Looking for a superb full-size headphone with great noise isolation (not NC)
Jan 18, 2014 at 4:08 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 21

MarsNielson

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Hi all,
 
I'm looking for the best noise isolation headphone money can buy (Budget is about 400$ - but less is more than welcome).
 
They are for use at work, so they have to be comfortable to use for hours on end and they need be somewhat stylish as I sit in a gigantic open-office space where everyone can see everyone (yikes!).
 
Some of my co-workers have noise-canceling headphones (Beats, Bose, etc.) and I browed most of them to test them out, but I really don't like the sound the often produce - sounds like you're sitting in a submarine and the sound is notably changed when NC in engaged.
 
So, instead I'm looking for some great sounding headphones that have really good noise isolation.
 
For reference I've tried on the B&W P7 and they have great isolation, but I didn't find them that comfortable.
I've also tried the Denon D600, but they looked extremely big on my head.
 
 
Recap of things I'm looking for:
  1. Budget is max $400
  2. Great noise isolation
  3. Not noise cancelation
  4. Great sounding
  5. Comfortable for long continues use
  6. Stylish
 
EDIT:
My own shortlist as of now:
  1. Sony MDR-1R or MDR-1R MK2 (haven't tried them yet)
  2. Sennheiser Momentum (haven't tried them yet)
  3. B&W P7
  4. Sony MDR-7520 (haven't tried them yet)
  5. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro or HD 380 Pro (haven't tried them yet)
  6. Wait for one of the newer Sennheiser HD8 or HD7
 
Any suggestions are more than welcome.
Thanks in advance.
 
Jan 18, 2014 at 12:27 PM Post #2 of 21

billybob_jcv

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I would use IEMs in this situation. They will provide more isolation than closed headphones. You can get some really excellent IEMs for this price, Shure, Westone, Etymotic, etc.
 
Jan 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM Post #3 of 21

pataburd

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Try the Martin Logan Mikros 90.  Period.  Use the money saved to upgrade your source and/or DAC and/or amp. 
 
The band can be custom reformed/mildly sculpted to eliminate any discomfort issues.
 
They are stylish, provide excellent isolation, and sound magnificent: open, detailed, balanced in just about every respect, extended, dimensionally realistic and eminently musical.
 
The MLs are closed portables, but they rival--in fact, handily surpass--just about every other ear-/headphone (open, closed or in-ear; full-size, portable, supra- or circumaural) product that I have ever tried (including my HE-6!).
 
Placement can take a little doing, and break-in is lengthy (on the order of 300 hours before the Mikros 90 really begin to come into their own), but these headphones will deal the stalwart listener a Royal Flush in spades, IMHO.
 
Jan 18, 2014 at 1:49 PM Post #5 of 21

pataburd

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I usually do, too, but IMHE the Mikros 90 are better than all the full-size over-the-ear products I've tried, including my HE-6.  And not by just a lttle bit, either.
 
Jan 18, 2014 at 2:02 PM Post #6 of 21

billybob_jcv

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How is the clamping force on the MLs? Normally, good isolation from an on-ear comes at the expense of high clamping force and some discomfort on long listening sessions.
 
Jan 18, 2014 at 3:39 PM Post #8 of 21

pataburd

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For longer listening sessions I always prefer over-the-ear headphones, but your recommendation is duly noted.

If this helps, I had the Mikros 90 on for 5-6 hours the other evening and had to make a conscious effort to make myself go to sleep rather than to reach for another disc.  With the HE-6, I usually have to lie down due to the headphones' weight.  Even so, I would still be willing to trade a little comfort--if that is really even an issue here--for corespondingly much musical fidelity/integrity.
 
Jan 18, 2014 at 3:47 PM Post #9 of 21

pataburd

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How is the clamping force on the MLs? Normally, good isolation from an on-ear comes at the expense of high clamping force and some discomfort on long listening sessions.

The clamping force issue can be--and has been--addressed by carefully sculpting the tubular aluminum headband to conform to the listener's skull.  On the other extreme you have the KEF M500 that drape loosely over the head like saddle bags and leak considerably.  Or orthodynamics like the Audeze or HifiMAN that look like bushel baskets strapped to either side of the noggin.
 
Jan 18, 2014 at 6:15 PM Post #10 of 21

MattAnthony1990

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The Momentums sound great, however their sound isolation is not perfect. They do block some of it out but since the cups are rather small, its tough. The P7s might be your best bet if not for being uncomfortable. The VMODA M100s have substantial clamping force, so there is another option. 
 
Jan 18, 2014 at 6:36 PM Post #12 of 21

MattAnthony1990

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  I think T70 is a good fit. After all it is a serious Headphone. It is made for professionals. 

sound isolation isn't anything to write home about though, albeit the SQ is outstanding.
 
Jan 19, 2014 at 12:21 PM Post #14 of 21

MattAnthony1990

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Never heard of the T70, but the isolation is very important for my use.
 
Any experience with either the MDR-1R or Momentum in connection with isolation?

 
If you scroll up just a few quotes you'll see I've already answered your Momentum inquiry. Personally, I'm yet to use the MDR-1R.
 

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