Long Haul Headphones

Headphones, Headsets, Earbuds, Canalphones - stuff that goes on, around or in your ears.
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:32 am

Long Haul Headphones

Postby afreedma » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:40 am

I've got a pair of Aiaiai Young Gurus which I really like. They're super comfy and nicely neutral.

But I also have to travel for work (Syd -> SF/Austin/Amsterdam typically) and the Aiaiais have a hefty cord and don't do noise cancelling. They're good, but not great for travelling.

What's the current thinking on Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones? The wider Internet seems to really like the Bose QuietComfort range, but I always feel uncomfortable with Bose recommendations. They might be truthful, but Bose are master marketers.

Are there better options? Is there a price/performance sweet spot worth aiming at?

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Re: Long Haul Headphones

Postby Marcus » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:42 am

Bluetooth + ANC = $$++ reliability--

In other words - if you take a $200 pair of wired headphones and add ANC and BT you're looking at around $400-$500 and your reliability goes from <1% failure rate (in a good brand) to around 10-20% failure rate and shorter lifespan.

In terms of effective noise cancelling - most decent ANC models around $200+ will offer you ~97% active noise cancellation (keeping in mind a pair of $50 IEMs will do similar or better). The "best" models will maybe bump that ANC rating up a percentage or so, some do so by adding more passive isolation (larger/thicker pads etc).

Personally I wouldn't buy any wireless ANC products; a little bit of aircraft engine noise doesn't bother me that much, but poor sound quality and reliability sure does!

There are some decent value wired ANC models like the Audio Technica ANC9 out there, but beyond that it gets a little over the top in terms of what you pay for what you get.
BT/ANC headphones get us the most complaints about performance/reliability so I'm always reluctant to recommend any.
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