Noise Cancelling Headphones

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by mbeder, Jan 29, 2004.

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  1. mbeder

    mbeder Member

    Jul 3, 2002
    Have any other members used these items? If so, are they really effective and which would be the best value? Remembering the old larger style headphones, my major concern with these is hot ears!

  2. Rossmurdoch

    Rossmurdoch Junior Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    My headphones are the first item I pack for a trip. I got them about 3 years ago, Akai about $200 with a selection of jacks to plug into the various enteretainment systems, they're quite light and have often drifted off to sleep with them on. They don't cancell all the noise but are a great improvement.
  3. redrat

    redrat Member

    Apr 26, 2003
    I use the SONY n/c headphones but they tend to amplify the frequency that normal conversation is conducted at. I end up cancelling the a/c noise but picking up everyone talking through the cabin. I'm sure it's a safety feature but damn annoying if you've got some loudmouth talking all night on a long haul trip. The other annoyance is that the headphones while light on the ears do make them sore after a few hours of use. I must say I haven't experienced the hot ears issue but I definately find the over-ear type to be more comfortable.
    The BOSE are considered the best in the industry.
    QF uses the third pin type on J INT and it is very comfy.

  4. danielh

    danielh Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    I agree about the Qantas J Int headphones. Very nice and confortable.

    On the noise cancelling headphone issue, I was looking for one as well but was put off by the AU$200+ price i saw when briefly wandering through HK airport (yes I know those prices were inflated but for some reason I couldn't find any in HK itself). A friend let me try on his last week and I found that the low level noise used to cancel outside noise caused a sort of feeling that you were in a pressured cabin. for those who get seasick easily this might be a problem. :)

    Listening to music was great though but I would definitely try before you buy.

  5. QF WP


    Jun 20, 2002
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  6. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    French's Forest, NSW
    Can I get a pair for when my fiancee is nagging me ?

    They would be worth their weight in gold :D
  7. mbeder

    mbeder Member

    Jul 3, 2002
    I'm still to find a decent pair of these any other members perhaps have suggestions?

    P.S. LW, I was unable to find the discussion you mentioned in the Flyertalk Qantas Forum...any clues as to the topic heading and/or posting date?
  8. cssaus

    cssaus Active Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    I travel with a set of Sennheiser noise-cancelling headphones which are light and very effective. The only problem I've found is that the twin-pin adapter plug doesn't work on UA's international business class seats as these seats seem to have a proprietary plug fitting. However, I find the noise cancelling headsets offered by UA are more than adequate so I don't really mind.
  9. Bob

    Bob Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    Brisbane (sometimes)
    I have had the Bose headphones for the last year. They cost a lot more but IMHO are superior to the cheap NC headsets I have tried from time to time. I usually have them on for entire 12 hr flights without any discomfort.

    Mine have the separate NC unit attached by wires to the headset, but if you can afford it, I think the later model (Quiet Comfort 2) might be better, as all the circuitry is in the headset and you can unplug the wire and not get tangled up. On the other hand, I guess they must weigh more than mine.
  10. rosesplus

    rosesplus Intern

    I just bought a set of Bose QC II's after a fair bit of research through various forums and I think they are fantastic. The amount of background noise they cancel is incredible and you can actually hear the movies!!
    Don't buy them in Aust ($599), you can get them online for $A375 in the US at places like or, both ship them.
  11. NM


    Aug 27, 2004
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    It really depends on what you want to use them for. I prefer to use my Shure E3 in-ear earphones rather than noise cancelling headphones. Personally I find them more comfortable, liighter to wear and carry, small enough to fit in my pocket, and much better for sleeping.

    Proper in-ear earphones like the Shure or Etymotic range are sound isolating earphones, while the Bose and other headphones (I have the Sony NC20) are noise cancelling headphones. The noise cancellation is not linear across the audio spectrum, but is most efficient for constand low-frequency sounds like air conditioning and jet engines. But they are useless for blocking a crying baby or talkative seatmate. At best they will provide about 15-18 dB of low frequency constant sound reduction.

    A properly fitting, quality in-ear system will provide up to 30dB of full spectrum sound isolation.

    However, some people find the in-ear systems to be uncomfortable and the audio isolation is dependent on a good seal with your ear canal. Some people have ears that are shaped such that a good seal is difficult to obtain. Without a good seal, the isolation is not as effective and the low frequency response of the audio drivers is limited.

    I picked up a set of E3's for US$135 delivered to a USA address.
  12. AussieDisneyFan

    AussieDisneyFan Junior Member

    Nov 9, 2004
    We have just bought 3 different pairs of headphones. Bose QC2, PQ6, and Solitude.

    Haven't actually used them on a plane yet (leaving o'seas next week) but have tried them out in the office near the aircon and computers. The PQ6 are great but there is a big difference between them and the bose. We bought the solitude and qc6 from an australian site and the bose from auction on ebay as I couldn't find a US site that would ship.

    We paid $300US for bose, $300au for solitude and $100(?) for PC6. I think the PC6 will be good on the plane but found that they seemed to have a hissing noise and the bose were quieter.
  13. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    Canberra ACT
    Unfortunately not. As redrat said, they actually make conversation clearer by blocking out ambient noise. Tried them at work once - it blocked out the hum of the computers very well, but that meant I could hear conversations from 20 metres away!

    My experience is very similar to redrat's - I have Sony NC headphones and find that after many hours of wearing them on a longhaul my ears tend to get sore. Also not had the hot ears problem though.

    If I were to replace the Sonys, I think I would go with NM's suggestion of the Shure E3 in-ear earphones. They are certainly cheaper than NC headphones and have the advantage that they reduce all frequencies and types of noise, including conversation. Also, being in-ear, they remove the sore-ear problem. Furthermore, they take up less room in the carry-on and you don't need to carry batteries for them.
  14. AussieDisneyFan

    AussieDisneyFan Junior Member

    Nov 9, 2004
    mini review on headphones

    We are back from our overseas trip to Europe and have now used the headphones. Anyone that can afford a pair, I would recommend them. What I found was:

    There was little difference between the Bose and PC Solitudes. I thought the Bose were more comfortable and less bulky, especially for storage. The solitude had an adujustable volume which was handy as all the announcements were "10 times" louder than whatever else you were listening to and it was easier to adjust volume on headset than wrestle with the seat control.

    The Planequiet 6 were very good too but certainly not as effective and not nearly as comfortable.

    I didn't have any problems with hot ears or discomfort. I did notice that I had the sensation of still wearing them for a while after I took them off.

    I believe they made a difference to my comfort on the flights and I although I was still tired think I felt a lot better than what I have before and certainly slept more than usual. They didn't block all the noise but it was very definitely quieter and more relaxing. Only on our last domestic route did we have problems with the airline stewards. We we asked to remove them for takeoff, and when my husband questioned this the steward got a bit narky. I also think my husband was tired and grumpy and a probably at bit rude. :oops:
  15. MetroAir

    MetroAir Guest

    Recently flew on EVA Air MD 90 TPE-VTE J class and they provided noise cancelling headphones which were very good (even though the MD 90 is fairly quiet at the front).

    Couldn't tell what brand they were.

  16. AlwaysUpThere

    AlwaysUpThere Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    I bought a Bose headset last year. Fantastic, although a little flimsy in their plastic construction - take care and don't travel without the case. One year international warrantee.

    Using them has certainly stopped my ears ringing for hours after landing.

    Tax deduction (OHnS) for frequent travellers?

    I've used them in J on QF, SQ and CX and compared them to the "Noise Cancelling Headsets" provided by the a'lines - Bose are WAY better. Used them in F on CX and Bose still better. (QF and CX seem the same headset - probably the oneworld joint procurement project!)

    CX and SQ sound certainly better - probably the digital media they're using (believe QF still using tapes except on their new Airbuses).

    Used them on a Cessna and in a tractor! Fantastic...
  17. Damien

    Damien Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    I'm flying a lot more now, and have decided that noise cancelling headphones are now a need instead of a want. Given the speed of technology change, does anyone have a current verdict on them?

    From my online research, I've seen a huge difference in the prices of what is out there. This is what I've decided: I want over-ear, as opposed to in-ear. I want active noise cancelling. From my own personal experience, I refuse to buy anything with either Bose or Sony written on it.
  18. ioki

    ioki Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    Creative recently released a set, from memory the model is HN-505 or something like that and i saw them in last week's DS (dick smith) advertisement, it was priced at around AUD $65.

    have not found a decent review for them yet.
  19. NM


    Aug 27, 2004
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    Well you have just removed the 4 post common recommendations, being Shure and Etymotic in-ear models, and Bose and Sony active noise cancelling models. So in my mind you are starting in position 5 on the top-10 list :roll: .

    In my experience, you get what you pay for in this space. Quality may not be directly proportional to cost (the Bose are the best noise cancelling headphone, but not three times as good as sets a third of their price).

    Some others get mentioned, though I have not personal experience) include Sennheiser, PlaneQuiet, Solitude, Audiobahn, Creative, JVC, Philips etc. Do some googling to find out more about these ones.
  20. AlwaysUpThere

    AlwaysUpThere Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    Do you want noise cancelling for effect or to protect Damien?

    Buy them Duty/Gst free when you travel next and if you're flying a lot, claim them as a tax deduction...makes the price more reasonable.

    As for inside vs. over-ear, a colleague bought the Philips (i think) in-ear and said that they're easier to sleep with onboard (obviously) but the cabin/engine noise nullification is not as good as my Bose, which he's borrowed previously.

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