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Less Noise, More Music: Creative Aurvana and HN-700 Headphon

Last response: in Tom's Guide
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August 4, 2006 8:14:53 PM

It's obvious you prefer the in-ear over the larger headphones.

Your article was no help either. Why did you judge these two against each other rather than against the competition? I'd like to know how well they work against Bose. You put to much personal taste in the article, so it was no help at all.
August 5, 2006 9:50:52 AM

I found this article frustrating. It did not provide any comparison data (someone else noted this too). Why not at least compare it to the HN-505? One of my biggest concerns with headphones was not addressed, durability. Does "inexpensive" equate to flimsy? You mention that the HN-700s are relatively inexpensive... but you neither list the price nor provide links to anyplace which does. I checked a number of likely on-line tech stores (including THW). Only by checking pricewatch did I come across one place which listed this model.

The conclusion was not clearly written. It started out talking about the Aurvana earbuds but did not have a separate paragraph which cleanly started by addressing the HN-700. It appears that you disapprove of them. There are some vague statements such as "On the other hand, they're half the price." however it is not clear which product "they" refers to, and if you are talking about both ("they" is plural), then 1/2 the price of what? IF there had been a link for a supplier of the HN-700s it would have been clear that they cost half the price of the Aurvanas. One had to be read the conclusions a couple of times to glean a "conclusion" about the HN-700s.

While some review is better than no review, this one lacked usefulness.
August 7, 2006 12:55:22 AM

If you are interested in set of large headphones, I recommend that you look into the Sennheiser HD-280 Pro. These headphones do not have any noise cancelling, but the fit snugly and advertise 32dB ambient noise attenuation. I wear them at work with my mp3 player at low volume (8 to 10 out of 40) and can't hear people talking in adjacent desks.

The sound quality on these headphones is truly amazing as well. While I can't make any real comparison to the HN-700s since I have never used them, I do know that the frequency response on the HD-280s is better (8Hz to 25kHz for HD-280, 20Hz to 20kHz for the HN-700). Indeed, the lower bass tones come out perfectly on the HD-280s. You can feel the same kick on the rising edge of bass as you would with a subwoofer. After using inexpensive Sony headphones for years, the difference with the HD-280s was staggering.

As for sturdiness, I find these to be very sturdy and well made. Granted that they are plastic, but they feel very solid, even around the earpiece hinges. I've had them for about 8 months now, and they are still in perfect shape.

One thing I must warn about these headphones, is that they are no good for use in a car (as a passenger of course). Since they cancel noise by muffling, the vibrations of the vehicle end up cancelling out most of your basetones. These headphones are phenominal for listening at work or home, but if you need something for the road (for a subway or bus ride perhaps) then you should look elsewhere.

The HD-280 Pro headphones can be had for $90 from newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
August 7, 2006 2:42:48 AM

Quote:
It's obvious you prefer the in-ear over the larger headphones.

Your article was no help either. Why did you judge these two against each other rather than against the competition? I'd like to know how well they work against Bose. You put to much personal taste in the article, so it was no help at all.


Because BOSE is too expensive for what they are; you can easily find the equivalent cans for much cheaper.
August 8, 2006 4:02:55 PM

i've got a pair of Koss QZ-Pro headphones, id like to see how they would stack up against other active noise headphones
problem is that graphs are all well and good, but you cant beat a good pair of objective subjective ears to test them
and besides, how can you really compare active and passive?
active should stack against active and passive against passive.
thats my 2 pence anyway. oh and u really cant beat the cool sensation of wairing active noise cancellation headphones and switching them on and off....alot of fun and really wierd sensation of the noise.
oh yea also can you really imagene wairing a pair of headphones that shove into your ear for 14 hours of flight?
sure 1~3 hours its fine but after?
damn if u can cause they start to piss me off, the active are more comfortable and (for me atleast) gave me better sound quality
August 8, 2006 5:18:13 PM

Outside of something made for commercial use, it's a gimmick.

The Sennheiser and Grado lower-end models offer amazing sound that cuts right through the noise. $69 for the Grado SR60, for instance - it sounds like a $1500 pair of speakers in your living room. And they go loud - loud enough that you can easily not hear surrounding lower level noises.

The Sennheisers are a small notch below them, but they offer a nice closed cushion, which blocks out a lot of ambient sound.

Koss is worse at the low-end and better than either at the upper-end, so YMMV.

Everything else under $100 is literally llike comparing a Porsche to a Kia. Just the headphones are mostly plastic and so on - to save on costs. Sound is identical until you cross the $200-$300 range.

Lastly, in-ear headphones are proven to cause hearing damage, even at modest levels. Our ears were made to work the way they do, and shoving a small speaker millimeters away from your eardrum...

I have a co-worker who has worn them for probably a decade. She can't hear my music coming out of the speakers on my computer until the other people are starting to look over at me(ie - quite loud).
August 9, 2006 12:53:55 AM

Quote:


Lastly, in-ear headphones are proven to cause hearing damage, even at modest levels. Our ears were made to work the way they do, and shoving a small speaker millimeters away from your eardrum...

I have a co-worker who has worn them for probably a decade. She can't hear my music coming out of the speakers on my computer until the other people are starting to look over at me(ie - quite loud).


I know what you mean. I studied Audio Engineering a few years ago (SAE College), and I learnt that distortion is just as conducive to hearing damage as excessive amplitude. I can attest to that.

A few years ago I bought my first set of decent cans (Sony MDRV-700), and shit man, they go LOUD, and they are extremely durable. The only way I could make them distort was through a decent amplifier. Sound quality was great, considering the bulk of my musical diet was electronica and I was using MiniDisc (ATRAC3 256kbps).

When my musical tastes changed towards classical, I needed something with more clarity. A trip to Japan let me pick up a pair of Sony MDR-F1 cans for the equivalent of AU$275 (RRP here in Adelaide: AU$329 for MDRV-700s and AU$669 for MDR-F1s). Ever since I got hold of a Hi-MD unit I use uncompressed PCM (1441kbps), and although I have to carry a few spare discs with me I just can't go back, and my hearing has been a lot better since. The ZEN 20Gb with the $50 cheapie cans has been relegated to "walk to the supermarket" duties. It doesn't hurt that the MDR-F1's can be worn for hours on end without discomfort either.

I also used an iPod once but, coming from Hi-MD, it's a massive downgrade in sound quality, not to mention that my Hi-MD unit uses removable AA batteries which, with PCM and MDR-F1s, last nearly a full day.

Oh yeah, I'm not a Sony fanboy. It's just that when I started becoming interested in audio all we had at my house was Sony gear, which was probably the best mainstream consumer gear at the time, so I grew up with Sony. Not only that, none of our Sony gear shit itself within 2 months. Maybe I was lucky :lol: 
September 19, 2010 3:25:57 PM

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