Direct Sound EX-29 Professional Headphones: Review

The rise in popularity of consumer-oriented headphones doesn’t change the fact that professional musicians and those stuck working in other noisy environments are looking for a different kind of product. The Direct Sound EX-29 aims to please that market by focusing on primarily on noise isolation. And unlike so many consumer products which attempt to do so with white noise, this product is based entirely on acoustics.

The result is impressively straightforward in terms of just how well it buries outside noise. It’s not a surprise to learn that the EX-29 was invented by a drummer who was trying to keep unwanted artifacts from bleeding into the mix. Accordingly, these headphones are ideally suited toward musicians while working.

Consumers may be tempted to eye the EX-29 as well if they find themselves regularly in noisy environments. In that regard these are effectively $129 headphones with the overall audio quality of $99 headphones, which is to say they get the job done on a consumer level – but they’re clearly more oriented toward those who place noise isolation at a premium. Whether that’s worth an extra $30 to consumers is up to them.
But when it comes to the intended pro audience, the Direct Sound EX-29 is easily recommendable.

Bill Palmer
Bill Palmer is Editor in Chief of Beatweek Magazine. His editorial contributions include interviews with musicians and iPhone industry coverage.

1 Comment

  1. Gary on February 18, 2015 at 8:24 am

    I’m a studio guy, but I’m also a consumer. I used to be a KLH 141 guy in the studio, loved the isolation, sound quality and durability, then the price went up and the quality went down. I see a lot of engineers using Sonys in the studio, but they sound awful and fall apart so easily. When I found the Direct Sound EX-29s I was very happy, they sound great, give great isolation, put up with punishment and they are very comfortable.

    I wear them on airplanes to save my ears with the 29dB of noise reduction, and they are comfortable enough where I can keep them on for a long flight and forget I’m wearing them.

    I still have my original pair of EX-25s, the lighter pair, they are that durable, unlike the Sonys that might fall apart if you stare at them too long.

    Of course what really sold me on them was the exceptional sound quality. The quality holds up to headphones that are two or three times the price.

    I am also a “buy American” kind of guy when possible, and these are made by a couple of guys in Missouri who I always see at AES conventions. They go to other shows too, so you can meet them, chat with them. They are really nice guys and dedicated to producing a quality product.

    These headphones get my top rating, both for studio and personal use.

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