Recommends Me Some Headphones

kevhed72 Posts: 4,882
So I may be on the road again about once a month for a new position at work…to be determined. I do like my current Polk Ultrafocus but….no Bluetooth and I have since upgraded iPhones. Funny how “improvements” in technology lead to buying….more stuff. Anyway, to keep my sanity in airports I would require a decent Bluetooth pair of on/over ear headphones that will hold up to travel and must come with a case. Any suggestions for a pair for a max spend of 200.00?


  • kevhed72
    kevhed72 Posts: 4,882
    Clipdat wrote: »

    Sony….which ones?
  • msg
    msg Posts: 8,822
    edited August 2022
    Bose QC-35ii or NC700.
    Sign up for notifications on SlickDeals and watch for refurbs. I ended up picking up a set of each, planning to return the ones I liked least. Kept both. Both have their strengths.

    Mic and noise cancellation is superior on the 700s, though I find the 35s a bit more comfortable.

    The 35s also have tactile buttons, whereas the 700s are touch. I didn't like this at first, but you get used to the gestures.

    The 700s also have an optional charging case that I got for free with the SlickDeals/RetailMeNot deal, iirc. Pretty neat add-on if you're on the go a lot.

    Sonic signature is very close to same on both. Say what you will about Bose home systems, but I enjoy Bose headphones a lot. The noise cancellation on the 700s is the best I've ever tried, and I really enjoy the isolation for concentration and relaxation.

    The 700s also have a button for pass-through. I think they call it conversation mode, which temporarily stops the music and disables the noise cancellation. It's pretty fast, and resumes just as quickly. A lot better than hanging an earcup off one year when you need to hear. Plus, it makes it look like you can't hear what's going on around you, so it's really more accurate to call it "Surreptitious True Friend Detector", or STFD.

    If phone calling is a consideration for you, know that the mic performance on the 35s is horrible. Or incredible, depending on what you're going for. There's no noise cancellation on the microphone and it/they pick up *everything*. So if you're active on a call, say, putting away dishes or shuffling stuff in your office, it's very uncomfortable for the other party. Think amplified sharp sounds. By contrast, the 700s have noise cancelling/reducing mic tech, and are much cleaner and more comfortable for the other party.

    You can purchase a plug-in microphone accessory for the 35s. It's wired and I think is intended to turn them into gaming headphones, but you can also use it with a mobile device with a headphone/mic jack, if yours has this. I bought one of these from Amazon. It's a proprietary fit with very nice fit/finish, however, note that this boom mic doesn't really do anything to make them more usable for phone calls. The 700s excel here, hands down. There really is no comparison.

    I tried the Sony WH-1000XM4s. They are *very* well reviewed and many prefer them over the Bose models. They have a neat feature that detects when you take them off your head. I found them a bit flat, and muddy sonically, but I think some would probably consider this more accurate. The noise cancellation was better than others, but to me, second to both Bose models.

    Both Bose models are non-fatiguing, audio wise, with the 35s being physically less fatiguing to wear. Both have comfortable earcups, though I find the 700s ever so slightly shallow, and my ears don't stick out. The 35s are better here. Nothing to complain about. I often wear both for hours at a stretch, though the 700s' headband becomes a bit more "present" with longer sessions. Not so with the 35s.

    The 700s have a funky headband/adjustment mechanism. The 35s have wider headband with standard detented adjustment and decent articulation. You get used to the 700s; they do stay where you set them, but it's not as easy to adjust them as is with the 35s.

    Both have comfortable clamping force, though these are not good for workouts in situations of impact or moving to declined positions. You can get by with the 35s if you're wearing a ball cap and can stand the heat. I've actually started using my 35s for this for morning workouts. I like this better than room systems now. Again, isolation - get in the zone.

    There's a newer version of the QC, the QC-45 something or other. I read a review that said the sound signature on these was different from the 35s and that the 35s were preferred.

    My first headphones were the Bose TP-1A, which I used for years and still have. Also super comfortable, but wired. Not a recommendation - they don't even make them anymore - but just for reference.

    Also for reference, I have a bunch of other wired headphones from Sennheiser to Philips. I've enjoyed the Philips best, but, but overall, for ease of use flexibility and wireless, I don't think I've used those other headphones in over a year. I use the Bose daily.

    Both are pretty fast charging as well.

    Sorry - just saw the $200 max budget. You can find these on deals for $250 to near $300, but new, I think they're $300/$400, 35s/700s, respectively, not on sale or refurb. Totally worth the investment, though, imho, if you can manage it.
    Post edited by msg on
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  • Nightfall
    Nightfall Posts: 10,020
    Go all out, save up for the Airpods Max they'll connect and work seamless with your iPhones.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • verb
    verb Posts: 10,176
    Wow this is great timing! We are in the market for some new airport headphones for the Mrs. Originally had the Bose QC15's, but they are lost! Lol, not sure what happened. Maybe they'll turn up some day.

    I've been debating the Bose QC35ii/45 or 700, but the Mrs like the Airpods Max cause they're cute!
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  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 12,274
    kevhed72 wrote: »
    Clipdat wrote: »

    Sony….which ones?

    Which ever model of their wireless BT ones meet your budget, but ideally save up and get the WH-1000XM5.
  • tonyp063
    tonyp063 Posts: 1,023
    The HD450BT seems to tick all your boxes.
  • gudnoyez
    gudnoyez Posts: 8,034
    Clipdat wrote: »
    kevhed72 wrote: »
    Clipdat wrote: »

    Sony….which ones?

    Which ever model of their wireless BT ones meet your budget, but ideally save up and get the WH-1000XM5.

    These seen them at Costco once for around $299
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