Digital Silence DS-101A Stereo Analogue Ambient Noise Cancelling Headset with Microphone - Black | Reviews

Digital Silence DS-101A Stereo Analogue Ambient Noise Cancelling Headset with Microphone - Black

Average User Rating:
4.5/5,
  1. julian67
    4.5/5,
    "Good sound and noise cancellation, superb value."
    Pros - Open, airy, balanced sound. Extremely long battery life.
    Cons - High frequencies can be resonant.
    I bought these on amazon.co.uk for about £17 (US$28/€21)

    I initially bought these with a long return rail journey in mind and was expecting to be able to write a review that dealt with their effectiveness on bus/taxi, train and tube (I also had some less than charitable hopes that they might nullify the squeals and shrieks of young nephews and nieces, and the grumblings of aged ancestors). However, nature intervened in the form of extreme weather and the worst flooding here in 250 years so most of my itinerary was submerged/flooded/missing/impassable due to God's wrath at unconventional bedroom gymnastics/global warming/the bloody weather/socialism/immigration/tonyblair/maggiethatcher/bush/obama/notenoughguns/toomanyguns (tip: pick one option, apply to all situations and stick to it, come what may) so instead of trundling by dirty, slow, blocked-toilet train from Sussex to Devon and back via Londonistan I find myself sitting at home hoping for a refund on my rail tickets and using these earphones to defeat the noise of the angry, frustrated motorists queueing at the traffic lights outside my living room window. They (the motorists) can be a mannerless and impatient bunch, prone to gunning their engines, honking their horns, playing truly vile music much too loudly, and occasionally breaking each other's sidelights, mirrors, noses and so on. I am pleased to say that these very cheap Digital Silence branded earphones render most of these goons inaudible. Only the most determined and irredeemably oafish of the knuckleheads manage to make their presence felt and their ghastly spectre is nicely reduced to a tiny fraction of its norm. If I lived in the US I suppose I might buy an assault rifle, several high capacity magazines and the services of an experienced criminal lawyer and then set about radically improving the attitudes and behaviour of passing motorists, drunks, addicts, muggers et al but as I live in England I'll just do my best with some noise cancelling earphones and pass a little time daydreaming some rather gruesome fantasies.

    These things hold their charge for a very long time. The manufacturer claims 30 hours of noise reduction. I don't have a sufficiently well developed amphetamine habit to test that claim but I can say that you can definitely go 12 or 18 hours while being happily unaware of external realities and not have to care at all about the battery. I don't have the need or desire to explore beyond this kind of time period so am content. I have absolutely no reason to doubt the 30 hour claim. Charging is really easy, being done via a normal micro USB port, so you can use a wall charger, a PC, laptop, whatever comes to hand. It takes at most two hours to get to a full charge.

    The sound is enjoyable and spacious and mostly inoffensive. That may read like faint praise or an expression of indifference but actually it puts these well ahead of many cheap and moderately priced competing products, many of which are sold on their supposed audio quality. I own some very good headphones: Sennheiser Momentum circumaural, Shure SE215, Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5vi and Sennheiser CX95 in ear monitors and some others, and have owned a wide variety of cheap earphones that are sold at prices similar to the Digital Silence's. These DS-101A are not world beating earphones but they are decent and much better than many similarly priced products. They would still be very good value even without the active noise cancelling capability. The bass is not grossly exaggerated, the midrange is nice and the treble is mostly good. The mid range is a tiny bit recessed but that's what you get in just about anything whose price doesn't bring a tear to your eye, so par for the course. The best aspect of the sound is that it doesn't have that closed in feeling that you usually get with IEMs. These are in effect semi open IEMs and they have a very nice combination of the airiness and spaciousness associated with open headphones and the isolation associated with closed headphones. This is a very neat trick and can really grow on you.

    I did try these outside while "enjoying" walking in the typical urban environment of busy streets+angry motorists+horrible loud banging "music"+huge trucks, buses etc. and these earphones really can't make all that stuff magically disappear. What they can do is relegate the rumble and intrusive thumping to the background and let you enjoy your sounds, but if you demand utter isolation you may well be better off, depending on fit, with good quality (interpret good quality as meaning "painfully expensive yet just as fragile as cheap junk"), deep seated, noise isolating, in-ear-monitors as made by Shure, Ultimate Ears, Etymotic and so on. Where these Digital Silence noise cancelling earphones score highly is in dealing with that huge urban drone, the big universal hummmmmmm, the steady noise of extractor fans, cooling fans, engines, server rooms, droning bores (present company excepted), domestic appliances, power tools, trains etc etc etc etc ....all that stuff that adds up to ugly, intrusive, inescapable noise all around you, all day, every day. It vanishes. It's lovely. For example when a diesel truck rumbles past it isn't silent but now sounds more like the swoosh of an electric vehicle. A small car going past barely registers. Planes overhead become silent.

    If you live somewhere noisy and want something to use at home these earphones are a blessing. These offer much better noise reduction than a pair of closed circumaural headphones (for example my Momentums) and are much easier to wear for long periods than IEMs that go deep into the ear canal. If you wear them with the cable looped back over the ear they are snug enough that you can easily sleep with them in.

    The sound quality is definitely not perfect but the feeling of openness is very appealing indeed. Higher notes can sometimes sound a bit hollow or resonant so I guess if someone actually measured these they would identify some ringing and perhaps some uneven response at higher frequencies. The midrange is decent so voices mostly sound very natural. You get the benefit of larger drivers than are usually found in IEMs (13mm in these) and these don't sound congested or muddled like most similarly priced but smaller IEMs. Fit is fine. Probably the best way to wear them is cable to the front but looped back over the ears. This eliminates cable noise but leaves the controls accessible.

    There is a tiny bit of hiss when you switch on the noise cancellation but it really is minimal and not something that will distract you in quiet passages of music. I was impressed enough by these that I subsequently bought the top of the range model, the DS-421D (a review will follow after a week or two of use). The more expensive model hisses quite obviously but is a better earphone in most other repects but so it should be - it costs three or four times as much. This budget model, the DS-101A, is actually outstanding value and a genuine bargain. If the power runs down (do you stay awake for 30 hours???) you can still use it as a normal IEM and it is not bad (though it has almost no isolating property without the powered circuit). I've only had it about three weeks so can't comment on durability but the construction seems OK - the cables are of decent thickness with good strain relief at every join and there is nothing that invites concern.

    I wouldn't want these as my only IEM but they are cheap enough to be a really worthwhile option and also a great way to try out noise cancellation without worrying too much about the cost.

Cover Image

julian67
B004LY1LJA-41iXsbBu2qL.jpg

Quick Stats

Digital Silence DS-101A Stereo Analogue Ambient Noise Cancelling Headset with Microphone - Black, 1 votes
Author:
julian67
Category:
Noise-Canceling
Views:
5
Images:
1
Reviews:
1
Comments:
0
Average User Rating:
4.5/5, 1 vote

More Items from julian67

  1. Original EO-HS3303WE Samsung Galaxy S4 Handsfree Earphone Headset for i9500
    Color: White Designed for the traveler the Samsung 3.5mm Stereo Headset with Volume Key will...
  2. Samsung EO-HS3303WE Samsung Galaxy S4 Headset 3.5mm Stereo with Volume Key - Non-Retail Packaging - White
    Designed for the traveler the Samsung 3.5mm Stereo Headset with Volume Key will allow you to...
  3. Digital Silence DS421D Digital Active Noise Cancelling Ear Buds - Black
    Wolfson Microelectronics Digital Silence DS421D Premium Stereo Headsets with three selectable ANC...
3 DOORS DOWN • 3 PILL MORNING • 9 LEFT DEAD • 30 SECONDS TO MARS • THE 1975 • A.R. RAHMAN • A DAY TO REMEMBER • A PERFECT CIRCLE • AARON CARTER • ABBY BAND • AC/DC • ACE OF BASE • ACERA • ADRIAN MICHAELS • ADAM 812 • ADAM LAMBERT • ADRIAN ECCLESTON • AEROSMITH • AGAINST THE CURRENT • THE ALBUM LEAF • ALEX CLARE & BAND • ALLI ROGERS • ALICE IN CHAINS • ALICIA KEYS • ALISTAIR TOBER • ALT-J • ALTER BRIDGE • ANDERSON PAAK • ANDRE O'NEAL, EARTH WIND AND FIRE • ANDRE3000 • ANDREW YEO • ANIMAL COLLECTIVE • ANNA VISSI • ANTHRAX • AMON AMARTH • ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI • ARIANA GRANDE • THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW • A$AP FERG • A$AP ROCKY • AS I LAY DYING • AS TALL AS LIONS • ASHLEY SIMPSON • AUDIO • AVENGED SEVENFOLD • AVRIL LAVIGNE • AWOLNATION • BAD RELIGION • BAD THINGS • BARENAKED LADIES • BARRY MANILOW • BASTILLE • BC JEAN • BELA FLECK • BELLA THORNE • BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME • BIGBANG • BIG TIME RUSH • BIG WRECK • BILLY CURRINGTON • BILLY ELLIOT TOUR • BILLY JOEL • BILLY OCEAN • BILLY TALENT BAND • BLACK FOOSS • BLANC FACES • BLINK 182 • BLOC PARTY • BLONDE REDHEAD • BLONDFIRE • THE BLOODHOUND GANG • BLUE MAN GROUP, ORLANDO • BLUE MAN GROUP, LAS VEGAS • BLUE MAN GROUP, MUNICH • BLUE MAN GROUP, NEW YORK • BOB SEGER • BON JOVI • BONNIE RAITT • BONOBO • BOSTON • BOUNCING SOULS • BOWFIRE BAND • BOYZ II MEN • BRAND NEW • BRANDY • BRANDY CARLILE • BRANDY CLARK • BRIAN MCKNIGHT • BRING ME THE HORIZON • BRITNEY SPEARS • BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND • BRUNO MARS • BRYNN MARIE BAND • BRYSON TILLER • BUCKCHERRY • BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE • BUSH • BUTCH VIG • THE CAB • CADENCE • CAGE THE ELEPHANT • CARLY RAE JEPSEN • CARRIE UNDERWOOD • CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN • CAVO • CEELO GREEN • CELINE DION • CELTIC WOMAN • CHAD GILMORE • CHARLI XCX • CHARLIE PUTS • CHEAP TRICK • CHELSEA GRIN • CHER • CHEVELLE • CHICAGO • CHILDISH GAMBINO • CHRIS HESSE, HOOBASTANK • CHRIS JERICHO • CHRIS ISAAK • CHRIS YOUNG • CHRISTINA AGUILERA • CHRISTINA PERRI & BAND • CHUCK AINLAY • CHVRCHES • CIRCA SURVIVE •
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, IRIS • CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, KA • CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, MICHAEL JACKSON THE IMMORTAL WORLD TOUR • CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, VIVA ELVIS • CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, ZARKANA • CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, ZED • CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, ZUMANITY • CLEAN BANDIT • CLINT WILEY • CODY SIMPSON • COHEED AND CAMBRIA • COLE SWINDELL • COLIN JAMES BAND • COREY SMITH • COUNTING CROWS • THE COURTENEERS • CRAIG CAMPBELL BAND • CREED • CROWN THE EMPIRE • CRYSTAL FIGHTERS • THE CULT • THE CURE • CURT BISQUERA • D'ANGELO • DAN + SHAY • DANIEL POWTER • DARIUS RUCKER • THE DARKNESS • DARREN CRISS • DAUGHTER • DAUGHTRY • DAWES • DAVID LEE ROTH • DAVID NAIL BAND • DEAD BY SUNRISE • DEF LEPPARD • DEFTONES • DELTA GOODREM • DESTROID • DETHKLOK • THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA • THE DIAMONDS • DIERKS BENTLEY • DIRTY HEADS • DISCLOSURE • DISPATCH • DISTURBED • DIXIE CHICKS • DJ CASSIDY • DJ DON P • DJ N.I.N.O. • DNCE • DONNIE WAHLBERG, NKOTB • DONNY & MARIE • DOOBIE BROTHERS • DOWN WITH WEBSTER • DR FU • DRAGONETTE • DRAKE • DREAM • DREAM THEATER • DROPKICK MURPHYS • DURAN DURAN • THE EAGLES • EARTH, WIND AND FIRE • EASTON CORBIN • EDDIE VEDDER • ELIZA DOOLITTLE • ELLIE GOULDING • ELLY AND THE LAST GARAGE BAND • ELVIS COSTELLO • EMBER • EMBLEM3 • EMINEM • EMPHATIC • ENGLEBERT HUMPERDINCK • ENRIQUE IGLESIAS • ERIC BENET BAND • ESCAPE THE FATE • EVANESCENCE • EYE EMPIRE • FAILURE • FAITH EVANS • FAITH MARIE • FALL OUT BOY • FALLING IN REVERSE • FANTASIA • FATHER JOHN MISTY • FEIST • FIONA APPLE • THE FIT SWIMMERS • FIFTH HARMONY • FITZ & THE TANTRUMS • FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH • FLEETWOOD MAC • FLIPPIN' SOUL • FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE • FONESCA • FOO FIGHTERS • FOREIGNER • FOREWARNED • FOUR YEAR STRONG • THE FRAY • FRANK OCEAN • FRANK TURNER • FRENCH MONTANA • FRIGHTENED RABBIT • FUN. • FUTURE • GALLANT • GARBAGE • GARTH BROOKS • GARY ALLAN • GAVIN DEGRAW • GEORGE STRAIT • GHOST • GIBSON GUITAR STUDIO, LAS VEGAS • GLASS TIGER • GLEE LIVE TOUR • GLINT • GO RADIO • GODSMACK • GOO GOO DOLLS • THE GOSSIP • GRANGER SMITH • GREAT WHITE • GREEN DAY • GREYSON CHANCE •
GRIMES • GROOVEBOSTON • GROOVY7 • GROUPLOVE • GUNS N' ROSES • HALESTORM • HALFORD • HALSEY • HARVEY MARSHALL • HAWKSLEY WORKMAN • HAYDEN MARINGER • HEART • HELL YEAR • HERE COME THE MUMMIES • HILL KOURKOUTIS • HINDER • HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD • HOMBRES G • HOPE • HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS • HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON TOUR • HYPER CRUSH • I PREVAIL • ICONA POP • IGGY AZALEA • IMAGINATION MOVERS TOUR • IMAGINE DRAGONS • INGRID MICHAELSON • INTERPOL • INXS • IRATION • IRON MAIDEN • JACK JOHNSON • JAKE OWEN • JADE WARSHAW • JAMES TAYLOR • JAMES TORME • JAMIE FOXX • JANET JACKSON • JASON ALDEAN BAND • JASON BENGE • JASON BONHAM • JASON DERULO • JASON ISBELL • JASON WHITMORE • JAY SEAN • JC CHASEZ • JENNA ROBINSON, BIG APPLE CIRCUS • JENNIFER CHASE • JENNIFER HUDSON • JENNIFER STONE, WITH KESHA • JEREMIAH MCCONICO • JESSE MCCARTNEY • JIMMY BUFFET • JIMMY EAT WORLD • JOE.E • JOE JONAS • JOE NICHOLS BAND • JOEY BADA$$ • JOHN GRANT BAND • JOHN HIATT AND THE COMBO • JOHN MAYER • JOHN STAMOS • JOHN TEMPESTA • JOJO • JONATHAN KNIGHT, NKOTB • JORDIN SPARKS • JOSH DAY • JOSH GROBAN • JOSH GROBAN BAND • JOSHUA RADIN • JOSS STONE • JOURNEY • THE JOY FORMIDABLE • JOYWAVE • JUDAS PRIEST • JUDD HOOS • JUICY J • JULE VERA BAND • JULIO IGLESIAS • JULLY BLACK • JUSTIN BIEBER • JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE & BAND • KACEY MUSGRAVES • KAMILAH MARSHALL • KARMA • KARMIN • KAT DELUNA • KATE EARL BAND • KATY PERRY • KEITH SWEAT • KEITH URBAN • KELLIE PICKLER • KENDRICK LAMAR • KENNY CHESNEY & BAND • KENNY LOGGINS • KESHA • KIP MOORE • KISS • KLAYE SANDERS • KOOL & THE GANG • KORN • KROPP CIRCLE • LACUNA COIL • LADY GAGA • LALAH HATHAWAY • LAUREN WILEY, LES MISERABLES US TOUR • LAURYN HILL • LAWSON • LE REVE, WYNN LAS VEGAS • LEA MULLEN • LEE DEWYZE • LENNY KRAVITZ • LEON J • LEONA LEWIS • LIANNE LA HAVAS • LIBIDO • LIDO • LIGHTS OVER PARIS • LIL' KIM • LIL WAYNE • LIMP BIZKIT • LINDSEY STIRLING • LINKIN PARK • LIONEL RICHIE • LITTLE BIG TOWN • THE LIVING END • LOCAL NATIVES • LOU REED • LOVE AND THEFT BAND • LUCINDA WILLIAMS • LUIS MIGUEL •
THE LUMINEERS • M83 BAND • MAC MILLER • MACHINE GUN KELLY • MACHINE HEAD • THE MACCABEES • MAD HATTER STUDIOS • MADEON • MADLIFE • MADONNA • MAGIC! • MAJORS AND MINORS, TV SHOW • MANA • MANDY JIROUX • MARC ANTHONY • MARIAH CAREY • MARIANA'S TRENCH • MARILYN MANSON • MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS • THE MARKER • MAROON 5 • MARY J BLIGE BAND • MASTODON • MATCHBOX 20 • MATT & KIM • MATT MORRISON & BAND • MATT NATHANSON • MATT OCHOA • MAXWELL • THE MCCLAIN SISTERS • MEGADETH • MEGHAN TRAINOR • MEL B • MELANIE MARTINEZ • MELISSA ETHERIDGE • MICAPELLA • MICHAEL ANTHONY • MICHAEL BOLTON • MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD • MICHELLE OSBOURNE • MIDNIGHT OIL • MIGUEL • MIKA • MIKE PORTNOY • MILEY CYRUS • MIKE MARLIN • MINDLESS BEHAVIOR • MIRANDA LAMBERT • MISS MAY I • MISSION TRANSMISSION • MODEST MOUSE • MODESTEP • THE MONKEES • MONSTER TRUCK • MONTGOMERY GENTRY • MOODY BLUES • MOTLEY CRUE • MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE • NAS • NEVEREST • NEON TREES • NEW EDITION • THE NEW SHINING • NICK FRADIANI • NICK JONAS • NICKELBACK • NICKI MINAJ • NICO VEGA • NICOLE SCHERZINGER • NINE INCH NAILS • NKOTB • NO DOUBT • NOAH BENARDOUT • NOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYING BIRDS • NORMAN BROWN • NOSTALGHIA • O.A.R. • OF MICE AND MEN • OLLY MURS • ONE REPUBLIC • OPERATOR PLEASE • OPETH • THE ORANGE EFFECT • OUR LAST NIGHT • OWL CITY • OZZY OSBOURNE • PALOMA FAITH • PANDORA • PAPA ROACH • PAPER TONGUES • PASSION PIT • PATRICK WOLF • PAUL BRANDT • PENNYWISE • PENTATONIX • PETER GABRIEL • PETSHOP BOYS • PHANTOGRAM • PHARRELL WILLIAMS • PHILLIP PHILLIPS • PHOENIX • PIERCE THE VEIL • P!NK • PITBULL • PIXIE LOTT BAND • THE PIXIES • POLARIS AT NOON • POP EVIL • POST MALONE • THE PRETTY RECKLESS • PRINCE BAND • PRINTZ BOARD • PROFESSOR GREEN • PUFF DIDDY • PUNCH BROTHERS • PVRIS • PUSCIFER • QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE • R. KELLY • R5 • RACHEL CROW • RAE SREMMURD • RAMMSTEIN • RANDY HOUSER • RASCALL FLATTS • RED LINE CHEMISTRY • RICI JO • RICKY MARTIN • RICO LOVE • RIHANNA • RISE AGAINST • RITA ORA • ROB THOMAS • ROBBIE WILLIAMS BAND •
ROCK OF AGES ON TOUR • RODNEY HOWARD • ROGER WATERS’ THE WALL TOUR • THE ROLLING STONES • RUMMER WILLIS • RUSH • ST. VINCENT • ST. LUCIA • SALIVA • SAM HUNT • SAM SMITH • SAM WARSHAW • SAN CISCO • SANTIGOLD • THE SATURDAYS • SAVING ABEL • SCISSOR SISTERS • SCORPION • SCOTT STAPP • SEAN ALEXANDER • SEBASTIAN BACH • SEBASTIAN INGROSSO • SEETHER • SEGARRA • SEIGMEN • SELENA GOMEZ • SEVENDUST • "SGT. PEPPER LIVE" FEATURING CHEAP TRICK • SHAKIRA • SHARON AGUILAR • SHANE DUNCAN BAND • SHEILA E. • SHEILA MAJID • SHINEDOWN • SIA • SIGUR ROS • THE SILVER BULLET BAND • SILVERSUN PICKUPS • SIMMONE JONES • SIMONE BATTLE • SKIP DORSEY • SKYLAR GREY • SLASH BAND • SLAYER • SLIPKNOT • SMASHING PUMPKINS • SMOKIE • SOCIAL DISTORTION • SOIL • SOLANGE • SONATA ARCTICA • SONGA LEE • STAIND • STARSHELL • STEEL PANTHER • STEELY DAN • STEREO SHOUT OUT • STEVE AUGERI • STEVE RODRIGUEZ • STEVE VAI • STING • THE STONE ROSES • STONE SOUR • STRATOVARIUS • THE STRUTS • STRYPER • SUBLIME WITH ROME • SUEDE • SULLY ERNA BAND • SUM 41 • SYSTEM OF A DOWN • T.I. • T-PAIN • TALA • TAME IMPALA • TANK • TAYLOR BURRISE • TAYLORED • TEARS FOR FEARS • TEEL MERRICK • TEI SHI • TENACIOUS D • TERRY ILOUS OF GREAT WHITE • TESTAMENT • THEFT • THEOPHILUS LONDON • THE TEMPER TRAP • THREE DAYS GRACE • TIMBALAND • TIM MCGRAW • TIM OWENS • TIMBALAND • TINASHE • TOOL • TONIC • TONY SAVAGE • TOOL • TOTO • TRACE ADKINS • TRAIN • TRAVIS BARKER • TRAVIS TRITT • TREY SONGZ • TRILLIUM VEIN • TRISHA YEARWOOD • TRIVIUM • TWENTY ONE PILOTS • TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB • TY DOLLA $IGN • U2 • UNION J • THE USED • VAIN • VAMPIRE WEEKEND • VAN HALEN • VANCE JOY • VINCE STAPLES • VIRUS • THE VOICE TV SHOW 2011, 2012 • VOLBEAT • WALT DISNEY WORLD • THE WANTED • THE WAR ON DRUGS • WARRANT • WE ARE THE FALLEN • THE WEEKND • WEEZER • WELL HUNGARIANS • WHITESNAKE • WIZ KHALIFA • THE WHO • WILD BEAST • WINTERSUN • THE WOMBATS • X FACTOR • X-JAPAN • YOUNG GUNS • YOUNG THE GIANT • YOUNGBLOOD HAWKE • YOUTH LAGOON • ZAC BROWN BAND • ZAYN MALIK • ZELLA DAY • ZZ WARD • AND MANY MORE...