Best headphones for open-environment office use
Jun 13, 2011 at 12:53 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12


New Head-Fier
Jun 13, 2011
I'm looking for some great headphones to use in an open-office environment, with the most important characteristics being:
- Price under $150 US.
- Relatively portable (not gigantic).
- Comfortable to wear over prolonged periods of time.
- High audio fidelity with good, but not overpowering, bass.
- Little to no sound leakage.
- No need for amp (to be used with iPhone and Macbook Pro).
- Understated professional or retro design.
I have been looking at the Sennheisers HD228 and PX200-II, and the AKG K450. Although I like the latter's design, I have read some mixed reviews here and elsewhere, and the current price on Amazon US is a bit on the high end.
Are there any other headphones that I should consider?
Thanks for your advice,
Jun 13, 2011 at 1:11 PM Post #2 of 12
They might be too big, but I bought HD 448s for office used and have been very pleased. I only recently switched to IEMs so that they take up less space in my briefcase when I'm on the road.

 Price under $150 US.  YES

- Relatively portable (not gigantic). YES, relatively speaking.

- Comfortable to wear over prolonged periods of time. VERY COMFORTABLE for wearing all day.

- High audio fidelity with good, but not overpowering, bass. YES.

- Little to no sound leakage. YES

- No need for amp (to be used with iPhone and Macbook Pro). YES. (I run mine direct off my Macbook Pro)

- Understated professional or retro design. (I think so)

Jun 13, 2011 at 7:07 PM Post #3 of 12
Hi DCofficehack, thanks for your advice. I took a look at the HD 448's but they seem too big for what I'm looking for. I would appreciate any other suggestions, or if anyone has any experience with the above mentioned headphones. Thanks again!
Jun 13, 2011 at 7:11 PM Post #4 of 12
ralphch -
the k450 is super-aural.  meaning the ear pads rest on the ear.  while this makes for a more compact design, the clamping force on the outer ear can really be a nuissance after 30 or 45 minutes. 
circum-aural - or, around-the-ear - headphones, while bigger, are much more likely to yeild a more comfortable experience.  especially with lengthy use.
just my two cents.
so, the akg model i'd advise looking at is (instead of the k450) the k271.
a classic closed back headphone that can be had for under $200.
Jun 13, 2011 at 11:08 PM Post #5 of 12
Hi TheWuss, I considered the K271's, but I find them too large to be using in the office. I have some noise cancelling Sennheiser's similar to the PX200's, and whenever I use them on flights they are very comfortable - they are supra aural as well.
Jun 14, 2011 at 5:05 AM Post #6 of 12
It seems too me that you are looking for the Creative Aurvana Live! or the Denon AH-D1001 (same headphones, different brand). They tick all of your boxes, scoring exceptionally high in comfort and sound. Hace a look at Joker's thread for more info.
Jun 18, 2011 at 10:38 PM Post #7 of 12
Hi LooptroopRocker, thanks for the great info! After some more research, I started considering the Audio Technica ATH-FC7000, but then read some reviews for the AKG Q460 here on Head-Fi that mention it's an improvement over the K450. I ended up buying the Q460's online at J&R for $119 with free shipping - a pretty good deal considering prices elsewhere. I'll provide a follow up once I have tested them.
Jun 19, 2011 at 5:28 PM Post #8 of 12
Nice, I look forward to your impressions!
Apr 22, 2013 at 3:18 AM Post #10 of 12
So how are the AKG Q460? I have been looking for something decent for the office that is relatively compact.  I generally will take my Grado PS500 with me. But it's not the most practical for the office.
Apr 26, 2013 at 1:39 AM Post #11 of 12
I've been using the Q460's at the office for about two years now, and I'm quite happy with them. I find them very comfortable, and wear them for 3+ hours at a time. Their build is quite high quality, and it's very nice to fold them into the hardshell pouch: very portable.

When it comes to sound, I would say they are pretty great, but not amazing in any way. I also mostly play spotify on them, so can't really use that to judge. But if it's of any help, they are enjoyable to listen to and do not get tiring at any point.

Finally, the provided cables are veryyyy short, so you'll likely need an extension cord if you have a desktop computer on the floor.

If you can find them for under $100, I'd say go for it.

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