Tuesday 27 March 2012


This post is partly inspired from a question put to me at the British Championships. It was asked, why I and others in this country use the headphones with a head band for shooting where as in photos of the European Championships many seemed to be using in-ear headphones?

There are two parts to this answer, why clubs should use the headphones which sit on the ear rather than in-ear ones, and why I personally choose to use the sort I do.

I would recommend that clubs use the sort of headphone which sits on the ear for one simple reason, hygene. Just imagine sharing in-ear headphones with others, stuffing things in to your ears which have been stuffed in other people's ears. The idea just does not appeal to me and we're probably best to avoid trying it to find out what happens.

My personal reason is a bit different, I have my own set of headphones so I would not be sharing them with others. My reason is that I have simply never been comfortable with in-ear headphones. Well may be if I spent a lot of money on a decent set, possibly even a custom pair I might find them comfortable but that is a lot of money to spend on something you do not know whether you will like. A better option seemed to be to go with what I know I find comfortable, and that's not just any old set of on ear headphone. For some reason I have trouble with headphones which apply pressure to the actual ear, after some time of wearing this can become painful and as for shooting I will be wearing them for a decent amount of time then they need to be comfortable. I tend to need to use headphones which put the pressure actually on to the skull, so the first set I used for shooting when I bought a pair of my own was the Koss PortaPro. The PortaPro is slightly unusual as there a fairly small set of headphones, the ear pads hardly cover the ear and they have a separate adjustable pad above the ear pad which sits against the skull. The adjustment on the second pad is to adjust what pressure is taken by which pad.

Those more observant amongst you will have noticed I am not using the PortaPros any more, well at least for shooting. The problem is that they are an open headphone so will let a lot of sound escape from them and it was suggested I needed to be careful in case anyone complained about my headphones making too much noise. So I stepped up a bit to some Senheiser HD280 headphones. These are great, I actually think I can pick out a very little more detail when shooting and the full earcup design means the pressure again is taken directly by the skull and they do not leak so much sound. The heavier cable on the HD280s can be a bit annoying, however we tend to clip it in one of the number clips on the back of the shooting jacket. The only other thing I find a problem with these is that if its warm it can get quite warm inside the headphones.

So I have given quite a bit of detail why I have personally chosen the headphones I do, what do others use? What are the advantages of other types such as in-ear ones? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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