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Old 05-02-2013, 03:43 AM   #1
Rumpelteazer
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Noise-Cancelling Headphones

About 10 times a year I wish I had noise-cancelling headphones, when a neighbour has a party or one of the neighbouring cafés or restaurants play loud music. I have a good Sennheiser over-ear headphone, but it seems that it amplifies rather than blocks the noise of loud music, mainly the bass boom.

I've been looking around for a noise-cancelling headphone, however, the prices are high, from €150 upwards, and the "cheaper" ones aren't even over-ear but on-ear.

Does anyone have any good experience with noise-cancelling headphones? I don't mind paying a bit more for a better quality. I'll mostly be using it when for tv and radio. I don't mind it if it's bulky since I'm going to use it at home and will not be carrying it around with me. Also, I don't care about how it looks, I'm not willing to pay more if they look good, I'd rather have one that works better and is ugly. And last, I'd like it to have standard AA or AAA batteries instead of propriety rechargeable ones. And last, I prefer wired over wireless.

Thank you!
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:39 AM   #2
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I have a friend that owns a pair of these. He has let me make use of them at a range and borrow them for hunting. These really do work as described. There are especially useful hunting when I want to be able to hear low decibel sounds (of course while doing that not used for listening to music) while protecting against hearing damage from shooting. As you say though they are expensive.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/187...uffs-nrr-33-db

Last edited by Hamlet53; 05-02-2013 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:44 AM   #3
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About a year ago I was gifted the Bose Quiet Comfort 15, and they are very good at isolating and cancelling noise. Just by putting them on the noise diminishes significantly, and then when you turn them on, it nearly disappears. They work extremely well with the kind of noise generated by aircraft (a continuous rumble), and a bit less so with conversations and other kinds of noise - it is heavily attenuated, but not eliminated. However, once you start playing some music, in my experience, you won't be able to hear anything other than the music.

They use a AAA battery that lasts about 35h, though I seem to get more than that. They are a bit pricey at about $250, but well worth the money if you need some quietness or are a frequent flyer.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by afv011 View Post
About a year ago I was gifted the Bose Quiet Comfort 15, and they are very good at isolating and cancelling noise. Just by putting them on the noise diminishes significantly, and then when you turn them on, it nearly disappears. They work extremely well with the kind of noise generated by aircraft (a continuous rumble), and a bit less so with conversations and other kinds of noise - it is heavily attenuated, but not eliminated. However, once you start playing some music, in my experience, you won't be able to hear anything other than the music.

They use a AAA battery that lasts about 35h, though I seem to get more than that. They are a bit pricey at about $250, but well worth the money if you need some quietness or are a frequent flyer.
I've narrowed down my list to the Bose QC15 and the Sennheiser PX(C)450. Bose seems to have slightly better noise cancelling and a longer battery life. However, Sennheiser got better sound quality and they also work without the noise cancelling, which means they are also a replacement for my standard headphones. Price is about the same.

Now I have to decide whether noise cancelling or sound quality is more important to me. At the moment I'm favouring the Sennheisers, it's nice that when you spend €300-€350 they can also be used as normal headphones. This opinion, however, can change at any time, probably after another party .
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:32 PM   #5
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There is also the posssibility to make individual ear-plugs in combination with a standard in-ear headphone (silicone plugs as they come with mp3 players).
In Germany there are many companies offering these and they have tha advantage of being a nearly invisible hearing protection when not used as headphones
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:11 PM   #6
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I too have a pair of Bose headphones - not sure of the model - it's astonishing the first time you turn them on! And yes, adding music, totally eliminates outside noise.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:18 AM   #7
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I like electronic/ambient/space music ... which my wife refers to as "that noise you listen to." Getting to our son's school is a five hour drive. I bought her a pair of Able Planet Noise Canceling headphones -- they work better than I could have hoped! She listens to her Pop music on her Ipod with the headphones and I can listen to my music in the car's CD player. They run for hours on a AAA battery. They are "folding" headphones, but the hinge is too gimmicky for me -- I just leave them unfolded.

Actually, I got a pair for myself, too. They really do work really, really well. The cost was only about $50 at Costco, here in the states. Amazon (US) carries them.

http://www.amazon.com/NC200B-Fidelit...ing+headphones



Of course, they won't help if you can "feel" the bass!
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troll05 View Post
There is also the posssibility to make individual ear-plugs in combination with a standard in-ear headphone (silicone plugs as they come with mp3 players).
In Germany there are many companies offering these and they have tha advantage of being a nearly invisible hearing protection when not used as headphones
There are some in-ear headphones that use foam ear cushions rather than silicone. For instance, I have a pair of Koss Sparkplugs. I make my own replacement ear cushions from foam earplugs with a noise protection rating of about 30. These do significantly reduce outside noise -- but the Able Planet active noise canceling 'phones are way more dramatic!
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:06 PM   #9
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What I meant was something like this.

Sorry for posting a german link but I didn't find s.th. in english on short notice
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:00 PM   #10
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What I meant was something like this.

Sorry for posting a german link but I didn't find s.th. in english on short notice
I've thought about getting something similar to those, but although I can use normal in-ear headphones I just can't stand anything that closes off my ear completely.
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:23 PM   #11
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What I meant was something like this.

Sorry for posting a german link but I didn't find s.th. in english on short notice
Ahh! I've seen ads for earphones like these online, but haven't encountered any.
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:56 PM   #12
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I use these for the last six years as noise protection for up to ten hours a day and never encountered any problems. They are much easier and comfortable to use than the cheap foam plugs because they are custom made and don't disturb the blood currant in your ear.

Nonetheless I have to buy new ones now because the form of many ears changed (that was to be expected) and now they started being a nuisance after a few hours but that is a real good investment in terms of comfort and health
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:48 PM   #13
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I've looked at these kinds of headphones, but I swear, I think I have to replace my MP3 player's headphones every 3 or 4 months because the wires at the end that jack into the player get broken.

I'd hate spending $300 on a pair of headphones, only to have to throw them away in....even 6 months!
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:11 AM   #14
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FizzyWater, you might consider getting a short extension cable for your headphones. The shortest I've seen at Amazon is about 1.5 feet.

In my case, I went with an inline headphone volume control.

In both cases the object is to put the stress on the cheaper extension cable's plug and take it off the headphone's plug. But, due to Apple's need to be different, if you have an i-device make sure the extension is compatible. (I think Apple's jack is recessed slightly.)
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:54 AM   #15
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I've looked at these kinds of headphones, but I swear, I think I have to replace my MP3 player's headphones every 3 or 4 months because the wires at the end that jack into the player get broken.
I'd hate spending $300 on a pair of headphones, only to have to throw them away in....even 6 months!
I have Bose noise-canceling headphones and love them. I take several international flights a year so they really make a difference and were worth the expense for me. I also use them indoors to eliminate tv and music noise from others in my household. The Bose have a replaceable wire kit that costs $15. I bought 2 kits after my cat chewed the wires when I left them out of the case one time. I think other brands in this price range also offer replacement kits. If I didn't have the Bose already, then I would consider the B&W P5 headphones.
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