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Old 05-21-2007, 03:30 PM   #1
tacomaprime
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Default OT: Recommend me some decent yet inexpensive noise cancelling headphones.

I wanna get a decent set of noise cancelling headphones in the near future here since I am gonna have an extra paycheck in june. When I walk on our path at my complex right now, I take my mp3 player. I have a set of sony over the ear headphones right now, but when I am walking near the road, I have to turn the volume way up to drown out the sounds of the passing cars, which is not good for my hearing. So I wanna pick up a set of noise cancelling headphones. I do not like ear buds, so I want something that will fit over my ear. I don't care if they are ugly, so looks arent important, function is though. Oh and I wear glasses, so if they make some that wont jam my glasses into my head, that would be nice too. Thanks.

EDIT: These are what I have now.
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:32 PM   #2
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:32 PM   #3
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:36 PM   #4
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These are working for me and don't break the bank (I have an older model w/out the inline control).

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1072286040014
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:37 PM   #5
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for the love of god, I hope you are both joking, and actually know what noise cancelling headphones are.
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:38 PM   #6
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for the love of god, I hope you are both joking, and actually know what noise cancelling headphones are.
Yes, numbnuts.....
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:41 PM   #7
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I have the philip ones I got at bestbuy for $33 with emp disc

They work ok. you'll get what you pay for, and I use to wear them when drving my car to and from college since my car trumpeted extremely loudly at highway speeds, and it did a good job of cutting down on the drone.

I have had the noise cancelling on for almost 24 hours and STILL ahvent had to change the battery yet.

So if you can find them cheap, they are good. not sure if they are good if it costs you $80+
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:18 PM   #8
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I could never recommend noise-cancelling headphones. You're doing your hearing a world of hurt.

Consider noise-attenuating designs instead, basically earplugs with speakers in them. Shure, Etymotics, and Sennheiser all make good ones.


-A
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gongzero View Post
I could never recommend noise-cancelling headphones. You're doing your hearing a world of hurt.

..go on...



because they are noise cancelling, not noise drowners.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Protege Menace View Post
..go on...



because they are noise cancelling, not noise drowners.
That's kind of misleading.

Noise-cancelling means you have a microphone picking up ambient noise, inverting the waveform, and pumping that into your ears to cancel anything leaking through. Just because you can't hear it doesn't mean it's not damaging your hearing.

You can get a simple in-ear design which will provide something like 40dB of attenuation of ambient noise, so you can listen to your music at much lower volumes.


-A
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gongzero View Post
You can get a simple in-ear design which will provide something like 40dB of attenuation of ambient noise, so you can listen to your music at much lower volumes.
This is the way to go.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:47 PM   #12
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I have these, cost $200 and I use them twice a week on flights. They work really well; almost too well. If I use them in the office I cant hear people around me

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Old 05-21-2007, 04:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gongzero View Post
I could never recommend noise-cancelling headphones. You're doing your hearing a world of hurt.

Consider noise-attenuating designs instead, basically earplugs with speakers in them. Shure, Etymotics, and Sennheiser all make good ones.


-A
8675309
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:49 PM   #14
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I have the plain ear bud type headphones that look like ear plugs (white chord/black plugs). Got 'em at BB for $20 or so. They work decent for noise cancellation. You might give them a try before spending big bucks on these things /\.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:56 PM   #15
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by kwright69_02 View Post
I have the plain ear bud type headphones that look like ear plugs (white chord/black plugs). Got 'em at BB for $20 or so. They work decent for noise cancellation. You might give them a try before spending big bucks on these things /\.
Koss makes something similiar.



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Old 05-21-2007, 05:15 PM   #17
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Koss makes something similiar.



yeah, the ones i have are KOSS
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:50 AM   #18
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That's kind of misleading.

Noise-cancelling means you have a microphone picking up ambient noise, inverting the waveform, and pumping that into your ears to cancel anything leaking through. Just because you can't hear it doesn't mean it's not damaging your hearing.

You can get a simple in-ear design which will provide something like 40dB of attenuation of ambient noise, so you can listen to your music at much lower volumes.


-A


Can you explain this further because this is news to me. Phase cancellation (what you are describing) means the headphone analyzes the noises sine wave and produces a wave 180 degrees out of phase, hence canceling it out (that canceled noise is not pumping into your ear at that point!). So if attenuation occurs, and that level of noise doesn't reach the ear, how does this damage hearing? Some shooters plugs work on a similar premise or they utilize a compression scheme. I've been treating patients with hearing and balance disorders for some time now, this may just change my whole world.
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:52 AM   #19
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get the Shure E3c ear buds.. you can use them on an airplane and not hear anything but the clear music. gorgeous.
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevesGT View Post
Can you explain this further because this is news to me. Phase cancellation (what you are describing) means the headphone analyzes the noises sine wave and produces a wave 180 degrees out of phase, hence canceling it out (that canceled noise is not pumping into your ear at that point!). So if attenuation occurs, and that level of noise doesn't reach the ear, how does this damage hearing? Some shooters plugs work on a similar premise or they utilize a compression scheme. I've been treating patients with hearing and balance disorders for some time now, this may just change my whole world.
Well SteveGT,

You're almost exactly right about the headphone analysing ambient noise (it's rare to find a naturally-occuring sine wave) and then producing a wave that's 180 degrees out of phase. However, for any noise cancellation to occur, both the ambient noise and the phase inverted noise have to reach your eardrum at the same time -- this way all the peaks and troughs of the original waveform are cancelled by the corresponding troughs and peaks of the phase inverted signal.

Now, how do the headphones make the inverted signal reach your ears at (more or less) the same time as the original signal? That's right! By playing that inverted signal through the headphones!

Of course the cancellation system must not only compensate for noise frequencies but also for noise amplitude. So if the ambient noise is particularly loud, using a quiet phase-inverted signal won't cancel it, but just kinda muffle it a little.

So, yes. A noise-cancellation system in fact has to, by definition, playback that phase-inverted signal through the headphone speakers at volumes that approach the level of the ambient noise. And thus you've got the ambient noise, and phase-inverted noise signal, and your programme material all reaching your eardrum at the same time.

Noise attenuation is different than active noise cancellation in that speakers are embedded in, essentially, an earplug. The earplug's physical properties dampen soundwaves (physical attenuation) before they enter the ear canal, often in the range of 40-50dB. This makes for a far lower ambient noise level than with 'normal' headphones which allows the user to listen to their programme material at lower volume.

Hope this helps!


-A
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Old 05-22-2007, 11:05 AM   #21
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get the Shure E3c ear buds.. you can use them on an airplane and not hear anything but the clear music. gorgeous.
Yep. They are pretty much ear plugs.
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Old 05-22-2007, 11:08 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by gongzero View Post
Well SteveGT,

You're almost exactly right about the headphone analysing ambient noise (it's rare to find a naturally-occuring sine wave) and then producing a wave that's 180 degrees out of phase. However, for any noise cancellation to occur, both the ambient noise and the phase inverted noise have to reach your eardrum at the same time -- this way all the peaks and troughs of the original waveform are cancelled by the corresponding troughs and peaks of the phase inverted signal.

Now, how do the headphones make the inverted signal reach your ears at (more or less) the same time as the original signal? That's right! By playing that inverted signal through the headphones!

Of course the cancellation system must not only compensate for noise frequencies but also for noise amplitude. So if the ambient noise is particularly loud, using a quiet phase-inverted signal won't cancel it, but just kinda muffle it a little.

So, yes. A noise-cancellation system in fact has to, by definition, playback that phase-inverted signal through the headphone speakers at volumes that approach the level of the ambient noise. And thus you've got the ambient noise, and phase-inverted noise signal, and your programme material all reaching your eardrum at the same time.

Noise attenuation is different than active noise cancellation in that speakers are embedded in, essentially, an earplug. The earplug's physical properties dampen soundwaves (physical attenuation) before they enter the ear canal, often in the range of 40-50dB. This makes for a far lower ambient noise level than with 'normal' headphones which allows the user to listen to their programme material at lower volume.

Hope this helps!


-A

While I don't disagree with anything you say... I do have one honest question.

What is the difference to the eardrum between a "flat" cancelled sound wave and no sound wave? If I'm thinking about it correctly, the ear drum can only get "damaged" through vibration (or overpressure, but I don't think that's a case here?)... if the flat wave doesn't cause vibration, what's the problem?
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Old 05-22-2007, 11:51 AM   #23
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While I don't disagree with anything you say... I do have one honest question.

What is the difference to the eardrum between a "flat" cancelled sound wave and no sound wave? If I'm thinking about it correctly, the ear drum can only get "damaged" through vibration (or overpressure, but I don't think that's a case here?)... if the flat wave doesn't cause vibration, what's the problem?
That's a really good question.

Let me think about it and maybe do a little reading before I answer it; I have read that folks are against noise-cancelling technologies for the reasons I listed, but I never really went into the in-depth science.

I suspect it has something to do with the difference between the mathematics of it and the physiological / practical considerations.


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Old 05-22-2007, 12:25 PM   #24
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Well SteveGT,

However, for any noise cancellation to occur, both the ambient noise and the phase inverted noise have to reach your eardrum at the same time -- .

Now, how do the headphones make the inverted signal reach your ears at (more or less) the same time as the original signal?

And thus you've got the ambient noise, and phase-inverted noise signal, and your programme material all reaching your eardrum at the same time.



-A
The above statements are incorrect.

The problem with the above statements is.....the ambient waveform and the out of phase cancellation waveform NEVER REACH YOUR EARDRUM. The two opposite waves cancel each other just after the transducer of the headphone BEFORE THE PRESSURE WAVE MOVES DOWN THE EAR CANAL TO THE EARDRUM.

So the only pressure waves reaching your eardrum are the source material and any left over original (not phase inverted) ambient noise that was not cancelled by the technology.

Try it yourself. If you put on a set of noise cancellation headphones with the cancellation turned off, you will hear a reduction in ambient noise due to the attenuation of the ear cup. When you turn on the cancellation the ambient noise level is even less, not more, proving that the noise cancellation does not add amplitude to the pressure waves of the ambient noise. If it did, then you would hear an increase in volume overall.

Last edited by boxxxer; 05-22-2007 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:28 PM   #25
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thats what i was going to say.

Ive never seen an open muff NC headset.

the waves are cancelled in the muffs, not the very second they hit your eardrum.
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