Feeds

Ten of the best... noise-isolating earphones

Can't hear you...

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Round-up One of the reasons that noise-cancelling headphones tend to be so expensive is that they use sophisticated electronics to generate their own sound waves that can cancel out background noise such as the drone of an aircraft engine. Noise-isolating earphones take a much more low-tech approach. They simply use rubber or foam earpieces to plug up your lughole so that outside noise can’t get in.

This approach is generally less effective – we’ve seldom come across a set of noise-isolating earphones that block background noise as effectively as a nice big set of ear-covering noise-cancelling headphones. However, it does mean that noise-isolating earphones are smaller, lighter and less expensive than their noise-cancelling counterparts.

It also means that most of your money is being spent on producing good quality sound, rather than paying for the fancy electronics. You really need to pay £100 or more to get a decent set of noise-cancelling headphones, but we’ve been able to round up a wide variety of noise-isolating earphones that range in price from a mere £10 to over £100.

The important thing to realise about noise-isolating earphones is that the seal created by the earpiece is essential for blocking outside noise, producing a good sound and ensuring a comfortable fit. Any good set of noise-isolating earphones will therefore need to provide multiple sets of earpieces in different sizes in order to accommodate different shapes and sizes of ears.

Griffin TuneBuds

Griffin TuneBuds

Griffin’s TuneBuds are a low-cost option – the white ones we tested cost just £10 - but the luridly coloured (and obviously not very popular) pink and green models are on sale for a fiver. However, they’re not a bad choice if you lose your player’s normal earphones and you want to buy a replacement set without spending too much money. The noise-isolation isn’t particularly effective, but the sound isn’t bad – a little thin on the higher frequencies, but not too shrill. You also need to jam them quite firmly into your ear in order to block out background noise and get the best bass sound. However, Griffin includes three sets of earpieces so that you can choose the ones that fit best.

Reg Rating 70%
Suggested Price £15 Find the best online price here
More Info Griffin's TuneBuds page

Verbatim Sound Isolating Earphones

Verbatim Sound Isolating

Verbatim is best known for making floppy disks and memory sticks, rather than high-quality audio components. And, truth be told, these new earphones are fairly cheap and cheerful, but they’re not bad if you just want an affordable replacement set of earphones. Admittedly, the Sound Isolating Earphones don’t actually isolate sound very well, but the audio quality is adequate for a set of ‘phones that come in at less than £15. There’s also a volume control built into the cable, and you get three sets of earpieces in different sizes to ensure a good fit.

Reg Rating 75%
Suggested Price £15
More Info Verbatim's Sound Isolating Earphones page

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.