Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › New travel headphones - road warrior advice welcome!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New travel headphones - road warrior advice welcome!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've got an itch that needs scratching. I think it might be time to upgrade my travel kit.

 

Over the years, I've traveled with several differnent types of headphones. Originally starting with Bose NC, then moving into Shure IEM, and after they were stolen mid-trip, bought a pair of T-Jays on an impulse buy.

 

In general, I listed to a lot of classic rock, electric blues, alt. country, and Jazz. At home I tend to favor non-headphone listening with my Squeezebox --> GD Audio NFB-10SE --> Portal monoblocks --> Dynaudio Contour 1.3 SE. Neutral and very revealing setup. Mainly FLAC with high bitrate MP3's for portable usage.

 

On the road, I use my headphones on the airplane for portable audio (my MP3 / smartphone flavor of the day), inflight movies, iPad movies and TV, and SKYPE. Lot's of Skype...

 

I am actually currently in Tokyo on business as I write this, and just came back from Dynamic Audio in Akiba, headphone store and saw and listened to a ton of different cans. Pretty much all of them blow away my current T-Jays. But the T-Jays are awesome at noise isolation and compactness for always having with me.

 

Then I tried the Zik PArrot, and began considering a set of BT headphones which could consolidate my music earphones and communication headset.

 

Then I tried NC headphones from AKG, Sony, and Audio Technica.

 

Then I saw the Sennheiser MM-550X BT and NC Headphones.

 

THEN I trolled the forums here and saw all the hype around the V-Moda M-100 and saw that it has an option boom mic attachment. (but also worried that my love of crunchy guitars might get lost in the laid back mids that everyone seems to be talking about.)

 

NOW...I am thoroughly confused.

 

There must be some other road warriors out there who travel a ton. What have you found your go-to set? compact portability, reasonble, isolation/NC, ability to use with phone and skype, and superb sound (if not audiophile).

 

Thanks for the inputs!

 

Kook

post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 

I think my "question" must have been too open ended and subject to personal requirements.

 

Here is where my position has (currently) morphed:

 

  • For flights, I am almost always on long haul to Asia 10 to 15 hours flights. For me, IEM's are much more comfortable and seem to block noise better.
  • For IEM's, comfort, sound isolation, and a more neutral-trending-to-warm sound with a lot of detail is what I like.
  • I *think* this puts Westone 4 at the top of my list.
  • For communication and wireless listening while on the road, portability, good sound, and BT capability are top on the list.
  • The Zik doesn't work with Skype, MM-550X too bulky and expensive, and some others where it seemed BT for communication wasn't very good.
  • I *think* this puts the Senn MM-450X at the top of my list.

 

So, if I can swing it, I will be getting both.

 

Any substitutes I ought to consider instead?

post #3 of 16
I, like yourself travel a lot, but haven't found a angle set up for everything. I came to the conclusion that I need IEM's and full size headphones. Currently I'm using IE80's for comfort whilst out & about and either Amperiors or my Momentum's in hotels, etc. not a hard and fast rule, as I will sometimes use the cans instead of the IEM's and vice versa.

I had a set of the MM450's but I always felt that sound quality suffered via Bluetooth and I ended up giving them to a friend.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply!

 

With the Westones taking over the sound quality role, I have been telling myself that being wireless in my hotel room, with the added benefit of being able to skype with it, I could live with the sound. Also, I understand that the sound is pretty good if you run it wired?

 

I also looked at a lot of full sized cans, but they need to have a microphone which made me lean to V-Moda's, Just not sure I am going to like that sound sig as I am deifnitely more in the classic Rock, Folk, Alt, Jazz camp.

 

Your Amperiers have an inline mic? How does that work for you? Or do not not require it?

post #5 of 16
The in line mic on the Momntums is pretty good and the Amperiors is acceptable, I prefer the Momentum's though for calls.

I have a new MacBook Pro Retina which has dual mics for calls, etc and sound quality is very good, so I tend not to use the headphones for Skype, only normal calls on my phone.

Yes the wired connection is better on the MM range, but using it kind of defeats the purpose of them, not to mention the higher cost for them in the first place.

Of course if your phone or whatever device supports Apt- X ( iDevices don't ) then theoretically they should sound better. I know that the MM550's are Apt- X enabled, not sure about the 450's.

The issue that I had was similar to yours, I thought I could live with the lesser quality via Bluetooth, but in the end I couldn't ...expensive mistake for me...
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by obkook View Post

I think my "question" must have been too open ended and subject to personal requirements.

 

Here is where my position has (currently) morphed:

 

  • For flights, I am almost always on long haul to Asia 10 to 15 hours flights. For me, IEM's are much more comfortable and seem to block noise better.
  • For IEM's, comfort, sound isolation, and a more neutral-trending-to-warm sound with a lot of detail is what I like.
  • I *think* this puts Westone 4 at the top of my list.
  • For communication and wireless listening while on the road, portability, good sound, and BT capability are top on the list.
  • The Zik doesn't work with Skype, MM-550X too bulky and expensive, and some others where it seemed BT for communication wasn't very good.
  • I *think* this puts the Senn MM-450X at the top of my list.

 

So, if I can swing it, I will be getting both.

 

Any substitutes I ought to consider instead?


Thought about customs?

post #7 of 16

How about you kill 2 birds with...  Erm...  1 and a half stones?  Get the Westone W4R, it'll do well for what you want it to do along with either of these cables:

 

It should fill all of your requirements.  

post #8 of 16
Another option for Skype calls via your laptop for better mic input...

http://bluemic.com/tiki/
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidcotton View Post


Thought about customs?

Yes, I did. But from a budget perspective, I think the W4's are about my limit for IEM's.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

How about you kill 2 birds with...  Erm...  1 and a half stones?  Get the Westone W4R, it'll do well for what you want it to do along with either of these cables:

 

It should fill all of your requirements.  

I did think about this. The funny thing was that I was doing a google search (you can Bing that **** too ya know) for after market mic cables when I saw your post. Thanks for the links.

 

GSARider - I am curious, did you consider this option? Why did you decide to go with a second headphone?

 

I must admit though - the wireless capability in the hotel is intriguing. Overseas, I spend so much time on GoToMeeting and Skype with our (decidedly tragically myopically American centric) HQ that I find myself pacing the room while on the calls in the wee hours. (complete with a good single malt neat in hand) Harder to do when wired. Not to mention that it is nice to stand up and get another beer or take a bio-break without pausing everything but still listening.

post #11 of 16
I went with a second pair simply because I like t have a choice between IEM's and full size headphones. On the move, IEM's are handy and stationary I like to have the full size.

I also changed the cable on the ie80's to a braided silver so no go for a mic on them.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was originally considering the V-Moda MM 100 as a full size alternative.

The boom mic cable and portability were really attractive but I think I really need to hear these first as I don't really consider myself a bass head.

On the other hand a "fun" sound signature might be fine as a second pair.
post #13 of 16

I'm actually on holiday right now in Singapore, and I'm off to the States on Christmas Day. My travel kit at the moment is the same as GSA's; the Sennheiser IE80 (IEMs for plane and train use, as well as on the go) and the Sennheiser Momentum, which sounds great and is very portable (though I tend to use it more in hotels with my laptop). I wouldn't recommend you the IE80 as it's pretty bass-heavy, and its isolation is worse than average, but I think combining one IEM you like and one full-size 'phone has its advantages.

 

Sometimes after a few hours on the plane, I don't like the sensation of something in my ear, so I swap over to the Momentums and keep my ears warm. It's got a slight bass emphasis and sounds great, so I would handily recommend you the Momentum over the MM-450 (I don't own the MM-450, but have heard it. To my ears the Momentums sound much better, although you don't get the Apt-X, Bluetooth and NC bells and whistles). Momentums are $350, not cheap, but I do like their styling and build quality too. 

 

Two notes; firstly, the Momentum does have a bulky albeit secure carry case. Secondly, I don't believe its isolation (while great for a headphone in its class, reminding me of the HD25's) will do if you intend to use them for more than an hour on a flight. For street and public transport use, it should do just fine.

 

Were I you, I'd take the W4 (or 4R, if you can stretch it removable cables are awesome), and then a top-quality portable headphone of your choice, like the Momentum. Good luck!

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the additional thoughts. I like what I read about the Momentum - all but the portability factor.

Sent from my SGH-I777 using Tapatalk 2
post #15 of 16
Well it's more the case that's a bit too big, the phones on their own are fine. I don't take the case away for travelling.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › New travel headphones - road warrior advice welcome!