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Author Topic: Noise Canceling Headphones  (Read 1112 times)

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Offline earmonger

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Re: Noise Canceling Headphones
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2018, 03:44:49 PM »
Seems that companies are starting to make noise-canceling IEMs. Can't speak to whether any of them are robust enough for high SPLs.

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-noise-cancelling-in-ear-headphones/

As for passive vs. active, Gutbucket, first of all great respect for your incredible technical knowledge and willingness to share it here.

I'm just a music listener, and maybe active NC has improved a lot in recent years. I have to admit that my experience with active NC headphones was early on, and  limited to the ubiquitous Bose QC and to a Sony whose model number I forget. But with both of them the outside noise--airplane, subway--still came through and the phones themselves weren't as musical as my Shure IEMs (E4c at the time), much less my new fave RHA T20i. The Sonys had a pronounced buzz when the NC was on.

Specs-wise, IEMs usually do promise more dB of attenuation than over-the-ear active NC 'phones that I've looked at.   

At the time, people were going gaga over the fairly new Bose QC. Someone lent me a pair and I did a lot of A/B-ing with my Shures. Obviously it couldn't be a blind test but beyond Bose's amazing marketing, there was just no way the Bose had either the isolation or sound quality of the Shures. I've been skeptical ever since. 
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 03:47:55 PM by earmonger »

Offline DSatz

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Re: Noise Canceling Headphones
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2018, 01:06:35 AM »
In general, active noise-canceling headphones are effective mainly at low and low-mid frequencies. The shorter the sound wavelengths, the less precisely/effectively this type of headphone can cancel them. To block out mid-high and high frequencies, you need (passive) acoustic isolation; active cancellation can't do it.

Also, I'm a dissenter about the Sony V6 phones despite their ~30 years of popularity. I tried switching to them at the end of the 1980s after years of using the Beyer DT-48 phones (the ones designed for audiometry, with very flat response) which were unfortunately painful to wear for any length of time. I think that both the mid-bass and the upper midrange response of the Sony is exaggerated to the point of danger: If you use them to judge your microphone positioning, you could easily believe that you're getting enough weight and clarity in your recording, when you're really not. I say that from sad experience with recordings that just didn't turn out as well as I thought they would. Despite trying for over a year, I was never able to adapt to the built-in "flattery" of the sound of those phones.

As an antidote, I've been using Sennheiser 280 or (more recently) 380 headphones for about ten or twelve years now. They're not beautiful sounding--I would never choose them for "pleasure" listening--but they don't overemphasize any particular region of the audio spectrum, and their overall distortion is low, so with a little practice you can get a pretty accurate idea of what your microphones are actually picking up. And they isolate you from room sound better than any other professional quality phones that I'm aware of.

--best regards
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 01:09:56 AM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline weroflu

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Re: Noise Canceling Headphones
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2018, 02:32:56 AM »
Sorry if this is a bit o/t. Dsatz mentioned the dt48, which I also had and loved, but similarly had to bin because they were too uncomfortable and also the replacement pads kept coming off.

Aside from what was mentioned what would you recommend as a dt48 replacement monitor type phone? Dt48 was light in bass to my ears but everything else was in a different league of transparency to anything else I have used. Currently using beyer t51p but they are underwhelming and mushy.

Offline DSatz

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Re: Noise Canceling Headphones
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2018, 09:13:10 AM »
weroflu, I've been fairly well satisfied with the Sennheiser 280 headphones as monitors for location recording; I don't feel that they've ever led me to make wrong conclusions about mike placement.

Of course, it's like with a seeing-eye dog: The owner needs a period of training and familiarization, too--not just the dog!

The headbands and earcups on the 280 will get ratty and need replacement eventually, but they're built for that.
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

 

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