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PERIPHERALS

Best Noise-Canceling Headphones For MP3 Players
By: Joe Eitel
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    2007-12-27

    Table of Contents:
  • Best Noise-Canceling Headphones For MP3 Players
  • Able Planet Clear Harmony ($299)
  • Ultimate Ears Super.FI 5 Pro ($150)
  • SkullCandy SC-SBW3.5 Smokin Bud ($29.95)
  • JVC HA-NC100 ($50)

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    Best Noise-Canceling Headphones For MP3 Players


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    Noise-canceling headphones have been around since the mid-1980s. Back then, Bose created the first noise-canceling headphones used by pilots during flights. Today, noise-cancellation headphones are used by more than just pilots, musicians, etc. They are also being used by regular consumers who are looking for the best available technology to listen to music and to play video games. This review will suggest the best noise-canceling headphones on the market today.

    Noise-canceling headphones basically work by using a microphone to take in outside noise, and then that outside noise is reversed to stop the sound from being heard by our ears. There are different types of noise-canceling headphones, including ear bud style and traditional "ear muff" style, which encompass the entire ear. Both styles are effective at reducing, or eliminating, ambient noise. It should be noted that many noise-canceling headphones do not completely eliminate outside noise; instead they focus on lower frequencies. In general, you will need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a pair of headphones which completely eliminate all ambient sound.

    I have chosen five different noise-canceling headphones which I consider to be good choices based upon my research. The prices of my picks range from $29.95 up to about $349, so I have included a wide range of pricing to fit anyone's budget. I have also included both traditional style and ear bud style headphones in this article, because people tend to have different preferences for their earphones.

    Bose Quiet Comfort ($299-$349)

    For my first pick, I have actually selected two sets of headphones from Bose. Both of these headphones are similar since one is the successor of the other. I chose the Bose Quiet Comfort 2 ($299) and the Bose Quiet Comfort 3 ($349). Bose is a leader in noise-canceling innovation. Why shouldn't they be? After all, they invented it. 

    The Bose Quiet Comfort 2 offers an over-the-ear designed headphone, which produces deep base and decent highs. The noise-cancellation features work really well in this model, eliminating almost all outside noise. The noise-cancellation feature is powered by 1 AAA battery, which fits inside the right ear cup. Bose claims that the battery will last for 34 hours on average before needing a replacement. These headphones are very comfortable, and would be a good choice for someone who doesn't mind their bulky feel.

    The Bose Quiet Comfort 3 has about the same excellent sound quality, but it comes in a smaller headphone. Rather than an over-the-ear design, Bose opted for an on-ear design with their new headphones. They are still very comfortable, and they feature memory foam in the ear cups to maximize comfort. Instead of a AAA battery powering the noise-canceling feature, Bose switched to a rechargeable lithium-ion battery for this new model. The battery fits into the top of the ear cup, and is rated for over 20 hours of life before needing a charge. A travel charger is included with these headphones.

    Either way, you can't go wrong with these two Bose models. Both have exceptional sound quality, and they both do a great job at eliminating background noise. They also both come with an airplane 2-prong adapter, and a stylish leather carrying case. Both of these headphones fold up nicely and fit into their included carrying cases.

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