Very Best Non-Active Noise Blocking Cans
Oct 16, 2012 at 7:34 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


New Head-Fier
Feb 1, 2012
I've never made a thread here before, but I've done quite a bit of research and have been getting into collecting HPs now for the past couple of years.
I'm in need of the very best HPs that are closed back, don't let much outside sound in, and don't have any active noise cancelling feature. But most of all, they need to be good with reproducing voices.
It sounds a little bit silly, but it's very important that I don't misunderstand or miss any words/syllables/anything, when I'm listening. It's for good reason, I swear. I have k701s, and they're great, but the surroundings are loud and open back HPs won't do. My DT880s 600ohms are better, but the clarity in them isn't as good as my Denon 5000s, which are too dark and sometimes I miss things I would have otherwise heard. HD650s have the same problem as the k701s. The price can be as much as all of those cans combined, the sound is what's important.
The sources will very, so low impedance cans would be best and it would be great if the HP wasn't very picky. My only candidates at the moment are the Denon 7000s, which seem like they'd be too dark (along with the blind spots I've noticed in the 5000s in what I'm listening to) and the Fostex TH 900s which I'm unsure about.
Sorry, I know that's a lot, but if anyone has any insight into it, it would be very much appreciated.
Oct 16, 2012 at 7:52 AM Post #2 of 6
From my own experience:
  1. The B&W P5 block a lot of noise. More than some entry level IEM's. In a busy train at full speed, with my iPod classic at 50%, I hear nothing of my surroundings. These cans are very "acoustic", i.e. in love with (female) voices and acoustic guitars. Very expensive though.
  2. The AKG K518 also isolate pretty well. They are way less expensive and very V-shaped, so not very good for voices.
Oct 16, 2012 at 9:20 PM Post #3 of 6
Those HPs are nice and I have a lot of respect for AKG, but I was thinking something in the $1000+ (Cap of 2.5k, probably) area. 

Oct 16, 2012 at 9:35 PM Post #4 of 6
What is the actual application for this? EFP? Dictation? etc

No woodie provides very good isolation, and the models you've got up there are no exception. The Fostex design (you've mentioned nothing but Fostex cans btw) leaks pretty bad, both in and out. The new D7100 is supposedly better at isolation, but reports on the SQ are mixed. And I would not use a woodie for a true portable scenario anyways.

For what you want, I'd suggest headphones that are actually designed for vocal intelligibility and isolation - e.g. EFP/monitor headphones. Look at:

Beyerdynamic DT48 or DT1350
Sennheiser HD 280 and 380Pro, and HD-25 series
AKG K14x and K27x series
Ultrasone Signature Pro

As well as various IEMs, like the Etymotic ER-4 series, and various offerings from Westone, JH Audio, and UE. IEMs will get you better isolation and much better wearing comfort for the relative isolation, versus a high-isolation over-ear (which are generally hot, heavy, and clampy).

Sure, you can spend a lot of money, but it won't guarantee quality. If you just feel the need to spend $2500, get a pair of custom-fit IEMs from UE or JHA. Will probably get you the best isolation and sound available too.
Oct 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM Post #5 of 6
Looking to get a good set, budg. is roughly 300, give or take, and the use is for home studying while not listening to music. I would say noise cancellation is a bit more important than sound quality (when listening to music). I'm somewhat challenged on the specs and what goes into achieving my goal - drowning out regular to somewhat higher pitched voices in the same room as well as the tv at the same time, preferably with no music playing since I find it more difficult to listen to music and study at the same time. I'm not well-versed on NC or otherwise and don't know whether my best bet would be closed can or IEM. I do know what I'm trying to accomplish though and am looking for the best answer (not perfect) to accomplishing this.
THanks for listening.
Oct 18, 2012 at 3:53 PM Post #6 of 6
Beyerdynamic DT1350

These have been reported to have realyl wonderful isolation and good soundquality. THe only issue is figureing out how to seal them on ur head lol as it can be tricky to figure out at first! 

Users who are viewing this thread