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Sauce for the goose

I recently discovered something wonderful exists in the universe.

Noise-cancelling headphones.

But jeez, they're expensive.

I want some! Everyone is sensitive to different things in this world, and one of my big fingernails-on-the-chalkboard cringy things is ambient noise at work--cackling laughter, nasal-y volumous chatter, earbud overspill (or worse, no earbuds at all thanksforsharingnot). Right now, I attempt to drown out the sound with my own earbuds/earphones blasting white noise. But even that is grating on me.

So the thought of earphones that can cancel out noise? Yay. But will earphones designed to cancel out jet engine roar work as effectively on voices and external music? If so, which are the best ones for that? Most of the on-line reviews seemed geared to plane travelers. I can tune out engine noise on a plane. It's white noise, after all.

I'd be willing to spend $$$ if I thought the earphones would dampen that one guy's hyena laughter and that one woman's IAmYourMom voice.

Any thoughts on the subject?
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( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
A guy at work had a pair that I tried on and you really can't hear anything. He's an audio tech so he uses them to make sure he can hear music cleanly but he said he won't wear them out on the street because they work so well he's worried he'd end up with a piano dropped on him because he'd be unable to hear any warnings.
Jan. 13th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Ask him what brand he bought.
Jan. 13th, 2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
I have two pairs, one of the over-ear kind from Bose and an earbud type from Klipsch (these).

I use the Bose, because I hate earbuds with a burning passion -- to me they feel like someone is stabbing me in the ears with knives. The few times I've used the Klipsch, they have blocked the noise, but they hurt so much I prefer the noise.

The Bose are awesome, unless you try to sleep with them on, then they are very much in the way. They do block out most background noise, but they have an obnoxious built-in safety feature, so you still hear voices sometimes. I've covered up the safety feature with electrical tape and cotton a few times, but of course that looks terrible.

Music sounds great out of the Bose, but just switching them on without even attaching the ipod is sufficient for blocking out stuff. I don't think the earbuds block noise unless they're playing something.

Hope that helps.
Jan. 13th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
Which Bose model did you buy?
Jan. 13th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
The Quiet Comfort 15. I tried both in the store, and they seemed to work equally well, but the 15 was more comfortable to wear.
Jan. 13th, 2012 10:43 pm (UTC)
By "both", what was the other one? Which store did you go to?

And if you don't mind telling me if you got a good deal on it, that'd be cool to know, too.
Jan. 13th, 2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, by both I meant the two models of non-earbud types available in the store -- the Bose store in a mall outside Syracuse -- and also on the website (here), to be specific, and it wasn't a particularly good deal at all. I think I got $300 headphones for $290 or something, but I spent more in gas then I saved. Bose.com is just fine if you don't want to try them on first, they have free shipping. However, I'm guessing Phoenix must have a Bose store that's not a two hour drive.
Jan. 13th, 2012 11:09 pm (UTC)
Ooh, they have a store. That way I can pester the salesguy with questions. I do not part with $300.00 easily.

Jan. 13th, 2012 11:13 pm (UTC)
Great sales people, too. I got the same salesman for both of my Bose store purchases, and not only was he knowledgeable, but he followed up with me about a month after each purchase to make sure I was happy and planning on keeping the product (they have a great 30 day return policy) -- and not by telephone, which would have annoyed me, but with a handwritten snail-mail card.

Oh, also, the headphone cord is user-replaceable if it gets broken. Big plus in my opinion.
Jan. 14th, 2012 12:28 am (UTC)
I have never bought Bose but I do know they are the rolls royce of audio equipment. Expensive, but worth the money.
Jan. 14th, 2012 01:35 am (UTC)
I tried on several at the electronics store this evening. The Bose was definitely the best of the bunch, but I was disappointed that it didn't make me stone deaf, as I'd hoped.
Jan. 13th, 2012 11:13 pm (UTC)
Go to the nearby electronics stores and try on several. Ones that fit you well will work best.

I occasionally wore my audio headphones to get to sleep in college. Like with you, white noise wasn't a problem, but folks laughing and chatting down the hall was.
Jan. 13th, 2012 11:24 pm (UTC)
I wonder if my local electronics store has floor models that will demonstrate the peace and quiet factor.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )