Expecting too much from these sealed headphones?
Mar 3, 2006 at 9:56 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

Rlynn

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Lately the headphones I have been using at the office (HD25-sp) seem not be closed off to outside sounds. I'm not sure whether the office is actually noisier or I just have less tolerance. I can hear all the conversations from my neighbors. Unless the volume is very loud, the bass next door sounds like a rumble in the music. On quiet passages I can distinquish their words.

I chose this particular model because it was the best sounding of the less conspicuous designs. Tried IEMs and they were painful and too difficult to remove quickly. If another headphone would be more isolating, I'd be willing to brave the consequences. The other solution would be to limit the kind of music I can listen to at work. I listen to a lot of small ensemble or single performer acoustic music. Source is an amped iPod.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 10:49 PM Post #2 of 12

jagorev

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Yeah, the only way really to listen to that kind of music in a noisy environment is with IEMs. I found IEMs uncomfortable at first, but now I can wear Etymotics for 6 hours at a time without any pain or discomfort.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 10:57 PM Post #3 of 12

jjcha

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Wow, other than IEM, the HD25 (I'm assuming it's the same in this respect as the HD25-1) is one of the most isolating consumer headphones out there.

Other than IEM, I don't know of any (but imagine there would be) cans specifically made for low level noise isolation, like the type you're discussing.

I seriously doubt it will be enough, but active noise cancellation is your only other option.

Best,

-Jason
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 11:07 PM Post #4 of 12

OceanEnthusiast

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and i dont think active noise cancellation will really do anything to eliminate background coversation
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 11:15 PM Post #5 of 12

Nomad

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Quote:

Originally Posted by OceanEnthusiast
and i dont think active noise cancellation will really do anything to eliminate background coversation


It doesn't.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 11:31 PM Post #6 of 12

catscratch

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I would suggest custom-molded IEM's, if you're willing to fork out the cash on a custom-made, non-resellable item that you probably can't audition beforehand
etysmile.gif


Customs will definitely take your anatomy into account and should not be painful - especially the ones made out of softer materials, like the Sensaphonics 2X-S. They will also sound way better than the HD25, though you may need to do some component swapping to get the best synergy.

You can try the Sennheiser HD280 Pro, it's one of the best phones in terms of passive isolation. I wouldn't call it one of the best sounding, but it does sound pretty good. If you're using an amp, then you'll even have some bass with your music. But if you want isolation, quality, and comfort, custom IEM's are your best bet.
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 2:44 PM Post #7 of 12

Rlynn

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Thanks for everyone's comments. I'd have been disappointed if this thread ended without a recommendation that affected my wallet
biggrin.gif


The IEMs I tried were the Shure E4. I couldn't get a good seal with them all the time and then only with the foamies. It was all the other tips that hurt when I tried to get them to seal. But besides that, I don't think they will come out easily enough for work. It's an office culture thing. Not many of us use headphones. Those that don't just start talking when they come in to the cube. Maybe I should try to change this instead of my musical preferences.

But to the point, do the sensaphonics remove easily? That was part of what was uncomfortable, the removing.
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 3:43 PM Post #8 of 12

Oliver :)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rlynn
Lately the headphones I have been using at the office (HD25-sp) seem not be closed off to outside sounds. I'm not sure whether the office is actually noisier or I just have less tolerance.


It may be a tolerance thing. Try not to use them for two-three days, then put them back on. If that doesn't help, open the headband further, harden their grip on your skull, close tighter
very_evil_smiley.gif
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 4:25 PM Post #9 of 12

jjcha

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rlynn
But to the point, do the sensaphonics remove easily? That was part of what was uncomfortable, the removing.


Personally, I don't think the Sensaphonics remove that easily. Once they're in, I don't like to have to remove them because it takes two hands and can get irritating on the ears.

Actually that's why I use the Shure E4c more than my Sensas lately.
biggrin.gif
Because the soft-flex sleeves fit me fine and they're so easy to pop in and out.

UE-10 Pro or a hard mold IEM might be easier to remove and insert.

Good luck!

-Jason
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 6:34 PM Post #10 of 12

episiarch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rlynn
Lately the headphones I have been using at the office (HD25-sp) seem not be closed off to outside sounds. I'm not sure whether the office is actually noisier or I just have less tolerance.


I think you've just become more sensitive to it. After taking this first step to quiet the distractions that you've formerly ignored through mental discipline alone, you're becoming increasingly aware of how bad they were, and how far there still is to go.
Quote:

I chose this particular model because it was the best sounding of the less conspicuous designs.


I think you made a good choice. The HD25-SP has pretty good isolation, pretty good sound, and doesn't look like much of anything. The only closed can I've tried that was more isolating than it or the HD25 was the HD280, and not only is it far from inconspicuous (and, to me, less comfortable), it is an incremental rather than decisive step above the HD25-SP in isolation. Quote:

Tried IEMs and they were painful and too difficult to remove quickly.


Perhaps a different brand and fit style might still work for you. I find Ety tri-flanges quite comfortable, especially if I lube them up from time to time with a little (very little) Oto-Ease or Murine Ear. As for quick removal, while it's never as fast as taking off a regular headphone, I think the Ety hanging-down-the-front-with-a-shirt-clip design is less awkward to deal with in an office setting than designs that encourage you to go around the back of the ears. I find it pretty quick to pop them out and drop them in a shirt pocket, a reasonably tidy arrangement.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 5:40 PM Post #11 of 12

Rlynn

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oliver :)
It may be a tolerance thing. Try not to use them for two-three days, then put them back on. If that doesn't help, open the headband further, harden their grip on your skull, close tighter
very_evil_smiley.gif



I left them off over the weekend. Trying them again this week, snugging them up, they are better. Aside from the normal listening adjustment from my real hi-fi at home to the headphone setup at work that is.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 6:02 PM Post #12 of 12

Rlynn

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Quote:

Originally Posted by episiarch
I think you've just become more sensitive to it. After taking this first step to quiet the distractions that you've formerly ignored through mental discipline alone, you're becoming increasingly aware of how bad they were, and how far there still is to go.


Yikes! Mental discipline. I thought I'd lost that years ago. It's something to think about. It was late on a Friday with a deadline to meet. They sound much better this week. Quiet music is still a problem, but my tolerence is better.
Quote:

I think you made a good choice. The HD25-SP has pretty good isolation, pretty good sound, and doesn't look like much of anything.


Overall, they suit me quite well. Your original recommedation was a good one.
Quote:

Perhaps a different brand and fit style might still work for you. I find Ety tri-flanges quite comfortable, especially if I lube them up from time to time with a little (very little) Oto-Ease or Murine Ear.


I may have to try these (or perhaps the UM2?) I wish they had some foamies in OSHA orange. If I had in regular earplugs, I think my co-workers would give me time to get them out or come back later.
 

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