Headphone recommendations

Move along, nothing to see here!
Jpsilver
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:16 pm

Headphone recommendations

Post by Jpsilver »

Can anyone recommend a good pair of noise cancelling headphones (in-ear/full size)?

There is simply too much noise at work for me to able to focus, most of the time...

In other posts I read about Koss headphones, especially about their durability and life long warranty. Is this the obvious choice?

I know all 2nd hand shops in my area and this is clearly not an item that I see there often :P In any case I think it makes much more sense to buy a good pair and make it last by learning how to fix it in case it breaks. In a producer frame of mind, I guess this is the optimal way of acting, given that it's probably close to impossible to make a good pair of headphones by myself.

Thanks!

Tyler9000
Posts: 1680
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:45 pm

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by Tyler9000 »

I don't own them myself, but I've heard good things about the Panasonic RP-HTX7 headphones. They have good sound and build quality for the price, and the headband is very durable for a budget pair (avoid cheap plastic ones wherever possible).

http://tinyurl.com/ntxrvjy

I have some Beats by Dre headphones and some very nice Shure E5C earbuds, but only because I got them both for free (perk of working in product development). They're nice, but I personally don't think they're worth the price.

If you're interested in noise cancelling, the best bet is a set of nice in-ear earbuds, as they will out-perform even the most sophisticated active noise cancelling technology you'll find. Think of them as earplugs with built-in speakers. I never fly without my earbuds.

For work, I only use the over-the-ear variety. People will often miss the fact that you're wearing earbuds and try to talk to you anyway. A big set of headphones is a superior social cue that you don't want to be disturbed.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6540
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by jennypenny »

You can buy regular ear plugs (I use hearos but I don't think it matters) and cut them to fit in or over where the marshmallows would go on a pair of skull candy or similar headphones. There are videos on YouTube that show you how.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12533
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by jacob »

As far as I understand noise cancellation, it works on either "steady sounds" like airplane engines and fans and "loud noises" like gunshots (not as sure about the latter as the former). In other words, unless technology has advance significantly, it's not magic. The technology essentially has to measure the sound and then reemit an inverted sound into your ear cancelling out the original wave. The more complex the waveform, the harder that gets.

If you want absolute silence (like 40dB+), get some Super Leigh earplugs (reusable until they lose sponginess) and then put a pair of ear muffs on top of that. People will need to shout to communicate to you.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12533
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by jacob »

Haha! I don't, actually, except when I'm shooting.

I do use super leighs (equivalent store brand actually) when I'm sleeping. Kinda depends on whether there's a cardinal outside at 3am or not.

Jpsilver
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:16 pm

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by Jpsilver »

I kind of prefer headphones to earplugs, as they give less of an anti-social vibe to the people in the surroundings.

I think I'll go for the earbuds, I agree they filter the noise pretty well. However, my experience is that they break quite easily. Is this the norm or was it just me?

Jpsilver
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:16 pm

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by Jpsilver »

jennypenny wrote:You can buy regular ear plugs (I use hearos but I don't think it matters) and cut them to fit in or over where the marshmallows would go on a pair of skull candy or similar headphones. There are videos on YouTube that show you how.
I'm not sure if I understood, but did you mean like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0m_RseMrok

This is actually quite cool I think. I get rid of one constraint - the noise isolation - when choosing which earplugs to buy. I guess I could just buy the cheapest pair and take care of the isolation by myself.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6540
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by jennypenny »

Yes, that's what I meant.

It's a good use for dead ear buds* (everyone seems to have a dead pair they're willing to give to me). I got a pack of 10 hearos for $3 at the drug store. Easy and cheap.

The squish method to get them to fit snugly works. It's great if you want to wear them while doing something like running. They don't fall out.

*I mostly use them for noise reduction, not to listen to music.

User avatar
Stahlmann
Posts: 825
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:05 pm

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by Stahlmann »

I'm on my quests for wireless headphones (based on Bluetooth) and powered by AAA batteries.

I found this: BLAUPUNKT Comfort 112 Wireless... but wireless funtion is based on some controller (and the controller can be connected via BT). This limits portability.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2923
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by Riggerjack »

Or, if you just want cheap and functional, I recommend koss UR-20s. Comfortable, as in not head crushing tight, and very adjustable. Big, over the ear cups cut outside noise. 6' lead is plenty long in my cube. I have had a set for about 12 years. I replaced the foam after it wore out. $20 for the headphones, $5 for the replacement pads. You will only find them online, in NOS, but worth the wait.

Other koss UR- series are not the same. Before I found the replacement pads, I bought some UR-15's. Don't do that.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12533
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by jacob »

@RJ - People who bought those on amazon, also bought https://www.amazon.com/Lyman-Casting-Di ... 001OPLJUU/ and https://www.amazon.com/4411-Machine-Sti ... 003VWXZKG/ I think the forum just messed up amazon's cluster-algos :lol:

bryan
Posts: 1068
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by bryan »

I had some in-ear buds (forget exact model, years ago >$100 Shures) but they were not very comfortable after a couple hours. I found some DIY custom in-ear mold instructions online (forget link) and it worked excellently! The downside was after about two years the material was more dense and started to let in some air for one ear. Instead of repeating the DIY process, I think I just started to use the in-ear buds that came with the Samsung S8s (that were at work, not my own phone) since they were comfortable and good performers. Apparently they are $100 ear buds (but if you search on Amazon, they are all $10 counterfeits).

Headphones are maybe nicer fashion-wise, but aren't the best for portability or noise filtering (unless you get some safety ear muffs and add speakers). I have some Monoprice 8323s for when I want headphones; impossible to beat for the price. Better than _many_ more expensive headphones.

Scott 2
Posts: 1519
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by Scott 2 »

I have a random pair of over the ear sony headphones, that are not noise cancelling. For cube life, I found them more than sufficient. The act of putting them on signaled to me, and others, that I was focused on my work. That mental divide is what I need, actual ambient noise isn't so bad.

I really like these earplugs:

https://www.amazon.com/Hearos-Ultimate- ... PQ3H4?th=1

They are soft enough and short enough for me to sleep in, for a full night. I've tried a lot of other ear plugs that failed. Typically they make my ears ache after a night or two. Not the Hearos.

akratic
Posts: 681
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:18 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by akratic »

When I optimized for quiet, I found combo earplug/headphones most effective, like this:

Image

However, I found this style worked so well that it created a new type of problem, which is that people at work would be talking to me directly, or standing behind my desk trying to get my attention while watching what I was doing, and I had no idea they were there. I found this unnerving and eventually realized what I really wanted was some combination of 1) fewer people coming up to me at certain times 2) a non-verbal hint to other people to lower their talking volume, and 3) slight noise cancellation. For that I think DJ style headphones are most effective.

Image

You can play white noise on them or even nothing at all.

I don't think the brand matters nearly as much as the type.

User avatar
Stahlmann
Posts: 825
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:05 pm

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by Stahlmann »

I've solved it finally!

Using computer speakers on low volume at home. Buy durable for work (to be able to focus durin hard times...)(after selling some "stuff" which I don't use) if anybody can explain your replies in THF topic on "power fight" in the office I'd be happy.

chicago81
Posts: 284
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:24 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by chicago81 »

Not really an “ERE compliant purchase”, but I recently bought the Bose quiet comfort 35 noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones, and they are wonderful. Expensive, but wonderful.

ffj
Posts: 2189
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by ffj »

The Koss ur-20's arrived today from Amazon. Not bad, and they are good at blocking out ambient noise. For $16 a pretty good deal.

Listening to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DBewzg ... P&index=58

Impressive.

andyz
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:05 pm

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by andyz »

I'm still enjoying ATH-A900X.

BWND
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:08 am

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by BWND »

ATH MX50 (can't remember which exact model, but it was the MX50)

I bought those a few years back and really like them. They were my first set of 'good' headphones, having always shopped in the €30 sennheiser earbud market. Aside from the sound, a bonus I didn't expect to get was the various detachable cables. Is there anything more frustrating than when the wire starts to fray inside your headphones from too much bending and you get one ear cutting in and out? No more binning a set of headphones for that reason! They aren't noise cancelling but you have to be somewhere very noisy to be really disturbed. I've used them to listen to a podcast (spoken word) whilst using a rattly, noisy petrol lawnmower and could hear everything.

An interesting development was how buying decent headphones has amended my tastes. If a recording is terrible (for example, loudness wars), you really notice it on good headphones. I've found myself exploring new genres etc to find things that sound good to my ears. Thankfully I don't have an audiophiles ear, otherwise that road would get very expensive. Significantly better listening experiences are within the reach of everyone, however. I think Jacob once put up a post about 'upgrading your music collection' through headphones on the ERE blog. Completely agree.

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 1959
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Headphone recommendations

Post by Sclass »

This reminds me of an older analog design engineer I used to work with. Kind of an ERE type.

He was an audiophile and he built all his amps and speakers. He suggested that it was much cheaper to get a very high quality headphone set rather than buy good speakers and power amps. His favorite was a brand called Stax. They were electrostatic drivers and had great fidelity.

They seemed expensive to me but he pointed out that they were practical in that they didn’t require much space. Most of his listening was done alone so speakers were not necessary. Speakers get neighbors upset. You didn’t need a listening room.

This guy was frugal, wealthy and practical guy. Headphones made sense from a minimalist point of view. He claimed the Stax headset was unbeatable by speakers. I never verified this and never really bought into it, but it seemed to make sense and I respect this guy’s opinion when it came to signals and systems.

Just reminded me of it because headphones seem to be an ERE solution in many ways. Not really noise cancelling or practical on airplanes but interesting from a minimalist point of view if you are into good sound.

]Image

Post Reply