General Question

wallabies's avatar

I want to buy new noise cancelling headphones. Which one should I get?

Asked by wallabies (1081points) April 1st, 2012

I need to replace my old ones but I hate researching stuff like this. What’s your recommendation and why? Thank you!

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11 Answers

noraasnave's avatar

I suggest Bose products. They are pricey, but I call them ‘kid cancelling’ because for the duration of time I wear them I forget I have children. Of course there are dangers associated with not being able to hear one’s children, so use in moderation.

Incidentally, when I was first getting my ‘feet wet’ with Bose headphones, I bought an old set on Ebay for $100. I was impressed with the comfort and the efficiency, I used them in Afghanistan, and on a C-130 they were fabulous to have, I guess I could have called them C-130 cancelling.

The headband on that set broke (I would estimate them to have been about 10 years old). I bought the set that I have now brand new for around 300$. Love them. A must have for any father who has daughters. When there is a 12 year old emotional meltdown…I run for them!!

wallabies's avatar

“but I call them ‘kid cancelling’ because for the duration of time I wear them I forget I have children” LOL! I have tried Bose before, and they are pretty great, but I’m not sure I’m ready to drop the dough. Some people criticize them saying they’re like the Sony or Apple of sound – consistently good products but overpriced. There are other competitive brands like Seinheuser (I know I botched the spelling) that are better value?

geeky_mama's avatar

Hi there @wallabies

I’ve tried the Bose Quiet Comfort and the Sennheiser – my husband prefers all Sennheiser products and that’s what we use for our web conference headsets (we are both work-from-home types—he spends all day on Skype, I am frequently on corporate web conferences or provide remote demos from my laptop). As far as sound quality – I find both just fine. Really – I’ve read all the Amazon reviews about Bose being to bass heavy..blah blah blah—I honestly can’t hear an appreciable difference. (Maybe I’m partially deaf after all those years of rock concerts..)

However, for noise canceling and for travel and portability I recently bought Sony MDR NC13 – headphones – In-ear ear-bud, Binaural. They aren’t expensive, and they do a great job making the airplane noises go away (and b/c they’re in-ear buds it helps keep down airplane noise even when I can’t have them powered on at take off/landing). They’re under $40 at most stores and the sound quality is great.

I use them for my Kindle Fire (to watch TV shows or listen to music as I read) and my iPhone (they do have a microphone, so you can take calls) – and because they are easy to tote in my purse I never bring the Bose QC with me on trips anymore unless it’s a long haul trans-Pacific flight. It’s just not worth the extra bulk in my carry-on, y’know?

Also, these take a AAA battery – easy to replace.. and despite months of use I have yet to replace the battery. (With my other noise canceling on-ear headsets this was a much bigger hassle and batteries didn’t last as long.)

Also, with the Sony buds they work (for listening to music, etc) without the noise canceling turned on—-so even if the battery does go out and you don’t have a new battery handy you aren’t unable to listen to your devices.

whitenoise's avatar

You sincerely witch off your noise cancelation on your head phones during take off and landing?

lonelydragon's avatar

If you’re on a budget, JVC HANC80 headphones are a good choice. The noise reduction feature, while not perfect, works pretty well and the sound quality is remarkable.

El_Cadejo's avatar

no highs no lows must be bose. Bose are IMO horribly overrated and over priced.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Anything cheaper out there?

geeky_mama's avatar

@whitenoise – I do always turn off all my electronics – and I fly nearly every week for work.
I am a rule follower..and since I know the flight attendants don’t like having to police the self-important a-holes that refuse to turn off their electronics…I do my best to make their job easier by complying with everything they ask.

I’m annoyed when I sit next to someone who doesn’t follow the rules (e.g. sat next to a guy last week who kept checking his email on his smart phone during take off and landing and also during the rest of the flight and no, he wasn’t using the GoGo InFlight WiFi)...but I do agree the rules are dumb..

I know my noise canceling headphones being on or off is NOT going to affect the pilot’s communication equipment, and I am annoyed they make us turn off Kindles..again, no way is that transmitting or impacting anything with the flight..but whatever. I do as I’m told.

robmandu's avatar

I bought some $70 Sony noise-cancelling on-the-ear headphones at an airport convenience store a while back. Their noise-cancellation ability on the airplane we pretty good… definitely noticeable. However, they don’t really provide enough volume and it’s very frustrating trying to make out low-volume dialogue during a movie.

So… if you have a chance to try-before-you-buy, definitely test out how loud they play sound back in a noise-cancelling environment.

RocketGuy's avatar

Radio Shack has quite the selection:

I bought a cheap ($20) set from them many years ago. It cuts out only the higher frequencies of jet engine noise, but it is good enough that I can nap on a plane now. I got my money’s worth. At the store I found that Bose were far superior, but cost 10x more.

whitenoise's avatar

@geeky_mama :-)

You are right, flight attendants don’t need more elfabsorbed @ssh@les that ignore their rules and are disrespectful towards them.
Switching off your noise canx is taking it a bit far, but… chapeau!

btw the last time I was next to someone in a 747 making a phone call during descent, it was one of the pilots.

I was jump seating on the airline I worked for. The pilot wanted to let his wife know he was on his way.
His comments: “Would we really allow passengers to keep their cell phones if it was a serious threat to flight safety?”)

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