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Does Noise Cancellation degrade the inside sound a little?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I walked into a retail store today and folks were nice enough to let me compare their stuff against my Bose - (http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/headphones/noise_cancelling_headphones/quietcomfort_15/index.jsp&Variant=qc15_custom#currentState=qc15)

 

I was frank and asked if they had anything that sounded better.  He saw that I liked the over the ear type and he sent me over to the H6  -  http://www.beoplay.com/Products/BeoplayH6  I listened to a few clips on my Ipad with both my headphones and to my surprise, the H6 sounded a little better.  I am not very good at describing things, but the audio sounded a little clearer and cleaner.  I also liked this model because it has a built in mike that I can use with Skype.  The problem is that the Beoplay H6 does not have noise cancellation and the salesman told me that none of their models had that feature.  I tested the noise cancellation feature of my Bose headphones by listening to some clips on my iPad while the salesman turned the store music up.  The noise cancellation drowned out most of the sound.  Unfortunately while listning to the same music at the same volume on my iPad with the Beoplay H6, the outside sound was far too much of a distraction for me to to enjoy the sound coming out of the headphones.

 

I'm a big fan of the Bose noise cancelling technology—If I am on a bus or a plane watching a movie, the technology drowns out most of the outside sound, but if there is some sort of alarm or loud announcement or if somebody really wants my attention, I can hear the external stuff.  The salesman told me that noise cancellation also interferes with some of the inside sound which could have accounted for the difference in quality.  Is this accurate?

 

With the better sound and built in mike, I like the Beoplay H6, however, unfortunately the noise cancellation that my current headphones employ, has more value to than the better audio quality of the H6. 

 

If I am determined to go with some headphones that have noise cancellation technology, will I always be sacrificing a little audio quality?

 

Thanks

post #2 of 3

Almost always the sound quality degrades because the noise cancellation process is subtracting from the noise spectrum and cannot discern this from the music you are listening to.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks,

 

I suspect the extra clearness I was hearing with the second set of headphones was the spectrum that the noise cancellation was "cancelling" out. 

 

Do you know of any great quality around ear style headphones (preferably with a mike but this is not a requirement) with an optional noise cancellation feature?  The problem with the Bose series is that they fail bad—without a battery or with a dead battery, no sound comes out at all.

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