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Portable, closed headphone help?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I haven't posted on Head-Fi in quite a while, mostly cause I'm very happy with the headphones I currently own.

But I have a really long international flight coming up, and I need a headphone which I can use with my Sony PCDP (D-NE920) and to play some games on the Nintendo DS Lite with. I'm looking, above all, for something that's comfortable, blocks out a fair amount of noise, and is quite easy to drive (conserving battery life is important).

I'm leaning toward the HD280 right now, but that seems to be a little uncomfortable for long wear, and I don't know if it'll be easily driven by the DS Lite. No IEM suggestions please, I've already got an Etymotic, but I'm looking for a more traditional closed headphone.

Maybe there are some decent noise-canceling models out there from JVC or Sennheiser? Does anyone have advice on those? Any help is much appreciated.
post #2 of 18
Hey jagorev,

that is exactly the situation I am in!

I too have some long flights coming up, and that got me thinking about getting a good pair of noise-isolating headphones. But I'm thinking I'll also get to use them on my daily commute on the bus, so they won't be a once-off.

This means my top two priorities are portability and noise-isolating.

At the moment I'm trying to decide between active noise-cancelling headphones, or closed types. I hear that the ones with active noise-cancelling circuitry compromise the sound quality somewhat, but are more effective at cutting out engine drone. On the other hand, if closed headphones can achieve most of the nosie-isolation, with better sound quality and lower cost, then that might be a better value proposition for me.

If anyone has any real-world experience with the 2 different types of headphones, then I would love to hear about it. Are active noise-cancelling headphones worth the extra money?

You asked about models jagorev - I can list the ones I've been looking at here, but I'm not an expert and I've never used any of them, so I can only give an indication of what the online reviews I've found say.

- Sennheiser PX200: closed, portable. Questionable sound quality judging by online reviews.

- Sennheiser PX250: noise cancelling, portable. Seem to be a good compromise between SQ and noise-isolation, but expensive.

- Sennheiser PX150: more within my price range than the PX250, but sound quality seem to be quite poor.

- Philips SBC HN110: noise cancelling and foldable design.

- Sony MDR NC6: noise cancelling, have seen some bad reviews online re SQ.

- JVC NC100: noise cancelling, not sure about SQ

Does anyone have any experience on any of the above headphones? I would appreciate any comments at all, or suggestions for any other models that I or jagorev should be looking at.

Sorry if I've hijacked your thread jagorev, but I thought it would be silly to start a new thread if we have the same sort of question.

post #3 of 18
sony v6 is another option

the sennheiser hd280 are only 64ohm
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Gizmodo recently posted about the JVC HA-NC80:

They look pretty darn slick, and they're available online for $33-$60, which is not a bad price at all.

Apparently, they also feature dual-mode noise-cancelling - "wide" mode for jets, and "low" mode for trains and buses.

Here's a link to JVC's press release

Since it's brand-new, there really isn't much available in the way of reviews so far. Maybe I'll have to be the guinea pig on this one.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
post #6 of 18
I used the HD280 on a Flight to Europe with no problems. After a couple hours I usually took a break because of the standard warm ears issue, but I've yet to find a pair of closed cans that DOESN'T do that.
post #7 of 18
I like my (very affordable) HD201's on flights - they are great

right now I am listening to music in a library and people are working all around me....I use these all the time but I still usually check just to make sure I'm not bothering anyone by taking them off and covering the phones as if I were wearing them...love having closed headphones

I am going to get another MP3 player soon and I'll probably get canalphones or e888's for portability

the best you can do is to get a folding headphone if you want true closed phones for daily on the go use, though i have no issues carrying my HD201's in my backpack above my materials
post #8 of 18
post #9 of 18
FWIW, I can start to feel my pulse through my ears after maybe 2 hours of the Senn HD280s, it's hard to take for serious extended use. They do grip your head pretty tightly.
post #10 of 18
@AndrewH: I'd strongly suggest looking into IEMs in your case, they're about the best thing since sliced bread (proverbially) for people travelling in noisier environments. I need some serious bass boost for the notoriously thin Etymotic ER-6 which I chose for various unrelated reasons, but with that both sound and isolation are fine. (iM716 and UM1 seem to be quite popular choices.)

As far as conventional closed cans are concerned, DT770s seem to be the ones to beat in terms of isolation. One would probably want to take a look at the 32 ohm version for easier driveability. They are, however, a wee bit bulky. HD280s fold up at least...
post #11 of 18
I Agree with above. I went with the Westone UM1's precisely b/c I was doing a lot of airline travel this past fall. They have been one of the best things I have purchased. They block out a ton of noise, and once I fire up the iPod, I'm in my own little headspace without noisy distractions.
It's a great way to go, and a lot easier to carry when traveling!
post #12 of 18
Thanks for the replies guys.

After doing some more research, I have now decided to look at getting a pair of IEMs instead - thanks for your suggestions sgrossklass and The_Terminator. What swayed me was their small size, and their good noise isolation... or so I read anyway, since I have zero experience with IEMs. Also, I figured, now's the perfect opportunity to discover what IEMs can offer!

My current list, in order of preference:

1. Audio Technica CK7 - seen some very good reviews, good SQ and not too expensive. However, my only concern is that some sites have said that these aren't true IEMs, and call these "hybrid IEMs". Apparently they don't fit in as deep as the other models... I'm afraid they don't block out as much noise as the other IEMs. Anyone have any experience with how the CK7s compare in this respect to the other models on my list?

2. Sennheiser CX 300 - good price, decent SQ. However, online reviews are mixed, some say they're great, others say they're only so-so.

3. Shure E2C - good reviews but pricier than the CK7s

4. Ultimate Ears super.fi 3 - haven't read that much about these, but seem intriguing and definitely need more investigation.

5. Etymotic ER-6i - same as above, needs looking into. Seem to be an accepted benchmark for this class. These are different to the ER-6 I believe.

Any thoughts on the above models? Again, I'd be grateful for any comments... thanks guys.
post #13 of 18
i love my ck7s.
that said, i recommend them for amazing detail + clearity!
i use them exclusively where ever i take my dap.
sometimes in the bus/train i miss better isolation though.
they are light, comfy + have an easy fit.
the cord is great, no tangles and seems very durable (6 months us so far).

with winter setin in (ears freezing) and my need for better isolation i'm coming to the hd 280 now.
a bit bulky
and i haven't found a store to try them yet, but from the reviews etc i think i will love em.

good luck on your quest!
post #14 of 18
Click on this sentence, and the magical internet fairy will take you to some great opinions offered be Earphone Solutions.

The Westone UM-1 should definitely be on your short list for inexpensive IEM's that offer great bang for the buck.
post #15 of 18
I looked for some closed portables a while ago... after doing a lot of research, I concluded that Sennheiser HD25 are the best currently available option. Oddly enough, I'm now considering the v-moda Vibes for the same basic purpose.
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