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Best personal listening that doesn't prevent me from hearing intercoms? Earbuds?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey, I'm looking for the best way to listen to my music at work.  I need to be able to hear what people are saying to me (including intercoms that have no visual cue), which rules out closed-can headphones and in-ear buds.  However, I also don't want others to be bothered by my music, which rules out speakers and open-can headphones.

 

So far the only thing I know of that fits all of these qualifications are iPod-style earbuds.  I am currently using those that came with my iPod, but I would like an improvement in audio quality.  Can anyone recommend some really nice earbuds that don't prevent me from hearing outside sounds?  Or, are there any better listening solutions that I'm just not thinking of?

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 15

Semi-open or poorly isolating closed headphones seem like they would suit your uses but earbuds will work too. Any particular price range in mind? Any portability constraints? 

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking semi-open headphones will still bleed more noise into the office than I'd like to.  (My Denon AH-D2000 closed-can headphones at home bleed just enough sound to bother my girlfriend if she's in the room, and I can hardly hear any outside noises while audio is playing.)

 

Generally speaking, the price won't stop me from buying nicer earbuds.  I'd like to shoot for $100 or less, but I'll take suggestions in any price range.  However, you should know that the audio source is my MacBook Pro's onboard Intel audio, so the best-of-the-best would probably be overkill (garbage in, garbage out).  But I'm sure I can do better than these iPod earbuds.

 

Portability should not be a constraint.  I assume that I'll be able to stuff whatever it is into my backpack at the end of the day, but if I had to leave it on my desk, that would be okay.

post #4 of 15

Phiaton PS210 with some Comply T400 will be my recommendation if you didn't go for earbuds. Read my review here.

post #5 of 15

I think those PS210s might be exactly what I was looking for as well.  Is there a lot of sound leakage from those?

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveSt View Post

I think those PS210s might be exactly what I was looking for as well.  Is there a lot of sound leakage from those?


Not at all.

post #7 of 15

Awesome.  Thanks for the great review and information!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post


Not at all.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Phiaton PS210 with some Comply T400 will be my recommendation if you didn't go for earbuds. Read my review here.


Thanks for the review!  The Phiaton PS210 does sound like it could suit my needs well.  But I'm not sure about the Comply T400; wouldn't that improve the seal, which would make it harder for me to hear when someone intercoms me?

post #9 of 15

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raptor007 View Post


Thanks for the review!  The Phiaton PS210 does sound like it could suit my needs well.  But I'm not sure about the Comply T400; wouldn't that improve the seal, which would make it harder for me to hear when someone intercoms me?

Yes, T400 will has more isolation than the stock eartip (but by all means just barely noticeable more), though also give more balanced sound. You can always get PS210 first and if you are happy then there is no need to get the T400.
 

post #10 of 15

Check out the sennheiser MX471.

 

I bought my wife a pair of these earbuds for her to use at the gym.  I've been listening to them some over the last couple days and am quite impressed.  Really nice balance with these phones, not too much bass, great midrange - they just really have a nice tone to them.

 

They are earbuds so you will still be able to hear your surroundings as long as you don't have them turned up too loud.  Best part- - they are around 20 bucks or less.  I'm probably going to get another pair for myself.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneotool View Post

Check out the sennheiser MX471.

 

I bought my wife a pair of these earbuds for her to use at the gym.  I've been listening to them some over the last couple days and am quite impressed.  Really nice balance with these phones, not too much bass, great midrange - they just really have a nice tone to them.

 

They are earbuds so you will still be able to hear your surroundings as long as you don't have them turned up too loud.  Best part- - they are around 20 bucks or less.  I'm probably going to get another pair for myself.


Thanks for the tip; I think I'll give those a try first.  For my work listening, I really do want to make sure I'm not blocking out my surroundings.  And at that price, even if I don't like them, I'm not going to feel too bad about the purchase.

post #12 of 15

How does the isolation of the PS210 compare to something like the Yuin PK2?  Like the OP, most of my listening is done in an office setting.  I really like my IEMs, but it can be a bit embarrassing to realize someone has been trying to get my attention and they have been totally blocked out.  I hate to give up my IEMs, but in an open office they just provide too much isolation I'm afraid.

 

post #13 of 15

Let's see, Using a PK2 will be like having your pinky blocking half (or more) of your ear canal, using a PS210 on stock silicone eartip will be like pinky in the ear canal with 2~3mm opening. PS210 with Comply will be like pinky in ear canal with 1mm opening. Neither isolate very well and unless you are blasting your music very loudly I doubt you can't notice others around you. If you did listen to music loudly then even PK2 will take your attention away.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Let's see, Using a PK2 will be like having your pinky blocking half (or more) of your ear canal, using a PS210 on stock silicone eartip will be like pinky in the ear canal with 2~3mm opening. PS210 with Comply will be like pinky in ear canal with 1mm opening. Neither isolate very well and unless you are blasting your music very loudly I doubt you can't notice others around you. If you did listen to music loudly then even PK2 will take your attention away.


Ahhhh, that pinkie analogy made this more clear for me.  I actually just tried those positions with my pinkie, and I can see how a partially-in-ear bud like the PS210 wouldn't really isolate much -- it's only when you jam your pinkie in there (like an in-ear-bud) that you really block the sound.

 

Well, I ordered the Sennheiser MX580, which are a slight step up from the MX471 recommended, but still cheap enough that I won't feel bad about ordering something else if I'm not satisfied with the sound.  I'll try to remember to come back and let you know how I like them.

 

I really appreciate all the suggestions you guys have given.  I tried to search online for high quality earbuds, but all that I could find were the isolating in-ear kind.  Now I know about Phiaton, the Sennheiser MX line, and Yuin.  Reading reviews for these leads me to items they are compared to, which gives me a broader range of products to choose from.  I just needed a good starting point, and you guys really helped me out with that!

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey, I just wanted to report back on the MX580s, since I've been using them for a few weeks now and have them pretty well broken in.

 

The first thing that struck me was how clear the sound is; the highs sound very good.  The mids were a bit odd at first, like certain frequencies would resonate too much, but over time this went away, so I think it was just a matter of breaking them in.  The only issue that hasn't entirely gone away is that the low end isn't quite as pronounced as I'd like it.  However, I can compensate for this with the iTunes equalizer by pushing the 32Hz and 64Hz sliders up by 3dB.  The MX580s sound great with this 3dB low-end boost, and don't seem to distort from the additional workload.

 

By the way, I'm using the earbuds without the foam pads.  I tried with the foam at first, but they didn't have a good fit in my smallish ears.  Without the foam, they are an excellent fit, and I can wear them all day without my ears getting uncomfortable.

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