Noise cancelling headphones

BlueMihai

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Feb 11, 2015
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Hey, I live in a very loud enviroment, in a building with not so thick walls, and our neighbours and my family are both VERY VERY loud. Worst thing is that the children who aren´t yet even toddlers wake up at 5-6 am and after they have woken up it is impossible to sleep.
I´m looking for headphones with as good noice-cancelling as possible, and the usage would be both listening to music and gaming, there is no need for a mic since I have spare mics. So the features I am looking for are..
-Noise Cancelling
-Good for music
-Good for gaming
-I´m on a budget so cheaper is nicer.
-Should also be over ear, and preferrably have replaceable ear pads.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
active noise cancelling headphones tend to distort sound (this is how they achieve the effect) and though some people seem to like it i find they sound strange.

my personal recommendation would be to get a pair of closed headphones which muffle outside noise in a passive way without distorting sound.

IEM's (the deep in ear style) will also have pretty crazy noise isolation properties (sometimes even better than closed cans!) but not everyone like in-ears and due to your preferences i dont think this is an option.

the dt770 are certainly nice for your needs but not exactly "cheap". good clarity, decent isolation, decent soundstage for closed cans.

the hd280 are fairly noise isolating for the money but also not all that stellar for gaming at all.

the m50s (which i own myself) are decently noise isolating with good clarity and quality for the money but due to small soundstage are not ideal for gaming.

.....i cant say anything about active cancelling models as i personally dont care for the sound they give which sound fake to me. i know the bose cans have it (though bose is overrated quite a bit) so if you're looking for active NC perhaps someone else can chime in.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
active noise cancelling headphones tend to distort sound (this is how they achieve the effect) and though some people seem to like it i find they sound strange.

my personal recommendation would be to get a pair of closed headphones which muffle outside noise in a passive way without distorting sound.

IEM's (the deep in ear style) will also have pretty crazy noise isolation properties (sometimes even better than closed cans!) but not everyone like in-ears and due to your preferences i dont think this is an option.

the dt770 are certainly nice for your needs but not exactly "cheap". good clarity, decent isolation, decent soundstage for closed cans.

the hd280 are fairly noise isolating for the money but also not all that stellar for gaming at all.

the m50s (which i own myself) are decently noise isolating with good clarity and quality for the money but due to small soundstage are not ideal for gaming.

.....i cant say anything about active cancelling models as i personally dont care for the sound they give which sound fake to me. i know the bose cans have it (though bose is overrated quite a bit) so if you're looking for active NC perhaps someone else can chime in.
 

BlueMihai

Estimable
Feb 11, 2015
22
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I myself do not even know what I am looking for, just something that I can use as sound blockers and help myself sleep, and being able to use the same headset for gaming would be nice. 100€ to 200€ is the ideal range.

EDIT: I checked the price for DT-770 In my country and its like 140€ which is within my price range, so those headphones are good? Or is there anything like a next step to those headphones that are worth considering?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
generally "open" style headphones are considered ideal for gaming since they have large soundstages. however, in your case you really need to go with "closed" due to your noise issue.

the dt770 has good isolation for over-ear headphones (a bit more than the m50 has). suprisingly for a closed can it has a fairly decent soundstage (not as good as open cans but good for a closed can). quality is a step above the m50, as is comfort.

now, it is available in 3 flavors. 32ohm, 80ohm, 250ohm. the 32 is easiest to power (can use with onboard sound fine). the 80 has the most bass but you may want a soundcard (xonar DG i'd say will be great for cheap if you dont have one). the 250 has the best quality though needs a substantial amp to sound the best.

there are better options but when you consider that many of them need amplifiers and other equipment to sound their best i'm not sure if they would be in budget. the 770 is a solid choice for your budget though.

my personal suggestion would be the xonar dg (or a cheap fiio amp if you can get them) paired with the dt770pro-80. if you dont want a soundcard i'd get the 32ohm instead.
 

BlueMihai

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Feb 11, 2015
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Oh ok, you have been very very helpful so far thank you very much. I´m trying to do some googling but It´s hard without knowing nearly anything about audio stuff :D. Anyhow, I managed to find out that there seem to be "portable" amps that could be used for laptops and even phones, what would be good amps in that section, the 250 ohm and 80 ohm versions are the same price so that is not important.
In short: Good enough portable amps for either the 80 ohm and 250 ohm version and which one should I go with?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
the fiio e11 or e12 should be able to power the 80ohm version fine. they might even power the 250ohm version.

if you are going to be using them primarily on a desktop though i'd get a soundcard. if you will always be using them on a laptop with access to electricity i'd get a non-portable amp instead (e10k) instead of the portable models.

the schiit magni amp is a stellar choice and can power them no problem, but its also expensive and will blow your budget which is why i didnt recommend it.

...i think the 80ohm will be easier to power on the cheap. the 250 may take a little more. the 80 will be bassier while the 250 will have a little more quality/detail.
 

BlueMihai

Estimable
Feb 11, 2015
22
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Alright
I will probably be going with the 250 ohm version if that is not insane.
I am hoping to be using the headphones on my laptop (and even on my phone, altough I don´t know if its even possible :D ) and on my future desktop pc. so is the e12 best choice or should I look for something else, I am also interested in buying the amp used, since I don´t think there would be any harm in doing that. Any advice?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i know the fiio e11 or e12 will power the 80ohm version fine. i've read that some users are using the fiio 12 with the 250ohm though so i'll say its probably fine.

sure, you can use it with your laptop and phone.

if you can get a good deal on the amp (a significant reduction off new price) and it is still in very good condition sure. as long as its in perfect working condition i dont see a problem with it.

some people even buy headphones used though thats not something i'd do myself.
 

BlueMihai

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Feb 11, 2015
22
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Yea I have been looking into buying the headphones used as well, and that is probably what I will do, but I will definitely NOT use the same earpads, it would probably be allright, but it grosses me out.
Trying to do some studying on the amps because there are a lot of different portable ones there too. There are significantly less amps on sites like ebay that I had suspected
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
the pads on the dt770 are replaceable.

keep in mind that your choice of pads can also affect sound.

velour tend to have less bass but sound more open. they are soft but over time may become a little nasty with sweat.
leather/pleather tend to have more bass but close off the soundstage a bit. they do get hard from sweat over time but are easier to clean.

the dt770 comes with velour pads so i would replace it with the same type.

edit: i've heard velours leak sound more... so pleather/leather may give slightly more isolation though i'm not sure you will want the soundstage hit since you are playing games (the dt770 with velour pads as-is already has decent isolation with velour pads)
 

BlueMihai

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Feb 11, 2015
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Going to get the velour pads, I think they will be enough. Also I found out that used Fiio E11K´s are pretty cheap and according to some people are able to support headphones upto 300 Ohms well enough so that is probably going to be the amp I´ll be getting :D. Thank you you have been insanely helpful, also this is the only time that I haven´t seen tons of people jump on a thread, but you alone have been more than enough. Thanks again ^^
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i'm thinking the e12 has a more powerful amp. the original e11 may even have a stronger amp than the e11k (the e11k is cheaper than even the original e11). just my thoughts, you may want to research it.

keep in mind the ohm rating is not the only thing to consider. also to consider is how hard the headphones are to drive (sensitivity).

for a good read, check out head-fi and posts on there about portable amps for the dt770-250
 

BlueMihai

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Feb 11, 2015
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Ok I have been looking alot on the forums, but the thing is the text is usually pretty hard for me to understand, since I am a noob when it comes to audio terms. Also all the info is spinning in my head :D. Sooo this is kinda like making me go back a step or two, I hope I´m not troubling you with all these questions :D.
So My budget has been raised to 200€ (and if needed it can go over by a little, but just a little)
So what should I go with? I´m going to use the headphones on my phone, laptop and future desktop PC. Going to play games, main thing I want is immersion from the surround sound so would the 80 ohm version be sufficient for that?
Or should I perhaps be looking for some else headphones that would work for me?
Also I´v seen these "DAC"´s on some amplifiers, do I need one to be able to game?

In short: 200€ total .phone-laptop-desktop,gaming,sound isolation.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
you mention surround sound.

do realize that ALL hifi headphones are stereo only. okay. what you may not realize is that about 90% of gaming surround sound headsets are actually stereo headphones too. what they do to achieve "surround sound" is faking it through software/hardware on the circuit boards (soundcard) inside the headset. very few headsets are actually "true" surround sound.

this is known as virtual surround sound. i doubt that your laptop has it built in (not many do) though some desktop motherboards do. the simplest way to add support for virtual is to use a soundcard which has this function built in. if we were talking desktop pcs only i'd say a xonar dg would do this for very cheap ($27) but that doesnt help your laptop. something like the external creative omni 5.1 or x-fi 5.1 are external (though a bit more expensive) and would work both on laptop and desktop (x-fi would be better choice for using with amp since it has a line out jack).

there is also free razer software you can use to get virtual surround without having a soundcard with it built in however it is only so-so in terms of how good it is and it can be a bit buggy when trying to get it to work correctly.

now, since you wanted harder to drive headphones i'd still say you would want an amp as well if you went with the 250ohm cans. i dont think an external soundcard would drive them well so an amp would be best. they might drive the 80ohm version fine though.

--

generally this:

if you dont care about virtual surround sound: just get an amp like the e11 or e12.
similarly, the models with a dac can be used but you also give up virtual surround sound (since they act as a soundcard without such support)

if you wanted surround sound on your desktop pc but can live without it on your laptop then you can just use an amp on your laptop then hook the amp up to a cheap onboard soundcard (or buy a motherboard with virtual surround support integrated onto it).

if you wanted an option to give you virtual on both devices, you can use an external soundcard to do this.

if you went with the 80 not the 250 you may be able to get away with just an external soundcard to power them. as for your phone, you may be able to get away with a cheaper amp than the e11/e12.

--

as i stated: the 80ohm version is going to be the bassier version but is a bit easier to drive. the 250ohm is going to be somewhat less bassy but also smoother with a slight increase in sound quality but also harder to drive.

now, closed headphones are not as recommended as open headphones for gaming as i said before (typically smaller soundstage) however your requirements dictate that it is mandatory for this due to you needing isolation. for the price the dt770 does muffle quite a bit of outside noise and for being a closed can it does have a fair soundstage. for someone looking for both a fair soundstage and sound isolation it is a good choice.
 

BlueMihai

Estimable
Feb 11, 2015
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I knew they were stereo, and that the surround will be faked, and I´m 100% fine with that. I can live without having surround sound on my laptop and phone no problem.
The 250 seems like the better version for me, and if I understood correctly forums say that the "FiiO Kunlun E18 Portable USB DAC and Headphone Amp" should be fine. But will I be able to / will I need to use it when I get a soundcard for my future PC?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
the 18 is specifically made for android phones. with that said, it is not compatible with most android devices without a very particular app being installed. i am also not sure if it would work via usb connected to a pc or not. review http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-e18-kunlun-android-phone-usb-dac-amp

now, if you were completely okay with using the special app (not sure how reliable it is or if it works well, you'd need to research) and are okay with only using it as an amplifier for your laptop not as a dac (which seems kind of a waste for the money spent) then sure it would work since it does have a 3.5mm input for audio.

honestly though i think the e11 or e12 would be a better budgetary choice. your call completely though.
 

BlueMihai

Estimable
Feb 11, 2015
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Yea well I am going to get the E18 for cheaper than I would be able to get the E11 or E12 but since the quality is not worse, I think :D. The app does not concern me, damnit, why is all of this equipment so, how should I put it? It´s like they are trying to push new people away from their products :D
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
the e18 is likely a better product than the e11 and e12 so if you can get it for cheaper then go for it. it should work.

the app is likely required since most cellphones are coded to outputting all audio out of either the internal speakers or headphone jack. the software is likely needed in order to route this out of the usb jack so really can not be avoided.
 

BlueMihai

Estimable
Feb 11, 2015
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Ok thanks alot for everything, btw I´ll be getting the E18 for 75€ which is a steal when I compare it to other prices that are near 160€.

EDIT : So is the E18 Good enough? I´m still confused :<
EDIT#2: Good enough for the DT-770 250 Version?
 

BlueMihai

Estimable
Feb 11, 2015
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"FiiO strikes again launching E18 – a DAC and headphone amplifier for PC/MAC and for Android devices." I think it´ll work for PC :> "
 
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