Headphones that isolate well around the 100-200+ dollar range?
Mar 3, 2016 at 12:07 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

Hifi Man

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So, I live in a pretty crowded neighborhood. I don't usually take my headphones outside with me that much because all the cars and traffic and stuff ruins the immersion of whatever music I'm listening to. So I'm clearly looking for something that isolates well from sound, that's my number one priority in whatever I'm looking for.
 
It may take me a few weeks to get enough money to afford the stuff in this price range already, so it would be best to help me look at stuff that isn't quite around 300 dollars. If you wanna recommend something that would be an absolute dream, which is around that price range, but also recommend something realistic, that would be cool too.
 
Sound quality is very important to me though, if they isolate and don't sound at least almost as good as my sennheiser momentum headphones, I'll probably be disappointed.
 
Just to clarify I am looking for portable headphones that I can take outside with me, that isolate from the traffic around me.
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 3:20 AM Post #2 of 11

Giupy

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Hey! I know what that's like, I like in a crowded neighborhood in my own apartment (I'm hinting that my wife makes noise enough to match that of hundreds of people in a busy intersection).

The usual suspects for budget closed-backs are:

Audio Technica ATH-M50X (Or just M50 if you don't care about the detachable cable) - 120$
Brainwavz HM5 - 120$ - Build quality isn't as good as the ATH-M50X
Sennheiser Momentum (On-ear) - 150$, but I know you said that you already have these
Beyerdynamic DT 1350 (On-ear) - ~170$
Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro - 175$
AKG K553 - 170$
Sennheiser HD 25-1 II - ~150$
Logitech UE6000 - I don't really know the price, they don't make these anymore, but pretty sure they're under 200$ and this is a great heapdhone.

Then there are also the Shure SRH440, V-MODA XS and Noontec Zoro HD II, but I don't really know much about these, but they're within your prince range.

Also if you're willing to buy a used pair, some great things may slip into your price range, like a... Say Denon AH-D2000 or something of the like.
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 7:03 AM Post #3 of 11

serman005

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  So, I live in a pretty crowded neighborhood. I don't usually take my headphones outside with me that much because all the cars and traffic and stuff ruins the immersion of whatever music I'm listening to. So I'm clearly looking for something that isolates well from sound, that's my number one priority in whatever I'm looking for.
 
It may take me a few weeks to get enough money to afford the stuff in this price range already, so it would be best to help me look at stuff that isn't quite around 300 dollars. If you wanna recommend something that would be an absolute dream, which is around that price range, but also recommend something realistic, that would be cool too.
 
Sound quality is very important to me though, if they isolate and don't sound at least almost as good as my sennheiser momentum headphones, I'll probably be disappointed.


The SoundMAGIC HP150 may be the best of all in this price range, I would also add the Beyer DT 770.
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 7:53 AM Post #4 of 11

Hifi Man

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Just to clarify I am looking for portable headphones that I can take outside with me, that isolate from the traffic around me.
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 7:54 AM Post #5 of 11

Hifi Man

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  Hey! I know what that's like, I like in a crowded neighborhood in my own apartment (I'm hinting that my wife makes noise enough to match that of hundreds of people in a busy intersection).

The usual suspects for budget closed-backs are:

Audio Technica ATH-M50X (Or just M50 if you don't care about the detachable cable) - 120$
Brainwavz HM5 - 120$ - Build quality isn't as good as the ATH-M50X
Sennheiser Momentum (On-ear) - 150$, but I know you said that you already have these
Beyerdynamic DT 1350 (On-ear) - ~170$
Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro - 175$
AKG K553 - 170$
Sennheiser HD 25-1 II - ~150$
Logitech UE6000 - I don't really know the price, they don't make these anymore, but pretty sure they're under 200$ and this is a great heapdhone.

Then there are also the Shure SRH440, V-MODA XS and Noontec Zoro HD II, but I don't really know much about these, but they're within your prince range.

Also if you're willing to buy a used pair, some great things may slip into your price range, like a... Say Denon AH-D2000 or something of the like.

Ah jeez, it was so nice of you to make this list. I apologize for not being specific enough, I am actually looking for headphones to wear outside and isolate from traffic noise. Gosh, sometimes I just speak what I'm saying in my head, but I forget that it will only make sense to me if I don't add certain details. 
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 7:59 AM Post #6 of 11

Giupy

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In theory the list is still valid, nothing there is particularly hard to drive, but I wouldn't exactly go outside with the Brainwavz HM5, for example.

ATH-M50X, DT 1350, Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro, Senn Momentum and Senn HD 25-1 II still work for this, but it's better if you just take a look at them and see with which you would want to be outside with. It's the easiest way to determine your winner. That and.. Give them a listen at a local retailer.

Out of the bunch I'd go for the Senn HD 25-1 II, despite their sort of U-shaped sound or maybe the ATH-M50X, but I'd go for velour pads, because I find them more comfortable.
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 12:14 PM Post #7 of 11

Hifi Man

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  In theory the list is still valid, nothing there is particularly hard to drive, but I wouldn't exactly go outside with the Brainwavz HM5, for example.

ATH-M50X, DT 1350, Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro, Senn Momentum and Senn HD 25-1 II still work for this, but it's better if you just take a look at them and see with which you would want to be outside with. It's the easiest way to determine your winner. That and.. Give them a listen at a local retailer.

Out of the bunch I'd go for the Senn HD 25-1 II, despite their sort of U-shaped sound or maybe the ATH-M50X, but I'd go for velour pads, because I find them more comfortable.

I was so torn about the sennheiser 25-1 II (god that's so much to type lol) I got the amperior. I thought they sounded great and I adored the style of them, the way they rested on my ears was so painful though, I couldn't wear them for more than an hour without sharp pain, so I had to return them. I still get agitated over that and feel like I want to buy them again sometimes lol. 
 
Unfortunately the sennheiser momentum is what I have now and they do not isolate as well as I want at all. Unfortunately the amperior didn't either.
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 12:36 PM Post #8 of 11

Giupy

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There's another thing I didn't mention, right at the 200$ price mark, depending on where you buy it from. That's the Audio Technica ATH-MSR7. I didn't mention it initially because it used to be more expensive.

If I would have to pick one, the MSR7 would be it. You get so much for your money, the isolation is great, the headband and pads are memory foam, you have three detachable cables and the sound is... Well, I honestly believe it sounds quite a bit above its price point.
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 5:51 PM Post #10 of 11

Hifi Man

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  IEMs are no alternative for you? Cuz' the right IEMs will give you more isolation than full-sized headphones.

That could be an option, I've never looked into those before. Can they sound as good as over ear headphones? I'm sure they do isolate very well, but I also hear they're worse for your ears.
 
Mar 5, 2016 at 2:19 AM Post #11 of 11

HiFiChris

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  IEMs [...]

That could be an option, I've never looked into those before. Can they sound as good as over ear headphones? I'm sure they do isolate very well, but I also hear they're worse for your ears.

 
I would definitely try some IEMs if I were you, especially when you can order them from Amazon ("sold and fulfilled by Amazon") and return them if you don't feel well with them. Crucial with IEMs are a really good fit and especially seal to gt isolation and low-end extension. And if you said the Amperior didn't give you the desired amount of exterior noise isolation (assuming that it sealed well on your ears, as that is important with it and can be a bit tricky sometimes), then I can tell you that there won't be many other full-sized cans that isolate better, as the Amperior is already really good in that regard.
 
I won't chime in to the debate "IEMs vs. full-sized cans", as everybody has got a different opinion on that. Imho, good IEMs can be and are better than full-sized cans in terms of micro-details and precision (in the same price range, of course), but the spatial presentation is different. It is all a matter of preference in the end.
The claim that IEMs can be worse than full-sized HPs or speakers for one's hearing is quite common - I am no audiologist and only a hobbyist on this topic, but one headphone maker who once was audiologist, a person who I really respect when it is about technical information about the ears and hearing, says that it doesn't matter whether 90 dB at your eardrum are coming from IEMs, full-sized HPs or speakers - all are equally bad and neither makes more damage than the other (given that they are playing at the same volume level).

 
Regarding what you could like, I have the Westone UM Pro 30 in mind, but they are clearly above what you mentioned as price range. Something bassy with a reasonable price tag and with superb isolation is the Shure SE215, which should also be available directly on Amazon.
 

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