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Reasonably Priced Noise Cancelling Headphones

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by jgold47, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. jgold47

    jgold47 Senior member

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    For business/plane travel. Looking for some NC's, but not in the Bose $300 range. I generally like to use smaller headsets, and dont like over the head setups (messes up my already messy hair). I realized the other day that I had my ipod cranked almost all the way up to block out noise, and that cant be good for my ears.
     
  2. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    Etymotic makes good noise isolation (rather than cancellation) earbuds. I wear them on flights and they are excellent for blocking out engine/ambient noise.
     
  3. deaddog

    deaddog Senior member

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    Any of the true in-ear phones (for example, shure) will block out ambient noise and - if you get the good ones (shure 530) - will give far superior sound than the bose. Just make sure you use the right tips and fit them in your ears snugly
     
  4. henrikc

    henrikc Senior member

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  5. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    +1 to the Shure in-ear headsets. I actually kind of hate them because I hate the way they feel (and I fly a lot of long hauls) but I've gotten relatively used to them over time, and there's no question that the sound quality, noise insulation, and sheer convenience far outweigh the discomfort. I've tried a number of different brands of noise-cancellers and the bulk is a huge pain. The batteries are a huge pain. The noise cancelling doesn't work all that well. They mess up your hair [​IMG] . But my little Shures pack down into a tiny little case the size of a flip-open cell phone, they never require batteries, and I haven't had the reliability issues I used to have with the big noise cancellers. I've also found that the noise cancelling properties of the big clunkers varies very, very widely, and there's no way to directly compare them. You spend your $200 and then you just hope. Never tried the Bose, though I've heard good reviews.
     
  6. fredfred

    fredfred Senior member

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    OP doesn't want to drop $300 for Bose, but the Bose 15s I have (the newest ones) are great. Yes, they cost $300 (sucks), but they are great. They fold down into a fairly small case which I shove in my carry on. Noise reduction is great. Very happy with the purchase, despite the price.

    The way I see it, you pay the $ only one time, and then have them for a long time). If you fly often, it's not that much per trip and the benefits are definite.
     
  7. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Any of the true in-ear phones (for example, shure) will block out ambient noise and - if you get the good ones (shure 530) - will give far superior sound than the bose. Just make sure you use the right tips and fit them in your ears snugly

    The Shure 530's are very nice but only marginally cheaper than the Bose.
     
  8. Trompe le Monde

    Trompe le Monde Senior member

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    any decent in-ear monitor brand will be much better than bose for literally <1/3 of the price.

    and this is objective too if you want to dig up isolation rating (-dB), fidelity (range and +/-, distortion, etc

    ive used a bunch of shures and etymotics over a range of price points... generally liked them all.
     
  9. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

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    Do noise cancelling headphones really work, or is it more marketing hype?

    I need to get some headphones for the office and I was thinking of getting Koss Porto Pro. I can't seem to find a lot of options around here in Orange County as I've been looking for the Sennheisser PX100 without success.

    But, since the Koss were first released in the 80s, I wonder if the lack of noise cancellation should be a deal breaker.
     
  10. Blackhood

    Blackhood Senior member

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    It may not be possible, but save up for the Bose. I've had my QC2 headset for 5 years and never had a problem, been round the world at least 10 times and been comfortable all the way.

    I also use the Aviation X headset when flying and I've yet to find an aviation headset that feels as comfortable over long flights. Just be thankful you don't need that one, £999!
     
  11. gqreader239

    gqreader239 Senior member

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    Do noise cancelling headphones really work, or is it more marketing hype?

    I need to get some headphones for the office and I was thinking of getting Koss Porto Pro. I can't seem to find a lot of options around here in Orange County as I've been looking for the Sennheisser PX100 without success.

    But, since the Koss were first released in the 80s, I wonder if the lack of noise cancellation should be a deal breaker.


    It works. You will have a problem hearing yourself talk when it is on noise canceling mode w/o music. If you turn on the music, you will not hear yourself period.
     
  12. henrikc

    henrikc Senior member

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    It works. You will have a problem hearing yourself talk when it is on noise canceling mode w/o music. If you turn on the music, you will not hear yourself period.
    +1. Works great in a lot of situations, for example if you're driving (obviously you shouldn't be the driver, but the passenger), when taking the train or subway, when trying to read in a noisy place or just trying to get some work done.
     
  13. JohnGalt

    JohnGalt Senior member

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    It may not be possible, but save up for the Bose. I've had my QC2 headset for 5 years and never had a problem, been round the world at least 10 times and been comfortable all the way.

    I also use the Aviation X headset when flying and I've yet to find an aviation headset that feels as comfortable over long flights. Just be thankful you don't need that one, £999!


    Sorry to tell you, but QC2s are shit.

    As others have mentioned, get a pair of Shure or Etymotic in-ear headphones. FWIW I have Etymotic and have been very happy.
     
  14. videocrew

    videocrew Senior member

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    I've been very happy with my Shure E2c's and I'm a bit of an audiophile. The SE2 seems to be the current version of them for $150.
     
  15. akatsuki

    akatsuki Senior member

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    For IEMs, I like my NuForce ones.

    For noise cancelling, really there isn't much that is good and reasonably priced. You could go Sony, but they aren't that much cheaper than the Bose.
     
  16. kaiserkarl

    kaiserkarl Senior member

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  17. henrikc

    henrikc Senior member

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    Well, if you're just going to use them to listen to music at home I wouldn't buy noise cancelling headphones.
     
  18. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I must be one of the few people who feel that noise canceling is superior to isolation headphones. There are many on-line experts who feel isolation is the best. I think it may have to do with personal preference.

    When flying, the hum and high pitched wine of engines is very tiring to my ears. I've tried isolation headphones and I still seem to sense a fair amount of hum and vibration. To counter that I need to increase volume which becomes tiring and rough on my hearing on a long flight.

    Noise canceling headphones on the other hand seem to counter my awareness of the droning noises. The result is that I feel more refreshed and relaxed without having to increase volume significantly.
     
  19. otc

    otc Senior member

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    As other people have said, noise isolating headphones can work and be much cheaper (no need to go with expensive shures or etymotics, cheaper options will still block outside noise).

    In ear isolating headphones are basically earplugs with headphones attached. They work like earplugs and don't have to be expensive. I have a cheap set that have pretty decent isolation...great for the bus (you don't have to kill your ears with volume in order to hear music) but actually kind of annoying for walking around the city since you can't hear anything except the cord dangling around as you walk.

    Active canceling headphones that actually work well will be expensive...the sensation is different from earplugs (for instance, you don't get "cord noise" like you do with some in-ear sets) but...they are big, require batteries, and cost a lot of money.
     
  20. kaiserkarl

    kaiserkarl Senior member

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    are they just for the hum of the airplane or will they allow me not to hear noisy family members? karaoke? someone playing a video game? cars honking? perhaps they are a little bit out of my budget. these are already around $200. http://www.headphone.com/selection-g...er-pxc-350.php i don't like in ear things so much so if i don't go noise cancellation i'd go for the grado 125's? they are at the exact price point i'm willing to spend. what would be their equivalent in sennheisers?
     

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