Looking for noise blocking earphones

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by leafeon34, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. leafeon34

    leafeon34 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Sep 30, 2014
    At uni when I'm studying there is always background noise. People walking around, people talking, someone watching anime without headphones and so on. It is distracting.

    so what I'm after is a pair of earphones that blocks 99.9% of sound so unless someone physically touches me or waves their hand in front of my face I can keep my concentration.

    The earphones I'm after don't have to play music, just be comfortable and block sound.
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    In that case there are three or four things to consider

    1) Basic builder style ear defenders. Old school ones will attempt to block everything, or at least drive everything right down, but newer ones will just try to block or attenuate loud or harsh sounds -- far nicer to not have to remove them to still have a conversation, and then risk hearing damage if someone starts up on the jackhammer right next to you. They come in over ear and ear insert flavours, ear inserts almost definitely being the attenuate sound variety as people also pick them up for concerts where you want the sound, just not ear damagingly loud.
    2) Active noise cancellation headphones. These will try all sorts of fun with sound physics to make it so no sound other than the one you want will reach your ears. I am personally not a great fan of these and some people really struggle and fall over and get seasick (I have that for in ear headphones) so see if you can try some out before you spend out.
    3) Closed back aka monitor headphones. I have some nice headphones but I am pretty sure more sound comes out of the outward facing sides than goes into my ears, that is not good if you are in a recording studio so there they have so called closed back headphones. They are usually slightly more pricey than others but at the same time I do not often see poor quality closed back headphones. It is not as bad as some of the active noise cancellation headphones but some people do not get on well with the lack of sound.

    Personally I would opt to learn to live with distractions -- people coming up and talking to you and thus causing 20 minutes to get back into things is one thing but general background noise should not distract. Once you get in the real world as well then distractions do happen so better to learn that one now.

    Speaking of background noise you might instead learn to live with what you have now as far as headphones but get a so called white noise generator -- silence is an odd thing that few people experience and quite a few people can not abide. Do a search for anechoic chamber and see some of the things there.
  3. bitjacker

    bitjacker GBAtemp Disorderly

    Jan 23, 2014
    United States
  4. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

    GBAtemp Patron
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    Mar 17, 2010
    I think in-ears are what you want, they block out external noise very well and still have decent audio quality as long as you don't go for the cheapo ones. Any in-ears will block out external sound well but there are some designed to block out as much noise as possible (for example Etymotic) though I don't find those to be very comfortable. General rule is the better the rubber isolation (not sure what the proper name for this is) fits your ear canal, the better the noise isolation, and if you have a big budget you can get ones custom made for your ear canal which will isolate even better than off-the-shelf items plus be more comfortable.

    The only other alternative that will block out noise the way you want is big over-ear headphones designed with noise isolating materials but these get very hot and are rather big and heavy so they are not great for carrying around with you.

    Active noise cancelling is an option but in my experience it doesn't do a very good job compared to some good passive noise cancelling so you will probably not be satisfied with it, although it can supplement passive noise cancelling to block out some additional noise.
    Last edited by The Real Jdbye, Mar 11, 2016
  5. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein There's hope for a Xenosaga port.

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Taking the risk of being called for buying overpriced, perhaps trendy shit; I would say that I love the ANC on the Bose QC25.
    And they don't sound bad at all (why the bad reputation, I don't know).

    PS: They don't so incredible either, my Sennheiser HDR180 completely beat them (and those are wireless headphones). But regarding ANC, they are great.
  6. CIAwesome526

    CIAwesome526 Im ugly and im proud

    Mar 25, 2014
    United States
    The Lake, Kalos Region
    Earphone.es a good site to search for noise blocking headphones
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