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  1. #1

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    Default Help me not choose Bose

    I am in the market for a good set of over the ear noise canceling headphones in the 300 - 400 range. They will be mainly for business travel (international flights and hotel room listening). I know Bose QC15 are the leader in the noise cancelling department but i am willing to compromise in that area for superior sound quality.

    Any suggestions?
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  2. #2

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    Do not know aboutnoise canceling but my money would be on a pair of used hifiman he 400 for around $325

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    Quote Originally Posted by polkfarmboy View Post
    Do not know aboutnoise canceling but my money would be on a pair of used hifiman he 400 for around $325
    Everyone sitting around you on a plane would hear.

    You're looking for a closed back headphone. Just. Not Bose or Beats.
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  4. #4

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    The HiFiman looks like a good product but i agree with Nightall that it would not ge good for planes.

    Any other experience / suggestions?
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  6. #6

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    Closed back, not Bose...hrm I've been down this road, when I bought my Sony MDR1R's...Bose sounded like to be blunt, crap to me. to be honest, sounded kinda like um tin. Anyways, if ya got a Sony store nearby, go take a listen to the MDR1R...and any of it's variant and yeah there is a noise cancelling version, which to me, didn't sound nearly as good as the standard MDR1R.
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  7. #7

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    How about PSB?
    Good quality, good sound and noise cancelling.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8

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    Have you checked out the Polk Ultrafocus 8000? One of the most highly reviewed noise canceling headphones out there.

    $299

    http://www.polkaudio.com/products/ultrafocus8000



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    "Painstakingly designed, supremely well-built and delivering a truly high-end audio experience, the Polk UltraFocus 8000 headphones are a worthy new addition to the product line of one of the most well-regarded names in home theater speakers, packing up the great sound we expect and enabling us to bring it anywhere."
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    "The Polk Audio UltraFocus 8000 headphones are the best over-the-ear headphone I have used or reviewed, regardless of what I was playing through them. I tested them with music, gaming and video playback and I cannot stress enough that the level of performance was superior to anything I have ever put on my ears before. Score: 9.8 out of 10."
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  9. #9

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    If you're going on a plane, get the bose you do not want sub par noise canceling and that sadly is the one thing bose does do well. My qc15 are comfortable and block sound very well. Music reproduction, well it's a bose after all(buy good ear buds?).

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    http://www.head-fi.org/t/598917/nois...-and-ath-anc7b

    Many posts from our equivalent of an audiophile here except for headphones saying "over rated". Give it a read, decide for yourself.
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  11. #11

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    Have you ever held a pair of qc15? Not well built. If you buy them, keep them in a glass case.

  12. #12

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    Polk, PSB, Senn, and others are all in this range. The only reason to buy Bose is if you are a white collar
    guy who just goes with the flow. Same thing with Beats, 12-21 years old and wear a backwards ball cap.
    Lots of good choices. And yes, NC may not be all that important. Some do allow for the option
    of tuning it on or off.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by D2Lo View Post
    Have you ever held a pair of qc15? Not well built. If you buy them, keep them in a glass case.
    I have gone through three or for pair of qc15, but I use them every day.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by sucks2beme View Post
    Polk, PSB, Senn, and others are all in this range. The only reason to buy Bose is if you are a white collar
    guy who just goes with the flow. Same thing with Beats, 12-21 years old and wear a backwards ball cap.
    Lots of good choices. And yes, NC may not be all that important. Some do allow for the option
    of tuning it on or off.
    When you are on an 8-12 hour fight how long do you want to listen to constant music. NC is very important.
    I have a pair of Senn as well but they are not comfortable for long periods of time would not recommend them( I do like the build quality on them better then the bose as well as the sound reproduction).

  15. #15

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    I don't fly as much as you do. I make a dozen RT flights a year or so, but it will be hard to beat Bose for noise canceling.

    I have tried IEM's on flights, while they have superior sound they just don't block enough noise for me to really enjoy the music. The next thing I tried was Audio-Technica ANC 7b's. They are excellent for noise canceling but the sound was inferior. I really couldn't enjoy the music and was relegated to audio books and whatever movie was playing with these.

    My current headphone for flying is UE 6000's. They are comfortable. I have worn them for 6 hours with no issues. They have great sound and decent noise cancelling. They aren't as good as the Bose, for noise canceling but they sound far better. They also have the next model up, they UE 9000's that offer Bluetooth and are supposed to sound better than the 6000's. I have heard the Sennheiser 450 X and I like the sound out of the 6000's better. Have you tried the 550 X's? They look like they are over the ear instead of on ear and might be more comfortable.

    Since you are going through numerous pairs of QC15's, I'd say give the 9000's a whirl and see if you like them. If not return them within 30 days if they don't work for you.

    Hope that helps,
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    I fly pretty much 2-3 times a month. Minimum 5-6 hour flight (coast to coast US) maximum 13-15 hours (West Coast to China). Now I use the Ultra Focus 8000s on long flights and the Polk Nue Era on shorter flights, working out, bus/train, and walking around, Polk Buckle at my desk.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by D2Lo View Post
    I fly pretty much 2-3 times a month. Minimum 5-6 hour flight (coast to coast US) maximum 13-15 hours (West Coast to China). Now I use the Ultra Focus 8000s on long flights and the Polk Nue Era on shorter flights, working out, bus/train, and walking around, Polk Buckle at my desk.
    Now I am interested, how are they holding up for you. I think i get about a year or almost two before the wanta be leather on the ear and head band wear out(bose qc15).

  18. #18

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    Before I bought my UltraFocus 8000, I did a lot of online research on reviews and comments. From all what I could find, the simple conclusion is if you prefer sound quality over NC then get UF 8000, if it's the other way then get Bose.

    Well, I don't have a Bose to compare. I do have a Ultrafocus 6000 which I have yet opened. Now I am interested to get it out this weekend and see how it compares to UF 8000.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by D2Lo View Post
    I fly pretty much 2-3 times a month. Minimum 5-6 hour flight (coast to coast US) maximum 13-15 hours (West Coast to China). Now I use the Ultra Focus 8000s on long flights and the Polk Nue Era on shorter flights, working out, bus/train, and walking around, Polk Buckle at my desk.
    The Polk UF 8000 weren't on my radar but they are now...thanks. Main use is international air travel and hotel use. From the reviews and your recommendation, it seems like SQ is way up there and NC is decent but not Bose quality. I value SQ more so these are on my short list. Only concern is weight and size. Do you find the weight to be fatiguing on long flights or the size to be problematic when storing in carryon bags?
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  20. #20

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    They are well build. Super solid. They are definitely a little larger than the Bose, which is great for making sure they are truly around ear headphones (better base response with a good around ear seal as well as NC)... flip side is they are larger. The carry case is good and makes them easier to slip into a backpack or other carry on.

    Full discloser, I work for Polk/Sound United, so I'm a very biased source, but they do rock.

    A little info on noise canceling. Essentially an array of microphones "listens" to the environment, does through a DSP chip (digital signal processing) and then emits a noise that is the inverse of the ambient surroundings to effectively "cancel" the environmental sounds. Fantastic right? Except for the fact that whatever you are listening to will by default fall into some of the range of the DSP is trying to cancel, effectively diminishing your audio. So, the better the noise canceling, the worst your music sounds. Bose pushed theirs to better noise canceling, we tried for a different balance, still effective noise canceling, but better sonic performance by ensuring typical music playback would not be cancelled.

    A little more info for your decision. Of course the best would be to try both and find your preference. unfortunately the competitor demo displays are pretty canned (you can't use your own music, and they simulate a specific white noise that does not interfere with their preselected tracks) ...

    as I said, I'm pretty biased ;-) but it is the Polk forum... but don't listen to me, take these guys' word for it:
    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/...ing-headphones
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413017,00.asp
    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-vgFM3Js...es-review.html
    http://reviews.cnet.com/headsets/pol...-35130591.html
    http://www.gamingnexus.com/Article/P.../Item3752.aspx
    http://www.digitaltrends.com/headpho...s-8000-review/

  21. #21

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    I have the psb m4u2. The sound quality is good on them but, the noise cancel part on a plane wasn't the best but, I could still hear the music good and clear but I still heard a lot of engine noise. They are also a bit on the heavy side.

    One thing I like about the psb besides the sound, if the battery dies, the headset still works! If I don't need the built in amp, or noise cancel part, I can use them as is. Some of the noise cancel headsets wont work unless you have a batter in them.

  22. #22

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    Have you also considered the AKG
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400202,00.asp

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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadabout View Post
    My current headphone for flying is UE 6000's. They are comfortable. I have worn them for 6 hours with no issues. They have great sound and decent noise cancelling. They aren't as good as the Bose, for noise canceling but they sound far better. They also have the next model up, they UE 9000's that offer Bluetooth and are supposed to sound better than the 6000's. I have heard the Sennheiser 450 X and I like the sound out of the 6000's better. Have you tried the 550 X's? They look like they are over the ear instead of on ear and might be more comfortable.
    Another vote for the UE6000's: I've had them for a couple months now and have flown with them 3 times. They sound great on/off the plane and double as a great phone headset. I didn't get the 9000's because it wasn't worth the $$ to not use BT on the plane (no RF allowed).
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  25. #25
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    Sorry, but I do like the Bose QC headphones for travel; it's the only Bose product I do like.

    I fly and travel with my Klipsch X10i IEM, and when coupled with Comply foam tips, they have an ear-plug like seal to the outside world.

  26. #26

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    I will have to say I was impressed with my klipsch s4 in ears this past trip to Denver. Even though they were not noise canceling they did a good job of muting the outside noise. I plan on getting a set of focals as I demoed them at Cedia and was very impressed.
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  27. #27

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    Quick update: I bought the Bose QC15. From what I red, the noise canceling is second to none. I am flying to Singapore this weekend on business so they will be put to the test. Report when I get back.
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  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadabout View Post
    I don't fly as much as you do. I make a dozen RT flights a year or so, but it will be hard to beat Bose for noise canceling.
    Good to know that they do something right. Not content to rest upon their laurels, they have applied their patented "no highs/no lows" technology to the entire sound spectrum and eliminated sound altogether!
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  29. #29

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    Good rec Keiko. For a little over 100 bucks, these AT's have served me well in my travels for work, as well my as day to day office usage. The NC functionality works well, as I literally can't hear my colleague who sits 3 feet behind me when I have music running through these guys.

    My only complaint is that the ear pads start to fall apart after VERY heavy use (4-6 hours per day for 1.5 years), but they do have a good warranty program as well.
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  30. #30

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    Bose is just the NAME!!!! there are many others that are way better and cheaper than Bose.
    Make it simple...Make it better!

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