Listening area angst!!
Mar 13, 2002 at 8:02 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

gloom

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Background: I'm a senior in college. I live in a 4 bedroom apartment with three friends. We're on the third floor, and my window overlooks the (very busy) 4 lane road about 100 feet behind our apartment building.

I need quiet to listen. I believe my hearing is still pretty sensitive - my Sony D-25S drives my HD580 to painful volumes even at 0 volume or from the line out. Luckily, someone here pointed me toward a cheap inline volume control from Radio Shack; this must have the world's crappiest potentiometer, though, because at my preferred listening level, the sound is unbalanced (and it's not just my hearing, because I've flipped the headphones around and the louder side definitely changed).

My problem: I can't get any quiet.

Road noise is always present during the day. It tapers off by midnight, so it's quieter then, but that doesn't leave much time for listening, because I try to sleep enough, and I like to go to bed quite early.

My computer is also quite loud, though it's only got two fans (one in the PSU, one on the heatsink). My CPU is a lowly P3-650, so I bought a fairly quiet HSF (Thermaltake Golden Orb). I also got a case that was supposed to be on the quieter side (Palo Alto ATCX). I most want to listen when I'm at my computer, writing or web browsing or rendering.

At least my flatmates are very considerate, and never play loud music or make much noise. Sometimes the TV gets a little loud, but we're usually watching together, so I don't care about that.

The situation is a little better with my V6, but the sound is rather coarse and I don't enjoy it as much, or for long periods of time. I can still hear road and computer noise, but it's less intrusive and more tolerable.

The worst part is, as stated above, that I'm in college, and thus pretty poor all the time. This means I can't afford a pair of ER4S. I have substantial (~$1k) credit card debt, but plenty of free space on the card, so I might just spring for a pair anyway... argh.

Well, I feel a little better now that I've typed all this, but I still can't listen to my HD580 as I want to, because it's early afternoon and the cars are out in force
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Mar 13, 2002 at 8:40 PM Post #2 of 8

dhwilkin

Headphone audiophiles are practically the stuff of legend.
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Find a different apartment. I had a similar situation last year, though in my case all the noise came from having an apartment right next to the pool... which just happened to be a very popular spot for 2 AM parties (on weekdays, no less!). My only regret upon leaving was never throwing some random substance in the pool which would cause massive amounts of fizz and freak all the drunk morons out.

Also didn't help that the office had pool speakers, which were blasted until 7 PM. That's if they remembered to turn them off, otherwise they'd play all night!
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The idiots in the office have no idea how lucky they were to not find those speakers in the pool the next day.

My current apartment's loudest residents are the crickets. I sleep SO much better at night, and can enjoy my headphones anytime. I don't care if I'm not living where all the action is anymore, this place rules!
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Mar 13, 2002 at 9:04 PM Post #3 of 8

redshifter

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living in a city, commuting on public transit, and working in a lab i use closed phones almost exclusively (expect right now... e888
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). if you can't afford the er-4 get the er-6 instead. some of the other phones i use are the sony v6 (modded) and the cd1700 (modded). the er-6 provides the best isolation by far, and the peace of mind that brings.
 
Mar 14, 2002 at 12:07 AM Post #4 of 8

dcg

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I tend to agree that if you can't move out, er-6 would probably be a good option. Cheaper than the er-4 but still gets you a lot of isolation (so I hear).

redshifter - how have you modded your v6? Are you referring to the addition of the beyer pads, or something else?
 
Mar 14, 2002 at 2:55 AM Post #5 of 8

Mumrik

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I know this might freak you out
rolleyes.gif



The best way to lower the noise from your computer is to try out watercooling (yes, it would require water to be circulated within your case)... You'd be able to run a 120mm. fan at very low speed and thus would have less noise and lower pitched noise than with a standard 60mm., 70mm. or 80mm. CPU fan.
It's not cheap though... unless you're willing to go absolutely DIY...



Yeah, I know I'm a freak
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Mar 14, 2002 at 3:40 AM Post #6 of 8

Dusty Chalk

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Two things:

1 - You'll get used to it. There was a study, two sets of people, both taught TM (Transcendental Meditation -- you know, that "om" stuff). One group was taught in suburbia in the finest, quietest, perfectly temperate area; the other was in downtown, they had a shabby, drafty shack, in which to practise. When it came down to it, guess which group could more quickly approach nirvana? That's right, the downtown group.

2 - You need a good pair of isolating headphones. Might I recommend the DT770's.
 
Mar 14, 2002 at 4:44 AM Post #7 of 8

gloom

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Well, I can't move, because two of my current roommates (the third is graduating and moving out to the east coast) and I have signed a lease for the apartment next door to ours. I love the location: close to the gym, close enough to my work and classes, relatively quiet neighborhood, lots of trees, etc. The rent is very bearable, too.

Mumrik: I've heard of watercooling (I read quite a few tech sites). There's nothing freaky about it; I'm just not technically inclined enough to build the system myself, and I could spend the money for a commercial system on better isolating headphone gear. Then I'd block out computer and road noise.

Dusty Chalk: I'm not trying to become a Buddha (I'll settle for Arhat, eheh). That report doesn't surprise me: one of the meditative principles I've read about involves using distractions (internal or, in this case, external) as a focus point. I have no problem with noise, except when it prevents my listening to music at levels I find safe and comfortable.

I think I am resigned to spending the $$ on isolating gear. Now I just have to ponder what... DT770 and ER6 (and even ER4S) on the list. Time to search.
 
Mar 14, 2002 at 10:27 PM Post #8 of 8

redshifter

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dgc-
i modded my v6 this way:

- beyer pads
- foam filter from sony cd1700 headphones placed over the v6 transducers
- dense open cell foam behind the transducers in the earcup, but not touching the transducers (about 1/8" thick)
- bent the metal bands to fit my head better

they sound great now.
 

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