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Best audiophile quality active noise-cancelling headphones on the market

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I don't like the Bose sound and I am hesitant about the Sony 1000xm3. (I've had issues with my Sony smartphones, with no customer support whatsoever.)

Just read this very promising review in the magazine; https://www.stereo.net.au/reviews/review-beyerdynamic-lagoon-anc-headphones which got my hopes up.

What do you forum experts think, is there an ANC  pair of  audiophile quality headphones or? I'm in Europe right now and I might try to get a hold of these before getting on my flight home.

 

Beyer-Lagoon-ANC-Review-Header.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Rup
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I haven't heard the Lagoon's but I've owned the B&W PX's and Sony 1000xm2's. I found the Sony the warmer of the two with the PX's being the more resolving. I sold the XM2's and used the PX's for two years. In that time I had to return my original pair within 3 months and the warranty replacement I got has developed an issue with the volume randomly reducing to 0. So in under two years two pairs have had issues. I love the sound and design but doubt I'd buy B&W again. The recent Nuraphone review on this site was quite interesting and I'm considering getting a pair.

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Oh dear, yet another thread on so called audiophile noise cancelling cans. An oxymoron?

 

In a noisy environment where the headphones need to be worn for lengthy periods, noise cancelling capability and comfort should be the main criteria which is what Bose is good at.  Beats me how audiophile quality can be heard at 35,000 ft amid the roar of the jet engines???

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The term audiophile must be accepted in all categories, whether you're young/old, mainstream/niche market, listen on a plane or from your rocking chair.

Its term that's changing and evolving a different meaning as newer generations mature.

Give them a demo if possible.

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Try the Audio Technica flagship ones too if you can.

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I was impressed with the PSB M4U-2 over ear cancelling headphones when I was looking. 

 

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7 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

Oh dear, yet another thread on so called audiophile noise cancelling cans. An oxymoron?

 

In a noisy environment where the headphones need to be worn for lengthy periods, noise cancelling capability and comfort should be the main criteria which is what Bose is good at.  Beats me how audiophile quality can be heard at 35,000 ft amid the roar of the jet engines???

I understand your point but the reason for asking for advise is that the headphone also would be used on a daily basis, train, bus, car, office, coffee bars etc.

I've tried the Bose, very comfortable, good NC but the sound was nowhere as good as my normal commute headphones AT 50x or my in ear Shure 215's.

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Nuraphones. Beat both the Sony’s and Bose in audio quality. I listened to the new Bose 700’s for 30 seconds and I’d had enough. 

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27 minutes ago, Rup said:

I understand your point but the reason for asking for advise is that the headphone also would be used on a daily basis, train, bus, car, office, coffee bars etc.

I've tried the Bose, very comfortable, good NC but the sound was nowhere as good as my normal commute headphones AT 50x or my in ear Shure 215's.

Given you do not like Bose and Sony, and your noise cancelling requirements are not that of a frequent long haul flyer, suggest looking at a non active solution. Shure have some in-ear models which provide a good seal against external noise, as long your ears can cope (mine can only take max 1 hour of wearing!).

 

As an option, for your fight home, buy some good industrial ear plugs  and use your AT 50X over that.

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8 hours ago, Bengineer said:

Try the Audio Technica flagship ones too if you can.

the 900BT?

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A friend acquired the AKG N700NC CM2 headphones that came with the recent Samsung mobile phone preorder deal. I've put plenty of hours on them in the last week and they are seriously good, I really recommend them and, the good news, they sound very good both in Bluetooth mode and they scale tremendously well when hooked by cable to a dedicated DAC/amp.The headphones I own are Audio Technica AD900s, Hifiman 400S, and last year I had Jays U-Jays for several months till I sold them. Only the Hifiman beats them, but then your talking about an open back planar versus a closed back, so the presentation is quite different.
I'm really enjoying these, and for sheer detail retrieval in wired mode they are the best headphones I've ever had.
I've wondered how good ANC headphones could be, never having owned a pair, but these have an easy musicality about them that is really addictive. Dirt cheap at the moment since everyone that got them in the phone preorder and don't want them are selling them on EBay, new in box, with pricing around $200. Bargain.

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I’ve recently auditioned the Lagoons, wasn’t that impressed, for value for money stick to the Sony1000mx they are really competitive at JB Hifi and better value than the Lagoons....   I’d also be trialing out the Audio Technica top of the line NC, unfortunately I couldn’t audition with the BT to my phone as JB has it setup to there display console.

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Here's another one

https://www.theage.com.au/technology/the-most-premium-noise-cancelling-headphones-don-t-come-cheap-20191008-p52yn0.html

 

At $850 and the reviewer admits that noise cancelling is not that good, why should anyone consider buying it other than for its premium look???

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On 28/08/2019 at 8:38 AM, Snoopy8 said:

In a noisy environment where the headphones need to be worn for lengthy periods, noise cancelling capability and comfort should be the main criteria which is what Bose is good at.  Beats me how audiophile quality can be heard at 35,000 ft amid the roar of the jet engines???

I've never had success with noise canceling headphones, which is why I use iem's on planes.
The Campfire Audio Andromeda Special Edition Gold that I bought in HK recently rely on your using the correct tips to seal the ear canal, which then creates an amazing soundstage. 

Sealed ear canal equals noise reduction. 
Expensive, yes. 
Extraordinary sound quality, yes.
Surprisingly comfortable, yes. 

Selling like hot cakes, yes. 

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28 minutes ago, rusty48 said:

I've never had success with noise canceling headphones, which is why I use iem's on planes.

Unfortunately, IEMs and my ears severely disagree. 😢 Max of 1 hour... 

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I really don't like the term "Audiophile" in general when it comes to describing the quality of something as you fall into the trap of qualifying whether something is "Audiophile" or not based on shaky ground - for example is Sony or Bose truly "Audiophile"? What sounds good for one isn't necessarily good for another and snobbery can be a costly and painful exercise.

 

For example...

 

I bought a pair of B&W P9 signatures for $1200 and my new Sony 1000Mk3's absolutely crap over them in every respect, and yes that includes the fact the MK3's are Bluetooth.

 

Take that for what it's worth!

 

The Mk3's are fantastic as a travel companion for those who care about sound. They sound really good and more importantly they are something you can wear for a very long time without fatigue (music fatigue or discomfort). They're being sold for a killer price right now at JB's too.

 

Noise suppression also throws me off a bit @Snoopy8 but these new generation of headphones are way better than what came before them - and you can turn it all off if necessary anyway.

 

My only beef is they don't have user replaceable batteries.

 

I have no doubt whatsoever that you can do better for a home environment if money is no object - but for a traveller OR for somebody who only wants to spend $500 on a set of headphones - damn these things are pretty good.

 

Edited by TDK

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42 minutes ago, TDK said:

I really don't like the term "Audiophile" in general when it comes to describing the quality of something as you fall into the trap of qualifying whether something is "Audiophile" or not based on shaky ground - for example is Sony or Bose truly "Audiophile"? What sounds good for one isn't necessarily good for another and snobbery can be a costly and painful exercise.

 

For example...

 

I bought a pair of B&W P9 signatures for $1200 and my new Sony 1000Mk3's absolutely crap over them in every respect, and yes that includes the fact the MK3's are Bluetooth.

 

Take that for what it's worth!

 

The Mk3's are fantastic as a travel companion for those who care about sound. They sound really good and more importantly they are something you can wear for a very long time without fatigue (music fatigue or discomfort). They're being sold for a killer price right now at JB's too.

 

Noise suppression also throws me off a bit @Snoopy8 but these new generation of headphones are way better than what came before them - and you can turn it all off if necessary anyway.

 

My only beef is they don't have user replaceable batteries.

 

I have no doubt whatsoever that you can do better for a home environment if money is no object - but for a traveller OR for somebody who only wants to spend $500 on a set of headphones - damn these things are pretty good.

Glad you like the Sony. Yes, I agree with you that noise cancelling headphones have improved over the years and Sony is one of the few who have mastered noise cancelling, comfort and sound. 

 

For a long time, I was afraid of buying expensive ones (more than $200 then) because it was all too easy to leave them behind, sit on them, break a cable while flying. That is often forgotten when selecting expensive NC headphones. I broke far too many cheap ones before I bought my Bose (at a sale, rare then). It still works, with many scuff marks and I also got 2nd one. The Bose sound is not for everyone & I have no problems with it for flying, on the bus but do not use it at home.

 

The QC35 is a little more than half of the Sony and is value for money. And a lot less painful leaving it on the plane. I have not lost my Bose, though I had to rush back several times to retrieve them. 

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25 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

Glad you like the Sony. Yes, I agree with you that noise cancelling headphones have improved over the years and Sony is one of the few who have mastered noise cancelling, comfort and sound. 

 

For a long time, I was afraid of buying expensive ones (more than $200 then) because it was all too easy to leave them behind, sit on them, break a cable while flying. That is often forgotten when selecting expensive NC headphones. I broke far too many cheap ones before I bought my Bose (at a sale, rare then). It still works, with many scuff marks and I also got 2nd one. The Bose sound is not for everyone & I have no problems with it for flying, on the bus but do not use it at home.

 

The QC35 is a little more than half of the Sony and is value for money. And a lot less painful leaving it on the plane. I have not lost my Bose, though I had to rush back several times to retrieve them. 

 

When I bought these, I asked the girl at the store how to replace the batteries.. She said you can't...

 

So I asked what one does when the battery dies... She said you can send them off to have it repaired, but why bother - just throw them out and get a new set.  She looked at me like I was an alien when I told her I thought it was crap they were designed to be thrown out after a few years.

 

This is one example of how people today are different. Your battery dies in your $500+ headphones and it's completely acceptable to throw them out and just buy a new set.

 

And yet the same people block up city streets trying to save the planet from global warming.

 

Rant over, sorry!... 😏

 

At $395 the Sony's are great value for the SQ you get - the QC35's were also in the hunt but I found the Sony's to feel a lot more comfortable on my watermelon shaped head. I did like the new top of the line Bose's, but at $600 they were too rich for my blood.

 

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...

Edited by JPete9

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3 minutes ago, JPete9 said:

I was about to buy the XM3 for my 17yo son. But he doesnt need ANC. I see others like the 700NB and 900NB that seem to be better quality, better battery life for the same money or less. Is the main difference the ANC?

Yes ANC is the main difference.  But even more important,  any headphone should not look like "dad's daggy ones!"  🤣  

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LOL. Looks like for 300ish the xm3 is still the ones to buy then?

 

PS: buggered up the editing above.

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30 minutes ago, JPete9 said:

LOL. Looks like for 300ish the xm3 is still the ones to buy then?

 

PS: buggered up the editing above.

If you do not need ANC, then suggest getting a normal headphone.  Headphones are even more personal taste than speakers.  Best to get son to listen and choose the most outrageous one.  And best not to let him try Beats, overblown bass that cost the earth but cool!

 

p/s copy from my quoted post and you can  fix your original post!

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Only just got some over ear headphones, always had inner ear, but pretty basic, Sony, v-moda, sennheiser etc. 

 

Just got sennheiser pxc550s after reading a lot of positive reviews,  find them excellent and for $288 on sale down from$499 I'm even more pleased. 

Bluetooth, noise cancelling, atpx etc

Can use em with bluesound node or out walking with phone and Spotify etc

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He has momentum on ears and he has had nice in ears (but cords aren’t tough enough) and is more a science kid than a trend kid. He thinks beats are all marketing. He is pretty hooked on xm3. But want to see if more SQ could be had for same money.

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