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Are noise cancelling headphones right for me?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by dennis1077, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    They you should be happy with them. Supposedly Sony makes the best sounding NC headphones.

    Bose makes some very effective NC headphones, but the sound quality has been more hit or miss depending on which generation. I like my QC25s for use at the office. But I disliked the sound of the QC15s. But I've never heard the 35s, so I don't know if these sound good or bad with music (although I have no doubt about the effectiveness of their NC technology). I really liked the sound of my Senheiser NC headphones, but the NC technology was not nearly as effective as it was on the Bose.
     
    dennis1077 likes this.
  2. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Lol, I use the same 'setup' when doing 'heavy' yard work (which involves chainsaws and other machines). Works perfect!
     
    _cruster likes this.
  3. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    The Sonys are not horrible, not by a long shot. When I was mastering home recordings, I would use the Senns for their clarity, with loads of detail. For everyday listening in an environment that's not perfect, I love the Sonys.
     
    dennis1077 likes this.
  4. all24bits

    all24bits Mature Adult

    Location:
    USA
    Be sure to use them PLUGGED INTO the laptop, not wirelessly. If you have a Windows PC, Windows ONLY support SBC codec which is the lowest, crappiest, lo-fi wireless codec (connection) you can get.
     
  5. shug4476

    shug4476 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Industrial ear defenders are uncomfortable for anything except brief periods.

    I run Sennheiser noise cancelling headphones which work well with everything, hifi included. They block out voices in the office very effectively, too.
     
    dennis1077 likes this.
  6. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Sennheiser noise cancelling headphones are on sale at the moment. $130 off make them mighty tempting.
     
  7. shug4476

    shug4476 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Would definitely recommend! I am using them right now to block out my wife's 'Zoom' call!
     
    dennis1077 likes this.
  8. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Unfortunately I need to use bluetooth for my laptop. An old headphone plug snapped off and is lodged in my laptop. Apparently you have to take the damn thing apart to fix it so I've gone without headphones. It's a MacBook Pro. Hopefully the issue you stated is exclusive to Windows.
     
  9. KeninDC

    KeninDC Hazy Cosmic Jive

    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    My Beats with noise cancelling are great for weed whacking, lawn mowing, and shop vac tasks. They also shut out all the fan noise at the gym. They are Bluetooth, but do come with a cord. Sound is pretty darn good - even with the expected enhanced bass.
     
  10. all24bits

    all24bits Mature Adult

    Location:
    USA
    If you're using Apple, then it's AAC and you're fine. The issue I stated is exclusive to Windows.
     
    dennis1077 likes this.
  11. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Yeah, the codec used is tremendously important, and -- mea culpa -- I forgot to mention that. I use my Sony headphones with an Android phone and Sony's own LDAC codec, usually considered one of the better ones. I am not sure how AAC (also supported by the headphones) compares to LDAC, nor whether Sony provides a version of LDAC that works on a MacBook Pro.

    So perhaps AAC is good enough; if not, you might consider an external Bluetooth transmitter with LDAC. Then, many options open up, such as phones with the newest aptX HD codecs and a transmitter that supports them. It's a pity that everything tech has become so complicated, with competing, incompatible specs for everything.
     
  12. riddlemay

    riddlemay Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I have the 700N's, and it should be noted that the Sony app for the iPhone to which I have the phones paired allows for an infinite number of eq settings, basically. I can't remember what I adjusted at the start of using them, but whatever I did didn't take too long and resulted in them sounding just right to my ears. (And they have retained that adjustment for well over a year now.)
     
    bever70 likes this.
  13. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

  14. all24bits

    all24bits Mature Adult

    Location:
    USA
    dennis1077 likes this.
  15. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    If you adjust EQ through the app...is this Eq memorized whatever the source ? So if they are connected to a tv (via bluetooth) or to any other source with the cable, is the Eq retained for this as well ?
     
  16. gov

    gov Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    As others have said the NC phones I’ve used (two from Bose) are killer for plane noise. The irony however is if you have a chatty couple behind or in front of you, you can hear them BETTER than without the NC on.

    feel for your situation. Also as others have said, I’d also include a good pair of closed back phones to try along with your Sony’s because IMO they were designed more for what you want.

    disclaimer though that I’m not really a headphone guy.
     
  17. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The new headphones arrived Saturday and I've only had a few hours to play with them. Here are my initial impressions.

    They actually do a decent job of blocking out sounds WITHOUT noise cancelling. It makes me wonder if I should have bought expensive closed back headphones instead.

    Once you turn noise cancelling on the sounds of multiple fans disappear completely. Impressive. Noise cancelling is kind of weird.... there's a sensation of pressure around my ears that will take getting used to.

    The Sonys do not sound nearly as good as my Sennheisers. I WANTED to invest in a nice pair of hifi headphones. However, the Sonys are more of what I NEED at the moment. I'm still curious about closed back headphones though. Maybe I'll buy these as a Christmas present to myself.

    Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional monitor headphones at Crutchfield

    The chord is also WAY to short. Like painfully short. Thankfully I had some long RCA cables and was able to bring my headphone amp next to my bed. I'll be looking into an upgraded cable so I don't feel tethered to my amp.

    I WOULD trade them for an expensive pair of closed back headphones but the Bluetooth feature is awesome. I've gone without headphone access on both my laptop and cellphone for years and it's nice to have that feature restored.

    I'm still getting accustomed to the sound and I imagine a break-in period applies. All in all, I feel they are possibly overpriced but a worthy investment.
     
  18. all24bits

    all24bits Mature Adult

    Location:
    USA
    No, buy the M40x instead. The m40x are MUCH more neutral sounding. The 50x are sizzle city.

    Also, if you still want to retain the bluetooth function, buy a Radsone ES100 or a Fiio BTR5 or some similar bluetooth receiver to receive your signal from your laptop (to your headphones). I own the ES100 and can confirm it sounds really great (not as good as a desktop DAC though), especially for the price you pay (75 on the used market or so, $100 new). And it will take your AAC signal from your laptop.
     
    dennis1077 likes this.
  19. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    They're $50 cheaper making it easy to justify buying a second pair of headphones. I kinda assumed the 50x would be better simply because they were more expensive. Just goes to show you can't judge a product by its price tag.
     
  20. SKBubba

    SKBubba Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tennessee
    Big amp, big ass speakers. Bob's your uncle.

    (Just kidding. Good that you're finding solutions.)
     
  21. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I've owned the Sony WH-10000XM4 for a little over a month. I like them but they're going back.

    The noise cancelling is perfect. I'm amazed at how the external sounds vanish once I power up the Sonys. The bluetooth is awesome! I even started streaming music and listening to ITunes. I love the touch controls that I THOUGHT would be annoying. The sound IS a little bass heavy but still an enjoyable listen. I want to keep these.......BUT.....they make my EARS HURT.

    Short listening sessions are pure pleasure. After about an hour, listening to music is simply painful. Last night I tried to stream a movie and could only get about halfway through before taking off the headphones. Ultimately, I have a $300 pair of headphones that can't be used longer than an hour.

    I'm going to exchange them for a closed back pair of headphones and see how competent they are at sound isolation. I'm taking a serious look at the Shure SRH1540'S.

    Shure SRH1540 Closed-back, over-ear studio headphones at Crutchfield

    I've read all the reviews, and people are saying they aren't the best at sound isolation BUT they are comfortable and sound good. At this point, I'm assuming that comfort and noise isolation are an inevitable tradeoff.
     
  22. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    So sorry to hear that. Hope you have better luck with the Shures. I have a pair of SRH 840, which I used while working in an open office for a couple of years. They did provide noticeable sound reduction. I heard the SRH 1540 briefly at Axpona 2019 and was impressed with the sound quality.

    P.S. About Bluetooth. I didn't want to bring bad news while you owned the Sonys. But I saw a chart a day or two back; it showed that AAC has about 30% of the potential data transfer rate of LDAC (when LDAC has a strong signal). So you may not have been hearing the Sonys at their absolute best, not that it matters now. Apple makes beautiful and functional stuff; I wish they didn't have a bad case of NIH syndrome. I guess it works for them!
     

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