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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings OCN!

I'm going to apologize in advance, because I know there are tons and tons of threads asking for help on buys. I am going to do my very best & narrow the choices to as low as possible.

I am looking for real life experience & general opinions as well. Like many others, I am really new to headphones, but I am in a situation where headphones for my PC are necessary. I figure, if I'm going to spend the money, I might as well get the best bang for buck.

Here is my search criteria for head phone purchase:
  • Noise cancelling: I need them for when I study, so blocking background noise would be a huge plus. I say "plus" because I am noticing the noise cancelling sets tend to be much higher in cost (understandably), but that brings me to my next point.
  • Cost: Ideally I wanted to spend under $50.00 but I am coming to see I may need to spend more then that. I do not want to exceed $75.00 at all.
  • Wired headphones are fine with me. I do not require wireless. Just in case anyone has a suggestion that is not on my list, since wired should be a money saver.
HD 201: Link
  • Pro: Low Cost - $18.28 (Free shipping)
  • Con: Assuming poor quality
RS120: Link
  • Pro: Cost meets criteria
  • Con: Not noise cancelling (I think)
HD515: Link
  • Pro: Best price deal I've seen. $129.95 reduced to $65.47
  • Con: Still, for the cost, is this noise cancelling?
Website search refined search results page(s):
Based on Newegg's search for "noise cancelling", the Sennheiser result is only 2 matches: PXC250 ($180) and PXC350 ($250) which is way out of budget.

I would prefer to stick with Sennheiser, and I like the H515 so far.

If anybody could provide further information to show me what I am doing wrong, or if I am about to make poor purchases, that would be MUCH appreciated.

Can anybody explain to me the difference between "RS" models and "HD" models? I don't understand what the differences are representing.

Thank you all
 

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Could you clarify whether you want mobile or at home headphones? You say this is for the pc but you also say it's for studying as well. I assume you want something that could be used at home but also can travel with your laptop or mobile source for when you're studying in coffee shops.

Firstly, none of those Sennheisers are recommended for those application. You're using an onboard analog out thus the quality is also another issue. Some laptops have great sound, but it's best to have a good mobile source.

Secondly you're looking for some sound isolating headphones. You won't find any at your price range. The only ones that does work will be in ear buds termed IEMs.

Thirdly if you're going for Sennheiser brand only, there is only one headphone that comes close to satisfying your requirements: the PX200-ii.

However:

The bottom line will be what you value the most in this product; sound cancellation/isolation, or application (desktop pc vs laptop or mobile source). The two best choice/bang for buck scenarios are:

PX200ii

http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-PX-...4&sr=8-2-spell

Head Direct RE0

http://www.amazon.com/HeadDirect-RE0...8763705&sr=1-1
 

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I would recommend getting some IEM's instead of cans, if noise canceling is that important to you, they tend to do better than closed back cans from what I hear. If you are set on getting cans however, take a look at the JVC HARX700's or the JVC HARX900's.

edit: nvm, just noticed you only want to buy from Sennheiser, my bad.
 

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* Noise cancelling:
Crap. You want noise isolation, unless you study on trains and airplanes.

* Cost:
Ask yourself how long you expect them to last, as well as how good the sound quality is.

* Wired headphones are fine with me.
Most good ones are wired, that is a given. Extensions may be purchased cheaply if the length is a problem, if it is too long, there is always the option of zip-tie or twist tying.

I use these: HD 280s
http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD-.../dp/B000065BPB

I would not recommend them unless you are in a cold place, they get very warm very quickly. Blocks out sound wonderfully. If I were you, I would look at IEMs instead. There are many reputable brands besides Sennheiser.

I use the following for traveling purposes, however I cannot find one without a mic at the moment:
http://www.amazon.com/Altec-Lansing-.../dp/B000BKE8QQ
I have no complaints except that the filter needs to be replaced or pierced if it gets clogged. No real issues with them at all.
 

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It has already been said, but is worth repeating again: Noise canceling is junk. If you want isolation, you should get In Ear Monitors that have noise isolation, like earplugs.
 

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I have an HD 201, it doesn't really cancel noise, but it is very comfortable. That price is better than the $20 I paid for mine on Newegg, I say go for them. The only drawback is the cord is very long. Get a winder and you're all set. Good sound quality, just enough bass, and dirt cheap.
 

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Noise cancellation is a gimmick, it only really works for cancelling out steady, droning noises. It won't really do much for sudden or irregular sounds.
 

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Assuming you are going to be using this as a portable set, and you already anticipate background noise, I suggest something with a closed back.

That takes everything off the current list except the HD201's.

If you are open to other manufacturers, I'd suggest the JVC RX700.

For a little better quality, the JVC RX900 does fine.

Active noise canceling introduces some static background noise and only works on consistent sounds such as car/airplane engines, etc. Keep this in mind. A closed set of cans such as the JVC's will be far more effective at preserving the listening "environment".

EDIT: Word on these JVC's is that they form to your head over time....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
WOW. First of all, I just want to state that this is why I love OCN community. I never expected a 2 page reply
You guys are fantastic!

Next, sorry I haven't replied since the opening post; I have been at work.

Thank you everyone!

Quote:


Could you clarify whether you want mobile or at home headphones? You say this is for the pc but you also say it's for studying as well. I assume you want something that could be used at home but also can travel with your laptop or mobile source for when you're studying in coffee shops.

Firstly, none of those Sennheisers are recommended for those application. You're using an onboard analog out thus the quality is also another issue. Some laptops have great sound, but it's best to have a good mobile source.

Secondly you're looking for some sound isolating headphones. You won't find any at your price range. The only ones that does work will be in ear buds termed IEMs.

Thirdly if you're going for Sennheiser brand only, there is only one headphone that comes close to satisfying your requirements: the PX200-ii.

However:

The bottom line will be what you value the most in this product; sound cancellation/isolation, or application (desktop pc vs laptop or mobile source). The two best choice/bang for buck scenarios are:

@yellowtoblerone:
Will primarily be focusing on home use.

I may or may not be using them (often) outside the home. The reason I need the headphones for home is because I live in a single bedroom apt with my wife, and sometimes the TV vs my video study guides (viewed on PC). Obviously, she doesn't mind not watching TV, but I am looking for a solution via headphones.

I was expecting noise cancel or isolation (as I now learned are different) to be out of my price range. Although I am disappointed, I am not surprised.

Thanks for the recommended sets. I will review them.

Quote:


* Noise cancelling:
Crap. You want noise isolation, unless you study on trains and airplanes.

* Cost:
Ask yourself how long you expect them to last, as well as how good the sound quality is.

* Wired headphones are fine with me.
Most good ones are wired, that is a given. Extensions may be purchased cheaply if the length is a problem, if it is too long, there is always the option of zip-tie or twist tying.

I use these: HD 280s
http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD-.../dp/B000065BPB

I would not recommend them unless you are in a cold place, they get very warm very quickly. Blocks out sound wonderfully. If I were you, I would look at IEMs instead. There are many reputable brands besides Sennheiser.

I use the following for traveling purposes, however I cannot find one without a mic at the moment:
http://www.amazon.com/Altec-Lansing-.../dp/B000BKE8QQ
I have no complaints except that the filter needs to be replaced or pierced if it gets clogged. No real issues with them at all.

@Nausicaa:
Isolation. Got it. Based on your reply, I am going to say it is safe to assume "isolation" is efficient, and "cancelling" is usually a higher cost?

The HD280 looks great, but above my price range. However, I do understand what you are telling me. Quality comes with a price, and the cost difference of $20 may be worthwhile in the long run.

Quote:


Why Sennheiser?

The HD 515s are open cans, they don't block any noise at all. The HD 201s actually have pretty good quality for the price, but they don't block much noise. The other ones are just crap.

http://www.amazon.com/Shure-Professi...8764696&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD-...8764802&sr=1-2

These two are about equal, both do an excellent job at isolating noise and have very clean sound. You aren't going to do any better.

@nathris:
Thanks for tip on the HD515 and HD201.

The Shure Professional set looks interesting to me. Do you own a pair? And may I ask why, technically, you are recommending them? Thanks!

Quote:


Assuming you are going to be using this as a portable set, and you already anticipate background noise, I suggest something with a closed back.

That takes everything off the current list except the HD201's.

If you are open to other manufacturers, I'd suggest the JVC RX700.

For a little better quality, the JVC RX900 does fine.

Active noise canceling introduces some static background noise and only works on consistent sounds such as car/airplane engines, etc. Keep this in mind. A closed set of cans such as the JVC's will be far more effective at preserving the listening "environment".

EDIT: Word on these JVC's is that they form to your head over time....

@theCanadian:
Thank you for the recommended products. I will review them.

As I have previously addressed in this reply, they will not be often used for travel. I wasn't aware of noise "cancelling" stopping consistent background noises. I appreciate the schooling.

@All:
To refine my preferences, here is a list of the refined search criteria
  • I prefer headphones over ear buds, because ear buds tend to cause a lot of discomfort to me after about an hour or so. I have used both in the past, and found I'm better suited with headphones.
  • Thanks to all of your replies, I will not isolate myself to only Sennheiser brand. It was my understanding they were the top name in headphone/ear buds, so I will take the advice and review the recommended products.
  • I suppose "noise cancelling and noise isolation" will be removed from my search, as I will be more focused on quality of comfort, sound, and cost.
  • Yes, I am using on-board sound but may invest in a sound card in the future. If that changes the factor of recommended products, I am always interested in future growth.
 

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I am a proud owner of the HD201's. They cost a lot more over here in NZ but were worth every cent. Paired with a good soundcard, they can deliver great sound. They're certainly not the best headphones that Sennheiser have produced, but I still highly rate them. Not too bassy but still just enough to give a good punch


The cable is indeed quite long however I only use them for gaming or listening to music when my dad is working next door so they suit me just fine. Some of the more comfortable headphones I have ever worn too.
 

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Actually some in ear buds are very comfortable, while some are just atrocious. I think if you find the right one you won't have an issue wearing it for long period of time. However it is still not intended for home use.

I think nath's shure professional series is the best bet. Another option would be the closed audio technica's though they range over 150.

Overall, none of them will offer true isolation but they will definitely help. Again the darkhorse, and something I've had great personal experiences with is still the Sennheiser PX200ii.
 

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I'll just throw in here that I work in a machine shop and wear the 280 pros 8 hours a day. They are the best option really for sound isolation, with a 32db attenuation. For reference, the earplugs we use here are 33db attenuation. I don't think any other headphone comes close, until you look into IEM's which compare, but get tiring on the ears if you wear them for a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy9000 View Post
I'll just throw in here that I work in a machine shop and wear the 280 pros 8 hours a day. They are the best option really for sound isolation, with a 32db attenuation. For reference, the earplugs we use here are 33db attenuation. I don't think any other headphone comes close, until you look into IEM's which compare, but get tiring on the ears if you wear them for a long time.
Thank you. It is very encouraging to know the 280s are used in such a loud environment. Very helpful!
 

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I use the 201's paired with a mid to low range sound card and I am very satisfied by the sound quality they provide. If you aren't interested in picking up crisp highs and decent lows from music then you may not appreciate their performance vs price in comparison to other sound isolation sets.

I have a daughter that is frequently running around our two bedroom apartment and I can hear her quite well with my headphones on. But, if I turn up the volume she is easily drowned out without hurting my ears. If she is watching tv in the other room, I can put them on and tone out her cartoons with the softest music (15% on Win 7).
 

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Kind of piggy backing off of clee's original post...

What headphones ($100 or less) are good for long term comfort and won't make my ears all sweaty? I currently have a pair of skullcandy Hesh headphones and after about 2-3 hours of wearing them my ears kind of hurt, are sweaty, etc. Either my head is too big for these headphones (my head is pretty big) or the Hesh is just not a great set of headphones.

Would the hd201's be up to the task or should I consider something a little more expensive? I would mainly be using these as workstation/gaming cans and would do very little (if at all) travelling with them.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by grizz View Post
Kind of piggy backing off of clee's original post...

What headphones ($100 or less) are good for long term comfort and won't make my ears all sweaty? I currently have a pair of skullcandy Hesh headphones and after about 2-3 hours of wearing them my ears kind of hurt, are sweaty, etc. Either my head is too big for these headphones (my head is pretty big) or the Hesh is just not a great set of headphones.

Would the hd201's be up to the task or should I consider something a little more expensive? I would mainly be using these as workstation/gaming cans and would do very little (if at all) travelling with them.
Many people own the AudioTechnica AD700's (I do). Excellent cans. Good quality, you can wear them all day. But not very portable.

Sennheiser HD555's are a very comparable set and might be a little more portable, but I couldn't tell you personally.

Both these cans can be had for ~100 on Amazon. Sometimes the price goes up $20-$30 so just keep an eagle eye out.
 
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