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Topic # 157571 5-Dec-2014 07:22
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Well I have decided that I need to spend some coin on a replacement set of headphones for my Beats Solo.

They have been better than my old Philips units, but I really want active noise cancelling for travel and blocking out my Mrs. :P

In a headphone thread it seems these are considered by many to be the best of the active noise cancelling headphones.

I plan on seeing if I can try them out at Paul Money but I also want to see who else has these and their opinion.

$500 on a pair of headphones is borderline insanity for me so I want to make sure I am doing the right thing as well.

I know that I should take my devices to try them out, I will use them with my laptop, Ipad and Iphone and sometimes through my pocket amplifier so I plan on taking them with me.

What else should I do or look out for?

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TLD

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  Reply # 1189171 5-Dec-2014 10:02
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I us Amazon to garner opinions when possible, because you tend to get a large number of reviews from people who have actually bought and used the kit you are interested in.

This thread gives them an average four stars from 43 customer reviews:

http://www.amazon.com/PSB-Active-Cancelling-Headphones-featuring/dp/B007TTD7VO

ISTM that noise cancelling headphones are going to be used for very long periods on flights, so comfort would be high on my list.   You are right about the cost — these do seem to be well into that esoteric area of diminishing returns.  I suspect I have spent close to that on ear buds though, as they never seem to last more than a year.  Ear buds are so much easier to carry and keep handy in an aircraft cabin though.




Trevor Dennis
Rapaura (near Blenheim)

TLD

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  Reply # 1189174 5-Dec-2014 10:05
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I've just noticed that you want to use them with your iPhone.  I find three pole mini jacks tend to lose a channel after a time, so I always use earbuds with the proper four pole jacks.  This gives you the huge advantage of having on/off and volume controls on the cord.




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  Reply # 1189195 5-Dec-2014 10:55
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Yes comfort is high on my list of requirements, this is the reason I am staying away from earbuds. The most comfortable ones I have used seem to be the apple ones, but even these after a few hours start to hurt. I definitely prefer over ear/ on ear to buds.

Thanks for the note on the jacks, I will look into this a little further.

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  Reply # 1189205 5-Dec-2014 11:08
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If comfort and noise cancelling rate high get the updated Bose QC15 (QC25, I think). They remain trumps for those qualities. If sound quality is really important then the Polk UltraFocus 8000 are worth a look, but they are less comfortable than the Bose by a fair margin. I had the Polk a while back, they can be had for some very sharp prices on Ebay at times. The ones you reference, from what I've read are kind of a mean of all things, without necessarily offering anything amazing in any area. Inner Fidelity had a pretty good ANC headphones round up a while back.




Twitter: @nztechfreak
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  Reply # 1189250 5-Dec-2014 11:55
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NZtechfreak: If comfort and noise cancelling rate high get the updated Bose QC15 (QC25, I think). They remain trumps for those qualities. If sound quality is really important then the Polk UltraFocus 8000 are worth a look, but they are less comfortable than the Bose by a fair margin. I had the Polk a while back, they can be had for some very sharp prices on Ebay at times. The ones you reference, from what I've read are kind of a mean of all things, without necessarily offering anything amazing in any area. Inner Fidelity had a pretty good ANC headphones round up a while back.


Thanks for the suggestion, I'll have a look at these as well.

I am not interested in purchasing from overseas, and when I find the ones I want I will be buying off the company I audition them at.

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  Reply # 1189257 5-Dec-2014 12:13
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Link to that ANC shootout I mentioned earlier.




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  Reply # 1189287 5-Dec-2014 12:50
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Any clues as to where to go to look at the Polk units?



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  Reply # 1189460 5-Dec-2014 16:09
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Ok so Mighty Ape have the Polk units for a pretty decent price, I figure i'll try the and if they don't suit me sell them on at get the PSB, which I actually really liked, i tried the Bose and they were super comfortable but i didn't feel the sound quality was as good as the PSB's.

Time will tell which i like best.

Btw only 2 pairs of the Polk at $120 off at mighty Ape.

TLD

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  Reply # 1189605 5-Dec-2014 21:08
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Judging from the Amazon user reviews, it does sound like the Bose have better noise cancelling, and that the Polk are a tight fit on a big head.  That is probably fair comment.  I have an XXL hat size, and the Sennheiser 280 Pro, I use for monitoring when shooting video,  came wit a similar warning from user reviews, and they definitely start to feel like your head is in a vice after an hour or so.  But life is full of compromises, and it sounds like you will not to put noise cancelling at the top of your list.

BTW  You mentioned the Apple ear buds, but aren't they the little round speakers that fit in your outer ear?  I would only consider in-ear buds, and it is important to use the correct size bud for both comfort, and keeping out extraneous noise.  I wear them for a good part of every day listening to audio books.  I've been through a few sets over the years, usually losing a channel through wear and tear.  I've had two high end Sony (can't remember the model number), but I've homed in on Sennheiser MM30i.  Not only do they sound great, but the cable strain relief is better than the Sonys.  I've caught the cable on door knobs when walking past, a couple of times now, and they survived.  In fact I've had these longer than any previous buds.  If you have not used four pole head phones with your iPone iPod etc. before, you'd love the ability to start stop, and adjust volume from the switch on the cable.

http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-MM-30i-MM30i-Headphones/dp/B004HD4L2E/ref=cm_cd_ql_qh_dp_t#customerReviews

Whatever you end up buying, be sure to post how you like them.




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  Reply # 1190316 8-Dec-2014 08:02
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I have tried the QC25 and the PSB's and the PSB's sounded so much better than the QC25 so I crossed the Bose units off my list straight away.

I have been reading some reviews on the Polk units, and some people say you can't use an amp, while others say you can by have to be careful not to over drive the headphones, which I thought would be the case regardless! Anyone able to comment on this? I usually use my Fiio E11 to give a little more grunt to my Beats solo (also use the EQ to remove some of the bass!

Hopefully the Polk's arrive tomorrow and I can spend the day playing with them.



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  Reply # 1191899 9-Dec-2014 06:49
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Ok, so the Polk Ultrafocus 8000 arrived to work yesterday, and I have to say, I ordered these from Mighty Ape at 4:10 on Friday and they dispatched them the same day, that is impressive, and others have posted similar stories on here, so if you can get an item from Mighty Ape then don't hesitate.

After carefully unpacking the headphones, and opening the Beats like box, with a couple of boxes in the box I was immediately impressed with the carry case that has a hook to attach to your bag, which is good as it is quite big.

Had a quick look at the instructions to work out where the batteries go and was away.

I first used them with my Iphone, the controls are a little hard to use at first as they take some force to press, but it isn't too bad as they are comfortable to get to. My initial impression of their performance was that they were OK, sound was clear and all in the right proportions. The noise cancelling when the music is quite was OK however it seemed to amplify the keyboard clicks! with music on worked well, I will try the mute button, which is supposed to amplify the outside world a bit, the boss may think I am rude for not removing the headphones, but if I tell her it is in the name of Geekdom she should be OK!

Anyway now to the point where the Wow happens, I connected to my Fiio E11 amp and the sound is f#$king epic! I mean the snare drum sends shivers down my spine, the bass without being overpowering and "bassy" is clear and punchy. I have only tested these on Elton John, as that is what is on my current play list, later on I'll rock some Metallica, Bowie, Greenday and Cat Stevens and post my thoughts. I'll also do a full review with my unboxing photos.

Needless to say I don't think I'll be selling these to get the PSB's!



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  Reply # 1192547 10-Dec-2014 06:45
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So day 2, and I only got a few hours of listening in before having to rush out to an urgent onsite meeting yesterday.

I have just put Cat Stevens - Father and Son on and the vocals are chilling! the depth and clarity are just amazing, I am not really a sound geek, but I could easily close my eyes and get lost in the music with these headphones, I never imagines that a set of headphones could make such a difference in the experience. I just want to listen to more and more music, of all types.

Time for some more Elton maybe start with Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, Don't Go breaking my heart and we'll see where the shuffle takes us.

I do wonder if the experience with the PSB's would be as rich and colourful, I guess I'll never really know!

TLD

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  Reply # 1193763 10-Dec-2014 11:25
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It's great to see how pleased you are with your purchase.  smile  I suspect those earphones would be wasted on me as a retired engineer, my hearing cuts off above 7Khz according to this test and a wee bit lower than that in my left ear.  (you have to use earphones for the test)  I'd be interested how high up the frequency range you can hear?

BTW  We all enthuse about new toys when we've been uber impressed, but I am reminded of a workmate, who when talking about some new speakers said, 'You can hear the treble bursting to get out!'.   He was never allowed to forget that after years of piss-taking from his colleagues, but we liked to think of such jibes as character building.




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  Reply # 1195372 11-Dec-2014 06:40
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Wow, only 7Khz mine was a little over 15Khz.

I leant the headphones to a work mate yesterday afternoon, he had a pair of $80 USB ones and asked me why I needed an up to $500 pair.

He knows now, the difference is chalk and cheese!

I now only have my Beats for the morning and they are.... inadequate!

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