Office Headphones - non fatiguing over-ear isolating

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by Mngnt, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    6,113
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Northwest France
    I would like to point out that someone named Mngnt, or ‘Management’, is asking about office accessories.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
  2. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    6,762
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    I found the Nad HP 50 uncomfortable, and I found the PM-3 uncomfortable. But I am pretty sensitive to clamping force.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  3. mkozlows

    mkozlows Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    Likes Received:
    484
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I used the HP50 as a work headphone for a while, and it's very uncomfortable for long sessions. The problem isn't clamping force, it's that the cups rotate forward 90 degrees for storage, and they're spring-loaded. So when you're wearing them, they constantly press at your head in front as they try to rotate. Plus, the headband isn't great -- it's padded, but it still feels like a bar resting on the top of your head.

    On the plus side, they don't need amplification; the cord they come with is suitable for using right out of a phone, with inline volume controls; and the sound is non-fatiguing (darker than I'd want, with sloppy bass, but not fatiguing).
     
  4. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Laguna Hills, CA
    Home Page:
    I prefer in-ears at work, but if you're looking for something kinda like the 598 that are closed, try the Game Zero. They're the most comfortable headphones I've ever used, sound decent, and have reasonable isolation with a good mic.

    I have the old 150 Ohm version so I'm not sure what the newer ones will sound like.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  5. TomHP

    TomHP Facebook Friend

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Likes Received:
    173
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Taiwan
    If comfort and isolation are key... Maybe just get a QC25 and be done with it. Or even a QC35 if you want wireless.

    EDIT: forget the QC25, I forgot that still uses AAA, that would be a pain in the ass.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  6. Mngnt

    Mngnt Rando

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2017
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    It actually came from a nickname "mangiant" as I'm 6'7... :)
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  7. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2015
    Likes Received:
    790
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Roswell, GA
    I sucked up my audiophile pride and got a QC35 II when I was looking for an office headphone. The noise canceling really cuts down on the chatter and the Google assistant integration and headset mics are helpful.

    Best isolation, super comfortable, durable, portable, no source requirements, non-fatiguing, sounds okay (pretty linear, a bit warm, slightly grainy upper mids & treble but nothing unbearable).
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
  8. obsiCO

    obsiCO Thai Fish Experiment Gone Wrong

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    557
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    If you want to go for an IEM by any chance, I'd suggest CA Orion. Sounds a lot like stock HD650 tonally but a little smoother - not fatiguing but not at all boring. Good isolation, comfy (for me), and very engaging. YMMV of course.

    I've tried Oppo PM3 and thought it sounded kinda boring even compared to my stock HD650 at the time.
    Audioquest Nightowl for me is quite good too. Much better than NightHawk tonally (much less sucked out mids), as comfortable as a toddler's butt, but leaks as much sound as its open-back sibling.
    QC35 is also a good choice I think. My impression echoes @Dr. Higgs 's above. Sounds less murky wired, too.

    Oh, and have I talked about our lord and savior, Schiit Fulla 2 again yet? Great piece of gear for so cheap. Love it.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  9. Mngnt

    Mngnt Rando

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2017
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Well, after spending time reading while I should be sleeping, I'm leaning towards the NAD HP50.

    Reviews seem great at the $249usd price point... But after price beat I should be able to get them for $180cad (around $140usd), which seems like a steal. The PM-3 are still tempting, but at almost 3x the cost I'm not sure they're worth it.

    Plus they're a Canadian company (I had no idea), which is an unnecessary but cool bonus.
     
  10. barelyincollege

    barelyincollege Nice Pit Bull

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    660
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    If you're able to, try the HP50 in person first. I walked into my local shop set on buying the HP50 a few years ago and immediately changed my mind once I tried them on.

    They wouldn't be my first choice if you'd like to zone out and not notice your headphones during the course of a workday.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  11. k1arg

    k1arg Facebook Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    139
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    London, UK
    Maybe not a very useful suggestion due to lack of easy availability and not the cheapest, but I use Paradox Slants for closed-back office phones. The degree of isolation is perhaps not enough if the environment is pretty loud. I haven't tried even close to everything, but they're the best sounding closed cans I've heard, and I find them to be very comfortable.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  12. TeskR

    TeskR Rando

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Tasmania
    I currently use a PM-3 for office environments, I quite like them, however, one thing to note about them is the relatively small diameter of the pads. If you have larger ears (or odd shaped ones) they may not fit correctly in the holes. Additionally, the pads arent user replaceable and the protein leather on mine have started to come away (admittedly from a lot of use) and although they will replace them if I send them in, it is such a hassle that I have not been bothered.

    With respect to the HP50 I found with my head at least, it was difficult to get a very good seal on the bottom half of each pad, so I would suggest definitely trying them in person to see if they work for you.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  13. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,233
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    US East
    I use the 598Cs at work out of my phone, I don't find it fatiguing. I like them. I wrote my thoughts on them in the 598Cs thread a few months back. The only downside I can think of is the pads can be a little hot. If you're not a sweaty person it shouldn't bother you though.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  14. JewBear

    JewBear Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    275
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I've been on this quest for the last four years. NAD HP50 gets uncomfortable fast if you dony have small ears. PM3 is boring. HD569 has recessed indistinct bass. TH600 no isolation but little leakage so if you're not concerned with isolation that may work.

    Honestly, I keep coming back to the Shure 1540s. They're fun, extremely comfortable, isolate well enough. I wouldn't take them for critical listening but I think they're pretty much the end of the line when it comes to background office music cans. Also check out the MDR1A. Again, neither of these will win any awards for audiophile esque sound quality but your working, not critical listening, so the v shape helps.
     
  15. bixby

    bixby Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,134
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    I think you are on the right track with the 1540s, I liked my time with them at RMAF; another which you may enjoy might be the E-MU Teak. Both of these like our big ears. :)
     
  16. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,616
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    The NAD is nice, but for me it developed a "hot spot" on the top of my head. Senn Momentums are possibly one of the most comfortable cans I've worn, but they get warm both sonically and physically. The Beyer DT150 has good neutral sound and isolation, but those aesthetics are rather non-discrete for an office environment.
     
  17. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    13,698
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Home Page:
    My first headphone was the MDR-V6, one of the worst audio purchases in my life. If you do not keep the volume low this headphone will give you serious headaches due to its peaky FR.

    My budget recommedations:
    Brainwavz HM5 (or the Fisher Audio equivalent!)
    Shure SRH840
    Koss PortaPro (not joking, these are good enough for casual use!)

    Add an affordable DAC/Amp like a Fulla 2 or Dragonfly (Red/Black) and you are done.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  18. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,616
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    The V6 is one of those headphones that actually benefits from break-in... and by that, I specifically mean the pads should break in to the point that the inner seam is ripped open and the foam exposed on the inside surface. It takes the oddball peaky performance and smooths it out into a rather decent portable headphone. My first few experiences with the V6 were with some old beat up DJ pairs and I always thought they were quite decent sounding (rugged and compact are just as valuable for those in the DJ trade) so was confused by all the hate that I read about. It wasn't until I heard one that wasn't all beat up and ripped that I realized what their "normal" sound was.
     
  19. Mngnt

    Mngnt Rando

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2017
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    The 7506 was my first "good" headphone, and for the most part (in my ignorance) I've enjoyed it. I was the first of my peers to buy them and a set of good headphones in general. After a brief listen, several of my friends also picked them up, and we spent several years walking around campus with the 10ft coily cord stuffed into our pockets... (me with my MiniDisc player - I still miss that thing).

    A few years ago I tried them back to back with a couple dozen other options up to $500+, though I don't remember the models. I tried the 7506 last, and still, at that time, vastly preferred it.

    Of course now I know, partially as a result of reading here, that the "bright" thing makes for fleeting enjoyment. The HD598s and the sheer enjoyment of listening to them has vastly changed my mindset.

    I can't wait for the 650's on crack.
     
  20. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    13,698
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Home Page:
    "Bright" is not a bad thing when done right. It can give you false impression of detail at the expense of something else in the FR. Especially when it is a treble peak that is in the 5K-to-6K region that towers that everything else in the FR. (Try a HD700 once with a song like "Money For Nothing" and you understand.)

    I like bright-ish quite a lot but it has to sound smooth, not harsh and peaky. The AKG K500/K501 are good examples of that. Even the K701 pulls it off but you need a powerful amplifier to make that headphone sound right (an AKG-thing!).

    Take your time to audition headphones and experience different sound signatures and how the tonality one headphone can be totally different from another one while they should be/sound similar.

    I wish you all the best.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017

Share This Page