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Noise Canceling Headsets- Best ones?

Noise Canceling Headsets- Best ones?

Old Jun 11, 11, 3:07 pm
  #1  
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Noise Canceling Headsets- Best ones?

Looking for a good quality set noise canceling headsets that aren't so expensive that if I forget them on the plane, it ruins my trip.

So far here are the best ones I've found:

Audio Technica ANH ANC7b $133 Shipped from Buy.com

Able Planet NC180B $68 Shipped from Costco.com

I already purchased a set of Blackbox M10's from Woot. While they sounded good, they broke at the join from the earphone to the headband.

Any others you'd suggest?
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Old Jun 11, 11, 5:01 pm
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I had the "non foldable" (the ear pieces rotated to store flat) Able Planet ones, they were reasonably comfortable, had good noise cane Larkin and sounded pretty good, especially when turned on (they will play when off or if batteries are dead, unlike the Bose).

However, after about 3 trips, the cord got a short and was very position dependent. I also did not like how much space they took up and that it was hard to sleep with them on, so I got some Etymotic in-ears to replace them. So far, I am thinking that sound isolation is better than active noise canceling, but I haven't used them on a long trip. I am also intending to have custom ear molds made for them to increase the comfort further, but want to see how they do "stock" first.

I wish someone made a quality set of noise canceling AND sound isolating in-ears ... IMHO that would be awesome for travel
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Old Jun 11, 11, 6:30 pm
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I have the AT. It's good. I'd say just about as good as the Bose unit for much less money. It also works with the NC feature turned off BUT it sounds very muddy then. Obviously it's quite big and heavy. But it's also comfortable. The sound is good however not great. In a quiet room there is a lot of soundleakage. I think there is a distinct possibility of your seat neighbor complaining when you listen too loudly because he/she will hear everything. Not good.

If you can stand in-ear monitors at all give the Klipsch S4 a try. They are the standard recommendation for good sounding in-ears that won't break the bank ($70). The noise reduction is about just as good as from the ATs although they don't even have an NC circuit. This is obviously beneficial for the sound quality, too. The shape is good because they don't stick out of the ears too much. That means you can lean your ear against a pillow when listening or when simply using the headphones as ear plugs. Also, no batteries needed and MUCH lighter and much more compact. I use the Klipsch on flights and the AT at home now (drown out the bloody AC noise).

Till
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Old Jun 11, 11, 6:31 pm
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I bought a nice pair of noise canceling JABRA headsets for $25.00 at buy.com last year....
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Old Jun 12, 11, 12:44 pm
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I've been using these from Brookstone for over 2 years and have been quite happy with them (plus for me as I wear glasses, I like the fact that they are on the ear vs over the ear )
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Old Jun 12, 11, 9:45 pm
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Originally Posted by ~tc~ View Post
I had the "non foldable" (the ear pieces rotated to store flat) Able Planet ones, they were reasonably comfortable, had good noise cane Larkin and sounded pretty good, especially when turned on (they will play when off or if batteries are dead, unlike the Bose).

However, after about 3 trips, the cord got a short and was very position dependent. I also did not like how much space they took up and that it was hard to sleep with them on, so I got some Etymotic in-ears to replace them. So far, I am thinking that sound isolation is better than active noise canceling, but I haven't used them on a long trip. I am also intending to have custom ear molds made for them to increase the comfort further, but want to see how they do "stock" first.

I wish someone made a quality set of noise canceling AND sound isolating in-ears ... IMHO that would be awesome for travel
I never considered Etymotic, or any in-ear buds for that batter- but based on your review & others, I'm seriously considering something like this. Thanks!
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Old Jun 12, 11, 10:33 pm
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Originally Posted by ClassCAir
Originally Posted by ~tc~ View Post
I had the "non foldable" (the ear pieces rotated to store flat) Able Planet ones, they were reasonably comfortable, had good noise cane Larkin and sounded pretty good, especially when turned on (they will play when off or if batteries are dead, unlike the Bose).

However, after about 3 trips, the cord got a short and was very position dependent. I also did not like how much space they took up and that it was hard to sleep with them on, so I got some Etymotic in-ears to replace them. So far, I am thinking that sound isolation is better than active noise canceling, but I haven't used them on a long trip. I am also intending to have custom ear molds made for them to increase the comfort further, but want to see how they do "stock" first.

I wish someone made a quality set of noise canceling AND sound isolating in-ears ... IMHO that would be awesome for travel
I never considered Etymotic, or any in-ear buds for that batter- but based on your review & others, I'm seriously considering something like this. Thanks!
If you do some searches here there is a huge amount of information in a number of threads on this topic. Basically the Etymotic and Shure in ear monitors have a lot of fans. I primarily use Etymotics now although I have a pair of Bose. For me, I prefer the Etymotics. The only exceptions are on longer flights. On trans Atlantic and Pacific flights I sometimes use the Bose due to comfort on 5 hour plus flights. On shorter flights it isn't an issue for me.
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Old Jun 13, 11, 8:35 am
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I picked up a pair of Etymotics before my last trip over the Atlantic. I couldn't hear the flight attendant calling my name in the aisle next to me, the In Flight Entertainment was too loud, and I didn't hear a single crying baby.
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Old Jun 13, 11, 9:04 am
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Sounds like you have just talked me into giving my Bose to the spousal unit!
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Old Jun 13, 11, 10:22 pm
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I have a pair of Sony NC-60s and use them everyday, well worth the money IMO...
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Old Jun 13, 11, 10:53 pm
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Originally Posted by weaverjf View Post
I picked up a pair of Etymotics before my last trip over the Atlantic. I couldn't hear the flight attendant calling my name in the aisle next to me,
I had the same thing happen! Supposedly, Etymotic has an app that uses the cell phone microphone to actually reverse the sound isolation ... I mean, how are you supposed to order a cocktail if you can't hear the FA?
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Old Jun 14, 11, 5:49 am
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Not the cheapest; I plumped for a pair of Bose Quietcomfort 15's - worth every penny as I use them everyday. Money well spent.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 6:46 am
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I've always found ear buds more comfortable than cans.

I use Sony's MDR-NC300D (about $175 now) on flights and trains. Sony makes passive and active cancelling buds - this one's active and power hungry, and won't even pass-through without a battery. It comes with a small leather carrying case, where I store spare AA batteries and a spare non-NC pair. My non-rechargeables usually last 20h of flying before I have to replace them.

You get a spectrum of different sized buds to form an optimal seal. Even powered off for take-off/landing, the noise reduction from the tight seal is very welcome. That said, on long flights I have to reposition them maybe four or five times as the air pressure changes. It can take a little practice to find the best seal position without pressuring the ear drum, but it's easy once you've got the hang of it. If in doubt, don't wear them during take off or landing; particularly if you already don't/can't swallow/blow/whatever to equalise the pressure.

Once the bell goes I flip the switch and the difference is tremendous! I've used them right behind a 777's engines and up on the front of the wing; the cancelled noise is the same. If you're looking to sleep with no music, keep in mind these generate low-level white noise, which may be distracting. I find it helps me sleep better. For music, I connect it up to a Creative Zen X-Fi2 and turn on Bass mode. Sounds great to me, though I'm no audiophile.

It also has a Monitor mode, so you can talk without taking them out. I find I can hear FAs better in-flight in noise cancelling mode, though.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 8:52 pm
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Originally Posted by ~tc~ View Post
I had the same thing happen! Supposedly, Etymotic has an app that uses the cell phone microphone to actually reverse the sound isolation ... I mean, how are you supposed to order a cocktail if you can't hear the FA?
http://www.etymotic.com/awareness/

Thank you for this.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 10:37 am
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May be a personal thing but the in-ear headsets, whilst being better at noise reduction and easier to sleep with on, have started giving me a blockage in my left ear which lasts for several days after a flight. I have Etymotic and Shure - Shure best for noise isolation, Etymotic easier to insert and remove and less of a blocking problem.

I picked up the Bose QC15 at DDF (Dubai - cheaper than UK, more than US) on my last flight and I like them a lot; they are also easier to remove to order your drinks....
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