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Good setup for ipod gen 6 nano with AMP for military aircraft?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've been browsing this forum and have found it to have a great wealth of information on high quality audio equipment, yet I haven't read anything on usage of portable rigs for people in the aviation business.

 

As this is my first posting here I'd like to introduce myself: I'm, a maintainer assigned to a KC-135 stratotanker(air refueling jet) It is equipped with four F-108 high bypass turbofan engines that produce a LOT of noise in flight. I often travel in the aircraft and have found that I need to constantly wear ear protection during flights. I have also found that listening to music during long flights is an absolute MUST to deal with the constant whine of the large engines, and it also helps to put me to sleep on long missions. 

 

Lately I have used a setup with a pair of JVC In-ear-monitors and my ipod nano gen 6. I was able to clip the nano to my line badge(which hangs from my neck on a lanyard) and keep the IEMs in my ears but had to wear ear defenders to block out the rest of the aircraft noise. NOTE: clipping to line badge probably won't be something I'm going to do with an amp.

 

My problem: aircraft noise and ear defenders are not comfortable while also wearing in-ear monitors. Also very awkward when sleeping and turning to the side, knowing the ear defenders will not allow that to happen.

 

My question: Since I've decided on the RSA Shadow amp to supplement my nano 6th gen, what over-the-ear headphones can benefit from an AMP setup and are comfortable to wear for at most 12-16 hours on end and are collapsible for travel? I've been reading about the Pioneer HDJ 2000 and have found it to have satisfied users in the comfort factor, but will an amp help them in any way? I've also been reading about the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 being the most popular for its price range, but users complain about it clamping their heads too tight. Not sure on how it performs with a high quality AMP like the ones made by Ray Samuels though.

I am also open to hearing suggestions of other over-the-ear headphones in the $300 or less price range that can benefit from amping. Even possible, if there are any high quality IEM sets around the same range that could possibly block out the sound from 4 large jet engines, any suggestions or comments are welcome~

post #2 of 16

IEMs can attenuate noise, but cannot block them. Usually they have a constant delta (in dB) they'll remove so it doesn't help much in high noise environments. 

You've probably heard this before, but you'll be much better off with Active Noise Canceling headphones. They'll block out almost all the noise. Something like Sennheiser MM 550x, Audio-Technica ATHANC7.

Also, they don't need amping as such because they have their own batteries for power.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

I have read into the noise cancelling headphones, although the sennheisers are awesome I think they're a bit above my price range...so that being said, how is the sound quality on these types of headphones? I'm curious how they compare with studio monitor-style headsets too.

post #4 of 16

Of course these are no reference quality headphones, but they are as good as the mid range ones out there. The PXC 450 is sligthly cheaper (~$350) because no wireless, but from what I read, the audio quality is pretty good, better than the audio technica.

Regarding the studio style monitors, I was also looking into those (AKG 701), but it seems they'll also just attenuate noise to an extent, something like 30-40 dB, similar to IEMs. I'm not sure how noisy your environment is, but if its beyond the usual street noise, these headphones/IEMs won't fully remove the noise.

 

Can I ask, how's your current setup like? Your IEMs are passive noise cancelling, right? How's the noise level with those? If they work then you can certainly look into IEMs/Studio Monitors.


Edited by proton007 - 9/26/12 at 11:43pm
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've never used any noise cancelling tech,the in ear monitors I used were some $25 jvc x-bass earphones (I think That's what they're called). I wore them with peltor ear defenders over my ears to get enough isolation from the engine noise. I figured that any headset that had an over the ear configuration could work even if it didn't have noise cancelling. And my issue with noise cancelling headsets was that I feared the battery Would not last on some of the longer flights (12-16 hours). I did r read some good reviews on the audio technica noise cancelling Headsets.

If I could compare this engine noise to street noise I'd say it's about as noisy as a crowded street during rush hour.
post #6 of 16

The PXC 450's battery runs around 16-20 hours, Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 around 20 hours. You can use rechargeable ones, 1 pair and cycle them. They use only one AAA battery.

If you regularly travel and stay in the noisy environment you described, my recommendation would be to go for either the PXC 450 or the Audio Technica ATH-ANC9, both around the same price. They'll cut around 90% of the noise, and you can use them even if you don't want to listen to music, just want some silence.


Edited by proton007 - 9/27/12 at 12:19am
post #7 of 16

Really I think the best solution you're looking at is custom IEMs. I don't know how loud your aircraft is relative to the average plane flight, but when I wear my customs on a plane the only outside sound I can really hear is what is conduced through my body.

There was a review of a Swedish company's ciems that were aimed at your pricepoint, I might look into those.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChavaC View Post

Really I think the best solution you're looking at is custom IEMs. I don't know how loud your aircraft is relative to the average plane flight, but when I wear my customs on a plane the only outside sound I can really hear is what is conduced through my body.

There was a review of a Swedish company's ciems that were aimed at your pricepoint, I might look into those.

 

I agree to an extent, but at his price point, it'll be hard to get custom IEMs with decent sound.

post #9 of 16
Cosmic ears! That's the customs you want to look at
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. I took a look into the 450 and read in one of the reviews that it was not meant for aircraft engine noise...can anyone attest to that?
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by aerodrew View Post

Thanks for the suggestions. I took a look into the 450 and read in one of the reviews that it was not meant for aircraft engine noise...can anyone attest to that?

 

From most of what I've read, it seems pretty popular for flight travel. Perhaps you can point me to the review. Or you can take a look at other options...


Edited by proton007 - 9/27/12 at 6:40pm
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

proton007 here is the review:

 

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2VIQKBW841RHX/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B000R2PC2M&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

 

However I have found that a lot of the Sennheiser reviews did include that they have been used on aircraft and have performed well to reduce the outside noise. I've even read some reviews saying that the bass and general audio quality becomes degraded when the noise cancelling function is turned on. Still doing more research though~


Edited by aerodrew - 9/27/12 at 7:08pm
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by aerodrew View Post

proton007 here is the review:

 

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2VIQKBW841RHX/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B000R2PC2M&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

 

However I have found that a lot of the Sennheiser reviews did include that they have been used on aircraft and have performed well to reduce the outside noise. I've even read some reviews saying that the bass and general audio quality becomes degraded when the noise cancelling function is turned on. Still doing more research though~

 

Ok, I agree, its better to do some more research.

I think there's a limit to noise cancellation as well, especially with vibrations. They travel through your body, and nothing can prevent you from hearing those.

Secondly, there will be a compromise in terms of sound quality when you're doing active noise cancellation, because the circuitry will have to cancel out the noise from the signal.

 

Take a look at this for a better idea and reviews:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/comparative-review-high-end-noise-canceling-headphones

 

I'll also suggest take a look at this, you'll get the best audio quality around:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelitys-wall-fame-ear-monitors

 

Some are saying in the comments they use their IEMs with hearing protectors. Also, with IEMs, as some have said before, you can get them reshelled to get a custom fit, if you want later.


Edited by proton007 - 9/27/12 at 7:39pm
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot, I'll definitely take these into account, probably might consider a non ANC headset, so perhaps an audio technica or similar. Some of the higher end IEMs do intrigue me, however. Shure IEMs are actually interesting and seem to be within my price range. I'll probably ask in their respective forums but thanks for the help so far~

post #15 of 16

AWACS crew?

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