Direct Sound, makers of Extreme Isolation Headphones for professional recording and live performance, has introduced its #NoHype campaign. The campaign and tagline builds on an important question for professional and enthusiast musicians alike — “When is fashion not fashionable?”
The answer, according to Direct Sound president and CEO Steve Rois, is in critical mixing and monitoring situations where a pair of headphones can add color to a mix, such as enhanced bass and highs. This colorization can affect the way a final mix sounds once it reaches the mass market, oftentimes for the worse. This is because hyped up bass or high end in mixing will lead to over/under compensation for those frequencies during a mix. This can cause a final track to sound muddy or harsh.
Click here to listen to a podcast interview with Steve Rois.
“The fashion headphone industry is just that — fashion,” says Rois. “Many headphone companies focus on fashion and not sound. They use whatever speaker they can fit into their beautiful design and really don't care about the sound quality. We know this because we’ve reverse engineered many of these headphones. When you take them apart, you find they use very inexpensive components. And even though they cut corners on components used, they still charge a lot for the headphones because they know people will pay a premium for fashion. We spend probably 40 times what most companies do for their speaker components because, to our professional and enthusiast customers, we know that sound quality is everything and fashion means nothing.”
Click here to watch a video on how to quickly and easily replace the speakers in Direct Sound Headphones.
Since the company’s beginnings almost 20 years ago, Direct Sound has built its reputation on a commitment to a “No Hype” policy for its line of professional headphones. This commitment extends beyond simply making a headphone with a “flat” character, an industry term which refers to the authentic reproduction of sound true to the tonal quality of an instrument or voice.
In addition to a flat sound character, a key component critical to accurate, No Hype playback is a headphone’s ability to isolate sound. “Direct Sound’s legacy has always been built on a proprietary mix of ‘extreme’ isolation and excellent sound quality,” says Rois. “Some companies make headphones with good sound quality, and some make headphones with decent isolation, but no one has really put the two together successfully. To us, it’s just common sense to make a high quality isolation headphone with a good flat sound. One that ensures that what is going onto a recording is what your going to hear in playback.”
Direct Sound’s professional headphone models include the EX-29 and EX-25. The company’s flagship model, the EX-29, boasts the industry’s highest Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) at 29 dB. NRR is an OSHA government standard which reflects the amount of sound, measured in decibels, that a headphone isolates. The higher the number, the better the isolation. At 29 dB, the EX-29 is unmatched in terms of NRR, and the affordable, lightweight EX-25 offers a respectable 25 dB of noise reduction.
Even with these industry-leading specs and isolation qualities, Direct Sound continues to push the envelope in terms of isolation headphones for professional recording applications.
The company has announced a new line of headphones, the Studio Plus Series, that will offer improved tonal quality and comfort. “Our new Studio Plus Series features a new speaker design that sounds even better than our current models,” says Rois. “In addition to the new speaker design, the Studio Plus Series will feature a new design cable assembly which allows you to disconnect the headphones at the middle of your chest for improved mobility, which is a feature many of our customers have been asking for. Look for the new Studio Plus Series to be on the market late spring,” said Rois.
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