Sennheiser PXC 450
Sennheiser’s PXC 450 headphones won’t win any awards for elegance. They’re bigger and bulkier than any of their rivals, and the button that activates the noise-cancelling feature is in a stupidly awkward position. It’s also disappointing that such an expensive set of headphones doesn’t even include a rechargeable battery. However, Sennheiser’s NoiseGard technology was designed to protect the hearing of professional airline pilots and does a fine job of cutting out background noise – certainly coming close to the 90% reduction that Sennheiser claims. The sound quality is firm and strong, with plenty of detail, and they didn’t falter or start to distort the sound when we cranked up the volume on a few old Phil Spector ‘wall of sound’ epics.
Altec Lansing UHP805
The UHP805 headphones are nearing their ‘end of life’, which is how manufacturers quaintly refer to their old stuff. However, you can still pick them up at various online stores for less than £50, so they’re worth considering if you want a set of noise-cancelling headphones that don’t require you to take out a second mortgage. The noise-cancelling features work well, and the phones produce a nicely detailed sound. However, we would have liked a little more raw volume – especially on the higher frequencies – which could sometimes be a bit overwhelmed by the slightly bass-heavy sound.
Reg Rating 60%
More Info Altec Lansing
Next page: Panasonic RP-HC500
Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-905, altough a lot pricier (?), would seem still to be the pair for me. It works with cable also. Shame you didn't review them here as well. They seem to beat all of your choices.. Atleast in pr-speek.. :P
Poor Quality Bose
If you go out and spend all that money on the Bose product, don't expect them to last. I spent the money on some Bose QC2s which fell apart at the cheap plastic part joining the headband to the cups. I'm not alone. See here http://getsatisfaction.com/bose/topics/warning_bose_will_not_repair_or_replace_broken_qc2_headphones. Bose will tell you that they have improved the design in this area - they won't repair my pair because they are the improved design!
How about passive cancelling?
Etymotic ER4p FTW.
Although, not everyone gets on with the inner-ear headphones.
But, amazing sound reproduction. Top-notch noise-cancelling. No bulky ear-pieces. And no batteries required.
The last round-up failed to consider...
...the more bearable over-ear types. And this one doesn't make it clear if these active ones perform any better at noise reduction, nor whether a single-cell MP3 player then has enough power to drive them.
Or why it's worth spending any more than some regular ear buds with a £10 pair of B&Q (or even cheaper Wickes) ear defenders over the top. Unless they're hugely effective at noise cancellation on an aircraft then sound reproduction quality is hardly an issue; you might as well use the free ones.
Various questions... and answers
A question to The Reg: Why not add the Bose QC2 headset? They are different to the QC3 in size and powering method.
Those asking about carrying cases, Bose ships a semi-rigid case for theirs that fits the QC2 and QC3 perfectly.
And the customer service you get from them is definitely worth the money... And yes, their headphones ARE worth that much for the quality of sound and quality of noise cancelling.