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non-ANC isolation headphone recommendations?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Friends,

 

I'm new here, and I love the site. I'm interested in a non-ANC noise-canceling headphone, i.e. a closed headphone with really good isolation. Price: Under $150. Current equipment: Vintage AKG K141, Bose Triport (barf), Fiio E5, and Yamaha CA-810. These headphones will be plugged into the Fiio most of the time, as I'll be using them when most other people would use ANC headphones, i.e. in the car or on the plane. So, they'll be replacing my Triports. I realize that basically any headphone is better than the Triport, but I want the best value. I've been eyeing the Shure SRH840 but apparently they have awful isolation, so I'm resorting to asking for directions. Thanks in advance, guys.

 

P.S. I'm going to be buying a Nuforce uDAC-2 to use as a DAC and desktop headphone amp for the K141. Is this a good idea?

post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tas236 View Post

Friends,

 

I'm new here, and I love the site. I'm interested in a non-ANC noise-canceling headphone, i.e. a closed headphone with really good isolation. Price: Under $150. Current equipment: Vintage AKG K141, Bose Triport (barf), Fiio E5, and Yamaha CA-810. These headphones will be plugged into the Fiio most of the time, as I'll be using them when most other people would use ANC headphones, i.e. in the car or on the plane. So, they'll be replacing my Triports. I realize that basically any headphone is better than the Triport, but I want the best value. I've been eyeing the Shure SRH840 but apparently they have awful isolation, so I'm resorting to asking for directions. Thanks in advance, guys.

 

P.S. I'm going to be buying a Nuforce uDAC-2 to use as a DAC and desktop headphone amp for the K141. Is this a good idea?


Well what music do you listen to primarily?

Also why not get an IEM?

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

I listen to all kinds of music, but primarily jazz, rock, and classical. That being said, I want a definite bass presence. As for IEMs, I have strangely shaped ears and not enough money (yet) for custom plugs.

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tas236 View Post

I listen to all kinds of music, but primarily jazz, rock, and classical. That being said, I want a definite bass presence. As for IEMs, I have strangely shaped ears and not enough money (yet) for custom plugs.


Not many headphones come to mind. I guess you could go with the common trend and get Audio-Technica M50's.

They have bass have decent isolation FWIR. 

post #5 of 11
Quote:

Originally Posted by tas236 View Post

 

I've been eyeing the Shure SRH840 but apparently they have awful isolation



Not sure where you read this. The 840s have pretty good isolation, and in my opinion better than the M50. If you want impactful bass though, then the M50s are better. The simple solution is to get the M50s and pick up some 840 pads to improve comfort and isolation. If you can find them on sale under $150, the Senn HD25-1-ii also have excellent isolation.

 

You might be able to find a used Beyer DT770 within your price range, although the Beyers are kinda big and not what I would consider transportable if you intend to use them for car/plane trips.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Do the 840 pads fit on the M50? And how comparable in terms of sound quality are they? Also, if there are any other 'phones you can recommend, that'd be great.

 

Thanks guys, I'm appreciating your help!

post #7 of 11

The 840 pads are *slightly* larger and softer than the M50. They fit no problem. No appreciable sound difference that I noticed except maybe slightly better bass, but that's probably illusory due to the improved seal.

 

In terms of isolation, the best that I've personally heard have been the Beyer DT770, Senn HD280 and Senn HD25. Close behind them are the Shure 840, M50 w/840 pads, and Pioneer HDJ-2000 (though this last one is twice your budget).

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Sounds like the M50s are a good bet, then! I guess I'll try them out before I decide whether I need to upgrade the pads. How would they sound through the uDAC-2, and the Fiio E5 (which is the amp I'll be using with the M50s the most)? I think you have some experience with the uDAC-2, as your profile says you had one.  How will my vintage AKG K141 sound through the uDAC-2, for that matter?

 

Speaking of stalking, I saw you also had a pair of M-Audio AV40s at one point. Do you think pairing them with the uDAC-2 (the latter acting as a standalone DAC when I'm not using the headphones) is a worthwhile option? I'm upgrading from my CA-810 (which will be allocated to just music use, vs. being plugged into the computer as it is now) and am wondering if that would be a good idea. If you have any opinions on something better than the AV40, I'm all ears. 

 

(Congrats in advance for being able to answer all 91284710 questions in this post )

post #9 of 11

Glad to be of service. The M50's were not my favourite can (I preferred the 840 to them, but ultimately sold both to fund bigger toys), but it's a solid performer overall. I've never found any improvement in amping the M50s though, so I wouldn't bother with the e5 unless you simply aren't getting any volume from your player or need the bass boost.

 

The uDac2 is a solid dac/amp and it will have no problem driving any of the headphones or speakers you mentioned. It should pair just fine with the AV40s. I conside the AV40s an excellent speaker for their price (which is about $100 when you find them on sale). There are better options of course, such as the much vaunted Audioengines, but they cost a lot more. In the realm of speakers where prices skyrocket even faster than headphones, I say be happy with the AV40s and save money there until you start hitting bigger toys in the four digit range (or go vintage which is scads cheaper).

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well, I already have the E5, so I'll just keep it around I guess. It definitely helps when listening on my iPod (and through a PocketDock, of course). Another plus to the M50s is their much-lower price. If that means a slight tradeoff, I'm still up for it. 

 

Good to hear about the uDAC-2/AV40 combo. Although I haven't been able to find any under $130... oh well.

 

Thanks so much, again, for your help! It certainly means a lot. It's good that a n00b like me can feel welcome here.

post #11 of 11

The Sennheiser HD280 Pros have probably the best isolation I've experienced in a closed non-ANC can.

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