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Introduction! And I'm searching for a comfortable pair of over the ear headphones with good noise isolation. (<$300)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello all! First post here as I just registered. Please forgive the post that is likely to duplicate many on here, just thought I'd introduce myself and throw out what I'm looking for at the same time.


I'm a graduate from NC State (GO PACK!!!). I'm an engineer and work in eastern North Carolina. I've been into music my whole life. I was in band all through college (7+ years). I played the sax in wind ensemble and jazz band. As you would imagine, I love jazz and classical music. However, I do listen to a lot of alternative rock, classic rock, pop, really most types other than rap and metal.


My first pair of decent quality headphones was about 6 years ago, or so. I bought a pair of Shure IEMs but I do not remember the model. They got messed up and I went without for a while. In 2010 (perhaps early 2011) I caught an Amazon lightning deal and picked up a pair of Sennheiser CX880 IEMs for $50. I have been pretty happy with them overall. 


Anyway, I'm currently on the hunt for a new pair of headphones. A co-worker of mine let me borrow a pair of his Beats with active noise cancellation, I'm not sure what model they are. They are a few years old and he mentioned that he spent about $400 on them. I was listening to them without an amp straight from my iPad. I enjoyed their clarity but noticed that they weren't very balanced (weak mids) unless the volume was turned up. They also leaked sound very badly and are unacceptable for my workplace (office/cubicle environment). Overall I liked them, but have heard plenty about how I can do better for cheaper. 


I got to borrow a pair of Bose QC 15s today. I actually think that the active noise cancelling hurt my ears. I felt a pressure when it was turned on and after about an hour, I took them off and my left ear didn't feel too great. :-\  I didn't enjoy the sound as much as the Beats, either. I would like a bit more bass and a lot more clarity. 


I've been reading a bit on here for a few days and have learned a lot. What i'm looking for I'm hoping will have the following qualities:


- Isolation so that, at the very least, nobody will hear my music at the office when I have it at a decent volume level (60-70%)

- Comfort, as I plan on wearing these for hours on end at work (I wear glasses, but have contacts that I can wear to avert any problems that glasses might cause)

- Clarity throughout the range, I like to be able to easily pick out each instrument (I found the Beats did this, at higher volumes, much better than the Bose)

- I don't know if I qualify as a bass head, but I do enjoy a good amount of bass. At least, I enjoyed the amount of bass from the Beats more than I did the Bose. Take that for what you will, I guess. 

- I'm not too worried about portability as it'll be used at home/work as I hardly ever use public transportation. 

- I don't mind getting something that would be best used with an amp. 


I had a Sennheiser headset for my computer that I really enjoyed, but the dog ran in front of my computer, yanked the chord and it has been messed up since (~2 years). That's the only decent over the ear headset I have owned and no longer am able to compare it to what I have recently experienced. 


Anyhow, I'm sure that there was more that I wanted to say but have since forgotten as this post went on longer than I expected, haha. But I look forward to hearing from you all and reading/learning more and more as time goes on! 


Merry Christmas! (or Happy Holidays?)

post #2 of 7

Well, I'm new here myself but I would recommend the V-Moda Crossfade M-100's. They have a V-shaped sound signature. These headphones are slightly bass boosted, isolate pretty well, and are fairly comfortable. Comfort is a bit on the subjective side though since I have a smaller sized head and when I'm using these I'm usually not wearing my glasses. I gave them to my brother to listen and he tried them on while wearing glasses and he said that they got pretty uncomfortable after awhile. So if you have a bigger sized head, you may want to flex the metal headband and stretch it to you're liking. Also, for additional comfort, V-Moda sells XL pads, I think.


But you stated that you liked Beats so you may want more bass than I do. Here's a thread that might help you out: http://www.head-fi.org/t/644269/best-basshead-headphones

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Aisen, thanks for the reply!

I'm definitely interested in the M-100's. My biggest concern is the shallow cups leading to comfort issues. I'm also interested in the Mad Dogs. Whatever I get, I just want to make sure that I can easily return them without an expensive restocking fee.
post #4 of 7
IEMs will provide more isolation than full-size 'phones.

You didn't provide a price range?
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of IEM's (Sennheiser CX880's). They are decent. But I'm looking for a pair of circumaural phones. I had mentioned a $300 price point in the thread title, but I guess the title was a bit long and it was cut off.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
So, after some more reading, I think I'm going to order some Mad Dogs. I've been stuck on whether I want a single ended setup or balanced setup. I think I have decided to go with single ended for this setup as I think I want to be able transport it to and from work. I may go with a balanced setup later when I can afford to have multiple setups. biggrin.gif
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
So, I decided to order the Mad Dogs. Now I just need to find an appropriate (portable?) amp!
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