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Best closed headphones for office use? (long list!)

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi guys!
I'm looking for a new set of headphones to use at the office. I have made a list of the criteria that are important to me:

 
Primary criteria
1. Isolation. There should be as little leakage as possible, in order to not disturb my co-workers.
2. Comfort. The headphones should be comfortable to wear for hours, if needed.
3. Sound quality. Of course. I listen to a wide range of music, but mostly female singer/songwriters (Adele, Norah Jones, Amy MacDonald, Melody Gardot, etc).
 
Secondary criteria
4. Looks. They should look like a grown up's set of headphones, and not like a gaming set.  
5. Build quality. They should be durable and well made.
6. Features. Features like noise cancelling, exchangable cable, etc are nice, but not needed.
7. Price. A low price is better than high, but not too important.

 

I have made a list of the phones I have tried so far. They are all rated on a scale from 1 to 3 on the given criteria. Lower number is better. My main question is:

 

Are there any other that I should add to the list, that might contend with any of those that I have already tried?

 

Also, if you have any comments to the ratings, feel free to post them here. You may not agree with all of my findings.

 

No Model Isolation Comfort Sound quality Looks Build quality Features Price Total Comment
1 B&W P7 1 1.5 1 1 1 2 2.5 10 I really like these! If it weren't for the price, I would have bought them straight away.
2 PSB M4U2 1 2 1 1.5 1.5 1 2.5 10.5 Probably the best sounding closed headphones that I have tried (with the onboard amp on). Unfortunately, these are a bit bulky and heavy. I also don't like the shiny, plastic finish on these.
3 Sennheiser Momentum 1 2.5 1 1 1 2 2 10.5 The perfect phones, except that they're just too small for my ears!
4 NAD HP50 1 2 1.5 1.5 1.5 2 2 11.5 Not deep enough, physically, to be comfortable.
5 Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro 1.5 1 1.5 2 1.5 1.5 1 10 Very comfortable and decent sound. They can't match the looks of the P7 and Momentums though. The pair I tried had an uneven stereo balance.
6 Audio Technica ATH-M50 1.5 1.5 1.5 2 2 2 1 11.5 Good sound and comfy. Too much plastic, though.
7 Beyerdynamic T70P 1.5 2 1.5 2 1 2.5 2.5 12.5 Too analytical for my taste. Not that good isolation.
8 Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 1.5 2 1.5 2.5 1.5 2.5 2 13.5 A classic, probably, but I don't like the looks of these.
9 AKG K551 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 14 Too big and bulky. Difficult to find a comfortable position. Not very excited about the sound.
10 Focal Spirit One 1.5 2.5 2 2 2 2 1.5 13 Too small to be comfy.

 

A list of other headphones that are on my radar, that I have yet to try:

 

AKG K545 (soon to be released?)

Sony MDR-1R
B&O H6 Beoplay
Denon AH-D600
Yamaha Pro 500
PSB M4U 1
Logitech UE6000/9000
post #2 of 29

Fush, what sources are you plugging the headphones into, at the office?

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

I'm usually streaming music from Wimp (320 kbps AAC) on my laptop, through a Behringer UCA202.

post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fush View Post
 

I'm usually streaming music from Wimp (320 kbps AAC) on my laptop, through a Behringer UCA202.

You might consider upgrading/changing from the UCA202.

Might try the ELE EL-D02 USB/DAC/Amp, $20 off eBay

Fiio E10, USB-DAC-Amp, $75

 

Check out the

Shure SRH840, $200

JVC HA-S500, $60

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thank you, for the suggestions. Actually, I have an old XTRA X-1 Pro amp, that I plan to hook up to the UCA202. I assume that will be an improvement. Or is the DAC in the UCA202 inferior to FiiO and ELE?

post #6 of 29

You should really consider adding weighting to the scores!

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fush View Post
 

Thank you, for the suggestions. Actually, I have an old XTRA X-1 Pro amp, that I plan to hook up to the UCA202. I assume that will be an improvement. Or is the DAC in the UCA202 inferior to FiiO and ELE?

Best guess is the FiiO and ELE come with a better DAC chip.

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

Well, I bought the B&W P7, and have had them for a week. Conclusion: Great sound and isolation, but not comfortable enough. The head band is too stiff. So these are probably going back to the store. 

 

That means that I am still looking for other options. Which headphones sound good, isolate good, and are comfortable to wear? I'm open to any suggestions.

post #9 of 29

There are the mad dogs, perhaps. They need some amping and aren't really portable.

post #10 of 29

Look into the Focal Spirit Professional, the KEF M500.

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 

So, I've been searching for the perfect headphone for quite a while now, but still haven't found it. I haven't even found a headphone where I feel the compromises are OK. I need a pair of cans that isolate good, look good and sound good, and are comfortable to wear. All the phones I have tried so far are lacking in one or more of these areas:

 

  • B&W P7: Uncomfortable headband.
  • Shure SRH-1540: Does not isolate as good as expected.
  • PSB M4U-2: Too bulky and heavy.
  • Beyerdynamics TxP: They all sound too bright.
  • Sennheiser Momentum: Too small, which makes them uncomfortable.
  • AKG K540/545: Not impressed by the sound, bad fit.
  • Focal Classic: Same as Momentums.
  • Focal Professional: Missing something in the looks, not tried these.
  • KEF M500: I prefer over-ears, not on-ear.

 

Where does this leave me? I'm still waiting for that perfect headphone to show itself, and I am still open to any suggestions.

post #12 of 29
B&O H6.
post #13 of 29

Nad Viso HP50 is very good btw.

 

B&O H6 ticks the boxes if you like the SQ enough. I own them, but I there would be many headphones to pick before that one if I were on the hunt..

post #14 of 29

K271 or K272HD

 

Not sure if these count as looking good... but they are comfy, sound good, and isolate well.

post #15 of 29

Ultrasone Edition 8... you said price wasn't too important. :D

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