Good Noise Canceling Headphones???
Jun 2, 2004 at 11:16 PM Post #16 of 26

mi1stormilst

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Quote:

Originally Posted by raif
i think the a900 is for you. They offer reasonable isolation, are very clean and crisp,(for the price) and have a very even spectrum of sound.

Most closed headphones tend to have one glaring flaw that, if not your cup of tea, can ruin the whole experience. The a900s tend to be the most suggested headphones on this site, mainly because they have an overall even sound doing nothing wrong, but nothing great. I own a pair myself that still see use despite the $1400 phone sitting right next to them.



The biggest problem I see is the price $200.00 is far outside my range, I am leaning toward the Sennheiser HD 280 Pros...price is great and they seem to be very popular...any last words of advice before I blow some dough?
 
Jun 3, 2004 at 3:26 AM Post #17 of 26

SunByrne

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ampgalore
I wore the PXC250 in a lab where there are tons of lab equipment making unbearable amounts of hum, just like on an airplane. Didn't notice that much difference.


I'd have sent them back--my PXC250s make a substantial difference on airplanes.


Anyway, I've not heard the ATH-A900 but they certainly seem to be the most universally recommended closed cans.

The HD280s are very revealing cans, very flat response. Some feel they're too analytical. I find them great for classical, but they're not exactly "groovalizers" for rock.
 
Jun 3, 2004 at 6:24 PM Post #19 of 26

mi1stormilst

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Quote:

Originally Posted by raif
a500 is supposed to be nice too. a900 minus some quality.

After hearing the difference between the a900 and the L3000, I would probably say not very much quality loss.

$100 bucks.



So then the Sennheiser HD 280 Pros are not so hot? )-: Grrr I am at a loss )-:
 
Jun 3, 2004 at 7:02 PM Post #20 of 26

raif

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I really haven't heard much of the senn 280, due mostly to the negative reviews on this site. If you can test, I would say go for it. If you decide you want something a little more forward then try the a500. If that doesn't work, you could sell that here for about the price you payed for it, and try something else.
 
Jun 3, 2004 at 7:26 PM Post #21 of 26

SunByrne

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Personally, I really like the Senn HD280 as a closed can. But not everyone agrees with me, obviously.
tongue.gif
 
Jun 7, 2004 at 9:47 PM Post #23 of 26

Lou Erickson

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As far as the noise cancellation goes... I've worked in a noisy data center, and while the rumble of equipment and air conditioning sounds similar to you and I, the noise cancellation 'phones don't do much against it. They're really focused for airplanes, and nothing else.

I'd reccomend the low-end canalphones, either the etys or the shures, but I haven't heard either of them myself; I have the better Etys and they're wonderful.

If canalphones really bother you - they're not quite like earbuds, but they take getting used to - look back to the closed cans. They're what I use at work. I use horrible cheapies at the office so I don't think you want the reccomendation. (Koss UR-20 if you want to know. Closed, big enough for my head and CHEAP. If they vanish, I won't mind.)
 
Jun 10, 2004 at 11:24 AM Post #24 of 26

floppy-ear ted

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I've had 2 pairs of noise cancelling headphones, and although I think they work, these things are not for everyone. I've found that not everyone hears low frequency droning and background rumbles in the same way. On a noisy ferry for example, without noise cancelling headphones I find it impossible to relax, and have trouble understanding what others are saying because my eardrums react against the incessant and overpowering engine rumble, yet other people can talk comfortably and pay no attention to it.

I think that over time people's eardrums build up an immunity to bass and low midrange sounds, and an obvious example is where car audio buffs constantly upgrade their subwoofers to larger, more powerful ones. A couple of my friends sometimes tease me about hearing protection, but what about skiing goggles and sunglasses, aren't those just the visual equivalent? The rest of society is in the Dark Ages when it comes to valuing the ability to hear. However, all is not lost. Sony are producing MDRG94NC "behind-the-head" cans that may bridge the proverbial gap between us "Headphone Freaks" and them "Neanderthals" by combining noise cancellation with a modern style.

Noise cancelling headphones are not "just for aeroplanes", it's just that aeroplanes are one of the best examples of where NC cans are useful. One thing about aeroplanes is that the cabin air pressure is significantly reduced (even in pressurized planes), which makes all sorts of sounds (including voices) much quieter. This makes it harder to accurately compare aeroplane noise with other sources of noise. I would guess that my hearing sensitivity was easily 20dB lower than normal the last time I was on a plane. This could make NC cans seem more effective because some of the rumbling sound is then reduced to a level that's close to or below a person's hearing threshold. Indeed, an old pair of NoiseBusters that I had with me seemed more effective than usual.

If anyone has been thinking about getting Targus NC headphones, then don't! They are lousy and uncomfortable, and the sound quality is bad too. I know I'm not the only person who has a pair with a crackling speaker (which is only 27mm btw). The only good things about it are the detachable cord and internal battery compartment inside one of the earpieces. I'm getting the Sennheiser PXC250 very soon, so I'll see (hear) what those are like and will probably post my findings.

FET
 
Jun 10, 2004 at 12:30 PM Post #25 of 26

episiarch

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I've tried a variety of active-noise-reduction and/or noise-blocking solutions:

ANR
Sennheiser PXC-250: very nice overall. No, they do not kill all the noise from an airplane or a data center. But they do help enough to reduce travel fatigue a good deal. I love them as "motel room" phones: they are great at cutting out air conditioner hum, traffic noise from outside, etc. Sound-wise, they are pretty nice; I like them a lot better than either the PX200 or PX100. Drawbacks: battery unit in the middle of the cable is awkward and tangle-prone, especially combined with the floppiness of the foldup design and the double-sided cord.

Sennheiser HDC-451: semi-open design. NC similar to PXC-250. Non-folding design, cord enters on only one side, stiffer cord. Pretty good sound, more of an open-headphone sound than the PXC-250. Less convenient to stuff into a carryon when travelling, but IMO preferable to the PXC-250 for non-travelling use.

Bose QuietComfort II: (I don't own these, but tried them in an Apple store with my own iPod and amp.) Outstanding noise reduction, top of the class. Sound is nice enough on some tracks and grimace-inducing on others. They were not for me, but will readily satisfy people who have been listening on earbuds or $10 headphones up until now.

Sony MDR-NC5: Augh!! Get it off me!! Not much noise reduction either.

Noise-blocking
Ety ER-4: I love them. You've already read all the reasons why elsewhere in these forums.

Sony MDR-EX71SL: Every once in a while I come out of the closet and announce on head-fi for all to hear: I actually like EX71's. No, they are not Ety's. Yes, the bass is overblown. No, they don't block all that much sound, just a few decibels...but it's enough to make a nice difference. They're cheap, they're comfortable as heck, they block a bit of noise, and I even think they sound nice. Oh, and did you mention gaming? I get really outstanding positioning cues from my EX71's, better than any of the above (though I notice it much more in DVD movies than in games).

Sennheiser HD280: They block more noise than the EX71, less than the ER4. They clamp my head way too hard, no way I'd wear them through the course of a flight over 1 hour. For me the sound is OK on some material but grimace-inducing on anything complex. Gonna sell mine.

AKG K271: Blocks some noise, but far less than HD280. Maybe about as much as EX71. Doesn't fold up, would be pretty awkward in a carry-on. Sound is sweeeeeet, but needs an amp pretty badly IMO. A better amp than my Supermini or portable PIMETA. Raif's DAC1 drove it nicely...

Beyerdynamic DT231: blocks a bit of sound coming in (say, a bit less than EX71). Does not block much coming out. What#&%!, I thought these things were supposed to be sealed! Well, they're not. So if you're looking for headphones that won't bug your workmates, these aren't they. Too bad, though, because the sound is kind of usefully profiled for a work/noncritical-listening perspective...they have lots of bass and an extended top end, so even turned way down, you hear enough thump and enough detail to get a nice impression of the music.

Honorable mention:
Etymotic ER-20 hi-fi earplugs. Carry them on the plane, and enjoy quieter takeoffs and landings, when your "portable electronic devices" are verboten. Take them to concerts and action movies, and get the full experience of the music and explosions with less volume and less headache. Keep them in your pocket when you know a fire drill is coming, and saunter down the stairs while everyone else in the stairwell is grimacing and holding their hands over their ears. Cheap and highly recommended

Curious about:
Sony MDR-NC11: They appear to be essentially EX71's plus active noise reduction. Hmm! Seems like I'd like them, but haven't tried them yet.
 
Dec 14, 2004 at 5:35 AM Post #26 of 26

chrispitude

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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to let you know that you can buy a pair of refurbished Sennheiser PXC-250 noise-cancelling headphones from J&R Music World for $69.88. I just ordered a pair for me and a pair for my girlfriend.

Go to

http://www.jr.com/

and search for

PXC250

and you should see two items come up, new and refurbished.

For what it's worth, I found this forum by searching on "PXC-250." I'm a hi-fi nut and my home stereo employs a pair of Magnepan MG3.6's. I hadn't considered high-end headphones until now. Darn it...

- Chris
 

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