Old 11th May 2009, 20:41   #1
skryingbreath
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Noise Cancelling Headphones

Do they seriously work? What's a good brand?
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Old 11th May 2009, 20:52   #2
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Yeah, they work, but are really most effective with engine and motor sounds.

Bose invented the thing, and Bose makes the best ones.
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Old 11th May 2009, 20:53   #3
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Sort of, though the only real advantage over regular closed phones is that noise canceling works fairly well against low frequencies.
The biggest downside is that none of them sound particularly great.

Bose is only good at advertising.
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Old 11th May 2009, 21:04   #4
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The ones I've used did pretty well into the midrange too... like jet engines... The key to the canceling effect is how well the circuitry can create the anti-sound... Complex sounds are harder to predict and therefore less canceled. The attempt at trying to cancel complex sounds can create some kind of weird distortions.

I've tried Sennheiser and Bose ones. The Sennheiser ones sounded better in quiet, but the Bose ones were better at noise canceling.
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Old 11th May 2009, 21:12   #5
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There's no prediction going on, just a microphone signal that gets amplified, equalized and reversed. The problem is that for it to work at all frequencies there should ideally be zero distance between mic and driver, while keeping them isolated from each other.
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Old 11th May 2009, 21:18   #6
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Translate that to dummy talk for me. If I'm in a room with a window open to an extremely busy street, will I hear most of the traffic?
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Old 11th May 2009, 22:04   #7
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With regular closed phones the traffic noise will be muffled but you'll still hear a low rumble. Active noise canceling on the other hand is most effective against that rumble so you'll get a reduction at all frequencies, unless, like some models, they're built so lightly that in fact overall isolation is weaker than with heavier regular closed phones (not to mention IEMs).

The problems are for one those weird distortions (that reportedly can even cause nausea for some people), then often some level of hiss (which obviously will only be audible in quiet surroundings, and in that case you could switch the canceling off, unless...), battery consumption, and some models won't work without canceling at all and will shut down if the battery dies.

tl;dr: They isolate better than conventional phones of similar size and weight, especially against rumble, but there are alternatives (IEMs, big closed studio phones) that'll sound better and work more or less equally well for blocking noise.
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Old 11th May 2009, 22:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by skryingbreath
Translate that to dummy talk for me. If I'm in a room with a window open to an extremely busy street, will I hear most of the traffic?
HMMMMM!, WHOOSH!, SCHREECH and HONK! will be greatly reduced. CLANG and BANG... not so much...

I've heard of the hiss thing, but never experienced it.

Ideally, a guy could stick his head in a bucket with 20 lbs of fiberglass insulation and cut eye and air holes, but that's not convenient. The effect was that I could sit on a packed airplane and listen to classical music with silent passages at a fairly low volume and not get irritated by the noise.
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Old 11th May 2009, 22:36   #9
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I got some six dollar earbuds at family dollar that work pretty good for six dollars. Plus they're the only earbuds I've ever used that don't hurt my ears.

They claim to be noise canceling but its just different size rubber fittings that plug your ear. It works well enough for me though, and they sound good enough. They block out a lot of noise too. I can listen to them outside at work by the highway and I don't hear the traffic (Depending on how loud I have it playing).
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Old 11th May 2009, 22:48   #10
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Bose is only good at advertising.>>> back when I was in the recording studio business, we used to say about Bose: "better audio through marketing."

"Which is worse, ignorance or indifference?"

"I don't know, and I don't care."
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Old 11th May 2009, 22:53   #11
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I always thought Bose stuff was ok. On the other hand, there is usually something better for the same money.
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Old 11th May 2009, 23:23   #12
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Bose isn't bad, but it's not pro quality and not exactly the miracle their marketing makes it out to be.

"Which is worse, ignorance or indifference?"

"I don't know, and I don't care."
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Old 12th May 2009, 00:06   #13
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I don't care about studio quality, just something to make things less noisy while not hurting my eardrums.
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Old 12th May 2009, 05:02   #14
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It looks like ass, but I use in-ear modules with Stihl ear muffs (similar to the black ones on the bottom right of picture, but a NPR of 27). They're good enough that I can eliminate most of the sound of a chainsaw, table saw, mower, weed whacker, etc. which is especially helpful in that I don't have to turn up the music very loud. Even blasts from a 12 gauge shotgun are reduced to the sound of a textbook that was dropped from the height of a pencil. They're extremely comfortable too, even if I wear them 10 hours straight (with a lunch break of course). In a plane, engines and pissed-off babies completely disappear even with very low passages of the music. In my humble opinion, no "headphones" can come close to this, and yet this combination costs only a fraction of the price of the Bose stuff. Furthermore, Renee's brother has "quiet comfort 3" Bose models, and they don't do nearly as good a job if you ask me.

If the ones I have aren't good enough, there are even better ones out there, without going up much in price.


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Old 12th May 2009, 06:28   #15
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I still have a pair of runway noise killers that my bro-in-law a mechanic for United Air in SF gave to me. Great for wearing while chainsawing things or zoning out on the front porch.

"Which is worse, ignorance or indifference?"

"I don't know, and I don't care."
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Old 12th May 2009, 07:22   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by swingdjted
It looks like ass
Aww! cmon... we be stylin' now! You just need no shave for two days, a pair of waffle stompers, one of them big ol' belt buckles that's a tombstone for a dead soldier and a Paul Bunyan red flannel shirt

Seriously, the only reason I ever used NC phones is because I could borrow them. $300 for headphones? Not likely. The reason my friend had them to lend to me is that he used to live right next to BART in San Francisco where it would shake the paintings off the wall every 15 minutes. Just watching TV was a problem.
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Old 12th May 2009, 07:55   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockouthippie
...he used to live right next to BART in San Francisco where it would shake the paintings off the wall every 15 minutes. Just watching TV was a problem.
I hope he wasn't paying much for rent.

I'm actually moving to SF (yay me) on a busy street, which is why I made this thread. I'll be studying constantly.

Quote:
Originally posted by swingdjted
The earmuffs actually sound (hur hur hur) like a great idea, thanks!
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Old 12th May 2009, 08:47   #18
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listen to ******** - street noise won't hurt you anymore
if all else fails: Merzbow
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Old 12th May 2009, 12:55   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by swingdjted
It looks like ass[/ url]
the new logitech gaming headset looks like this xD
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Old 13th May 2009, 04:22   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by skryingbreath
I hope he wasn't paying much for rent.

I'm actually moving to SF (yay me) on a busy street, which is why I made this thread. I'll be studying constantly.


The earmuffs actually sound (hur hur hur) like a great idea, thanks!
They cost maybe $15-$30 for brand name (Stihl) or maybe $5-$15 for generics, but if you try to do a lot of work with generics, they can sometimes fall apart, and they might not be as comfortable, or they might not stay on your head very well during physical activity. I recommend going where they sell chainsaws and ask to try some on.

Don't forget to live before you die.
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Old 13th May 2009, 13:33   #21
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Of course a lot of in-ear phones isolate pretty well themselves so I don't know if cheap (and cheap sounding) earbuds plus muffs really are a better choice than ~$100 Shures or Etymotics, especially when it's about blocking traffic noise, not chainsaws.
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:30   #22
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If you got the change, the Etymotics isolate as good as Bose, but cost about half (or a third) as much. You also don't look like a tool with big cans on your head. I have the ER-4Ps, but I'm debating about getting the HF-2s (Phone version). The audio only version (HF5) have a $50 off coupon til May 31st, making them $100. But this doesn't help if you can't stand earplugs.

The 4Ps are the best sounding headphones I've ever had, and I've literally had people yelling at me from 3 feet away that I couldn't hear.
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Old 13th May 2009, 15:26   #23
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I had a good pair of Skytronic ones in the past

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Old 13th May 2009, 17:02   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockouthippie
Aww! cmon... we be stylin' now! You just need no shave for two days, a pair of waffle stompers, one of them big ol' belt buckles that's a tombstone for a dead soldier and a Paul Bunyan red flannel shirt
No shave for two days - check.
Waffle stompers - check.
Paul Bunyan red flannel shirt - check.

Really, all I'm missing is the giant belt buckle.

...and you forgot the Carhartt pants.

Don't forget to live before you die.
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Old 15th May 2009, 02:45   #25
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skry, what you want is sound isolating, not noise canceling.

Canceling earphones have pretty much been covered.

Sound isolating in ears essentially are earphones that double as earplugs. M-Audio makes in ears ranging from $120 to $500 that sport 16 or 26 db of sound isolation. I would really recommend the 26 db ones.

On a personal note, I have one of the 26 db in ears and they kick ass.

On another note, my Sony's that I DJ with are noise canceling and I can always hear the hiss when I have them on.
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Old 15th May 2009, 04:16   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
skry, what you want is sound isolating, not noise canceling.

Canceling earphones have pretty much been covered.

Sound isolating in ears essentially are earphones that double as earplugs. M-Audio makes in ears ranging from $120 to $500 that sport 16 or 26 db of sound isolation. I would really recommend the 26 db ones.

On a personal note, I have one of the 26 db in ears and they kick ass.

On another note, my Sony's that I DJ with are noise canceling and I can always hear the hiss when I have them on.
That's what I was talking about. I just got the cheap ass ones.
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Old 20th May 2009, 17:02   #27
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I've got some Bose aviation noise canceling headphones. They do work quite well, but not useful when there are problems with the aircraft and you can't pick up on them before they get worse. Started wearing a helmet now. Seen all kinds of versions for standard use, however they are an expensive purchase, test them in the shop first

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Old 20th May 2009, 22:19   #28
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Get your spam off our thread.

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Old 20th May 2009, 23:23   #29
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Given the benefit of the doubt. user has three posts, this is the only one with a sig/spam.

Profile is clean.

Post edited to remove potential spam ....
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