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Headphones vs. Earphones
#1
I'm shopping for new headphones. I know several people on here mostly listen to music under 'em so I want some advice. I only use them with my iPod when I'm out and about.

I've had some Shure SE 110 earphones for a few years now. They were excellent at first but they haven't held up. The left channel is very weak now. I have to turn the volume way up and it mostly comes from the right. They also don't cancel out room noise very well.

I'm considering going with headphones for the comfort. Are they better than earphones at canceling out noise? I have my eye on some Sennheiser HD-595's. The only thing is they may be over-kill for iPod/MP3 listening. I've also read that it helps to have an amp when using the 595's and I obviously won't.

Then I go back towards earphones because they're smaller and more portable. On that end I'm considering the Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 EB's.

Is anyone familiar with either brand or even the particular models? Do you have advice on just the headphone versus the earphone?
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#2
I only use in-ear plugs when podding, and I'm usually stationary when wearing them. Don't know how people get them to stay in when on the move.

Mine are Sennheiser CX300, and sonically they're very good...

I'd have thought earphones would be better at noise cancellation also.
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#3
To clarify, I'm not moving around while listening. What I meant is I'm not at home. I'm either at a cafe, the airport, etc.
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#4
I guess this is a horses for courses situation

For ipod and portable use I use a pair of headphones ( small folding ones Sennheiser PX 100 ) and I find these great, however I personally can never get comfy with earphones...........so I guess I'm biasCool.

However watch the 595s ..............Sennheiser used to make these with a detachable lead.......................clever if you have mastered the technique but Sennheiser had not and as a result it is prone to being damaged easily and is not easy to repair...
Nice to be able to go back to trust and friendship!!!!!!!!!

It's a mixed up sensation this being alive
Oh! it wears a man down into the ground
It's the strangest elation
I can't describe it
Oh it leaves a man weary
It makes a man frown.
.............................Chris Simpson ( "Mixed Up Sensations" 1975 Martin's Cafe )
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#5
Do you mean earbuds? That's what we call them in Canada - the 'ipod' things that jam into your ears. I keep a set in my purse for 'emergencies' but as far as regular use, 'earbuds' are terrible for your hearing. I think of them as 'waterboarding' for your ears. Headphones are the way to go unless you are jogging or something. I keep a pair of collapsible, noise canceling ones in my knitting bag and have others strategically placed throughout my house :biggrin: The noise canceling ones are great for on the airplane or if the air conditioner is grinding away, but they need good, fresh, strong batteries or you get a weird fuzzy sound.
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#6
Someone help me out here. I see this term "noise canceling" or "noise reduction technology" used frequently. I take that to mean it is now an officialy recognized phrase. Doesn't anything you stick into your ear that produces sound, have the effect of reducing the volume of other noise? If you crank it up loud enough, you're not gonna hear anything else.

At any rate, I use both, depending on what I'm doing or how I am listening. Stereo (vinyl) is usually under the headphones, as I am chillin' on the sofa. Mp3 or cd player is usually earphones (buds), as I am usually outside moving around. I have yet to find any of those that will stay in my ears when moving around. What they call marshmallow type work the best, but still not great. Whether head or ear, the sound quality is fine for me. Seems obvious to me that headphones would be the best as far as reducing the influence of other noise, as your ears are enclosed.

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#7
I have a couple sets of 'noise canceling' headphones. They take power and generate frequencies out of phase with the noise going on around you. They work well when it's a constant sound such as aircraft engines. They also boost some frequencies to equalize the sound. They don't work well with varying sounds, but are great for car travel (as an oblivious passenger). If you don't turn on the canceling, they work as regular headphones.
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#8
pennywill Wrote:I have a couple sets of 'noise canceling' headphones. They take power and generate frequencies out of phase with the noise going on around you. They work well when it's a constant sound such as aircraft engines. They also boost some frequencies to equalize the sound. They don't work well with varying sounds, but are great for car travel (as an oblivious passenger). If you don't turn on the canceling, they work as regular headphones.

Aha, so there is an actual technology associated with this phrase. Beyond my comprehension of course. Makes sense about working best when the other sound is constant. Otherwise, how could it know what sound is not intended. Still don't know how it knows, but whatever.

thanks penny

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#9
Thanks for the replies. It looks like Sennheiser is certainly a good brand to go with but maybe I shouldn't get the 595's.

I don't feel the need to go so far as to get "noise canceling" headphones. I just am curious as to peoples' thoughts on whether an in-ear earphone (aka earbuds aka canal phones) or "closed" headphones cancel out the sound around them better. If it's close I am moved towards headphones for the comfort. Then I think about earphones for the size/portability. I still haven't made up my mind.
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#10
Actually I just discovered "canal phones" are something different from earbuds. From headphonereviews.org:

"Canal phones, as the name implies, go a small way into your ear canal. The sound quality is typically much better than earbuds, but they're also more expensive. It can take a few days to get used to them: most people do get used to them, but some people can't tolerate things in their ears. Canal phones range in price from maybe $30 up to $1000. Canal phones offer between good and excellent isolation from external noises, which makes them great for some situations (eg commuting on the subway/bus) and bad for others (eg walking on a busy city street)."
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