Any decent noise-canceling headphones out there? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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06-07-2005, 11:18 AM
After upgrading my home speakers, my bose headphones sound ****ty to me. The thing is, they're the QuietComfort noise-canceling ones, and I like having them on the plane (I fly often). Is there another set of noise-canceling phones out there that work well and sound better than the bose?

Buzz Roll
06-07-2005, 12:33 PM
I use etymotic in-ear headphones. If you're comfortable using earplugs, then you might like the etymotics. Their sound quality is much better than Bose, and unlike Bose phones that only cancel the midrange frequency band, the etymotics act like earplugs and cancel everything. I use them on the plane, and they pack a lot smaller than Bose headphones.

06-07-2005, 04:10 PM
I have Sennheiser PXC-250 noise cancelling headphones. I really like 'em, although the noise cancelling unit (powered by a battery) is kinda awkward. You can pick them up for about $129. It comes with a cool case and a universal airplane headphone jack adapter. They're fairly compact and not as dorky looking as the Bose.

07-10-2005, 10:16 AM
Sony MDR-V6 great headphones and i think i payed around 60 or 70 for them

Sir Terrence the Terrible
07-10-2005, 10:54 AM
I have tried at least 15 pairs of noise cancelling headphones to use for travel(something I find myself doing more and more of) and not one pair of headphones was good enough for decent listening. The etymotic in-ear headphones are the best I have ever heard, as they didn't have the phasey sound quality, nor did the processing roll off the extreme high frequencies like the other ones did.

07-13-2005, 04:41 AM
Closed headphones like the MDR-V6/7506, although they isolate noise to a degree create a resonance space for engine drone between the phone and the ear. Although they're effective against engine noise, the Sennheiser PXC's don't muffle mid and high-frequency noises very much. The Quietcomforts seem to be the best of the bunch as far as active cancellation goes, so since you don't like them you're probably best off with in-ear phones.

I don't actually care for the sound of the Etymotic phones very much (ER-6i, ER-4P and 4S) but with the long foam tips, I've yet to experience better passive noise isolation. The ER-6i ( I can recommend as it's not bad value and it has superior isolation with the (pretty expensive) foam tips.

The Shure E4 ( and E5 in-earphones isolate a little less due to shorter foam tips (if your wearing preference is for the flanged silicone tips, then isolation is identical between Shure and Etymotic) but sound better to me. However they're also more expensive than the Etymotics. If you're willing to push the boat out then perhaps you could look at the custom-moulded earpieces from Ultimate Ears ( or Sensaphonic ( for the best mix of comfort, noise blocking and sound.