Which headphones should be purchased?

Which headphones are your favorites and why? What do they do well that others do not. I am looking for a pair of Headphones that I can take on a train or plane, so closed is probably the way I want to go. I have a pair of HD 600s and love them, but I can't use them in public. How are the Bose in comparison to others, I have heard great things, but not from audiophiles, thanks for your help.
I've got the 600s also, and that seems to be the gold standard these days. I'd check out headroom's website (headphone.com) for some fairly blunt reviews of the full offering lines from Sennheiser, Grado and a bunch of others (they, almost gleefully, proclaim certain models to be a waste of money). For traveling, they can't seem to say enough about the Etymotics -- worth a read, if nothing else. Even if you don't buy from them (which I did) they are a good resouce on all things headphones. As for the Bose cans, not a clue.
Agree with Mezmo re: Etymotics. I have a pair of the ER-4S and highly recommend them. They are not cheap. They look similar to an earplug and offer fidelity that is simply remarkable for its design. The other great benefit is that they also attenuate external noise such as jet engine or rail noise which allows one to relax and feel much perkier when he arrives at his destination.

Check 'em out. Might just be the ticket for your needs.
Headroom also has some recommendations on headphones for noisy environments.

When I was a traveller, I used to use sony nc-20 noise cancelling headphones. They didn't cancel as much noise as I wanted, and the fidelity was 'just ok'. They were best at cutting out low droning noises like a bus or jet engine. The metal backed sony mdr-v6's were almost as good at shutting out noise. Both headphones are reasonably small and comfortable to wear. The v6's were more rugged, the nc-20's folded up very small. Neither one of these can hold a candle to my senn 580's.

I never tried the etymotics. I was a little concerned with having a speaker THAT close to my eardrum.
"I never tried the etymotics. I was a little concerned with having a speaker THAT close to my eardrum. "

I know what you mean, but the design blocks out all external noise...you should actually be listening at a lower volume level than you would with other headphones. The difference is that you're hearing all music and no background noise. I plan on picking up a pair whenever it's financially feasible.
I have a pair of Etymotics 4S and a Headroom Amp. Noise cancellation is second to none. Sound quality is a good as any headphone period, it's all personal prefernce. When you have great noise cancellation, you won't have to play your music at highter levels to cancel out the noise to enjoy your music. I would not worry about hurting your eardrums. The negative is that the 4S's need an exteral amp. However, Etyomotics makes a version that does not require an amp that is very close to the sound quality of the 4S called the 4P.
Suggest you check out the forums at headwize.com and headfi.org. Use their search engine and you should find some useful info. I would avoid the Bose headphones. For traveling I use cheapo noise cancelling headphones which stink sonically. In the fall and winter, I usually use Grado RS-2 headphones, which I personally prefer over the Sennheisers. The Sennheisers are good, but too difficult to drive compared to the Grados and Ultrasones. In the summer, when the a/c is on and I want some isolation I use the Ultrasone HFI600. This particular Ultrasone is a sealed back headphone and is the only sealed phone I have found that rivals an open back phone in spaciousness and soundstaging. I have tried various sealed headphones such as Sennheiser, Sony, Koss and Denon but have found nothing that rivals the Ultrasones, which are not widely distributed or well known. They are mostly sold in the US thru pro audio dealers or are available at meier-audio.com. Tonally, they are to headphones what the Spendors are to loudspeakers. Yes, they are even a little smoother sounding than the Grados. You may not like the way they look either. However, for plugging directly into a portable and for a sealed back phone, I have found nothing better. I think Ultrasone may have changed the design of the HFI600 since I got mine and the current model looks better and folds up, but may not be as comfortable. Good luck and enjoy.
Has anyone heard the Bose headphones and compared them to the Sennheisers or other audiophile Headphones?
I own several high-quality headphones, including a Sennheiser HD-600. A friend of mine let me hear his Bose noise-canceling phones. It was not a good test for sonic quality. We were using his music, his personal stereo and the test was quite brief, so based on that test I can say that I was not wowed by the fidelity or sonic quality, but the noise-canceling ability of the phones is quite remarkable. If I were making a choice for the application where you wish to use them, I would carefully audition the Etymotic's vs. the Bose. Ultimately, I think that the sonic quality of the Etymotic's will override the Bose which, at least in my poorly set-up listening test, did not come close to a high quality headphone.

I use the Etymotic 4P (higher output with slightly rolled off highs re 4S) for exactly the purpuse you describe. They're great and easy to pack!
I fly several times per year to London on American Airlines. They provide the Bose headphones in business class. I had considered buying a pair of my own for when I travel on my own dime, but I did as Joe-b suggested and checked out Head-Fi and Head-Wize. I ended up buying a portable Headroom amplifier and the Etymotic ER-4P's from Headroom {url=http://www.headphone.com/layout.php}Headroom{/url} several months ago.

I have compared the Bose directly with the Etymotics and the audio performance is significantly better with the Etymotics (an understatement!). They also do a good job of isolating outside noise. The Bose cans do a reasonable job of isolation, particularly the engine noise of a 777.

The Etymotics have received many favorable reviews and are frequently mentioned as headphones to consider for quality audio as well as significant isolation from external sounds. Some folks find the design of the Etymotics a bit problematic, they are "canal phones" and need to be placed into your ear canal. They have several styles of tips (one is rubber, the other is foam), you may find one type more suitable than the other. They took me a little while to get comfortable with them, but it was well worth it.

Hope this helps,

I have done a direct A/B check with the Bose and my current Grado 225's. The Bose are mid-fi at best and the price they charge relative to others is way to high.

I use my Grado's when I travel. They are an open design but that doesn't bother me. They sound great and are relatively compact.
I wouldn't consider the Bose fo a moment. Try one the Etymotic ER-4 series and a headroom amplifier and your'e in business!
I have the Sony MDR 7506 phones (same or very similar to the Sony MDR V6). They are very efficient and sound great (they can be somewhat too powerful on bass, though).

I also own the Sennheiser HD 600 and agree with your review.
I am using Grado SR 125 headphones with a Musical Fidelity head amp. The combo sounds very, very nice; so much so that I find myself using this more often when listening alone than the tube amp and speakers. Good stuff.