General Question

mirza's avatar

Should i get a noise-cancelling headphone for home use?

Asked by mirza (5057points) September 7th, 2007

I want a pair of really good headphones for perfect music quality. I already own a pair of Kos Stereophone headphones. So will getting a pair of noise-cancelling headphones increase the music quality?

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6 Answers

samkusnetz's avatar

i think you should not. two factors apply:

first, is there real background noise that you’re trying to overcome? noise canceling phones do their best work beating out constant, broadband noises like engines, so unless your fridge is really making you crazy, there probably isn’t too much of that kind of noise in your home to cancel.

second, the noise canceling technology necessarily changes the frequency response of the headphones, and therefore the accuracy. my wife has a pair of the top-of-the-line bose quiet comfort, and i brought them into my studio to compare against my sony 7506’s (the industry standard in film and theatre sound production). the sony’s are way more accurate.

of course, it’s all personal preference. the audio technica M40’s are more accurate than the sony’s, but i can work better with the sony’s.

try a pair, but make sure you can get a refund.

gooch's avatar

yes i notice a difference in mine.

mvgolden's avatar

samkisnetz, great response. I would also add that some noise canceling headsets can add some hiss when they are turned on. Normally the hiss is an acceptable trade off to be able to reduce the low frequency noise in airplane or trains. If you do a lot of plane travel they are total worth it. Otherwise you can live without them.

bob's avatar

Sam’s right. Noise-canceling headphones don’t improve the audio quality: they just cut out background noise. If you’re in your house and don’t need to block out background noise, don’t get noise-canceling headphones.

The folks at are very serious about their headphones, and they can recommend some “best values” in whatever price range you’re looking at. If you want more specialized information, there’s a great forum on headphones at

sndfreQ's avatar

Sam and bob are right on plus the sounds stimuli is still being received by tor bain but out of phase; the notion of quietness is only truly acheived through isolation. I find that noise cancelling hp tech gives me killer migraines so I steer away. Any audiophile would agree;

If you want to read up on some truly outrageous and eccentric audiophiles who spend thousand$ on this stuff check out: some of these folks are either bona-fire addicts &/or completely nutz

theredjawa's avatar

a good pair will make the sound quality better.

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