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Headphones for Portable Listening

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
There are already a variety of threads about the "best" headphones for a certain price range, but there are so many suggestions in these threads and the suggestions so varied that for someone like me (a bit of a noob) it seems overwhelming to try to pick the best headphones for my particular purpose.

I already have a set of Sennheiser PC 350s for gaming/home use, but I need a set of headphones for quality audio while portable. In particular, for the majority of the time I will be operating in these circumstances:

1. Listening to non-amplified audio sources without a powerful sound card (phone, iPad, etc.) and "good" quality audio (decent mp3 quality) but no lossless audio generally
2. In non-secluded environments with other people/extra noise (planes, trains, etc.) or while simply walking or sitting on my own.

and for these purposes:

1. Listening to music
2. Watching movies/television shows


Knowing all of this, I would prefer any headset I purchase to have some sort way to isolate myself from outside noise (noise-cancelling technology would work ) and have good quality audio, but do not want to spend a large amount of money on extra audio quality that I will never notice without a nice sound card or external amplifier. The headset should also be comfortable for long listening experiences and not look "too" goofy for wearing in public (if there's a mic, and I would prefer there not to be, it had better be removable).


Overall I would say that my critiera would rank from highest to lowest importance as:

1. At least a certain level of good sound quality
2. Comfort -- very important as I will be wearing for hours at a time and the headphones feeling good will make a huge difference in quality of experience.
3. Noise isolation
4. Extra sound quality as gravy, though not as important because of my audio sources
5. Style rolleyes.gif


I would be willing to spend up to about $200, but I would of course prefer to spend less.


So any headsets that you all could recommend for this particular set of criteria would be very helpful, especially if you could mention specifics about the particular headset that would make it worth buying.


I should also note specifically that I am looking for over ear headsets, not IEMs or earbuds.


Thanks!
    
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post #2 of 5
Not sure how large is too large, but the Audio-Technica ATH-M45s are very reasonably priced, quite comfortable, and sound great when driven just from an iPod. They're closed, so not a lot of sound leakage, which is a big plus.

Not sure how active you plan on being with your headphones on (which I assume you're looking for, rather than a headset), but I was really impressed by all of the aspects of the M45s and came very close to buying them (the ones I did buy are probably a bit too big for regular wear out in public).

I'm sure that as you get closer to your $200 limit that you'll find better and better cans, but these are a good deal and have great range (5Hz-25+kHz).

If you have a Guitar Center or something similar close to you, stop in and ask for recommendations and to try some of them out. They didn't hesitate to open sealed boxes to let me try out any of the headphones I wanted, and they'll price match any advertised price (someone was there at the same time as I was that price matched the DT880s, which is how I know).
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply! From pictures online those M45s do look to be a bit bigger than I might be comfortable with but I suppose I'd have to try them on first to really see how I feel .

A guitar center would be a bit of a drive but I think I might have to drive out to try on a few pairs and see how they feel because that really would help when trying to make a decision based on factors as subjective as comfort.
    
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post #4 of 5
you considered in-ears?
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

you considered in-ears?

Actually, funny story, in the relatively short amount of time since my last post I discovered a good deal on a good pair of IEMs (Westone 2s) - there was a used (like new) pair from a 99% positive seller for $35 off and I decided upon those after reading up on them for a while because my main gripe against IEMs before this (I had tried a couple) was comfort for extended periods, especially for trying to lie down, and these seem to be generally regarded as very comfortable while still having very good, accurate audio and isolation.

So I have made my purchase. smile.gif Thanks for the posts though!
    
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