Headphone recommendations?


Only like 7 months late with a NC headphone note, but here it is: I prefer Sony’s NC tech to Bose, and I own the newest Bose and Sony sets. Sony is quite a bit better on the plane, vacuuming…well, for every case so far.

Barstein, sounds like they wouldn’t fit your use-case, but I have 5 different bluetooth headphones, and my Samsung Level-U (I think that’s the name) Pro ones have just become my default, to the point that they’re the only ones I use for calls. Mainly because I can wear them around my neck without them getting all tangled, as they have those magnetic ear buds that naturally clamp together when not in use. I can mostly wear them underneath my collared shirts without people taking notice.




I have used them both on international flights, vacuuming, and even while using a saw. Sony’s NC is noticeably better at adapting to the external environment and, I think more importantly, also cuts down the amount of sound that gets through. I can’t hear my vacuums with the Sony, but I still can hear the hum with the Bose.

Some people don’t like the feel of the Sony’s (the Bose are a bit lighter), but I way able to sleep on an airplane for 6.5 hours straight while wearing them, and I woke up not even noticing them on.

My GF and I are going to Fiji in a couple of weeks, so I’ll see which pair she prefers. 11:20 flight time so she’ll have time to get acquainted. :)


Still loving my HD1 over-ears. Most comfortable headphones I’ve ever owned.

They did, however, end up costing even more in the end, because they made me decide to invest in a Schiit stack (Modi 2 uber/Magni 3) for home due to my main PC’s headphone jack being borked. Uh oh, new gadget category unlocked.

On Bose… Their stuff is definitely decent (my car has the “premium” factor Bose setup, and it’s good for factory car audio) but I’ve never liked the balance/range of their equipment for home audio. The QC35s certainly do the job for their demographic – non audiophile business travelers looking for something with excellent noise cancellation. But the over-prevalent lows and bass and lack of range in the mids are so evident when listening to something like a FLAC/ALAC recording of Wish You Were Here. Even though the Bluetooth Sennheisers don’t have as effective noise cancellation as Bose (the one aspect where Bose actually is an audio leader), the clarify and balane of the actual audio is much more pleasant to my ears and worth a trickle of engine noise coming through.


The ergonomics were a very important part of the purchase for me. As I wear those headphones for dozen hours flights, I ended up picking my headset because it also didn’t seem to provoke any pain (something which I could confirm later on extended uses), versus other models I tried.
Noise cancelling on long flights is like a permanent ticket upgrade. It changed totally my approach to flying. I used to be a zombie wishing for the closest bed upon getting off the plane. Now I just feel like I would feel staying under an air conditionner for a day, sore throat but overall ok. Even simply wearing them uncorded, it is an incredible life improvement. But I never use them to listen to musics in my daily life — even my cheap bluetooth earplugs got what I feel is a better sound.
Freaking love NC.


Having gone from Sony to Bose wireless over-ears, the main things I like better about the Bose are a) collapsibility (maybe newer Sony models are collapsible, but mine weren’t), b) better handling of multiple paired devices, c) easy to find physical on-off switch, with automatic connection to all paired devices when you turn it on.


The best headphones I ever owned (sound/comfort/open cans for air flow) appear to be back in stock soon on Amazon.

I ordered a 2nd pair for backup.

These have been discontinued awhile ago, so someone must have found some stock in a back storeroom or something. Doubt they will ever be for sale again.

*** And they are gone, lol, must have only had a pair or two available.


Saved for future XD


The new V-Moda wireless with AptX are pretty sweet sounding. I get 5 or 6 new headphones a year, yes it’s a sickness, and these are my latest. The one thing I don’t like about the latest V-Moda’s is how hard they clamp my head.

My favorite headphones of the year are the Sony MDR1AM2, much to my surprise. I haven’t been a big Sony headphone fan since the 80’s, man I had a sweet pair of cans when I was stationed in Japan. The new Sony’s are super light, they don’t clamp very hard, and I honestly expected them to be just okay. After a few days of listening, and about a dozen hours of burn-in, they really started to impress me. I find myself listening to these more than any of my other headphones.


Yeah, I listen to the original MDR-1A all day at work, and have been very happy with them over the past ~5 years. I tried out a bunch of others before buying, and couldn’t find anything I liked better.


I will just add that V-Moda makes a really rugged set of headphones. I started buying them for my son because he was killing everything else he tried. He actually did kill one V-Moda after a couple of years, but it was replaced at half-price under warranty and he has done well with the replacement.


Just out of curiosity have you ever tried Sennheiser HD580’s? Mine are about 20+ years old, have replaced the ear foam several times, and have tried a few, (Senn 598 - absolutely horrible, Senn PC37X - just flat and a Hifiman HE400S which I thought was decent, but still not up to the HD 580. )

With so many that you try, I’d be curious how you rate a HD 580 with the new breed + how you would compare.


I’ve only tried the Sennheiser HD 650 and owned the 700s for a while. Those were okay, but they had very little bass. They were both pretty good but I don’t really care for open headphones. In general I really like the ‘darker’ sound of Sennheiser’s.


I have the HD600, love them. Very clean, smooth, natural sound.

But i also have the HD598 and while those are not as refined and detailed, they still sound great and have a nice soundstage. What was so terrible?

Which do you have? I had these when they were first released ages ago (maybe 9 years ago?) and then the Black SE version from 2 years ago…except for the earpads in the newer ones not being as cushiony, and a very slight increase in the low frequencies, they sounded the same.

But there were those (on Head-fi.org) who swore they sounded very different. There was also a lower priced version last year that I think may have been closed-ear, but can’t recall with 100% certainty.

I really also liked the Sennheiser PX-100. Those were the best under $100 headphones I’ve used. Not as much definition as the Grado SR-80, but a bit warmer and a little more bass response without any boominess.


I have separate amps & was able to listen to them side-by-side. The 598’s are muted my comparison. It sounded like I was listening in through a pillow. The other thing, and this was weird, but the 598’s are really hard on my ears - they physically are not comfortable whereas the 580’s are like downy pillows.



Hope someone can help with this specific request - these are for music headphones, not gaming ones. You all are knowledgeable and a friendlier bunch than I’ve encountered on “audiophile/headphone” fora so …

I’m looking for a headphone that:
a) travels well - meaning, I would be wearing this on public transit daily and also walking with them regularly;
b) is on-ear or over-ear and also closed-back (or NOT open-back) - for similar reasons, too much audio leakage would be a concern;
c) are “neutral” sounding / normal audio signature (not sure if I’m using the parlance right) - I’m not looking for any bass-boosting and the like - and I listen broadly - mostly music, but ranging from classical to soul etc.
d) are very good quality relative to price (of course)
e) no need for wireless necessarily, no need for mike for phone; no need for extra doodads in general.

Ideal price range is most likely below $150, but maybe go higher if quality warrants… ?

If anyone cares, I currently use the old-school Koss Porta-Pros (and I now realize I asked basically the same question 4 years ago in this same thread! anything new to share…?)

(If I were also looking for a thread to ask for a proper replacement for my … well I still call them MP3 player but I understand they are known as DAP now, would this be the proper thread?)


Not sure where or how’d you even find them for sale anymore but I still like my Sony “Eggos” for portable playback. They’re the 3rd from right in the pic above.

I think it’s these of which I have an extra NIB pair too I just rediscovered last weekend for some reason:


Why not the one all the way on the right, those fold up and I think they have been on sale for $90 or so. I forget the name now, it’s an ATH.

Another question, anyone know a noise canceling that I can fall asleep with? Someone keeps running a generator or heavy machinery early in the morning and I’m starting to get fed up.


Jesus, dude.


I use Philips ones I posted a few scrolls above. But they aren’t portable friendly. :P

Always check wirecutter before buying anything. :)