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Which is Best For Noise Elimination?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi...my first post here...

Dilemma:

I take a train (mass transit - METRA, for those of you in the Chicago area) to and from work daily. The numerous irritations of public transportation led to me look for a serious pair of headphones that can do the best job of eliminating all of that rotten noise I hear around me. Ideally, I'd like to be able to put these headphones on and NOT HEAR ANYTHING or as close as possible to that (or alternately, listen to the radio / CD if I want on a particular day).

From what I've read, I've seen things on "noise-canceling" headphones:

a) BOSS QUIET-COMFORT - add $299, it's pricey for, I'm assuming, 10db reduction. Closed-ear sounds nice, but.....

b) BOSE TRI-PORT - newer, less costly, but don't know how these are supposed to be as far as noise reduction is concerned.

c) SONY MDR-NC20 - 10db noise-reduction. At $114, way more reasonable than the BOSE Quiet-Comfort headphones. But for what I'm looking for, are either of these going to "fit the bill"?

d) ETYMONIC ER-4S - Headphone.com claims that for sound brilliance AND a 23DB reduction to boot, there is no comparison in headphones when looking for noise reduction. OK. But these are essentially EAR BUDS. Is this possible?!?!?!?

Headphone-knowledgable community: PLEASE HELP !!!

Your insight and opinions would be greatly appreciated in helping steer me to the right one (maybe even one I didn't list!) !!!

Thanks so much!!!!

Infoman
post #2 of 18
Welcome to Head-Fi, sorry about you wallet. Go with the ety's, they are very good sound wise and will be perfect for your needs. The Bose and Sony phones mentioned are not the greatest for good sound and way overpriced. Also you should consider the ety er4p over the s, because it is easier to drive from a portable. Hope this helps.
post #3 of 18
Etymotics are pretty expensive, but they ARE amazing, and the are NOT just earbuds. They might be a little uncomfortable. If you don't might looking like an air traffic controller from the 80s, the Sennheiser 280 Pros are under $100.
post #4 of 18
PS.:
Headroom also sells a Koss headphone that is made for industrial use, it also is like wearing coconuts on the sides of your head.
post #5 of 18
infoman, you can safely eliminate a), b) and c) from your list. None of the active-noise-cancelling headphones on that list sound any better than a $20 pair of mediocre-sounding headphones. Also, they cancel out only part of the audible frequency spectrum, so while they may do a good job of eliminating the rumble from a bus or train, they still allow higher-pitched noises through virtually unfiltered. So you'll hear stuff like kids saying "F*** YOU!" or babies crying - as clearly as ever.
post #6 of 18
The Ety ER-6 might be better for commutes than the ER-4 series. They're less expensive, have less microphonic problems, and accentuate the bass and treble which compensates for ambient noise intrusion.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi, everybody -

I really appreciate the input so far, and I'm definitely leaning towards the ETYs now.

SO....for NOISE REDUCTION - more important to me than using connected to a portable, although I will from time to time -

Is it the 4S? the 4P?

And KWKARTH.....on the ER-6...I understand what you're saying; but how does this measure up for noise reduction WITHOUT music as compared to the 4S or 4P?

Comments, anyone? I'm almost there....!

Infoman
post #8 of 18
Without music playing, both the ER-4S and the ER-4P have equal noise blocking. The ER-6 has less noise blocking than either of the ER-4 models. But if you plan to turn on your portable player (I assume that you'll be using one during your commute), then go for the ER-4P - though I thought they had too much bass when I heard it. The ER-4S isn't efficient enough for use with some of the weaker portables without an amp.
post #9 of 18
http://www.etymotic.com/product_list...ct_number=ER-6

http://www.etymotic.com/product_list...ct_number=ER-6

http://www.etymotic.com/images/PDF/er6info.pdf

Check out the above links for more info on the ER6s. They isolate 15-20db. That's only 3db difference in isolation from the ER4. That small difference, coupled with the ER6's frequency response curve, and lack of cord microphonics which the ER4s suffer from, make these cans better suited for the average commuter. The ER4s are better suited to sitting still and not moving. You are the one who has to live with what you buy. I would suggest you listen to both before you decide. If you choose the ER6s you save some money to boot.

Yes, ultimately the ER4s sound better, but in a mobile environment with a portable source...c'mmon folks, let's be real here.

Your choice...

Cheers!
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by kwkarth

The ER4s are better suited to sitting still and not moving. You are the one who has to live with what you buy. I would suggest you listen to both before you decide. If you choose the ER6s you save some money to boot.

Yes, ultimately the ER4s sound better, but in a mobile environment with a portable source...c'mmon folks, let's be real here.
This is the exact reason why I chose the ER6 over ther ER4P. In DGS's excellent comparison of the Ety line, he comes to the same conclusion that the ER6 is better suited for commuting purposes. The ER4P may be a better set of cans, but the ER6 is probably still better than any other set you can take with you on the go.

Tom
post #11 of 18
I'm getting real, all right. The trouble is, my hearing is acute enough to notice all of the sound-quality flaws and all of the differences in the sound quality even in a noisy environment. If the sound quality of a given headphone is crappy to begin with, what makes you think I won't notice the crappiness in a commuting environment?

BTW, I tried a pair of the ER-6's that I had borrowed from a friend... They just didn't do the job, in my experience. (And yep, I got as good of a seal as I could get with the ER-6's - any tighter and I would have gotten ear pain.) I might as well use very-open-air headphones if that kind of performance is what I'm after.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by Eagle_Driver
I'm getting real, all right. The trouble is, my hearing is acute enough to notice all of the sound-quality flaws and all of the differences in the sound quality even in a noisy environment. If the sound quality of a given headphone is crappy to begin with, what makes you think I won't notice the crappiness in a commuting environment?

BTW, I tried a pair of the ER-6's that I had borrowed from a friend... They just didn't do the job, in my experience. I might as well use very-open-air headphones if that kind of performance is what I'm after.
Then it's obvious Eagle_Driver, that you didn't get a good seal when you tried the ER6's.

IMHO, the ER6s do NOT sound crappy. So, I'll say it again. Listen for yourself. This is a very subjective thing and it's your money, infoman! Best regards.
post #13 of 18
Actually, I got as good of a seal as I could get without causing ear pain - and it still didn't do its job.

And I'm after perfectly "flat" response, no matter where I go. And I'm extremely sensitive to even menuscule boosts in the bass and treble. And the ER-6's sound quality to me is not of the "crappy" variety, but it's more like "if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all."
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by Eagle_Driver
Actually, I got as good of a seal as I could get without causing ear pain - and it still didn't do its job.
If it didn't seal, it didn't seal. What'er ya gonna do but buy the ER4's? That's what I own (ER4-P) and I love them. A friend of mine at work bought the ER6's and they sound great and I dare say that for some ear canals, they fit better and seal more completely than the ER4's. Furthermore, I'll wager my ears are more educated than yours and I can tell you from personal experience that if the ER-6's fit, they sound very, very good, and in a portable, mobile environment, better in some respects than the ER4's. If I listened more on the go, I would buy a pair of ER6's myself. Not all ear canals are created equal. That's why infoman needs to listen for himself. Just because they didn't work for you, doesn't mean they won't work for someone else.
post #15 of 18
I agree with your assessment, kwkarth, but it's just *my* ears that didn't work well with the ER-6's.
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