I'm curious about something: I do most of my listening on Westone 4R, ATH M-50s, Grado SR80 and Hifiman RE0 heapdhones. This week a friend lent me some Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones, because I was curious about active noise cancelling. The sound is what I expect from Bose - a chunk of bass, some conspicuous high frequencies floating over the top, quite impressive upfront but not so coherent as a whole. Not bad but not brilliant. What does surprise me is that, for a while after I start listening, I feel a kind of discomfort as if there is a subliminal high frequency whistle or something - it's the same kind of discomfort I used to feel around CRT TVs with their high-frequency flyback tone. So my question is: does the active noise cancelling create a sound of its own? Is there any explanation for this discomfort in terms of what I am hearing, or am I perhaps just disconcerted by the lack of ambient rumble when these are turned on? The discomfort does seem to subside after a few minutes, although I still feel slightly weird with these things on, and if I focus on it I again feel like someone is doing something unpleasant to my ears. Is this a known phenomenon with active noise cancelling?
Edited by headwig - 6/16/12 at 11:24am