Noise cancelling headphones review 2008

What price should you pay and will they cut the racket?
 
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  • Updated:26 May 2008
 

01 .Introduction

Noise-cancelling-headphones

Test results for 15 noise cancelling headphones from $70 to $599

We tested them for:

  • Noise cancellation
  • Comfort
  • Ease of use

CHOICE tests are different. We buy the products we test — no freebies from manufacturers. Companies can't buy ads on our site and our work is funded by people like you.

Please note: this information was current as of May 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market. For more recent information, see our Noise cancelling headphones and earphones review 2012.


Findings

  • Noise-cancelling headphones reduce intrusive ambient noise such as the drone of a plane.
  • The best performing models make you wonder how you ever coped without them.
  • Both active and passive features in headphones contribute to the overall reduction of a noisy environment.

Brands tested

  • Acoustic Research ARH500 (model now discontinued)
  • Bose QuietComfort 2
  • Bose QuietComfort 3
  • IRhythms A-9900
  • Jabra C820s (model now discontinued but may still be available in some stores)
  • JVC HA-NC80
  • Koss QZ PRO
  • Logitech (model now discontinued)
  • Panasonic RP-HC150
  • Panasonic RP-HC70
  • Philips SHN5500
  • Philips SHN9500
  • Sennheiser PXC 150
  • Sennheiser PXC 300
  • Sony MDR-NC6
 
 

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John's opinion:

  • Member since: 02 Jul 13
  • 4 Comments
  • 1 Replies
 
User Profile

6 MONTHS AGO | Ditto re the lightness of the article. There are several websites ranking on google that are not covered. And I would appreciated Choice doing what I quickly do to estimate coverage, i.e. using narrow criteria such as an exact age and height to get a count of all members of that subset within n km of a particular locality, which allows accurate extrapolation. Choice could then follow through by paying to contact a small percentage of members to check that they are real currently active individuals; this would be expensive for large numbers, but could check if the smaller websites are stuffing their database with fake accounts. This is the sort of stuff I would expect a consumer watchdog to do, instead of relying on the websites' reported figures.

An analysis of photos could figure out how many people use more than one website - there is nothing wrong with doing so, but it can mean that there is little point re being active on the smaller sites. You could also give more of a run down on demographics - e.g. RSVP seems more white collar, seemed OKcupid more blue collar. Personally, I've given up on PlentyOfFish, OKcupid (although I really like its concept), and eHarmony - they just didn't have who I wanted. The price of an RSVP stamp seems to dissuade time-wasting. The fact that they are cheaper in bulk perhaps encourages people to stay with the one account rather than proliferate accounts, which hopefully encourages honesty. RSVP seems to have won the critical mass war, although I could well imagine new paradigms such as enforcing honest self representation could allow market shifts. Thanks to Jane for raising iqcatch.com - I also noticed relationships.answers.com/adult-singles-dating/intelligence-based-dating-sites-for-mensa-minds has stuff on niche sites. Given that the wikipedia page listing dating sites seems to be dominated by vested interests, it would be great if Choice could provide moderation of members' reported experiences.

Another useful thing Choice could do is survey a representative sample of the population re their experiences, and report that.

Personally, I have found internet dating to be great - you get to think about compatibility before physical sexual attraction shuts down one's brain, so it has many of the advantages of the arranged marriages that have so long been the norm in most of the world. It might even lower the divorce rate. Reproduction is up there on Maslow's only shortly after oxygen, so it would be great if Choice could help us all do it more intelligently.

 

 
 

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Sarah's opinion:

  • Member since: 18 Feb 12
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6 MONTHS AGO | To be honest, I was expecting a little more from Choice than just a rundown of the prices and a few opinions or case studies. How about some thoughtful criticism?

 

 
 

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ileneni's opinion:

  • Member since: 28 Feb 14
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7 MONTHS AGO | I met my husband via internet dating. And I know other 7 steady couples that have met that way (5 mid 30's & 2 over 50's). I suppose the stigma is fading out. We now find houses, jobs and goods online. So it only makes sense. Having said that, I did meet someone who was lying and was actually married. Very sad as her wife called me so I was honest with her. So overall a good experience but 1 in 4 is dodgy but you just move on. My guess is in a pub 3 out of 4 is dodgy so my take is you are better off with internet dating.

 

 
 

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Michael Camilleri's opinion:

  • Member since: 28 Jun 13
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4 YEARS AGO | It's entirely clear here that $name is a very important thing. I just believe the review could have entailed a little more information. lol ;)

 

 
 

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John's opinion:

  • Member since: 02 Jul 13
  • 4 Comments
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6 MONTHS AGO | Ditto re the lightness of the article. There are several websites ranking on google that are not covered. And I would appreciated Choice doing what I quickly do to estimate coverage, i.e. using narrow criteria such as an exact age and height to get a count of all members of that subset within n km of a particular locality, which allows accurate extrapolation. Choice could then follow through by paying to contact a small percentage of members to check that they are real currently active individuals; this would be expensive for large numbers, but could check if the smaller websites are stuffing their database with fake accounts. This is the sort of stuff I would expect a consumer watchdog to do, instead of relying on the websites' reported figures.

An analysis of photos could figure out how many people use more than one website - there is nothing wrong with doing so, but it can mean that there is little point re being active on the smaller sites. You could also give more of a run down on demographics - e.g. RSVP seems more white collar, seemed OKcupid more blue collar. Personally, I've given up on PlentyOfFish, OKcupid (although I really like its concept), and eHarmony - they just didn't have who I wanted. The price of an RSVP stamp seems to dissuade time-wasting. The fact that they are cheaper in bulk perhaps encourages people to stay with the one account rather than proliferate accounts, which hopefully encourages honesty. RSVP seems to have won the critical mass war, although I could well imagine new paradigms such as enforcing honest self representation could allow market shifts. Thanks to Jane for raising iqcatch.com - I also noticed relationships.answers.com/adult-singles-dating/intelligence-based-dating-sites-for-mensa-minds has stuff on niche sites. Given that the wikipedia page listing dating sites seems to be dominated by vested interests, it would be great if Choice could provide moderation of members' reported experiences.

Another useful thing Choice could do is survey a representative sample of the population re their experiences, and report that.

Personally, I have found internet dating to be great - you get to think about compatibility before physical sexual attraction shuts down one's brain, so it has many of the advantages of the arranged marriages that have so long been the norm in most of the world. It might even lower the divorce rate. Reproduction is up there on Maslow's only shortly after oxygen, so it would be great if Choice could help us all do it more intelligently.

 

 
 

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Sarah's opinion:

  • Member since: 18 Feb 12
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6 MONTHS AGO | To be honest, I was expecting a little more from Choice than just a rundown of the prices and a few opinions or case studies. How about some thoughtful criticism?

 

 
 

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ileneni's opinion:

  • Member since: 28 Feb 14
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7 MONTHS AGO | I met my husband via internet dating. And I know other 7 steady couples that have met that way (5 mid 30's & 2 over 50's). I suppose the stigma is fading out. We now find houses, jobs and goods online. So it only makes sense. Having said that, I did meet someone who was lying and was actually married. Very sad as her wife called me so I was honest with her. So overall a good experience but 1 in 4 is dodgy but you just move on. My guess is in a pub 3 out of 4 is dodgy so my take is you are better off with internet dating.

 

 
 

Reply to ileneni

 
 
 
 

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Michael Camilleri's opinion:

  • Member since: 28 Jun 13
  • 5 Comments
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4 YEARS AGO | It's entirely clear here that $name is a very important thing. I just believe the review could have entailed a little more information. lol ;)

 

 
 

Reply to Michael Camilleri

 
 
 
 

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John's opinion:

  • Member since: 02 Jul 13
  • 4 Comments
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User Profile

6 MONTHS AGO | Ditto re the lightness of the article. There are several websites ranking on google that are not covered. And I would appreciated Choice doing what I quickly do to estimate coverage, i.e. using narrow criteria such as an exact age and height to get a count of all members of that subset within n km of a particular locality, which allows accurate extrapolation. Choice could then follow through by paying to contact a small percentage of members to check that they are real currently active individuals; this would be expensive for large numbers, but could check if the smaller websites are stuffing their database with fake accounts. This is the sort of stuff I would expect a consumer watchdog to do, instead of relying on the websites' reported figures.

An analysis of photos could figure out how many people use more than one website - there is nothing wrong with doing so, but it can mean that there is little point re being active on the smaller sites. You could also give more of a run down on demographics - e.g. RSVP seems more white collar, seemed OKcupid more blue collar. Personally, I've given up on PlentyOfFish, OKcupid (although I really like its concept), and eHarmony - they just didn't have who I wanted. The price of an RSVP stamp seems to dissuade time-wasting. The fact that they are cheaper in bulk perhaps encourages people to stay with the one account rather than proliferate accounts, which hopefully encourages honesty. RSVP seems to have won the critical mass war, although I could well imagine new paradigms such as enforcing honest self representation could allow market shifts. Thanks to Jane for raising iqcatch.com - I also noticed relationships.answers.com/adult-singles-dating/intelligence-based-dating-sites-for-mensa-minds has stuff on niche sites. Given that the wikipedia page listing dating sites seems to be dominated by vested interests, it would be great if Choice could provide moderation of members' reported experiences.

Another useful thing Choice could do is survey a representative sample of the population re their experiences, and report that.

Personally, I have found internet dating to be great - you get to think about compatibility before physical sexual attraction shuts down one's brain, so it has many of the advantages of the arranged marriages that have so long been the norm in most of the world. It might even lower the divorce rate. Reproduction is up there on Maslow's only shortly after oxygen, so it would be great if Choice could help us all do it more intelligently.

 

 
 

Reply to John

 
 
 
 

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Sarah's opinion:

  • Member since: 18 Feb 12
  • 3 Comments
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6 MONTHS AGO | To be honest, I was expecting a little more from Choice than just a rundown of the prices and a few opinions or case studies. How about some thoughtful criticism?

 

 
 

Reply to Sarah

 
 
 
 

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ileneni's opinion:

  • Member since: 28 Feb 14
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
 
User Profile

7 MONTHS AGO | I met my husband via internet dating. And I know other 7 steady couples that have met that way (5 mid 30's & 2 over 50's). I suppose the stigma is fading out. We now find houses, jobs and goods online. So it only makes sense. Having said that, I did meet someone who was lying and was actually married. Very sad as her wife called me so I was honest with her. So overall a good experience but 1 in 4 is dodgy but you just move on. My guess is in a pub 3 out of 4 is dodgy so my take is you are better off with internet dating.

 

 
 

Reply to ileneni

 
 
 
 

Report ileneni post

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Michael Camilleri's opinion:

  • Member since: 28 Jun 13
  • 5 Comments
  • 0 Replies
 
User Profile

4 YEARS AGO | It's entirely clear here that $name is a very important thing. I just believe the review could have entailed a little more information. lol ;)

 

 
 

Reply to Michael Camilleri

 
 
 
 

Report Michael Camilleri post

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