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Which of these NC sets is the best deal?

Poll Results: Which of these NC phones do you recommend at these prices?

 
  • 40% (2)
    ($125) Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b
  • 40% (2)
    ($200) Sony MDR-NC500d
  • 20% (1)
    ($225) Bose QC15
  • 0% (0)
    other/write-in
5 Total Votes  
post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for good NC phones for air travel (listening to iPhone).  I can get the following phones for the following prices well below retail:

 

$125 -- Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b

$200 -- Sony MDR-NC500d

$225 -- Bose QC15

 

Which of these three would you audiophiles recommend?  Or, feel free to suggest a different set.  Thanks smily_headphones1.gif

post #2 of 12

Supposedly the QC15 have the best NC circuitry out there, so if that's your priority, then they'd be your best bet.  I can't really comment on sound quality between the three though.

post #3 of 12

Sony doesn't do NC well in my opinion, and I cannot comment on the Audio-Technicas as I've never heard them. Bose are overpriced to the extreme, but generally are best at noise cancellation (if not music). It's a game of what you want out of the headphone. If you only want NC, go Bose. If you want a good deal on audio quality with that, get something else or maybe even some IEMs.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by RLguitar View Post

I'm looking for good NC phones for air travel (listening to iPhone).  I can get the following phones for the following prices well below retail:

 

$125 -- Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b

$200 -- Sony MDR-NC500d

$225 -- Bose QC15

 

Which of these three would you audiophiles recommend?  Or, feel free to suggest a different set.  Thanks smily_headphones1.gif i have heard the bose and they are fantastic.



 

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice.  Just to clarify:  sound quality and comfort are important, not just NC.  Really anything is better than my Sony XB500s which are comfortable but let in too much noise.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by RLguitar View Post

Thanks for the advice.  Just to clarify:  sound quality and comfort are important, not just NC.  Really anything is better than my Sony XB500s which are comfortable but let in too much noise.


In that case, would you consider IEMs (in-ear monitors)? They arguably have better isolation than any NC headphone can, and they'll definitely have better sound because they're not skewed by the frequencies emitted by active NC.

 

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post


In that case, would you consider IEMs (in-ear monitors)? They arguably have better isolation than any NC headphone can, and they'll definitely have better sound because they're not skewed by the frequencies emitted by active NC.

 



I'm pretty clueless about IEMs, but if I could get a deal on those like I can on the over-ears, then sure.

post #8 of 12

From a brief demo with the QC15s in a crowded Apple store, I have to say that the NC works quite well, and it sounds decent as well, just not as good as the retail price. The one very noticeable thing for me was the very harsh highs, which were actually quite piercing on classical tracks. As for IEMs, I think you could get similar or better isolation with them, and better sound quality, but I now some people are uncomfortable with shoving things int heir ears. For maximum isolation, Etymotics  are known to be the kings in this regard, so I would look into the HF5 model or something.

post #9 of 12

I'd echo the recommendations of Etys, and Klipsch is also a brand worth looking into. Some of their lower-end models are sold at stores like Best Buy.

post #10 of 12

QC15: good NC but quality of music playback wasn't up to what i'd expect from equipment in that price range.

Sony: NC wasn't that fantastic.... sound quality didn't leave a lasting impression

ANC7b: um... i own these... what does that tell ya =P

 

as for Etys, definitely worth considering as well. I love my HF2 on the go. On a related topic: if you DO opt for the HF3 and you intend to use it while walking around, i'd recommend downloading "Awareness" (by Ety) for safety purposes, just so you can still hear sudden loud noises (eg car honks)

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_4_Dog View Post

QC15: good NC but quality of music playback wasn't up to what i'd expect from equipment in that price range.

Sony: NC wasn't that fantastic.... sound quality didn't leave a lasting impression

ANC7b: um... i own these... what does that tell ya =P

 

as for Etys, definitely worth considering as well. I love my HF2 on the go. On a related topic: if you DO opt for the HF3 and you intend to use it while walking around, i'd recommend downloading "Awareness" (by Ety) for safety purposes, just so you can still hear sudden loud noises (eg car honks)



Yeah it seems like the ANC7b is the smart buy... could you shed any light on the "sound leakage" problem that I've read about with those?  Also, is there enough bass?  Thanks

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by RLguitar View Post



Yeah it seems like the ANC7b is the smart buy... could you shed any light on the "sound leakage" problem that I've read about with those?  Also, is there enough bass?  Thanks



Most NC headphones will leak sound (either through the microphone mesh on the side of the headphone or through the thin consumerist comfort earpads), but it's really not that bad. It may disturb somebody sitting right next to you if you're in a relatively quiet situation. In addition, most of the NC cans I've heard (I cannot say anything for the ANC7b) present bass well in tone, but suck at impact. You don't get the "feeling" of the bass; you just hear it.

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