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Paulq's picture
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Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

After a recent trip to the Far East I noticed a lot of people using the noise cancelling headphones on the plane (mainly Bose by the looks of it). I now understand why they are popular on flights  Smile

To be honest I have never been a fan of Bose and also baulk at the price of the QC15's for something that will e for occasional use.  I have been looking at some other contenders and wondered if anyone had some recommendations (from these or others):

Panasonic RP-H700 - these seem to get rave reviews from users but again I am unsure whether cheap is better? The attraction is that they are over ear rater than on ear but that's not a deal breaker.

JVC - HA-NC250 - Ditte re reviews but these are on ear rather than over plus the batter compartment seems to be a bit troublesome.

Goldring NS-1000 - these look good but apparently they leak sound - are they that bad?

Audio Technica ATH-ANC7B - I nearly pushed the button with thses until I read the WHF review......

There are other cheaper offerings from players like Sony which I wouldn't rule out but am looking for that nirvana of decent cancellation and good sound quality.  Apart from the first 2 above all the others I have researched seem to have these 2 mutually exclusively.

All help and views much appreciated in advance folks.  Budget max of about £150.

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

I have heard great things about the Ultimate Ears UE6000 as to the sound quality while active noise cancellation is on (and unlike the Bose it doesn't have to be on to work). Very slightly over your budget, but I thought I would mention them.

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

I've got Bose QC15 & Goldring NS1000. Bose is easily better of the two, with better sound & noise cancelling. Goldring is excellent for the price. I've not had any issues with it leaking sound.

I bought the Goldring for £49.95 from play.com. It's £59.95 now:

http://www.play.com/Electronics/Electronics/4-/8240767/Goldring-NS1000-Active-Noise-Reduction-Cancelling-Headphones/Product.html?searchstring=Goldring+ns1000&searchsource=0&searchtype=allproducts&urlrefer=search

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

I've got a pair of Goldrings which I use when flying long-haul. They work really well both with music from my phone and with the planes entertainment system. Don't know if they leak sound but who's going to notice on a plane anyway?

I got mine for about £50.00.

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

It got 5 stars when tested at £150:

http://www.whathifi.com/review/goldring-ns-1000-noise-cancelling%29

An absolute bargain at the current price. The seller on play.com is Superfi. You can also buy it directly from Superfi on their online store or their eBay store for the same price.

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

If you can stretch to get some QC15 duty-free, they are well worth it.

I was on a flight recently with my pair, and the people around all seemed to have different brands - so we did a swap around.

If the results of row 40 on a 747 are any help,  the Bose QC15 were the winners, by quite a way. I think the closest were the Sennheisers (probably PXC450).

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

Why not look at second hand Bose. I have the QC2s and they are superb. While I normally wouldn't go for second hand, headphones are the one exception. They are hardly ever used, so tend to be bargains. People generally use them for 2 weeks a year when they go on a lomg haul flight. Most headphones like these are lucky to see 30 hours of use in a year. They are nearly always immaculate in condition. Happy hunting.

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

If you want noise cancelling on a budget I would go with the Goldrings, I had them for a while and liked the sound. Not as good as the QC15 but the difference in sound is not big enough to justify 3-4 times the price. A word of warning with the Goldrings the cable is very short and I used to get interference with the noise cancelling on from my phone (this would not be a problem on a plane though).

My personal opinion would be to get some comply tips for your Shure SE215, much cheaper than a new set of headphones!! 

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

bay24 wrote:
My personal opinion would be to get some comply tips for your Shure SE215, much cheaper than a new set of headphones!! 

That's a fair shout and that's what I tried on the way there and back.  The isolation was good but it didn't really cut out some of the ambient noise.  The biggest issue with in-ears for me is the sound of your own breathing or  eating - hate it.

That's why I am after some over/on ears and from the sounds of it the Goldrings seem the best option at that price.  I have just searched the forums (here and elsewhere) and there are some complaints about leaking sound though which makes me nervous as I won't be able to send them back.

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

Paulq wrote:

I have just searched the forums (here and elsewhere) and there are some complaints about leaking sound though which makes me nervous as I won't be able to send them back.

1) I've not faced issues with leaking sound, although have been out only 4 or 5 times with it.

2) Why can't you send them back?

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

The price was down to £47 at one stage. I bought it from play.com & sold it on eBay for £69!  Smile

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

In the U.S. you can get the UE-6000 for 2/3 the price of a Bose QC15. The noise canceling is the same, but where the sound quality of the Bose is worth about $100 at best, the relative sound quality of the UE-6000 varies from about $200 to $1000 depending on how you use it (read my review).

The possible negative of the UE-6000 is the defect rate, which was quite high on the first production.

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

dalethorn wrote:

In the U.S. you can get the UE-6000 for 2/3 the price of a Bose QC15. The noise canceling is the same, but where the sound quality of the Bose is worth about $100 at best, the relative sound quality of the UE-6000 varies from about $200 to $1000 depending on how you use it (read my review).

The possible negative of the UE-6000 is the defect rate, which was quite high on the first production.

Dale thanks for that. Any chance of a link to the review as I am not on my normal PC hence no bookmarks.

Thanks in advance.

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

On my recent trip to Edinburgh, I have purchased Sennheiser CXC700 Noise Cancelling IEM....yes...In ear monitors...not headphones....Its light, easy to carry in the small pouch provided with the purchase and the noise cancellation is excellent. Only downside is the battery. it uses AAA battery and it lasted for 18 hours. Not sure whether its because of the unit or its due to the freebie battery.

I have now retired my Bose QC15.

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

Paulq wrote:
Dale thanks for that. Any chance of a link to the review as I am not on my normal PC hence no bookmarks. Thanks in advance.

Sorry that this is a long read, but it gets complicated when there's a question that goes outside of my simple prescription.

http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/forum/headphone-reviews/1823-logitech-ue-6000-noise-canceling-headphone-review.html

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

Paulq wrote:

bay24 wrote:
My personal opinion would be to get some comply tips for your Shure SE215, much cheaper than a new set of headphones!! 

That's a fair shout and that's what I tried on the way there and back.  The isolation was good but it didn't really cut out some of the ambient noise.  The biggest issue with in-ears for me is the sound of your own breathing or  eating - hate it.

That's why I am after some over/on ears and from the sounds of it the Goldrings seem the best option at that price.  I have just searched the forums (here and elsewhere) and there are some complaints about leaking sound though which makes me nervous as I won't be able to send them back.

That's fair enough! I love comply tips on my klipsch and have never had much of a problem with hearing breathing, I think it does depend on the earphone. Have you used active noise cancelling phones before? The reason I ask is that the active cancelling can also lead to odd feelings in the ears, sometimes it used to make my ears pop.
The goldrings do leak some sound but I never had anyone ask me to turn my music down or anything.

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