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Core Sound High End Binaural microphone set (using DPA 4060/4061 capsules)

(Last updated 04/23/2013)

Flawn Williams, documentary and music recordist for public radio and independent projects, wrote:

The "High-End Binaural" set featuring the DPA 4060 mikes sounds great on voices and natural ambiances. Their low noise and strong output is a good match for the line input of consumer DAT and MD recorders. Having hundreds of hours of service between battery changes is a real plus. And when mounted on helmets or glasses, the mikes have such low mass that the wearer can forget they're there!

W.M., formerly of public radio and now a supervising audio engineer, wrote:

You may remember me when I was the technical director for [a public radio company] series. I've used your DPA 4060 system in Tibet, Nepal, Africa, the arctic on foot, horseback and elephant. They have performed like champs.

S.T.W. wrote:

...I'm going to place an order for another DPA-4060 [HEB/4060] set on the web site. I LOVE the mikes. I use them constantly and the results are simply stunning. I post a lot of what I record on Dimeadozen, and everyone comments on how great the sound is. Thank you so much for making such a great product, and for the great support after purchase.

W.H. in Boston wrote:

It's been many years since I purchased my 1st pair of HEB's from you back in Jan 1999! I roughly do 50 shows a year, 14 years, I'd say those mics have done close to 700 shows! Heat, sweat, snow, ice, we get everything out here in Boston.

You don't know how much happiness I've gotten from those mics! I own a lot of things, but my HEB's are the most valuable. I tape almost every week. I listen to the things I've recorded. Those mics sound awesome. I've never been disappointed in them. "The B&K sound!" I relied on those mics when I was at $150 shows, 5 hours from home! They always came through!

[He bought a new set!]

F.L.d.M, in Spain, wrote:

Your micros -with different recorders, last one the Sony PCM-D1- have allowed me taping almost 400 opera performances all around the world. The level of quality have been appreciated in my country National Broadcasting Radio Euskadi where I run a Live Opera Program with my own personal recordings and men in the Radio were astonished of the quality of the sound.

S.T.W. wrote:

I'm the proud owner of three pairs of HEB mics from you, which I love and use frequently. I usually use two pairs of them at once for concert recording, one attached to my glasses and the other mounted to bendable wire which I position at my collar.


Again, many thanks for building the best mics in the world. I have gotten hundreds of hours of pleasure from using them.

B.K. (NAB), a professional recording engineer using our PDAudio recording system, wrote:

I tried the HEBs on a SASS boundary (low stand) in front of a string quartet into my PDAudio system at 24/96 Sunday. All battery power. I've only had time for a quick listen, but I'm pleased with what I've heard. Impressed with the high frequency response of the mics--as you know, usable response over 40kHz. I was actually using this as a backup for the [Neumann] KU-100 (right in the middle and above the musicians) into the DSD recorder.

B.S. sent us a recording and wrote:

I just got your HEB mics and I have to say I love them. I thought I'd share a recording from the rolling thunder this weekend. Tens of thousand of motorcycles, I don't think I would of been able to capture it nearly as well or especially as easy without them. I rigged them on a backwards hat right at ear level. Recorded them at 24/96 right into a PCM D1. I'm amazed at how it captured the low end on those tiny capsules.

J.H. wrote:

I bought a set of your [HEB/]4060 mikes and I used them the other night to record in Grace Cathedral in SF. ... It came out fantastic ... the most incredible set of music I have ever heard. ... Un-believable sound! I feel like I won the lottery.

M.V.B wrote:

I have now purchased (2) sets of CSB mics, (1) set of HEB mics with 4060 capsules and the mic 24/96 and have loved them all. You make the best quality portable audio available in my opinion. I also appreciate the fact that these mics are so easy to sell used - I sold my 4060 mics on eBay for $850 after two years of use!

P.S. up in Ontario Canada sent us a HEB/4061 order and wrote:

These will be my third set of the HEBs. They truly do a great job. Looking forward to receiving them.

H.H, in the UK, wrote:

Build quality feels superb and the mics themselves are seriously tiny!

A.S., a DAT taper, wrote:

... I absolutely love those mics, and consider them one of the best audio investments I've ever made. I don't think that I've told you how happy I am with them before. I also regularly use them to record gigs by my own band.

JC.A. wrote:

Just a quick note to say thanks!

The high-end binaural mikes are really great. Having used small, cheap mikes from Sony and other brands, there really is no comparison. The high sensitivity is great: even from second tier near the back of Avery Fisher Hall, a notoriously poor acoustic environment, they do the job!

The small size and long cables make it easy to operate in stealth mode.

Thanks for allowing me to try the other mikes, and kindly refunding the initial payment.

The high end binaural mikes are worth every penny!

A real pleasure doing business with you.

P.C., a taper in Canada using a set of HEBs with Mic2496, wrote:

...I put them to use the next day after I met up with you in Teaneck. For copyright reasons I can't tell you who's playing...

...It was recorded in .wav with my NJB3 then slightly edited with Adobe Audition. The mics were clipped between the first row and the performers at about 30 cm distance from each other. It's amazing how much headroom there is on this setup! It wasn't even clipping during the applause. Very crisp yet warm. Thank you again.

J.G.S. (P.E.), using PDAudio-CF, Mic2496 and HEB/4060, wrote:

The other day I was making recordings in the anechoic chamber and kept noticing a "tick-tick-tick" my recordings at ambient (about 15 dBA). Turned out, it was my MagicStor CF drive. At first I was bummed. Then, I realized I had just made a high fidelity recording of one of the quietest devices one could possible work on. So, it looks like its solid state CF memory for my application but the signal to noise ratio and fidelity are awesome.

H.G. wrote:

The HEBs are fantastic! Connecting them to a Panasonic 3 CCD MiniDV camera and then videoing a recent concert of a local community youth orchestra at 16 bit yielded wonderful results! Thanks so much.

R.C. wrote:

Just wanted to drop you a note to say thanks. I had my first opportunity to use the [HEB] 4061's last night and I'm blown away. I actually recorded a spoken word piece (not screaming rock and roll) and can't believe how natural and warm the recording turned out. Awesome product, really worth the money.

M.P. wrote:

I wanted to take a moment and express my satisfaction with my new recording setup. I purchased a set of your HEB4060's along with your new mic2496 preamp & PDaudio card. I'm currently running an HP IPAQ 5555 with dual card expansion pack for the PDaudio card and 5gb drive. Software being used at present is Pocco 's Wichita and Gidlucks Live 2496.

I've had several good recording sessions with great results. The HEB4060's sound absolutely incredible. Several listeners are amazed with the sound quality from such a small microphone setup. I started out a few years ago with a DAT deck and have also used a laptop on several occasions for recording. I find the PDA combined with your products my favorite. I highly recommend it.

J.B, an engineer/producer in Canada, wrote:

I've run through/tested the HEB's, and must say, they sound awesome! Nice detail, and they sound very clear and uncoloured (and quiet!). I will keep this set...

By the way, that is the nicest miniplug (Switchcraft) end I have ever seen! Didn't know they made real pro-level mini's.

M.S. wrote:

By the way, I was finally able to compare a set of Audio-technica binaural microphones provided by [another manufacturer] to your DPA 4060s thanks to a friend. The Audio-technicas sound like the first microphones ever invented compared to the DPA mics.

S.S. wrote:

I recommended Core Sound to a friend of mine today... and I realized that in the 16 months that I've been enjoying my HEB's I haven't yet written you to tell you how MUCH I've been enjoying them.

As a multi-media artist and motion picture sound designer, I've had the pleasure of capturing all kinds of fantastic sound with my HEBs. I say pleasure for the following reasons: stunning sound quality, first and foremost (nice freq. response, low self-noise); great binaural and stereo imaging; small size and big ease-of-use. I've never before heard recordings that sound as realistic as those I've created with my HEBs - in listening to my DATs upon returning from the field, I've often caught myself turning my head in response to sounds from the virtual space (Ha! These mics fooled my nervous system! Pretty cool.) Well, since I've owned them, the HEBs have joined me in the loud pit of a 200 mph racecar crew, along the quiet shore of a lonely alpine lake, and in all manner of places in between. Aside from the initial recordings that I did before acquiring one of Core's attenuator cables (a key component to prevent overloading of my M1's preamps in loud environments), everything's come out very much to my liking. Thanks Core Sound.

V.H., a DAT taper in Finland, wrote:

The microphones arrived on Thursday (28th), just a day before a very interesting blues festival. So I had one day to try to get used to the microphones and the TCD-D100 (which I had received 2 days earlier). ...

Despite a couple of while-recording amateur incidents during the weekend I succeeded to record 4 gigs with amazing results. ...

I have found the recording hardware very high quality and amazingly useful. Here in Finland the national music scene doesn't get taped almost at all when speaking about live acts so even the artists themself can be quite interested in obtaining live documents of their career and for that reason may easily give you permission to record their shows. Some of the very young world-class guitar virtuoses (I know only one) don't even have any official/commercial material. And because of these facts, with the enjoyable, uncolored quality one can produce with your HEB mics, I have now a very rare opportunity to catch some historical acts.

Thank you Len, and others working for you, for the high quality microphones. I'm already planning to order some more cords and hardware when I just have the needed amount of money.

Nick Georges (owner of "Nick's Picks" Web site) wrote:

Folks, let me tell ya flat out that this mics are just mind blowing in every regard from ease of use, sound, accuracy, size, durability, etc. I could gush for pages on the virtues of them for they are, w/o doubt, the finest micro mics on the market. ...

I don't know much out there that will compare to the performance of these mics. Buying the HEBs from Core Sound for a small premium over stock 4060's gets you excellent components, sturdy construction, matched mics and roll-off. That is actually not a bad deal considering what you get.

(You can see the rest of Nick's very kind review at: http://www.nickspicks.com/rev-core.htm

P.S., a taper in the U.K., wrote:

The mics arrived safe and sound about a week ago - thanks very much! I've carried out a couple of test recordings - walking around my flat, street sounds and recording wildlife and joggers up on a nearby Heath. The sound quality is nothing short of amazing!! I'm very impressed with the uncoloured and even response right across the frequency spectrum, not to mention their very low self noise. Also, the sheer depth and outside-of-headphone soundstage experience is outrageously good!

I've got some future recording projects lined up so I'll write again to let you know how these turn out!

Many thanks for creating a superb product!

J.M., a taper in Michigan, wrote:

The HEB's have been working out GREAT. I've done 5 concerts with them so far ranging from quite classical to loud rock-n-roll and have been impressed with the sound quality every time. The "stealthiness" is incredible; I've prepared a shirt with the mics under the collar and now my wife can't even tell when I'm wearing them.

J.S. wrote:

I have a pair of your High End Binaural microphones that I purchased about three years ago. I have used them hundreds of times to record live music and have been extremely pleased with the results.

M.D., a DAT taper, wrote:

Thank you so much for all your help in setting me up with what I have found to be the best microphones I've yet experienced --the DPA4060 (Core HEBs). I use the DPAs with the Zefiro Inbox connected to my Sony PCM-M1 DAT. Once I complete my home digital recording studio, I'll also record with the DPAs connected directly into my computer. I primarily am recording acoustic instruments such as guitar and piano. I'm also recording nature sounds, which I mix down with some of my acoustic music.

In my search (and research) for a great pair of microphones (my budget was around $2000 for a pair), I tried six different mics including the DPAs: Earthworks QTC1, AKG C4000B, AKG C414BTLII, Alesis AM52 and Neumann KM184. I compared these mics using the same equipment in the same room using the same acoustic guitar (and piano). Only the DPAs and the Earthworks gave me a truly non-colored sound. The other mics just didn't sound true to my guitar (and my partner's piano). Surprisingly, the Earthworks sounded a bit mushy in the bass, whereas the DPAs came across crystal clear and sharp. I find the DPAs to be extremely accurate and clear, and not at all harsh. In fact the DPAs have what I would call a "natural" warmth -- not at all colored, but a sound that I would best describe as very easy to listen to. I chose the DPA4060, as opposed to the other DPAs, for their lower self-noise level, which I found to be comparable to that of the Earthworks QTC1. Some of these other mics I tried have a lower self-noise level, but for me that wasn't worth the sacrifice of better sound quality.

So I came in well under budget, and I don't need phantom power so it's very easy for me to record anywhere: in the studio, in my bedroom, in the forest.

Thanks again and all the best,

J.B. wrote:

Those DPA 4060 mics you cabled up for me several months ago are better than I could have *ever* expected. It was such a huge difference over the Sound Professional Binaurals (Panasonic type) I had been using. The lower noise and larger dynamic range are two huge pluses these new mics are now affording me with your help. I don't ever think I'll see the need to keep looking for better equipment after the latest purchase to add to my D100. Even though they are binaurals, they don't pick up the audience chatter as bad as the Panasonic type did which really make the recordings so much more enjoyable.

H.V., a taper in Germany, wrote:

Yesterday, I made some test recordings down in the city on the streets. At this recording situation, you can't say anything other than "100% perfect!" Can't hear any distortions or imperfections. They handle even complicated things brilliantly (e.g. a car passing behind a street violinist...). Of course there is a emphasis on the high frequencies (due to the protection grid) and as a consequence, the binaural locations go wrong to a certain degree. But I consider this desirable, because you can easily correct it in postproduction (wheras, if the mics would capture lesser high frequencies or too much basses, this couldn't be corrected afterwards). I am now looking ahead at making real music recordings this fine mics.

A taper in England writes:

Whilst I was pleased with the microphones I was using previously, the HEBs improve upon their performance in two important ways: firstly, the HEBs are tonally very neutral and, secondly, they are very quiet, with a S/N ratio which must be about the finest achievable for a microphone of this sort suitable for audience recordings. In every venue in which they have been used, the HEBs have produced highly accurate recordings of both orchestral, vocal and instrumental classical music.

J.B., a DAT taper, wrote:

I've made 4 recordings so far all up front near the stage. One bluegrass, one folk, and 2 loud rock and all have had excellent sound with the bluegrass outstanding. They have not all had what I would call outstanding sound because the sound at the venues was unfortunately not outstanding which for me means very bright which I do not find that often at shows. All the recordings sounded better at home than at the show. I stealthed all for practice with mics on my chest using the long mic stem. One of the rock shows was a test from various positions in the hall from at the stage to the back to the front of the balcony and then the back. Surprisingly the best sound was as the back of the balcony but mainly because there was too much loud talking going on everywhere else. All the positions sounded excellent but there was a drop in levels the further I moved back. I have not been able to compare them with other mics as the one person I asked for comparison was not interested. I am glad I upgraded to these and am happy with them.

S.F., a DAT taper wrote:

Tapes Phil & Phriend last night with the HEBs. I didn't have a floor ticket for last night but I had a balcony seat directly behind the SDB 2 rows back. I'm a die hard floor taper but I said what the hell. The tapes sound better than some of my floor recordings!!!

R.C., a DAT user wrote:

My first quick test are very positive...fabulous separation and space effect. Quality seems to be very good, and I am pleased so far that I went for the Danish units.

A UK DAT taper writes:

I have wanted to write up some comments on the HEB mics and have been holding out until I have had sufficient experience with them. Also, I've found that to properly judge a tape's quality you have to live with it for a while. I often revise my opinion over time (usually downwards!).

I've taped a fair number of shows with the HEBs now: a total of around 17, covering a variety of music types and venues. (A huge arena, theatre, club, pub, and an unamplified gig in the back room of a pub.)

I'm extremely impressed with the accuracy of reproduction of what I hear at concerts. There is no boominess (my reason for upgrading from the Core Sound Binaurals) and no apparent need to use a bass roll off. I've found no need to do any sound equalizing on playback (except when I used the roll off when I shouldn't have been!). The mics work well at distance - forty-odd rows back - as well as close up, of course.

The size is a major attraction. For the first time I've been able to tape mics to my glasses frames (near my ears, hidden by my short hair) and make proper binaural recordings while retaining stealthiness. I did start out with the mics around my collar (old habits die hard) but found a significant improvement moving them up to my ears.

I was looking for mics I could use for years and feel no inclination to upgrade, and I think I've found them.

D.O. wrote:

Still have the DPA 4061s you sold me back in 98 and still love them!

P.D., a DAT taper in Italy, write:

By now I have recorded 12 concerts with the HEBs , including piano recitals, chamber music for 2 to 10 performers (strings, winds, piano) and a baroque oratorio (for chamber orchestra, choir and vocal soloists). The mics were always mounted on eyeglass frames, as near to the ears as possible, and aimed almost directly towards the performers, only slightly to the sides.

Having little experience with other microphones, I can only say that what made me buy my first portable DAT recorder six months ago was the secret hope to achieve recordings like these.

Most of them sound remarkably natural and pleasant when played back through my Audiolab 8000 DAC and B&W 802 speakers, very 'complete', with deep and powerful bass frequencies (slightly emphasized perhaps, but not obtrusive). With the short grids mounted, high frequencies are a bit too sharp (I often use them all the same because otherwise the alligator clips are unusable, and I still feel a little uneasy about using the mics without protection). The space effect is already pleasant when listening through the speakers, and of course it improves with the headphones.

In general the sound is a hint neater than the original listening experience; the oratorio was recorded in one of Rome's hugest churches (not St Peter's, anyway!), far away from the performers, with extremely long and strong reverberations: on the recording the music is a little more intelligible than in reality (!), although it conveys a very realistic 'church effect'.

He later wrote:

Here are the latest news about my HEBs:

1) Very good results with organ and with symphony orchestra: they cope with complex, composite sounds without losing in cleanness and transparency of sound.

M.E., a taper in Singapore, writes:

The mics are fantastic. I have used them in a number of situations and found their inconspicuous size and excellent sonic qualities allow me to get recordings I otherwise would not be able to capture. Can't wait to use them again.

D.O., a DAT taper in California, writes:

Well, your HEBs performed better than I could've ever expected. The highs are clear and crisp as ever, without sounding artificially enhanced, and the lows are rich without being boomy and overbearing. I can't imagine a situation where the Bass roll-off modification would be needed as these were fairly Bass-heavy shows and the recordings still sound perfect. These are THE stealth taper's answer to all the problems with every other mic on the market, including the Bins and Cards that you already sell. Their size along with their performance are second to none. The recordings I made sound better than any other tape that I've heard from this tour so far and some of the shows were taped with Schoeps CCM4's, Neuman's and a host of other *high-end* stealth mics.

A classical music DAT taper in Maryland wrote:

I record classical piano music. Having used mics by Audio Technica, Sony, and your own CSBs, the HEB 4060's are a definite and worthy improvement! I prefer the warmth of these omni's to the dryness of the AT822 cardiods, the clarity to the Sony ECM737 and ECM959 mics, and the quietness to the CSBs. The size and portability of the HEB 4060's also played a major factor in my upgrade. I should also note that I've recorded chamber music and vocal music with the HEB 4060's, and emerged with FANTASTIC results. For recording piano (which has a more percussive nature) I would highly recommend using Len's 11dB Passive Attenuator Cable with the HEB 4060's so as to avoid overloading the mic pre. Len's always been very helpful in advising me on the use of his mics and very accommodating in rushing orders for me, so I'd also highly recommend the outstanding service at Core Sound.

If anyone's interested in trading classical music, email me at gcziffra@hotmail.com!

H.I., in Europe, wrote:

Three weeks ago I purchased a Zefiro Inbox preamp/AD converter and two DPA microphones at Core Sound. Thanks for the products, I'm very pleased with the well-build quality and not to forget the sound quality of the units. Especially the microphones sound really transparent in comparison to other small miniature microphones. For near-field recordings the sound of the microphones leans perhaps towards a thin sound (in combination with the Zefiro Inbox), but which effect nicely compensate for the frequency loss when recording at longer distances and also correct for boomy sounds in most acoustical environments.

D.O., a DAT taper in California, wrote:

I recently had the pleasure of using a set of Len's HEBs for 2 shows and had great results. The first show was at an open air venue where I was seated approximately 15 rows from the stage. The recording has ZERO boom, which is commonly associated with the Binaurals, but instead has crystal clear highs, without sounding artificially enhanced, and very warm rich bass response. Even the vocals, which tend to dissipate easily in these venues, had tremendous presence on the recording. The second show, also in an open air venue, I was lucky enough to be seated approximately 8 feet from a set of stacks on the stage and the recording is spectacular. Every instrument is well defined on the recording. The mics I used had the standard(non-roll off) box and the bass was neither too heavy nor muddied in the recording. They are a worthwhile upgrade if you can afford the $900+ price tag.

D.H. wrote:

Just a quick thank you for getting my new toys to me so fast. I have literally spent the whole day experimenting with them and they look and sound great! The microphones alone are a big improvement over the CSB's (don't get me wrong, I loved those too), but the real magic happens when you hook up the Inbox. I never noticed how canned and tunnelized the music I have been recording sounded until I used the Inbox and compared. It finally has real ambiance. I don't think we (the taper) could have asked for a better discrete taping setup.

B.M., a DAT taper, wrote:

I bought these microphones to do specifically stealth operations with my new Sony M1 DAT recorder. I wanted to get some good mics that i would not have to pass on after a couple of months in favor on better ones. When i told my girlfriend and coworkers that i was spending $900+ on microphones, they all told me i was absolutely nuts. I knew they were going to make some good recordings. What i didn't know was that they were going to be this good!! I taped a festival concert last week with mics mounted to my glasses, not only did the sound come out great, you cant even hear the small amount of talking that was done in my close vicinity. I was really worried that the tapes would be bad because of drunk conversations, not a chance! The mics picked up what they needed to pick up, crisp clear music. Not a problem with the highs at all and took the low end with no problem. The first guy that i played the tapes for that wasn't at the show told me that it sounded like an official release. Now if my technique was as good as the microphones, my DAT and me will make some excellent tapes.

An overwhelmingly satisfied customer, great mics Len and thanks for the understanding service. You went a lot further than i expected to make sure i made it to the festival with my new mics.

P.H., on the DAT-heads mailing list, wrote:

...The 'original' Core Sound Binaurals look huge in comparison!

...I've found that room boominess is never exaggerated nor 'invented' with these mics. The sound is clear and accurate and, when appropriate, powerful and meaty! I've found that use of the bass roll off is not necessary because the mics handle the bass sound so well.

...I am still amazed at how miniature they are.

...The size of the mics makes proper binaural placement easy - especially if you wear glasses :) - which means very accurate stereo imaging is achievable. If you keep your head still during a recording, the playback over headphones is very realistic.

S.C., in the UK, writes:

I wasn't expecting them to be quite so small - they are wonderfully inconspicuous. Although I haven't had a chance to listen through the whole tape yet, even on a quick listen I can hear the difference - the sound is much more natural and real. The bass is a little strong - but then it was at the show and its completely undistorted with no boom. I didn't use the filter as I thought I could easily adjust the bass on the computer afterwards. The mics give a nice level through the line in too.

So I just wanted to say thanks and congratulate you on some wonderful mics. I'm looking forward to many years of high quality recordings.

D-W.R. wrote:

Enjoying them?? I LOVE 'em. Their insanely small size coupled with absolutely brilliant sound quality makes this the best bang for the buck I've ever seen. I had so much faith in them that I drove over 4000 miles round trip to New York to tape my favorite band. The recordings came out gorgeous.. one even sounds so good it'd be hard to distinguish it from a soundboard.

J.L., a MiniDisc taper in the, US wrote:

First, I have to tell you that your high-end binaural mics are amazing! I've used them to record a coffee house performance and a latin band at DAR Constitution Hall on a Sony MX-R70 mini-disk and both recordings are like being there, except the seats are more comfortable.

Dr. Les Turoczi wrote a review for the "Stereo Times" Web magazine.



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