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Active noise reduction -v- sound isolation IEM's

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,


I've been toying with getting some Sennheiser PXC-450's, mostly due to a recent spat of rambunctious office mates.  I was tempted with over the ear mostly due to my belief that they may add more sound isolation.  But, maybe this isn't true?  And that's why I'm here.


I tend to do IEM's and have in the past for quite a while.  Although Dad had some over the ears that I used as a kid frequently.  So, I'm familiar with both.


Currently I use Apple's dual-drivers- which are pretty decent to be honest- but suck big-time when it comes to sound-isolation.  My e2c's are beautiful, way better at sound-isolation, but I can't decide if the Apple dual drivers have better over-all sound (possibly due to sound leakage).  So, that's the current state of my listening.  I do have a Cmoy with crossfeed I built and use off and on.


The question in my mind that I can't figure out is whether or not over-the-ear ANR cans are better than IEM's at sound isolation?  I've heard of a "stuffy head" problem with ANR as well.  Perusing reviews of ANR headphones, I pretty much came to the conclusion that the pxc-450's trump the Bose QC3 and QC2's and are built a bit more solid- they have better sound reproduction and even use a nice set of drivers (same as the HD595?).


So, this might be difficult to answer, but I'd love to have your take on all this!  I've toyed with buying the ER4's which appear to be in my price-range, and have found an OK price for the pxc-450's.  I'd love to hear any comments anyone has on either sound isolating IEMs or headphones, and your opinion between the two!


Sorry so wordy, guys!  Also feel free to point me to other threads!  I didn't go through all the search results- going to do so now!




(long time lurker who just now has gotten back to the forum, haven't posted much before)

post #2 of 2



I have a pair of PXC-450 and QC15's.  Both of them are really good, and I use them both for frequent travels.


I also had Klipsch Image X5 (IEM) and will be getting AudioTechnica AT-CK100's in the near future.  They are good at noise reduction too.


I think it comes to comfort - some people are okay with stuffing their ear with an IEM to get the perfect seal; others prefer over-ear because of comfort but then the noise cancelling is not as good as isolation.  Also, you get microphonics with IEMs, which might be an issue you may want to consider.


Also, instead of getting the PXC-450, it might be an idea to get the new PXC 360 (BT) noise cancelling ones Sennheiser recently brought out.  I think pricewise it is/will be similar to the PXC-450.


I hope this answers a few of your questions :)

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