Recommendation for course of action for pair of comfortable noise isolating Headphones.
Sep 9, 2017 at 9:05 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5


New Head-Fier
May 18, 2016
Hello, the cushions around the ear on my Sennhheiser GAME ONE have worn out and I would appreciate if someone could help me out with a better way to get what I want. I liked these headphones for their sound but I felt they did not isolate external sound well enough. This is something I require, along with comfort for prolonged wearing because I'm studying for exams most awake hours nowadays. There are a few options:

1) Get new cushions for this headset and continue using it.

2) Get new cushions for this one. Take the GAME ONE headphones apart and put their drivers in my Older Sennheiser HD 380 Pro. (One of its drivers went bad was the reason I got these, and though it has been a long time now, I think they isolated noise much better and had slightly higher max volume due to lack of a volume control.) I probably might need a new cable for these as well. It would take sometime ( ~7 days) and cost a little bit more (~20-40%) to get these parts, since I'd have to import these from outside the country.

3) Get a new pair of headphones. Below, I'll list the headphones I've found available locally and that are within my budget but I'm not sure which one will fulfill my requirements and cost the least. The prime considerations are noise isolation and comfort for prolonged use (~8-14 hours a day). Followed by good sound. I don't necessarily plan for these to be my main 'good, neutral, clean, uncolored' sounding headphones (which I'll separately when needed), but it'll be nice to have without sacrificing the more important factors for right now. I haven't listened to many good headphones, but among the aforementioned and Shure SE215, I liked the sound of HD 380 Pro the best (And the fact I don't find things inside my ear well comfortable). It costs ~ 170$ here and almost every headphone I'll mention will cost a similar percentage more.

Sennheiser HD 202 or 203 or (215) or 200 pro or 280 pro
Sennheiser HD 418 or 429 or 438 or 451 or 449 or 461G
Sennheiser HD 380 Pro
Sennheiser PX 360

AKG K240 MK2 (Somewhere is says its closed but at others, it says semi-open. I'm not sure.)
AKG K545
AKG K550
AKG K619

Shure SRH240A
Shure SRH440

Audio-technica ATF-M50x

Some JVC Headphones
Some Sony Headphones
Some Pioneer Headphones

I would be grateful If someone who knows, could help me make the best choice.
Sep 9, 2017 at 1:10 PM Post #2 of 5
I don't have a pair on hand so I'm quoting from audio memory, but I was *really* underwhelmed by the HD 380 pros. They sounded coarse and hollow, and I had (sometimes much) cheaper headphones that sounded better. The Sennheiser HD 2xx studio monitors lineup may not be much different, considering they're cheaper and share the same design.

the M50x's are a classic around here, can't really say much else.
Sep 9, 2017 at 2:18 PM Post #3 of 5
I have a K545 and both it and the K550 are both fairly poorly isolating generally speaking. I would add to your list the M40x, which I prefer to the M50x, and the DT770, which does have a bit of a treble emphasis, but that is comfortable and isolates well. You might also check out a SoundMAGIC HP151--it could potentially work as well.
Sep 9, 2017 at 2:30 PM Post #4 of 5
Thanks. I watched a few videos on youtube of people comparing the M50x with 380 pro, which although generally had mixed opinion as to which one was better overall, but there were some common points raised. First (and most important to me right now, was that M50x had smaller cushions so that they were either not truly circumaural, or that they were too thin that the ear touched the inner plastic part over the drivers (I had this experience with some headphones long time ago and it really did hurt). A few other points often raised about it were dipped mids, harsher higher frequencies(I didn't like this on Shure SE215s. I'm not sure if there is a similar case with these)) and low end being a bit muddy(had this on cheaper sony earphones, but their low price a good enough excuse). But if these sonic characteristics aren't really that pronounced, just subjective observations from someone used to very high end phones, then their sound should be fine to me. However there still remains the thing about comfort in prolonged use.

Regarding the 380s, people did say they sounded hollow, a bit echoy (perhaps the reason a certain genre sounded better on them), but they generally regarded their sound more 'linear' or not over emphasizing anything significantly. But the more important point people raised was that they were more comfortable to wear than M50x. I'm not sure if that difference was significant or just of a hair's breadth.

About AKG K545 as mentioned by serman005, I guess then it rules out all the other AKGs with similar frame. Though I must say I didn't really find any unfavorable reviews for DT770, and I really wanted to get it, but alas, it is out of stock at all shops here. The only Beyerdynamics are some open models. No one has any SoundMAGIC headphones here. Just the ones I mentioned or the more expensive ones costing over equivalent of >300 USDs; not what I seek at this moment.

Edit : Well now that I think about it, I think I can just compromise on sound quality and just get something that is really comfortable for wearing long time to isolate outside noise, and listening to lectures and stuff, if its cheap like <100$. If anyone could just list a few good ones, I'll find and get one thats available here. (Most stores do stock Sennheisers, Sonys others are a little less commonly available like some AKGs, Audio-techina, JBL JVC, Shure, Pioneer, Denon, Grado, Skullcandy etc.
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Sep 12, 2017 at 3:31 AM Post #5 of 5
Just checked with various vendors most headphones aren't in stock. Whats available include:

Sennheiser HD 280 pro , 380 pro and 598cs , 429, 438 ,449

Which one offers the best combination of comfort and noise isolation?

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