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what active noise-cancelling IEMs are available nowadays?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I am considering upgrading my active noise-canceling sony MDR-NC22.

I'd like to know if people have experiences with these relatively newer IEMs from around 2010~2011:

 

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23

Audio-Technica ATH-CKS90NC

Sony MDR-NC33

Phiaton PS 20 NC

Pioneer SE-NC31C-K

Creative EP-3NC

Any other newer models?

 

I know there are also Sennheiser CXC 700 and Sony MDR-NC300D, but they are way over my budget of US$100 range.

My sound preference is on the warm bassy side.  And I know some will recommend noise-isolation over noise-cancellation, but here I am specifically seeking noise cancellation.

Thanks


Edited by jjmai - 4/17/11 at 4:57pm
post #2 of 15

Active noise canceling technology for IEM's still isn't so great as of now, especially in that price range.  Those headphones won't sound nearly as good as others that you can get for the same price, although you don't have much of a choice if you want active noise canceling.  I would go with either Sony or Audio Technica just because they generally have a better track record of making decent audio equipment than the other brands.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Seeing how many IEMs have popped up over recent years from different brands, I am surprised at the lack of selections in active noise-canceling IEMs.  Even Bose, with their well received noise-cancellation technology, doesn't make any IEM with noise-cancellation, weird...

post #4 of 15

It's probably really tricky to do because it's difficult to determine how well the IEM's will seal with each person's ears. The active canceling would have to be adjustable in volume.  There's also not a lot of room on IEM's to fit in an extra mic as well as circuitry so there would need to be a large "brick" in the middle which is rather annoying. 

Most people don't even consider active noise canceling to be necessary, especially with IEM's which can isolate a pretty large amount with just normal tips.  You can find foam tips that fit just about every single earphone that do a great job isolating and are also very comfortable and super easy to use.

post #5 of 15

I'd go for isolation over noise cancelling any day. The results are exponentially better for your $. Especially considering how crap the NC circuitry sounds anyway. Go for a really good seal instead.

post #6 of 15

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/551759/my-review-of-the-audio-technica-ath-anc23

 

Well, I just saw this review yesterday.  It looks like this might be pretty good for you.  Though if you want really good isolation, you should probably go for etyomtics - they have by far the most isolation than any other IEM, though they apparently feel like razor blades in your ears to most, at least at first.

post #7 of 15

Basically ANC sucks and is too expensive(need to spend a lot of $$$$$ for a good ANC phone and the sound will most likely not be great) compared to passive isolation. 

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

i have plenty of iems for passive isolation. but i found the actice noise cancelation to do the best job for air travel, especially when sound quality is not the biggest concern when residual noise can still drown out the music.

post #9 of 15
You could wear noise cancellation headphones over it...or work ear muffs
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

bump

Really no one has experience on these models?

Saw a NC33 the other day, really tempted, but wanted to know what people here thought first...

post #11 of 15
post #12 of 15

Many IEMs (notably Westone or Etymotic) block a significantly greater amount of noise than most ANC headphones, especially with foam tips. My Westone UM3X with the Comply P-series foamies beats the Bose Quietcomfort 2 any day of the week in terms of noise-blockage (not to mention sound quality too)

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmai View Post

i have plenty of iems for passive isolation. but i found the actice noise cancelation to do the best job for air travel, especially when sound quality is not the biggest concern when residual noise can still drown out the music.



I just picked up a set of the ATH-CKS90NCs and I like them for air travel.  You're right- compared to what I have which includes customs (see my profile), when you weight the pros and cons, the noise cancelling does a better job in the air for me.  Before I got these, I compared them to their lower model (ATH-ANC23 I think), the Sony MDR-NC33, MDR-NC300D and the Denon AH-NC600.  I found as far as NC effectiveness, the CKS90NCs were similar to the MDR-NC300D and then Denons.  The others were not as good at NC.  SQ was similar on all three.  So I went with the AT because it was the cheaper of the three (in Japan).  The SQ between the CKS90NC and the CKS90 is the same.  They should be because they are essentially the same IEM.  Flipping the NC on and off, I do not hear any significant difference in SQ.  The price difference between the two is about $40USD, which isn't bad at all.  I also think that you will probably like the sound sig- similar to Sony but more subdued highs, perhaps at the cost of some detail.  But it's not a fatiguing IEM and it has good bass.  Hope this helps!


Edited by Mkubota1 - 5/31/11 at 5:14pm
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mkubota1.  Finally someone understands my dilemma.

I actually do have my eyes on that ATH-CKS90NC out of all the models.  Seems to suit a basshead the best.  But it's just so damn expensive, and not available widely in the states.  Hopefully I get to visit Japan again sometimes..   Or if you decide to sell them off, let me know smily_headphones1.gif

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmai View Post

Seeing how many IEMs have popped up over recent years from different brands, I am surprised at the lack of selections in active noise-canceling IEMs.  Even Bose, with their well received noise-cancellation technology, doesn't make any IEM with noise-cancellation, weird...

Hi Guys,

 

Newbie (First Post) But I'd like to update you guys on the new Bose QuietComfort 20s which should be out in US already. They are what you expect from Bose's QC line of Headphones but in ear instead.

 

Link to the new Bose NC IEMs: http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/headphones/noise_cancelling_headphones/quietcomfort_20/index.jsp

 

DivIneSound

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