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Recommended cheap noise-cancelling headphones

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hey! I found this forum from looking for a new cheap seat of headphones to replace my Sony MDR-NC6 ones (They stuffed up - the chord's so long, it clinged on to something while I was on the treadmille, i accidentally pulled hard and now all the low-end sounds don't show up :[ ).

I've read many reviews to figure that model isn't held with high regard (in terms of noise-cancelling and perhaps sound quality) but for the AU$50 I paid, they sufficed and it beats iPod earphones haha (I've had to revert to them for the meantime - it really is horrible).

So I've had my eye on the Sony MDR-NC7, Sennheiser PXC 150 and Sennheiser HD 202 (although not active-noise cancelling) pairs. I would want to buy online/eBay, but I wondered before I probably buy the NC7 if anybody more knowledgble in this field has any recommendations on decent noise-cancelling headphones - ones that don't stray too far from US$40?

Also what in your opinion what is more effective for noise-cancelling - Active-noise cancelling or sealed/closed-back headphones?

Any help would be much appreciated!
post #2 of 21
The noise from the gym is not the constant humming you get e.g. on a plane, so active noise cancellation won't do any good in my opinion. I would go for IEMs.

Also, are you sure you can stand running with something as big as HD202? The very thought of this makes my forehead perspirate!
post #3 of 21
The Maximo iMetal do a reasonable job for a pretty cheap price. If you keep you eye out, Woot.com sells them periodically for $10-15.
post #4 of 21
NC at this price level is a gimmick. Get some isolating IEMs. NE-7M would be a good choice. Active NC is good for humming noises. Best of both worlds is an IEM witha full size noise cancelling headphone on top of them:P . IEMs are more bang for the buck, and so much more convenient.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinyl View Post
The noise from the gym is not the constant humming you get e.g. on a plane, so active noise cancellation won't do any good in my opinion. I would go for IEMs.

Also, are you sure you can stand running with something as big as HD202? The very thought of this makes my forehead perspirate!
Lol well the according to product specs I've read, they weigh the same as MDR-NC6 pair I have, and they didn't mind bad.. haha

When I would run with that pair on my treadmill, it actually cuts out the engine's noise.. But you guys honestly think IEMs cut out MORE sound than active-noise cancelling ones??
I'm not sure how I feel about the in-ear type. A few years ago Apple stuffed up on something, so sent me complimentary Apple IEMs. It might've been ungrateful of me, but I actually asked if I could send them back and just have another pair of their regular earphones instead lol.. I found them uncomfortable - like my ear canals were being probed into haha and they didn't stick in very well. So if i'm running on the treadmill I can see them falling out..
post #6 of 21
Goldring NS-1000 have £110 off at Play.com atm. I've bought 2 pairs I was so happy with the first pair.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
So you guys honestly reckon the NE-7M would block more sound than AC pair of Sony MDR-NC7? Are the NE-7M very comfortable?
post #8 of 21
I'd consider the Maximo Im-590 if you can find them. They isolate a tad more than the NE-7M imo, and can be improved further with a simple mod.

Soundmagic PL21 are about on-level with the NE-7M isolation-wise (though they don't sound as good), and cost a fair bit less.

NE-7M is still a pretty safe choice and comfortable if you get used to IEMs in general.
post #9 of 21
Can someone please respond to the original poster's question about the NC7, Senn PXC 150, or other cheap NC phones? I'm in the same boat, looking for cheap noise canceling phones that sound decent for long plane flights.

And no, I don't want IEMs or non-NC closed phones. I already have both of those for other purposes.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
bump..
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjino View Post
Can someone please respond to the original poster's question about the NC7, Senn PXC 150, or other cheap NC phones? I'm in the same boat, looking for cheap noise canceling phones that sound decent for long plane flights.

And no, I don't want IEMs or non-NC closed phones. I already have both of those for other purposes.
They did answer the question. You just didn't like the answer. Cheap noise canceling head phones don't sound good and don't cancel noise well. The cheapest I've heard that actually work is the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7, but they're around $150 in the US. Before finding Head-fi, I tried 5 or so cheap noise canceling headphones and none of them worked.

Cheap closed headphones don't isolate either. You end up turning up the volume to hear the music. Not a good idea.

At a low price the only option is stuffing something in your ear. I'm not familiar with low end IEMs, but people have made multiple suggestions.
post #12 of 21
isolating > active cancelling any day of the week. Noise cancelling is nothing but a marketing gimmick used by companies like Bose & Sony in order to charge a higher premium for lower fidelity.

Has the op ever even used a pair of iem's? Trust me, jam a pair of etys into your ear canals, and those suckers wont go anywhere while on the treadmill.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by primouomo View Post
But you guys honestly think IEMs cut out MORE sound than active-noise cancelling ones??
well, yes. Why is that so hard to believe? Have you even used a decent pair of iem's? Noise cancelling headphones don't "cut out" ANY sound. They actually introduce more sound into the mix, while isolating earphones effectively block sound.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jleewach View Post
isolating > active cancelling any day of the week. Noise cancelling is nothing but a marketing gimmick used by companies like Bose & Sony in order to charge a higher premium for lower fidelity.

Has the op ever even used a pair of iem's? Trust me, jam a pair of etys into your ear canals, and those suckers wont go anywhere while on the treadmill.
ANC might do slightly better than good IEMs, but only slightly. IEMs with good isolation are much better than ANC at midrange and high frequencies.

With my X5 with comply foam tips, I listen at 65-70dB while flying or commuting on the DC Metro. I took a sound meter on the Metro one evening after rush hour. The average background noise on the train was 95dB, with spikes up to 120dB when the train was on a curve. I barely hear any external noise with the X5.

Not all IEMs isolate that well. With my UM1 with Shure black foam tips, some of the noise leaks in, but I can still listen at 65-70dB.

In general foam tips or multiflange tips isolate better than single flange silicone tips. You get more isolation with IEMs that go farther in your ear, at the expense of some comfort.

Here's an isolation graph from Head Room comparing their cheapest ANC phone (Senn PCX 300) with an IEM that goes far into your ear (Ety) and an IEM that doesn't go far in your ear Shure. Note that none of these are in your price range.

post #15 of 21
^
Remember people, the lower the better in that graph i.e. the ER4P is the most isolating.
(People might interpret it wrong).
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