Headphones

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jasonbot, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. Jasonbot macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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    The Rainbow Nation RSA
    #1
    I am looking for some affordable over-ear noise cancelling headphones.

    I saw the Sony MDR-NC50's which are in my prices bracket, I hear they're uncomfortable.

    I also saw the sennheiser HD-555/595's which I'm not too sure whether they have active noise cancelling?

    Are they maybe others out there that are worth a look?
     
  2. JDN macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    What do you mean by noise canceling? Bose to active noise canceling headphones, but they are very expensive.
     
  3. Jasonbot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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    #3
    Anything that cancels noise, without the price point of the Bose's. I saw some by Logitch as well, any comments?
     
  4. kimnkk macrumors member

    kimnkk

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    #4
    I don't know about noise cancelling, but what about closed 'phones?

    Also, what's your budget for a pair?
     
  5. Grakkle macrumors 6502a

    Grakkle

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    #5
    I have the Sennheiser 555s, and they're great headphones, but I wouldn't say they're noise-cancelling. However, the sound is very full, and except for very loud noises you can't hear outside sounds when listening to music at a normal volume on the 'phones.

    when you say "active noise-cancelling" you mean headphones that are specifically designed to block outside noise, right?
     
  6. pianoman macrumors 68000

    pianoman

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    #6
    i have the Sony MDR-NC50 headphones and they are very comfortable. i tried out both the Sony and Bose and i couldn't justify the price difference.
     
  7. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

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    #7
    I've had the same pair of Sony MDR-7506 phones for about 12 years and I love their sound and they are very comfortable. I recommend them highly.
     
  8. Stacc macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 22, 2005
    #8
    I would recommend you get the sennheiser hd 280. While these do not have active noise canceling, they are probably the best closed headphone you can buy and will block a good deal of sound.

    If you must have noise canceling, I have heard good things about the sennheiser pcx 250.

    Also, the 555/595's are very good headphones. For the money they cost, you can't get much better sound quality. This comes with the fact that they are open which means that there is nothing between the sounds around you and your ear. You will easily be able to hear things around you. With that said, they are my headphones of choice.
     
  9. Jasonbot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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    #9
    Well The thing about the pxc 250's are that they arent over the ear 'phones like the pxc 350's. I feel the small size of the 250's won't actually cancel noise-Am I mad for making these accustaions?

    So the 555/595's are good for sound quality but not for noise cancelling? The thing is taht I want to be able to just sit in my room and enjoy the silence...

    My final list is here:
    Sony MDR-NC50
    Sennheiser PXC 350
    Sennheiser 555/595
    Logitech Noise Cancelling Headphones
    Creative HN-700 (Really wild card)

    So All teh above are from vary varied makers with varied prices. I put the creative ones in 'coz I just need some advice, no need spending the cash on something triple the price for soemthing with half the function.

    I also need your expert advice on the issue because, as always, macrumors members pwn all!
     
  10. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

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    #10
    Of course you are free to decide for yourself but I implore you to at least seriously research the 7506s first. They are not "noise cancelling" but when I have them on I can barely hear what is going on around me. If my music is at the level I like to listen to it I can't hear anything, including the phone ringing. Based on a number of reviews I have read of the MDR-NC50s, I can't help but think that the 7506s have a far superior sound (when hooked to a decent receiever, the bass is INCREDIBLE). Read up if you care to:

    http://www.audioreview.com/PRD_118049_2750crx.aspx#review0

    Click the "view all" tab to read summaries of all the reviews rather than 5 at a time.
     
  11. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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  12. Jasonbot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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    #12
    Just to sit in my room and get away from the sounds of the world actually...
     
  13. Pastorius macrumors newbie

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    Brazil
    #13
    If you just want to sit in your room, buy closed headphones. Noise-cancelling won't work well with ambient sounds, only with constant, droning sounds, like an airplane or a fridge or something. It's not very effective at cancelling noise that isn't repeating and constant. And if you WANT to get on a plane, just buy any of the Sennheiser PCX series. They don't close over your ear, but THEY DON'T HAVE TO. If you put one of those babies on, it's as if someone turned off the plane. Physics crash course:

    When you have two waves which have crests intersecting with troughs (or, in other words, one being the inverse of the other), there is destructive interference and they both cancel out.

    The noise-cancelling does just that: it "notices" your ambient sound and produces an inverse wave, which it then feeds along with the music. Pretty smart. You don't hear the inverse wave because it cancels out with the external noise. It doesn't work as well with sound that keeps changing, like someone talking, because the noise-cancelling can't keep up with the change in wave pattern. Now, for just sitting in your room, any closed headphones are good. I've had good experiences with AKG in the past. Right now I'm using a Sony Eggo, though it's very old and I desperately need new headphones. Headphones are a VERY GOOD investment if you enjoy music. Don't be afraid of shelling out $250, your ears will thank you in the following couple of years.
     
  14. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #14
    In that case, closed phones. Your choice then boils down to In ear (some people find it uncomfortable, but can be very unobtrusive and certainly least stuffy in warm weather), Around ear (most comfortable for headphone type) or Over ear (more isolation in some cases but much less comfortable).

    If you want something portable, with a couple of exceptions it will be Over ear in In ear.

    Is there a lot of importance on noise blocking? i.e. How much noise are you expecting to do away with?
     
  15. Jasonbot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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    #15
    The problem is that none of the nearby shops will let me test their headphones so I actually have no idea how effective noise-cancelling headphones will actually help me! Even if the noise is not totally cancelled I would just love silence overall and for this I think I'll wait for teh new pxc's to be realeased.

    The other problem I am now faced with is the sound quality of "low-cost" nc headphones vs. "expensive" ones.

    DOes anyone have any info on teh price for the Sennheiser PXC-350's I tink if these arent so expensive I'll buy them, do they compete directly with teh Bose QC2's? or is Bose on a completely different playing field altogether!
     
  16. Stacc macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 22, 2005
    #16
    I would not be too impressed with the bose brand name. I have heard the active noise canceling bose and while they do cancel noise, I was not impressed by the sound quality. Headroom gives the sennheiser pcx 300 relatively high marks for active noise canceling cans and can be found on Amazon for only $180.

    If none of these appeal to you I would also encourage you to check on IEM(in ear monitors) that, while not active noise canceling, tend to block out quite a bit of noise. Some nice brans here are Ultimate Ears or Shure.

    Are you looking to listen to music through these or just aiming for silence? If it is silence you seek there are headphone like contraptions that just block out sound and don't play music. I am thinking of aviation like headphones with no radio built in. These would also be cheaper then a set of headphones.
     
  17. Jasonbot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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    #17
    I guess you are correct on the stereotypical image that large cpmpanies like bose pose on the consumer. I am indeed looking for over-ear noise-cancelling headphones and not simply ear-muff sound cancelling doohickeys.
     
  18. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #18
    This would be my recommendation. Active noise-cancelling gives me one hell of a headache.

    Sennheiser's HD-280 Pros are a steal at $100 and do a ton of passive noice cancelling. That's my recommendation.
     
  19. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #19
    Actually any of the Boses do a pretty good job contrary to the naysayers. You have to understand that like Windows guys who put down Macs and Mac guys who put down Windows, a lot of the Bose-basher's experience is effectively down to a few minutes in a store. They are application specific though and may not suit you.

    As a poster said above, noise cancelling phones do squat for noises to be encountered in the typical home overlooking a busy street for example. The NC phones cancels out steady droning noises like computer fans, air-cons, etc very well. The PXC250, Bose QC's are really good at it. The PXC's though aren't very well acoustically isolated so in a plane although you miss the engine noise, you definitely don't miss the screaming kid in the row behind you. The QC is acoustically isolated as well as noise cancelling so does a much better job, but unless you're flying or you do want to drown out air-con noise you're wasting money on a redundant capability (the NC). I happen to think that the QC's are better than the PXC's for that purpose but some label snobs might disagree.

    I'd say the choice for you probably comes down to the AKG K81DJ (potentially uncomfortable but a decent do-everythinger), Bose Triport (best comfort, bass a little overwhelming for home use), Sennheiser HD280 (on the heavy side, not actually that much more isolating and a little boring) and at the cheaper end the Sennheiser HD212 Pro (rougher than the rest but not unpalatable, on-ear fit may not be comfortable, offers large bass and decent isolation).

    You could even look into noise isolating low cost in-earphones like the Sennheiser CX300, Shure E2c, etc, although sonically these are not as hot as even the 212 Pro. But they are a whole lot more portable, and in the case of the E2c more isolating.
     
  20. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #20
    The current offerings from Bose might do "a pretty good job", but they're waaaaay over-priced for what you get.

    For the price, Bose is crap.
     
  21. ktbubster macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

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    Jan 20, 2007
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    US
    #21
    My dad actually got a pair of the second to newest revision of the Bose noise canceling headphones free from his work for some bonus thingy. I actually have to say in my experience they were amazing. Great sound, and GREAT noise canceling. I wore them without music even just in the car to cancel out the traffic (dad was driving obviously) so I could snooze on the way easier.

    In anycase, they are probably a bit pricey though.

    For Christmas my dad got me a pair of Panasonic RP-HC300 noise canceling headphones. I think they cost about 100 dollars.

    They are great. Very comfortable and seem very durable. I use them all the time in my studio to drone out the people around me as well as the other horrendous mix of hiphop/reggae (no offense meant to anyone who likes it, but mixed with the sound of the machines in the room next door it's just painful) and listen to my own music and they really do the trick.

    I would definitely suggest them.
     
  22. pna macrumors 6502

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    May 27, 2005
    #22
    I'd highly recommend the Shure series of in-ear headphones. They really do sound great (even the lowest model of the bunch, the e2c), and block out pretty much everything except for the music. I don't know how I got along without them. The e2c's are what I have, and you can usually find them for $65 or so on sale, with a satisfaction guarantee.
     

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