A decent pair of phones

Hi all could someone out there recommend a decent pair of ear phones preferably noise cancelling ones cheers

Don’t get noise cancelling headphones. If you want to use it in a noisy place, then get headphones that isolate well. Noise cancelling only really helps when the noise is very constant, like airplane engine noise. Noise cancelling also tends to damage the sound quality, and adds to the cost. What is your budget? In the ear isolating earphones(iems) will probably isolate best. There are many choices of these depending on your budget. Don’t use these when you need to be able to hear what is around you, such as when you are walking through intersections, or riding a bicycle.

I like sennheiser cx300 or sony mdr-ex71; these both form a sort of seal within your ear canal to help block out noise. The only problem is if you move around lots, then when the headphone wire rubs against your collar shirt, it will make noise that transmits to the headphones.

The cable microphonics issue you speak of can be solved by simply looping the cables over your ears.  Be careful with the misused “noise canceling” claim, as this is often misused.  Marketers don’t understand the difference between “noise canceling” and “noise limiting”. 

Any IEM (In-Ear Monitor) type headset limits outside noise by sealing the ear canal.  I prefer “vented” designs, as they allow ambient sound to reach the ear a bit, but that’s personal preference.  This design uses a port on the opposite side of the driver, like these wee beasties:

Noise-canceling is typically done by mixing an out-of-phase (180 degree) noise signal to the headphone, canceling the noise.  This requires an active amplifier and microphone.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

IEM headphones (inner ear monitors) are basically earplugs with headphones built in. They give you less outside noise and better sound than noise-cancelling headphones, which require some kind of sensor/microphone and a battery and usually add a buzz or degrade the sound.

Don’t waste money on “noise cancelling.” Besides the not-so-hot sound, you’ve got to add the weight of a battery module. 

Your budget determines what you can get.  HeadRoom explores the IEM options. 

I’m a big fan of Shure because they’re durable, but they’re not the cheapest. (Though you can find them for less than the prices at HeadRoom if you Google around.)  The Shure E4 or E4c, which were replaced by the Shure SE310, are excellent–you might be able to find them for a decent price on Ebay or elsewhere since they’ve been discontinued.  Definitely don’t pay Shure’s list prices.

And by the way, when you do get IEMs try ALL the included plugs. Your ears are unique and special, so there’s no way to know which plugs are best for you, and the plug that fits best will give you much improved sound.  There are at least 7 with the Shures, and one sounds significantly better than the rest. 

Message Edited by Black-Rectangle on 02-01-2010 07:47 PM

also check http://mp4nation.net/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=62_46&zenid=d8af8f1b04c72a689c55abc263780e63
I recommend you get the combo with an e3 or e5 amp, not that most IEM’s need it but it can help, and would also let you move to some nice cans(over hear phones) like the jvc rx900’s (700’s are good to).

good stuff :slight_smile:

Message Edited by AzureSky on 02-01-2010 08:15 PM

Checkout head direct, They are dirt cheap for the sound quality now a days. RE0 is for $79.

Do you work for Head Direct, chints?

klispch image S4 or shure earphones

I can’t stand having anything in my ears so I always use over-the-ear headphones. I’ve been using Sennheiser PX100 (c$23) and PX200 (c$30) headphones for almost a year now and I find them both excellent and recommend them to anyone who needs a good set of portable headphones (whilst quite a bit larger than ear buds, they are still very easy to carry).  

writedoc wrote:
I can’t stand having anything in my ears so I always use over-the-ear headphones. I’ve been using Sennheiser PX100 (c$23) and PX200 (c$30) headphones for almost a year now and I find them both excellent and recommend them to anyone who needs a good set of portable headphones (whilst quite a bit larger than ear buds, they are still very easy to carry).  

I use PX100’s, how different do the PX200’s sound from them?

I get a kick out of this type of thread. They always go in a very predictable path…Get Brand X; they are the best! …  or NO!  Buy Brand Y; they are better!  … or You are both full of beans!; both X and Y are garbage; get brand Z!  Ha Ha Ha.

Everyone’s ears are different and the way they like their sound, may also be different.  So, be very, very careful when taking the recommendations listed here.  The only ears you have to please are yours.

Unless you are lucky enough to have a local retailer that will let you audition a variety of 'phones, you are going to be forced to purchase any headphone without listening to them.  Just make sure the retailer (brick and mortar or internet) has a liberal return policy.  It may take you several attempts to find the correct headphones for your ears and listening tastes.

I decided to throw my 2 cents in, when a few of the recommended 'phones in this thread, in my view, are simply garbage.  They might sound great to their owners, but for me, they were unacceptable.

If they are pleased with them, great…but that doesn’t mean that you or anybody else will think the same way.

Proceed with caution before purchasing anything based on recommendations found in any forum.  I hope you find a great set.

As they say, the proof is in the pudding, as GB suggests.  Beyond the decision over which type of headphone you will use, depending upon personal preference and needs (IEM, on-ear, over-the-ear, open, enclosed…), there are the issues of price, sound quality, volume, isolation, even aesthetics.

I have seen plenty of shiny earbuds, quite appealing, only to experience shock and dismay at the absolutely dreadful sound of the little guys.  With headphones at a moderate price point, your experience isn’t prohibitively expensive, and you can make your friends or children happy by sprinkling them with headphones like a little flower girl tossing rose petals.

These days, with the proliferation of knock-offs and counterfeit 'phones, you have to be careful.  Ultimately, let your ears be the ultimate judge of whether that headphone is right for you, with recommendations being a guide, not a direction (as in “order”).

It’s such good sport, watching the snobbery that follows headphones.  Always take into consideration the environment in which you will be listening to the music. The type of music you like also has an effect on which headphone you will like, be it big bwana bass, an accurate midrange, or plenty of treble “sizzle”.

Whether those headphones have been cryogenically traumatized, blessed by the Pope, sprinkled with Cheech and Chong’s magic dust, or forged of Unobtanium, these niceties are of more importance when talking about them than when they are actually plugged in.

I’ve owned some crazy phones over the years, with their requisite “industrial strength” price tags, but those devices had a purpose in their day, testing equipment without blowing the neighbors’ Hummels from the mantlepiece.  Incidentally, years ago, I had a roommate whose girlfriend discovered just what “11” meant on that volume control.  I should have pulled the circuit breakers when I was out, but I thought they had better judgement than that.  Those Hummels were expensive.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

But let’s be realistic. Obviously the OP should go to a store with a wall of headphones to try if there is one in the vicinity. That’s unlikely, however.

And regarding this particular query, I have yet to see a store that will let you try on IEMs because they don’t want to be constantly sterilizing or replacing earplugs.

I do believe it is possible to at least narrow down or target your choices through reading other people’s opinions–not neccessarily here, where it’s a sideshow, but over at Head-Fi , where the discussions are very well-informed. Type a model number into the search box and you’ll see all kinds of serious discussions about pros and cons. They’re oriented toward obsessive audiophiles with a whole lot of money, but they also talk about affordable headphones.

And in the meantime, I think it’s worthwhile again just to shoot down the hype around “noise-cancelling” headphones.  Don’t “cancel” the sound. Shut it out–more efficiently, more conveniently, and without the buzz–with IEMs. 

I really don’t notice any real difference between the PX 100 and PX 200, the main difference seems to be what others hear! The PX200 uses a closed design (rather than the open design of the PX100) so less sound escapes (and, I suppose, enters-I haven’t noticed). For reviews see http://alatest.com/reviews/headphone-reviews/sennheiser-px-100-px-series-open-folding-mini-head/po3-12789,74/ and http://alatest.com/reviews/headphone-reviews/sennheiser-px200-headphones/po3-1867,74/#partner:50512

Black-Rectangle wrote:

But let’s be realistic. Obviously the OP should go to a store with a wall of headphones to try if there is one in the vicinity. That’s unlikely, however.

 

And regarding this particular query, I have yet to see a store that will let you try on IEMs because they don’t want to be constantly sterilizing or replacing earplugs.

 

I do believe it is possible to at least narrow down or target your choices through reading other people’s opinions–not neccessarily here, where it’s a sideshow, but over at Head-Fi , where the discussions are very well-informed. Type a model number into the search box and you’ll see all kinds of serious discussions about pros and cons. They’re oriented toward obsessive audiophiles with a whole lot of money, but they also talk about affordable headphones.

 

And in the meantime, I think it’s worthwhile again just to shoot down the hype around “noise-cancelling” headphones.  Don’t “cancel” the sound. Shut it out–more efficiently, more conveniently, and without the buzz–with IEMs. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take stuff from Head-Fi with a grain of salt too…there are indeed well-informed people there, but a lot of nuts too. Like the ones who believe that they won’t know how their new mp3 player and portable amp will sound until they let them “burn in” for a couple hundred hours, with “oxygen-free” silver cables for the ultimate sound.

@marvin_martian wrote:



Take stuff from Head-Fi with a grain of salt too…there are indeed well-informed people there, but a lot of nuts too. Like the ones who believe that they won’t know how their new mp3 player and portable amp will sound until they let them “burn in” for a couple hundred hours, with “oxygen-free” silver cables for the ultimate sound.

Exactly.  Any forum, not just this one, has just as much bad information as good; and it’s up to the reader to decide which poster is credible and which is a crackpot.

This thread is entertaining for me, because it is something I have to deal with on a daily basis.

I work in property management, and the first thing the majority of people ask me when they are looking at my vacancy list for a house/apartment is, “which are the _ nice _ ones”? I cant help but laugh everytime, because what do they expect me to tell them? Peoples perspective of “nice” varies soo much from person-to-person.They essentially are asking me to judge their taste for a living space solely off their appearance (because at that moment of time, that is the only thing I have to “judge” them by since I never met them before). How am I suppose to know what they are going to like?

Some peoples view of a very dated 70’s retro apartment (although in good condition, no tears in vinyl/carpet etc) is that the place is trashed, simply because its still stuck in the 70’s, which is ridiculous. Some peoples view a good house is simply the plumbing and electrical work, and it doesnt matter the condition of the carpet/paint etc etc.

Point being, and as others have already mentioned, we have no idea of your preferences and taste since you are the only one with your ears.You just have to suck it up and do trial by fire. At least with apartments, you can view the place before signing a lease :stuck_out_tongue: