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Opinions on noise canceling headphones?

MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
edited August 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
My office mate likes to chew on apples and carrots throughout the day. I (probably) have (a mild case of) misophonia when it comes to chewing sounds, so this is incredibly distracting. Normally, I just turn on my ordinary headset and crank up the music really loud -- but unfortunately, my work often requires a level of concentration that music interrupts.

So, I need noise-canceling headphones. Headphones that do their best to keep chewing noises from entering my ears.

Any personal recommendations?

Other concerns:
* I have a large head, large ears, and I wear glasses, which means that especially tight earphones are painful for me. (The ear cup will sort of smush my ear against the arm of my glasses.)
* I probably can't afford anything over $150. But don't let that stop you from recommending something. I may decide to splurge on this.

Melkster on

Posts

  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    I have a set that I use at the gun range. They cancel loud noise, but enhance low noise. Really cool since I can hear people talk while I'm shooting. I don't remember the brand, but I know they were less than $50.

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  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Here they are: academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_10051_33424_-1?Ntt=hearing&Ntk=All

    They work perfect for my needs.

    Edit: I wear glasses at the range, comfortably. They are adjustable, so head size should be ok.

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  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    Thanks Howdy. I totally didn't even think of considering shooting range ear protectors.

    Though for me, I would require that my headphones cancel out those low volume sounds, as it is low volume but irritating noise that's causing breaks in my concentration at work.

    In fact, ideally I'd like the opposite of your headphones: If the sound is loud enough (like the sound of someone talking directly to me), let that sound through. But for low level sounds, cancel those out.

  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    Yeah, I can't help you there. They have an off switch which would help with that.

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  • curly haired boycurly haired boy Your Friendly Neighborhood Torgue Dealer Registered User regular
    have you considered in-ear earbuds? most conform to the ear canal enough that they offer passive noise canceling. alternately, some regular drugstore foam earplugs might do the trick.

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  • cmsamocmsamo Registered User regular
    I've used Bose over ear noise cancellers on airplanes and they are amazing, but expensive. I think I've actually posted about them on this very forum in the past. I had the QuietComfort2 set. They are active, and block out incoming sounds that they detect via tiny microphones. They are the daddy of noise cancellers and will run you hundreds. But they are splendid.

    I don't fly as much any more, so now I have some Shure in-ear ones. They ran me $90ish from Best Buy about 5 years ago and I still use them. They are passive because they just block the sound from entering your ear.

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  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Like what curly haired buy said - in-earbuds is a good option. Partly because they are sort of ear plugs and partly because they aren't hot to wear which I think is a problem with the big headphones.

    I bought a set of these not very long ago so I can think more/better at the office:

    SONY MDR-NC13

    They are comfy and they work pretty well, with or without music, although I haven't tested them against the noise of someone munching on Apples and the like :-)

    If you wanna know more someone even did an unboxing video!

    youtube.com/watch?v=q68oeY1a4Cs


    I got mine for like $60 including shipping and that is here in Europe where we often have to pay like 50% extra for stuff, so you should be able to pick them up for a good deal less.

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  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    Like what curly haired buy said - in-earbuds is a good option. Partly because they are sort of ear plugs and partly because they aren't hot to wear which I think is a problem with the big headphones.

    I bought a set of these not very long ago so I can think more/better at the office:

    SONY MDR-NC13

    They are comfy and they work pretty well, with or without music, although I haven't tested them against the noise of someone munching on Apples and the like :-)

    If you wanna know more someone even did an unboxing video!

    youtube.com/watch?v=q68oeY1a4Cs

    I got mine for like $60 including shipping and that is here in Europe where we often have to pay like 50% extra for stuff, so you should be able to pick them up for a good deal less.

    Thanks so much for the tip!

  • curly haired boycurly haired boy Your Friendly Neighborhood Torgue Dealer Registered User regular
    i recommend JVC's Marshmallow line of earbuds

    the sound quality is way better than it has any right to be, and the earbuds themselves are pretty much made of the earplug memory foam

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  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    Yeah, the thing to understand about noise-cancelling headphones is how they work. Basically, if you think about the most basic sound, a simple percussive noise, it's a sudden positive pressure wave. A Noise-cancelling headphone takes that sound and creates the equivalent pressure wave in negative. Now, with something sudden, like speech or anything percussive, this is very hard to filter in real-time. Noise-cancelling tends to take out the ambient noise very well, as it's a consistent sound that a negative wave is easy to generate. However, quickly changing sound is much, much harder to filter in real-time. Chewing might fit into this category, so noise-cancelling isn't necessarily the solution you want.


    Another thing to consider is Hi-fi earplugs, or musicians earplugs. They are earplugs that are specifically designed to mute across all wavelengths of sound equally. So while they won't specifically destroy the chewing sound, they also won't just take out certain frequencies like the foam earplugs, which can make speech hard to understand. A reasonable, non-fitted pair can be picked up at a local music store for about $15-20, and they're awesome.

  • TheKoolEagleTheKoolEagle Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I just picked this pair up a month ago:
    http://www.amazon.com/Technica-ATH-ANC7B-Noise-Cancelling-Closed-Back-Headphones/dp/B002HWJT1A/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1345656780&sr=1-1&keywords=Audio-Technica+ATHANC7

    So far I love them so very much, they work great for noise cancellation, although sometimes too well, like when my wife is yelling at me 10 feet away and I can't hear her 0_0

    of course the solution is to not turn on the noise cancellation, and it still does a bang up job of filtering noise

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  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    i recommend JVC's Marshmallow line of earbuds

    the sound quality is way better than it has any right to be, and the earbuds themselves are pretty much made of the earplug memory foam

    Be careful with these. The memory foam will rip if you pull it off and on too much, as happened with me - they got stuck in the ear canal a few times.

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  • NamrokNamrok Registered User regular
    Once upon a time I bought a $100 pair of expensive noise cancelling technology ear phones. The kind that needed batteries and you could turn the noise cancelling on and off.

    They were ok.

    Then I got these off of woot, I think I paid $30 for 2 pairs or something crazy like that. They are basically low tech ear plugs with some headphones mounted inside them. They are fantastic. Seriously fantastic. When I had to deal with an open mouth chewer at my last job they completely blocked that obnoxious little fuck out.

  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    Namrok wrote: »
    Once upon a time I bought a $100 pair of expensive noise cancelling technology ear phones. The kind that needed batteries and you could turn the noise cancelling on and off.

    They were ok.

    Then I got these off of woot, I think I paid $30 for 2 pairs or something crazy like that. They are basically low tech ear plugs with some headphones mounted inside them. They are fantastic. Seriously fantastic. When I had to deal with an open mouth chewer at my last job they completely blocked that obnoxious little fuck out.

    That actually sounds perfect. And considering that they solved for you the precise exact problem I have, I think I just might go with that.

  • NamrokNamrok Registered User regular
    Coincidentally there is a woot off right now? I did look back at my purchase history and I did in fact spend $15 for them on woot years ago. They do wear out I'll warn you. I think, like most earbuds, I got about 1-2 years of use out of my old pair before I bought my new pair.

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