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#1999528 - 12/14/12 06:41 PM Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones?
BWV 846 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 103
Loc: Silver Spring, Maryland
I would like to listen to music on the train to and from work (DC to Balmer) -- mostly classical music from Spotify on my iPhone. Since the volume on the iPhone is not very loud it can often be difficult to hear the music clearly with the train noise.

I would like to get some noise canceling headphones, but have no idea which ones are good, but not really expensive. I would appreciate any recommendations.

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#1999532 - 12/14/12 06:48 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
trigalg693 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 662
Instead of active noise cancellation have you considered in ears? In ears block outside sound very well, and are louder than every other type (I think..).

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#1999536 - 12/14/12 06:55 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5943
Loc: Down Under
I'm far from being an expert on things technical, but I also listen to music on the train (iPod) and I've found in-ear phones are much better than the ones supplied with the iPod. I just have fairly cheap ones, but they've still made a significant difference.

So has the introduction of so-called "quiet carriages", but that's another story.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1999566 - 12/14/12 08:37 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
jdw Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 995
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
My husband has been really happy with his Sennheiser noise-cancelling headphones, which he got for less than $200.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#1999710 - 12/15/12 08:05 AM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
BWV 846 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 103
Loc: Silver Spring, Maryland
Jdw,

Which kind of Sennheiser? There seem to be a lot of different models.

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#1999718 - 12/15/12 08:29 AM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
jdw Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 995
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
The exact model has been superseded by others, but the closest equivalent seems to be SX250.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#1999752 - 12/15/12 10:16 AM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
I like the Sennheiser products also. I have the PX 200-II and am very pleased. They also have the advantage of being able to fold up. The list is $69, but they are available on eBay for as low as $39. (new in package + free shipping) Sennheiser quality at an excellent price.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1999758 - 12/15/12 10:36 AM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: trigalg693]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5300
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: trigalg693
Instead of active noise cancellation have you considered in ears? In ears block outside sound very well, and are louder than every other type (I think..).
CAUTION!

This is a very bad idea.

I'm not against in ear headphones, in fact I have a pair myself, for when travelling in train or other noisy transport, but if one needs them because they are 'louder than any other type...' this could very well mean trouble: Having a high volume in headphones, especially in ear can damage the ear!

Be very careful with those in ear phones!
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1999776 - 12/15/12 11:27 AM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5262
Bose headphones aren't cheap, but they are the best around. I've been using the old Bose QC2 for several years for my travels (mostly when on planes, but they also work great in trains and cars), and they've been supremely comfortable for watching in-flight movies and music - I leave them on my ears for 13-hour flights, even when not listening, just to cut out ambient noise in order to sleep. I believe the current models are QC3 and QC15.

I'd echo Nikolas's warning about in-ear headphones: I also have Klipsch Image X10i which are marvelous, and they also block out some noise, but not sufficiently to discourage you from raising the volume to high (and potentially damaging) levels - especially for classical music with its wide dynamic range, where pp is inaudible when there's background noise.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1999790 - 12/15/12 11:51 AM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5277
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I have an old set of on the ear Sennheiser's and don't see them listed at the official web site.

I've wanted to buy the Bose headphones but they are pricey ... and I really don't travel that much to justify the cost.
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#1999926 - 12/15/12 04:54 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: Nikolas]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5943
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
CAUTION!
Timely warning. Of course you're right, Nikolas! As I only ever turn mine up to a very moderate volume, this hadn't occurred to me. But it should have, as I hear plenty of music I don't wish to hear, floating through the air to me from other people's earphones, so I'm aware some people abuse them (and their own hearing).
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1999986 - 12/15/12 07:25 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6109
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I used to crank up the volume on the train to Sydney because people would just talk on mobiles non-stop... Now though there are silent carriages thumb, so I can have my peace. smile
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1999990 - 12/15/12 07:41 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3925
Loc: Rockford, IL
Here's a website you might find helpful:

http://www.goodcans.com/

--Andy
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2000040 - 12/15/12 09:54 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
ChibiSF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 222
Loc: Long Island, New York
My commute to school on the Long Island Railroad, and NYC Subway is around 1 1/2 hour. My sanity during that commute is dependent on my ability to hear my music and drown out other's conversations. My Etymotic Noise Isolating headphones have been a godsend:

http://www.etymotic.com/
_________________________
Conservatory of Music @ Brooklyn College
Piano Performance, Class of 2014

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#2000047 - 12/15/12 10:11 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21657
Loc: Oakland
I just wear ear protection from the hardware store. It allows me to listen to all the music I can imagine.
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Semipro Tech

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#2000192 - 12/16/12 10:22 AM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
leemax Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 501
Loc: pacific nw, usa
Bose qc-15 is my recommendation. I have had a pair for about 4 years now and love them. I use them every day. Very comfortable, really well made, sound great with my ipod and my DP, and I wear them at times just by themselves to block out ambient noise when I feel like quiet. As far as I can tell they are never discounted, but they are worth the 3 bills. Splurge. You won't regret it!
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Lee

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#2000601 - 12/17/12 07:53 AM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
Ridicolosamente Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1467
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
Bose QC15.
I don't know what "moderately priced" means.
The QC15 is fantastic and well worth the investment, especially if you highly value your listening time during plane/train commutes.

I carry mine with me anytime I leave the house.
I recommend carrying around an extra AAA battery in the little travel case as you never want to find yourself 10-minutes after take-off with no juice left.

-Daniel
_________________________
Currently working on:
-Dane Rudhyar's Stars from Pentagrams No 3

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#2000654 - 12/17/12 11:13 AM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5277
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
The price here in the Netherlands for the Bose QC15 is €359.95 (+€6.50 shipping). That's more than $475.

If I decide to buy a set I'll have a friend bring one over from the US.
_________________________
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#2004159 - 12/24/12 11:43 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
BWV 846 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 103
Loc: Silver Spring, Maryland
ChibiSF,

Which Etymotic model do you have?

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#2004239 - 12/25/12 08:53 AM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
I am not sure what noise canceling headsets are but I bought a pair of Fostex T20 headset 20 or 30 years ago that are relatively lightweight, soft leather type ear cushion covers that do a good job of blocking out the extraneous noises.

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#2004359 - 12/25/12 05:48 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
ChibiSF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 222
Loc: Long Island, New York
Originally Posted By: BWV 846
ChibiSF,

Which Etymotic model do you have?


Etymotic HF3
_________________________
Conservatory of Music @ Brooklyn College
Piano Performance, Class of 2014

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#2078185 - 05/06/13 08:39 AM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
BWV 846 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 103
Loc: Silver Spring, Maryland
I bought the Bose QC15 headphones. I tried them on the commuter train (MARC) for the first time, listening to music on Spotify with my iPhone. Big difference! Thanks for the recommendation.

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#2078302 - 05/06/13 12:55 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4825
Loc: USA
My two cents:

I would stay away from earphones. They aren't comfortable and to my understanding are more expensive than an equally good-sounding pair of headphones.

I use a $40 pair of Sennheiser headphones. Unless you're an audiophile, these are probably all you'd ever need. I'm an avid listener and I'm totally content with them. I have a friend who is an audiophile. He has a much more expensive set of Sennheisers and an amp that makes the quality even more clear. While the difference is apparent, for most people it is unimportant.

If noise-canceling is what you're after, search around for some in your budget. Sennheiser is a good place to start looking.

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#2078615 - 05/07/13 12:15 AM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: JoelW]
Charles Cohen Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1385
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
There are numerous "headphone" threads in the "digital pianos" forum.

FWIW, my thoughts:

1. Rather than "noise-cancelling" headphones, get a pair of "closed-back" headphones. Those sit around your ears (bearing on the skull, not on the ears -- "circumaural", rather than "supra-aural") and block ambient sound quite effectively. The Sennheiser HD280 (around $100) are what I use.

2. "In-ear monitors" will block out as much sound as closed-back headphones. They're small, easy to carry, and (in my experience) easy to power. Because they block outside noise, you'll be able to listen at lower volume than with a pair of "noise-cancelling" open-back phones.

"Goodcans.com" is a pretty reasonable website, IMHO. Take a look there for recommendations.

. Charles

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#2079870 - 05/09/13 02:44 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: JoelW]
wdot Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/07
Posts: 728
Loc: South Carolina, USA
Originally Posted By: JoelW
My two cents:

I would stay away from earphones. They aren't comfortable and to my understanding are more expensive than an equally good-sounding pair of headphones.

I use a $40 pair of Sennheiser headphones. Unless you're an audiophile, these are probably all you'd ever need. I'm an avid listener and I'm totally content with them. I have a friend who is an audiophile. He has a much more expensive set of Sennheisers and an amp that makes the quality even more clear. While the difference is apparent, for most people it is unimportant.

If noise-canceling is what you're after, search around for some in your budget. Sennheiser is a good place to start looking.

Joel makes a good point on earphones vs. headphones. If you are looking for the best sound, a good pair of headphones cannot be beat. I have a pair of Sony MDR-4506 that are incredibly accurate. They are basically studio monitors. But . . .

If you're looking for noise cancellation, I firmly believe that in-ear phones are the route to go. Sure, Bose, Sennheiser, and others make active headphones that use circuitry to provide feedback to cancel extraneous noise. Good in-ear phones simply seal out external sounds. I see these advantages:
1. They are incredibly compact
2. Generally speaking, they cost less, unless you go with very high-end Shure or Etymotic earphonnes.
3. They work. Before I was grounded by a respiratory problem, I used to travel frequently by air. I had a pair of older model Etymotics that cost around $140. I could listen to them at modest volume levels and hear every note of the quietest passages of my music. You don't need to play them at high volume levels, because if the earphones are properly seated virtually all outside noise is eliminated.
4. The only downside of the earphones is that they can be too isolating. I was careful about wearing them on the streets of NYC and Washington, DC. Sometimes you want to have some awareness of your surroundings. Plus, it really annoys my wife when she speaks to me and I simply don't hear her.
5. My current earphones are ER7-MC2s. They cost around $90. They include a microphone so I can use them with my smartphone. I'm very happy with them.

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#2079881 - 05/09/13 03:05 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: wdot]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5262
Originally Posted By: wdot


If you're looking for noise cancellation, I firmly believe that in-ear phones are the route to go. Sure, Bose, Sennheiser, and others make active headphones that use circuitry to provide feedback to cancel extraneous noise. Good in-ear phones simply seal out external sounds. I see these advantages:
1. They are incredibly compact
2. Generally speaking, they cost less, unless you go with very high-end Shure or Etymotic earphonnes.
3. They work.


I don't agree - if you're traveling on a plane. Any plane.

I've tried both ways - with an old Bose QC 2 closed noise-canceling headphones, and with my Klipsch Image X10i earphones (one of the best around, I believe) fitted with specially moulded ear buds to increase comfort and insulation from noise - on the same long-distance flight.

I can fall asleep with the Bose on (and cable removed) for hours, and forget I've got them on: with the Klipsch, I don't get quite the same degree of comfort or noise insulation - easy to check by not plugging either of them into the plane's sockets. Ergo, when I'm using the Klipsch to watch the in-flight movies, I'm almost certainly listening at a higher volume level.

My formula these days is simple - if I'm going on a flight longer than four hours, I bring my Bose and put up with having to carry a bulky object in the daypack that I carry on board, unless I really have to travel ultra-light.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2079923 - 05/09/13 04:42 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BWV 846]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18131
Loc: Victoria, BC
Is it possible that some people just can't wear ear-phones? I have tried several brands of (in)-ear-phones, and have never been satisfied with the results. Perhaps my ears are oddly shaped, but I find that the ear-phones have to be so firmly inserted into the ear that they are uncomfortable, otherwise they pop out of the ear with the slightest movement, but there is limited bass response unless they are pushed in firmly (again, uncomfortable).

I have tried ear-phones that come with various sized adaptors, but they don't work either for the above reasons.

I have two pair of Sony headphones (MDR-V300 and MDR-V6) but each pair has a 9-foot cable which is simply too cumbersome to be used with my iPod or smart phone at the gym.

I'm looking for an on-the-ear headphone ($150.00 max), suitable for use with an iPod or smart phone. Any suggestions?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2079928 - 05/09/13 04:53 PM Re: Best moderately priced noise-canceling headphones? [Re: BruceD]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5262
Originally Posted By: BruceD


I'm looking for an on-the-ear headphone ($125.00 to $150.00 ideally, suitable for use with an iPod or smart phone. Any suggestions?

Regards,


The Audio Technica ATH-ES55 weighs 120g and won the 2010 'best portable on-ear headphones' Awards in What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision magazine (www.whathifi.com).

And the AKG K451 won that category in 2012.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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