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Old 24th Mar 2006, 12:18   #1
WilHarris
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Noise cancelling headphones test

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/200...dphones/1.html

You guys slated us for our last headphone review, hopefully you'll feel this is a bit better!
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 12:29   #2
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Shame none of those actually have a microphone.
Plus the fact that Sony generally always have poor audio quality anyway imo from the beginning it was obvious which set would win, and they did.

Shame they are so unrealistically priced though
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 12:33   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BioSniper
Shame none of those actually have a microphone.
Ditto I think they are losing out on alot in the gaming sector for doing this because when im looking for headphones mic is a requirement
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 13:53   #4
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I'd love to know how your three pairs of headphones compare with my Bose Quiet Comfort 2 headphones. In my opinion mine look nicer and feel more comfortable than any other set of headphones I've seen/worn but I don't know how the noise cancelling would compare. I find that they do make a significant difference on the plane or train but feel it's not perfect and feels more of a gimmick than anything else.

However the Bose headphones cost a rediculous £170 which although I didn't pay for them is a little extravegent for a pair of listening devices in my opinion. Anyway if the bit-tech team get their hands on a pair I'd love to hear their opinion!
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 14:26   #5
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any of them good in really noisy enviroemts, i work in a sheet metal factory and often have my music on which gets drowned by all of the machines so have to put em up load, might look into testing a pair see if there any good. £50 aint bad.

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Old 24th Mar 2006, 14:29   #6
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I often find that it's just as good to have well-fitting earbuds instead.

I would like to know whether it's possible to get the sound cancelling piece separately (so you can use your own 'phones).
EDIT: The Sennheisers look a bit like they could/should have been made that way... http://www.bit-tech.net/content_imag...phones/se5.jpg

(PS - the price link for those doesn't appear to work)
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 14:41   #7
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I would have liked to see some of the cheaper inner ear monitors tested in comparison, as although they work in a totally different way, they produce the same effect.
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 16:30   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BioSniper
Shame none of those actually have a microphone.
Plus the fact that Sony generally always have poor audio quality anyway imo from the beginning it was obvious which set would win, and they did.

Shame they are so unrealistically priced though
The Sony V-xxx series are terrible but other Sony headphones (bar the cheap throw away ones) tend to be pretty good SQ wise.

Now out come the knives a bit I'm afraid. It's for your own good etc. First off this was a lot better than last time and the structure was intresting and quite a clever way of doing it. However one or two suggestions for improvements. You mention the Sony having the lowest impedance but what is it? For those who have somewhat crippled headphone outs say 5mwpc, even a load of 32 ohms could be a struggle. Secondly for your frequency response figures did you test them yourselves. If not did the manucfacturers provide you with a tolerance firgure (+ or - xdb)? If not those figures are fairly worthless as the range they claim could be so rolled off at the top or bottom end. What file formats were you using. You mention 192khz mp3 and artifiacting so I presume you went onto CD Audio or FLAC to give them a proper working over?

The reviews with music were informative and my only suggestion is either make them a bit longer or expand the sound quality section in the conclusion. Within them what was there was good I just felt more could have been said to get a better picture.

Overall though a heck of a lot better though I would have to disagree with your conclusions somewhat. I have heard both the Sony's and the Sennheisers. The Sonys somewhat muddy, a bit boomy in the bass and the background hiss was pretty annoying. The Sennheisers were quite a bit better but they sounded somewhat veiled to me and didn't really have the quality I'd expect from a £70 pair of headphones. I've also had a go with the Bose. They were very comfortable, and prettyish. Sadly the sound was very rolled off at either end and if the Sennheisers were veiled the Bose's were sitting behind a wall. The problem for someone like me is you'll always be paying quite a bit extra for the Noise cancelling so you'll never get great sound qaulity for the price. At the low end like this, most of the money is going on the NC unit. I'd have liked to have seen them compared to low end IEMs and/or canal phones mentioned abouve such as the Sennheiser CX300 and the Eymotic ER-6i as to me they are much better solution.
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 17:13   #9
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Personally, I have a pair of Sennheiser HD580's for Audiophile work, and some of the m@b 60's for gaming.

But if you want to go all out, look into these:
http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser...nsf/root/04566
or these: http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser...sf/root/500561

I know, they're pilot's headsets, but it does go to show just how broad Sennheiser's range is.

[edit] Oh, and look! They've actually got a range of headsets for gamers!

http://www.oticon.com/eprise/main/Se...T05_Pro-Gaming

It's under the "Sennheiser Communications" website, but it's them allright.
[/edit]
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Last edited by Anakha; 24th Mar 2006 at 17:17. Reason: Adding details of Sennheiser's "Pro Gaming" headsets
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 17:40   #10
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i have the Sennheiser HD565 for and i enjoy them more than the Bose quite comfort set i have at work. The bose do kill all background nosie but do not have the bass the Sennheiser have. I really don't notice the noise cancelation that much with the bose comapared to the sennheiser that doen't have it. This was compared at work were i work around servers and their loud fans
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 23:20   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TehArticle
Technically, these ought to sound better than the Sonys, with a larger response width, although the impedence is fully a third higher, meaning they will take more power to drive, draining your battery life.
Um... if the impedance is higher, they'll take less power to drive. The sensitivity of the headphones is more important than the impedance anyways.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TehArticle
Tiny microphones sample outside noise and an on-board DSP calculates an inverse waveform - anti-noise - which is then emitted inside the headphones, cancelling out the unwanted background noise.
Whoa. Market-speak anyone? I can pretty much guarantee these things do NOT have anything like a DSP onboard, let alone do anything digitally. All it takes to invert an electrical signal, creating the so called "anti-noise" is a $.60 cent opamp nd two $.1 cent resistors. No "Calculation" required.

I still cannot figure out why headphones like that are so expensive.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 01:07   #12
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In my oppinion this is all about personal issues.

I like my old Sennheiser HD20 the most. They do anything I want. They provide good outer noise-cancelling and a very good sound without beeing "active" and also they fit like a glove.

If you want to have a good sound, the headphones has to be huge. Those little ones can not compare! The noise-cancelling is all about a good shielding and not about some batteries.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 02:13   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfe
Um... if the impedance is higher, they'll take less power to drive. The sensitivity of the headphones is more important than the impedance anyways.
Well, the higher the impedence, the higher the voltage needed to drive them. The lower the impedence, the higher the current. Just making a distinction since you only said "power." And you're spot on about sensitivity - that's what matters most as far as "drivability."
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 03:24   #14
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Not sure I like the idea of having to carry around the battery pack!

After spending £xxx on a nano for it's small size, having to carry a battery pack defeats the object a little
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 09:07   #15
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dont Sennheiser have a slightly cheaper set of noise canceling headphones the Sennheiser PXC 150. think they are about the same price as the sony ones, would have liked to see how they compared and if the extra 20-30 quid would be worth it.
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