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Help! Best closed headphones for air travel?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I am after the best headphones for air travel (my line of work so I will be using them airborne frequently). Sound quality is my first priority and noise reduction is the second. I've looked through the forums here for several hours, but I'm a bit of a noob and now pretty confused by the choise - I want a closed/around ear headphones and I'm not interested in IEMs - I know ANC is meant to be great for air-travel, but some of the threads on here seem to suggest you can get similar noise attenuation from decent closed-ear phones without ANC, with the added benefit of better sound quality / lower cost?

 

The headphones would be un-amped, using a Macbook Air as the source. I have been scouring the forums here for reviews and have narrowed down the SXC-450s and ATH-ANC7b as possible candidates. My budget is flexible but up to around US$350.

 

If anyone has owned these, or other suitible ANC or non-ANC headphones, and has any suggestions about what would give great sound qaulity / noise reduction being used unamped from a Macbook, I would love to hear from you!

 

Cheers

 

 

PS: My home setup is: AD900s connected to a ZERO Amp/DAC using my PC (Creative X-Fi sound card) as a source - I know I can't get something that sounds like this unamped for use in the air, but anything decent should beat the white Apple earbuds I currently use while away! :-)

 

 

post #2 of 8

I had the ANC7b and I was not impressed with the sound or the noise cancellation. They also leak sound terribly which may not be much of an issue in a noisy plane. It is an unpopular opinion here but the Bose QC15 is great at noise cancelling and I think they sound good enough for air travel. I think the main objection is the price but for heavy travel they are great.

post #3 of 8

I own the ATH-ANC7b and I was disappointed with the sound quality. They are in the closet somewhere collecting dust right now. Often noise-cancelling headphones will suffer in sound quality and the price to performance ratio will be lower. I don't understand why you exclude IEMs, they can isolate better than noise-cancelling headphones and have the potential to sound great.

 

I agree with bubsdaddy, you should think about the Bose QC15. I demoed them at Best Buy and thought they sounded OK but they have good noise cancelling features and comfort. Yes, they are overpriced and I am not sure about the SXC-450s but you should consider the Bose just in case.

 

 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the opinions guys, I appreciate the feedback! Some further investigation has pointed me in the direction of the ATH-ESW9, which I know are not ANC but would seem like a good option as they are meant to sound close to as good as you can get un-amped (within around the US$350 price range), and are the closed design - one question I would have is; do the ESW9s / ESW9As 'leak' a lot of sound or provide decent passive noise attenuation? There seem to be conflicting reports of that on here?

 

Again, thanks for the opinions!

 

Regards

post #5 of 8

I have had the ES7 for a few days and I am using the ES10 as my main can. No they do not isolate that well unless you turn the volume up. I think they won't work well for your requirements imo.

post #6 of 8

Denon NC800. Great balance of sound and noise cancellation, very comfortable and packs up relatively small.

post #7 of 8

The HD-25-1 II's isolate very well and are rugged enough for throwing in carry-ons. Down side is that they don't fold however I have jammed mine in my carry-ons for years no and they look and feel brand new.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostrider117 View Post

Thanks for the opinions guys, I appreciate the feedback! Some further investigation has pointed me in the direction of the ATH-ESW9, which I know are not ANC but would seem like a good option as they are meant to sound close to as good as you can get un-amped (within around the US$350 price range), and are the closed design - one question I would have is; do the ESW9s / ESW9As 'leak' a lot of sound or provide decent passive noise attenuation? There seem to be conflicting reports of that on here?

 

Again, thanks for the opinions!

 

Regards

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicianky View Post

Denon NC800. Great balance of sound and noise cancellation, very comfortable and packs up relatively small.


Esw enclosures don't block sound. In fact, I feel the wood enclosures actually amplify some sounds and resonant within. I had the Esw10jpn and they sound really good but i wouldnt use them on a subway or airplane.
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