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Lightweight cans with good isolation for listening whilst studying

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Listen mainly to rock, prog, folk, blues country, fusion.  Like a presentation that has excitement, but also not fatiguing.
 
I had some IE8s a while ago, I thought they were good once EQd, but the isolation wasn't great, and overall I feel they were good but I expected more for the money.  Had some SRH-840s which I really enjoyed, but they're too big.
 
The use case is something that can fit in a rucksack (and leave space for books ;) ), preferably at the budget end (although I might stretch for the right thing), to listen to music whilst studying in a library or travelling.  Isolation is important (believe it or not it's a library where talking is allowed) both to block out external noise, and to protect others from Tales From Topographic Oceans or whatever.
 
Originally I was considering IEMs, but I've been using the $7 in-ears from DealExtreme recently (great for the price, no worries about losing them), and it's ever so annoying that the tips go missing.  I know on better IEMs the tips will be more secure but still...  So looking for headphones, closed-back, lightweight and portable.

 

Any clues?  :)

post #2 of 22

The SoundMAGIC P21 is good for the price, or the P30 if you want to spend a little more.

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post #3 of 22
I'm a beginner at all this, but recentl bought jvc ha500s based on very good reviews. I'm pleased with the sound, and i like how they fold flat. i bought them with a zip up hard case that's wonderfuly portable.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks both of you for the suggestions.  I couldn't find much on the Soundmagics, there was a suggestion that the build quality wasn't all that.  On the JVCs I heard that the isolation isn't all that.  Any comments on either of those topics?

 

My Googling on those two also brought the Sony MDR-ZX600 into the picture - grateful for any opinions.

post #5 of 22
on the jvc i don't know that i have much of a basis for comparison. I used them today on the bus and guangzhou subway, which are not quiet places, and i was able to listen, but i was certainly ignoring a lot of background. maybe the 680s is better? closed cup, etc. I'd get more opinions
post #6 of 22

The budget portable market is geared towards light headphones. If you want to spend a little more you might consider some of Beyerdynamics portables like the T51p but you'll be paying for it.

 

I have some SoundMAGIC P30 at home and the build quality is OK - not too different from the Beyerdynamic DTX501p.

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post #7 of 22

light + good isolation + durability + great sound = DT1350 or HD25-1

 

if they are within your budget they are worth a look

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for continued feedback - I'll look at all of them - argh, too many options.... At least at the exotic end there are less to choose from... ;)

 

The DT1350 / HD25 look out of budget, but maybe second-hand.  Typical head-fi scenario coming up.  ;)  I read some amazing reviews of the HD25, said to have great isolation, apparently DT1350 and HD25 clamp quite hard, might be tiring after a while.  Also read that HD25 can be on the tiring end of fun, would appreciate comments about long sessions...

 

But I do want something I can sling in a rucksack and commute with, without having to baby...  Let's say I set a budget of $100 second-hand, perhaps that will help you to help me?

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

After browsing a bit on Amazon, like to know what people think of K550 / HD449 / DT770 / HD380 Pro for my use case.  Too large to commute with?

post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by topperdoggle View Post
 

After browsing a bit on Amazon, like to know what people think of K550 / HD449 / DT770 / HD380 Pro for my use case.  Too large to commute with?

 

K550? they are HUGE

HD449? to me they feel a bit cheap, nd the non foldable design turns them into space-taking monsters. not the most portable IMO

the DT770 is much more durable, but maintains the same level of (non) portability

HD380 Pro, due to being able of folding flat, are the most portable of the four.

 

if you don't need big amounts of isolation the AKG K450 is excellent (I own them). Usually use them on 5 hours train trips, and they isolate fairly well TBH. I drive them from a regular android phone, and without pushing the volume past 50% everything gets muffled, while still hearable. not the best, but yet sufficient.

 

where are you from? just to help on where to search

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelinho View Post
 

 

K550? they are HUGE

HD449? to me they feel a bit cheap, nd the non foldable design turns them into space-taking monsters. not the most portable IMO

the DT770 is much more durable, but maintains the same level of (non) portability

HD380 Pro, due to being able of folding flat, are the most portable of the four.

 

if you don't need big amounts of isolation the AKG K450 is excellent (I own them). Usually use them on 5 hours train trips, and they isolate fairly well TBH. I drive them from a regular android phone, and without pushing the volume past 50% everything gets muffled, while still hearable. not the best, but yet sufficient.

 

where are you from? just to help on where to search

 

Thanks for the feedback on the above.  I read a bit on the K450s, some people complained about muddiness and clamping (although 5 hours on a train isn't bad!!!).  I think I would like something with great isolation though.  HD380 Pro looks amazing but the coiled cable might annoy...  It seems that I'll have to compromise, and one set won't do it all.  I tried to rank Build quality / Portability / Isolation / Sound quality but I just kept changing my mind...

 

I think I'll try to see what I can get a DT1350 or HD25-1 for second-hand.  I'm also kind of interested in MDR-ZX100s as a really cheap option, but every time I go cheap, it turns out to be a false economy (deal extreme $7 IEMs which sound great for the price to be honest, and I don't worry about losing or damaging them, but the tips fall off...).

 

I'm in Israel, so whatever I buy will come in the post, I guess.  :)

post #12 of 22

alright then, I'll do my best. the HD280 Pro is very good, extreme isolation and fully circumaural, so the hard clamping force is well atenuated. The problem is that these are true monitoring cans, so bass is not the most impactful, too thin to the usual musical use. Have a informative listen on them here, very helpful link: http://www.sonicsense.com/blog/headphone-shootouts/which-headphones-are-best-listen-here-for-yourself#audition100headphonesonline. and for isolation level, check these graphs: http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads

 

another one: http://www.amazon.com/Beyerdynamic-DTX-501P-Lightweight-Black/dp/B0091TA5EW these are very small, with an excellent case, and rather good sound (perhaps too much highs, if you are sensitive to them like my these are a poor options, otherwise they are good. not great, but good).

 

the V-Moda M80 is at sale now http://www.amazon.com/V-MODA-Crossfade-Noise-Isolating-Headphone-Shadow/dp/B00I9UKKS0/ref=sr_sp-atf_image_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1405123483&sr=1-2&keywords=m80 lots of punch, exciting sound, not neutral but not Beats bass level. a tad over the right amount of it, simply put. Comfort is the biggest concern, over 3 hours it starts to hurt. Even if the isolation is put on second plan for the sake of soundstage (these cannot coexist in this price range) and the case is rather huge for the size of the headphones, a good option to consider.

 

and then the always mentioned Logitech UE6000, now for 99$ or even less. these were sold for over 200$, and were higly regarded at that price, so you know they are a steal right now. if the size isn't too big for you, definitely a option to consider. btw they almost have two different headphones in the package, a neutral one with the NC off, and a bassier one with the NC on. http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-982-000104-6000-Headphones-Discontinued/dp/B0094S379U/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405124338&sr=8-1&keywords=ue6000

 

at last, at least for now, the Koss PRODJ100 Tony Bennet version http://www.amazon.com/Bennett-TBSE1-Signature-Edition-Headphone/dp/B005K5I9QW/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405124087&sr=8-1&keywords=tbse1 these have a case + removable cable, so the extra 20 bucks over the regular version are well spent. Excellent headphones for rock due to the speed, highly recomended to change the stock pads for the real M50 pads. lots of reviews around here

 

hope this helps, and good luck! ;) 


Edited by rebelinho - 7/11/14 at 5:47pm
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelinho View Post

and then the always mentioned Logitech UE6000, now for 99$ or even less. these were sold for over 200$, and were higly regarded at that price, so you know they are a steal right now. if the size isn't too big for you, definitely a option to consider. btw they almost have two different headphones in the package, a neutral one with the NC off, and a bassier one with the NC on. http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-982-000104-6000-Headphones-Discontinued/dp/B0094S379U/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405124338&sr=8-1&keywords=ue6000

Yep. Logitech UE6000. Great choice. Currently on closeout (check Amazon) for $80 to $90. Comfort is very good. They fold up nicely into a small package and come with a neoprene case for that. See this review: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/surprisingly-good-logitec-ue6000-and-ue9000
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Yep. Logitech UE6000. Great choice. Currently on closeout (check Amazon) for $80 to $90. Comfort is very good. They fold up nicely into a small package and come with a neoprene case for that. See this review: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/surprisingly-good-logitec-ue6000-and-ue9000


I'll second the UE6000. They are exceptionally comfortable and sound pretty good. NC isn't great, but I've definitely heard worse. I must warn that mine are currently being replaced under warranty for a faulty NC switch, but I would buy them again in a heartbeat despite this.

 

The UE4000 are actually not a bad option either. Passive isolation on them is excellent, and despite being on ear they are very, very comfortable. Picked up mine for 35 CAD about 8 or so months ago. I use them at work all the time...noisy office environment.

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by B9Scrambler View Post


I'll second the UE6000. They are exceptionally comfortable and sound pretty good. NC isn't great, but I've definitely heard worse. I must warn that mine are currently being replaced under warranty for a faulty NC switch, but I would buy them again in a heartbeat despite this.

Yeah. I gave mine to my son because he needed them more than me, and I sometimes wish I didn't. The portability is what impresses me about them a lot, too. For an over ear headphone, they really do fold up nicely. I just don't use headphones (or IEMs) for travel or outside the home enough personally. But I think for their <$100 current price, one can't go wrong with them for a portable headphone.
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