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Looking for NC/NI In-ear Headphones for Bustling Work Environment

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


Years ago, you all helped me purchase great at-home headphones for my listening needs (Shure SRH840).


However, work is not conducive to such large headphones, and as I have recently gotten my first pair of glasses (lucky me), they don't fit quite the same. Also, I look ridiculous with the 840s in public.


My Goal: In-ear (earbud) headphones with very good noise isolation (NI) and/or noise canceling (NC) with decent noise isolation. They will be used in a noisy yet mostly constant office environment. Prefer price to stay under $100.


The Problem: I currently use Apple earbuds from my iPhone 5. They fit well and are comfortable; however, they lack the isolation I want. For instance, hearing lots of other people typing, phones ringing, laughter, loud conversations as people pass the aisles by my desk—this all stirs me out of my creative spot.


Environment: I work in a giant trade floor-like room with about 250-300 other folks. The noise is medium level and is fairly constant. I can speak at normal conversation volumes with a co-worker without really disturbing others due to the environment. It's a collaborative workplace, so there is a lot of movement and ongoing communication around the room; however, the sound level remains fairly constant.


With this environment, I want to block much of the constant noise. I understand the unavoidable challenge of sudden noises with NC. But if NI will do both jobs, I'll take it!


What I Listen To: I plan to listen mostly to white/pink noise through these earphones. I am a writer, and I enjoy constant sound to give my ears "something to do" while my creativity blooms. I will occasionally put music on during breaks. The type of music I will listen to ranges from electronica to house/trance, drum n' bass as well as jazz. The most important of these genres is house/trance.


My listening experience will be 80% white/pink noise, 20% music. If I have to sacrifice some sound quality for better cancellation/isolation, so be it. For a benchmark, I think the Apple earbuds have great sound for earbuds but terrible NI.


Good to Know About Me: Some tidbits to help with the headphone search:

- I am comfortable jamming things into my ears

- I do not have a problem with the "suction" feeling of NC

- These headphones may or may not be used at the gym (please note if your recommendation is bad for physical activity)

- I don't want to be deaf due to turning my headphones up really loud to cover outside noise

- I'd like a longer rather than shorter cord (no "telephone cord"-style, please)

- In-line volume controls are a plus (mic is not necessary)

- I do not want to use amps



TL;DR: Ultimately, my priority is NC/NI over sound quality. In-ear (earbud) headphones are my first choice; if someone can recommend a good over-the-ear (NOT on-ear) within my price range for a person with glasses, I'd definitely listen.



Thank you in advance for your recommendations! I hope you can help me find what I'm looking for!

post #2 of 2

Sounds like an Etymotic MC-5 would help... http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/mc5.html

Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

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