looking for sound-isolating headphones compatible w/ glasses ..
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noise-phobe

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Heya,

So I'm currently in the market for a new pair of headphones. I've been obsessively researching for the past week, but keep getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of variables involved, so figured I'd finally stop torturing myself and ask for help.

I have a noise sensitivity issue due to ADHD, which sucks. What sucks even more is that my parents recently decided to move me, my two younger brothers and two dogs into a small-ish townhouse with really poor insulation, meaning that every FOOTSTEP/SNEEZE/WHISPER?BARK etc. penetrates my room, making concentration next-to-impossible.

I also wear eye-glasses, which I didn't even realize was an issue until I came across a comment on CNET, which has me further rethinking the issue. For what it's worth, the arms on my glasses are reasonably thin - i.e. they sit just under the peaks of my ears.

I'm by no means an audiophile - up until now, I'd been using a crappy pair of supra-aural Sony's which finally gave out on me. They also had a noise-cancelling feature which created an uncomfortable pressure on my ear and did nothing to drown out dynamic sounds like human voices.

So what I'm wondering is ...

a) if I'm strictly using them at home, is noise-cancelling necessary? Or could I get away with circumaural earphones, and if so would the glasses not interfere by breaking the seal?

b) I realize in-ear is probably the way to go here, but I find that even using earplugs to sleep at night create this uncomfortable pressure in my head, so I'm not sure how well I'd tolerate them .. ?

I'm in Melbourne, Australia and was looking at spending no more than $200US .. I don't mind buying online, I suppose, but I also found this place that seems to have an okay range and also lets you sample them in-store. If it helps, here's their website + range .. http://www.factorysound.com/section/catalogue/cat/h_phones___talkback/?r=64p=1

I was in there today, though neglected to bring my ipod and glasses, so might go back next week. The dude said he could cut a deal on any set and would do the Beyerdynamic DT990 for like $100 ...

 
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Also, in terms of sets that don't have active noise-cancelling, will IEM always trump supra and circumaural?
 
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DaBomb77766

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Well, IEMs will most likely be better for you, since a good pair tends to block quite a bit more sound than your average full-sized around-ear headphones would.  They muffle everything from voices to dogs barking...but they can't quite block everything, though that'd be pretty much impossible anyway.
 
I'd recommend trying out a pair some time and see how you like them...however, you have to keep in mind that their comfort is largely dependant on the tips you use and whether or not you can get a good fit.
 
If you have glasses, IEMs would certainly be the better choice...at least, that's what I think.
 
As far as which ones to get, there are others here that are probably much more qualified to answer that!
 
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Yeah .. I am realistic about how much noise I'll be able to block out. I'm really just trying to make my situation more manageable ... even my crappy Sony's combined with white noise removed about 70% of aural distractions, which was a huge improvement.

The issue with IEM's is that I have no way of testing them! Stores don't carry test models for hygenic reasons ... Are they less intrusive than earplugs?
 
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Yeah, I'd say so.  They may take a few days to get used to, but they're faaar more comfortable than foam earplugs, which I find to be incredibly uncomfortable even if they nearly deafen ambient noise.  Problem is, the more comfortable IEMs tend to cost quite a bit more...but there are some at a lower price range.  And if comfort is something that you value, foam tips like Comply tips are supposedly more comfortable than standard silicone ones, but I can't say for sure since I've never used any before.  The ultimate, of course, would be custom IEMs, but those are, for the most part, prohibitively expensive. :p
 
If you wanted more advice on comfortable IEMs that isolate well within your price range, you should probably head over to the portables/IEM board!
 
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Of the ones listed on that site you linked, the DT770 is the most isolating and probably the most comfortable with glasses. The HD25 is also very good, but has a stronger clamp which pinches down on glasses. the DT770 does so as well, but is a large circumaural so spreads it out a bit more. Granted, I have very flexible frames so it wasn't too bad for me; it might be different for you.
 
The most comfortable headphones with good isolation I have ever tried were the Phiaton PS500, due to their super soft pads.
 
The DT990 is open and doesn't block out that much sound. On the other hand, that's a fantastic price the guy is offering you.
 
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Another option, if you're looking for comfort in IEMs at a good price point, are entry-level customs.  I believe the Westone AC1 retail at MSRP $299, which is a bit above your budget.  However, these may provide the best of both worlds, isolation with comfort.
 
I haven't heard the AC1 personally, so I can't vouch for the sound quality, but simply based on comfort and isolation, this might be something to look into.
 
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Of the ones listed on that site you linked, the DT770 is the most isolating and probably the most comfortable with glasses. The HD25 is also very good, but has a stronger clamp which pinches down on glasses. the DT770 does so as well, but is a large circumaural so spreads it out a bit more. Granted, I have very flexible frames so it wasn't too bad for me; it might be different for you.
 
The most comfortable headphones with good isolation I have ever tried were the Phiaton PS500, due to their super soft pads.
 
The DT990 is open and doesn't block out that much sound. On the other hand, that's a fantastic price the guy is offering you.

Thanks for the heads up, dude. I'll drop by the store next week and see how forgiving the DT770s are on my bespectacled head . Like I said, even my supra-aural Sony's made things manageable, so maybe I'm being too anal about sound isolation, but I did find I would have to listen to music at a reasonably high volume, which I'd like to avoid.

 
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You should also give the Senn HD280pro a try. They are possibly the best passive isolation headphone you can get. The Beyer DT770 with gel pads might be better, but I've never tried the gel pads myself (and you have to special order those, which I think are $40 or 50... don't quote me on that).
 
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Hello noise-phobe.
 
One thing that I wound up doing once was switching from glasses to goggles. I’m not suggesting that you do this instead, since right now it’s a pair of phones that you need, and you have a budget. But when it’s time for new lenses you could consider those, or even contacts. Neither will interfere with your possible choices the next time your in the market for some new headphones. You could even use IEMs with a pair of passive noise reduction earmuffs, for the ultimate in peace and quiet.
 
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Quote:
You should also give the Senn HD280pro a try. They are possibly the best passive isolation headphone you can get. The Beyer DT770 with gel pads might be better, but I've never tried the gel pads myself (and you have to special order those, which I think are $40 or 50... don't quote me on that).


Thanks for the tip. As perplexing as this may sound, I still haven't gotten round to picking up a pair of headphones. The store is pretty out-of-the-way. I'm gonna try head there tomorrow though.
 
Do you own a pair of Senn HD280s? If so, do you find you're able to use them for longish periods (say 1-2 hours) without fatigue? Also, do you think the sound-isolation (coupled with white noise or whatever) would be sufficient for drowning out ambient noise in a home environment? I don't suspect I'll be taking them anywhere else. 
 
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Honestly, if isolation is your biggest priority, I'd still say that IEMs are the way to go.
 
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I was actually all set to buy a pair of IEMs from Amazon but then realized that the ear plugs I use have been causing considerable inner-ear itching/irritation and am now worried this could be an issue with IEMs as well. 
 
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Quote:
I was actually all set to buy a pair of IEMs from Amazon but then realized that the ear plugs I use have been causing considerable inner-ear itching/irritation and am now worried this could be an issue with IEMs as well. 


Well, I think you should start out getting something super-cheap like this:
http://mp4nation.net/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=51&products_id=402
 
It's so cheap that you can hardly go wrong, and their shipping is free too.  I think you might as well try them out and see how they work for you.
 
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Get custom IEMs. or an Etymotic IEM, like the ER4p. Although, Etymotics might not be that comfortable as they are very deep insertion to get full isolation. But if can fit in your ear, the Etymotic can cancel up to 42db of noise, which is pretty incredible. If not, there are a few custom IEMs under 200 that could be worth looking at, check out Alienears, 1964 ears, or the new and pretty hyped Kozee IEMs.
 
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