Best IEM Noise Cancelling Headset

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by UnknownSouljer, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. UnknownSouljer

    UnknownSouljer [H]ardness Supreme

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    I already posted this in the Phone subforum, but got no responses. Locked it and now posting it here...

    Budget is preferably =/< $40.

    Yes I want them to be IEM. Yes I want a mic. Yes I want noise cancelling and not just noise isolation. This is for plane trips. Nothing annoys me more than when people make a request in a thread, and then people try to argue them out of what they want.

    So, I want those three specifications at that cost or less. USED IS AN OPTION. I don't care if they're used so long as I can get them by next Friday.

    Right now, I'm looking at various ones from AKG, Ultimate Ears (all used, as they stopped making their less expensive models after moving to Logitech), & Audio Technica.
     
  2. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    You want 300 bucks worth of features for 40 bucks. Good luck ;)
     
  3. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    They're out of your budget, but look at Etymotics.
     
  4. UnknownSouljer

    UnknownSouljer [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is entirely inaccurate. Only top of the market headphones with Noise Cancellation cost this much. Yes, Bose Quiet Comfort 25's that are arguably the best in terms of noise cancellation are that price, but that is hardly representative of the entire field.

    Audio-Technica as an example has a headphone for $45 that has active noise cancelling: Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphones
    The issue there is it doesn't have a microphone. But obviously adding a microphone doesn't cost $260 as you suggest. This was the first pair of headphones that I stumbled on, which let me know that it is MORE than possible to meet my set of requirements.


    Thanks. I did check out some, but as you state, I couldn't get what I was looking for. Or within my budget restraints.


    But just to sort of "end the thread" and let people know what I did as a solution: I picked up some Polk Audio 6000i's. They meet all my requirements. Active Noise Cancellation, IEM, Microphone. I got them used/returned (like new condition) from Amazon Warehouse for $46 and some change. Which is yes, slightly over my budget but more than acceptable.
    They aren't perfect headphones, I knew that going in though. I throughly research what I buy, so I wanted to make sure that these would be able to do what I want them to do. There is a flaw with the battery door falling off and getting lost (easily rectified with a rubber band or tape, neither of which is elegant, but once again price to performance here...), they have no passive mode (which means if the battery runs out on the headphones, no sound goes through), and it has an all but useless clip for the battery/mic box. There are of course questions of durability, but I intend to take good care of them and primarily use them on airplanes.

    And getting back that price versus performance discussion, I sincerely don't think there is anything within this price range that I could've purchased that would do better. None of the flaws mentioned above are that big a deal when considering the price I purchased them at. The sound is really excellent, full stop, regardless of price (I've had MarkL modified Denon D5000's and currently have: AKG A900's, and Sennheiser HD 380's.). Polk did a good job there (no surprise, they've been designing audio for a long time). The noise cancellation works reasonably well. And they seal up (in the ear) nicely. They come with a full range of comply tips as well as standard rubber ones.

    So long story short: mission accomplished. But I think I could've cut right to the chase if more people used/wanted noise cancellation. It probably took me all the time between my OP and this post to research and figure out what the best solution was, as well as shop Amazon, CL, and eBay for deals. But I guess I'm the sort to do that anyway. If anyone has questions about the Polk's or wants a review after I've taken them on my flights next week: I'd be happy to do so. If not, then whatever.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  5. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    But it doesn't have all the other features he wanted. If you disagree, I'd like to buy a Ferrari Enzo for 5000 bucks. Pointers are welcome.
     
  6. UnknownSouljer

    UnknownSouljer [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm the OP. Did you even read my entire reply? I found a set that matches my entire set of requirements. For only slightly more than my stated budget, and for much less than what you stated I would need in order to meet my requirements.
    Being sarcastic doesn't add to the conversation at all. Because my requirements weren't: "how do I buy a $300 item for $50?" It was: "how can I find something with these requirements that meets this budget?" Or to use your car analogy it wasn't: "How can I buy an Enzo for $5k?" It was: "where can I get a 420HP car for $40k, used is acceptable".

    There is a big difference there. I had a set of requirements that needed to be fulfilled, not that I wanted a specific set at a specific price.
     
  7. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    I guess it depends on the point of view. I wouldn't even consider anything but Bose for noise canceling headphones IEM or not. If you're happy with the Polk Audio then that's great.

    I have owned a pair of those Audio-Technicas for example and they were just subpar.
     
  8. UnknownSouljer

    UnknownSouljer [H]ardness Supreme

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    I've formulated in my head multiple ways to respond to this, from annoyance and frustration to things of my better nature.

    And in the interest in making the boards better I want to be as diplomatic with my response as possible.
    That said, from my perspective and to use your car analogy our conversation has gone something like this (not verbatim or literally, but easily interpreted as):

    "Hey, I need to buy a family Sedan to get my kids and wife around."
    "Well in that case I'd recommend the BMW M5."
    "I only have about $13k to spend. I can't really afford that. After doing some research I was looking at maybe a 4 door Honda Civic or a Corolla."
    "I've driven both of those cars, and they're sub-par. The only way to go in this situation is an M5. I wouldn't consider anything else. If you're happy with a Corolla, good for you."

    Which leads me to my point: optimally there is only one choice for everything. If everyone had infinite money then yeah, we'd all buy the best. That isn't reality. I don't have infinite money. I have budgets and those are my constraints. So does everyone on this board. Otherwise we'd all spend $20k on our gaming machines with multiple Titans and 4k surround displays.
    If you're going to reply: reply to the requests of the people making the OPs. It was obvious that I knew that the Bose's existed from the beginning. If I was going to go that route, I could've just pulled the trigger and avoided this discussion in the first place. But you'd have to be daft to think a $30-$50 budget is even close to a $250-$350 one.
    I posted here for help to understand other places in the market. To get help with a more budget minded product. At some point maybe I'll have the funds to upgrade. But that time isn't now. My trip is on Wednesday.

    ===

    I couldn't "consider" the Bose, because the Bose were outside of what I had to spend. I urge you in your responses to other people on this board to consider the realities of their situations in a friendly and amicable manner. I've been on these boards a long time. And I want the quality of its advice to be top notch. So, if you would, please don't take this as an attack, but rather an exhortation to do better so that the quality of our help can go up.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  9. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Tthat's why I said you want 300 bucks worth of features for 45 bucks. If you can't buy the Bose you're better off with a noise isolating, not canceling. You get better bang for your buck.
     
  10. HeavensCloud

    HeavensCloud Oswego, not shitty as Buffalo

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    Amazon has the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC33iS for $24.39 + $4.59 shipping under the "Used - Like new" section if you need a backup pair of iems. Usually those are just open box.
     
  11. UnknownSouljer

    UnknownSouljer [H]ardness Supreme

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    Firstly, you didn't suggest that until now. Far after the fact.
    Secondly respect the OP. I posted as succinctly and clearly what I wanted. I stated it had to contain those three things and to not bother with replying if you couldn't meet them.
    Third: Isolation is due far more to the type of tips used on IEMs than any other factor. ANY set of IEMs therefore can have good isolation... it's called Comply Foam tips. Suggesting isolation for people who know about IEMs is basically a non-answer as virtually all IEMs can swap tips.
    Fourth: expect that your OP has intelligence and knows what they want. Don't demean them by stating you know better or that your opinion makes more sense. Because ultimately it's not you that has the requirements. It's the person asking that does. What they want is often different than what you want.


    I might've gone with that option had I known about it. But it's rated so-so. Still cost wise it's definitely got bang for the buck. My big issue right now with the Polk's (which is more just an annoyance) is the position of the box and the clip on the box. Unfortunately I think the Audio-Technica's suffer the same issue.
     
  12. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    So when someone posts another 'I want to have my cake and eat it too' question I'll just skip it. Thanks.