Noise Canceling Headphone Recommendations

Discussion in 'Geek Emporium' started by x Tame Impala, Aug 21, 2017.

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  1. x Tame Impala

    x Tame Impala Registered User

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    I've got about $300 to spend on some hopefully badass headphones but I want the most out of my money so if any of you have any suggestions that'd be awesome.
     
  2. guinness

    guinness swedish milkmaid

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    Bose Q35, sometimes can be had for around $300; a couple weeks ago, Bose was selling some refurbs through their ebay store for $260. Thought about buying them then, but money was better spent elsewhere.

    The Sony 1000 something or other are supposedly really good with noise cancelling as well, but those IIRC run close to $400 new, whereas the Bose are (a still expensive) $350.
     
  3. Lonewolfe2015

    Lonewolfe2015 Rom Com Male Lead

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    Bose are the only solid choice in ANC, the Sony's are probably adequate and can be found cheaper at the right time of year. But Bose has the best tech for it. If you're ok with wires, the in-ear ones are better than over ear.
     
  4. Very Stable Genius

    Very Stable Genius #WeLostOurKarlssons

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    Bose QC35 is really the best choice.
     
  5. x Tame Impala

    x Tame Impala Registered User

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    There's no way around spending the $400+ then huh? Alllllright then. Thanks guys
     
  6. Lonewolfe2015

    Lonewolfe2015 Rom Com Male Lead

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    Bose QC20 are $250 and have better sound isolation than the QC25 or QC35.
     
  7. TheCanasianfrasian

    TheCanasianfrasian Registered User

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    At that price range nothing will beat Audio Technica ATH-M50, and you will still have money left from your 300$ to buy an amp or just not spend on the headphones.

    nothing.

    Please take a few minutes to read reviews and rankings and you will see for yourself

    forget all the bose/beats crap
     
  8. vdB

    vdB Registered User

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    Beats. Ignore the internet snobs who love to hate on em for whatever reason. It's just the "trendy" and hipster thing to do.

    Beats look great, sound awesome. Made by the greatest producer of all time. It's not a marketing gimmick, they really are that damn good.

    Dont be sucked in by the haters.
     
  9. BeastMode

    BeastMode Miro-acle

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    I love my PS gold's
     
  10. BeastMode

    BeastMode Miro-acle

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    Until the crown piece cracks and you try to get them fixed under warranty only to find out that part is not covered.
     
  11. Commander Clueless

    Commander Clueless Most Displeased

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    There's a lot of conflicting opinions in here, but there are definitely some good options IMO. As with most products, it depends on your preferences and individual use.

    If you favour heavy bass, Beats is renowned for it.

    If you favour better treble/all around sound, Audio Technica is probably your best bang for buck.

    If you really need good noise cancellation, Bose has a great active noise cancellation tech and a good sound as well, but are pricey for the over ear stuff (likely over budget).
     
  12. RockLobster

    RockLobster King in the North

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    I guess these aren't noise cancelling, but I recently bought the JBL Everest 710, and I've been really happy with it :dunno:
     
  13. Hivemind

    Hivemind We're Touched

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    Are you hellbent on active noise cancellation? Or do you simply want a pair of headphones that block out noise? Active noise cancellation will limit your pool of headphones to choose from, and don't automatically offer better noise isolation than all other headphones. Particularly if you are fine with canal phones/IEMs, you can achieve even better sound isolation than active noise cancellation. In many cases, general closed-back headphones can achieve decent enough levels of noise cancellation to handle most environments without issue.


    I generally point people towards Shure, Sennheiser, Audio Technica, or Klipsch. With your price range you could also explore Etymotic. Bose is easily the biggest name in the active noise cancellation realm, although they have a mixed record for actual sound quality vs. price paid. I do know Sennheiser has at least one model with active noise cancellation (PXC550), although I haven't used them personally.

    If I had to give you a bottom line, if your goal is simply to block outside noise and get good sound, go with a high quality pair of inner ear monitors (with proper fitting inserts). It will block out more noise than active noise cancellation, and probably set you back less on your budget. I love my Shure SE215s for this purpose.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  14. Lonewolfe2015

    Lonewolfe2015 Rom Com Male Lead

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    So many people that don't realize Bose is the brand to beat for ANC (active noise cancelling). Sony is the closest, Sennheiser isn't even in competition in 3rd place.

    If ANC is the #1 goal, then you go for Bose. Surprisingly, the ANC makes the sound quality decent enough. I really like my Bose for their ideal use cases (loud places, planes, etc).
     
  15. Hivemind

    Hivemind We're Touched

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    It depends on if he actually wants active noise cancellation, or if he just wants sound isolation. Unless you're in a particularly loud environment (namely around planes or machinery), a closed back headphone will provide enough sound isolation for your to ignore the outside world. If you do need that extra bit of isolation for airplanes or what have you, a properly fitting canal phone will block out more sound than active noise cancellation. It's only in the case where someone needs that extra sound blockage AND strongly detests inner ear headphones that I suggest active noise cancellation.
     
  16. Lonewolfe2015

    Lonewolfe2015 Rom Com Male Lead

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    Are you looking at the custom molded $300+ Shures for that level of isolation? I personally dislike most in ear, my bose are a bit different.

    I've never heard of a pair of in ear which isolated enough sound to be worth it over active cancellation, but I admittedly don't put much effort in that category to find some.
     
  17. x Tame Impala

    x Tame Impala Registered User

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    I think I'm actually mostly interested in sound quality. I'd prefer over the ear headphones though, as I've heard the in-ear buds can be worse for your ears.
     
  18. Hivemind

    Hivemind We're Touched

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    If you're not worried about blocking out all sound in loud environments (planes, louder subway systems, near construction equipment, etc), then just about any standard closed-back headphone should meet your needs. And you can get more sound quality for the cost if don't have to pay for the active noise cancellation.

    Brands like Audio Technica and Sennheiser have a good reputation when it comes to over-the-ear (as opposed to on-ear) closed-back headphones. Headphone.com has a good search tool that let's you pick out the style and features you want, albeit not all-encompassing. They also have some good "101" articles about different fits and functions.

    https://www.headphone.com/collections/over-ear/closed
    https://www.headphone.com/pages/headphone-101
    https://www.headphone.com/pages/headphone-fit-types

    I use Shure SE215's, which are not custom molded. But basically any quality in-ear that has multiple different tips from you to select from in order to get the right fit will block out more noise than active noise cancellation. Shure and Etymotic have the best reputations for sound isolation, and top Bose across most frequency ranges*.


    *Their current Build-A-Graph tool only has some older Bose models, but the point carries across.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  19. x Tame Impala

    x Tame Impala Registered User

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    Do I lose a ton of sound quality if I go wireless. Iffy about the sound through Bluetooth
     
  20. x Tame Impala

    x Tame Impala Registered User

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    Just left BestBuy and tried out JBL, Audio Texhnica, Sony 1000x, Sennheiser, and Bose.

    Noise-cancelling really is the only way to go and Bose really does do it better than everyone else based on what I sampled just now. I think I just need to save my money and get a pair of the QC35's. The silver ones look so sleek too.

    EDIT: Actually on second thought, the noise-canceling makes my ears feel strange. Anyone else experience this? Also I read that (at least for the QC 25's) noise-canceling works at a partial loss of sound quality. Went back in and tried the Audio Texhnica SR6BT's and liked them a lot. Only $200.

    Also, too much base is really obnoxious to me when it's right in my ears. I turned away all those "EXTRA BASE!!!!" headphones. All you hear is base.

    This is hard!
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  21. Hivemind

    Hivemind We're Touched

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    In short, wireless is like active noise cancelling. You have to pay more to get the same quality than if you didn't opt for that feature. Basically a wireless headphone has to also include a battery, a bluetooth receiver, a DAC, and an amplifier all in its packaging. Getting those in decent quality costs money on top of what you'd usually pay for a good set of headphones. They also have the inherent downside of needing to be recharged and will be heavier than a similar headphone without a battery/DAC/Amp shoved in there.

    Keep in mind that retail chains like Best Buy will deliberately play with the EQ to try and get you to buy whatever products they're trying to push. While you can certainly judge aesthetics, comfort, and build quality visiting those stores, I'd take sound quality with a bit of a grain of salt since you don't know how they have their EQ set.
     
  22. x Tame Impala

    x Tame Impala Registered User

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    Makes sense. So do you still think I should go with the Audio Texhnica's if I'm going for sound quality then? I have no problem whatsoever with wires.

    Also, thanks again for the responses everyone. This'll be my first material purchase for myself in a while so I appreciate the input
     
  23. guinness

    guinness swedish milkmaid

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    Bluetooth has worse sound quality, doesn't have the same frequency response as wired, more compressed, and you can get interference, but realistically, if you're buying headphones for their ANC, you're probably in a noisy environment, so absolute quality isn't a factor most of the time.

    However, most Bluetooth headphones (but probably not IEMs) accept an audio cable, and the frequency response is expanded with the wired connection vs wireless, you're just losing the convenience of not snagging yourself.

    The worst thing about Bluetooth at the moment, is either you can find cheap buds all day long on Amazon, and I have an actual OK set from Totu or whatever Chinese OEM for like $14, or you pay a stupid premium from Apple, Bose, Sennheiser, Sony, AT, etc.

    Like $50+ premium, it's annoying. As far as the pressure from ANC, that's normal, just the nature of the beast. I have a pair of Sony MDR-ZX770DC at work (Bluetooth + ANC), and there's a slight pressure with those as well, even though the ANC is not up to Bose quality, but they're like a third of the cost of QC35's as well.
     
  24. Lonewolfe2015

    Lonewolfe2015 Rom Com Male Lead

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    Just buy a bluetooth amp/dac combo if you're trying to get away from a player and not worried about having a phone-sized kit in your pocket for the wired headphones to connect to.

    If you want to save some cash, scope out Massdrop for a few weeks until a nice set of closed headphones show up. Just make sure you buy ones with an impedance that makes sense for your listening habits. 32 is good for direct plug into phones, 250+ requires an amp. Inbetween isn't as commonly found but I'd read comments at that point.
     
  25. x Tame Impala

    x Tame Impala Registered User

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    No thanks on the amp. Headphones coming out of my iPhone are all I need
     

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