Noise Cancelling Headsets

Old Sep 30, 01, 9:15 pm
  #1  
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Noise Cancelling Headsets

Now for a change of pace. While there has been some discussion of this in Omni, I was curious if any of our crowd have bought a pair of these new fangled noise reduction headsets? Some airlines are now providing them in the front cabins of their international flights, though AC is not among them. However, once you've used a set, you'll never want to fly without them. So...

BOSE is probably the best known manufacturer of acoustic items such as these, and theirs work very well based on my AA experience a couple of weeks ago. However, they use a very bulky set of ear cups -- anybody else old enough to remember what headsets used to all be like in the 60s? -- and they cost over $500 in our money. SONY makes two models, the NC5 and the NC10. But only the NC5 is available in Canada, at about $130 MSRP. It uses smaller, collapsible ear cups, but I have not found or tried a pair yet. AIWA also makes a $50 model, but itdoes not appear to be available in Canada.

So, among you long haul, heavy duty flyers -- BB, Dorian, KH, AB, Empress, AC*SE -- which model, if any, do you guys use?
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Old Sep 30, 01, 9:28 pm
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I had the pleasure of experiencing noise cancelling headsets on my flight to FCO in US Airways' award-winning Envoy Class. I don't remember the brand name of the headsets, but I know they weren't Bose. Perhaps fellow US Airways flyer terenz knows the brand name of the headsets.

They were bulky like the 60s style headsets, but very comfortable to wear. I managed to sleep over 4 hours with them on.

The headsets were wrapped in a package, which included an order form for a pair. But I forget exactly how much $$ they were. If I can recall, they were just under US$200.

They would come in handy on those noisy Dash-8 and A-320 flights

[This message has been edited by FlyerAl (edited 09-30-2001).]
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Old Sep 30, 01, 9:29 pm
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I bought the Sony first because of the size (and price). Then I bought the Bose. The Bose are about 1,000,000,000,000 times better than the Sony.

There's no getting away from the relatively bulky design because that's needed to achieve satisfactory passive noise reduction. Aside from dramatically better noise reduction, the Bose are significantly more comfortable.
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Old Sep 30, 01, 9:38 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by FlyerAl:
on my flight to FCO in US Airways' award-winning Envoy Class.</font>
FlyerAl, do actually talk like this to people? If so, do find that people tend to vomit on you?
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Old Sep 30, 01, 9:41 pm
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I don't own any headseats. I have however experienced a model on SQ. Effective but bulky as they are also Dolby headsets and not easy to sleep with them on.
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Old Sep 30, 01, 9:48 pm
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Shareholder,

I had a pair of lightweight Sony NC-5's (I think) that I bought in Singapore a while back. I broke them after a few months and moved to the Bose Bulkies (tm) (That's me on the left in that picture )

I prefer the Bose for the following reasons:

1. They block out ambient nose better than the Sonys (you can't hear every conversation around you).

2. I've had 'em for over a year, have abused them horribly, and they haven't broken.

3. They're way cooler People do look at you like you just dropped in from the '60s.

4. The carrying case can hold dvd's and cd's. I put my laptop power cord in there, making it harder to forget.

Downsides:

They're expensive, they take up a lot of room, and they have made me experience SES (sweaty ear syndrome) on occasion.

You can't go wrong with either one. I like the sony's weight, but in the end the Bose functionality wins out.



[This message has been edited by skofarrell (edited 09-30-2001).]
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Old Sep 30, 01, 9:49 pm
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Interesting that Sony has an in-ear type (unfortunately I don't like in-ear headphones in general). The Bose are U$299, Sony's over-ear are U$199 and U$99, but I guess it's worth an extra $100 if the Bose are a ba-jillion times better. (I figure anyone who would consider paying for lounge access if it were no longer free, would probably consider paying the extra $100 ).

I agree the bulky design is needed for passive noise reduction, but wouldn't active noise reduction be as effective in a walkman-style or in-the-ear set?

There's also a cheap one (U$39) with walkman-style headphones at www.nctgroupinc.com/nbex.htm

andrew
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Old Sep 30, 01, 9:57 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">They're way cooler</font>
I'm thinking a really great impression would be made with these:

www.napcointer.com/anr_headset.html

andrew
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Old Sep 30, 01, 10:00 pm
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Cool, but not as cool as this

[This message has been edited by skofarrell (edited 09-30-2001).]
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Old Sep 30, 01, 10:01 pm
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LOL -- does it come with an AK47??
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Old Sep 30, 01, 10:03 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Andrew Webber:
[B]I agree the bulky design is needed for passive noise reduction, but wouldn't active noise reduction be as effective in a walkman-style or in-the-ear set?
/B]</font>
Andrew,

Another benefit of the Bose Bulkies (tm) is that they do a decent job of quieting things down even if you're not listening to anything. Not quite the "cone of silence", but I'd say it quiets things down by 60-75%.

Sean

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Old Sep 30, 01, 10:03 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by After Burner:
FlyerAl, do actually talk like this to people? </font>
Nope, only to you After Burner. I'm glad you appreciate it :P~~~~
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Old Sep 30, 01, 10:09 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Andrew Webber:
I agree the bulky design is needed for passive noise reduction, but wouldn't active noise reduction be as effective in a walkman-style or in-the-ear set?</font>
I suspect the Bose actually have superior noise reduction circuitry. The better passive noise reduction not only helps block out external noise, but also reduces the amount of noise reduction "stuff" that leaks out into the cabin.
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Old Sep 30, 01, 10:48 pm
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I have a pair of the Sony MDR-NC5. They're OK. I got them at Bay/Bloor for $149CAD. Tried to get them at the Sony Store at Fairview Mall but after 6 weeks on back order I cancelled the order and went to Bay/Bloor. Mark Mendolson seems to have more pull with Sony than Sony.

You might laugh, but the first pair I had were the Optimus from Radio Shack ($79CAD). These were actually better than the Sony. The earpieces provided better passive reduction. They look ridiculuous, with a really strange suspension mechanism. Unfortunately they are a little fragile, or I'm a little hard on electronics, because I managed to bust them up pretty good. I think some items shifted in the trunk of the cab.

So if you're careful with your toys, the $79 might be a good option to the Bose.

I found both took a little getting used to. There is a strange sensation when you first turn on the noise reduction that causes a slight nauseous feeling for a minute or two.

They also work very well in hotel rooms that have those loud individual air conditioning/heating units. They do a good job of quieting the room for working and reading.

I haven't tried the Bose, and wouldn't spring the $450CAD for them. But would love a pair for my birthday or Christmas from some kind benefactor (you listening Mom).

Cheers.

[This message has been edited by NoahVail (edited 09-30-2001).]
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Old Sep 30, 01, 10:48 pm
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Interesting discussion, thanks! I've been thinking of getting a set but didn't know where to start. They do all look pretty bulky for carry-on. I probably won't buy anything, but if I do, I'll go with the Bose.

Thanks Shareholder for starting the topic, thanks AB for having used both Sony and Bose.

andrew
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