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Noise Cancelling Headphones?

Gents,

I need noise cancelling headphones. Badly.

While I do travel some, and could benefit from the headphones in that area, my primary need right now is in my office which has--no kidding--a building construction project about 100 feet away. Just today, during a meeting in my office, my (new to the building) colleague just stopped and asked, "Does this happen every day? All day?"

In terms of preferences, I'm moderately open. I do admit to loving Bose's fit (the only ones I can try at any store near me). I also seem to have problems with in-ear phones: they mess with my jaw and become pretty annoying pretty quickly. So, unless you've faced the jaw-annoying problem and overcome it with some in-ear phones, I guess I'm thinking circum-aural is the way to go?

Finally, because this is my office, the music will either stream in through my computer or my iPhone (which I know isn't the king of output devices, but it's what I've got).

Any advice? The few reviews I've seen that emphasize the noise cancellation aspects seem to rate Bose highly; but, I know Bose isn't the #1 choice for audiophiles. Given my "situation", I'm willing to sacrifice some of the audio quality for being able to hear the audio in the first place...
 
Why not get earbuds? A lot less fiddly, a lot less expensive, and a lot more effective at blocking out ambient sound.
 
Why not get earbuds? A lot less fiddly, a lot less expensive, and a lot more effective at blocking out ambient sound.
+1

Etymotic ER6i are very isolating. They're a little bass light, but crystal clear.
Etymotic ER4P have better sound and more bass, but are considerably more expensive.
 
If you dont mind the price, I love the bose quiet comfort 2. They are extremely comfortable for long term wearing, block out ambient noise and work really well IMO.
 
i would suggest passive noise isolation over active cancelling

outside of in-ear which gives the best isolation you could look at many closed back circumaural designs especially those marketed for DJs
 
I have the Bose Quiet Comfort 3, because I prefer the "on ear" vs. the "full over the ear" model.

These are absolutely wonderful. I use them whenever I fly or on the commuter rail and have used them at work in the past. Agree that the audio isn't the best. It also doesn't have on-board volume, and you won't hear any music unless it's turned on. Also, its proprietary cable is a little big fragile--I had to get a replacement after two years. But the battery lasts for 40 hours, and it gives you at least 2 hours worth of advance warning when it's starting to go low.

I'd fully recommend these, especially if you can get them at a discount on Ebay. If you sign up for emails from the Skymall site, they sometimes have 25% off everything promotions and I've seen the Boses included in this discount.

Addendum: Skymall is having another 25% off sale this weekend, and Bose is the only brand NOT included.

Jeff in Boston
 
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I have the Bose QC 15 and love them! I won't fly withouth them. Because I enjoyed them so much I suggested them to a coworker and he picked up a pair. He won't travel without them either. They are also good at home too.....

I like the over the ear aspect because it is more comfortable to me as well as seeming to block out more noise.
 
+1

Etymotic ER6i are very isolating. They're a little bass light, but crystal clear.
Etymotic ER4P have better sound and more bass, but are considerably more expensive.
Absolutely. Noise cancelling headphones don't even come close to that a good set of noise blocking earphones can do.

That said, I have problems with the long-term comfort of even the best (which are the Etynotic foam earpieces -- the earphones come with both foam and triple sealed soft tips). My wife has used hearing aids since she was very little, and explained to me that the only real solution is custom molded earpieces done by an audiologist. That's what is used with on-stage in-ear professional monitors. Expensive, but seems more than worth it. I plan to upgrade to those next.
 
Gents,

I need noise cancelling headphones. Badly.

While I do travel some, and could benefit from the headphones in that area, my primary need right now is in my office which has--no kidding--a building construction project about 100 feet away. Just today, during a meeting in my office, my (new to the building) colleague just stopped and asked, "Does this happen every day? All day?"

In terms of preferences, I'm moderately open. I do admit to loving Bose's fit (the only ones I can try at any store near me). I also seem to have problems with in-ear phones: they mess with my jaw and become pretty annoying pretty quickly. So, unless you've faced the jaw-annoying problem and overcome it with some in-ear phones, I guess I'm thinking circum-aural is the way to go?

Finally, because this is my office, the music will either stream in through my computer or my iPhone (which I know isn't the king of output devices, but it's what I've got).

Any advice? The few reviews I've seen that emphasize the noise cancellation aspects seem to rate Bose highly; but, I know Bose isn't the #1 choice for audiophiles. Given my "situation", I'm willing to sacrifice some of the audio quality for being able to hear the audio in the first place...
I'd reccommend Sennheiser.
 
I'd reccommend Sennheiser.
I've got some Senns myself, but I mainly known Sennheiser for their high-end open-ear models...I'm not sure if a lower-end noise-canceling phone of theirs would really be of the same quality.

Personally, I'd recommend a pair of IEMs (in-ear-monitors). Those are earbud-like 'phones that actually go in your ear canal, which provide very, very good isolation.

I'd steer clear of Bose--they're overpriced for what you get, and the sound signature leaves something to be desired. They sound good enough in the store, but when you get them home you realize something's missing (that something being much of the midrange).

Incidentally, if you're interested, there's a headphone forum similar to B&B called Head-fi. Be warned, though...if you thought SBAD was expensive...
 
I wear a pair of these while working with my really loud machinery. I highly prefer Audio Technica headphones to anything else I've tried.
 
You may want to check out this thread HERE

I used some of the information in that thread a couple of months ago to help me start my earphone/headphone research. I settled on the Etymotic ER6i's. They were a little more than I wanted to pay, but well worth it. I was actually able to clearly hear music on an airplane with these.

Good luck.
 
in this type of situation you want to be VERY careful that you aren't damaging your hearing.

Please read this website and carefully consider how precious your hearing is:
http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/hearingloss.cfm

Noise-canceling headphones are not that effective at actually canceling sound waves, and can create extremely loud inaudible frequencies that can cause hearing damage over time.

Because of this I strongly recommend finding a high-quality ear canal headphone that will passively block much more sound and listening to your music at an extremely low volume. Read reviews to find the smallest IEM that comes with a number of different earpads, and try to rotate through the most comfortable of them through the day, or change from the rubber pads to the foam pads to increase comfort.
 
I vouch for audiotechnica. As a sound tech and an audiophile, I can say that they are my favorite brand for both microphones and output.
I have heard nothing but good things about this company. A friend of mind swears by Sennheiser. Avoid Bose. I am no expert, but every audiophile I have ever spoken to has said to avoid them.
 
I have heard nothing but good things about this company. A friend of mind swears by Sennheiser. Avoid Bose. I am no expert, but every audiophile I have ever spoken to has said to avoid them.
Audio-technica certainly makes some quality 'phones (though their open-ear 'phones are better than their sealed 'phones, and the OP certainly needs sealed 'phones), but some folks think they're lacking in bass, even more than Senns.

If you want brand recommendations, look for some IEMs from Shure or Etymotic. I think Ultimate Ears might have finally introduced a non-insanely-priced model, but I don't know much about them. Sure, IEMs can be a little pricey, but they sound great, have excellent noise cancellation (without having to pump a bunch of background noise in your ear), and don't generally require an amp. Think of it like getting a nice Simpson or Rooney brush--it seems nuts to drop $200+ on a tuft of badger hair, but it pays off in the end.
 
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