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Closed headphones with high isolation
post Oct 24 2011, 15:13
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What's the most isolating (high quality) head phones available at $200-900?

I have Sennheiser HD-280 Pro and Sennheiser HD-25 II. The latter is not what I can use due to too much pressing against ear (hurts after a while). But HD-280 Pro, is it actually a good choice or is there some other choice with (considerably) better isolation available?

Or, can noise cancelling head phones be recommended? I haven't looked that way and don't know about the sound quality of those.
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post Apr 6 2012, 20:48
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My Sony MDR-V6 is good at keeping out outside noise and it has good quality sound.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 8 2012, 12:55
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QUOTE (soundping @ Apr 6 2012, 15:48) *
My Sony MDR-V6 is good at keeping out outside noise and it has good quality sound.

Really? IME they are little better than many open ear types.
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Ed Seedhouse
post Apr 8 2012, 16:35
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I feel like a traitor because after my Sennheiser PCX 450 headphones fell apart I went and bought a pair of BOSE Quietcomfort 15's. But I ride buses a lot and they quiet the engine roar better than anything else I've had and, actually, they don't sound half bad on their own. Of course if I also want some higher end sound I can pull the plug out of the BOSE set, stick my IE8's in my ear canals and then put the BOSE pair over my ears and turn on the cancellation. Best of both worlds as long as it isn't too hot on the bus.

Gotta take the IE8's out when I eat because of annoying bone conduction of eating sounds, but the BOSE sound (and this is heretical since every BOSE transducer I ever heard before sounded lousy to me and I always thought of them as just a maker of junk with a great add budget) for the 15's is pleasant enough to listen to music with full enjoyment even on classical music. They have a decent midrange, bass extension, and a somewhat ragged treble but at a high enough frequency not to bother my rather ancient ears.

I never really liked the sound of the Sennheiser 450's but I did get used to it and they were "good enough", but the earpads wore out and I didn't want to go the the trouble of ordering new replacement parts from the Canadian dealer 4000 miles away. The other day I was out for a good while and listened to all of Mahler's second conducted by Bernstein on an ancient recording, using just the BOSE pair, and it was just as thrilling and enthralling as my main system at home so far as musical involvement went. Of course one misses the imaging from the home system, but not as much as I expected. Of course the Bernstein version was multi-miked.

Of course they cost a lot, but as for pure sound isolation I've never heard anything that approaches them. Makes for much more pleasant bus rides and nice quiet walks around the downtown core.

So, am I a heretic? Will I be drummed out of the high end community? But then I suppose I never really belonged to it in the first place anyway.

Ed Seedhouse
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