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  1. #1
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Travel Headphones Suggestions

    I now travel a lot and am looking for some headphones for drowning out the aircraft noise and listen to some tunes. I see a lot of Bose out there. I know their speakers don't get LOL around here and I'm not thrilled with their price tag. Anyone know anything about these from Sony MDR-NC6 or have any other suggestions. Not looking to spend too much but want something that will work. Any help is appreciated-thanks!

  2. #2
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    I commute on the bus everyday and bought a pair of Sennheiser. I forget the model but they ran around $60.00 and fold up. Two very good points about these headphones for traveling, they seal to your ear very well and keep noise out and they sound very good. They fold and come with a hard shell carry case. However, I've never been able to fold them to wear they would go back into the case. But I'm afraid to break them so I may be overly careful which prevents me from accomplishing the task. They also don't leak sound out either. If you are familiar with Senn's, these portables don't have as big of soundstage or the frequency range of their big brothers but they're a fraction of the price and smaller drivers. These have a very nice bass response if you like a tight deep bass. Of course, this type of description is heavily dependent on what you use to drive them. I listened to them on home equipment and still found the bass to have similar character. In fact, I had to give these about 24 hours of break in before they started sounding right. These aren't "noise cancelling" headphones but when wearing them on a city bus they are capable of keeping out the bus roar and all the other conversations around me. With no music I can hear people but I have to remove the headphones to carry on a conversation with anyone. The larger models of Senns sound incredible to me and are comfortable but they are open air design which leaks sound out and will disturb people around you. I have a pair of 580's for the bedroom and my wife tells me I might as well just listen to the speakers.

  3. #3
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    not a Bose fan either but..

    the Quiet Comfort 2's are the best I've found for planes and other environments with droning background noise. The 2's are over the ear and probably do a better job than the new 3's which are not over the ear although I haven't compared the two. They work especially well on planes.I probably wouldn't have purchased the 2's if a generous friend hadn't sent me a gift certificate but I'm glad I did. If only they'd cancel out the hacking and snorting post nasal drip victims at work, I'd be even more positive about these.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekid
    I now travel a lot and am looking for some headphones for drowning out the aircraft noise and listen to some tunes. I see a lot of Bose out there. I know their speakers don't get LOL around here and I'm not thrilled with their price tag. Anyone know anything about these from Sony MDR-NC6 or have any other suggestions. Not looking to spend too much but want something that will work. Any help is appreciated-thanks!
    Look at the Sennheiser PXC250 or PXC300.Bose is not very good in the headphone department.

  5. #5
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    The headphones I was talking about are the Sennheiser PX-200 and they are $55.00. I don't know if you were looking for something more expensive but these definitely block outside noise, don't bleed out sound and their sound quality is as good as home phones in that price range or higher.

  6. #6
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for your feedback so far.
    I am going to go out today and try to see if I can test some and see what is out there.

  7. #7
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    If you can't find anything locally, www.crutchfield.com is where I bought mine and they have a 30 day return policy, also www.amusicdirect.com has the same return offer and carry a wide variety of headphones.

  8. #8
    Rep points are my LIFE!! Groundbeef's Avatar
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    I have had problems as well finding a "noise" cancelling headphone as well. I have tried 3 different models. A really cheap pair of JVC that were on clearance for about $17 (down from $50), A low grade model from Sony, and a bit of a higher grade from Sony.

    These were all "in" ear, and not around ear. I was very dissapointed with performance of all 3. The last pair I tried were $100 from Sony, and frankly I don't think that they performed better than the clearance. At least in the 3 I tried I think that "noise cancelling" was a misnomer for "we turn up the volume". I didn't really notice a drop in the ambiant noise, just more volume.

    I am going to have to try some over-ear models. I think I will have more luck with those. At least in my experience in-ear are a bust.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular anamorphic96's Avatar
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    The Sennheiser PX 200's that Mr. Peabody talks about are quite good for the money and do a great job at blocking out noise. They also sound damn good for the money. I have used mine for all sorts of travel and at work , and can listen to them for hours on end with complete comfort and no fatique.

  10. #10
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Etymotic ER-6i. They aren't noise-cancelling, but if you get a good seal, the severely attenuate outside noise. To the point where you will be tempted to learn to read lips.

    And they are decent without an amp.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groundbeef
    I have had problems as well finding a "noise" cancelling headphone as well. I have tried 3 different models. A really cheap pair of JVC that were on clearance for about $17 (down from $50), A low grade model from Sony, and a bit of a higher grade from Sony.

    These were all "in" ear, and not around ear. I was very dissapointed with performance of all 3. The last pair I tried were $100 from Sony, and frankly I don't think that they performed better than the clearance. At least in the 3 I tried I think that "noise cancelling" was a misnomer for "we turn up the volume". I didn't really notice a drop in the ambiant noise, just more volume.

    I am going to have to try some over-ear models. I think I will have more luck with those. At least in my experience in-ear are a bust.
    I would go to Headphone.com and look at all the choices that are available there.Also in their B-stock catagorey they have the Sennheiser PXC-250 for $109.

  12. #12
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    We either have or had the following:

    Senn PX-100 - people around you can hear, but they're awesome for small, portable headphones - http://www.headphone.com/products/he...ser-px-100.php

    AKG K27i - the ultimate iPod headphone. I haven't spent much time with them because I can't get them away from my son long enough. He likes'em better that the PX100s -
    http://www.headphone.com/products/he.../akg-k-27i.php

  13. #13
    rockin' the mid-fi audio_dude's Avatar
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    reading your title, drowning out noise is a bad thing, blocking or cancelling noise is what you want to do! so...do you want to shove a piece of comfortable memory foam in your ear? (or those plastic/rubber plug things) or get some headphones that use active cancellation...but only block out droning noises, not talking or other sudden noises...

  14. #14
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio_dude
    reading your title, drowning out noise is a bad thing, blocking or cancelling noise is what you want to do! so...do you want to shove a piece of comfortable memory foam in your ear? (or those plastic/rubber plug things) or get some headphones that use active cancellation...but only block out droning noises, not talking or other sudden noises...
    Sorry if I was not clear in my message. I do want to be able to listen to some tunes while traveling not just "blocking noise or I'd do the ear plug thing you mention. I don't have plans on getting an I-pod probably looking for something that will hook into a CD player or digital radio.

  15. #15
    nightflier
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    Shure & Etymotic pretty much rule the roost when it comes to in-ear. I have the Senn PX-250's and they are surprisingly good (bought 2 pairs at AA, great reurn policy as well).

    What I don't like about them is the thick-pen-sized battery pack and the fact that they don't fold up very small. For light-packed traveling, that's not really ideal, but if you don't mind the size, then they are excellent.

    I sat next to a Bose owner on my last trip and we swapped phones for a few minutes. While the Bose do a better job of isolation, they don't sound as good IMO, although he did not agree (big surprise). I think if you listen to them side-by-side w/o outside noise, you'll find that the Senns are a bit better, but if you factor in the noise isolation, the Bose may be a better value.

    I've been intrigued with the Shure EC5's, but I just can bring myself to blow $400+ on something that small.

  16. #16
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    I could maybe go $400.00 for a good home headphone but really is there any portable source good enough to warrant that quality of a phone? You may have said earlier, but NF what are you using for a source? Do Ipods sound very good? I have yet to hear one. I have not been impressed from so called "digital" sound from my computer and I'd think that MP3's would leave some to be desired. It is amazing though that something the size of a lighter can store so much data and even drive headphones.

  17. #17
    nightflier
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    Mr.Pea,

    I'm using a Rio Forge, about the size of a child's fist. It doesn't do a good job of driving headphones (don't even try to drive full-sized cans with it), but if that's a concern, there are some pretty good portable amps out there (the bithead comes to mind). For home use, I use a Grado headphone amp. It's portable, sort of, but I don't really care to explain to the security check what it is each time I board a plane.

    With the noice-cancelling mechanism on my Senns, I have to believe that it also serves as a small amp for the phones.

  18. #18
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    I could maybe go $400.00 for a good home headphone but really is there any portable source good enough to warrant that quality of a phone? You may have said earlier, but NF what are you using for a source? Do Ipods sound very good? I have yet to hear one. I have not been impressed from so called "digital" sound from my computer and I'd think that MP3's would leave some to be desired. It is amazing though that something the size of a lighter can store so much data and even drive headphones.
    The iPods sound indeed very good as long as all your downstream components are up to the task. Almost everyone I know who uses an iPod uses them with a dedicated headphone amp of varying qualities. And they try to use the line out (meaning a dock of some sort) rather than the headphone jack.

    I don't personally have one, but that's because I'm a cheapskate -- allow me to explain. I got the Creative Nomad Jukebox 3 before it was widely known (a) how good the iPod is, and (b) how good its interface is. Not to say that it isn't good -- I'll keep it. But if I had it to do over again, I'd get an iPod today. I just don't feel like doubling the amount I spent on the subject (portable audio) right now.

    You can also get an easier to drive pair of headphones. 3 that I am aware of are:

    Audio Technica A100Ti (I use this with an M-Audio Sonica without an amp at home -- it sounds better than my internal OEM soundcard at work here with an amp)
    Sony MDR-V6/-7506 (I own these, and have used it on the road with a laptop and the aforementioned M-Audio Sonica -- it improves with an amp, but it's certainly adequate without one, if not a little bright [introducing the right amp &&/|| tubes will combat this one foible])
    Etymotic ER-6i (my current earphone of choice these days -- sounds wonderful straight out of the CLNJB3 mentioned above)
    Eschew fascism.
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  19. #19
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Is it just me or noise-cancelling sets make me nauseated and irratated. It's almost like hearing frequency I cannt hear.

    One of my friends has MDR-NC6. It doesnt cancel out noise as well as others I've tried.
    I'm happy with my $15 KOSS Spark Plugs on public transportation.

  20. #20
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    has nayone here traveled recently on a plane? And found out anything new on this subject? I'm fly to Japan on December 15th, and would like to arrive feeling less suicidal/homicidal?

    Thanks

    JRA

  21. #21
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    I commute on the bus everyday and bought a pair of Sennheiser. I forget the model but they ran around $60.00 and fold up.
    Those sound like Sennheiser PX-200s. Let me say they are pretty much worthless on an airplane. My E2cs went back to Shure since they were worn out, and I sorely missed them Tuesday when I flew to visit my family for Thanksgiving. I'm not looking forward to the flight back without my E2cs. The Senns can't isolate your ears well enough, but the Shures can cut out airplane sounds quite effectively so you don't have to turn them up so loud you might go deaf.

    The PX-200s work on a bus or train but would be awful on a plane. I ended up giving up on listening to music and just played sudoku on my iriver.

  22. #22
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Thank you for your input emorphine. That helps me out alot.

  23. #23
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Thank you for your input emorphine. That helps me out alot.
    Although I've only flown with the Shures and haven't listened to other IEMs much, any of the Shures, Etymotics or Ultimate Ears should work fairly well on a plane for you. Just make sure (for example with the Shures) that you try the different fitting pieces to find your best seal. I prefer the yellowish foam.

  24. #24
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Right on Emo, I have this KOSS SparkPlug thingie, and they world pretty good for isolating sound. I was wondering if I would benefit significantly more by using others. Guess I'll do more reaserch,

    Thanks again,

    JRA

  25. #25
    persnickity
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    Never buy any headphones without reading their review on headroom (the best headphone site on the web) headphone.com . Good objective reviews and ratings. Then check around for best prices. One of my favorite discount sites is www.discountheadphones.com. Don't think I'm doing the insert link function right but try these anyone buying headphones and accessories inc. amps.

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