Solving the Voice-over Headphone dilemma & Answering FAQs

  • voice over
  • 28-Dec-2021
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There are so many opinions regarding the best pair of headphones. When searching online different experts give different narratives and ideas. Frankly, there are so many schools of thought regarding the ‘Best Pair of Headphones’ that if someone new to the field would get confused probably faint while going over and then deciding which one to buy. Understand that wearing headphones is essential for delivering impeccable voice-over services. It lets you hear your voice more clearly also prevents what is termed as audio bleed. Now audio bleed is capturing the sound leaked by one audio source’s input from the other audio source’s output. To put that in simple words, when some tunes from your headphones get leaked into the microphone. However, the truth is it's difficult to put a rest to this debate and point to one headphone as the best. When it comes to finding the best pair of Studio headphones for voice acting there is a lot to consider. But first, let's check out the major types of headphones available in the market and what makes them stand out from one another.

High-Fidelity Headphones – If you are one of those people who think that buying hi-fi headphones is more beneficial as they will come with everything, then you are wrong. High-end headphones are great for enjoying the music but not necessarily good enough for studio monitoring, as most of them do not possess the qualities or features specific to studio monitoring. When it comes to buying headphones one must look beyond the style and design of the headphones. Things like headband paddings, ear cushions, weight, and ear clamp force matter a lot. These are the factor deciding the comfortability of the headphones and thus whether they are viable for variable working hours that might range from 15 minutes to hours.

Studio Monitoring Special Headphones – These headphones are best for voice monitoring purposes and also the most logical choice for professional use. Now, the term professional use might suggest them to be expensive but these are not so pricy. These headphones have sturdier built and longer cords than the high-end headphones mentioned earlier. In addition, studio monitoring headphones are also known for their longevity and softer & easily replaceable ear pads considering the sanitary purposes, when being used by multiple voice-over actors. Although these headphones have better built and everything else you need for voice monitoring in the studio, these are not so good when it comes to enjoying the music and also have a higher clamping force.

Now in addition to these major types, some other headphones are also available – on-ear headphones, over-ear headphones, earbuds, in-ear monitors, & custom in-ear monitors. Out of these except for Custom In-ear Headphones, all have mixed opinions about their quality and comfortability. However, the CIEMs are specifically built to fit your comfort, so they are a bit more expensive.

Let's get to some burning questions about headphones –

How to check for the Quality of Headphones?

This one is a very common and mis-answered question. People just go around buying headphones on recommendations from other people who got the recommendation from some other. Therefore, there is a lot of recommendations going around in the market without people actually knowing anything about headphones. However, the best way to check for the quality of headphones is to monitor the frequency. Headphones with frequencies being more flat or close to the baseline are considered better as they provide fewer colorations. Less coloration means less deviation or inaccuracy in the sound and vice-versa.

Open Back Headphones or Closed Back Headphones, which one to buy?

It depends on your workflow. For instance, if you are working in a professional voice-over agency and there is a sound engineer & director, who is going to be providing you with inputs and also do the editing, it's better to go with the closed-back headphones. Closed-back headphones are great to avoid the outside noise or inputs getting caught or simply avoid audio bleed. On the other hand for voice artists who record at home and do all the editing by themselves, open-back headphones are a great choice. The accuracy provided by open-back headphones comes in handy to avoid or reduce the number of testing, revisions, etc. needed to uplift the quality of your recordings before sending them out.

Do headphones need the burn-in?

This particular question has created a wide divide. Different people and even professionals have different ideas and opinions about it. But honestly, most professionals do not consider it to be really necessary or mandatory. It's very common for headphones to vary in quality over the time it is being used. Speakers and headphones go through this change gradually, and a long period of time is taken until the change becomes considerably noticeable. However, if there is an audiophile around you, they will tell you every other such equipment needs the burn-in. It is basically a matter of discussion and opinion.

At Voyzapp – the best voice-over & professional dubbing services, we consider every aspect, from voice talents to top equipment, software, and audio professionals, to provide our clients with the best quality voice-over services.

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