For frequent fliers, good noise-canceling headphones can make the difference between a relaxing, enjoyable trip and a barely tolerable one. Of course, not all such cans are created equal, and two years ago, Sony upped the ante with its first pair of digital noise-canceling headphones. This designation refers to the fact that the headphones use a digital equalizer combined with a software engine in order to cancel ambient noise and reduce stress on your ears. It also allows the headphones to react in-kind to various environments, such as an airplane, a train, or an office, which all generate different types … Read more
Last year, we reviewed the Audio-Technica QuietPoint ATH-ANC7 noise-canceling headphones, and editor Jasmine France thought they were a good value, offering decent, but not great, sound for the money. Well, when we heard that Audio-Technica was releasing a new, improved version of these headphones with a "b" tacked on to the model name, we were eager to get our hands on a pair.
What exactly has the company improved? According to the news release, these 'phones are supposed to sound better, offer a more comfortable fit (the earcups have been redesigned), and deliver some additional design tweaks, including … Read more
In designing its fourth-generation consumer noise-canceling headphones, the QuietComfort 15s, Bose has done something interesting. Instead of coming up with a whole new look for its headphones as it did with the QuietComfort 3s, Bose has left the basic design of its popular QuietComfort 2s intact and simply redesigned them on the inside, adding even more effective noise-canceling circuitry and improving their sound quality.
The QuietComfort 15s look identical to the QuietComfort 2s, with the same over-the-ear design, including earcups that swivel and fold flat to fit in a stylish case. (To be clear: the QC15s replace the QC2s, which … Read more
Harman subsidiary AKG has been in the business of making personal and professional audio equipment since the 1940s, so one might rightfully expect top-notch quality from the company's line of headphones and earphones, of which there are plenty to choose. The latest offering, set to hit the States in October, is the AKG K390 Infinity Noise-Canceling earphone. This in-ear model features a double-whammy of passive sound isolation and active noise cancellation, making it a tempting option for commuters and frequent fliers. But at $249, these earphones are far from cheap, and buyers should be wary of potential fit issues, … Read more
ChatterBlocker is an app designed to help you concentrate and be more productive in noisy environments. It doesn't somehow cancel or block out noise, but rather it's intended to "blur unwanted speech," rendering conversations unintelligible so they won't distract you.
ChatterBlocker plays a combination of voices, nature sounds, and music, in several preset options or using an advanced interface that lets you mix and match. Since the effectiveness of an application like this is so peculiar and personal, this ability to tweak is extremely useful, no matter what particular sound fetish works for you. (Need … Read more
Phiaton edged its way into the headphone market last year with its MS 400 Moderna Series headphones, an eye-catching set that brought solid sound quality and comfortable construction to the table. Now, with the considerably more portable PS 300 Noise Canceling headphones, the company continues its tradition of sleek design and plush comfort. These on-ear 'phones pack in a slew of travel-friendly accessories and, at $299, cost $50 less than the competition from Bose. However, the set failed to provide great sound quality across a wide variety of music, making it most suitable for only a certain type of listener.… Read more
CNET would need an army of headphone reviewers to be able to get to every set available on the market today, but despite this saturation, we never tire of newcomers trying their best to break into the public awareness. Phitek Systems isn't a newcomer in the strictest sense--the company is responsible for the technology behind other companies' designs (Audio-Technica's ATH-ANC7, for example)--but the OEM is now trying its hand at its own brand with the Blackbox line of noise cancellation headphones.
It's not difficult to get your hands on a good pair of full-size noise-canceling headphones, but if you prefer earbud-style 'phones, finding this technology built in is a bit more of a challenge.
Such sets do exist, though. One example is Phitek Systems' Blackbox C18 Noise Cancellation Earphones, a $129 pair that combines passive sound isolation with active noise canceling. The headphones offer very good sound quality and superior noise-hushing capability, but the lanyard-style design may not appeal to all users.
Along with the LG Watch Phone, LG has also announced that many of its phones will feature dual-microphone noise cancellation by the end of the year. Called DSE.T, the technology promises to eliminate background noise and enhance voice quality. Motorola has a similar technology called CrystalTalk, but aside from that we don't know of too many other phone manufacturers to have noise-canceling technology built right into the phone. At the LG press conference earlier today, the company demonstrated this in a video and it looks quite promising, if indeed it works the way it should. No word on … Read more
Noise-canceling headphones can cost a pretty penny, which is why we always perk up when a company brings a budget-friendly option into the fray. Such is the case with the Sony MDR-NC7 Noise Canceling headphones, a $40 pair with stylish looks and handy features. These 'phones are neither the most comfortable nor the best at antinoise creation, but sound quality is passable and the design is compact. Frequent fliers with an aversion to earbuds and limited funds may want to consider them. Read the Sony MDR-NC7 review.