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Which in-ears for ipod? noise cancelling or noise isolating?

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by wbessada, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. wbessada

    wbessada
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    I have a dilemna over which in-ear headphones to get for my ipod which is used mainly on the tube and occasionally on flights. I had convinced myself to get the Sony MDR-NC11 ($85 on amazon.com) but read VERY mixed reviews... then read about the Etymotic ER-6i (£85) which seem to have rave reviews but don't do the noise cancelling.

    Does anyone have experience of either of these or both? I would buy the Sennheiser PCX250s but I really don't get on with over the ear designs.

    Any other recommendations would be much appreciated but the main dilemna is whether noise cancelling or noise isolation is better.

    Thanks in advance,
    William :smashin:
     
  2. extremelydodgy

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    I've tried the PXC250 on the tube/plane and it's not great. The threshold of noise cancellation is below most of the howling noises on the more decrepit lines, and on a plane although it cancels thevery low drone from the engine noise well everything else isn't really reduced by much. The Shure E3c have better everyday usage compatibility than the ER-6i. The 6i sounds a bit sharper and clearer but on the tube (and with other noisy places) the E3c's sound comes through better, because as good as these are at blocking noise, it's not a 100% thing. The foam tips work best for both as far as I'm concerned, although the Etymotic triple flanges work well on the E3c. www.discountheadphones.com do very good prices and ship to the UK reliably.
     
  3. alexs2

    alexs2
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    FWIW,the noise isolation of the Etymotics is very good,and certainly sufficient for use in aircraft,as well as good sound quality,even when compared to some "proper" headphones.
    Comfort and fit are good,but getting used to them initially can be a bit fiddly.
     
  4. jeff-o

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    I'd like to recommend the Shure e2c in-ear isolation earbuds. I bought a pair for $95 CDN and they are fantastic! They reduce outside noise by 15 or 20db; there's no need for noise cancelling here! The e2cs come with six different inserts, three in foam and three in silicone, in small medium and large sizes. This way, you can get the perfect fit to properly block out the world.

    Naturally, they sound awesome, they are crystal clear across my hearing range and the bass is not lacking. The build quality is also much higher than any other earbuds I've ever owned. The cables are thick and well protected against stress.

    These headphones are the perfect companion to my iPod, I'm sure you will love them too.
     
  5. wbessada

    wbessada
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    Thanks for all your help guys.

    jeff-o can I ask where you bought the shure's from?

    If anyone does have a view on the Sony NC11s it would be appreciated.

    Thanks everyone,
    William
     
  6. wbessada

    wbessada
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    OK I think I'm pretty much decided on the Shure E2Cs but just one last check if anyone who has these has also tried the Sony NC11 noise cancellers?

    Cheers,
    William
     
  7. ancientgeek

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    The only reason to go with noise cancelling is because you don't like in-ear phones (so you won't like NC11's either), or you have strange ears that won't fit the isolating earpieces (a good fit is necessary for isolation). Noise isolating works much better than cancelling and doesn't need batteries! (I use ER6's with my iPod.)

    http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6.asp
    http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6-nr.asp
     
  8. Tony8377

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    I have the Shure e3's and use them on tube all the time and they are excellent for blocking out noise and sound really good(you'll miss the occasional train announcement but well worth it :thumbsup: ). They do take some time to get used to though especially if you walk in them as all noise moves internally up your body into your eardrums. But as long as you don't move or eat with them on you'll be fine :) .
     
  9. Funky

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    Get the Sony MDR-NC11A!! These new version perform a lot better :thumbsup:
     
  10. whats_this

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    another vote for the shure e3c's they are amazing, honestly could not be happier, unless i had the e5c's, but seriously for the money they are amazing, sound absolutly brilliant from an ipod and the foam sleeves are amazingly comfortable. if there in your budget get em, is a gd investment
     
  11. wbessada

    wbessada
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    Thanks for all the help and advice everyone. I've gone for the shure e2c's and I'll report back as soon as I get them.

    Cheers!
     
  12. zerolight

    zerolight
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    I was all set to buy a set of etymotic ER-4P earphones the other day (obviously on mail order, well ebay). Then I read in forums, that despite the rave reviews, they are not so good. Really lacking in bass. Now I'm not a bass head, and I run the EQ on iPod "off". I listen to mostly rock and pop.

    I then was about to order the Shure E3C's instead, as I'd read that they had better bass response whilst keeping most of the clarity of the ER4Ps. Then I noticed that T3 gave the E3Cs 2/5 stars and said they had no bass response at all, and merely average mids and hi's.

    What gives?
     
  13. Tony8377

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    That's a rubbish review, I'm guessing the guy didn't have them fitted properly because if you don't create a seal these will only sound average as it's the seal that makes them work. The mid and treble on these is amazing and well worth the money. The bass is very tight and controlled and I agree that for some it may be a bit lean but it's personal preference really. When I was originally researching these I found a review (which I can't now find) that said that the E2's are better for bass and may be preferred if you listen to pop music. Unfortunately these aren't the easiest things to demo so you have to make the choice blind.

    I have read loads of bad user reviews of these (and even more good ones) but I can only assume that they were all due to people not being able to find a good fit as mine sound excellent.
     
  14. extremelydodgy

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    It's partly a seal issue which can influence tests, and it is likely that they didn't have a correct seal, but they are still right in saying that the E3c's have diminished bass response compared to good and fairly bassy headphones of about the same price (or maybe slightly less). The ER-6i and the ER-4P do have even less bass than the E3c. However it is possible to play with EQ and also get used to the leaner sound of course.
     
  15. alexs2

    alexs2
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    As tony and extremely' have said,the likelihood is that the reviewer didn't know how to use them properly and didnt get a proper seal between the 'phones and his earcanal.
    I have a set of the Etymotics,and the bass response is certainly not lacking.
    I would also much prefer a lean and tight bass to sloppy and overemphasized...yes,in-ear phones do take a bit of getting used to,but good ones really can be well worth it.
     
  16. zerolight

    zerolight
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    OK. So recommendations without a portable amp... ie. straight from the iPod?

    My initial thoughts had been...

    E5C - but I can't afford it.

    ER4P - which had rave reviews everywhere, but from the forums it seems its lacking a little bass and is a bit too tiring and detailed.

    ER6i - the cheaper version of the ER4P. Unless its bass is markedly better, I'd prefer to go for the ER4P.

    E3C - This had been bottom of the ladder for me till I read the forums instead of the reviews. It now seems to be favoured.

    So am I right in thinking that the E3C is probably going to be my best option (without an amp) for use out and about, and on the plane. For rock and pop. Or are there still etymotic devotees out there for that duty too. I can't try before I buy here in the UK (Glasgow).
     
  17. ipodstudio

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  18. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    The ER-6i's actually have the strongest bass of the Etymotic series, although that's not saying much. I walked around exclusively with the ER-6i for a while to familiarise myself with them. Then I switched over to the E3c. What I heard is what you'll read in many other reviews where people have bothered to test properly in a portable context: The E3c's feel much more alive and dynamic, while the last word in 'detail' (i.e. sharper sounds which convey a greater sense of detail) goes to the ER-6i. The other thing is that the E3c is much easier to insert and remove (I was using the Etymotic ER-4 triple flange tips with the E3c) and is more robust. Given the choice between the two for all-round casual portable listening, I would probably give the nod to the E3c.

    But all that's within this narrow confine in terms of in-ear phones of course, and many headphones of similar UK retail price can outperform both the E3c and the ER-6i from an overall musical perspective... but of course not in isolation or portability.
     
  19. zerolight

    zerolight
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    it did help. help me spend more money than I intended. :blush:

    I ordered the E5c's from a guy on ebay.
     
  20. alexs2

    alexs2
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    This is what advice on hifi is for....to enable you to spend more,with good reason.....hope you enjoy your purchase! :D
     
  21. ipodstudio

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    LOL! Glad to be of help! :D I've got a feeling you'll be happy with that choice.. ;)
     
  22. zerolight

    zerolight
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    well they arrived today. 1 month in shipping!!! still what lovely packaging it comes in. its hard to make a call on the audio quality today as my ears are still ringing from the Velvet Revolver concert I was at last night. :)

    anyone who has these, isn't there meant to be a spindle in the zipper case to pack them away in. Mine has a hole for what looks like the spindle, but its not there. getting these phones in there easily without it is a challenge.

    edit: even with ringing ears they sound nice. certainly no lacking of bass, and it all sounds very balanced and relaxing to listen too.
     
  23. doctorjuggles

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    Hey zerolight. I'm the guy who wrote the review that ipodstudio linked you to. (Thanks ipodstudio.)

    To anwer your question about the spindle, yes, it normally does come with a plastic coil to wind it around, but that's only suitable for the E2s and the E3s. The E5's drivers are too big and with the plastic spindle in the middle, it wouldn't fit into the case. (I know this because I still had my E3s when my E5s first arrived and I tried it.)

    Anyway, glad my review came in useful to you, and I hope you enjoy your E5s as much as I have. It's about 8 months on from my purchase now and I still don't regret a single penny I spent on them.
     
  24. edhg

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    those of you who have bought off ebay, how did you find it? I am really keen to get a set of the Shure phones - they sound wicked, but there is no way that I can afford the UK prices.

    did you have to pay for any Duty? Or did they slip through the net!

    cheers
    Ed
     
  25. zerolight

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    got mine on ebay from roaddawgonline for £174 inc shipping. surprisingly no taxes. thats via regular post though, so it took 1 month to arrive.

    fantastic headphones, these E5c's. :)
     
  26. nicander

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    I bought the ER6i's within the past week and have been testing them as part of the "burn-in" process with my three (soon to be four) PCDP's.
    Starting off with the flange tips I could achieve poor isolation but with the foam tips, isolation was exceptional. I also found them very quick and easy to fit.
    Using my two more modern PCDP's, viz. a Panasonic CT490 and a Panasonic SX228, there was a distinct ambient hum at all times so I was somewhat disappointed with the quality of my new headphones. However, after having switched to my old Panasonic SL-S321C - an excellent player in my opinion - the sound quality was immaculate with no background hum whatsoever.

    I am therefore very pleased with the ER6i's overall and it just goes to show that the older CD players really do retain superiority over their more modern equivalents.
     

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