I'm looking for headphones for open-space office environment to filter out other people's noise (chatting, talking on the phone etc.).


  • They should filter out usual office noise effectively.
  • Filtering should work well with all kinds of music.
  • It will be perfect if filtering works without even listening to music (like an ear-plug).

In the last few years I've used normal headphones which cover my whole ears (Sennheiser HD 201) and ear canal phones (Sennheiser CX-300, CX-300 II). I've found the in-ear phones are better although I'm not completely satisfied with these too. Sometimes I feel that the required volume will hurt my hearing in the long run, so I'm looking for better products.

  • 1
    I use the Sennheiser HD 203's, which I find aren't too bad. I'd recommend them, but you've specified the 201's don't work for you, which makes me hesitant. Worth a consider, perhaps.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 19:58
  • @ArtOfCode: The product spec of HD 203 at sennheiser.com says that it's a closed one while spec of HD 201 seems almost empty. If HD 201 is open HD 203 could be better.
    – palacsint
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 20:15
  • 1
    I don't see massive differences between the two. The 203 is slightly better quality, but if it's noise reduction you're looking for I doubt there'll be much difference.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 20:30
  • What's your budget? Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


I personally use Etymotic HF5, and have used the cheaper ER-6i in the past (though I think they replaced that with the MC5). The Etymotics are in-ear-canal phones, and function as ear plugs, giving over a 35dB reduction in sound levels.

They also play music really well, even at quite low volumes. That 35dB of noise isolation goes a long way to letting you listen at low volumes—you can listen low enough that quietly humming to yourself (not blocked by earplugs because that vibration is not carried via air) will drown out the music.

One tip: The cord carries vibrations like crazy. Not a huge problem sitting in a chair, but moving it is. Greatly improved by having the cord exit the earphone towards the bottom-front of your ear, then wrapping the cord over the top of your ear—that stops almost all vibration noises.

BTW: There are cheaper earphones of a similar style. Haven't used them so I can't vouch for them.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.