Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

What are you using for noise canceling headphones?

What are you using for noise canceling headphones?

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My first pair of noise canceling headphones is a pair of Brookestones. Although they are over 10 years old, they still work quite well.  I think I paid around $70 for them then.  What’s the ROI on that?  But their day has come and gone and the fake leather is cracking.  So it’s time to get something new.  I have a heavy travel schedule between now and Christmas so some good scull wear will help make the ride more enjoyable. 

Everyone I know has forked out the big bucks for the Bose headsets.  You know, the QuietComfort, QuietComfort 2 or the smaller QuietComfort 3.

There’s just one problem, those babies aren’t exactly low cost.  The QC 3’s are $349.  The QC 2’s are $299.  And they never go on sale from what I can tell.

So while I was at Fry’s yesterday returning a video card, I explored the headphone isle.  They of course carry nearly all of the brands except Bose.  Thankfully.  Otherwise I’d probably have a pair of the QC 3’s.

After studying the various shapes and prices, I snagged the Sony MDR-NC60.  They are similar to the Bose QuietComfort 2 in some ways.  High cost, full ear wrap around, noise cancelling, etc.  They have padding in the band (key requirement) and from the few minutes I wore them last night appears to a really good pair of headphones.

The field testing begins tomorrow.  Everyone is my org is headed to Las Vegas for a team meeting.  The flight to Vegas is the perfect field test.  Three hours from Dallas/Ft. Worth airport to Sin City.  Just enough time to settle in and watch a movie on my Archos 605 WIFI which is coming up on it’s one year anniversary.  I must admit, the Archos player has been one of the most enjoyable purchases I’ve made in a long time.  It has the right balance of screen size (4.3”), capacity (80GB) and video format support.

What are you using for noise canceling headphones?  If the Sony NC60’s don’t work out, what do you recommend?  Are the Bose worth the extra $100?

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  • I have the $299 Bose headphones and love them.  I work in a shared area and it gets very noisy at times, the Bose help out a ton.  Often I will connect them to my zune and can't hear a thing, I've actually been startled a few times from people who have come up from behind.

    I guess it's time for a small mirror :-)

  • So it has been a couple days, what is your thoughts of the Sony NC60?

  • I just completed my first trip out and back to Las Vegas.  I wasn't impressed with the Sony NC60.  They didn't cut much of the airplane noise and certainly didn't boost the volume.

    The ear buds that came with my XPS 420 or Zune 80 do a better job.

    At this point I'm probably going to stick with high quality ear buds.  I just can't see paying $350 for some Bose headphones when my ears seem to prefer the buds.  

  • I use the Etymotic ER-4P ear "buds" that fit inside the ear canal.  They block an amazing amount of noise, take hardly any space when stored, and sound fantastic!  For less money you can pick up the ER-6i.  They probably have close to the same quality and you can tell if you'll like the feeling of having them in your ear canal.

    http://www.amazon.com/Etymotic-Research-Isolator-Earphones-White/dp/B0002ZW5W4

    It takes some practice inserting them, (getting them wet with your tongue really helps), but once you get the hang of it, it's easy and fast.