I had a pair of wired QC25's as my first pair, and they had some really good noise cancelling. I could still distantly hear people talk, but when I had music on them (albeit probably louder than him) I could hear almost nothing.
Regarding Quality: Those QC25s were used when I got them (couldn't justify full price at the time), and they lasted for about 2.5 years beyond, being used literally every day for 5+ hours per day (Programming with music is my thing)
When those broke, I had absolutely no problem justifying what seems to be an exorbitant price for the newer bluetooth QC35 set. These are far beyond what the other set were. Nowadays I keep my music much quieter - listening to soft electronica at maybe 1/4 of the volume I used to, and when I do that, I can't even hear myself type on my mechanical keyboard, let alone any people talking. People can come up to my desk and talk directly to me and I won't realize it unless I see their mouth moving.
I'm not sure why his experience with Bose has been so bad, but I'm more likely to suspect he got a lemon for his headphones. I have had my QC35's now for....2 years, with I would average at 6-8h of use every day at work. They don't have a single iota of visible wear on them, and the battery life is still 24-32 hours on a single charge. I imagine that, barring any accidents with them, they will probably last another 2+ years for me.
Same here, but I use them walking 1+ hour a day. With all that sweat over the years, still look and perform like new.
Yes, they were expensive, but I consider them the best value of any purchase in the last few years.
What he really needed was the QC25, which is an in-ear with active noise cancelling much like the QC35 has.
EDIT: The author said QC20 but then he talks about ear-muffs - so seems he misquoted the model number I guess.
I actually prefer the QC20 noise cancelling to that of the over-ear versions I tried (which were either QC25 or QC35, I don't remember).
Do you know if other people experienced the same?
My logic was that they are creating opposing frequencies at the same level of sound pressure as the ambient you are trying to override meaning it’s still loud, just not in a perceptible way. So especially on airplanes, I now use earplugs instead.
> active noise cancelling has the same effect as putting earplugs in due to wave mechanics.
Simply from experience, I would disagree with this. Every time I have ever enabled active noise cancelling, I have experienced an increase in eardrum-pressure, volume, or both (both with and without music playing).
I understand that wave mechanics would theoretically work as you state, but in practice, does not.
I use concert earplugs now, they are invisible unless someone really looks in my ears, and they attenuate all frequencies equally. This way I can also use them at concerts and they won't ruin the music, just make it much quieter across every frequency.
The open office can't die soon enough, what an absurd fad this is.
(I have tried a variety of headphones and earphones for the past 12 years or so and have decided I'm not buying anything else. Also, I'm 100% not the type to go by a brand name or pay an exorbitant amount for products that are not necessary)
I think up to 200$ ANC headphones are a very good buy, 350$ is debatable.
This gives Bose QuietComfort 35 overall attenuation -27.08 dB, which is only beaten by the Sony wh-1000xm3, and some Etymotic in-ear buds.
Notably that number is more than 2x the attenuation of the Momentum, at -12.35 dB.
Usually a person won't notice an increase in volume unless it has a 3-5dB (3dB = double in power) increase. And won't perceive a double in volume without a 10dB (10dB = 10x increase in power) increase and even then it depends on the specific frequency.
Some things to check out would be:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weber%E2%80%93Fechner_law (and thus Just Noticable Difference [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-noticeable_difference])
Their build quality and sound is also pretty good. I have a decent music background and also have Sennheiser HD650s which the audiophile crowd loves, but I think their build quality is cheap plastic (they're also open, require an amp, and cost $400).
I think the Bose hate is mostly tribal nonsense - it's cool to signal audiophile virtue by hating a dominant brand that lay people like.
I think most of the Bose hate comes from their speakers which cost quite a bit for the sound quality. Much of that might be historical.
These days though I don't think anyone buys Bose products solely for their sound quality, they buy them for specific use cases like noise cancelling, or filling a room with a very small speaker (those Bose sound docks were pretty incredible when they came out). Bose has done a good job at doing something unique while offering sound quality that is mostly good enough.
I happen to have a pair of those, which I chose over the QC35s, however I would disagree with GP that their ANC is superior in any way - at best it's almost as good as the QC35s.
I bought them because they were more comfortable on me, the ANC was good enough for my occasional use, and I liked the way they look.
But there's half a dozen other Momentum headphones, some with, some without ANC. Sennheiser's naming schemes are aggressively unhelpful. Just look at this small subset of their overall headphone selection (hit Show all): https://en-de.sennheiser.com/music-headphones-portable
Naturally, they don't call it ANC, it's NoiseGard™ [sic].
They are not the 100% best sounding headphones. However, the clarity and imaging they provide is pretty astounding and I think they compete with any similarly priced competitor. I'm the kind of guy that will take speakers over headphones any day, and I find myself using the QC35's more than my speakers these days.
I have a pair of AKG K271 mk2 at work (same category as your HD280), as well as the Bose QC35s. The AKGs give a bit less isolation, but for extended use (6-10h) wearing comfort as well as audio quality, they blow the Bose right out of the water. The QC35s have been relegated to travelling only.
It just depends.
Barring subjective things like sound quality that I'm really not comfortable weighing in on, I just haven't found the Bose products to be fundamentally flawed in terms of build quality or noise cancellation.
It may vary based on your office -- I don't have some crazy person simulating machine guns on a mechanical keyboard 3 feet away or a super loud, pure open office space with warehouse ceilings either.
With music on, yes, they work much better. But whenever there are gaps between the music the distractions come right back.
I need earbuds rather than headphones for portability, and I was prepared to be realistic about what this meant for noise reduction. But if there was anything better than the QC25s in a similar form factor I would switch in a heartbeat.
I've been lucky that BOSE keep replacing / fixing them... There was a period where they were needing replaced every 8 months or so and I like to think I take good care of my stuff. I'm not rough with them. The current set has at least been good for a few years now. All I have to do is replace the ear muff bits but that's expected and I had to replace the cable about 9 months ago.
Can't fault the sound quality though and the noise cancellation is great.
I'm glad this person found some inexpensive tech that works for them. But if we only focus on blocking the sound (which is not that effective for some) rather than focusing on what it means to have an effective working environment, we're missing opportunities to shape our working cultures/environments to be one of "library quiet respectful".
I'm extremely sensitive to sounds of all varieties. I don't understand how anyone works with music blasting into their ears. Even white/pink/brown-noise feels like a barrage of sound. Earplugs make me feel claustrophobic, and I have the uncontrollable urge to rip them out after 15 minutes. Noise-cancelling tech almost always fails to block human voices (our brains are hard-wired to listen for voices after all).
At the risk of stating the obvious, we need to pay more attention to making more "zone-friendly" workspaces. I.e., not loud, open offices where everyone feels okay talking at full volume.
(It also seems people dislike open floor plans for different reasons. You don't like sounds. I don't mind sounds, I don't like feeling the presence of other people around me all the time.)
Alas, I suffer both but it's more socially acceptable to blame noise...
Strange how at most tech companies I've worked at, programmers got open floors, while sales people and bosses got private offices, then. Why are we putting everybody in an environment they dislike? Let's Gale–Shapley this and swap rooms.
> An open office is cheap right now, and will be cheaper as headcount increases.
Yet in my experience sales people always get private offices, so clearly it's not simply about saving money above all else.
> "library quiet respectful"
When 2 layers of management above the one I (software puke here) have access to responded to my request for quieter digs with this incite-ful retort: "We're not a library reading room" I realized I'm managed by persons who neither know nor care about my work product. I care though, so it seems time to move on.
I really can't upvote your thoughts enough.
I'm lucky to be in a part of the country with lots of little hi tech places. Some day we'll be together
In an office of six employees it takes six to maintain silence and only one to cause noise. That's the sad truth. Also stepping in and enforcing silence is a simple way to become unpopular very fast. Also lot of noises are caused by sounds which are direct expressions of someone's personality - that simply cannot be stopped by asking for it.
It's a lost cause. And the reason why I resorted to QC25 and since two years ago to QC35. It's a subpar compromise - but there's just no better option when working with several people in one room.
I'm very much looking forward to the wh1000xm3 - sadly, they seem to be sold out in Germany for weeks to come.
Getting a new job is not a good solution either -- lots of tech jobs are in open offices or cubicle farms these days.
I used to have similar problems; but I've learned to adapt to them with time and patience. All other things being equal, I've found that earplugs can be very effective in reducing noise levels and stress, at the slight expense of vague uncomfortability.
But apparently people were too productive, so that had to come to an end.
That you have to pay for.
Around the shop I carry a few pairs of disposable foam Howard Leight earplugs. They come in small plastic bags, or you can buy them in boxes of 500. I'll hand them out to apprentices I catch not wearing ear protection or to old timers so they can sneer at me. they work wonders for any kind of noise. We once had a garbage truck plow through a rolling dumpster out back and I never knew about it until lunch.
As someone who has worked as a mechanic professionally, and now slings code for a living, I'll take a whack. You've put a set of brakes on a Chevy, you've put brakes on about all of them. Hell, put disc brakes on a car of any make, and you've got the general idea. I'm not saying it's not a tough job, hey, I've been there. But he nature of the work is different. What makes an alignment hard is not the same as what makes implementing this piece of code hard. What makes an alignment hard is frozen fasteners and having to go reference the manual because Mercedes decided that fifty years of prior art on caster adjustment just wasn't good enough for them, and invented their own. What makes this morning's software task difficult is that, though similar work has been done, no one has had to make it work quite like I need to do today (otherwise, I'd just buy something off the shelf). I'm making a new invention; not on the scale of the light bulb, but it's still new and there is no reference manual.
So, in the shop I can be fine with lots of noise and music as m 3/8" air ratchet backs out the brake caliper bolts. I don't need to concentrate on that much, I'm not going to bring the whole shop down if I screw it up. Pull the bolts, pull the caliper like I've done a hundred times. That Mercedes alignment, yeah, I might turn the radio down while I think about what I'm doing. But an oil change? Crank it up! (But even for an oil change, I recall having forgotten the drain bolt before putting in oil at least once.)
Software, OTOH, I need to mentally hold fleeting abstractions in my head. Someone droning on about the fscking SeaPigeons game on Sunday can easily break the tenuous grasp I had. I didn't even like being interrupted in the middle of a brake job if I were in the flow, but at least the brakes are right there in front of me when I have to go back to it. Not so with that algorithm for...oh, what the hell was it?
In summary, the nature of the work is quite different, such that mechanical work can be more interrupt-tolerant than software work.
Me, I can deal with sound in general, and I even like to listen to music while I work. What really messes me up is words - people talking, music with lyrics, stuff like that makes it very difficult for me to get my work done. Strong rhythms are also a bit of a challenge. So the sounds of people walking are tricky, my mechanical watch needs to go into a drawer if the room is particularly quiet, and the music generally needs to be something classical.
But there's also a threshold where there's so much cacophony going on that my brain just gives up and tunes it all out, and I'm back to my productive zone. When my coworking space is starting to get a bit too noisy for me to concentrate even with my headphones on, I typically deal with it by packing up and going to a nearby coffee shop that I can trust to always be busy.
But "Hey, how about that game last night!" behind me and...
LizardBrain: "pattern identified: human speech. Attempting to parse...colloquialisms not found...setting parsing process to 'high' priority...audio sensitivity set to 100%."
ConciousBrain: "nooooo, I don't give flying shite about the SeaPigeons! Trying to work here!"
Working in an open office where the main language is a language that you understand well, but not natively (my every day life in Germany): you spend a ton of cognitive energy tuning it out, because your lizard brain insists on having that surrounding speech parsed first, just in case it has something to do with your work, because every so often, it absolutely does.
Working in an open office where you have absolutely no comprehension of the language (two weeks in Seoul): amazingly productive, because the lizard brain doesn't even bother.
Additionally, I have a really hard time focusing without _any_ music. Typically I need some beat to be able to get in the zone at all. It doesn't matter what the beat is - EDM, ska, soundtracks, lo-fi beats to study to, but there needs to be something.
It's not about the loudness, it's about its nature. I can't give you a precise characterization, but for me the most distracting noise is other people talking about stuff potentially relevant or interesting. Other things are easy to ignore, unless I'm in an irritable mood. Also note that people (myself included) often fight this kind of noise by playing even louder noise on their headphones - but that latter noise is not distracting and completely under control. Programming is a job requiring a specific kind of deep concentration, and it's easier to tune out a 747 flying directly overhead than two cow-orkers talking in the same room.
Luckily, he got a different job but oddly, the person who sat behind me moved to his desk and now she has started making lots of calls. Maybe that desk is cursed or something?
Crude analogy: Picture you're working on some annoying electrical gremlin under the hood and you've got the shop manual open trying to troubleshoot. The manual's telling you to find the blue wire and set the jumper to position 23, then turn the smallest hex bolt adjacent clockwise two and a half turns. You've got the flashlight out and there are about 20 different blue wires and several dip switch panels.
Now imagine three people stood around you talking at an un-ignorable audible volume 'nimbius blue green 24 41 brown nimbius twelve yellow forty three hedgehog..' on and on, indefinitely. More people come and go all the time and they never stop.
You're gonna keep re-reading that shop manual and it's gonna keep getting pushed out of your head by the chatter. You will get frustrated. That's what it's like, all the time, coding in an open office.
It's wonderfully distracting.
A lot of them have meetings with our business partners, which requires a lot of talking on the phone.
This noise isn't background noise, it isn't random white noise, it's noise that diverts your attention constantly because you may know what they are talking about. It's not something you can tune out.
I'm currently googling for noise blocking headphones.
Just to bring a counterweight to the usual "I'm a virtuoso that needs absolute silence to work" stuff that gets posted every time open offices get mentioned.
That said, I very much like private offices more.
One thing I did notice was I have to pop my ears when I have the noise cancelling on. A few times it also made me feel nauseous when I turned them on.
I used to feel weird wearing them on a plane but with big Beats-style headphones so common now I fit right in.
I use your strategy from time to time though. If it's safe to shoot a .50 cal in em' it'll probably drown the shrill winging.
If you want to pump up (down?) the jams you can wear inner ear plugs under the outer ones. It's like a sensory deprivation tank for your mind.
In terms of absolutely blocking sound, the best I've found thus far are a pair of Etymotic in-ear headphones. I don't recall the model I have. They aren't noise cancelling; they're basically just earplug headphones. But they are really effectively. Just be sure you use them correctly. It's easy to think you just plop them in your ear like normal earbuds. You have to insert them like ear plugs. When done correctly they create a seal and the noise blocking is incredible, even compared to the big PPE ear equipment I have. Plus they look just like any other earbuds to other people, so you don't look like a dork :P
Besides those, the Bose noise cancelling headphones are "okay". As others have mentioned, they're really poor at blocking nearby voices. If you're going to be listening to music, that's not much of an issue. But I tend to listen to podcasts, videos, etc, so there's nothing else extra to drown out what the headphones miss. And you're paying quite a premium for headphones that, in terms of build quality, sound quality, and features, are worth maybe 1/3 of the MSRP. Not much you can do about that; Bose holds patents on the best noise cancelling.
On a slight tangent. My sensitivities to noise have led me to some ... interesting solutions over the years living in noisy apartments. Hearing people's TVs, talking, etc through walls really bothers me. The solution I came up with was to pump white noise through a subwoofer, turned down really low. It creates a very subtle, low frequency rumble. It's just loud enough to drown out the stuff that bleeds through walls, but quiet enough that you forget it's there. By using just the subwoofer you target the majority of frequencies that can make it through walls, without adding the annoying "hiss" of regular white noise machines.
For me that was really effective for dealing with the day-to-day noise of apartments.
If you have the models I think you do, they're as expensive as the Bose QC35 headphones. However, Etys are easier to pack, have a better sound quality, and don't need batteries.
Now you've got me curious; I don't remember them being too pricey.
Looks like I have the MC5. <$100. Specs say they are rated for a noise reduction of 35-42dB. For reference the safety ear muffs I use are 34dB. (I'm half tempted now to use the Etys for PPE :P )
That is an intriguing idea that I will have to try. Thanks for sharing that!
(I also wonder if it would work with speakers and a lowpass filter...)
And open office plans are never adopted to "foster collaboration". That's bullshit that management feeds you to mask the real reasons:
1) they save money by packing more employees in the same space
2) it's an easy-to-implement panopticon, letting management keep tabs on you easily
My main pain points have been:
1. Distinct voices in conversation - I find that voices block voices, and instrumental music does a poorer job at this since it's maybe on different frequencies? I usually use a cafe-noise app like coffitivity to best stay focused.
2. Loud continuous noises a la plane - the Bose headphones basically reduce the noise by ~20db I think, which makes the experience overall more bearable.
The main downside of noise-canceling headphones for some subset of people (alas me included) is that you get a weird pressure feeling when using them for prolonged periods of time. Apparently this is just us perceiving the change in ambient sound as a pressure difference so we feel like popping our ears. This basically happens in hour 1 of my usage.
As for attrition - I've had my QC35's for about a year and they haven't had any issues yet. My old QC25's lasted for 3 years and still work fine but got donated to make way for my new bluetooth ones.
https://smile.amazon.com/Bose-QuietComfort-Wireless-Headphon... (note affiliatized Amazon donation link)
Much, much simpler, cheaper - and certainly more effective - is to use any old earbuds that you prefer and put them underneath a pair of these:
No batteries to deal with, no mode switching, much less expensive, etc. It works wonderfully and the only downside is that you look a little odd.
Also when you're trying to sleep on a plane, Bose's active noise-cancellation stops working when you lean your head hard against a headrest (such that the earmuffs touch the headrest). I think it's just the nature of active noise-cancellation. I've resorted to earplugs when trying to sleep while flying.
I've tried a few different earmuffs, and this model from 3M has been the best for me. They're low profile, (more) comfortable, and as effective as any:
Wearing glasses underneath earmuffs meant for high noise exposure environments can be uncomfortable, as the cups are meant to press into the side of your head.
I've tried 3M "worktunes" eamuffs (which have an audio jack), but at low volumes the sound quality is quite bad (there is background white noise).
Here’s a source that says 12db.
The noise cancelling system has an inherent delay in processing the sound it's listening to output an opposing waveform. Since voices are not predictable, outputting a waveform after a slight delay will just cause it to be out of sync and cancel out nothing. Maybe some ML system could do this in the future, but it would have to be absolutely perfect to not sound distractingly strange at times.
Fans on the other hand are predictable, so you can output an opposing waveform despite the processing delay because you can predict how the waveform will act after your processing delay and keep them in phase.
So, roughly the time it takes sound to travel at most an inch?
My Audiologist suggested the headphones dont help the Tinnitus as they trigger the Limbic system and heighten anxiety which could trigger Tinnitus. Anyone heard this?
So advice to people - go easy on the headphones, even if the volume isn't high - too many hours a week is bad. I'd avoid the white noise too - maybe just ear plugs are best.
I'm pretty sure as long as the volume is always kept to a reasonable level, wearing headphones constantly shouldn't be an issue as far as any hearing damage is concerned. Especially when it comes to NC headphones- I would think this would often cause the wearer to not have to have the volume as high since less needs "drowned out".
There are other issues with long-term wearing, though, at least for some. For existing tinnitus I suppose it could be a problem- though even earplugs aggravate that for me because the less sound I hear externally the more perceptible my tinnitus gets (power outages are the worst because when a room goes dead silent my tinnitus goes nuts). And of course there are issues of comfort, migraines/headaches, etc
I use an earmuffs/earbuds combo for travel and certain office environments as I find that grants me the most control over the noise my ears are exposed to. That way, I can limit noise to useful/intentional noise, and keep the volume as low as possible.
that is a known theory in AUD, also when wearing hearing protection you decrease the outside noise which increases the perceived volume of your tinnitus.
As well by reducing your hearing ability when wearing ear plugs can cause your brain to shift into a "hyper hearing" mode to compensate.
This is also why it is not recommended to wear ear protection to sleep. (once in a while is ok, extended usage is not recommended)
> This is also why it is not recommended to wear ear protection to sleep. (once in a while is ok, extended usage is not recommended)
Very interesting point. I'm using ear plugs for sleeping for about twenty years (each and every night) and I am definitely more noise and sound sensitive than most people.
This is absolutely not the case, you can turn the cancelling on and off while still wearing them and it makes a huge difference to background noise. Many years ago they had a demo where you stand in the store and they blast a low-pitched white noise roar (like a jet engine) at you, and have you turn the cancelling on and off -- it's something ridiculous like a 45db drop. I bought a pair on the spot.
It's certainly the case that the cancelling is less effective at higher frequencies like voices than it is at low-pitch background noise, which does decrease their effectiveness in an office environment.
I have mixed opinions about build quality -- the originals were solid, I wore these around town most days for a few years, and they are now about 6 years old and still working. The replacement cups that I bought were garbage and disintegrated within 6 months of only at-desk wearing. So perhaps construction is not what it used to be.
Interestingly I heard that Bose patented the physically optimal geometry for noise-cancelling microphones, which would mean that their competitors are necessarily inferior at pure noise cancelling; don't know if that's true though.
I also find it annoying that these headphones require batteries to function even if you aren't using the noise cancelling feature; makes it very unreliable for carrying around town, but not a problem at my office desk. Without knowing anything about the electronics involved, it seems like it would be much better to have it degrade to being non-noise-cancelling powered headphones, instead of bricks, when the battery dies.
As for the noise cancelling, I haven't noticed much of a difference with XM2, but I'm not an audiophile anyway, so I'm not sure.
However they really don't do a thing when on a plane or in a place with a lot of low frequency noise as passive noise cancellation doesn't work well for that. I ended up buying a cheap pair of active noise cancelling bluetooth headphones for traveling (which are pretty terrible at blocking voices/footsteps).
You will not hear a 747 land in your back yard.
Edit: How to insert correctly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF1CjCugD_M
If you aren't an audiophile. Some audiophiles might well think, "Why are you wearing those? You're not on an airplane!" I much prefer passive noise isolation. Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 Ohm is my recommendation, especially if you like bass. The 80 Ohm is much easier to drive, and you can even run them off your laptop in a pinch. The earpads are pretty good stock. Not everyone's head is compatible with big circles pressed up against them, however.
This site lets you customize the sounds that are generated. I crank the left ones (bass) up until it drowns the people that are talking around me.
The first minutes are a bit confusing because you are in the middle of a stream of conversations that you are not able to understand. After a few minutes you brain blocks everything, even the real conversation around you. It even works with my regular earbuds.
Sometimes, I put some mall/elevator music (the main artist for those is called Muzak) over it and I really feel like I'm working in a mall's Starbucks.
The linked thread gets into some details that are irrelevant for programming, unless you use a click track to time your keystrokes. However, a lot of the same considerations apply, particularly the need for really strong attenuation, and the same discussions are had regarding in-ear versus over-ear monitors.
I end up wearing my Bose much less often than not.
”UltraPhones are SONY 7506 Studio Monitor headphone components mounted in a comfortable 29 db passive isolation hearing protection muff.”
Any experience on these? I’ve been using the BeyerDynamics mentioned in the thread, but I’m not fully satisfied with the isolation.
Absolutely, get the cans that sound good to you. Get whatever sounds good to you, doesn't matter what they are. But, please, give a listen to as many different cans as you are able to. Speakers and headphones are terribly, terribly subjective.
My wife happened to get the older model MPOW adapter in the post; it broke with the blue-flashing-light issue that appears in some user reviews--she replaced it with a Yeti, which worked. Also, MPOW has newer models that might not have the issue and at least one reviewer said MPOW replaced their blue-flashing-light unit.
Seems accurate that the Leight things' passive isolation, combined with playing most any sound through them, should make background speech indistinct enough to be less distracting. Generally, like the post says, ANC is great at quieting deep rumbles (cars, trains, etc.), and physical isolation is better at blocking higher pitches (speech and higher noise). (Also ++ to the comment saying it's a shame many folks have to make up for employers imposing open offices, but only so much a single worker can do about that.)
What the Bose have going for them are 1) ANC seems like a legit win for train or plane trips, 2) I wanted a BT headset (including a mic for phone calls) and the QC35s provide that, 3) the QC35's are decent, though not audiophile-level, as headphones. And I'd heard lots of praise for them from acquaintances, which made me hopeful there'd be no unpleasant surprises.
The QC35's are doing the job. I don't know if some cheaper/different arrangement would also have done the job. ANC seems great when you want it, but for me that's not every day; maybe I could have gone w/something cheaper, or two setups similar to the blog post, one for work/calls and the other for the occasional noisy trip.
The better attenuation at low frequencies makes these really good at blocking human voices, which is the thing that I find most distracting in an open office. With even a little bit of music, I can barely tell that people are having a conversation 10 feet from me.
The headphone cables can sometimes break the seal, but I find shifting them usually fixes it. Besides, the noise that sneaks in is high-frequency stuff like key clicks, not distracting voices.
The downsides are: these are extremely large cans (2.5-3" deep), the KSC75s have a pretty short cable, and if you drop your cans or yank the cable, the headphones will tend to pop out.
One downside is that when they're first turned on, I can faintly hear the switching power supply charging up the internal capacitors for the first few seconds. But I've been told that I have unusually good high-frequency hearing, and this basically goes away once it's charged, and is certainly not audible over music.
Proper ear monitors are the holy grail, as they are comfortable (if you have your ear cast/pour done properly) and should have >28 db of noise reduction. Alas I don't have a proper cast anymore, its about £200 to get it done properly.
The problem with noise cancelling headphones is they are great for white noise/whirs/traffic, they are terrible at blocking voices.
However I don't have music playing in the office. I just use the ear defenders as attenuators. Its only on the commute do I listen to stuff.
The sync only knocks off 25db, you can get ear plugs/defenders that reduce noise by 34db. Some of the howard leight squidgy earplugs are super comfortable, soft enough to sleep in.
Yo don't have to wait for them to expand like the foam ones. They also don't press on your glasses like over-the-ear headphones or ear protectors.
That said, they're super pricey and they do fall apart, but I've got mine patched up after three years and holding onto them until other products can match this level of noise canceling.
After 3 failures I vowed to not buy another one, despite the exceptional sound canceling. I switched to a cheapo $30 Samsung pair I bought at an airport, beat it to hell and back, and it's in perfect shape years later.
edit: maybe it's a little self-rationalization for paying so much for the QCs. I'll have to give those Bluedio's chance before shelling out anymore to Bose
I use them, but without audio. Just for pure silence, then use my Bose headphones when I want to actually hear anything?
I tied a piece of memory foam that I salvaged from an old mattress to the head band, using two strips of velcro tape. Looks ridiculous, works really well.
But perhaps the best part is they protrude less than the Bose, making it easier to listen while lying down.
A good game plan for that seems much more valuable than headphone recommendations.
What if they just put tiny speakers inside ear-plugs and bypassed the whole active noise cancelling component?
For me, they're not comfortable for more than 3 or so hours while I can have either The QC30 or HD800S on all day.
No, they are isolating. Canceling is an active process using destructive interference of sound waves.
Since it is a different mechanism you have quite different properties. For example size/material/fit on ear have different constraints and you can selectively filter out different frequencies (many noise canceling headphones allow you to let voices through for example, or sirens/warning noises).
But neat none the less.
The author quotes a higher price, but that's only because the recommended pair of headphones costs more than the entirety of the first option.
> Bose are great headphones for looking like you are
> an audiophile. As far as I can tell – from talking
> to friends who are recording music in studios – nobody
> uses them professionally.
Most common pro studio headphones are Sony MDR 7506's. They are pretty enjoyable for home use too but (like all studio headphones) are a little thin on the bass.
Leaving aside the "audiophile" term since it means different things to different people.
Home headphones have bass that is typically either moderately boosted (as in the Bose QC15/25/35) or ridiculously boosted (some Beats headphones, especially the early models) That doesn't mean they're "bad" because his "friends who are recording music in studios" don't use them. You just can't realistically use them for creating professional audio.
> They do a pretty good job with steady constant droning
> noises (like the HVAC fans) but any higher frequency
> sound – like people talking – is left uncancelled.
> (i.e. they break apart within a few months of daily use)
> you need to purchase expensive replacement parts for them. I’ve
> replaced the ear cups on them twice so far and for the last pair
> I’ve been very careful not to damage them. The problem is they
> come undone even if I barely use them and at $30 a pair they are
BTW when I say "daily use" I don't mean abusive daily use. If you're transporting them you can't just throw them into a bag or they will wear out/break sooner. Of course that's true for most headphones.
As far as expensive replacements, there are great $15 unofficial pads on eBay, they are indistinguishable from the OEM pads to me.
> I noticed that most of their “noise-cancelling” was actually
> passive and consisted of good noise suppression from the good
> seal created by the headphone ear cups.
> Music after a while gets tiring – especially when I’m in my
> 8th hour of listening through emotionally taxing soundtracks
> like Two Steps from Hell
> I got myself a pair of [actual passive noise canceling headphones
> like you'd find at a hardware store]
Lest anybody wonder if I'm some kind of secret Bose operative, I will also say that Sony's latest noise canceling headphones have really closed the gap in my opinion. Of course, maybe I could be some kind of secret double triple agent working for multiple Big Headphone entities.