Noise Cancelling Headphone Suggestions

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jay Mitchosky, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Hey All
    I'm looking for noise cancelling headphone alternatives. Earlier this year I bought an iRiver HP-120 MP3 player and a pair of Etymotic ER-6 isolator headphones. The Etymotic product is based on the philosophy of isolating noise rather than cancelling it. The little buds stick way into your ear and effectively seal out most of the external noise in, say, and aircraft. They're really fantastic but my ear shape and depth don't seem to agree with their design. Sometimes I can get the perfect seal and they operate exactly as advertised. The sound is really quite unbelievable complete with crisp imaging right in the middle of your head. However, they tend to be finicky in their location and break the seal (which has a dramatic effect on sound quality, also as advertised). They can also become uncomfortable over extended periods. If my ears agreed with them they would be an ideal travel solution with great sound in an extremely small package at a reasonable price.
    That said I'm looking at other options. The Bose (gack) QuietComfort 2 headphones are intriguing. I've listened to the previous generation before and thought they were excellent. The price tag, however, is insane. What other similarly styled noise cancelling headphones compete from a performance level? I have found that the cup style is much more effective than those that simply rest on the ear so please limit suggestions to those models.
    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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  3. Phil_L

    Phil_L Second Unit

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    Are you looking to cancel out noise AND listen to music at the same time? If not you can use a white noise CD. I use it for studying to block out external noises and to help concentrate. Check purewhitenoise.com. If you want to do both, I am not sure I can help [​IMG]
     
  4. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I can't help with the cup-style headphones, but the $60 Aiwa phones from your average electronics store was a little flimsy as far as the cable was concerned, but quite functional on airplanes. It even came with the typical airplane jack adaptors.

    But hey, you get a free CD player when you buy that $300 Bose set.

    - Steve
     
  5. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

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    Since I use my headphones to watch movies or listen to music on airplanes I have found that a set of high end digital headphones give good performance and although they don't have noise cancelling functions they will obscure other sounds in all but the quietest sections (they also have excellent bass for movies). I am partial to the Sony digital lines. I am currently using the Sony Studio Monitor MDR-V600. I suspect the Sennheiser lines would be similar or better. I also use a headphone amp which gives me clean sound even at lower volumes.

    Kenneth
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    I purchased Sony's MDR-EX71 in-ear buds for my iPod and find them to be extremely comfortable, even when listening over an extended period of time. They also seal very well.

    I know you are looking for noise-cancelling phones, but if your biggest complaints with the ER-6's are comfort and seal the Sony's made be a more cost-effective solution. Reviews at ipodlounge.com seem to give the Sony's a big edge in comfort over the Etymotic's (but an edge in sound quality to the ER-6's).
     
  7. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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  8. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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  9. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Jay,

    When I bought my Etymotics, they came with the standard rubber earpieces but also some foam plugs (similar to the common foam earplugs you find at the drugstore) that can be fitted to the speakers. I haven't tried them (partially out of laziness but mostly because I find the rubber earpieces to be fine) but they may work for you.

    Brian
     
  10. Evan.K

    Evan.K Auditioning

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    I have a pair of shure e5cs and they are very comfortable.

    I highly recommend them, they come with a lot of different earpieces as well.
     
  11. Jason L.

    Jason L. Second Unit

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    I bought the Sony MDR-NC20 noise cancelling headphones, and I must say - they suck.

    They are flimsy, and offer no real benefit compared to normal [and better insulated] headphones.

    Plus, at some point you will invaribaly forget to turn the noise cancelling off, which will cost you another battery.

    Also, they emit a high-pitched whining noise.

    All things considered, noise cancelling is just a scam, IMO.
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I own the $300 Bose QuietComfort.

    Expensive, but worth the price. Extremely

    comfortable and effectively blocks out a large

    percentage of low-end and outer noise.
     
  13. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    just bringing this thread back to life since a friend asked me if i knew anything about them. i don't, but it does sound like the bose models work (but may be pricey).

    jay, what did you end up going with?
     
  14. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    I just got a pair of Philips brand noise-canceling headphones. I got them primarily for mowing the lawn. They employ a behind-the-head, rather of over-the-head, design so I can still wear my dorky hat while I mow.

    They have foam padding, but it doesn't surround the ear. Still, they seal effectively enough for my intended uses.

    They're great for general mowing and really great for airplane travel.

    They're lousy for weed-whacking, since the transients associated with dying grass and weeds is apparently more than they can handle.

    They were $59 at Fry's. If all you plan to do is use them on an airplane, then I think they're a deal.
     
  15. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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  16. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I bought my wife the Philips SBC HN050 noise canceling HPs and I use them with my MP3 player all the time. They are pretty good even without the noise cancellation turned on. With it on you get very little ambient noise. The padded earphones are pretty comfortable but after 3-4 hours they can make your ears hurt a bit from the pressure.

    These are the type that wrap around from behind the head. The pads sit on the ear, not totally over it. They are travel size.

    I'm not 100% happy with the cord length, especially between the noise/battery unit and the headphones themselves.

    The sound quality is pretty good. Not too tinny, decent bass effect.
     
  17. PhillJones

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  18. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    Amazing ... there are 16 responses above but you got very few direct recommendations.
    I was in the exact same boat as you. Frequent flyer and liked the noise-cancellation technology, but resisting the $300 Bose option for something that could easily break or get left behind on a plane.
    I'm now on my 3rd set of NC headphones. Ive tried Brookstone (easily broken) and Aiwa (cheap, dont cup the ears). My present favorite is a pair from Sony. I actually bought them in Japan for ~US$75., but just found same http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000DMA3/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l1/102-8023374-3597729
    In my book ... travelling NC headphones should (a) cost < $100. (b) fold compact to fit in hand luggage. (c) cup the ear with padded foam (d) have a long battery life and (d) have the NC circuitry & battery built into the headset rather than a separate housing at mid-cord.
    There are a few out there, but I'm pretty satisfied with the Sony's I've had for the past 2 years. One of my closest friends has the Bose II. He swears by them for in-flight iPod listenting. I don't doubt they are a little better than my Sony's, but for the extra $225., I could buy a new portable DVD player.
    Happy shopping.
    Scott
     
  19. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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  20. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Seth, I think my headphones are the same as yours. I'm just not smart enough to remember the model number.
     

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