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

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?