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Interested in general use, noise cancelling over ear headphones, $300-$400 price range

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I want to make it clear I'm not that much of an audiophile, and am still pretty unfamiliar with many intricacies of sound design, but in the past year, I've become far more aware of what to expect out of music quality, especially with being a member of what.cd for the past 2 years. For sometime, I've been using Klipsch Image One Premium On-Ear Earphones- I've gone through multiple pairs of them, but I've finally gotten sick of the brand, mainly due to background noise. I guess what really drove me over edge was my power supply going out- the fan was absolutely insufferable at times, but even buying a new, green power supply and even removing my graphics card hasn't helped much in a general sense. The fan sound is easily blocked out most of the time, but when a track progresses to softer, lower volume, it can be hard to differentiate between the track and the fan, and it's just distracting at times. Not to mention I feel like the fan actually causes a vague vibration in the headphones themselves.

 

On top of this, I basically threw out my back a few years ago, and still suffer from it- I often twitch and have to stretch out because it acts up on me, and noises like that easily creep into my headphones. While that's doubtful going to be a permanent thing, I also have to deal with the sound of the wire, the movement of the headphones themselves, body movements in general, and especially the keyboard- I've gotten a point where I type slowly or try to avoid typing altogether while listening. I'd love to cancel all of this out, but at the same time, I'm concerned about hearing family members and such- not hearing when family members call out for me has been a major issue for sometime, to the point where they have to bang on the ceiling below my room, and getting a pair that's too good at cancelling noise would make them have to come in my room to let me know of anything.

 

As for the sort of music I listen to, I genuinely can't say what I expect out of a pair in terms of genres- I seldom stick with a single genre, style or artist for long, but I will say that I value differentiation between instruments and sound sources, especially when there's a wide range of sources playing at once at a very high density. And with the kind of background noise I've been experiencing, I've been avoiding lengthy, low-key minimalist tracks (such as certain drone or ambient pieces) altogether, even though I've listened to those fairly often before. I've never really experimented with high price headphones like I have recently, and the Klipsch pair I have simply doesn't compare to what I've really been looking for. The pair I've mainly had in mind are the V-Moda Crossfade M-100's, and they gave an organic, surround sound experience I've never come close to on the Klipsch pair. But then I've been reading that the V-Moda's aren't the best for home use, and I'm not so sure now. I rarely listen to music out anymore, and when I do, it's mainly in the car, and the car I often ride passenger in is old and has lots of outside sound filtering in. So home use is my main focus, but mobile usage is a consideration as well. I guess you could say I'm looking for a pair that's well rounded in terms of properly presenting sounds, genres, styles etc.

 

One other concern of mine is volume, in that I'm worried about keeping a balance without hurting my ears so I don't have to constantly readjust it. I don't know if this is too specific, but I've listened to a fair amount of harsh noise music as of late, and as much as I enjoyed this album (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ejaculation_Generater), I actually felt a little nauseous after listening to it, so I can just imagine what it'd be like with a better pair. As a less extreme example, I've often used the progression at :13-15 in this song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPhIvFQ-MyU) as an indicator of what my sound quality settings are at, and it being genuinely piercing is a good indicator of things being in the right order. But it doesn't sound piercing at all now, so I'm wondering if my headphones are going out or there's some other sound issue.


Edited by Mosstrekker192 - 2/2/14 at 6:14pm
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 

Bump- I'd say I'm divided between these headphones:

 

V-Moda Crossfade 100: http://www.amazon.com/V-MODA-Crossfade-Over-Ear-Noise-Isolating-Headphone/dp/B00A39PPCG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1391383804&sr=8-2&keywords=v-moda+crossfade+m-100

 

Beyerdynamic DT 880: http://www.amazon.com/beyerdynamic-880-Premium-600-Headphones/dp/B0024NK35S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391299833&sr=8-1&keywords=BEYERDYNAMIC%3A+DT+880http://www.amazon.com/HiFiMAN-HE-400-HiFiMan-Headphones/dp/

 

Sennheiser HD 600: http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-Dynamic-Professional-Stereo-Headphones/dp/B00004SY4H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391366326&sr=8-1&keywords=SENNHEISER%3A+HD600

 

And to a lesser extent, Sennheiser 650: http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-9969-HD-650-Headphones/dp/B00018MSNI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391393127&sr=8-1&keywords=sennheiser+650

 

Also, now that I think about it, I guess I wouldn't mind going up to $450. I'm also interested in amps and how those would factor in- I'm completely unfamiliar with how those work. And what's the significance of aftermarket cables?


Edited by Mosstrekker192 - 2/2/14 at 6:15pm
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosstrekker192 View Post
 

Bump- I'd say I'm divided between these headphones:

 

V-Moda Crossfade 100: http://www.amazon.com/V-MODA-Crossfade-Over-Ear-Noise-Isolating-Headphone/dp/B00A39PPCG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1391383804&sr=8-2&keywords=v-moda+crossfade+m-100

 

Beyerdynamic DT 880: http://www.amazon.com/beyerdynamic-880-Premium-600-Headphones/dp/B0024NK35S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391299833&sr=8-1&keywords=BEYERDYNAMIC%3A+DT+880http://www.amazon.com/HiFiMAN-HE-400-HiFiMan-Headphones/dp/

 

Sennheiser HD 600: http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-Dynamic-Professional-Stereo-Headphones/dp/B00004SY4H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391366326&sr=8-1&keywords=SENNHEISER%3A+HD600

 

And to a lesser extent, Sennheiser 650: http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-9969-HD-650-Headphones/dp/B00018MSNI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391393127&sr=8-1&keywords=sennheiser+650

 

Also, now that I think about it, I guess I wouldn't mind going up to $450. I'm also interested in amps and how those would factor in- I'm completely unfamiliar with how those work. And what's the significance of aftermarket cables?

None of these pairs are noise cancelling. Parrot Zik, PSB M4U2, Sony MDR-1RNC are 3 headphones I could recommend. Bose QC 15 if you just want the best noise cancelling and alright with slightly lower quality sound

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

I realized earlier that most of those aren't noise cancelling, but one of the top reviews for V-Moda (and my own experiences) affirm that the V-Moda is noise cancelling.

post #5 of 19

do you know yet, what the difference between closed and open headphones?

 

Closed headphones: doesn't leak sound. people around you will not be able to hear what you're listening to.

 

open headphones: people around you will be able to hear what you're listening to, and you will be able to hear your surroundings very easily. Definitely not for portable use. The upside is that they generally sound more speaker-like and more balanced than closed headphones.I prefer open headphones all the way when i'm at home.

 

noise cancelling: they're always the closed type, but they're not worth it. It's better to get a closed headphone with a good noise isolation ( meaning it can block out sounds efficiently)

 

all the headphones you listed, except the v-moda, are open headphones.

 

Also, i take it that you've heard the v-moda's and liked it? If you want an open headphone alternative to the v-moda's, (read: better soundstage and instrument separation) try the philips x1. It has that elevated bass response that the v-moda's have. The he-400 and hd650 are also good choices for you. 

 

As for the dt880 and hd600.... If you're accustomed to the klipsch and love the v-moda's you may find their bass quantity lacking.

 

edit: response to ninja post above :o. the v-moda m100 is noise isolating. it does not have active noise cancelling. i'm 100% sure. look on their website, it states clearly there that it doesnt have noise cancellation.

http://v-moda.com/crossfade-m-100/

 

edit #2: home-listening vs on-the-go. Bass heavy phones or iem's excel at mobile use because bass tends to get drowned out much more easily than the other frequencies, while iem's have the best isolation since they're pretty much earplugs with speakers. The most bass heavy phone i have, the v-moda m80, sounds like they have no bass while i'm in a bus or any vehicle. At home though, i prefer my neutral, open headphones. As for why i prefer open headphones, it's because of instrument separation and soundstage. If you ever get the chance to listen to a sennheiser hd800, it's pretty much the epitome of an open headphone, its soundstage is very out-of-head and sounds like a quality hi-fi surround speaker system instead of a headphone (minus an epic subwoofer, i personally think it could use a bit more bass. i like my dnb).


Edited by b0000 - 2/2/14 at 10:58pm
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosstrekker192 View Post
 

I realized earlier that most of those aren't noise cancelling, but one of the top reviews for V-Moda (and my own experiences) affirm that the V-Moda is noise cancelling.

noise cancelling headphones use power (mostly battery) by creating sound waves that negates outside noises. V-moda is a closed-back headphone which seal of some sound, but this pair is not noise cancelling because it is passive noise isolation. 

 

If you want a closed-back headphone, consider also B&W P7, this headphone has a very nice & full bass but the clarity of this one is simply amazing

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

b0000,

 

Thanks for clarifying, I admittedly wasn't that sure what closed and open meant, and that they were interchangeable with mobile and home. I would be primarily interested in an open pair with solid noise isolation. Does noise isolation generally extend to the movement of the headphones reverberating into what you're listening and similar things? That was something specified in a top V-Moda review I haven't found much elsewhere, and something I'm definitely interested in.

 

I'll look into those 3 you recommended as well.

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosstrekker192 View Post
 

b0000,

 

Thanks for clarifying, I admittedly wasn't that sure what closed and open meant, and that they were interchangeable with mobile and home. I would be primarily interested in an open pair with solid noise isolation. Does noise isolation generally extend to the movement of the headphones reverberating into what you're listening and similar things? That was something specified in a top V-Moda review I haven't found much elsewhere, and something I'm definitely interested in.

 

I'll look into those 3 you recommended as well.

 

Noise isolation is defined as the ability of headphones to block out external noises (like people speaking). Cable microphonics, that thumping sound you hear when you hit the cable, is different, and will always be present no matter what. (though it's pretty negligible on open headphones and the worst thing ever on iem's) Not sure if this answered your question though since i didn't really get it.

 

open headphones and noise isolation doesn't go together unfortunately. Sure, some open headphones will block out sounds much better than other open headphones, but their noise isolation is still pretty abysmal and completely non-existent compared to the least isolating closed headphones. Therefore, noise isolation doesn't get reviewed/rated/considered on open headphones. Don't bother looking for reviews/opinions on it. That said, open headphones DO blur and reduce the sounds coming from around you a bit since it's natural that putting something on front of your ears will do that.

 

For closed headphones, from what i've read, the mrspeakers mad dogs are great, if you don't mind their conservative design.


Edited by b0000 - 2/3/14 at 5:53pm
post #9 of 19

try to read this first: http://www.head-fi.org/a/headphone-buying-guide

 

there are several more excellent headphones that are still not in the list, be aware of that 


Edited by xtroria - 2/3/14 at 6:23pm
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0000 View Post
 

 

Noise isolation is defined as the ability of headphones to block out external noises (like people speaking). Cable microphonics, that thumping sound you hear when you hit the cable, is different, and will always be present no matter what. (though it's pretty negligible on open headphones and the worst thing ever on iem's) Not sure if this answered your question though since i didn't really get it.

 

open headphones and noise isolation doesn't go together unfortunately. Sure, some open headphones will block out sounds much better than other open headphones, but their noise isolation is still pretty abysmal and completely non-existent compared to the least isolating closed headphones. Therefore, noise isolation doesn't get reviewed/rated/considered on open headphones. Don't bother looking for reviews/opinions on it. That said, open headphones DO blur and reduce the sounds coming from around you a bit since it's natural that putting something on front of your ears will do that.

 

For closed headphones, from what i've read, the mrspeakers mad dogs are great, if you don't mind their conservative design.

 

Yes, it did answer my question, thanks. But you telling me that open and noise isolation don't go together makes me really wary now. The Klipsch Image One pair I use are open, but don't seem to compare to a lot of other pairs out there- but I find it kind of hard to believe I couldn't get much better than what I have now when it comes to noise isolation. The noise from my computer has  gotten be to be infuriating at this point and is a real distraction at particularly low volumes, and I'd hate to do away with the natural sound typical of open pairs because of that. I'm really kind of at a loss at what to do now. There's not much I can do to reduce the noise from my computer, and yet I'm not that up to going for a closed pair.

post #11 of 19

I haven't heard the Klipsch Image One Premium On-Ear, but it's a closed HP so it should block out some noise.  If you are still not getting enough isolation then open HPs are definitely a no-no.  If noise isolation/cancelation is important I would get some IEMs like Etymotic IEMs or custom IEMs.  Another option is to not listen to music while using the computer.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

The Klipsch Image One is closed? There's not much to the cushioning, and you can heard sound from them when you're not wearing them very easily. I'd really like an open sound, but I'm concerned with the sound being pure and isolated- at this point, I don't know how possible that is.

 

For the time being, I honestly think I'm just going to go ahead and order a pair of V-Moda's and see if I'm satisfied with that, while demoing more when I'm out.


Edited by Mosstrekker192 - 2/5/14 at 9:51am
post #13 of 19

I don't think Klipsch even makes an open HP.  They are a consumer orientated brand when it comes to HPs like Beats and Bose, and their sound signature is generally known to be V-shaped with recessed mids and big boomy bass.  

 

Also you must have a really noisy computer considering I have no problem with computer noise even using my open HE-400.  I don't use it for any demanding applications like games that might heat up your computer though.

post #14 of 19

the klipsch image one is a closed headphone. i'm 100 percent sure. If you get an open headphone, you'll immediately see the difference. Open headphones tend to have a back grille where you can actually see the speaker/driver/electronics inside. Closed headphones have a solid enclosure.

 

Just google up pictures of the sennheiser hd600, or shure SRH1840. The driver is very visible, and free to leak out sound. And sound from the outside is also very free to leak in.

post #15 of 19

For noise-cancelling headphones, go with the Ultimate Ears UE9000. They sound great and they're heavily discounted from their MSRP of $400. They do it all: detachable cable, noise-cancelling, BT wireless (someone is going to hate on me for this), etc. I have a pair I got for only $180 on amazon and they do it all.

 

That's ONLY if you want a pair of noise-cancelling/BT/general use headphones that do it all.

 

Otherwise, go with the HE-400's. They're on sale right now for only $299 (Hifimans almost never go on sale; MSRP $400). And you don't need an amp to drive them.

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