotic.com/hp/
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    No, having a quieter sound source near to the ear is not inherently better or worse than a louder source further away. Distance does not matter in itself as I said.

    In ear phones are not worse than normal headphones. Most headphones can be driven to damaging levels on typical DJ equipment.

    Using IEMs gives almost all the benefits of earplugs when using ones with decent isolation, while giving you much better audio quality than trying to listen to headphones through a set of earplugs.
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    For me, I would need a way to turn off one ear - the one that's listening to "the booth/main" mix, whereas the cue is in the other ear. I would be getting the sound protection in the "booth" ear, and wouldn't need the cue to be loud. As it is now, I play with earplugs in both ears with headphones. It's quieter than no plugs obviously, but not ideal because it's not as clean a sound. I have a pair of the $20 etymotic plugs but they are pretty uncomfortable in my ear - after an hour or so it begins to hurt. And the little tube thingy hits the inside of the headphone, which is annoying.

    Essentially, if I could split cue to silence instead of cue/main mix with in ears that would be the tits. If that's an option ... ?
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    You should be able to do that on your DJM 850? Enable Split Cue then disable Master Cue?

    I have the Alpine earplugs which have much shorter stems and less hard plastic, and I haven't had any comfort problems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by makar1 View Post
    You should be able to do that on your DJM 850? Enable Split Cue then disable Master Cue?
    I will have to try that. I just never turn split cue on, but really good point. You have to click master cue to even have the dial work (which I almost never use anyway), but I never thought to try the same idea but with the cue switch flipped. It was one of those things where day 1 with it I hit the switch, decided I didn't like split cue mixing, and then never flipped the switch again.


    I should add - playing out is a crap shoot of what mixer there's going to be, and none of them are in as good of shape as the 850 at home that's never been out of the house. Sooo.... it's good to have options, which is why I'll always bring plugs and headphones. But this is a timely discussion because of this morning's email from Pioneer about the in-ears.
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    Quote Originally Posted by makar1 View Post
    No, having a quieter sound source near to the ear is not inherently better or worse than a louder source further away. Distance does not matter in itself as I said.
    As I said, it's a function of distance and power. Your comparison doesn't make sense.
    With the same power you will have higher sound pressure when lowering the distance.
    With the same distance you will have higher sound pressure when rising the power.
    Distance matters if you are using the same faders/knobs/buttons to rise the volume of your in-ear headphones when comparing with normal headphones. The sound pressure raise will be much quicker and harmfull with a in-ear headphone than with normal headphones when using the same knob for example.

    Ear plugs will guarantee you will not have more db than the limit coming inside your ears, while with in-ear headphones you can only guess if it is damaging you or not.

    If you read the whole post slowly you will realize I don't say it's worse, I say it can be way worse if you don't know how to use it.

    Also, I find it very important to hear the club's sound system to be sure that everything is ok. Master channel may not be exacly what people are hearing as after the dj mixer you may have other mixers etc.
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