noise cancellation headphones

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CA_Steve
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noise cancellation headphones

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Dec 31, 2005 1:50 pm

It looks like I'll be a bit of an airline travel monkey this year and am looking at getting a set of enclosed active noise cancellation headphones. I've tried the in-ear types and they just don't work well for me.

Currently considering the overpriced Bose. Any comments out there? Alternatives?

The sole use would be for air travel: Cancelling ambient noise as well as listening to iPod.

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:11 pm


tjpark1111
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Re: noise cancellation headphones

Post by tjpark1111 » Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:34 pm

CA_Steve wrote:It looks like I'll be a bit of an airline travel monkey this year and am looking at getting a set of enclosed active noise cancellation headphones. I've tried the in-ear types and they just don't work well for me.

Currently considering the overpriced Bose. Any comments out there? Alternatives?

The sole use would be for air travel: Cancelling ambient noise as well as listening to iPod.
any reason why they didn't work for you? not enough isolation for air travel? what in-ear headphones did you use? active noise cancellation headphones sometimes have an annoying hum that eliminates outside noise, plus they're big and bulky, plus power-consuming. If you used some high quality in-ears like shure e3c or ultimate ears which has excellent isolation and that didn't work for you, then I would agree since active noise cancellation is your only other option anyways, unless you want to go with full-size headphones.

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Re: noise cancellation headphones

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Dec 31, 2005 7:26 pm

[quote="tjpark1111]any reason why they didn't work for you? [/quote]

small ear canal => all the ear buds are painful to wear over a long period + I have to keep refitting as they pop out/come loose and lose all beneficial properties. I've tried this route and now want to move on. :-)

Thanks Neil. I've gone through cnet over the last year and also earlier today. I guess I was hoping for nonflamer, somewhat educated feedback (as opposed to cnet respondants). I'll look at the other two links.

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Post by mathias » Sat Dec 31, 2005 10:34 pm

I'm also considering some noise stopping headphones. I can't afford any active noise cancelling ones, so I'm just considering some regular closed headphones, specifically these sennheiser HD201's. They would be for use on the bus and subway, in the car, and possibly also while my air conditioner is on. It's not really an absolute necessity for me, but I need a new pair of headphones anyway and those look like the best/most useful ones I can get for the price.

And for anyone that's wondering, no, I do not intend to be driving with those closed headphones on.

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Post by Melluk » Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:07 pm

mathias wrote:.., so I'm just considering some regular closed headphones, specifically these sennheiser HD201's.
Don't! Or at least listen to them carefully before you buy.
I bought a pair of those based on raving reviews on Headfi.org , Headroom and other sites.
It's just hype. In my opinion they basicallly suck soundwise. Very dissapointing.
A bit later i got sennheiser PX100 for 36 euros and they sound great.

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Post by qviri » Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:13 pm

Hmm, I was considering a paid of HD201s, but in the end decided to go with HD280 Pros, since my friend has these and I listened to them in the past. Very pleased, and they do isolate rather well. Chances are they won't block out the bus totally (unless you have quieter buses in Toronto than we do here), but they will make it possible to listen at much lower volumes than otherwise.

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Post by mathias » Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:34 pm

Melluk wrote:I bought a pair of those based on raving reviews on Headfi.org , Headroom and other sites.
It's just hype. In my opinion they basicallly suck soundwise.
How badly do they suck soundwise? And are they good at blocking noise?
qviri wrote:Hmm, I was considering a paid of HD201s, but in the end decided to go with HD280 Pros, since my friend has these and I listened to them in the past.
They're not exactly in the same price range, are they? How much did you pay?

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Post by qviri » Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:38 pm

mathias wrote:
qviri wrote:Hmm, I was considering a paid of HD201s, but in the end decided to go with HD280 Pros, since my friend has these and I listened to them in the past.
They're not exactly in the same price range, are they? How much did you pay?
Just looked at TD's price. No, not really.

I paid about 110 CAD shipped on ebay, which is pretty much the standard online price.

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Post by CA_Steve » Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:29 pm

For better or worse I'm trying out a pair of the Bose QC2's. Others are cheaper and/or higher fidelity, but this pair are solely to make life better when on the flying buses. The current version's active circuitry has zero hiss. The real test is later this week with 5k miles of flying.

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Post by Melluk » Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:27 pm

mathias wrote:
Melluk wrote:I bought a pair of those based on raving reviews on Headfi.org , Headroom and other sites.
It's just hype. In my opinion they basicallly suck soundwise.
How badly do they suck soundwise? And are they good at blocking noise?
That was my reaction when i first heard them. I tried them again today and i must confess they're not that bad. A long burn-in time
did have some effect. But they're still not very good.
Wobbly lows that bounce around, underpowered mids and thin highs. And they sound unprecise overall, to my ears at least.

I must tell you that they are the first closed headphones i ever owned. It is possible that i'm just not accustomed to the particular
particularities that may come with that design.

Outside noise does not get blocked only a bit muffled.

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Post by wisefool » Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:52 pm

I own a pair of sennheiser 580s and some Grado 325's (?).

Also own a pair of the bose active cancellation. I've used them for a few years on planes. They are not bad. They really are designed for planes. They are very comfortable (you can fall asleep with them on easily.) They are easy to take off when the stewardess comes to ask if you want beef or chicken. They rest comfortably on your shoulders.

They give you a set of the converting stuff so you can use them on the plane.
Battery is a AAA, lasts hmm I'm guessing 15-20 hours. my MP3 player runs out of juice first and that's rated for 50 hours on a AAA.

The bad: sound would not be as good as canal-ear phones. However, the extra comfort makes them worth it imho. sure the sound is crappy and you are overpaying but you can't hear anything on the planes anyway! Has annoying bzzzzt anytime someone walks by with a cell phone or a cordless phone. 2.4ghz wifi and mice do not seem to trigger it (not strong enough?)

Also bulky, not the nicest thing to carry on a laptop. Doesn't match a suit so you'll look dorky if you want to pass time waiting for friends to show up at a restaurant.

An additional niceness about them: you can wear them on TOP of a phone headset if you work in a noisy office. That way you can block out ambient noise and hear the phone better.

The skinny, good for planes.

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Post by hofffam » Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:40 pm

I have a pair of Sennheiser PXC250 noise cancelling headphones and I think they are very good. I have used Bose on American Airlines flights - if you fly business class internationally they issue them for use during the flights.

I admit to a bias against Bose. No ridiculously expensive clock radios in my house.

But the Sennheisers are very good for what you want - they are much smaller and eaiser to carry than the Bose. I think the Bose might have slightly better isolation because the earcups surround the ears. The Senns really sit on the ears. But the Senns do not cause me to sweat either. But when you turn on the cancellation circuitry the Senns are surprisingly quiet.

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Post by matva » Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:44 pm

yeah, the pxc250s are supposed to be really good.

Which ear bud type headphones did u try? The shure e3s or e4s come with an assortment of different size buds so that you get a perfect fit. Yes, at first it is a bit awkward to have something jammed in your ear, but most people get used to it eventually.

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Post by Cams » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:24 pm

I have the Etymotic ER-4P and they are really great. Take a bit of getting used to, particularly when out walking. In fact, they're TOO good for being out walking as you can't hear ANYTHING and, despite the fact that I thought that I would like that, it's actually a little spooky. The cable is microphonic a bit too, so if it rubs on your jacket zip, it gets amplified.

For flying or home use, they are terrific.

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Post by CA_Steve » Thu Jan 12, 2006 6:06 am

The Bose worked well for what I needed them for - reducing noise while flying. More comfortable than the earbud types I've used, which means I could wear them for longer durations. Sound quality is ok - and given the environment, it's good enough.

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Post by mathias » Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:58 pm

Cams wrote:In fact, they're TOO good for being out walking
Then hopefully they'll make cheaper versions that aren't too good.
Cams wrote:as you can't hear ANYTHING and, despite the fact that I thought that I would like that, it's actually a little spooky.
Consider it a simulation of what it's like to be a veteran hardcore overclocker.

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Post by Cams » Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:58 pm

mathias wrote:
Cams wrote:In fact, they're TOO good for being out walking
Then hopefully they'll make cheaper versions that aren't too good.
They do:

http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6i.aspx

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Post by mathias » Sat Nov 18, 2006 4:55 pm

I finally found some noise blocking headphones more in my budget which are said to sound good, creative labs ep630's. Up here they're available at tigerdirect and ncix.

Since they're also very portable, and because I just got an iaudio g3, I ordered a pair of them.

They're probably not too good for walking.

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Post by cmthomson » Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:19 pm

I've used the Bose noise cancelling headphones for a few years. I agree they are overpriced, but they work very well, particularly on jets (especially old DC-9s) and also when doing yard work with noisy power implements. You can wear them comfortably on a cross-country flight (5 hours).

The newer BQ2's are much better than the originals (I have both). The cable is a bit long, but other than that (and of course price), I'm completely satisfied with them.

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Post by slipknottin » Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:25 pm

mathias wrote:I finally found some noise blocking headphones more in my budget which are said to sound good, creative labs ep630's. .
Those are what I have. They work very well and are pretty inexpensive. I fly alot, so they were one of my favorite purchases.

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Post by akambe » Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:21 pm

At work, I sit right next to a server room, which is behind some cubicle panels. Amazingly loud. I've been sitting here for a couple of years. After awhile, I tuned out the fan noise, but when I really listen I'm reminded of how loud they are.

A week ago, from Shopko (a cheapo dept. store in the West and Midwest, dunno about East & South U.S.), I bought EarHugger EH-1420NC headphones. They were $20. I flip on the switch for noise cancellation, and presto--most of the lower frequency fan noise from the server room is just gone. At the end of the day, when I take off the headphones, I swear that the server room has just gotten noisier than usual, but it's just that I've had it tuned out all day.

These headphones are sweet & cheap. I'm not an audiophile, so maybe they wouldn't pass muster with most of you, but they are collapsible, have a headpad, are semi-full covering, and come with an airline adapter and carrying pouch. All in all, one of the best purchases I've ever made.

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Post by vincentfox » Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:10 pm

I see the audiophiles have responded already.

I have the Sony MDR-V6 headphones. Personally I find this noise-cancelling stuff to be overpriced and not worth it. My V6 units work very nicely, good enough sound for me, and quite reasonably priced at $70 from Amazon. They are not Bose or Sennheiser and you don't get to spell the name for people or brag about how much you spent on your cans is the downside I guess. The V6 has been a constant of the Sony line for about 20 years.

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