Halter Technical is a company started by people who actually worked in the field, and who really experienced the types of troubleshooting, pitfalls, successes, and desires of sound professionals first hand. When it comes to IFB headphones, the demands are not as simple as our own. It greatly factors in how the client will feel wearing them. I say “wearing them” in a broad way, because we all know that clients will bend them, sit on them, leave them places, and/or strew them into areas with other gear. They’re also going to have specific tastes about how heavy or light that they want their headphones. This is where Halter Technical comes in, and the new version of the Scene Monitor once again has us covered.
(I previously reviewed the original Scene Monitor, along with the Field Monitor when they first released. You can see that review here: https://wavreport.com/2018/11/05/review-halter-field-and-scene-monitors/)
In this instance, simplicity is key. What we want here is lightweight, good sounding, and durable, and like the original model, we have just that.
Comprised of a firm, yet bendable plastic, the new Scene Monitor feels right at home in my hand and on my head. It’s difficult to determine what is the right amount of “hold” that an IFB headphone should have on your head. You kind of just feel it for yourself. I can say that the Scene Monitor hits that mark for me. I also expect that it will with most my of clients.
Above, you can see them compared to the original model. The first thing that I noticed was that the new model is a little bit bigger and a little bit wider. While the original model could sometimes feel somewhat flimsy, it still had shocking durability. Seriously, I have had clients do wild things with their IFB headphones, and I’m not even talking about when I’ve had some that were outwardly destroyed in anger (not directed at me, because who could ever be mad at me?). That being said, I do welcome the new model adding just a touch more robustness over the original. I haven’t had any of the old ones break yet, but you never know.
Also, after having used the originals for a while, I think that they might have been too a bit too lightweight, in that they didn’t hold onto the head as well when compared to how the new model does. The new Scene Monitors feel better seated, without feeling as if they are squeezing me.
Other differences worth noting are the thickness and shape of the actual cans, as well as the fact that the headphones extend and retract with different resistances. Something that I didn’t notice as much at the time that I reviewed the original model was that after some use, they became too easy to extend or retract. Halter Technical clearly noticed this because you have to give it a bit of torque to change the length of the headband on the new model. Not too much torque, but just enough. I’d much rather that, than having them moving positions when they weren’t supposed to. This is especially difficult to achieve as you keep getting lighter and lighter weight.
Above I want to point out my only other concern after long term use of the original model, which was how easy it became for the pads to fall off. It’s not like they just came off in their storage case, but on someone’s head, being roughly shifted around could detach the pad. You can see an example of me moving it on the left. On the right you can see me trying to do the same thing on the new model. It may be hard to see, but I’m pushing decently hard in this picture. The pad is very well seated, and I do not have any worries that its just going to fall off.
So here we are. That’s about as much as I can say, and it’s a good thing too, because this type of gear should be simple. They sound crisp and clear, they have slick branding that tells your clients that you didn’t just hobble together whatever was laying around, they are super reasonably priced, they are lightweight and durable, and I feel confident handing these to high profile clients. Sound might be our game, but there is also a visual component to what we do in how we present ourselves. Showing that we have a synergy to our gear and its storage, tells a client that we are serious about our business and our craft. For that reason, and those above, I know that I will reach for Halter Technical gear for all of my IFB headphone needs.
(And if you want the option for something even more robust for when the client really wants the Rolls Royce treatment, check our our review of the Halter Technical Elite Monitors! https://wavreport.com/2020/09/07/review-halter-technical-elite-monitors/)
Jared Elkin is a Production Sound Mixer based out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area