What, is this a trick question, or something?
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For the same reasons I ordered Bose, ($300) pair. they were nice but you cannot turn the noise cancelling option off, that after prolonged use gave me a headache. I returned them and went shopping. I found a pair of Sennheisen PXC 250, for $169. The Sennheiser have a PXC 150 that was $125 but the particular store was out, and I didn't have much time to look around. Well, I went to Europe and back, and I highly recommend this pair. For the movies and music they performed flawlessly. They are compact, easyly folded and have a on and off switch for "noise cancelling" which I found to be a nice feature.
Just have done alot of reading on headphones and I decided on a pair of Shure E2C which have received good reviews. I paid $75.00 delivered and should get them tomorrow. Drop me an email and I can provide you with the website that I ordered from. The Shures will be used with a iAudio U2 mp3 player for the gym and hopefully will sound good. The recommendation for the Grado SR60 is a good one, although they are not considered "noise cancelling" headphones and are a bit uncomfortable. I own a pair of Grado SR80's and love the sound, but again the comfort is lacking.
I just picked up some ultimate ears super.fi 3 studio ear canal headphones and I love them. They're $99, and they work about as well as ear plugs on reducing noise. The backround noise is cut down dramatically with them on, and I find myself listening at much much lower levesl than I used to... which is a very good thing for your ears. For noise reduction realistically they work about as well as the Bose ones do even though they're passive, on top of that they cost 1/3 as much and don't sound like ass. They're certainly worth considering.
I'm a big huge fan of Grado headphones and don't personally find them uncomfortable--actually, the SR60s with the full foam cups are the most comfy Grados I've tried. They're a bit forward, but they are clean and resolving enough that I take the tradeoff.
The problem with the Grados is they're the anti-noise cancelling headphone. They're open-ear so they will throw a small amount of sound out and around you, while letting some sound in. I like them on trains and planes because the environment is usually noisy enough that you won't bug anyone with them, and you can still hear a steward/ess approaching as long as you're not rockin' out too much.
Let us know how the Maxells work out. The price is certainly right!