Two of the biggest issues with recording at home are trying to protect your ears from the drums pounding and amps blaring only a few feet away and attempting to hear what you're recording while protecting your ears from the aforementioned drums and amps. Up until recently, I only worried about the former, and settled for listening to my recordings on playback only. I used Peltor earmuffs to protect my hearing during recording sessions - you may recall the review I wrote last year. Earlier this year, I found a product that worked just as well as my Peltor muffs but allowed me to listen to what I was recording: the GK-Music UltraPhones. Imagine taking the top model Peltor muffs and mating them with the Sony Pro 7506 headphones (equivalent to the consumer MDR-V6 phones). That's exactly what these are - the drivers from the Sony headphones stuffed inside the earcups of the Peltor muffs. The specifications are a union of the specs from both products: 29 dB max isolation, 10 Hz- 20 kHz frequency response, 63 ohm impedance. How do they sound? The low end is "tubby" in comparison to my unmodified Sony 7506's sound, but the sound quality is good enough for building tracking mixes and auditioning talent mixes. Are they comfortable? Enough that I can wear them for many hours at a time. Are they expensive? $220 plus shipping and handling for the headset and a zip-up carrying case. Are your ears worth it? Yes. Especially if you care about your hearing AND you want to hear what you're recording as you're recording it. (

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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