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Are there headphones that allow in ambient noise? (for office use)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I work in an office, but I want to listen to music, without disturbing people. I also need to be able to know when someone is knocking at the door. So far the only method I found is using cheap Sony MDR earbuds/earphones which came with my mp3 player (or was it cassette walkman). I tried my Sony IEM's, it blocks out everything completely. Tried my Philips HP890 closed headphones too, can't hear any ambient noise. With the sony earbuds, I open music quite soft, and can still participate in a meeting without people around me listening to my music.

 

I think open headphones are the way to go, though I am not sure. I'm guessing that the headphones need to leak a lot of noise. I do not want to use speakers as then everyone could listen to my music. Also, it disturbs the neighbouring workers (especially during office hours). The sony's are ok, though sound nowhere spectacular. Also, I can't wear it for more than 2 hours without being fatigue.

 

Any ideas?

post #2 of 19

Open headphones are the way to go then. But the problem being is that they leak sound. Don't fret though because unless your office is pin drop silent, other people won't hear that much.

 

What's your budget?

post #3 of 19

The more ambient noise being let in, the more of your music is being let out, and also the louder you'll have to play it to hear the quieter parts. I guess you would just have to find a good balance there... maybe semi-open would be best.

 

They let you go to meetings wearing earbuds though? Aren't you supposed to be paying attention to the meeting?tongue_smile.gif

post #4 of 19

Like Chewy said, I think semi-open is the way to go.

Not sure what your budget is, but I would look into Panasonic HTF-600.

They are very comfortable, have lower than average isolation,

does not leak too much, and very mature looking headphones.

Not quite "semi-open" but I think will get the job done.

 

Oh, did I mention the superb sound quality for its very low price?

~$30.

post #5 of 19

Samson SR850s. Semi-open, very comfortable. Not sure if their size would send the wrong message to your coworkers, though.

 

There is something wrong if you can't hear door knocks, even if you're wearing closed headphones. Turn down the volume.


Edited by mbamg - 3/18/13 at 8:37am
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by penmarker View Post

Open headphones are the way to go then. But the problem being is that they leak sound. Don't fret though because unless your office is pin drop silent, other people won't hear that much.

 

What's your budget?

About £50 or USD75 or slightly more. These headphones will be permanently placed in the office, so they need to be durable, comfortable, and not cost a lot. Also, since it will be used at the office, I prefer something without an amp if possible. I think it will drive directly from the PC/laptop or radio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

The more ambient noise being let in, the more of your music is being let out, and also the louder you'll have to play it to hear the quieter parts. I guess you would just have to find a good balance there... maybe semi-open would be best.

 

They let you go to meetings wearing earbuds though? Aren't you supposed to be paying attention to the meeting?tongue_smile.gif

Nope, but once someone knocks on the door, it gives me enough time to take off the earbuds. Also, if I'm working in a big room, with earbuds, people think they can talk behind my back but I am listening to every word they say while also listening to the music as well tongue_smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by korewest View Post

Like Chewy said, I think semi-open is the way to go.

Not sure what your budget is, but I would look into Panasonic HTF-600.

They are very comfortable, have lower than average isolation,

does not leak too much, and very mature looking headphones.

Not quite "semi-open" but I think will get the job done.

 

Oh, did I mention the superb sound quality for its very low price?

~$30.

Do you need an amp to drive that Panasonic? I can't find it for 30USD, I can find it for £45 though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbamg View Post

Samson SR850s. Semi-open, very comfortable. Not sure if their size would send the wrong message to your coworkers, though.

 

There is something wrong if you can't hear door knocks, even if you're wearing closed headphones. Turn down the volume.

Do you need an amp for that? I don't mind size. I have my own room and since it is at the office, it is quite quiet. I will only turn the volume quite low, as I need to be able to hear people (more like my boss tongue_smile.gif knocking the door. Well, with IEM's you can't here a thing, in fact some closed headphones are good at isolation that I had to be paying attention to ambient noise if I want to detect it. Now, if I'm busy listening, I will miss all the background noise.

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mystvearn View Post

Do you need an amp to drive that Panasonic? I can't find it for 30USD, I can find it for £45 though.

 

 

Nope, they drive completely fine out of my laptop and my Samsung Galaxy S phone.

£45 seems a bit expensive, but the quality of those headphones are still well worth the price in my opinion.

 

It also comes down to your sound preference. Panasonic HTF 600's are quite bassy to my ears.

They have angled drivers for slightly improved imaging; multiple vents for better sound stage.

However, I feel there's some missing information in the mids that doesn't quite give it the "full" sound.

 

Not sure of headphone price in the UK, so I won't comment further about pricing :p


Edited by korewest - 3/18/13 at 11:34am
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mystvearn View Post

About £50 or USD75 or slightly more. These headphones will be permanently placed in the office, so they need to be durable, comfortable, and not cost a lot. Also, since it will be used at the office, I prefer something without an amp if possible. I think it will drive directly from the PC/laptop or radio.

Nope, but once someone knocks on the door, it gives me enough time to take off the earbuds. Also, if I'm working in a big room, with earbuds, people think they can talk behind my back but I am listening to every word they say while also listening to the music as well tongue_smile.gif

Do you need an amp to drive that Panasonic? I can't find it for 30USD, I can find it for £45 though.

Do you need an amp for that? I don't mind size. I have my own room and since it is at the office, it is quite quiet. I will only turn the volume quite low, as I need to be able to hear people (more like my boss tongue_smile.gif knocking the door. Well, with IEM's you can't here a thing, in fact some closed headphones are good at isolation that I had to be paying attention to ambient noise if I want to detect it. Now, if I'm busy listening, I will miss all the background noise.

 

The SR850s don't need an amp. They're quite efficient, actually.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info. What aobut the AT AD700? Is it good in this situation?

 

After reading reviews of the Panasonic HTF600, I noticed that it has good isolation. That may be slightly problematic, if I can't hear someone at the door.

 

I purchased the Panasonic :D Just my luck someone on this forum is selling it used after 5-7 hours of use (while waiting for his Senn25). Guess at £27 (including shipping!) these are a real bargain.

 

Thanks all.


Edited by mystvearn - 3/18/13 at 3:40pm
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mystvearn View Post

 

After reading reviews of the Panasonic HTF600, I noticed that it has good isolation. That may be slightly problematic, if I can't hear someone at the door.

 

 

They definitely don't have isolation that I would characterize as "good"...

Good would be something that could drown out a nearby chatter, or muffle the sound of a vacuum cleaner in the room.

Incidentally, I'm wearing the HTF 600's right now, and I can hear myself type on the keyboard quite clearly.

 

With music, however, you might have some issues with someone being at the door.

But I recommend just ignoring them for music dt880smile.png

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mystvearn View Post

I work in an office, but I want to listen to music, without disturbing people. I also need to be able to know when someone is knocking at the door. So far the only method I found is using cheap Sony MDR earbuds/earphones which came with my mp3 player (or was it cassette walkman). I tried my Sony IEM's, it blocks out everything completely. Tried my Philips HP890 closed headphones too, can't hear any ambient noise. With the sony earbuds, I open music quite soft, and can still participate in a meeting without people around me listening to my music.

 

I think open headphones are the way to go, though I am not sure. I'm guessing that the headphones need to leak a lot of noise. I do not want to use speakers as then everyone could listen to my music. Also, it disturbs the neighbouring workers (especially during office hours). The sony's are ok, though sound nowhere spectacular. Also, I can't wear it for more than 2 hours without being fatigue.

 

Any ideas?

 

Heya,

 

Try open and semi-open headphones. Don't listen at high volume though. Listen at just below moderate volume.

 

I would start looking at:

 

Beyer DT880 premium 32ohm

Hifiman HE-300

Sony MA900

 

Very best,

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by korewest View Post

 

They definitely don't have isolation that I would characterize as "good"...

Good would be something that could drown out a nearby chatter, or muffle the sound of a vacuum cleaner in the room.

Incidentally, I'm wearing the HTF 600's right now, and I can hear myself type on the keyboard quite clearly.

 

With music, however, you might have some issues with someone being at the door.

But I recommend just ignoring them for music dt880smile.png

Thanks, just what I wanted to know normal_smile%20.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

Try open and semi-open headphones. Don't listen at high volume though. Listen at just below moderate volume.

 

I would start looking at:

 

Beyer DT880 premium 32ohm

Hifiman HE-300

Sony MA900

 

Very best,

 

Already bought the HTF600. Thanks for the recommendation. Will look at the Sony MA900's in future normal_smile%20.gif

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

Try open and semi-open headphones. Don't listen at high volume though. Listen at just below moderate volume.

 

I would start looking at:

 

Beyer DT880 premium 32ohm

Hifiman HE-300

Sony MA900

 

Very best,

 

 

Good advice!

 

Also, if you can find a Denon D2000, it is closed but not well sealed. Might do the trick.

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mystvearn View Post

Thanks for the info. What aobut the AT AD700? Is it good in this situation?

 

...

 

 

Hi, I have the AD700's and would not recommend them. Besides the metallic tinge to the highs and very rolled-off bass, they also leak plenty of sound.  I tried them at home for a while and then stopped using them.

 

At work I am currently using the Sennheiser PX-100ii directly from a Sansa Clip zip.  Although considered open, they leak very little at safe listening levels and I have never had any complaints from neighboring workers. They require no EQ adjustment to sound correct. I would recommend them as worthy of consideration at your price point.  That being said, I am looking for a full size set of headphones to replace them because no matter how good the sound quality, I find that those type of headphones that sit directly on my ears start to become uncomfortable for me after an hour or so.

 

Hope that helps.

post #15 of 19

I don't know your budget, but I found that Denon AH-D7000's (probably similar for the 2000's and 5000's as well but can't confirm) to be good for the problem your describing. They are closed headphones so there is minimal sound leakage, but it is very easy to hear what's going on around you. For me this was a bit annoying, but for you it could be the solution.

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