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nomos
07-10-2009, 09:37 PM
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k240/ofey_s/FYI/IEM.jpg

i'm looking for some in-ear headphones (canalphones, not ear buds) that i can use on planes, trains, and while working in coffee shops, etc. my criteria are: (a) not expensive (b) blocks out noise (c) no bumps and rumbles when the wires move or get touched (d) sound decent but they don't have to be amazing. i'm not doing any sort of critical listening with them, i just need something with decent build quality that will block out the world a bit. e.g. i'm tired of blasting my regular old ear buds on planes so i can hear over the cabin noise.

i just returned some sennheiser cx200s because every time i moved they sent a bunch of mechanical noise to my ears. terrible. now i've read about the same problem with other 'top-rated' ones in that price range, like the cx300s, shure se110s and apple ones. is this endemic to the technology? is there a price point you have to hit before the build quality is half decent? the other thing i keep reading is how these things regularly fall apart or crap out. i'm tempted to spend less on some decent, smallish sony over the ear monitors at this point.

so any expertise appreciated. thank you.

massrock
07-10-2009, 10:01 PM
Not that I doubt the availability of high quality advice at Dissensus but have you tried the head-fi.org forums?

nomos
08-10-2009, 12:07 AM
thanks for the link. i found a few threads about microphonics (that cable rumble) but most of the discussion is way more hi-fi ($$) for my needs. still hoping someone here might be able to say why they do or don't like theirs, etc.

massrock
08-10-2009, 09:35 AM
Yes of course, I wouldn't want to dissuade people from chipping in.

I've got some Sony noise cancelling jobbies (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-MDRNC11AW-CE7-Noise-Cancelling-Headphones/dp/B000F456IW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1254990468&sr=1-1) but I wouldn't really say I can recommend them. The assemblage with the battery pack is awkward and the noise cancelling is probably of some use on a plane or a train but really it's sticking them in your ear that does most of the work. They don't sound all that good either. For comfort I actually prefer the ones that rest over your ears with hooks, but they're obv. not much use for blocking out noise.

When I can I use my nice comfortable over-the-ear Beyerdynamics. :cool:

Pestario
08-10-2009, 11:25 AM
I once had a pair of Shure se210s which are about £70. Using the foam buds they blocked out a lot of noise, so much so that all I could here was my breathing and the rumble from my footsteps. However, they are large and awkward looking and using the foams tips can be a nuisance as you have to squeeze and insert like normal foam plugs. Of course you can just use the rubber tips but they don't work as well. The cable is pretty fat too and looks kind of dorky. Plus they were really bad for 'rubbing noise'. Sound quality was clear but there is hardly any bass at all. This was very annoying.

After about 6 months they died. It is pretty common for one ear bud to either go silent or very quiet. Granted, I didn't treat them with utmost care but I didn't thrash them either. I would always wrap them around my ipod when not in use but apparently this is too much. When they died I did get a replacement for free. Shure customer support is exceptional. After the second pair died in the same way I gave up on Shure.

I've now got a pair Sennheiser CX300s which I'm pretty happy with. They are smaller, more chic looking, the bass is big, the cable is thin, flexible and light, sound quality is comparable to the 210s (for mp3 listening at least) and they are much cheaper than the se210s (only £15 from amazon!). Noise isolation is not as good as the 210s but that's mainly because you can only use rubber tips. There are 3 sizes you can use and if you choose the right one, it's good enough.

I lost them after 6 months but they were still working fine even with my rougher treatment. I've got a new pair now and if they last 12 months I would be happy because they are so cheap to replace. Cable rubbing noise is not as bad as the 210s. It's still there but it's not a noticeable problem. A particular quirk is that they whistle slightly in the wind but I this is something I can deal with.

That's my story

matt b
08-10-2009, 12:48 PM
[IMG]i just returned some sennheiser cx200s because every time i moved they sent a bunch of mechanical noise to my ears. terrible.

How does this manifest itself, Paul? I've got the 300s and they sound fine to me for listening when out and about (on trains mainly)- they block out plenty of low level noise just fine.

nomos
08-10-2009, 01:43 PM
thanks for the advice. this thing where they stop working after a few months is another concern.

@ matt - with the 200s i was getting large amounts of this "rubbing noise" that pestario mentions, which manifested as very distracting rumbles transmitted along the cables and into my ear canal whenever the cable moved or something brushed against it, even when sitting as still as possible. i get the impression from some of the headfi.org threads that a certain amount of this (that 'microphonics' business) goes with the territory, but this seemed really excessive. based on reviews, i'm wondering if the cx300s might deal with this a little better. unfortunately, canadian pricing on them is scandalous - $120ish when they sell in the states for around $20.

considering these guys (http://www.sonystyle.ca/commerce/servlet/ProductDetailDisplay?storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=10001&productId=1006223&navigationPath=46881n100128n100133) from sorny on the assumption that they've descended from these (http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/sony-mdr-ex75-stereo-headphones/).

Chef Napalm
08-10-2009, 01:47 PM
From headphonereviews.org:

Top 10 value-for-money Canalphones (http://www.headphonereviews.org/top10.php?sortColumn=calculatedValue&type=1)

This website isn't manufacturer shite, either. You have to apply to the headfi admins to write reviews.

I continue to be pleased with my JVC Marshmallows. You can pick them up at Zellers for about $25CAD, nomos.

matt b
08-10-2009, 02:05 PM
with the 200s i was getting large amounts of this "rubbing noise" that pestario mentions, which manifested as very distracting rumbles transmitted along the cables and into my ear canal whenever the cable moved or something brushed against it, even when sitting as still as possible

Ah yes, the rubbing noise- I just keep my mp3 player in my coat inside pocket or thread the cable through my shirt, so any movement is minimised, which seems to work. A free swinging cable does make a horrid noise.

I had a pair of the earlier Sonys and the rubber cable insulation rotted REALLY quickly- turned into to blu-tac like substance and fell off

droid
08-10-2009, 02:16 PM
I still swear by these after 10 years:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-MDRW08L-CE7-MDR-W08L-Headphones/dp/B00005QBUK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1255007593&sr=8-1

Virtually indestructible, cheap, sit on your head nicely without any of this curling round the ear business, also very loud.

On the downside, the bass isn't great, there's no noise canceling and they're hard to find in Europe as they've been discontinued here.

nomos
08-10-2009, 02:22 PM
Zellers for about $25CADnow we're talking ;) i might check those out today. as long as the isolation is good i'm prepared to put up with a lot more at a lower price. can always upgrade later if it really seems necessary.

Chef Napalm
08-10-2009, 02:50 PM
Isolation is fantastic. I use them to mow the lawn, for example. I've even DJed with them when I was stuck. It got me thinking about proper in-ear monitors.

nomos
09-10-2009, 02:31 AM
I managed to sneak off and pick up a pair of marshmallows today and I have to say I'm pleased :D They sound fine, block noise, no rumble, and the price was right. Perfect for what I need. Thanks!

Bang Diddley
15-10-2009, 09:22 AM
How does this manifest itself, Paul? I've got the 300s and they sound fine to me for listening when out and about (on trains mainly)- they block out plenty of low level noise just fine.

These are 15 (rrp 40) in Amazon if anyone interested, just ordered as I thought Id add to my headphone collection (no really - i now have six pairs).

cobretti
15-10-2009, 02:21 PM
After about 6 months they died. It is pretty common for one ear bud to either go silent or very quiet. Granted, I didn't treat them with utmost care but I didn't thrash them either. I would always wrap them around my ipod when not in use but apparently this is too much.

I've learnt from experience that this is on thing you absolutely should not do with cabled earphones. Wrapping around a media player gradually stretches the cables, and it's just a matter of time until the headphones give up. You're always better off just scrunching them up in your pocket, even though it's more of a nuisance tangle/space wise.

Getting back to the original subject, I've had CX300s and never had any excessive cable noise, but the one thing that has always pissed me off about canal headphones with rubber buds is the occasional whooshing sound you get from air passing through the rear of the rubber cap and down in to the opening in your ear. CX300s can be pretty bad for this.

Pestario
15-10-2009, 02:57 PM
I've learnt from experience that this is on thing you absolutely should not do with cabled earphones. Wrapping around a media player gradually stretches the cables, and it's just a matter of time until the headphones give up. You're always better off just scrunching them up in your pocket, even though it's more of a nuisance tangle/space wise.

Ah I see, I will remember that.


Getting back to the original subject, I've had CX300s and never had any excessive cable noise, but the one thing that has always pissed me off about canal headphones with rubber buds is the occasional whooshing sound you get from air passing through the rear of the rubber cap and down in to the opening in your ear. CX300s can be pretty bad for this.

Yeah, this is the only outstanding negative of the CX300s - oh well just wear a beanie all day

4linehaiku
15-10-2009, 03:10 PM
I have had a pair of Etymotic ER6i's (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Etymotic-Research-ER6i-Isolator-Earphones/dp/B0007WTHLO) for quite a few years now, 3 or 4 at least, which unfortunately broke the other week. Which does slightly reduce my enthusiasm for recommending them. Loose connection in the jack is my working hypothesis, which is probably fixable, but would presumably be well fiddly. I don't really know what kind of life span it's reasonable to expect from something that gets battered around in my pockets / bag almost every day.
Aside from that though, they're nice. Good sound, good isolation, little cable noise and all that. Supposedly they fiddle the EQ slightly to compensate for MP3 quality, never sat down and investigated it thoroughly though.
Amazon seems to be claiming they are 80, but I'm sure I paid more like 50. Either way a bit more expensive than some of the other ones mentioned here.

Bang Diddley
19-10-2009, 04:28 PM
Is it me or are the CX 300's a bit light on the bass. Its my first in ear phones so maybe Im not positioning them correctly, are they supposed to go right into your ear canal or just sit on top (ie along side of it) of it which is what im doing.

Pestario
19-10-2009, 04:57 PM
push them right in so the rubber cup seals your ear canal