Headphones for a noisy household

Looking for a music solution for a noisy open design home. What DAC and headphones would you recommend for use with Sansung S22 running Qobuz? I have Sennheiser HD 560S running through an IFI Zen Dac V2 streaming via laptop but am looking for something more portable and that blocks out some of the external noise such as tv. I haven't set a budget for this but this will not be a main source of listening.


That is a good question. There are three approaches… the DAC/Headphone amp / closed back speakers… or get a DAP and closed headphones… they look like a thick iphone but are dedicated to music. In general this can be a a very good and portable. I have a very good one… and it sounds great. I have had dozens of DACs , and headphone amps, and headphones over the years. You can see my headphone system under my UserID. I’m not suggesting you go their.


Alternatively,the third way you could go is noice cancelling / blue tooth headphones like Bose Quiet Comfort… Sony and Sennheiser make them as well. This may seem sacrilegious because they are not high end. But, noise is the Emily of high end. Ever with closed headphones the sound is so compromised. I have had a dozen of rigs for travel and noisy environments. In my opinion a waste of time and money. Noise cancelling headphones are generally retuned to sound really pleasant when used with noise cancellation. The sound is a bit cartoonish… but designed to be really pleasing… in environments where all the important high frequency gets truncated.

I use my audiophile hat when choosing dedicated equipment in quiet environments. But when in noisy ones I slap on my Bose Quiet Comfort 30s and enjoy the quiet and lack of wires. I can walk anywhere… out the door. Gardening… traveling.

Hauling around DACs, headphone amps… wires…. A pain. I put on my Sennheiser 800s or Focal Utopia when it is quiet with my 30 lb headphone amp. Or go the DAP route they can operate wired or unwired. I have the top of the line A&K.

My favorite wireless headphones with ANC are the Bower & Wilkins PX7 Carbon (now the PX8 is out) and the Sennhesier Momentum 4 we currently have. Both are simple to use, long battery life, and fast charge really quickly. The Bose Quietcomfort II 45 was also good, easily the most comfortable, Sennheiser easiest to use with tap controls, B&W has the best build quality by a mile.

One route would be some nice closed-back headphones and a portable amp/DAC like these…


As others mentioned you could go the wireless, noise cancelling route, and I’ll throw in these Sony headphones that are generally highly regarded for both sound and noise cancelling capabilities…


Hope this helps, and best of luck.

I’d go with a Fiio BTR7 and an Etymotic ER4 XR.  

I have a S22 with Qobuz and the aforementioned setup.  The Etys aren’t noise cancelling but work well in cutting out outside noises.  Any other IEM will work as well.

And if IEMs aren’t your thing the BTR7 can drive just about any headphone.  Just make sure the cans are closed back models.

Good luck.

There’s a set of Bowers & Wilkens PX7 S2 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones on USAM for a great price, they would fit your desire for better sound with a quiet sound floor, also built like a tank (but not as heavy)!