View Full Version : Is there interest in noise-cancelling headphones?
05-07-2009, 05:30 PM
When I was on a plane a few weeks ago, listening to music and trying to get work done, an idea hit me like a ton of bricks... noise-cancelling headphones. I own a pair of closed-back cans, so I already have a lot of noise drowned out, except for a few things that are absolutely difficult to drown out: the plane's engine, and... crying babies (two of which I dealt with on one of these flights).
My idea was this... to hop on my next flight carrying a few different pairs of noise-cancelling headphones to find out which one works better than the other. It should be a rather easy conclusion to make if I'm able to test out multiple sets on the exact same flight, especially if the same altitude and engine speed is kept. Space is an issue, but if I bring a small laptop with me, I could easily fit three or more pairs in my carry-on.
My question is whether or not anyone sees interest in a piece of content like this.
05-09-2009, 05:30 AM
You should not only test the noise canceling qualities but the sonic quality. I'd even judge a better sounding set with lesser noise abatement to be better than a set with superior noise cancellation. What's the use of a noise canceling headphone that sounds so-so? You might also take a pair of noise isolating in-ear buds as a baseline. In ear buds that seal well to the ear canal can be more effective than circumaural sealed designs.
But, yes, I am interested in that. I'd like a set for work.
05-09-2009, 12:05 PM
The problem with earbuds though, is that they all sound like shit. Every, single, pair. I've used $100 ear buds and still disliked the quality, so I'm hard pressed to believe any pair would impress me. They all sound like tin cans. As for testing the sound quality, that's a given. If I wasn't going to factor that in, I might as well just review ear plugs ;-)
05-09-2009, 02:37 PM
Really? I like the way my JVC earbuds sound. They have huge bass for such a tiny set, much better than my aging KOSS UR40's. Plus they block about 30db in background noise.
05-09-2009, 02:48 PM
Bass is the biggest issue, and I've never found a pair that pleased me. It might just be me, but I simply can't stand them. At some trade show, Shure asked me to try out their new $100 pair, and man, whatever. It could be that most often when I test these out, I'm in a huge room with a thousand other people, so I won't be THAT quick to discredit them entirely. I can't really acknowledge otherwise until I test them out elsewhere though.
Out of curiosity, do you have any recommendations for noise-cancelling headphones? I'll try to include a ear bud set as well if possible. Really not sure if this will happen soon though. Have a long flight later this month, but I don't know if time will allow getting in what I need by then.
05-09-2009, 03:44 PM
There's the Bose Quiet Comfort 2 and 3. Aside from those I don't know of any off the top of my head.
05-09-2009, 04:35 PM
Cool, thanks. I'll look into those.
05-11-2009, 03:15 PM
I've always wanted a noise-canceling headphones set, so I'd be interested. But as I no longer have any real use for them I'd not likely ever buy any, so there is that as well. I no longer frequently fly and more other places I go I'd need to be able to hear people around me.
The Shure E5C were supposed to have excellent bass quality, but Shure has since then changed up their offerings so I'm not familiar with their current in-ear buds. My E3C earbuds are excellent and have sufficient bass to be acceptable to me. I even use those to block out the lawnmower when mowing the lawn as they seal out sound well for what they are. I guess that'd be the only thing I'd use a noise-cancelling set today for. ;)
If I ever had to do another trans-atlantic flight I'd probably buy a set, I about went mad sitting next to an engine for most of a day and yelling/crying children didn't help anything either. It really hurts my hearing and takes awhile before I get my hearing range back.
These are supposed to be excellent... http://www.sennheiserusa.com/newsite/productdetail.asp?transid=500643
05-12-2009, 01:48 AM
I even use those to block out the lawnmower when mowing the lawn as they seal out sound well for what they are.
Yeah... that's one of life's biggest annoyances right there. This morning for me, it was street sweepers... for a good hour. Very difficult to get work done with something like that going on... even with the windows closed.
I'll see what I can do about getting in a Shure and the Bose pair just to begin testing. I am highly doubtful I can get in enough noise-cancelling headphones in time for my next trip, and it's really too bad since it consists of a twelve-hour flight. I'll see what I can do...
06-12-2009, 03:20 AM
Rob, how's things looking with this? Just a heads up ZipZoomFly is running a promotion selling the Sennheiser PXC450's for $250 shipped no rebates. Since these used to be $450 headphones it's a rather tempting deal...
06-12-2009, 11:00 AM
That sounds like a sweet deal, but I am not familiar with those cans at all so I can't comment. This idea didn't happen just due to time... it was impossible to come up with this idea and get in what I needed in that amount of time. My next long flight will be in September, so mid-August I'll start working on getting what I need in, in.
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