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Good noise-isolating headphones for under $50?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

I am looking for some closed-ear headphones that are not too expensive (under $50 or so preferably) that provide good noise isolation mainly. To give a reference point, I've been borrowing my friend's Beats Studio for a while. I know people aren't very fond because they're very overpriced, and I have no intention of buying them. However, I need to give them back soon and unfortunately they're the best comparison I have in terms of over-ear headphones I have experience listening to.

 

I'm not particularly looking for something with strong bass, but I have no problem with bass-heavy headphones since I mainly listen to music with elements of trance, dubstep, etc.

 

I came across two suggestions that stuck out to me from the headphone buying guide thread that specifically mention noise isolation:

1) Monoprice 8323 ($23)

2) Philips Citiscape Downtown ($33)

 

The next category ($75-$150) has a few as well that mention having good isolation, although I would prefer not to spend that amount.

1) Shure SRH440 ($100)

2) Audio Technica M50 (~$150)

 

Does anyone know if the ones I mentioned or others have noise isolation similar to what I'm used to with the Beats Studio? I acknowledge the flaws they have, such as requiring batteries in order to even function at all, the slight buzzing sound of the noise cancelling when they're on but nothing is playing, etc. Which is why I'm open to other suggestions, I would just place a higher priority on noise isolation than sound quality I suppose.

 

I read multiple reviews on some of the ones I linked to as well as the Beats, and comments about noise isolation seem to be across the map. For every comment I seem to find saying one of the headphones has "great noise isolation", the next one says that the noise isolation is no good.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 10
If you really want noise isolation, I would recommend IEMs.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have a pair of etymotics but I don't like how my foam earpieces tend to go bad after a couple weeks. They get all worn down and messed up with earwax, I figured having some over-the-ear headphones would be more convenient since you don't have to change them out, and if you need to temporarily stop using them there's not this gross earwax buildup.

 

Maybe I'm missing some simple solution though too, I get the feeling many people prefer IEMs so they can't be too bad. I have some flange tips as well but they're simply not as effective at noise isolation as the foam tips from my experience.

post #4 of 10

Are you sure isolation is an extreme top priority or are you simply asking for closed cans?

 

IMO, the best full-sized closed cans under $100 are (in order of favorite to least) the Sony MDR-V6, Sony MDR-7506, Philips CitiScape Uptown, Creative Aurvana Live!, and Monoprice 8323.


Edited by roguegeek - 1/28/14 at 4:21pm
post #5 of 10

I've been using the Superlux HD668B as my current grab for a quick closed pair of headphones.  They've provided a decent amount of isolation and at a price that was definitely under your price.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

@ roguegeek:

 

It's definitely a high priority, although I realize now I should have mentioned that long-term convenience is also important. Ideally I would like to use my Etymotics with the flange inserts, but they just don't form a secure enough seal so one ear typically provides more isolation than the other. Plus, several times a day I will need to take them off (using the restroom, talking to someone, go to lunch) and it's sort of nasty having earwax all over it unless I wipe it down each time.

 

I'd say the foam inserts have a comparable level of noise isolation to the headphones I've been using. But for the purposes of being at a desk, I find the headphones easier to deal with than the earbuds, for roughly the same noise isolation.

 

After looking at your reviews, the first three seem to have the best isolation (Sony MDR7506 and Sony MDR-V6, and CitiScape Uptown) but I need to try to test them out somewhere because I am hesitant to spend $100 which is what they all cost.

 

The Monoprice 8323 seemed to get better reviews than the others you listed, but not as good as the ~$100 ones. So I'm not sure what decision to make yet, since I need to carefully consider price vs performance. As always, input is welcome and appreciated from those who have posted so far!

 

@ exsion:

 

Thanks for your suggestion as well. I looked up the reviews for it and most said the noise isolation wasn't that great because of the semi-open nature, so I worry that I'd experience the same issue.


Edited by Milliarde - 1/28/14 at 5:52pm
post #7 of 10
You could spend the $100 on custom tips for your Etymotic IEM. Otherwise I'd have to agree with roguegeek.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milliarde View Post
 

@ roguegeek:

 

It's definitely a high priority, although I realize now I should have mentioned that long-term convenience is also important. Ideally I would like to use my Etymotics with the flange inserts, but they just don't form a secure enough seal so one ear typically provides more isolation than the other. Plus, several times a day I will need to take them off (using the restroom, talking to someone, go to lunch) and it's sort of nasty having earwax all over it unless I wipe it down each time.

 

I'd say the foam inserts have a comparable level of noise isolation to the headphones I've been using. But for the purposes of being at a desk, I find the headphones easier to deal with than the earbuds, for roughly the same noise isolation.

 

After looking at your reviews, the first three seem to have the best isolation (Sony MDR7506 and Sony MDR-V6, and CitiScape Uptown) but I need to try to test them out somewhere because I am hesitant to spend $100 which is what they all cost.

 

The Monoprice 8323 seemed to get better reviews than the others you listed, but not as good as the ~$100 ones. So I'm not sure what decision to make yet, since I need to carefully consider price vs performance. As always, input is welcome and appreciated from those who have posted so far!

 

@ exsion:

 

Thanks for your suggestion as well. I looked up the reviews for it and most said the noise isolation wasn't that great because of the semi-open nature, so I worry that I'd experience the same issue.

No doubt you should try if it's that important to you. The 8323 is a pretty low risk item. Just grab it and see what you think. It's a good place to start.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

I think I will follow roguegeek's advice and start with the Monoprice 8323 as a decent starter item with low risk.

 

I think if I decide to raise my budget in the future I will go with the Sony MDR7506 that you mentioned, almost all the comments I found that talked about isolation said it has great isolation, aside from the overall excellent reviews. Either that, or try checking out the custom IEMs for my Ety's, I just haven't looked into that enough. Although I do like the idea of having small earbuds that are custom fit, sounds neat!

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post

Are you sure isolation is an extreme top priority or are you simply asking for closed cans?

IMO, the best full-sized closed cans under $100 are (in order of favorite to least) the Sony MDR-V6, Sony MDR-7506, Philips CitiScape Uptown, Creative Aurvana Live!, and Monoprice 8323.
Sorry to hijack thread, but when I try to post a new thread I can type in the title box but something is not letting me type in the body box. The borders of the body box go away. I decided to try to quote a reply and it worked. Again sorry for the hijacking, but so far only to put my problem out there.
I have a 20yr old MDR-V404 that finally broke. Considering a replace/upgrade to V6 or 7506. I know this has been hashed out 100 times before, but is there any reason to choose 1 over the other?
ThankYou
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