Tough Question
Sep 4, 2009 at 2:34 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

Ari123

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Just a forewarning...I'm definitely a new when it comes to high end headphones. So here is my dilemma...I recently purchased the Bose quiet comfort 3 noise canceling headphones not really for their sound but more so for their impressive noise canceling capabilities. I'm currently a medical student and was looking for a good pair of headphones to really dim down my surrounding noise while studying. However, after only an hour of wearing the phones I got a horrible headache and noticed a ton of pressure on my eardrums. Upon further investigation I realized that some others had a similar problem and that the issue is really just dependent on the individual.

I returned those headphones unable to deal with the pressure and am now looking into getting just a high quality headphone that perhaps isolates the noise well instead of actively canceling it. I also would like the headphones to be portable enough to wear while walking around on campus and not amp dependent. So far I'm finding that the Audio Technica M-50's or the Shure 530's might be the best solution. Although I think I would prefer a normal headphone instead of the in ear type. My budget for this purchase is $300. Does anyone else have other recommendations?Thanks so much.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 3:06 AM Post #2 of 14

levin

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Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b would be your other choice. i own a ATH-ANC7 without the B. it does require a small AAA battery in the headphone to drive the noise cancelling. the B revision of the headphone sappositely makes the headphone sound a whole lot better without the noise cancelling on as opposed to the version before. i find the headphone quite comfortable and never had any issues using it. if i remember my friend's bose is Supraaural (on ear), the AT are Circumaural (covers entire ear)

probably another suggestion is don't turn the music up too loud. mute the music first, turn on the noise cancelling and then slowly adjust music volume accordingly

-edit- forgot to mention that the AT headphones is my travelling headphone. public transport (bus and train) and also plane trip.

-l
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 7:16 AM Post #3 of 14

REB

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An even better option (if more expensive) is the Sennheiser pcx450. Sound quality is much better than Bose and I never experienced the pressure on my ears building (haven't read about it either, just about cases involving the quiet comfort 3).

edit: forgot to mention that I used the 450s on flights Europe-Australia-Europe. I'd leave them on with the NC on even when I didn't listen to music. The relief for my ears was just incredible.
 
Sep 5, 2009 at 5:20 AM Post #5 of 14

drizzt

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I would suggest the IEM route as well. Can't beat the isolation and no batteries are required. And as a student they are extremely easy to take care of and easy to use. They can be thrown in your pocket when you need to go and study without having to worry about a big carrying case. Anyway good luck with your search
 
Sep 5, 2009 at 9:12 AM Post #6 of 14

GuyDebord

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Quote:

Originally Posted by REB /img/forum/go_quote.gif
An even better option (if more expensive) is the Sennheiser pcx450. Sound quality is much better than Bose and I never experienced the pressure on my ears building (haven't read about it either, just about cases involving the quiet comfort 3).

edit: forgot to mention that I used the 450s on flights Europe-Australia-Europe. I'd leave them on with the NC on even when I didn't listen to music. The relief for my ears was just incredible.



the pcx series was a total disappointment and totally not worth the asking price (just do a search here and you will see), IMO the Audio Technica ANC7(b) are a much better headphone overall, they were the only nc headphone I ever considered buying, this after listening to the muddy and suffocating sound of the senn pcx series, any how the senns should be better than the bose you had...
 
Sep 5, 2009 at 11:33 AM Post #7 of 14

REB

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GuyDebord /img/forum/go_quote.gif
the pcx series was a total disappointment and totally not worth the asking price (just do a search here and you will see), IMO the Audio Technica ANC7(b) are a much better headphone overall, they were the only nc headphone I ever considered buying, this after listening to the muddy and suffocating sound of the senn pcx series, any how the senns should be better than the bose you had...


I completely disagree, but it's a matter of personal taste. I know that the earliest batch of 450s had a lot of problems, but having bought one from a later batch, I was never troubled by those problems. The 450s are basically closed hd595s. They use the same drivers. Muddy and suffocating? Not to me, and I am not even a fan of the Sennheiser house sound. The anc7 is a nice headphone, but I found it to lack detail and depth. Which considering its price is a fair trade-off.
 
Sep 5, 2009 at 4:05 PM Post #8 of 14

carledwards

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I completely agree with REB on this. I use the 350s for flying and they have the best sound of the noise-cancelling cans I've tried and are quite comfortable for long periods of time.
 
Sep 5, 2009 at 4:17 PM Post #9 of 14

Sovelin

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I am also a med student and needed headphones with great isolation and sound quality. I got the Beyerdynamic DT770 pro 80 ohm. They are easy to drive (more than loud enough through the iPod, for example), and they still benefit greatly from a DAC/amp. They also leak little to no sound, and they block out close to everything. They sound really great, and at only half your budget, you can still go for something like the Zero DAC/amp for home usage.
 
Sep 5, 2009 at 7:54 PM Post #10 of 14

ear8dmg

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I have a set of Goldring NS1000s, noise cancelling headphones made by Phitek. Phitek also make the Audio Technica ANC7. The NS1000 and ANC7 relate to Phitek's models M10 and M14 respectively. The two are supposed to be very similar.

Having said that, I do sometimes notice pressure on my eardrums with the NS1000s. They're usually comfortable form me and I only notice it occasionally.

I wonder - is it actually noise cancelling causing the effect or is it just that they're closed headphones with a tight air seal? Pressure will partly be introduced just pressing them onto your ears. The other aspect is if you're in a situation when pressure changes, such as a flight.

If it's just the tight seal, rather than active noise reduction, it should be allieviated just by giving them a bit of a wiggle to let some air in.

Edit: they're not completely air tight though.
 
Sep 5, 2009 at 9:10 PM Post #11 of 14

Sovelin

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I owned a pair of Sony noise canceling before my DT770. The noise canceling would start to give me a headache, whereas I can wear the 770's for hours with no issue.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 2:56 AM Post #12 of 14

Ari123

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Thanks to everyone for their feedback, it is definitely appreciated.

So I recently went to a local store and tried out the Senn 450's. Albeit being more expensive and having better audio quality than the bose QC3's, I still experienced an uncomfortable pressure on my eardrums. Therefore, I think that I will probably be buying a headphone with superior noise isolation without the active canceling found on the noise canceling headphones.

My current list still consists of the audio technica ath m-50's, Shure 530's, and the beyerdynamic dt770 pro's.

Several questions:
1. What is the difference in sound quality between the three headphones? I've read rave reviews on all three and am assuming that they are relatively equal.

2. I noticed that the dt770's seem to be relatively large. Do they fold for easier portability? What is the size difference between the dt770's and the m-50's?

3. Do the m-50's or the dt770's have better isolation? Do either leak much? Does anyone have a better recommendation for superior isolation and portability?

4. What about the beyer dt 660's? Are there any other IEMs aside from the shure 530's that one would recommend?

5. Finally, what is the best place to buy the high end headphones online? So far I've come up with headphone.com as being the most reliable and knowledgeable.

I know that was quite a few questions, but answers to any of them would help greatly. Thanks so much.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 3:13 AM Post #14 of 14

Ari123

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Sorry for my lack of knowledge on the Etymotics... what are you referring to when you say foamies and the tri-flange. I'm assuming that is the the tip of the earphone? What specific product from etymotics would one recommend?

Would you say the Etymotics are better than the Shure 530's?
 

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