Monday, May 12, 2008

Music Review: Noise Cancelling Headphones

Another music review and I’m not talking about music. This weekend I finally bought a pair of noise cancelling headphones. I have been thinking of getting some for the times when I’m traveling on planes or staying in a hotel and find myself surrounded by unfamiliar sounds. The basic concept behind noise cancelling headphones, is that they create a counter-sound wave to whatever sound is coming in from the atmosphere that essentially leaves one hearing no sound, so whatever sound, if any, you have coming from the computer or device is all you hear.

I was prepared to have a white noise creator, so I purchased a mid-level headphone set. I am amazed at how well they work. The music I listen to, the podcasts I like to keep up with, all sound worlds better without any interference coming from without. I am normally sitting in my recliner next to my aquarium. It always has sounds coming from the air pump, the water, and the fish splashing around. The first time I turned on the headphones, the aquarium disappeared as background noise.

When the headphones are turned on, there is clarity to the sound that I’m not familiar with and I’m finding that it works really well with all kinds of music and talk. Because I so enjoy my music, I am seriously considering purchasing a higher end set for home use. With a little longer cord, I could plug into the home theatre system and listen to everything that way.

One side effect I noticed is that I have to have my cell phone sitting on my chest while I’m working on the computer with the headphones on; the phone ringing is drowned out by the noise cancelling feature. I think that may become my new excuse – “I’m sorry, the headphones hid the sound.” I may not have to ever hear a salesman knock at the door, a phone ring, or my dogs fight again.
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