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Need help choosing headphones for use in a large raised floor server lab environment

  1. PureServerRat
    In my new job, I spend 1/2 to 3/4 of my workday in a huge (20,000+ square foot) raised floor server farm environment.  The noise levels are incredible.
    I'm hoping to find a solution that will provide:
    1. maximum noise isolation
    2. ability to listen to spoken word podcasts and some music
    1. be a great solution for high quality listening when in a more normal environment.
    Ideally, I would like to have these phones be Bluetooth and wired.
    I may be asking for the impossible.  The best solution may be two different products..... If listening to podcasts and music in this loud environment is going to contribute to hearing loss, then I will have to accept the best ear protection without the ability to listen to any audio.
    I've read many reviews here at Head-Fi and would like folks to weigh-in on the best phones these situations.
    Will over the ear phones provide more or less isolation?  Should I consider phones with noise cancellation?
    Does anyone else on Head-Fi face similar issues at work?
    Considering that my hearing is at stake, my budget is flexible.  I'm willing to spend up to $1000 - $1200 to solve this issue.
    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
  2. bubsdaddy
    Many will disagree with me, but for your situation, the Bose QC 15 will be perfect for work. You can pick them up used for around $175 - $200 or new for $300. This will leave money left over for a top notch listening experience with a different headphone in a less noisy environment. If you buy them new, you can return them after trying them out for a few weeks. The noise cancelling is the best (in the opinion of most) and the comfort will allow you to wear them for hours without pain. The sound is good but not worthy of the $300 price tag but is certainly good enough to listen to mostly spoken word and some music.
    The alternative is an In Ear Monitor that blocks out sound in the same way an earplug does. There are many choices in IEMs that will fill your needs for $25 on up. I find IEMs fine to listen to for extended periods but some people have trouble with having them stuffed in their ear canal for any length of time. The tips on an IEM can make a huge difference in noise attenuation and comfort. Good luck and I'm sure the wonderful community here will give you other options to consider.
    Welcome to Head-fi!
  3. dosley01
    I also work sometimes in a data center and my favorite for nosie isolation was pretty much any of the Etymotics.  I usually go for IEMs at work and I remember my old ER6is did a great job blocking out the server drone.  I currently use TF10s but they don't offer the same noise isolation. 
    If you want the ultimate, go for a pair of customs.

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