Noise Reducing Headphones

TreoBART's picture

Seeing as the topic of noise and noise reducing headphones comes up on a regular basis, I thought I'd let everyone know that Woot has a special on noise blocking headphones today. Two pairs of OSHA rated earbuds for 14.99. I ordered a pair. Once I've used them I'll give an update on how well they work, but the special deal will only be for today.


boopiejones's picture

nice catch. i forgot to check woot last night because the time change messed me all up and i was in bed by 9:30... my etymotic er6 headphones have a very similar looking 3 flanged earpiece. if they work even half as good as the etymotics, they're a great deal.

I look forward to your review!

I *love* my noise reducing headphones, though they tend to be a bit bulky. They sound GREAT and drown out almost all noise from the trains. I went for the Audio Technica since they have a detachable cord at both ends, so when the cord inevitably breaks or wears out, it can be easily replaced. They come with two cords--one shorter and one longer. They use a single AAA battery in the earphone itself which lasts about 40 hours of continuous use.

I agree with boppie...I never take a trip without my etymotic headphones, work fantastic and I can't imagine having to hear the loud noises under the bay any longer

bikesonbart's picture

+1 on the etymotic er6. I use the foam ear pieces because I get a better seal. I got a bunch of replacements from

TreoBART's picture

I finally got my earbuds in the mail. Man, that shipping took forever.

The noise blocking capacity of the rubber tips is great. It was actually freaking me out a little bit because I couldn't hear the noise outside the train, or understand what the TO was saying. I kept looking up to make sure I didn't miss my stop. I guess I depend on the sounds of the trains and stations a lot more than I thought.

The sound quality from the headphones, however, sucks. You have to get the tips in just right to have it not sound muffled, and even then there's very little audio range. I think I need to get the wax out of my right ear or something, heh. I wasn't really expecting much out of 2 pair for 20 bucks after shipping. I'm guessing that's why the etymotic phones are so pricey, they probably have decent drivers in them.

Also, they are black with bright yellow highlights, like construction equipment. I guess that's their target audience, but still. They look kinda dorky. The in-line volume control is huge, and I removed the silly lapel clip too. So yeah, I stick out like a sore thumb now. If you see someone with crazy yellow earbuds watching video on an iPhone, that's probably me.

I think just for using on the train they will be fine, but I wouldn't use them for everyday listening. Definitely not at work, the noise blocking is too good.

Overall, for the price I'm satisfied, but I would have been mad if I paid the retail $35 for one pair in the store.

stoconnell's picture

The noise generated by BART is just inexcusable (esp between Ashby and Downtown Berkeley heading East on the Richmond line). I have tried a number of strategies..

I tried using the ear phones that came with my iPhone to no avail. It was just a lost cause (or I was going to have to completely deafen myself .. I already cap the thing to 70% max volume). I tried some over the ear noise-canceling headphones: Sennheiser PXC-300, but those too failed to prove really useful plus I have to use a headphone adapter to fit it (thanks Apple -- I am glad to say they have fixed that for the iPhone 3G and later). I then got a pair of the Apple in ear headphones, and these have proven to be the best of the ones that I have tried. They are also much better for running as they are much less likely to fall out of my ears. However, I have just gotten tired of the overall din plus trying to drown it out with music, so my new strategy is just to use some 33db reducing earplugs and be done with it. It makes walking past pan-handlers and buses and other crap in SF much more pleasant :)

TreoBART's picture

The noise reduction of these new phones is great. I would be careful walking around outside with earplugs in though, it's better to be aware of your surroundings, even if you'd rather ignore them.