Most helpful positive review
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Great isolation and defined sound--a real treat
on November 12, 2012
I purchased these about 2 weeks ago, but wanted to live with them for a while and use them on an airplane before reviewing it. I bought these mostly to use at the gym. My ears don't hold ear buds very well, and unfortunately my gym plays music that I don't want to listen to, and the ear buds that do fit my ears don't keep out enough of the music they play at the gym.
First, I'm most happy with the isolation--these block out almost everything. They aren't active noise cancelling, they just block out the outside noise. I've been able to use them at the gym effectively.
Second, the sound quality is just really good. The first weekend I had them I ended up listening to them for hours. The combination of the great sound and the isolation was a nice treat and got me back to 'just' listening to music--without other distractions. I played a few tracks that I know really well to test them. On 'Hurt' by Christina Aguilera, I could hear all the definition of the bow on the strings, and the reverb tails were very accurate. On 'Hotel California' from The Eagles (Hell Freezes Over version), the drums were nice and big and you could really feel the sound stage with the shakers panned hard right and hard left. Finally, on 'Money for Nothing' from Dire Staits, I could hear Mark Knopfler's fingers popping the strings on the main riff, and the sound held together well even during the crescendo leading from the intro to the main riff. I compared them to the Bose QC3 that I own and really love, and they sound very good. I would say the Yamaha is a bit more accurate and clear in the high end, and that the Bose is a bit warmer with more accentuated bass.
I used them on a flight from LA to London last week and they worked well for me for both music and watching episodes of Homeland. I did an A/B with the Bose, and they both blocked out the background noise pretty well. My only knock on the Yamaha is that they may be a bit of a tight fit for some folks. They fit fairly tight on my head, and if you had a really sizable noggin, they may be uncomfortable. The tight fit may be a reason that they isolate so well, and I found I could wear them most of the flight without it hurting my ears.