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Help with headphones with noise canceller

Discussion in 'Audio' started by sic001, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. sic001

    sic001 Member

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    Hi, I'm planning to buy a headphone with a noise canceller but I don't know which brand is better in terms of sound quality, the noise cancelling quality and the style. By the way, I think I can go for $200 and lower

    I got my eyes on Sony MDR NC60 and Philips SHN9500.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    My suggestion is first try the cheapest in-the-ear buds you can find. They are all about the same. I think Bose invented the technology but everyone and their uncle has figured way around the patents. They used to go for 150 USDs now you might be able to get a pair for 10. These are the ones that go into your ear canal. That technology has by far the best fidelity of any sound producing equipment bar the crazy expensive ( several thousand USDs each) audio speakers. They are noise canceling because they are sealed in your ear. It is the physics of something that small can be much more efficient. The base may be carried through solids+liquid (your ear canal) vs air.
     
  3. sic001

    sic001 Member

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    I think those type of earphones doesn't have noise cancelling instead it is noise isolating which are two very different things. Noise isolating yeah they minimize the noise around you but not as good as noise cancelling which uses anti-noise or something like that.

    Anyways, thanks for replying mate
     
  4. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Sorry for my ignorance! Here is a quote from Wikipedia
    If you read the article noise canceling only truly cancels low frequencies. Very low bass can cut through noise isolation like a knife through butter so there actually is some validity for the devices. However, the tone must be extremely low not to be cut out by noise isolation. So unless you are in a heavy-duty industrial environment they will not help much. Something like a 16 horse lawn mower does not put out low enough frequencies for me to hear over my music on my noise isolating ear buds. It does put out loud low tones but they are not low enough to cut through noise isolation. You need a tremendous amount of power to create loud very low noise. A railroad train will certainly do just that. Probably jack hammers may make some very low tones since it has the power to do so. Earthquakes and thunder surely do. The low pitch noise will carry a great distance. You know your environment, I don't, maybe you do need them. I believe noise canceling is mostly a gimmick to in-snare person who demand the best but do not do much research. I was just trying to steer you in the right direction without you paying a great deal of money. There are in the ear noise canceling buds. Check out the stats for what you buy. The average base response for in the ears is 8 Hz. Usually you can't get into the teens without paying over 200 USDs for over the ear. You pay a lot more to hear a lot less quality. On the other hand some persons can't toleration in the ears, then over the ears are the next best quality. Non in the ear buds are typically not HiFi while good over the ears are.

    an article on noise canceling

    As I said the buds are cheap enough to experiment with. Now if you have some in the ears and are not happy with them that is a different story...

    Buy them if in the ears do not work for you or it makes you feel like you are a cut above the rest of us. As in one of the articles posted in the top sticky, audio is extremely subjective. You will usually hear what you want to hear unless you do not know what you are listening to. Unlike a visual, where you know you can't see through walls with X-ray vision, a large group of audiophiles are certain they can hear the difference between lossless and the best made lossy. This is a kin to seeing through walls. The cut off on the mp3 320 BR is the end of the limit of human hearing. Science says you can't tell. The posted workshop goes into how you can believe you can hear what is not there. To put it in a nut shell, you believe what you want to and you mind will verify what you want it to hear. In short, if you believe the ear phones are better you will hear that they are better. This has been proven over and over.

    I wish you the best which ever you decide.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  5. sic001

    sic001 Member

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    Oh I didn't mean it that way. You definitely raised a point there but I think I'm gonna continue my plan to buy. These babies will help me when I'm travelling and studying. And most of all, this will help prevent hearing loss in the long run.

    So any suggestions anyone?
     
  6. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Well in that case then... The Sony MDR NC60 suck the big one. They are deep into low fidelity, right up with not in the ear ear buds pure which are "raw sewage" of the audio world. The Philips SHN9500 have the absolute lowest fidelity possible responce range and still be considered HiFi. I do not know why anyone would want to listen to music that cuts out so much of the quality of the music. I hope you are not listening to lossless with either cause that would be a big joke. Even 128 BR mp3 have about the same fidelity as the Philips are far superior to the Sonys.

    I do follow the bad rep in the ears get since that is what I use. I will say this... I haven't seen one article explaining the dangers of in the ears written by anyone with more brains than a chicken. The mp3s will only put out about 100 dbs The French want all mp3 player max outputs to be 80 DB but the average HS cafeteria is about 90 DB. Maybe the French ought to out law cafeterias and all sporting events which are even much louder. Maybe they should band them for the world. No one has considered that those same persons that use in the ears also go to R&R concerts which are usually over 120 DBs. 120 DBs is the point where hearing damage is certain even for exposures only lasting minutes. A few hrs really ruin your hearing. That is where the real damage is done. Unless the research removes the biggest variable out of their studies those studies are worthless.

    So don't go to any loud concerts because one few hr concert will do more damage than a life time of listening with in the ears.

    Get the Philips.
     
  7. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    You will be able to save your ears with either of the over the ears phones. They have double the impedance of the buds. This means they will have half the power of an ear bud. At full power even some of the most powerful players will not be loud enough to hurt your ears. I would be interested to know if the music will be loud enough to hear.

    I did research on how loud can the buds get and the result is yes at full volume they can do damage. They will have more volume that I thought.
     
  8. sic001

    sic001 Member

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    Something unplanned happened. I told my aunt from another country this just to compare price and then, boom she bought me a Sony MDR-NC7.

    What are your thoughts about that? Good or bad?
     
  9. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    The MDR NC60 must have replaced the MDR-NC7. The MDR-NC7 are better for about 1/3 the price. They are still low fidelity but are much better. Leave it to Sony to replace a brand for more money and less quality. Actually the noise isolation for these are pretty good, better than expected "Up to 85% ambient noise reduction". Yes, they are noise canceling but that is mostly a gimmick. Your real noise savings is in noise reduction.

    They are cheap enough I might give them a try. My wife has been on me about my in the ears. I have serious hearing loss but not so much because of listening to music but age and I worked for 10 yrs in an environment that would be too noisy to be legal today. Several time louder than what an ipod can produce. It didn't so much effect my hearing then but it increased the aging effect.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  10. sic001

    sic001 Member

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    But I really liked the MDR NC60 more. She must have bought it as a graduation gift. Anyways, guess the MDR-NC7 will be my buddy for a while. I sure hope so that it will turn up to be satisfactory.

    Yeah, hearing loss could be a pain. Thats why when I saw a program about a DJ having hearing loss, I became alarmed cause I always listen to my walkman maybe 6-8 hours a day. And you and that DJ maybe have the same working environment. I always believe in the saying "It's better safe than sorry" so count me in cause I'm with your wife.

    So maybe thats the end of my thread but expect me to bother you in the future about audio related problems ^^. Thanks Mez, you really helped a lot.
     
  11. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Sic001, I have a question for you. Why did you like the MDR NC60 more? Old timers like my self have only 2 major considerations with audio equipment, fidelity and price. Oh, yes, if you are wearing them looks have a some impact. I will not look like a total dork even if the fidelity and price are great.

    No, even very loud music isn't as damaging as loud steam leaks. The steam can be louder and the higher pitch is more damaging. The forces of steam going through large steam pipes is unimaginable. A foot diameter steam pipe can blow over a 6 story, heavily build brick building at almost 100 ft away if the line breaks.
     
  12. sic001

    sic001 Member

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    Well since I'm a first time headphone user, I base everything on what I see on the net and according to some reviews I saw, NC60 has more sound quality. Kinda more stylish. It comfortable to the ear cause your ear can fit inside perfect for like me who listens to music all the time. And it has features that the NC7 doesn't have, like the mic thing that lets you hear your surrounding even without removing the headphones.

    To put it simply, I just like it and perfect from the way I see it.
     
  13. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    The mic is a great idea.

    Well, don't set much stock in reviews especially audio reviews are near worthless. Did you get to check out "You too can be an audio expert" 'sticky' at the top of this forum? I promise, in less than an hour you will quadruple your audio savvy. The last post has a video how poorly we judge audio along with deflating audio myths. What I though was the most amazing was they took a $20 sound card and a $1000 sound card and play their output side by side. The specs for the professional sound card showed it was much better. Then they played first on then the other and I couldn't hear the difference. Then they played 2-generation which you take the recording and recapture it again. I couldn't even tell the difference at 124 generations. The point was although the professional was clearly better you really can't hear the difference even side by side after 124 generations. Our personal bias will sway all but the most analytical persons to hear what they want to hear. Specs are infinitely more reliable.
     
  14. sic001

    sic001 Member

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    Just got the MDR-NC7. It's great and perfect for me. But one thing bugs me, there is no difference when I turn the noise canceller on and off. Maybe its the first time I use one so I don't know the difference or maybe the devise is broken.

    What do you think?
     
  15. hooter007

    hooter007 Regular member

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    sorry to butt in here
    just needed to say very interesting read
    @sic001 as ya said you may not know the difference to notice a difference
    try it for maybe 30-1hr then switch also with different type of music ect
    anyway carry on :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  16. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Good info hooter. If you know more, please share. However the canceling does not cancel what you listen to but the outside noise so changing the music will not help much. You need to change the outside noise to test the canceling.

    Again, the noise canceling is only for low frequencies, most of the noise reduction is isolation. (read the article) I believe it is mostly a gimmick as being more than noise isolation. If you remember what I stated before, you will need to be in an industrial environment to hear the difference. In that environment it will be noticeable and needed. Low tones do not isolate as easily as higher pitched tones.

    My wife won a pair noise cancellers I was pleased that I could hear as well as I did. They all are low sensitivity devices. They need all the noise reduction because they are not very loud but loud enough to hear. They put out less than half the volume per watt as the in-the-ears.
     
  17. sic001

    sic001 Member

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    Sorry for the very late reply.

    I've been using it for 1 week now and I think it definitely cancels noise but of a very low amount. Like when I rode a public ferry boat on my way home. When I turn the noise canceller, I can't almost not hear the engine roaring. Nevertheless, I'm contented with the MDRNC7 and it's noise isolation is so good that I will use the noise canceler just when I feel like it.

    So thats it, thanks for your help along the way.
     
  18. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Yes, that confirms exactly what I stated much earlier. A ferry engine does produce those low sounds that can be canceled out. Higher tones can be isolated and are really too fast to be canceled out easily. The low tones, probably under 40 Hz (40 waves a second), are quite slow so they are easier to cancel but would not be isolated as well.
     

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