Noise cancelling headphones

I've been doing quite a bit of traveling lately and have been experimenting with those noise cancelling headphones. Actually I couldn't convince myself to spend $350 on the Bose headphones who, by reputation anyway, set the standard.

I spent about $50 on a pair of Sony noise canceling headphones (at RadioShack no less.) My assessment: I give them a solid "B". They do cancel noise, but not all of it. And having nothing to compare themm with, I am always wondering how much better the better ones are.

So, today, in David Poque's column in the New York Times comes this article: "Headphones to Shut out the World" in which he gives a nice comparison of the many options out there and even recommends a pair of far less expensive ones:
"So what’s the verdict? Nobody has yet knocked Bose off its pedestal, but Panasonic and Audio-Technica have climbed up there with it. These headphones sound amazing, but cost a half or a third as much." (from "Headphones to Shut out the World")

David's personal blog talks about the responses he's already gotten from his readers in "Blocking Out Background Noise".a where readers recommend el-cheapo (yes, I do speak Spanish) ear protection as a viable alternative:
"As another reader put it: “”I have a Bose QuietComfort 2 headset which transforms my daily
commute into almost a recreational activity. But I’ve found a better
solution: Get a pair of lightweight, industrial hearing protection ear
muffs for no more than $20 by Bilsom. (I love these:”

Interesting. That's a cool idea, perhaps worth trying. I bet the Bilsom will last longer than even the Bose. But it's kind of big and ugly, don't ya think?

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Posted on June 14, 2007 and filed under Life, Technology.