Review : Vic Firth SIH1 Isolation Headphones

Vic Firth SIH1

A bit left field with this post, I’m going to review a set of Vic Firth SIH1 Headphones and share my (positive) experience with Vic Firth Customer Service.

First off, a bit of a disclaimer, I’m no headphone aficionado so don’t expect an in depth analysis of the quality against any other headphones on the market!

Vic Firth predominantly make drum sticks, so inevitably these headsets are aimed at drummers.  I play both acoustic and electric drums, so ideally I needed a set of headphones to use with both…

Acoustic

As a drummer it’s really important to take your hearing seriously, without protection you will damage your hearing, and likely end up with tinnitus.  I’ve used Musicians Ear Plugs in the past and have to say I prefer the headset for extended play.

Whilst wearing the headset the volume is significantly reduced to a sensible level, it also has the benefit of dampening some of the ‘ring’ from the cymbals (personal preference, I suppose!).

The headset can be very loud, so it’s important not to crank the volume too high, else you’ll damage your hearing either way.  At moderate volumes, the audio delivery is comfortably audible making it easy to play along with music or a click track.

Electric

The electric kit is the one I use most and really the reason I bought the headphones.  While preventing hearing damage isn’t a direct concern on an electric kit, playing the kit still produces sound from hitting the pads.  Cutting this out definitely offers a better playing experience, which is where I find these headphones to excel.

I regularly play along with music through them, to my untrained ear the sound quality is great, and I suspect 99% of users would agree.

I’ve worn the headset for a few hours at a time with minimal breaks without any real discomfort, which again is an important consideration.

Customer Service

I think it’s important to note that I’ve read a few reports of a problem with these headphones that the audio driver’s wiring can become loose over time.

Unfortunately, this happened to me having had the headphones for approaching two years.  The left driver became inactive, making them fairly useless for audio playback.

I contacted Vic Firth Customer Service who actually replaced them even though they were well out of warranty at this point, which obviously they were by no means obligated to do.  This issue may have been resolved in newer pairs.

Overall

Given the trade off between sound isolation and quality, the Vic Firth SIH1 offers a solid option, at a reasonable price (you can spend as much as you like on headphones).

As above, my pair did eventually give up, but this was resolved by Vic Firth, and I don’t feel the risk of this happening is prohibitive enough not to buy them.

I’d happily recommend a pair of these.

Vic-Firth-SIH1.jpg
Vic Firth SIH1

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