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Best headphones?

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
What is the best noise canceling headphones? (any price range)

Are Bose Quiet Comfort 3's good? Don't mind the price. Is it practical? Because once the battery runs out, it won't work.

I've borrowed someone's Bose On Ears and they're really comfortable. What other headphones are as comfortable as these?

Please suggest headphones that look good as well as sound good. I like the look of the Bose On Ears. I like simple designs and mostly just blacks/whites/silvers.

Thanks.
post #2 of 60
Noise cancelling headphones are not good, and are very expensive for the fidelity they offer.

The active attenuation is achieved by playing the inverse sine wave of your surroundings with the music you are listening to, to cancel out the noise. It is a trick and doesn't make your surroundings any quieter. It is a gimmick and comparably priced headphones will sound much better

If you want to block out noise, and have good sound you need to get IEMS = In Ear Monitors. IEMs offer passive attenuation, because they block it out. No tricks or gimmicks, just a lack of sound waves.

Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 are around <200$ and will beat the boss offering is both isolation, and sound quality. Not to mention there is no batteries.

If you cannot deal with IEMs and choose noise cancelling headphones, know you are paying a ton of money for a questionable sounding headphone.

P.S. Boss is a dirty word in these parts of the internet

Best of luck
post #3 of 60
Thread Starter 
What's an IEM? I thought I'd get a noise canceling headphone because I'd be using it mostly on planes...
post #4 of 60
IEM is a fancy word for earbuds/earphones.

High quality earbuds new compete with high quality headphones.

Check these out:
Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 Pro Description - Store - Ultimate Ears Earphones Headphones Personal Monitors
Shure - SE530 Sound Isolating Earphones
UM3X True 3-Way Monitor | Westone

Most can be had significantly cheaper on ebay and are much better suited for noisy environments. Not to mention due to the fact they block out noise, you don't have to crank them to enjoy your music, so they protect your hearing too. Of course they CAN also go very loud and can damage it too if you are careless.

You might think it is crazy to spend that much money on earbuds, and it is a little bit, but way less crazy than on bose noise cancelling headphones!

You will not believe the quality you will get from them, and how isolated you will be with your favorite music. They are also easier to transport.

Search the web or this site for reviews
post #5 of 60
Bose are garbage One of their noise cancelling earphones has incredible noise cancelling features, but the sound quality is fairly poor. UM3X and SE530 are excellent choices. UE TF 10 usually have build quality issues (like the Shures) and fit issues. UM3X are your safest bet, but are almost the most expensive
post #6 of 60
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions but I've already tried out in-ears and they're not for me. They get very uncomfortable after a while so I was thinking of on-ears or around ears.
post #7 of 60
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm not an audiophile so I don't really mind if the sound quality is the best or not as long as it's good enough that it doesn't get irritating, the headphone is durable and will last me a long time.
post #8 of 60
Well usually sound isolating headphones have pretty poor quality sound. Something like the ATH-ES7 or ATH-ESW9 would be a good choice.
post #9 of 60
Have you used ones with foam tips? Many cheap ones only offer plastic which are indeed very uncomfortable. Foam tips are just like earplugs.. slight pressure on the inside, but they seal your ear pretty snugly and really aren't that uncomfortable.

Also, the more expensive ones are designed to have the cable rest over and then behind your ear, to prevent them from falling out and to relieve strain.

There is also the option to get them custom made, in which case they will fit perfectly.

You also might wanna check out the Sennheiser HD280. If that product name is correct they are for drummers.

STAY AWAY from active attenuation. It is not good for your hearing and sounds bad + overly expensive for what you get.
post #10 of 60
Yep these are the ones: Amazon.com: Sennheiser HD-280 Professional Headphones: Electronics

Not too expensive and fairly good from what I remember reading. It is passive attenuation, and you aren't paying the bose premium.

If you HAVE to get a pair, get something like that.. or DT 770 from beyerdynamic, or Pro 750 from Ultrasone

But if you can find a way to get high quality earbuds to work for you, it is a much better option
post #11 of 60
Since he posted this in the portable headphone section, I guess he would want something more like the ATH-ESW9, not a monster like the DT770 Those also would need a fairly decent amp.
post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by stang View Post
Since he posted this in the portable headphone section, I guess he would want something more like the ATH-ESW9, not a monster like the DT770 Those also would need a fairly decent amp.
Portable is relative :P, plus he wants something that blocks out noise... ESW9 don't do that so well... I bought them for my Gf. They do sound good though!

As far as amping goes... if he got the 600/250 ohm ones yeah... other than that no... standard for DT770 is 80 ohms IIRC
post #13 of 60
I'd love to try a pair of ESW9s some day Hmm I can't really help from here. I am more of a full sized headphone guy
post #14 of 60
Not sure if they could be considered good-looking but the HD25-1 isolate quite well for everyday use and are quite portable, at least in the sense that you can just throw them in a bag and forget about them. As far as portables go they are pretty comfortable with the velour pads.
post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
Not sure if they could be considered good-looking but the HD25-1 isolate quite well for everyday use and are quite portable, at least in the sense that you can just throw them in a bag and forget about them. As far as portables go they are pretty comfortable with the velour pads.
I agree with ljokerl's recommendation of the Sennheiser HD25-1, if IEM's aren't for you. I use the Sennheiser for commuting and in school everyday, and the isolation is good enough to keep out most of the noises from bus engine and people talking, so it should do well in a plane. Sound quality wise I couldn't be happier with it, with good instrument separation and perform well with a wide range of music genre (female vocals, rock, electronic, rap, you name it...). In my experiences with active noise cancelling headphones (MDR-NC60 and ATH-ANC7), noise cancelling pretty much had to be turned on all the time for the sound quality to be acceptable, and always seem very bass-heavy whenever the noise cancelling is on.

It appears you're new to the audiophile game, so welcome to Head-Fi first of all . Its probably hard for you to put our opinions in perspective because for a regular person, chances are the Bose headphones are probably the best they've used. But you are looking at $300 headphones, and to us it is quite obvious that at this price range, there are better alternatives than the Bose out there that also does well in blocking noise.
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