Reliable, Effective Noise-Cancelling Headphones without the High Price Tag?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Luman, May 14, 2019.

    1. Luman
      Tired

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      I want to purchase a pair of lower-priced over the ear noise-cancelling headphones for protection only. I don't want to listen to music with them, at all. I don't need Bluetooth, or anything like that, and they must be over the ear. I would likely wear earplugs under them, as Bill Bauer does for extra protection. Many people here use Bose, but I find it difficult to justify paying three or four hundred bucks, even for Sennheiser N/C phones, since I do not plan on listening to music through them and the musical audio quality is irrelevant for my purpose.

      Does anybody know of a brand and model that offers reliable, simple but effective noise reduction without the high price tag?

      Thank you.
       
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI @Luman

      I hope you don't mind me asking but I'm just a little curious as to why, you want to use NC headphones or any other type of ear protection unless in very loud environments? Personally, I see no benefit in using these pieces of equipment if, the intention is to suppress or reduce normal everyday sounds as some people do, whether they be outside or inside a building. I am not implying this is your intention, just curious. Overusing hearing protection risks lowering the loudness threshold of the auditory system and make it more sensitive to sound. It will also increase and instil fear and negative thinking about sound: phonophobia.

      If you are sensitive to sound my advice is to seek treatment to lower your sensitivity or try self help. Of course it's your choice what you choose to do, but I think this is a step backwards not forwards and can cause more harm long term than good.

      I wish you well.
      Michael
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Luman
      Tired

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      Michael, thank you for your reply. I have spent a considerable amount of time and money on tinnitus and sound sensitivity therapy, ENT and audiologist visits, and self help methods, but these will not protect my ears from NYC subway sound, air travel noise, and other sources of problems. I currently use earplugs, but would like to try adding further protection in the form of N/C headphones on top of the earplugs, for more comfort and safety in certain situations. I do not plan on hurting myself by over-sensitizing my hearing, which happened to me in the past due to the overuse of earplugs.

      Now, getting back to my original question, and the main point of the topic, can anybody please recommend an affordable N/C over-the-ears headphone that does the job reasonably well? I don't want to use them to listen to music, only for protection. There are several models for under 150 bucks online, which have received many good reviews, and I was wondering if anybody here with tinnitus has had any experience, either good or bad, with any of them or others that are similar. Thank you.
       
      Last edited: May 14, 2019
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI @Luman

      Thanks for taking the time to explain your reasons for wanting to use NC headphones. You obviously know what you're doing. Since you have tried various treatments already and they are not enough to protect your ears from NYC subway and air travel noise, I think you are right in the route you are now wanting to pursue.

      I hope you find something suitable for your needs.

      Take care and all the best
      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 2
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Luman
      Tired

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      Does anybody know of a brand and model of over-the-head N/C headphones that offers reliable, simple but effective noise reduction only, without the high price tag? I do not want to use them for music, I only care about the noise cancelling part. Has anybody used the Cowin SE7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, which are a best seller online?

      Thanks.
       
    6. Happyday

      Happyday Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      @Luman
      Do you mind to explain how you overcame "over-sensitizing" your hearing due to earplug use?
      I'm trying to figure out the best way to overcome this as well. Thanks!
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Luman
      Tired

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      I stopped using the earplugs, other than when necessary, that's about all you can do. Perhaps you can gradually reduce the time that you use them, if it's too difficult to stop all at once.
       
    8. Happyday

      Happyday Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Thank you. I'm glad you were able to do so easily. I hope you have luck with the headphones. Some of them can be pricey as I have looked into it in the past.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Luman
      Tired

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      Last edited: May 16, 2019
      • Like Like x 1
    10. Clint Azzopardi
      Woot

      Clint Azzopardi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure, Gentamicin or allaergy or both !
      I use the Bose Quiet Comfort, I think it's worth investing in them.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Luman
      Tired

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      @Clint Azzopardi What is it about them that makes them worthwhile?
       
    12. Clint Azzopardi
      Woot

      Clint Azzopardi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure, Gentamicin or allaergy or both !
      They are good quality noise cancelling headphones, and quality costs money. I tried other noise cancelling headphones but the Bose ones are by far superior.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Luman
      Tired

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      Initial impressions of the TaoTronics Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones [2019 New Version] Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear Headphones Headset with Deep Bass, Fast Charge 30 Hour Playtime for Travel Work TV PC Cellphone

      I received the Taotronics headphones today, after placing the order yesterday. I have no previous experience with N/C headphones. I haven't yet taken them out for a test run, but may do that later on the subway. This model has two hidden mics on each ear piece, to sample and cancel incoming noise. For my first test, I turned on a low-frequency fan sound on my LectroFan sound machine, and put on the headphones, with the Active Noise Cancellation (ANR) turned off. The sound was reduced, but still very audible. When I switched the ANR Noise Cancellation on, it immediately lowered the volume of the sound, and most of the low frequency was gone. Next, I tried comparing them to a pair of standard non-electronic 34 dB Noise Reduction earmuffs, which worked as expected, but when put on the TaoTronic and switched on the ANR Noise Cancellation, the effect was surprisingly more apparent than the non-electronic standard earmuffs, and the volume was significantly lowered.

      I have no idea of how music or other audio sound through them, and I didn't buy them for that purpose. They come with a nice travel case, which some of the more expensive N/C phones by other manufacturers do not. All in all, I think that this is a very worthwhile entry-level product, for many of us with tinnitus who are simply seeking protection at an affordable price.

      Taotronics Noisecancelling Headphones May 17 2019.jpg
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Luman
      Tired

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      I used the TaoTronics N/C Headphones in the subway yesterday, both above ground, and underground, with the Automatic Noise Reduction on and off. I also had a pair of Etymotic ER-20XS earplugs in my ears at all times, for the mid and high frequency noise. The TaoTronic ANC circuitry did reduce noise while travelling above ground, but I was very impressed with the difference they made when in tunnels, and on the underground platforms, where the low frequency noise of the trains is very high. Despite wearing the Etymotic earplugs, which are very good at blocking sound, the reduction in lower frequency noise was apparent and very noticeable when the ANC circuitry in the TaoTronics was switched on.

      TaoTronics is based in China, and operates a marketing company in Germany, for Western customers. I regret that I that don't have access to N/C headphones from such companies as Sony, Sennheiser, Bowers and Wilkins, Bang and Olufsen, BOSE, Beats by Dr. Bre, etc. for comparison purposes, but I'd be very surprised if the premium models from any of these companies have significantly better noise reduction than the top of the line 2019 TaoTronics model(s), which cost a fraction of what the leading premium companies are charging for their best N/C headphones.

      If you're looking for a pair of good value N/C Headphones for protection and comfort, at a price that won't break the bank, the TaoTronics should fill the bill quite nicely.
       
      Last edited: May 18, 2019
    15. erik
      Cool

      erik Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Glad those work for you. I will tell you there is a pretty significant difference in noise cancelling quality of the higher-end Bose and Sony which are probably the two highest rated, and the lower end. It basically comes down to much better cancelling, ANC circuitry quality and customization through apps where you can adjust the level of noise cancelling versus the background environment you're trying to cancel out.

      Add to that the build quality and the design aesthetics and how they feel on your head not too tight, light, and balanced.

      There is difference in price and what most people looking for probably doesn't justify it but for frequent users and travelers like me it's well worth it.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. annV
      Fine

      annV Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown - possibly hereditary
      There's a big difference. You have to try out the Sony WH1000XM3, they are the best in the industry along with the ones from Bose (QC 35).

      So comfortable that you can wear them for 12 hours without a problem.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Luman
      Tired

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      Thank you, Ann. So far, these seem very comfortable, but I haven't worn them for over an hour or so at a time. They are actually more comfortable than a particularly fine (sonic-wise) pair of professional standard headphones I used to own, but sold. I bought these TaoTronics mostly for use on subways, not expecting much for the price, but they have surpassed my expectations for the noise cancellation and comfort level.

      Do you own either or both of the Sony or Bose models that you named, and do you listen to music through them? Do you ever use them, either for Noise Cancellation, or music, or both, for 12 hours straight? That's very impressive, if they can be worn and used for that long a period without problems.
       
      Last edited: May 19, 2019
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Luman
      Tired

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      Thank you for your reply. The TaoTronics headphone's ANC ciruitry only has an on/off switch, no user adjustments are included, although there is a volume control for the audio input section. There's been no noise or clicking, etc. when ANC is turned on or off, and it starts working almost immediately. As they come factory adjusted, I assume that they're set to what the designers felt would work best for the average user in situations where there's little need or desire by the customer to make fine tuned ANC adjustments. I appreciate the simplicity of the design. With the case that they come with, I can throw them in a backpack and take them out to wear them on the subway or anyplace else where they might be helpful. If I lose them, or they die after a while, I'll probably just buy another pair that are the same or similar.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Luman
      Tired

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      Just a quick update regarding the TaoTronics. I paired them up with my Android cell phone, via Bluetooth, and the devices now work together for phone conversations, media, etc. This can be done with or without the Active Noise Cancellation engaged.

      If you're a frequent flyer and/or desire a pair of luxury N/C Bluetooth N/C headphones with software that can be highly customized and adjusted, with higher quality audio, then TaoTronics are not for you. If you only need a pair for occasional or casual use, with reliable, no-frills noise cancellation, and very basic Bluetooth features, the TaoTronics have more than enough going for them, as well as being an excellent value, to make them worthy of your consideration.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    20. Fangen
      Anime

      Fangen Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Stockholm, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2nd, 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (loud concert for 1h)
      I use the SONY WH1000XM (first gen) as I purchased these before the new models were released. I used it for the same reason as you, and I agree with the people above that there is a big difference in the noice cancelling between different brands. I borrowed my friend's Beats NC headphones and compared it to my SONY ones. I could tell the difference very clearly. SONY's NC headphones are always in the top, along with BOSE and they are there for a reason (and hence the price). Mine has not broken yet, they are comfy and the NC is great. I would like to upgrade but don't have any reason to until mine breaks, but glad you are happy with the ones you bought!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    21. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      How long should a N/C headset last? Assuming one takes care of them.
       
    22. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Decades
       
    23. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Thanks... For an argument's stake let's say it lasts 10 years. Divide that into the cost, so why not buy the proven best?
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    24. erik
      Cool

      erik Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      If you don't mind not having the absolute latest model you can get the 2nd gen Sony's SONY WH1000XM2 or Bose QC35 Series I's for about $100+ less than the latest models and still have close to the best NC headphones on the market
       
    25. PolarSun

      PolarSun Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music
      I use the Bose headset. I love them!
      Is anyone still listening to music with hearing protection under thier noise cancelling headphones?
       
    26. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I listen to music under my NC headphones "normally" (I don't know what you mean by "with hearing protection"), but also under regular headphones. Always very mindful of volume.
       

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