Suggestions on high quality sound blocking earbud headphones

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Aniej, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #1
    I have been experiencing a lot of problems with noise lately that has started to really ware on me as it is pretty constant. There is a lot of construction going on where I am so the goal is to minimize as much of the nose that could get in my ears as possible, while still achieving high quality sound production. I would really appreciate suggestions with links. Also, the ability for the cord to retract so that there is no hanging extra cord would be a great added bonus, but is not essential.

    I have mixed feelings about Shure, but am open to suggestions. I also just came across v-moda, but have never talked with anyone who actually owns a pair so if you do that would be great to hear about as well.
     
  2. JDN macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Lund Sweden {London England}
    #2
    I would recommend Shure, reviews are consistently good across the board. V-moda i have heard some very negative reviews about. Overpriced, and all about the look rather than the sound.

    Etymotic are very good headphones. They create a tight seal the ear and produce excellent sound.

    I personally dislike Koss headphones, but look at the sparkplugs as they will help eliminate outside noise.

    M-Audio may also be worth checking out. I don't have much experience with them but from reviews they look pretty good.
     
  3. tripwire macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
  4. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #4
    I love my Shure E2Cs, and recommend the brand...
     
  5. triobot macrumors member

    triobot

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    Milton Keynes
    #5
    This all depends on how much you'll willing to spend and how much time you have...

    If you had lots of time and money, you could go around testing them... The sound from everyones ear sounds different (thus being unique)

    The leading brand for soundproof(-ness) is shure, but they are relatively expensive (i'm never gonna spend more than £40 on headphones)...
     
  6. biturbomunkie macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    cali
    #6
    i've been looking for a pair of IEMs lately as well. from reading all the reviews, my impression is that the v-modas are pretty good considering their price (~$80). just don't expect anything great if you are a basshead. but if you are really looking for noise insulation, the v-moda vibe won't really cut it. there are actually holes in the earphones. blocking the holes will result in lesser quality. you can read more about the v-modas here.

    my other sub-$100 options are:

    creative ep-630
    , which are essentially sennheiser cx300 but at less than half-price.

    jvc marshmallow. awesome performance given the price.

    i think i'm gonna get the JVCs in the end cos of the price, i'm a brokebutt student. and besides, i tend to destroy IEMs rather quickly from running or even just walking around on campus. but the v-modas are such eye candy that i can't seem to pass on. yeah, i'm shallow.
     
  7. verticalforce macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    #7
    I'm using Shure E500 right now and they are the best damn earphone i have ever used.
     
  8. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #8
    Very true. I have the custom-fit Ultimate Ears UE-10's which were almost not worth the hassle (three re-moulds if I remember correctly. At least I got my hearing checked in the meanwhile) but do actually work very well. On planes I can put them in with or without music and enjoy a considerably more hushed environment. Musically these are probably the best you can get in terms of something that sticks in your ear, but considered as a near-$1000 pair of headphones they're not impressive.

    The 'blocking holes' thing is true to an extent. It's just that when you do start 'blocking holes' you need to move to different driver technology like that used by Shure, Etymotic, Ultimate Ears and some other higher-end in-ear models. The Etymotic ER-6i is probably the best compromise for price, sound (although distinctly tinny), wearing comfort and isolation when you use the foam tips. Just remember to exchange tips fairly often. I think if you shop around you can pick them up for under $100.

    I would pick the 6i over the Shure E2c for isolated travelling despite the fact that the E2c has a 'nicer' sound as the Etymotics are easier to get in the ear and offer far more isolation. The Shure E3c is more durable but it's got this rather irritating peakiness in the vocal frequencies despite being slightly better sounding than the 6i.

    If you want to spend a lot less, the JVC's are probably a good bet - both the marshmallows and the HA-FX55 but the isolation is in a different (much lower) league.
     
  9. 210 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, England
    #9
    Earphones

    I have the Shure e2c earphones and I love them. I bought them on Amazon.co.uk when they were about £30 - well worth the money. My brother bought the 4 series from Micro Anvica for half the price and loves them, too. I don't know if they are any good deals in the US at the moment, but if you can find one for Shure, I'd definitely recommend them.
     
  10. Aniej thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #10
    Very helpful and detailed advice, I really appreciate it. You pretty much nailed every major point on the head, i.e., sound quality, comfort, which I failed to mention, and keeping ambient noise out. I am going to take a look at the Etymotic and Shure brands as a whole and see what looks interesting. In all reality price is not a concern, although I am not going to buy $1000 headphones; the difference between paying $100 and $250 is really not a problem here, but obviously who doesn't like to get a good deal and save some money.

    What do you think about shure's E4c model? Again, I cannot stress enough how important keeping noise out is for me (I am listening to the hammer right now) (by the way, it would be nice if we could add sound clips to hear in here as well as posting pics). It is loud and many people have been annoyed by this reality of city life, but not only is this situation excessive with no end in sight, but it is the kinnd of thing that once you get annoyed with it, you notice it more than you normally would.
     
  11. Aniej thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #11
    Has anyone tried either the Shure SE-310 or the SE-420? I would love to try and compare these to the E4c or other manufacturer's products.
     
  12. sarge macrumors 6502a

    sarge

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #12
    Isolator 6i

    I bought a pair of Isolator 6i earbuds for $120 about 2 years ago and I think you can get them for $89 now.

    They worked really well on plane/train but I finally got a short in the jack connector - most of these expensive headphones don't come w/right angle jacks - just hate that planned obsolecence. The bass is pretty weak unless you use the foam plugs, which work really, really well at but the replacements run about $4 buck per pair which is outright robbery. My advice is to get a pair that at least offer foam sleeves because in my experience this is the only way to get true isolation from outside noise.
     
  13. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #13
    If keeping out noise is paramount, then the Etymotics with the foam tips can't be beaten. While the silicone triple flange tips keep out a lot of noise on both Shure and Etymotic, foam tips are where its at for isolation. The Ety foam tips are about half as long again as the Shure items and also recover their original shape more readily, which means you get a better seal.

    The Ety 4P foam tips are also quite a bit cheaper than the 6i tips and provide similar performance in terms of isolation, but the 6i tips are much nicer to wear - being a lot smoother in feel. As the previous poster said though the 6i tips are very expensive.
     
  14. aricher macrumors 68020

    aricher

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chi-il
    #14
    My wife has the Shure E2Cs and I have the E4Cs - the E4Cs are smaller but pack a better punch sound wise. You can find 'em on eBay new-in-box for about 1/2 retail price. I've owned Etymotics before and couldn't stand the noise I would get when the cord rubbed on my coat zipper. The Shures don't have this problem.
     
  15. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #15
    Etymotic solved that to a large degree with the new cables as far as I'm aware. But the 'over the ear' fit of the Shures do make a difference - that does reduce the rubbing noise as well. The only thing that I'd say the E4c is inferior to the ER-4P is the isolation, which does actually make quite a lot of difference. But the E4c is better designed, it's more durable and it is more comfortable to wear - and although it is subjective (mainly because the difference in how balanced-armature phones sound is in the pick of the driver tuning, and there's not a lot of variability in the actual quality of the sound these throw out), I'd also say it sounds better. So if isolation is key, get the Etymotic 4P. If a balance of everything is what you're looking for and you're looking in the $200 street price range, get the Shure E4c.

    I really wanted to like the Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 Pro which is about the same pricewise but it's poorly designed foam tips put paid to that. For me the sound was easily the best out of the lot, with a lot more natural real headphone-like balance while retaining the general detail of the 4P/E4c, which is mainly down to the two drivers being used. But the 'ear interface' is badly designed and offered JVC levels of isolation as well as an unstable fit under movement, which just doesn't cut it.
     
  16. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #16
    I used to have my Shures, but the rubber is very delicate. I ended up with both left and right cords cracking about 1/2 from the earbud.the wire then started to fray and then they were not so cool anymore. Sad really as the earbuds are still in great shape and sound amazing, but the wires are bad. I just got a pair of the $100 v-Modas. They look cool and sound good, a little bass heavy, but still good. The rubber is a lot more plyable, but the cable is even thinner then the Shures, not really a bad thing, but it could be. We will see.
     
  17. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #17
    The cable problem only occurred on E2c's as far as I know. Bad choice of nylon for something that was going to be in contact with skin all the time.
     

Share This Page