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Best noise cancelling headphones?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have been looking at the Sennhesier PXC 250's and the Bose QuietConfort2 for the best noice cancelling headphones. I tried the Bose in the Bose store a couple days ago and I was extremely impressed at how much it drowns out the outter noise. I want to know what people think of the Senn PXC 250's as I have the Senn HD595's and they sound great so I certainly trust Sennhesier for what they promise I just want to see what you guys think.
post #2 of 15
The Sennies don't block as much noise as the Bose; perhaps about the same on the active noise cancelling, but the isolation of noise generally isn't as good. The sound from the 250s is pretty good and they do well enough at cancelling the noise of trains etc, but not as well at blocking annoying conversations.

If you have a powerful source, or a portable amp then I recommend the 'old' sennheiser HDC 451 over the 250; Driven properly they sound better than any other active noise cancelling phones i've heard ( inc various models of Panasonic, Philips, Sony) possibly because they are an open design; the noise cancelling circuit is better too. They don't fold up though :-(

If you can find it where you are, the SBC HN110 from Philips is worth an audition; The sound is great for the money and the combination of closed circum-aural design and active noise cancelling does a good job of protecting your music from outside influences.
post #3 of 15
I love the sound and portability of the PXC250 and find the noise cancellation perfectly adequate for most situation -- office, noisy coffee bars, etc.
post #4 of 15
active noise canceling or just nice isolation.

if its the later, the hd280 are quite nice on sound isolation.
post #5 of 15
Ipod, if you're getting a er-6i, why do you need noise-cancelling phones?
post #6 of 15
The best noise cancelling is no noise cancelling.

Just get a good pair of closed headphones that isolate... like the K271S.
post #7 of 15
I wondered about that too, but assumed it was just a moment of dizziness caused by auditioning the Bose QC2.
post #8 of 15
Damned Bose mind control!
post #9 of 15
i guess it would be paranoid to assume they rig their stores to have loads of noise that the QCII NC circuit easily copes with?
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox
The best noise cancelling is no noise cancelling.

Just get a good pair of closed headphones that isolate... like the K271S.
I agree. One of my roommates has the QCII's, and they're alright...but in my opinion, not worth the $300 they cost.

I have a pair of 271's on the way, I can't wait!
post #11 of 15
Well the Bose block out ALOT more sound the the 250's, But like they said, they dont sound as good as the 250's. The 250's in my opinion block out about as much as the bose triports, maybe alittle more. So if your going to go with one, go with the 250s because they are ALOT smaller, Sound better, and block a great amount of noise....
post #12 of 15
If you're considering QC2's, then I assume your price limit is pretty high ($300). In that case, you will do yourself a huge favor if you stay the hell away from Bose. Their products are severely overpriced and aren't anywhere near the other headphones and canalphones in this price range. The reason for their popularity is some excellent marketing on the part of Bose, which has created a good reputation with the average consumer - and of course, the lack of easy availability for their competitors, at least in the USA.

I would suggest the Etymotic Research ER-4P instead. It will offer higher levels of noise attentuation, and substantially better sound quality. Also, it will beat the Bose hands-down on portability. They're not uncomfortable (with the foam tips), and they're somewhat cheaper than the Bose ($270 usually, though price varies). Lastly, if you get yourself an P/S adapter, it will turn them into the S version, which requires amplification, but sounds better when that amplification is provided.

I haven't heard the PXC 250 so I can't comment. But, the ER-4 beats out a whole lot of headphones in terms of quality in their price range, and we're talking hi-fi headphones here, not Bose
post #13 of 15
i agree with catscratch....
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by plus_c
I have a pair of 271's on the way, I can't wait!
Congrats!
post #15 of 15
Sonically, noise canceling circuitry screws up the sounds, muddles it. However, noise canceling definitely provides better noise reduction than soup imply noise-isolating.

I have etymotics er4, sennheiser 250, audio technical ANC. These all clearly outperform Bose sonically in everyday except for monoxide reduction. Bose Qc3 are dark, muddled, ill-defined and lack soundstage for the type of music I listen to , mainly classical and jazz. However, if you re in a situation where noise is that much of an issue, you may not be in an environment conducive to careful detailed listening anyhow.

I love the Eytymotics--soundstage and clarity are wonderful. However, they are quite unco,for table. I can tolerate them for 2hour plane trip, but not longer. They are so small, however, that I just keep them in a small pocket in my backpack so that I always have something decent to listen with in a noisier situation.

A very, very pleasant surprise came with the Logitech Ultimate Ears, which, In my opinion, outperform etymotics in terms of soundstage, definition, clarity. I know, I know... Logitech? But , yeah, they're really good. . They do a poorer job with noise isolation thatpn the ety's, but ate more comfortable.

The Sennheiser 250's are very good in terms of soundstage, definition, and clarity, and they are the only noise-canceling headphones that actually sound great musically and analytically. They are fairly linear and transparent. Noise cancellation is excellent, but their on-ear design makes them inferior to the Boses in terms of notal noise reduction. I really wish Sennheiser would make a noise-canceling around-the-ear closed back set of cans.

So in summary:

Noise reduction: etymotics > Bose > Ultimate Ears > Sennheiser 250
Soundstage: Sennheiser 250 > Audio Technixca > Ultimate Ears > Etymotic > Bose
Clarity and Definition: Sennheiser 250 > Ultimate Ears > Etymotic > Audiotechnica anc7 > Bose


I guess, what we're all saying by consensus is: Forget Bose, think Sennheiser 240 (or non canceling closed back if you don't need noise canceling) or earbuds (Etymotic or Ultimate Ears).
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