6 posts / 0 new
Last post
CoffeeGrunt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 18/03/2013 - 11:32
Posts: 2
Noise Isolating/Cancelling Headphone Advice
English

Hi all,

I've often used this site's reviews as a benchmark for getting an idea of product quality, especially when I worked in Electrical Retail. However, I am now working with an offshore company that operates on ships using noise recording software. We're looking at buying new headphones, and I've been asked to source some at the £150 or below mark in terms of budget.

I don't have much experience of this sort of price range, only being the most fledgling of audiophiles with my Bose OE2s. (They're comfy and sound better than my previoius headphones, which is enough to keep me happy.) Most customers thought Skullcandies were the be-all and end-all of great sound, (and build quality too, sadly.)

However, what we really need from a pair of 'phones is balance across the frequencies as much as possible, as it's a more scientific use than standard listening. They also need to be fairly compact and rugged, to survive jetting around the world in someone's suitcase. Most of all, though, they need to be comfy for long term usage, (eight to twelve hours of constant listening,) and as ships tend to be pretty noisy, noise isolation or cancelling would be a massive bonus.

I've done a little research, and it seems that effective noise cancelling headphones often aren't that effective in this price range, so noise isolation seems the best bet in terms of bang-for-buck. However, if there's an underrated little bargain pair of noise cancelling 'phones at a price point below £150, then that would be perfect.

Although, headphones that demand a power supply in order to function, rather than solely for the use of the noise cancelling function itself would be much less convenient. I could work around this if the product is good enough despite this, though.

Mainly looking at this forum in order to draw upon audiophile experience from people who have actually used headphones, so that things like comfort, noise isolation and build quality can be made more clear than online reviews and marketing spiel can make them. So if anyone has a sweet pair of cans they like to use in noisy environments, (think like a bus, but a bit rattlier and louder,) then I'd love to whatever advice I can get.

Thanks for your time everyone!

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: Noise Isolating/Cancelling Headphone Advice

Welcome CoffeeGrunt Smile

The first thing I would point out is that extreme comfort (which is what you'd be looking at for 10+ hours of constant use) and portability just don't go together. I would advise relaxing the size requirement and going for comfort. I would also drop the active noise cancelling feature so you don't need to constantly swap batteries (although I don't know what kind of BG noise you're dealing with to be fair). I would recommend the SoundMAGIC HP100, but it sounds like the rugged aspect is important considering the abuse they're likely to go through so that and the budget you mention makes me lean towards the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro. They are a classic recording studio choice and really tough and comfortable.

If ultimate noise cancelling is wanted there is no other option than the £270 (ish) Bose QC15 from what I have read. These are portable-ish, but not the most comfortable, they need batteries of course and they are in no way robust. Also thier sound quality and balanced response doesn't come close to the first two that I mentioned. That's the kind of trade-off you're dealing with I think.

bigboss's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 22 min ago
Joined: 25/03/2009 - 21:40
Posts: 12972
RE: Noise Isolating/Cancelling Headphone Advice

I've got the QC15 (which I got for a bargain £120 for trading off my 6 year old QC2 after battery leaked into it -direct from Bose) which is very comfortable for prolonged use. I wear it on the plane, & have used it for more than 10 hours at a stretch without any discomfort. It's a bit better than the QC2 in performance.

Another little bargain I've got, is the Goldring NS1000 which received a 5-star rating from What Hi Fi when retailing for £150. It's now available for a bargain £60:

http://www.superfi.co.uk/p-2397-goldring-ns1000-noise-cancelling-portable-headphones.aspx

They work without the batteries as well. The batteries are for noise cancelling feature.

CoffeeGrunt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 18/03/2013 - 11:32
Posts: 2
RE: Noise Isolating/Cancelling Headphone Advice

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated!

The Goldring NS1000s sounded like an absolute steal for the price, but I then happened across many reviewers on their Amazon page that claim they have horrible build quality long-term. The consensus seems to be that the plastic material will inevitably break, especially around the ear cups it seems. A real shame, and though I don't consider Amazon reviews the be-all and end-all, they are normally more long-term and lived with than a professional review done in a day or two.

The Beyerdynamics mentioned seem like a damned good pair though, in any review I can find, and they definitely fit the studio quality / rugged build that would be an ideal mixture for me.

I was reccomended the JVC HA-NC250s by a colleague who uses them personally on the job. Can anyone yay or nay this opinion? They seem quite cheap, and the reviews are very mixed but mostly leaning towards the positive side.

Again, thanks for replying! 

bigboss's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 22 min ago
Joined: 25/03/2009 - 21:40
Posts: 12972
RE: Noise Isolating/Cancelling Headphone Advice

As quadpatch mentioned, there will have to be a trade-off somewhere at your budget, either NC feature or build quality or comfort. Good luck with your search!   :cheers:

dalethorn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 07/12/2011 - 21:10
Posts: 1207
RE: Noise Isolating/Cancelling Headphone Advice

Looking at the factors listed, with passive noise isolating being OK, the final factors seem to be ruggedness and comfort, given good sound quality. Between the German Maestro 8.35D for maximum durability and adequate comfort, and the Beyer DT770 for adequate durability and maximum comfort, are the best options I know of.

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

Log in or register to post comments