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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Headphones

3. Open or closed ?

Open Systems

Open headphones work wonderfully for long listening sessions and producing natural sounding music. They fit comfortably and often loosely on the head and don’t block environmental sounds much. They are often so lightweight that you may even forget you have them on. If you like listening to music while walking, but prefer greater fidelity than consumer earphones offer, open back professional headphones are a good choice for both sound quality and safety. Each year people are injured while listening to music because they missed important environmental cues such as the sound of an oncoming automobile. However, open headphones rarely give the listener the sense of strong, deep bass that’s possible from closed designs.

Half Open Systems

Half open systems offer a compromise between open and closed systems. They provide much of the comfort of open designs but with richer bass content. Half open systems tend to prevent high frequency sounds from spilling but allow lower frequency bass content out (low frequencies have a longer wavelength and therefore tend to be harder to contain than high frequencies).

Closed Systems

Closed headphones have a hard plastic shell that helps to isolate the listener from the environment and also often fit more snugly, sealing the headphones on to the head very securely. This type of headphone has ear cushions that completely cover and surround the ears; open designs usually have smaller ear cushions that merely rest on the ears.As you may have surmised, closed systems provide the best bass response of all headphone types. The downside is that they are usually heavier, pressing more firmly to your ears and becoming uncomfortable more quickly than other designs. Also, heat and moisture can build up as, by design, there is little or no ventilation. Recording studios usually have several types of headphones available for different uses, but good closed back headphones are indispensable for live room use.

Some closed back headphones are specifically designed for drummers and live sound engineers. These often have extra sound blocking material inside the cushions, with specific level of sound rejection given in decibels (dB). These can also be very useful in the studio, since they can prevent a loud click track from spilling into drum or vocal mics better than other types of headphones.

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Terms and Conditions for participation
in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

  1. Competition

    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
  2. Participation

    1. Competitions are only open to persons of full age.
    2. To take part in the competition you must answer all questions correctly, fill in the registration form and submit your entry to Thomann GmbH by pressing the "send" button.
      By pressing the "send" button the participant accepts the aforementioned terms and conditions.
    3. The participant is responsible for entering their email and/or postal address correctly. Entries to the competition will be logged electronically.
  3. Qualifying Entrants

    1. Staff of Thomann GmbH and any cooperation partners and their dependants are excluded from participation.
    2. Should these conditions of participation be violated, especially by using illegitimate means, Thomann GmbH reserves the right to exclude persons from the competition. In case of such violations prizes can be withdrawn and claimed back subsequently.
  4. Announcing the winner

    1. The winners will be notified by Thomann GmbH by email or in writing and their names may be published on the homepage www.thomann.de. The winner accepts this form of publication explicitly.
      Should for whatever reason the winner not claim their prize, then a new winner will be drawn.
    2. The prize presented to the winner may not be identical to the item description. There can be deviances regarding the model, colour etc.
    3. The merchandise prizes will be sent by Thomann GmbH or by one of its contracting delivery companies, per freight forwarder, courier or postal service to the postal address indicated by the winner.

      The delivery is free of charge. Only extra transport costs and customs/duties must be covered by the winner. In the case that the delivery has to be made through a freight forwarding company the freight forwarding company will contact the winner to arrange delivery timings.
    4. An exchange, cash alternative or replacement prize is not possible.
    5. The claim to the prize or replacement of the prize cannot be assigned to a third party.
  5. Data protection

    1. The participant accepts explicitly that Thomann GmbH saves all necessary data for the duration of the competition and forwards them exclusively for purposes related to the winning process to the respective cooperation partner, who is also permitted to save the personal data only for the duration of the competition. The participant is free to withdraw his entry at any time. Please direct the withdrawal to:

      Thomann GmbH
      to the data protection officer
      Hans-Thomann-Straße 1
      96138 Burgebrach, Germany
    2. Thomann GmbH is obliged to consider the regulations for data protection according to the Federal Data Protection Law (BDSG) valid at the conclusion of the competition. In this context the general data protection regulations under notes regarding data protection should be noted.
  6. Liability

    1. Thomann GmbH will be released from any obligations by handing out the prize.
    2. Thomann GmbH is not liable for the insolvency of a cooperation partner and the resulting consequences for the implementation and processing of the competition.
  7. Other

    1. Legal proceedings are barred.
    2. The law of the Federal Republic of Germany applies exclusively.
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