Author Topic: Advice required on headphones selection  (Read 730 times)

Offline Bruce M

Advice required on headphones selection
« on: February 09, 2021, 10:20:54 AM »
Hello comrades, I'm not a headfi kind of guy (although the concept makes a lot of sense to me), but I need to purchase a pair for travel etc.

Up to now I was using a pair of wired Sony on-ears with my phone, but they got washed. Good news is the bass is far less muddy now, but it sounds a bit sterile.

So the main use will be travelling for work, i.e. flying, waiting at airports etc for music and movies. I would also likely use them in an open plan site office for calls etc, so the headset option with mic sound useful?

I think I would like the noise cancelling option with over-ear as it would be good for noisy flight etc.

I would use it mostly with my android phone and laptop, so anything particularly fancy would be wasted with these as a source, I would think? Although I do have a dragonfly black I use between my laptop and home office amp. I also have a USB-c to female USB lead to use the dragonfly straight into the phone.

Wireless sounds good, but then the battery life etc just adds complexity?

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Offline Bruce M

Re: Advice required on headphones selection
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2021, 09:47:41 AM »
bumpy

Offline Tonteldoos

Re: Advice required on headphones selection
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2021, 03:23:48 PM »
If you travel a lot, then I'd say wireless with active noise cancelling must be a priority. And because they are internally amplified, they perform just fine with phones and laptops.

I say this because I used to travel A LOT for work. I had a wired set of noise cancelling cans that I LOVED (Sennheiser PXC 450), but the wire becomes a nuisance when you're juggling airline catering, hand luggage, etc etc. So I changed it up to PXC 550 (first gen), which I still have and still enjoy.

Once you've made the choice of wireless ANC (active noise cancelling, not political party), then there are lots of choices. I'm a Sennie fan, but others swear by Bose. If I was shopping today I would head straight for the Sony WH-1000XM4. Or you should look at some of the "true wireless" in-ear buds. AirPod Pro or other equivalents that have noise cancellation.


Offline Bruce M

Re: Advice required on headphones selection
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2021, 05:36:05 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. That Sony looks great, but a bit out of my anticipated budget at R6k ish.

What are the thoughts on the Sennheiser 450BT @R2300, I believe this is a good price for this?

https://www.takealot.com/sennheiser-hd-450bt-wireless-over-ear-headphone-black/PLID69202341


Offline Tommygun

Re: Advice required on headphones selection
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2021, 07:07:58 PM »
Noise-cancelling is a godsend if you fly regularly! It's a sort of haven from the loud cabin noise and that in itself is worth the higher price of these things in my humble opinion.

Offline Tonteldoos

Re: Advice required on headphones selection
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2021, 02:43:48 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. That Sony looks great, but a bit out of my anticipated budget at R6k ish.

What are the thoughts on the Sennheiser 450BT @R2300, I believe this is a good price for this?

https://www.takealot.com/sennheiser-hd-450bt-wireless-over-ear-headphone-black/PLID69202341

Just check carefully with those HD models. The one you listed says it has noise cancelling in the description, but in the product details it says "No" for NC. You will see on Takealot they differentiate between HD4.50BT and HD4.50BTNC models. The NC ones are the ones designed with proper active noise cancelling, which you want for travel. My partner has a pair of those, so I've had an opportunity to compare them to the PXC550 head-to-head. They're ok. You should be happy and the noise cancelling is good.

So the one you're looking for is this one, at about R3,700 https://www.takealot.com/sennheiser-hd-4-50-btnc/PLID69202348

But............ Takealot has a special today on the PXC550 II. You can pick up a much better set than the 4.50BTNC for R4,900. See here: https://www.takealot.com/sennheiser-pxc550-ii-wireless-travel-headset/PLID69202345

If you can stretch your budget, I can vouch that it will be worth it.

Offline sajunky

Re: Advice required on headphones selection
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2021, 03:34:35 PM »
There were two versions of HD4.50BT and 4.50BTNC. Only the later one had noise cancellation. HD450BT (sans a dot) looks like a new version with USB C connector (instead of microUSB), added Bluetooth 5 and codecs AAC and aptX low latency. Functionality seems didn't change, as USB connector is still charging only and analog cable for a music. To be sure about ANC feature, check a barcode number and compare with Sennheiser website.

I own a previous version and I am happy with SQ and noise cancellation. For a price R1700 from Takealot unboxed deal before lockdown it was a steal. I don't know whether a new version (sans a dot) gives the same SQ. It seems to be priced lower than 4.50 model. @Tonteldoos. How do you compare SQ of 4.50 with PXC550?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2021, 03:45:10 PM by sajunky »
If it measures good and sounds bad—it's bad. If it measures bad and sounds good, you've measured the wrong thing.
/ Daniel R. von Recklinghausen, Chief Engineer, H.H. Scott/

Offline Tonteldoos

Re: Advice required on headphones selection
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2021, 09:27:36 PM »
@Tonteldoos. How do you compare SQ of 4.50 with PXC550?

It’s been a while since I listened to both, but I remember a material difference. PXC550 has much more emotion, space, sound stage. And better ANC. It feels better built too. Mine has lasted many international trips, local trips, days at work. It’s worth buying up.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline sajunky

Re: Advice required on headphones selection
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2021, 03:33:48 AM »
In my opinion HD4.50BTNC are better overall despite of technology improvements in HD450BT. Starting from the official specs: distortions 0.3% vs. 0.5%, spl 113dB vs. 108dB. It indicate a secondary grade selection (assuming the same drivers are used).

In a review below sound is described more natural and balanced, it is confirmed by the tests on rtings.com. Tests also show a tighter tolerance of drivers and better passive isolation of pads (in the frequency range where ANC do not work anymore, pads give better noise isolation above 8kHz, a difference is reaching 12dB).

Microphone is poor on 4.50, it is even poorer on 450. Speech to noise factor is terrible on the 450. It is below any criticism.

Usability and controls didn't change since 4.50. Top user reviews on the Amazon confirm my own experience, I made a comment on this matter sometime ago (the only things I was disappointed).

Some 450's Bluetooth improvements are only valid for users having aptX LL on the phone, as both standard codec and aptX are better optimised for latency on the 4.50. However AAC is a welcome addition.

The average price of 4.50BTNC has increased immediately since the 450BT came on the market. In summary, instead of disputing small differences, rather raise a money for PXC550 as adviced. :(

https://majorhifi.com/sennheiser-hd450bt-review/
https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/sennheiser/hd-450bt-wireless
https://www.rtings.com/headphones/tools/compare/sennheiser-hd-4-50-vs-sennheiser-hd-450bt/476/11955?usage=9287&threshold=0.1




If it measures good and sounds bad—it's bad. If it measures bad and sounds good, you've measured the wrong thing.
/ Daniel R. von Recklinghausen, Chief Engineer, H.H. Scott/

Offline Tommygun

Re: Advice required on headphones selection
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2021, 01:47:23 PM »
Any opinions re in-ear ANC versus over-ear ANC? Would the Airpods Pro for example be as effective in a plane?

Offline Reef

Re: Advice required on headphones selection
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2021, 08:25:40 AM »
I was recently in the same situation, bought myself a set of Sony h.ear on 3's via amazon renewed. Was just over R2000 delivered to my door. And they sound fantastic with decent ANC and 35 hours of battery life :D
https://www.sony.com/electronics/headband-headphones/wh-h910n
https://www.youtube.com/c/necriteza
Marantz SR8001
Bentley Fr100
Bentley Fr80
Bentley C100
Bentley 12" Subwoofer

Offline sajunky

If it measures good and sounds bad—it's bad. If it measures bad and sounds good, you've measured the wrong thing.
/ Daniel R. von Recklinghausen, Chief Engineer, H.H. Scott/

Offline Bruce M

Re: Advice required on headphones selection
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2021, 08:28:17 PM »
Thanks all for the input thus far.