Best Private Retreat Using Closed Headphones

To avoid competing with other distractions around the house, I am reconsidering the use of headphones.

For years, I have had a few pairs and headphone amps around: Etymotics, Grados, and Sennheiser 580's to name a few, but rarely used any of them.

I don't like the claustrophic, inside my head feel of the in ear designs, other than maybe on airplanes or my motorbike where I sometimes listen to books on tape.

And I notice that with open phones, they get much louder from the outside than I would like. I don't want to distract anyone, or broadcast whatever I am listening to.

Are there any audiophile, closed headphones that you have tried? Would these permit a bit of escape without bothering or waking anyone else?

Thanks for thoughts.
There are a few but they all suffer from the effect of cups. I find the pro Sennheiser HD 25-I-II to be extremely dynamic and very good sounding - perhaps because of the small volume of these cans? They offer 17 db background noise reduction and no noise outside the cans to disturb others - they are popular with pro sports commentators as well as studios and live production. Are they better than open cans - NO - I think you will not find any closed cans that can make that claim - however they are very good.
I've got a pair of Ultrasone cans that I like quite well for closed phones. Check out their line.

Lots of options here from $20-$1500 a pair.
I use a pair of Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro headphones. Have had them for about five years. Originally bought them as a pair of phones for detailed mixing back when I was recording a lot.

They struck me as extremely musical and unexhausting for a closed ear. I highly recommend them, against the senheisers and grados of similar price. I know they aren't an audiophile brand but worth a look.

Has anyone tried the Audio Technica ATH-AD 700 as raved about in Stereophile?

"I borrowed a pair of the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 headphones Sam Tellig raved about in his June 2008 column. Their list price is $249, but the street price is $149 and under. Yup, a stellar bargain. The AD700s have a remarkably neutral and unfussy midrange."

The reason I asked is that they came up on my "closed" headphone search, but as far as I can tell this is an "open" headphone.

Or, there are two AT versions - one open and one closed - which differ only by a letter or two in the model number.

Would love to know if anyone has tried them or if this could be the holy grail for bargain basement closed 'phones.

Thank you,
Sony 7506. A steal at $80.00. Grado 60s as well.
05-13-10: Bongofury
Sony 7506. A steal at $80.00.

The Sony 7506 Professional Studio Monitors deliver what their name implies.
Or, there are two AT versions - one open and one closed - which differ only by a letter or two in the model number.
The comparable closed model appears to be the ATH-A700.

The main spec differences relative to the ATH-AD700 appear to be that the closed model has slightly greater sensitivity, higher impedance, greater extension in the ultrasonic region, and different cable materials. I have no experience with either model.

I would second the suggestions, though, that you consider the Sony MDR-7506. It is a headphone of choice among many professional videographers, among other applications. See the many user comments on it at B&H's site.
I have a pair which I use for non-critical purposes, primarily amateur videography and voice recording, and I've been very pleased. I haven't tried them in my main system, though.

-- Al
I am on my third pair of the Sonys. I love them. 90% of my listening is done on them.
Hey Cwlondon, I have a pair of the ATH-A700s, and I really like them. I, too wanted closed cans for the same reasons you do. I can only compare them to the Grado 325i, which I just got rid of, and which is open. But, I found myself going for the closed Audio Technicas every time, and soon the Grados collected dust. Sure, if you're in a silent room, the Grados can sound quite good, but that didn't happen much in my life. So the ATH-A700's sound . . . it's just involving and non fatiging and warm but detailed. And it's a very comfortable fit, too. I'd like to upgrade to the ATH-W5000 some day when I've got some extra dough, but for now, these are headphones I can live very comfortably with for long time. And it looks like the ATH-A700s have the same drivers as the extra fine W5000! Can't comment on how they compare with the Sonys as I've never heard them. Sorry if this rambled. For the price, I think you can't go wrong with these.

For some reason B&H in NYC does not sell the ATH A700s but has the ATH M50's which are also closed back and seem to be well reviewed.

Can anyone add to the debate regarding the ATH M50's?

Further to closed headphones, has anyone tried the Phiaton MS 400's?

They were well reviewed in the recent Stereophile summary of recommended components, so I thought I would give them a try.

An interesting style, the headphones have a Ferrari like carbon fiber and red leather finish.

I find them a bit small and more on the ear than around the ear. Also, my wife told me she could hear them, so apparently not 100% closed.

Still, very detailed and revealing, a bit bright at louder volumes to my ear, but makes them nice for low level listening.

Is anyone else familiar with Phiaton?
Cwlondon, the best place to ask this question where all the hardcore headphone fanatics hang out...Head-Fi. Their forums are highly active and there a lot of users who have tried nearly every brand, type, and style of headphone ever on the market(or close to).
I agree with DMob here. There is a wonderful headphone store in Portland called 32 Ohm. You may wish to call them. A wealth of product and opinion.