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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Spoonie Survival Kit: Noise Cancelling Headphones

I've been meaning to do this post for a very long time but I never seemed to get around to it, it always seemed massively overwhelming, but then trying to include everything that is a part of my spoonie survival kit in one post would be overwhelming, I think half of the things I own could count as part of my survival kit.

So I've decided to take this one item, or group of items at a time, & make it a series. So from now on once a fortnight or so I will talk about something from my spoonie survival kit.


So I'm starting with something that is probably the most important item in my personal survival kit, my noise cancelling headphones.

There are two kinds of noise cancelling headphones; the kind like my Bose headphones which basically 'edit out' the background noise using some fancy pants computer programme I cannot understand even a little bit & the kind like my Peltor ones which block the noise using a lot of foam & by making a vacuum almost around your ear.

You don't need both kinds of headphones, they both have good points & bad points but essentially they both block noise so there is no way you need both kinds. However since I have both kinds I thought I would do a pros & cons so you could see which kind would work best for you.

3M Peltor Optime III Ear Defenders

Pros:

  • Inexpensive (£19.60 on Amazon UK as of time of writing)
  • Very effective at blocking out background noise
  • Surprisingly comfortable for short periods (upto 3 hours in my experience)
  • The louder the noise the better they block (which means they don't leave you feeling totally isolated, when it is quieter people etc are muffled not totally gone)
  • You can buy replacement ear cups etc for them
  • There are several sizes of ear defenders available, these ones are huge (I bought them to block out the noise of bonfire night which is AWFUL in my area) but they also come in much smaller sizes e.g. kids ear protectors

Cons:

  • Can get quite tight
  • Can be kind of isolating
  • The ones I have are quite large & not heavy exactly but I can definitely feel them on my head & I'm certain that on touch sensitive days I'm going to hate them
  • They stick out from my ears massively (seriously I look like princess leia) so there's no way I'd be able to sleep with them on
  • If the ambient noise is loud enough people talking get blocked out too, quite common in shops with loud music...

Bose Quiet Comfort Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Pros:

  • Extremely comfortable - seriously the most comfortable headphones ever
  • You can listen to music etc through them, in fact they are more noise cancelling when you are listening to something through them
  • They are very light
  • They are very good at blocking out just background but not people talking etc
  • You can buy them as in-ear headphones if that is something you can cope with

Cons:

  • Expensive (The current version are £269.95 on Amazon UK at time of writing)
  • They aren't as good as the Peltor ones at blocking out loud music in shops (I guess the db rating is lower?)
  • Sudden banging noises (like card doors slamming or fireworks) cause the computer to make a popping noise a couple of seconds later, annoys me every time

I also have a pair of Edz Kidz Ear Defenders which I haven't talked about in this post, simply because I have nothing good to say about them (other than perhaps that they fold up very neatly), they are excruciating to wear & so I can't really give you any information on their performance.

Anyway, I hope this post is helpful for you & that you find the series interesting :)

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