||[Mar. 29th, 2006|11:23 pm]
Headphone Aficionados / Personal Audio Snobs
|||||amparanoia - welcome to tijuana (tequila, sexo y marihuana)||]|
I have been on a search for decent noise-cancellation headphones lately.
My requirements are that they sound decent, they are comfortable for long flights, they actually cancel sound, and that they not cost too much or attract too much attention because I tend to travel to ghetto places and take the bus everyday to work (to a bad part of downtown.) I tried the Bose headphones and they are very nice... very comfortable... but there is no way in hell I'm walking around with $300 on my head.
Sharper Image: Travelers' Noise-Cancellation Headphones 2.0
I tried these initially because there is a Sharper Image not far from my work. I bought them the day before a flight and the noise cancellation part was decent but not as good as the Bose headphones. I figured $70 was slightly more than what I wanted to pay but I'd give them a shot. In short, they are fairly comfortable but the sound quality sucks. The high frequencies are muddled and the low frequency gets lost in la-la-land. It's basically as if you lived next to some noisy people and you had your ear pressed against their wall to listen to their music. Honestly, I have these cheap ass Sony headphones (the kind you get when you buy one of their low end radios?) that sound 10 times better than these did. The construction felt flimsy. Also, Sharper Image has a bit of a "high image" here in the States, even though they are an over-glorified Radio Shack (and Radio Shack probably makes higher quality products... and Radio Shack sucks anyway)--long story short, I thought they attracted too much attention anyway. I took them back and demanded my money back.
Philips: HN110 Active Noise Cancelling
These were priced right at the top of what I wanted to pay and what I guess I could afford to give to some derranged crack head with a shank and a mouth full of missing teeth demanding I hand over my AM/FM radio. Anyway, I intially thought the noise cancellation part wasn't as good as the Sharper Image headphones but I think it might actually be better thanks to the fact that these seem to have a better construction and the natural noise cancellation the earcups provide probably enhance things. The sound quality is not bad either. It's obviously not as good as my Grado headphones, the soundstage is as flat as Oklahoma, but the sound is defined enough to keep me sane on a morning bus ride over the lake. Also, since they are Philips I don't think people will pay much attention to them. I still need to test them in action and I probably wont be flying again until May but so far they seem ok.
Does anybody else know of good noise-cancelling headphones at or under $50?