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What's so bad about noise cancelling headphones? - Page 2

post #16 of 25

I totally agree with Palpatine. 

However for those who does not like IEMs, NC phones can provide significant improvement over the pairs that airline provides - sorry about going further off topic :P

post #17 of 25

just find a good set of passive noise reduction phones, at least they'll sound good and don't come with side effects apart from maybe hot ears.

post #18 of 25

noise cancelling phones give extra work to the speaker driver.

I don't want that smily_headphones1.gif

post #19 of 25

I was actually considering getting a pair of NC headphones for air travelling a few years back, and after auditioning a pair at the Bose shop, I bought a pair of Shure E4c instead. Why? The NC headphones made so much noise even when there was no music playing + I could still hear the shop assistant talking to me, so this NC system didn't seem so effective to me. And comparing the size and weight, I'd rather take a pair of IEMs inside my shirt pocket onto the plane than those heavy and clumsy ugly looking phones. Also, the NC headphones are a lot more environmentally un-friendly as the more or less useless NC circuit needs to be powered by batteries. And I haven't even started on the sound quality.

Edited by Danz03 - 11/4/10 at 1:11am
post #20 of 25

On top of what everyone said, if you don't like IEM and want full size headphones, closed cans with proper noise isolation work better than the ANC headphones I have heard... it also sounds better too.

post #21 of 25

ANC seems to be mainly designed to kill constant droning noise like plane engines and don't do all that well with much else. That said that is also the only kind of noise where an iem (I love iem's) don't seem to be really effective against but I'd still go iem's over ANC any day (although my only experience with ANC is a friends Bose QC3)

post #22 of 25

Im not sure if this happens to NC Phones, but for many IEMs and Closed HPs i heard, high pitched noises always gets through the isolation with ease. E.g. telephone rings, any beeping noises. But voice and traffic are blocked.

post #23 of 25

I know this post has been around for ages, but in case anybody is interested and wants to hear of personal experience of noise cancelling headphones, here goes. I have two pairs of BOSE noise cancelling headphones. One at the office which covers my ears completely (BOSE Quiet Comfort 15) which is truly astonishing in its ability to blot out the sound of talking which I find extremely distracting when I am working. It will not completely get rid of all talking noise, but does an amazing job of it. At home, I have a pair of BOSE QuietComfort 3 which sit on top of the ear and do a good job of cancelling sound, but not as good as the 15. However, the audio quality of the QuietComfort 3 headphones is truly phenomenal - I am a singer and musician and use these when I am recording music. They are without doubt the best quality headphones I have ever heard, by a long way, and I have tried quite a few over the years. In my opinion they have an incredible range and quality. Amazing. They are also extremely comfortable to wear for long periods. By contrast the audio quality and comfort level of the Quiet Comfort 15 is not nearly so impressive.


Here's my summary of these two models:


BOSE QuietComfort 3: sound quality - truly outstanding.  Noise cancelling - good.  Comfort - exceptional - they are very light weight and feel extremely comfortable against the ear. Noise leakage (how much noise may be heard by other people in the room) - not so great. At high levels they leak quite badly so I would not recommend them if you want to blast the sound and not be a nuisance to others. Rechargeable - come with a recharger and spare battery section.


BOSE QuietComfort 15: sound quality - good, but not nearly so good as the '3'. Noise cancelling - exceptional. Really impressive. Comfort: not great, I must say. I find them quite uncomfortable to wear for long periods at work, though I put up with it because the noise cancelling is so good. Having said that, I have never found any over-the-ear headphone that I would consider comfortable for long periods. Noise leakage - better than the '3' but not as good as other brands. Not rechargeable - take a single AAA battery.


On balance, if you have the money, I would highly recommend the Quiet Comfort 3 for sound quality, and, to a lesser extent, the Quiet Comfort 15 if you work in a noisy office.

post #24 of 25

The problem is that the noise canceling destorts the highs and lows. They're great if your on a a plane, or riding in a car because they isolate you from the engine noise well, but not voices.

post #25 of 25

I have ATH-ANC7s and use them when I don't want to use IEMs or supra-aurals. They're also my go-to portable circumaurals. Still I tend to use my HD25s most of the time because of the better SQ but I wouldn't say the ANC7s are bad. IMO they're one of the better-sounding NC headphones out there - better SQ and build quality than Bose although Bose may have the better NC (which is not necessarily a good thing if it puts more pressure on your ear drums).

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