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What are your thoughts on noise-cancelling technology?

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    What are your thoughts on noise-cancelling technology?

    For a brief intro, noise-cancelling is a feature in headphones that uses embedded microphones to pick up sound of certain frequencies from the outside and then create an opposing frequency sound to block out said noise from interrupting listening experiences. It was apparently created by the founder of Bose, Dr. Amar Bose.

    Over time other companies began to adopt noise-cancelling technology as soon as certain patents expired, now it can be found on many headphones at varying levels. Companies like Sony, Sennheiser, B & O, Bowers & Wilkins, as well as many others have this feature.

    So what do you think of the feature and its many uses in different environments? Which headphones or earbuds in particular would you get to have that function? How many of you have actually tried it on one occasion or the other?

    For me, I think it's extremely useful and convenient because while it mostly blocks out low frequency sound and not things like voices, it allows for one to listen to the music alone and at much lower volumes so there's no need to go deaf or anything. I tried them in stores from both Sony and Bose, and also have a pair of noise-cancelling earbuds (since I'd already gotten a pair of headphones that didn't have the feature).

    #2
    The only real concern I have is people using these in tandem with their phones and thus having a real concern of lacking spacial awareness. True it won't block out all noise, but it's getting to a point that even my headphones I use at home without playing anything on them are good at canceling out all other activity in my home. This leads me to think that if younger types were to be walking around on their phones using this level of sound cancellation there could be serious concerns for their safety.

    But in terms of home/computer uses then I'm all for this, same with places like airplanes and such. Any time you're going to be in a set location for an extended period and thus no need to be aware of your surroundings sound cancellation is a massive boon for technological innovation.


    By the by, welcome to the community.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by J peth View Post
      The only real concern I have is people using these in tandem with their phones and thus having a real concern of lacking spacial awareness. True it won't block out all noise, but it's getting to a point that even my headphones I use at home without playing anything on them are good at canceling out all other activity in my home. This leads me to think that if younger types were to be walking around on their phones using this level of sound cancellation there could be serious concerns for their safety.

      But in terms of home/computer uses then I'm all for this, same with places like airplanes and such. Any time you're going to be in a set location for an extended period and thus no need to be aware of your surroundings sound cancellation is a massive boon for technological innovation.


      By the by, welcome to the community.
      Some versions like the Sony's allow you to let in ambient sound meaning that you can hear everything going on around you as if you weren't even really wearing headphones. I think that's a good way to address such a valid concern.

      I also agree that it's best in stationary locations and on transportation like cars, buses, and planes. For me, home and airplanes are the only places I use headphones anyway. I think that they can be better taken care of and last longer that way.

      Thanks, I would like to have more discussions on tech here with other average consumers.

      Comment


        #4
        I don't like noise cancellation because then my cat or gf end up doing drastic shit to get my attention (like biting my hand or jumper-cabling me).

        I'd imagine most people could enjoy them a lot more though.

        Comment


        • TechTastic
          TechTastic commented
          Editing a comment
          Open-back headphones would be more your speed then since they let in all the sound around you, however it comes with the caveat that everyone around you can hear what it is you're listening to.
          Last edited by TechTastic; March 3rd, 2019, 04:35 PM.

        #5
        I like them because I want to be engrossed in my music or other activity and ignore my surroundings, because reality is painful and outside noises and other people annoy me. I don't wanna talk to anyone when I'm in the zone. Also I'd love to get something that will block out my roommate's snoring when I'm trying to sleep.

        Comment


          #6
          Originally posted by OrganizationXV View Post
          I don't like noise cancellation because then my cat or gf end up doing drastic shit to get my attention (like biting my hand or jumper-cabling me).

          I'd imagine most people could enjoy them a lot more though.
          Sony headphones would allow you to hear them when you need to (by cupping the right ear with your hand or just turning on ambient sound). Not sure which others do though but then I guess they may get to that point someday.

          Comment


            #7
            Originally posted by Mae Borowski View Post
            I like them because I want to be engrossed in my music or other activity and ignore my surroundings, because reality is painful and outside noises and other people annoy me. I don't wanna talk to anyone when I'm in the zone. Also I'd love to get something that will block out my roommate's snoring when I'm trying to sleep.
            Same deal here mostly. It's quite an excellent technology and I wonder what other levels it will go in the future.

            Comment


              #8
              Originally posted by TechTastic View Post

              Sony headphones would allow you to hear them when you need to (by cupping the right ear with your hand or just turning on ambient sound). Not sure which others do though but then I guess they may get to that point someday.
              I'm sure they will.

              Comment


              • TechTastic
                TechTastic commented
                Editing a comment
                Nvm, Sennheiser, Bang & Olufsen, as well as Linner and a few others do it anyway.

              #9
              Originally posted by OrganizationXV View Post
              I'm sure they will.
              But do you have any situations in which you'd not hesitate to use noise-cancellation?

              Comment


                #10
                I personally like to be aware of my surroundings. even when I'm alone I usually leave an earbud out so the other ear can hear what's going on near me
                don't really have noisy neighbors tho so theres not much of a need to get lost to the music, for those who want to be left alone or have any other reason to drown out noise it's pretty convenient

                Comment


                • TechTastic
                  TechTastic commented
                  Editing a comment
                  How would you like the concept of open-back headphones btw?

                • Aure0lin
                  Aure0lin commented
                  Editing a comment
                  @ I mainly use headphones or earphones if i feel that what i'm listening to will bother those around me. if the noise is going to broadcast to everyone around me anyways i might as well not wear headphones at all

                • TechTastic
                  TechTastic commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Oh, I see.

                #11
                Originally posted by Saffron View Post
                I personally like to be aware of my surroundings. even when I'm alone I usually leave an earbud out so the other ear can hear what's going on near me
                don't really have noisy neighbors tho so theres not much of a need to get lost to the music, for those who want to be left alone or have any other reason to drown out noise it's pretty convenient
                So there aren't any situations at all in which you might need or at least want it, including transportation?

                Comment


                  #12
                  Originally posted by TechTastic View Post

                  So there aren't any situations at all in which you might need or at least want it, including transportation?
                  on a bus or a train, i like to be aware of how close i am to my destination and having one ear open helps me keep track of it. while driving, it helps my eyes concentrate better on my environment if im even using earphones. as a passenger, it helps me hear what the driver is saying when s/he is speaking. only time im completely plugged in is on a plane but that's pretty rare
                  Last edited by Aure0lin; October 29th, 2018, 05:47 PM.

                  Comment


                    #13
                    Originally posted by Saffron View Post

                    on a bus or a train, i like to be aware of how close i am to my destination and having one ear open helps me keep track of it. while driving, it helps my eyes concentrate better on my environment if im even using earphones. as a passenger, it helps me hear what the driver is saying when s/he is speaking. only time im completely plugged in is on a plane but that's pretty rare
                    In that case, like I pointed out earlier, some models can use the NC microphones to actually connect you to the sound outside so that you don't actually need to take them off, which would enable you to hear what everyone is saying.

                    Comment


                      #14
                      Hello there fellow consumer, I own V-moda crossfade earphones. I think they I read that they were noise canceling but I really can't hear the difference. I've tested some noise canceling headphones at the store but don't really see them working. Probably the best NCH I've used are the ones used in construction to block loud noises out. But headphones like those are very uncomfortable.

                      Comment


                        #15
                        Originally posted by #83.6666666667 View Post
                        Hello there fellow consumer, I own V-moda crossfade earphones. I think they I read that they were noise canceling but I really can't hear the difference. I've tested some noise canceling headphones at the store but don't really see them working. Probably the best NCH I've used are the ones used in construction to block loud noises out. But headphones like those are very uncomfortable.
                        According to reviews of those I recently watched, they apparently don't employ noise-cancelling.

                        Which ones were they? The difference mostly lies in low frequency sounds like engines rumbling on cars or planes and other such things rather than louder sounds (which wouldn't technically be noise anyway).
                        The function comes in handy if you want to listen to music at low volumes but hear little of the outside world in the process. The music will fill in the gap where NC doesn't block out voices or louder sounds, and the NC will handle the typical lower frequency sounds that we're probably used to hearing.

                        Comment


                          #16
                          I’m not really big on headphones, but I’ve tried a pair of Bose headphones that I believe were noise-cancelling. The sound qualitu was really good, butIn spite of that, I wouldn’t really use them in public, considering how the noise-cancelling aspect of it makes it so that you lose a lot of the awareness of your surroundings that you would have without them. Beyond that, it’s a pretty useful feature since it really immerses you into whatever it is you’re listening to.

                          Comment


                            #17
                            Originally posted by TechTastic View Post

                            According to reviews of those I recently watched, they apparently don't employ noise-cancelling.

                            Which ones were they? The difference mostly lies in low frequency sounds like engines rumbling on cars or planes and other such things rather than louder sounds (which wouldn't technically be noise anyway).
                            The function comes in handy if you want to listen to music at low volumes but hear little of the outside world in the process. The music will fill in the gap where NC doesn't block out voices or louder sounds, and the NC will handle the typical lower frequency sounds that we're probably used to hearing.
                            Appearance the site only mentions airplane sounds will be blocked.

                            Can't recall, it's been years.

                            Ah, I used to think the name (NCH) was literal. Got tricked by big business, yet again. Thanks for the clarification.

                            Comment


                              #18
                              Originally posted by Augustus Caesar View Post
                              I’m not really big on headphones, but I’ve tried a pair of Bose headphones that I believe were noise-cancelling. The sound qualitu was really good, butIn spite of that, I wouldn’t really use them in public, considering how the noise-cancelling aspect of it makes it so that you lose a lot of the awareness of your surroundings that you would have without them. Beyond that, it’s a pretty useful feature since it really immerses you into whatever it is you’re listening to.
                              What about the ones that can actually let in sound from outside through the microphones that are made by cancelling the noise to begin with? With the Sony WH-1000XM3's, you could choose to let in a wide range of specific sounds or block it altogether depending on your situation.

                              Comment


                                #19
                                Originally posted by TechTastic View Post

                                What about the ones that can actually let in sound from outside through the microphones that are made by cancelling the noise to begin with? With the Sony WH-1000XM3's, you could choose to let in a wide range of specific sounds or block it altogether depending on your situation.
                                I haven’t tried any like that, but that seems like a really useful mechanic. What do you think about closed vs open headphones?

                                Comment


                                • TechTastic
                                  TechTastic commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Coming back to this, hearing a demonstration on that exact topic, the open-backed headphones certainly sounded much better, though I'm sure hearing it live will give me more of an idea.

                                #20
                                Originally posted by Augustus Caesar View Post

                                I haven’t tried any like that, but that seems like a really useful mechanic. What do you think about closed vs open headphones?
                                I've never really tried open-back headphones before because I never saw any of those in any stores. All I know about them is from reviews which is that they're supposed to give a better, more natural soundstage (which I honestly have little knowledge of) and that they let in sound as well as let people hear what it is you're listening to, like it's a sort of mini-speaker.

                                Comment

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