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How to Choose the Best Soundproof Headphones

How to Choose the Best Soundproof Headphones

Soundproof headphones are a great way to block out ambient noise around you in just about any environment, helping you to focus on your work, get some rest on an airplane, or just listen to your own choice of music without being distracted by someone else watching television, playing their music or talking in the background.  Just about anyone can find a number of great uses for a set of soundproof headphones, but with so many choices on the market, it can be hard to know where to begin your search for the best pair for you.

Good soundproof headphones should of course be soundproof.  That may seem obvious, but there are plenty of models claiming to be soundproof that truly are not.  There are a couple of basic technologies that are used to create soundproofing in headphones.  The first is the noise cancelling headphones.  These use an active system to monitor noise outside the headphones and respond by countering the noise and preventing you from hearing it.  The second technology involves creating noise dampening withing the structure of the headphone to simply prevent the sound from getting through.  Much like putting a pillow over your ears, this extra dampening simply offers a barrier that keeps the sound waves from reaching your ears.

Noise cancelling soundproof headphones can be expensive, but the investment often means better noise reduction.  You will probably need to replace batteries on these headphones regularly if you use them a lot, as the active noise cancellation feature needs a power source in order to function.  If you don’t mind the extra expense, select noise cancelling soundproof headphones.  They are more comfortable to wear and will give you better noise reduction.

The other type, noise dampening soundproof headphones, can work well, but require that the headphones be larger and heavier, and cover the ear entirely.  They do cost less, but you may not find them as comfortable.  You will also find them large and unwieldy, and not particularly comfortable to wear for long periods of time.  If the size and weight don’t bother you however, and you plan to use them mostly in a sitting position and not to recline or rest, then you can definitely save some money and still get a good pair of soundproof headphones.

The best way to find out which soundproof headphones are for you is to go and try them out in the store.  See how they feel and note how much outside noise you are hearing through them.  Choose the pair of soundproof headphones that is most comfortable, best fits your budget, and gives you the best possible noise blocking for the price range you are looking in.  In some cases you might be better with high end noise dampening headphones than with a cheaper pair of noise cancelling headphones, as the better technology on the latter comes in the higher price range.  Once you know which pair you like, you can shop around locally and online for the best price on that set!

Photo courtesy of Andres Rueda.

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