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Headphones on the plane (again)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So I know there are a few threads which touch on this, but I've been reading for a few days and still have some unanswered questions.


I fly every week for work, and have been using Monoprice 8320s with Comply TX-400 tips on the plane. I'm looking to upgrade, partially because I have an 18 hour international flight coming up. I want to try something with active noise cancelling, but I'm also tempted by the nicer IEMs. I've mainly been looking at the ATH-ANC7b and Ety ER-4PT, and I've got some questions that maybe someone who's used NC and IEMs can answer:


  • I like the Comply TX-400 tips, but they don't really block out all engine noise. Would the er4pt block out more of the engine noise, or is this something I'm just going to have to deal with if I go the IEM route?
  • How much of an issue will comfort be if I'm wearing IEMs for 18 hours on the flight?
  • Assuming I go with active noise cancelling, I know it's better suited to minimizing engine noise, but are the ANC7b at least closed enough that I won't be bothered by people sitting around me?
  • I've seen some people suggest using IEMs inside active noise cancelling cans; can anyone vouch for this?


Basically, I'm kind of stuck between whether I want to get another pair of IEMs or go with the active NC. I'm leaning towards the ANC7b and wearing the cheap buds with comply tips under them if I want more isolation. Hopefully you guys can help me make a decision.

post #2 of 14

For pure isolation go with the shure SE IEM line or Customs.

although the latter is fairly expensive.

If i fly i always use my Shure SE315. does a very good job of isolation and also pretty tank built.

I've never been a fan of ANC headphones. especially for long periods of time.. and in general

the ANC messes with SQ a bit, and they are pretty heavy.. 18 hours would take its toll that's for sure.

post #3 of 14

The 8320 doesn't isolate very well compared with most IEMs. I tried out the ANC7b and didn't really like the sound, the noise cancelling wasn't very good and they leak sound badly.

You can check out Ijokerl's thread for which IEMs isolate well - I like the Monster Turbine for sound and isolation on a flight. 18 hours might be longer than you want to have anything in your ear. For me, the Bose QuietComfort 15 is worth it for the noise cancelling and comfort. My only knock on them is they are pricey and for pure sound there are better options.

post #4 of 14

maybe SE215 with comply P?

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by bubsdaddy View Post

check out Ijokerl's thread for which IEMs isolate well

Where is that? I'm not having much luck with the search...


You guys are suggesting the Shures, do you know how they compare to the Etys?

post #6 of 14

I have Shures and Etys and picks the Etys (with comply foam) for flights every time.  Comfort isn't perfect but I can't find any IEMs that offer better sound isolation.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

The Comply 400 line? or something different?

post #8 of 14

8320's are almost open in design. Any in ear will be better at isolation I think. I had some EarSonics SM3 with comply's and it was near absolute silence (and they sounded good too).

post #9 of 14

Etys will isolate more, and i haven't worn them but they really don't look comfy.

so if you can deal with that go with them. but 18 hours is a long time

post #10 of 14
Originally Posted by sn1per View Post

Where is that? I'm not having much luck with the search...


You guys are suggesting the Shures, do you know how they compare to the Etys?






If at all possible have a look at customs as well :)  May be cheaper in the long run if you use comply a lot anyway:)

post #11 of 14

I don`t now if it compares, because i`m about to suggest a cheap pair of headphones (around $60), the Sony MDR-NC40`s. After listening to them again (note that i came back from a Razer Charcarias gaming headset, not cool for music) with noice cancelation, i felled like someone just said to me: Welcome to sound heaven. The base of this thing is IMO awesome (ive used Sail from Awolnation and Born to be wasted from 900 Sound System as test songs). I think it sounds powerfull, and really nice for Rock songs and trance songs (like sail and born to be wasted, mentioned earlier) overloaded with base sound all awesome to me. But i have never had an really expensive pair of headphones on my head, so i dont really have experience. These headphones where a gift for a plane flight in a Fokker 50, a Dutch propellor plane. I can`t remember having any problems with the props., using the noice cancelation on those headphones. 

Edited by nehabje - 12/13/12 at 11:40am
post #12 of 14

If you don't mind the extracost , the ER4PT gives outstanding isolation BUT you'll be more comfortable lying down in the Shures. I bought a pair for exactly this reason and have modded them with Sugru. This gives pretty decent isolation (but nothing like the Etys which let's be clear are a world class product). On the ATH-ANC7b, it's just a different way to go, ANC v IEM and pretty personal so it's really up to you. But as ANCs go, I am pleased with my ANC7bs. Musician earplugs such as ACS under ANCs give good isolation but you'll get leakage. Let us know what you decide(d).

post #13 of 14

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned before, but in terms of value for money I think you should have a look at the Panasonic RP-HC55.  Its a noise cancelling earphone for about US$50.  The only knock on it is its design flaw - the cable between the earpieces and the NC unit is just too short for me.


I'd also recommend the Sennheiser CXC-700.  They aren't that bad (if you dont want to spend much).  I've tried the Shure SE535, and while they are excellent, they are expensive.  I have the Sennheiser PXC450, Bose QC15, and out of those two I'd pick Bose because its just easier to carry.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Let us know what you decide(d).

Ended up getting the Ety ER4PT. I'm pretty happy with the small clear tri-flanges that are on there by default, though I might give Comply's a try soon also.

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