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Noise Canceling or Isolation, Need help understanding how much different they are.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My desk is in my bedroom and I would like to block out the TV that my wife watches while I am trying to work.  I used to have the bose QC3's that did a great job of noise cancelation.  I was trying to figure out which would be better Isolation good sounding headphones or noise cancelation but not as good sounding.  Here are my requests listed in there priority:




iPhone Controls

Works well with rock/hip hop/ and podcasts.


I just bought the Parrot Zik but they are not very comfortable and my ear feels squished in the pad.  I was thinking of just getting the QC15's because of there great noise cancellation and comfort, but if I can find a pair that have really good isolation that sound good and are built well that would be even better.


So my questions are what is the difference in hearing outside noise between good closed and noise canceling?  Will good closed isolation headphones put a lot of pressure on the sides of my head because they have to be tight?  After trying the parrot's I would rather get something thats not wireless that has less technology so they would be light and hopefully more comfortable.  I really liked the look of the vmoda LP2 for there build quality and look, but I think that v-port design will let a lot of outside noise in, is this true?


Lastly and most important, Please no IEM's.  I have tried them and they are not for me.  Thanks.

post #2 of 6
The QC15 does in fact have the best noise cancellation out there but you are right there are a lot of headpohnes in that price range that will give you more out of your music. The QC15 is not the worse sound phone I have ever heard but I think you don't need to sacrafice any sound quality for active noise cancelling (ANC) in a home environment.

Beyer DT770 + E10 Amp.
AKG K551 when it comes out (same as AKG550 but with ipod control, you can try it at bestbuy)
UE6000 (more of a bassy headphone and uses ANC also, better sounding alternative to the QC15 imo)
UE9000 (havent heard it, google UE9000 innerfidelity and read the review there)
Sennheiser MM550 (not MM550x which is $500) sounded considerably better than QC15 has optional ANC as well but sounds better without it. Similar comfort and build to the bose model.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Just saw the Vmoda m-100's, was wondering if anybody had info on comfort and how good there isolation is.



Thanks for the info I'll look into those.  Do you know how comfortable the UE's are.



post #4 of 6
I found the comfort very good on the UE. I wish I could tell you about the M-100 but never tried them. It is really worth looking into I have read good things about them. I know nothing about how well they isolate.

Good luck with your purchase.
post #5 of 6

i'm not sure if this is stated earlier but noise isolation most of the time is considered passive noise isolation meaning the headphones themselves do not use any electronic circuitry to block outside noise


if the headphone has good passive isolation this saves u money on batteries and you won't have to worry about when ur headphones won't work ( bose qc 15s don't work once u run out of battery).


but i think for on ear and over ear the best way to go for superb isolation is noise cancelling otherwise iems are the best in that category. ( note i say this very generally but there are exceptions) i currently use the noontecs, monoprice 8323s those are average to above average in isolation. but i find my klipsch image s4is isolate way better than my two headphones. 


noise isolation on the other hand like the bose quietcomfort 15s have vents on the headphones themselves that allow let in noise but the electronic circuitry counteracts theses frequencies into the headphone themselves.


personally, unless ur using the bose qc 15s most noise cancelling headphoens are not that good, beats studios, logitech 6000, 9000, and the list goes on


the bose qc 3s i heard the noise cancelation is not as good as the 15s i could be wrong though. cause the qc 15s are over ear as opposed to on ear.

post #6 of 6

I've been trying out Polk Audio Ultrafocus 8000s and Denon AH-NC800. The Denon sound great and are very light and comfortable, they fit completely outside the ears. The Polks fit sort of around the ear and a bit on, they do squeeze in but are still quite comfortable. The Polks sound amazing. This is causing me the dilemma of which ones to take overseas with me as the very light and compact (for full size cans) Denon's aren't the ones I keep listening to.


Either one would suit your purpose. 


Note the Denons use a single battery and work when NC is off. Polks use two batteries and only work when on but have a much stronger output both are supposed to last 40hrs.

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