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The Headphones Thread

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What sucks is how expensive this stuff is.  I remember paying $200 for a phone every couple of years.  And paying $30-$50 for my bluetooth headphones.  Now I paid $1000 for my phone and am looking at $150 headphones.   First world problems I guess.

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My phone gives me a headache if held to my ear after a brief period of use so I’ve yet to ever try wireless headphones due to concern they might trigger similar symptoms. No idea why I am so sensitive to such things.

 

I’m still using an iPhone 6 but that has got to go this year. Since I hardly listen to music on the go anymore however I’m likely to be satisfied enough staying wired and just buying a lightening to 3.5 adapter (and usb-c to 3.5 adapter whenever I get a new iPad).

 

Do they even let you demo airpods in store? I am not even convinced they’d stay in my ears.

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9 hours ago, JFo said:

I don’t use Air Pods, but holy hell do I see them everywhere at work these days. I swear I can’t take a walk through the building without seeing someone wearing a pair, either at their desk or just walking through the building. If I didn’t know better, I would wonder if they were company-issued. 

 

 

 

I see those things hanging from people's ears, and I immediately think of that scene from "There's Something About Mary."

 

 

Carlos.

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The new earpods will look like this.

 

 

45 minutes ago, Carlucci said:

 

I see those things hanging from people's ears, and I immediately think of that scene from "There's Something About Mary."

 

 

Carlos.

Image result for something about mary headphones

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On 4/9/2019 at 9:10 AM, Carlucci said:

3 weeks with the Creative Aruvana Trio earphones, and I'm really loving the sound.  It's rich, tight and clear.  I'm not super-happy with the fit.  They fit my ears well, but I'm not able to get the seal I want like I did with my Klipsch x-10's.  I'm currently using the squishy foam inserts, but still not feeling like I'm getting the perfect sound isolation fit. I'm going to see if I can use the rubber inserts from my x-10's on these, and then it will be the best of both worlds.  

 

For the money, these are excellent headphones.  I'm definitely keeping them, and will eventually get the fit worked out.  

 

I'm glad you like the headphones. I worry when someone actually listens to one of my recommendations because there's always a chance they don’t agree with my taste in things. Glad to hear it worked out in this instance.

 

And yeah, I hear you on the foamy inserts not being that great. I auditioned a pair of in-ear headphones from Shure a few years back, and had the same problem getting a good seal.  I found much better luck with the rubber inserts that came with my B&W C5s. It's so much less work to get them in and out, and generally speaking, I can get a good seal on them every time I put them in my ears. The only problem is that since I don’t use the Secure Loop to hold them in, the headphones will often come loose over time. Still, it's a simple matter of pushing them back in to reform the seal, and everything is good again.

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Heads up, headphone nerds. The Bowers & Wilkins PX are currently on sale now through June 15. They are available for $300 — a whole $100 off the normal asking price. Shipping is free as well.

 

If you really want to save, you can order a refurbished pair for $230.

 

Personally, I prefer the fit, feel, and sound quality of the P7 Wireless (which I already have), but this is definitely a very compelling deal if you are in the market for a high-quality noise-cancelling headphones such as these.

 

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I was wondering when the C5s would be replaced with a wireless version. It looks like the answer is... today!

 

Obviously, I need to listen to and try on these new headphones before forming any opinions on them. I will say though, from what I've seen so far, they look a lot more comfortable than the previous generation of B&W headphones. The PX7 in particular appears to have a plusher, softer ear pad, than the PX (its predecessor) did. I also like that B&W has ditched the Secure Loop design of the C5s in favor of a more traditional silicone nub to hold the headphones in your ears. I love the sound quality of the C5 series, but that Secure Loop felt really uncomfortable in my ears. I would always undo it and just stick the drivers in my ears. It worked well enough, but the headphone usually come loose over time as a result.

 

At this point, I'm not ready to ditch my P7 Wireless or my C5s as of yet. I'm still very satisfied with the P7 Wireless, and I'm not ready for wireless versions of the C5s. I love the idea of wireless headphones, but I hate the thought of spending $199 on a pair only to have the battery in them crap out on me after a couple years. I want these things to last for many years, if possible. Maybe I need to find another pair of C5 Series 2 on clearance instead.

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The PX5’s are a very tempting upgrade over my P5s2’s. They look more comfortable too (if I have any complaints about my s2’s it’s their tight grip on my head).

 

I’d love to know more about the PI4’s. I’d particularly like to know if they are aimed for fitness use and offer sweat resistance. Nobody seems to know for certain just yet.

 

The companion app allowing the user to control degrees of noise cancellation and audio settings is really interesting.

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PX5 and PX7 are getting good reviews. I may see if I can get a demo on Wednesday. The PX5’s would have the most multi-purpose practically for me like my P5S due to the size, but I’d like to see how good the noise cancelling is as I accept the PX7 will be the best in that regard.

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OK so I went to Selfridges department store in London today as I knew they’d have the PX7’s there, and thankfully they had the PX5’s as well so I was able to try both. This was in their technology department so there was very loud music playing over the main system, and all sorts of other noise from TVs nearby and so on.
 

I didn’t have the B&W app installed that I believe gives you more control over settings, so just did a basic Bluetooth sync to my phone with both headsets. 
 

First impression was that the PX7’s are not nearly as physically intimidating as I had feared. They’re beautifully designed and, on my head and ears at any rate, very comfortable. While I understand from reviews that Sony still lead in this particular area, the noise cancelling here was nevertheless a revelation to me. With a touch of a button on the left ear I could cycle between on, low, auto and off (you get a pleasant voice prompt telling you what you’re switching to). Both ‘on’ and ‘low’ were sensational at blocking out the loud music in store, and I was easily enjoying Radiohead’s ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ album at barely a quarter volume level.

 

The PX5’s I have to confess we’re somewhat disappointing. Great design, but they had the familiar sense of clamping pressure on my head as my P5s2 set even though the cushioning is very different and a lot nicer (more spongier) on the PX5’s. Noise cancelling wise, they’re good, but certainly a step down from the 7’s. The main setting did an admirable job in such a noisy environment, while the low setting struggled. I do think that in a cafe, plane, or bus...etc they would still perform very well indeed however, but knowing how well the PX7’s were performing in such a noisy store I can only imagine how good they must be when travelling and when at home.

 

So yes, there’s a pair of PX7’s in my future it seems.

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Forgot to add that the PX5’s I saw and tried were in an attractive blue finish. The PX7’s were silver, though also come in space grey. I think I am partial to the silver.

 

The fabric finish on the outside of the PX5’s and PX7’s is really nice. The carbon fibre band on both is lovely too.

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Thanks for the impressions, Daniel. I need to get to a store at some point and audition those headphones.

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I’m really set on PX7. I think they’d be fine for long distance travel in terms of size. I wouldn’t wear them walking around town or riding the bus or train in the city, but that’s merely a personal choice as I wouldn’t do that with the PX5’s either (my P5s2 set only travel on long journeys, otherwise get used exclusively at home). 
 

I’m still very interested in the PI4’s as well, primarily for running/gym, but they’d also be a set that I would wear in the city, even though I have greatly reduced my audio listening when I am out and about (though this is partially because I’ve been becoming concerned about the volume levels required to compensate for the noise city life, something which anc would help safely combat of course).

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13 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

even though I have greatly reduced my audio listening when I am out and about (though this is partially because I’ve been becoming concerned about the volume levels required to compensate for the noise city life, something which anc would help safely combat of course).

 

Ever since I stated watching the Active Self Protection videos on YouTube, I have completely eliminated my use of earphones in transitional spaces, especially when walking to and from my bus stop.  There aren't a lot of bad actors in downtown Houston, but there are several homeless people, and they can go from docile to agitated really quickly. I realized I would have been easy picking for a mugger.

 

Now I stay alert, keep my head on a swivel, and even avoid looking at my screen while someone approaches.  Once I'm safely in the bus, the earphones go on.

 

 

Carlos.

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This is how I am always. It scares me when family sneak up on me on the computer when my headphones are on. Nobody sneaks up on me. And my son actively tries to. I can sneak up on most people though. 

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It’s so rare these days that I even want to wear headphones while walking the streets. I’ll wear them if walking or sitting in the park to catch up on podcasts, but that’s honestly it outside of going for a run. Sometimes I’ll listen to stuff on city bus journeys which is where anc would be useful.

 

I kept thinking I’d go for the smaller on ear headphones again as I did last time I was in the market for a pair, then get the bigger over ears at a later date, but there’s little benefit when a proper set of “cans,” as I believe the kids call them, are only something I’d use at home, in the library or on planes/long distance coach journeys anyway, and as I say B&W’s biggest set, the PX7’s, proved themselves to be far more portable than I anticipated so I’d be happy to take them on holiday journeys (I believe they come with a nice case too). They do have an ‘auto’ function for their noise cancelling too but I am not entirely sure how that works. Presumably it monitors the ambient audio and drowns it out, but it someone speaks to you it will then allow you to hear them. 

 

I suspect they’re too new to surface in any Black Friday deals, but failing that I think they’ll be my Christmas present to myself.

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On 11/21/2019 at 9:47 AM, Carlucci said:

 

Ever since I stated watching the Active Self Protection videos on YouTube, I have completely eliminated my use of earphones in transitional spaces, especially when walking to and from my bus stop.  There aren't a lot of bad actors in downtown Houston, but there are several homeless people, and they can go from docile to agitated really quickly. I realized I would have been easy picking for a mugger.

 

Now I stay alert, keep my head on a swivel, and even avoid looking at my screen while someone approaches.  Once I'm safely in the bus, the earphones go on.

 

 

Carlos.

 Same in Brooklyn. All the people I know who have been mugged were using headphones and not paying attention. While it’s not a dangerous area, there’s no point in making oneself an easy target.

 

Plus I enjoy hearing the sounds of the city and am more into reading books than zoning out to music on the subway these days. Also allows me to listen for the inevitable MTA announcement about why we’re being delayed or rerouted.

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