Noise cancelling, in-ear headphones

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jywv8, May 28, 2008.

  1. jywv8 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 11, 2003
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    Chicago
    #1
    I'm looking for some recommendations for noise cancelling, in-ear headphones. I will be using them with my iPod on airplanes.

    I have a pair of Sennheiser PXC 250 headphones, but they are kind of bulky to travel with and grow very uncomfortable on my ears after an hour or so. Hence, the search for in-ear headphones.
     
  2. wideholic macrumors newbie

    wideholic

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    May 4, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #2
    :)

    :DI used several Noise Canceling earphones.

    I use iPods and other devices as well as Kenwood , iriver, cowon etc.

    In my personal opinion Shure's E line and SE line was the best matching

    for iPods. I strongly recommend Shure SE530. It has deep bass and catchs

    up voices well and eliminates 90% of noises. I must say when i first listen

    to this monster.. I was holy cow !!!!

    Retail $$ is 499 or something but you can easily buy this thing for

    300 these days.. But if you can I also recommend Bose QC headphones..

    :apple:;)
     
  3. jywv8 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Yikes. I was looking for something less than $150, preferably less than $100.
     
  4. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #4
    I'd steer clear of the Shure for now. They've had terrible trouble with quality and I'm really disappointed with mine for that reason (SE210). Shure have been using a plastic wire covering across their range that has been hardening and splitting within a few months.

    Shure do replace them promptly under warranty, but some people have had to go through multiple changes within a year. Being in Australia is also terrible as I have to go a couple of weeks without them. It's really unacceptable and you're of course stuck once your warranty runs out. This thread on head-fi.org has a representative from shure replying to people experiencing a problem. Sound is great though but they're really not the quality you'd expect for the price.
     
  5. wideholic macrumors newbie

    wideholic

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    #5

    Yes. My SE530's only problem is it's weakness of wires. Especially in winter season it gets froze and stay in bad shape. Then it cuts into pieces..That's the only con I have had experienced. But I had it replaced new one for 3 days because it was under 2 year warranty.

    If you are looking for $150 below one..Just go for headphone and open-ear..
    There's no reason to use noise isolating earphones under $150..They are not just..doesn't function what they supposed to..I recommend to get jays noise isolating earphones if you really need to.
     
  6. stephen495 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #6
    I'm using isolator ER-6 (http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6.aspx). They're working for me pretty darn well. I use them at the office a couple of hours at a time and they really block out the outside noise quite well. $139 on their website but less elsewhere.
     
  7. BenoftheDead macrumors newbie

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    May 28, 2008
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    PA
    #7
    Skull candy has a budget in-ear design (Smokin buds) that work pretty well if they're taken care of. 3 sizes of 'ear plug' type covers that go in the ear. I bought a set at f.y.e for $10 and they work great.
     
  8. Astral Cars macrumors regular

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    St. Paul
    #8
    The V-Moda Vibes are good and can easily be found for under $100. They are not noise-canceling, but employ more of an isolating approach. They don't actively cancel, but rather just create a decent seal around your ear so as to not let in as much noise. From what I understand that's the approach of most decent in-ear headphones. Also, with the Vibes, I've heard you can plug up a tiny hole that is on the earpiece and it isolates better.
     
  9. semiconstructiv macrumors newbie

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    Jan 13, 2008
    #9
    well, if you're aiming for headphones less than 100 dollars, I'd recommend the shure SE110. they're 99 dollars, and have gotten good reviews.
     
  10. mdwsta4 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #10
    i've had the shure e2c's for years and they're great for the airplane. i'll upgrade one of these days, but they've lasted and still work perfectly.
     
  11. Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #11
    I absolutely love my Shure E5's... yea they are $500 but they seriously blow away any in-ears that I have tested.. and I have tested most of them. I haven't had any problems with them not working or breaking like others have suggested but that might just be because they are made for professional musicians and singers that need something to last. I can seriously mow the yard and not hear a single thing but my music with it only up 15% of the way...amazing.
     
  12. jywv8 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I guess I am interested in "noise canceling" as opposed "isolating" headphones. Like, I just want to drown out airplane engine noise while still being able to hear people talking. Something like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Mdrnc22-Noise-Canceling-Headphone/dp/B000MPNUE6

    I just don't want to lug a huge pair of "over the ears" headphones around, and my current "on ear" ones are really uncomfortable.
     
  13. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a

    cosmokanga2

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    #13
    I here am a Shure SE110 owner. I use them as my everyday headphones and love them. I will say however that I did have a problem with the first pair's connecter's plastic breaking. They replaced them though for free.

    I find them to be okay, but not great. Reasons: Foam tips I don't think will last more than a year* and cables can become a nuisance at times as they are stiffer then the usual headphone cables.

    For my first pair of good quality headphones though, their much better than my original iPod headphones.

    Would I recommend them as an under $100 pair of headphones. No, I think you can find better headphones for the same price.

    *I washed mine in soapy water to clean them and it wreaked their ability to hold their shape.
     
  14. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #14
    Sennheiser CX300.. less than $60 on Amazon. Great sound and blocks out most noise. Definitely would block out the hum of the airplane engines.
     
  15. Goldcard macrumors regular

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    Jan 10, 2006
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    St. Paul, MN
    #15
    I doubt you will find much along the lines of "active noise cancelling" headphones that are in-ear. This technology is very hard to reproduce on a small scale. I work for Bose Corporation and it cost us millions in R&D just to design an active cancellation small enough to fit into the QC3's. Bose is a leader in active cancellation technology as we have been producing it since the 60's in military applications and more recently in consumer markets. It will be tough to find a headphone that contains this active cancellation in a headphone smaller than the QC3's, much less cheaper or in-ear. I look forward to seeing if anyone can find some research in this market as I am always interested in seeing new products! Good luck!

    Tony
     
  16. The Man macrumors 6502

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    Jul 7, 2004
    #16
    Eh, how about the Audio Technica ATH-ANC3. Previous version is the ATH-ANC7. These are ACTIVE In-EAR noise cancelling. It can be had for $150 or less (even around $110 at Amazon). Japanese stuff. You can still hear people talking, all other sounds are filtered. I don't know about the sound quality. How do you like your sound? That always seems the question. (bass heavy, flat, etc.)
     
  17. jywv8 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Those look pretty good. I may just go for the cheaper Sony's, though.

    Since I'll only be using them on planes, honestly, I don't really care too much about sound quality. For example, the sound quality of the standard iPod earbuds is perfectly acceptable to me. I just want to be able to hear the music well enough and people talking (and not so much of the airplane noise).
     
  18. The Man macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I suggest to read a couple of reviews on the net, comments from people, and then make your choice. Though, the Audio Technica's are pretty new. Oh, the black version of those Audio Technica's are only $92 on Amazon. Reviews seem to be pretty solid on the quality of the noise cancelation of the anc3. Both suffer a bit in the audio quality. I really don't know which one is better. I just came across the ANC3 looking for some nice in-ear headphones, and some people seem to favor the ATH-CK7 from Audio Technica.

    The Audio Technica ANC3 do seem to have a high impedance, which would make them a tad harder to drive from your portable player. But it is also probably higher in case you want to plug it into the sound system of the airplane.

    EDIT: Oh wait, I don't know if the high impedance matters, because the power to drive those phones probably comes from the battery, which also drives the active noise cancellation circuity.

    The circuity of the ANC3 does provide up to 20 dB attenuation of noise. The Sony only 12 dB.
     
  19. Goldcard macrumors regular

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    St. Paul, MN
    #19

    But this is all relative depending on the noise that you want to cancel. Numbers don't really matter if you get on the airplane and they suck at cancelling out the noise. Make sure there is a solid return policy because there are numerous factors that should always be investigated with a try before you buy including comfort and making sure they cancel out the noise you are trying to cancel! Nothing worse than spending 100 dollars on headphones and having buyers remorse with your purchase and having to spend another 100 on something else or continuing to suffer. Also, make sure the headphones do not use a white noise feature to block out the noise as this is actually damaging your ears further by putting MORE noise into your ears instead of "cancelling" out the noise. Looks like you know what you are doing though so hopefully you find some solid headphones!
     
  20. jywv8 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I ended up buying the Audio Technica ATH-ANC3. Really nice headphones. Noise canceling is no better or worse than my much bulkier Sennheiser PXC 250. I'm a happy clam.
     
  21. arnette macrumors 6502

    arnette

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    #22
    I realize this is a dying thread. Just wanted to say that I have these Sony in-ear noise canceling (and I suppose 'isolating' as well) ear buds and I am more than happy with them. They sound great for music as well as spoken word (podcasts, audiobooks) and if you travel on planes like I do, you will appreciate that the load roar of the engines is almost completely eliminated. It sounds more like a gently hum instead of the typical engine noise.

    They DO have a bit of hiss so if you're in a quiet place with the noise cancellation on you will probably be disappointed. But for airplanes, next to crying babies, etc. they are fantastic!

    They store away nicely, have a 'monitor' button on them to mute the incoming audio so you can hear external things without un-budding. And I got mine for well under 100 bucks.
     
  22. Hates macrumors regular

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    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #23
    Forget noise cancellation, get proper in-ear noise isolators like the Etymotic ER-6 or ER-4P. They come with foam buds which are exactly like ear plugs. On a plane you can't hear *anything* but your music. They are brilliant.
     
  23. jywv8 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24
    So let's forget "in-ear noise isolators" instead. If I wanted isolating headphones, I would have asked about isolating headphones. Actually, if I wanted isolating headphones I never would have asked the question. They are easy to find all over the place.
     
  24. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #25
    Isolation and cancellation have two different purposes and uses, it's not that one is "superior" than the other, it's a matter of what one's needs are. Noise cancellation is not isolation, and vice versa. Apples & oranges. Some of us actually need to maintain aural awareness, but reduce long-term damage from low-frequency noise. Isolation doesn't cut it in that case.
     

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