Are you tired of low grade IFB headphones? Are you sick of your flimsy kit monitors snapping or buckling after a long day in the hands people who just don’t love them the way that you do? Are you saddened to watch Director and Scripty show up with their own cans, leaving yours to face the eternal darkness of their storage case?!
Well Halter Technical has some good news for you!
Like many audio professionals, we sometimes struggle with which sets of headphones to grab for our IFB kits. They aren’t monitors that we typically use ourselves, but we still must have them available and they should be of decent quality. Above, I mentioned clients or crew bringing their own headphones. Sometimes that’s just because they like to use their own, but a lot of times its because what they are being offered from us either sounds terrible, feels uncomfortable, or does both. Inexpensive headphones are generally not designed for this type of application and they aren’t very good overall.
In comes Halter Technical with their Scene Monitor and Field Monitor, designed and created specifically for this purpose, and specifically by other audio professionals working in the field.
The Scene Monitor
First up, the Scene Monitor. When I initially handled it for the first time, I have to admit that I thought that it was a little thin. As if the plastic could be bent too easily or broken with little force. I was incorrect.
While it does bend, that is not to say that it isn’t durable. After wearing them for a while myself, as well as having clients and peers try them out, I can safely say that the Scene Monitor will stand up to some punishment. The flexible head band still has a good grip around your ears, but not so much that they feel as if they were going to stretch out.
And on that note, the cushions for the speakers are very nice. Personally for me, I preferred the smooth set that came extra with the monitors. But to each their own and you can always offer up both to the client. But this is specifically notable because sparingly do headphones like these come with spare ear cushions. It definitely gives these a leg up.
The Field Monitor
Would you take a look at this little guy. We’ve all seen earpieces like this before. Mostly for comms and AD’s who need to keep one hand on the wheel. But this one is a little different. Often the people who are choosing to use single ear monitors are those who have to keep focussing on other tasks, while still wanting to be in the loop of the scene. I’ve also seen a boom op or two reach for single ear monitors so that they can be aware of their surroundings.
For whatever reason that you decide, the Field Monitor should be considered among the top tier options. With an ear hook that can swivel back and forth (so that you can wear it on either side), and rock solid audio quality, this IEM impresses. Like the Scene Monitor, the Field Monitor also comes with different sized earbuds. Thats a little more of a standard practice with any in ear monitor, but its still nice to note.
And since this is an IEM, the always appreciated clothing clip is attached for cable strain relief. All of us certainly love the fun of something tugging down at our ears while we’re trying to focus. The other thing that I wanted to point out about the Field Monitor is that it has a lower ohm impedance than the Scene Monitors. The benefit here is that it will function more effectively on low gain audio sources.
There is little more that I feel the need to remark about these products. They are very simple. And that’s a good thing in this case. Simple and effective, without any question marks or concerns about durability and quality. They are rock solid IFB monitoring choices which were designed by people who actually work in the field. They don’t just listen to the customer base, they ARE the customer base as well. And that point very much shows.
At their low price point and high quality, the Field and Scene Monitors should be on every audio professional’s shopping list. Cheers Halter Technical. Nice job!
Jared Elkin is a professional sound mixer located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.