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Desperately need noise cancelling HP for child

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi, new, I am totally non-technical. Have 6-yr old son with autism. Flying is complete agony for him, due to engine noise that is overwhelming to him and air pressure changes. We desperately need noise-cancelling HPs that will really work for him and fit his head. He cannot go through another flight like the last one, he shrank into his seat and sobbed and screamed for over an hour, holding his ears from the noise and begging us to make it stop. We were helpless to comfort him. This noise tolerance issue has worsened over time.

 

What's the best, what will block out the most sound but not be too heavy for his head and neck?

 

Any help you can give we are grateful for.

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post #2 of 22

Do you intend to actually play music through them? or do you just want to block noise?

 

If you just want to block noise, you can buy soundproof headphones off amazon.com for ~$20-30 USD.

 

If you want to play music and block noise, I've read that the Sennehiser HD25 II isolate really well, although I don't have any personal experience. 

 

I would suggest IEM's or in-ear plugs from Etymotic; however, it might not be a good idea to shove things into 6 year old ears. I can say for sure the Etymotic earphones are pretty much ear plugs that can play music. They isolate among the best of all the IEM's I've tried. I bought them specifically for airplane rides. They also make earplugs (don't play music) that are pretty cheap at ~$10.

 

Also, I know alot of people here hate Bose, since they feel they're overpriced for their build quality and sound quality. However, in this case, I would maybe even look into the Bose headphones, as their noise canceling headphones work quite well. I believe the one that has a really good noise canceling feature is the QC2, but they're around $300 or so. =/


Edited by PANGES - 10/22/10 at 9:28am
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

We will also be playing music through them when we can, thanks for asking.

post #4 of 22

I don't really know much about a situation like that, but I wonder if you want a headphone/earphone that actually actively cancel noises (headphones with this function will often require to run batteries and could be quite expensive) or simply headphones and earphones that could do noise isolation really well (which often comes into closing your kid's ears off with a closed headphone or sticking something into his ear)?

 

If you are only opting for noise isolation, Etymotic does indeed have a very good reputation of isolating noise. I don't think there is another in-ear monitor that isolate noises as well as Etymotic. However, I do worry about the fit and whether if you'll be able to find tips to fit into a 6 years old's ears.

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much. But I do think we need phones that go over and surround the ear. In-ear buds of any kind might be much too irritating for an autistic child.

post #6 of 22

If you wanna consider an IEM, For me one that is not pricely, isolates super (unless you have overly IEM Seasoned Ear Canals which is a nil for the child's case) AND most importantly *clicks* into the child's ear yet not feel like something is deep inside the ears just nice even for non-iem freshbirds (this is coming from me as my first ever IEM experience who hates IEM prior to this)

You can consider Creative EP830, I used to wear them when there are thunderstorm rains during my Military Days (sissy me >.<) and they worked very well. One of the more suitable iems i would recommend.

As for Headphones MAYBE active noise cancelling are safer bets, Such as Sennheisers and the Monster Beat Studios can consider, best is if you can let you child audition them on the spot (if the autism is not worse enough to affect the trip) and decide for himself which will fit him best since everyone has different head contours and it won be totally accurate to research headphone fit based on other's impression other than its Weight on the head.

post #7 of 22

I am also partially wondering if this question is something more suiting for a professional in healthcare rather than a bunch of audiophiles... smily_headphones1.gif

 

If you are looking for closed headphones (headphones that will completely cover one's ears), you probably will need to bring your son to do some headphone shopping. This is completely for the same reasons as kendric mentioned. It is difficult to gauge how a 6 years old, much less an autistic one, will react to certain headphones, its clamping force, its weight, and also its isolation. Since comfort is the key issue here, along with noise isolation/noise cancellation, you'll just have to try out the headphones yourself. frown.gif

post #8 of 22

Budget wise it looks like there are some to be had between ~$25 and $100... One other thing to consider is that an IEM will help with the pressure difference, so long as they are kept in and sealed the entire flight.

 

http://www.google.com/search?sclient=psy&hl=en&q=sony+noise+cancelling+headphones&aq=f&aqi=g4g-o1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&emsg=NCSR&noj=1&ei=oc_BTJ2AD5venQeKh43lCQ&safe=strict 

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxwellDemon View Post

I am also partially wondering if this question is something more suiting for a professional in healthcare rather than a bunch of audiophiles... smily_headphones1.gif

 

If you are looking for closed headphones (headphones that will completely cover one's ears), you probably will need to bring your son to do some headphone shopping. This is completely for the same reasons as kendric mentioned. It is difficult to gauge how a 6 years old, much less an autistic one, will react to certain headphones, its clamping force, its weight, and also its isolation. Since comfort is the key issue here, along with noise isolation/noise cancellation, you'll just have to try out the headphones yourself. frown.gif

 

And I have heard cases where some kids cant handle the tinge of claustrophobia caused usually by Active Cancelling Earphones (Not all though), So erm, be warned and prepared that if you're letting your child testing out active-cancelling cans, must have a certain degree of mental preparation. Anything can happen to a autistic's sentivity especially its hearing aspect.
 

post #10 of 22

If you want to try the in-ear route, look for the Westone Kidzsafe earbuds, volume levels for media playback always remain below 85 dB's no matter how much they turn the volume up.  There's also Ultimate Ears for kids at Best Buy if you don't want to go the mail-order route.  Both are about the same price.  Some hearing professionals might sell the Westone's in their offices.

post #11 of 22

I find active noise-canceling IEMs working better than fullsize noise-canceling headphones.  Comfort is also a big issue on long flights - IEM may be a little intruding for some people, while fullsize headphone may clamp your head or earlobes after long wearing.  If you are not going to play music, you can probably even try wearing foam ear plugs under the fullsize noise-canceling headphone.

I definitely suggest trying out at Best Buy or something for fit.

Also, as a last resort, some US airports have InMotion stores that may carry noise-canceling headphones.  But their store is usually after the security checkpoint.

post #12 of 22

I think the tough part here, is that IEM's or anything that go inside the ear are out of the question. And supra aural headphones are out of the question too (which is fine, since alot of them can become uncomfortable). Basically they need a closed full sized can that isolates really well. Unfortunately, this is tough to find as well since alot of cans are different sizes, shapes, and most importantly- different weights. 

 

I would imagine something like an Audio Technica M50s would be wayyy too heavy for the child's head. I would imagine my vote for the Bose QC2 may be the best bet as far as size, weight, and noise canceling goes. 


Edited by PANGES - 10/22/10 at 1:40pm
post #13 of 22

pay attention to the material used on the pads.  a headphone that's too hot around the ears to wear on a flight, is not going to help at all.  I've learned this the hard way.

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your thoughtful and considered comments. We will start looking around immediately and, if possible, take our child with us. You have provided us with some excellent guidance and this was the right place to ask.

post #15 of 22

You're welcomed. Hope all of us here helped =)

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