Describe yourself as a user. When & where do you use headphones?
I’m probably the oldest person (or one of) on the forum here.
I’m still active every day in business, because I love it, and I’m again in the midst of starting yet another business. I’ve love tech and I’m a bit of a sucker for the newest or a better over the ear full headset.
Lately I use headsets for my “Zoom” discussions, audible books and for making audio tracks. Over the years they have been essential for relaxation with music, learning a language when I exercise or go walking/jogging every morning, sometimes to watch a video when the speaker sound would be intrusive to others and of course travelling/flying where a comfortable headset is essential with the best possible noise cancellation to drown out the droning noises of the plane.
What kind of headphones are you currently using?
Why did you choose these?
(We particularly want to understand what features make them suited to the environment you use them in.)
First and most important and the most used ear piece by me is my Plantronics Voyager 3200.
I simply use this every single day for my 2 mobile phones and even for voice2text use.
I never use the phone speaker.
This awesome “Noise cancelling” bluetooth device goes with me everywhere, every day with it’s portable charging pack and easily lasts all day and then some.
I can use it in a noisy train station, street bazaar, shopping centre or any environment where I might usually worry about noise being heard by the person I’m speaking to and they always think I’m in a quite room or my car. It pick does up some outside noise but it is never enough to be a problem for the person I’m speaking to. As long as the outside noise around me does not stop me from hearing my caller, this device always continues to amaze me with the way it works.
I’ve tried many other bluetooth devices and Plantronics in my opinion are just the very best in the world in this field.
The Voyager 3200 connects to both my phones and it automatically can switch from one to the other, as well it connects and is paired with my V, Toshiba Kira laptop and Ipad Pro.
I have been using Plantronics headsets in business for more than 40 years since the mid 1970’s and Plantronics have the very best warranty and replacement service in the world bar none.
Next favourite, is my Bose Quiet Comfort 35 which is my go to headset for travelling and which I use exclusively on a plane. As the name implies, they are the most comfortable for me, and the “noise cancelling” is eerily efficient and sensational in the way it seems like you’re in another world when you first try it. It is also able to be used by cable or wireless connection with equal performance in my experience. Bose had great battery life too!
I chose them over the B&O headset because of the comfort and noise-cancelling. B&O definitely had a a better sound, but fairly uncomfortable when worn for long periods.
Before the Bose QC 35’s, for several years I bought and still own a Sennheiser Momentum headset but it’s not as good in the noise cancelling area. Though I must say they are still great for general music listening.
In fact I still have my very first Sennheiser HD on the ear headset from the late 70’s and they work perfectly despite the lack of the original foam ear cover and it has a quarter-inch (6.35mm) connection plug/jack. They are still comfortable and very light and I can’t bring myself to throw them away.
After the Senheiser but before I got the Bose I bought the Plantronics Back Beat Pro over the ear headset to try and I now keep them in my home in China for normal use when I’m there. They are as good as the Sennheiser in the sound output but a bit heavy and chunkier than I prefer. I would put them in the same quality and comfort category as the Sennheisers but not as comfortable as the Bose. Again the Plantonics BackBeat Pro are wireless and have a good battery life with excellent noise cancelling.
Comfort for me is as much about the spring tension against the sides of my head and the overall weight. Many springs are far too strong to be worn for any reasonable length of time. It would be great if someone could make a set with adjustable tension. The ear cups in every one of my headsets is what I would consider to be comfortable, though I rarely wear anything else except the Bose, so I might tend to be a bit biased. I also prefer “kid” leather cups if I can get them.
I also have a cheap I think “Lux” wireless headset which I often use in my morning exercise because they are small and light and I’m not so worried about looking after them and they just keep on going no matter what I throw at them. I think they are made by the Altec Lansing company.
Oh and I nearly forgot, I have an original Sony Walkman WM-2 cassette player in mint condition with small on ear headset which I bought in 1981 - great portability and sound in its day. They were one of my first experiences of a reasonable though very small over the head on the ear headset and produced good sound and portability for that time at a reasonable price
Also in a drawer somewhere at home I have a B&O Earset - early edition (I bought them over 10 years ago). Even though they have a half circle over the ear I didn’t like the way they feel and the cable was too short.
If you were to get new headphones, which form factor of headphone would you pick next and why?
With the only exception being my mobile phone bluetooth set.
Definitely Over the ear! For the best possible sound etc
I personally prefer over the ear to shut out as much outside noise as possible and give me a richer sound experience.
Earbuds or in ear types just don’t work very well for me and never did, because I think I have an unusually big ear space or something and those Apple and general mobile phone type ear buds just will not stay in my ears and end up falling out.
What are the best headphones available on the market today, and why are they the best?
Is there a BIG problem in the headphone market?
Is there a unique value or innovation that Eve & the community could bring to this product category?
I have no idea what are the best on the market today, but I’m about to start to look around again and see what’s available and I will likely report back in due course.
There is Not exactly a BIG problem that I am aware of in the market except to say:-
** I think it’s hard to find a professional quality, light, attractive, with adjustable head spring, technically advanced, noise cancelling (both directions), really good professional sound quality, “wireless & cable” over the ear head set specially with a professional quality microphone that can be anywhere as near as clear and crisp when conducting a phone call_** as my Plantronics Voyager 3200 or any high level Plantronics noise cancelling bluetooth. (my Bose and Sennheiser still don’t compete with the 3200 on that score)
(The Voyager is not as good for listening to audio books, language lessons or music as a high quality head set designed for “Sound”.
And, I don’t want a headset with those ugly and obtrusive “gaming” style microphones sticking out the front and come in God-aweful gawdy “look at me” colours like you want everyone to see you.
On the subject of the best in the market at the top end, I have not yet tried the new Sony WH-1000XM3, Bose QuietComfort 35 II, Beyerdynamic Amiron, latest Sennheiser Momentum, Plantronics Back Beat Pro 2, MicroSoft Surface, Nuraphone or the Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT.
But If I am to make a prediction then I would say that if this community could aim at combining and incorporating all the best features of all these and more into what I think would be the ultimate listening device on the planet. We copied the Surface and beat it in very noticeable features and quality we can do again and easier with such a good logistics and construction partner.
Price Range - Again you get what you pay for!
For the best! I would expect to pay $400 - $600 possibly more.
But knowing manufacturing costs as I do then I’d stick with the $400+ range, and the low design and development costs we could have on this forum is probably the best advantage we have.
By the way I mentioned this brand above, and I now ask has anybody tried or do they know much about these - https://www.nuraphone.com
I’m not sure if the reviews on the web are biased or paid for or even real yet.
Though I am tempted to try them because they come with a 30 day money back guarantee, if not satisfied. And they’re based in Australia.