You bought latest
i-Pod to entertain you during long flights, coach and train journeys,
but no matter how good the music player is, you are not able to
enjoy the music due to constant noise of aircraft engine, or other
noises. Reason is ear buds you use to listen to music or even good
regular headphones are not good enough for noisy environment.
You need good
active noise canceling headphone. Various companies make these headphones
suitable for different wallet size. At top of the line is Bose
QuietComfort 2. At US$299 it is very expensive but it does job
well. It is over the ear design and apart from canceling external
noise, it also seals ear from any noise seeping in.
At lower price
level you have to choose between various price/performance. ProTravelGear.com
sent me their PlaneQuiet
active and passive Noise Canceling Headphone. As name suggests it
is ideal for wearing when on aircraft. Unlike Bose QuietComfort
2 it doesnt feature over the ear design but it is on the ear
design. Which means it doesnt stop one off sounds around you
from seeping in. But it does reasonably good job of canceling out
any continuous noise like that of aircraft or car engine or train
or ceiling fan or window airconditioner at home. At US$54.99 it
is very well suited for budget conscious traveler. Its current version
NC-6 eliminates background noise up to 15 decibels to allow you
to enjoy your favorite source of audio. This is double foldable
headphone which is very compact to carry in its stylish sturdy pouch
with draw strings. It works on single AAA battery for up to 14 hours.
I used rechargeable Ni-MH battery and still got 9 hour of music/movies
off it. Stick to good alkaline batteries, If you like longer listening
capacity without changing batteries. When your battery gives up
you dont have to worry as headphone will work just like any
other regular headphone without noise cancellation. It weighs around
135gram one the head and fits nicely with its elastic
grip on head. Its noise cancellation on/off switch is on back side
of right ear and may take some time finding it initially till you
get used to it. Unlike Bose
QuietComfort 2, PlaneQuiet didnt work very well without
any audio source in case you just want to wear it and relax and
go to sleep during your flight. But when music is playing, switching
on noise cancellation provided noticeable amplification to audio
and that itself muffled out lot of noise and conversations around
you may otherwise hear. This headset ships with dual plug airline
adapter in case you fly one of older design aircraft seats which
doesnt accept 1/8 inch stereo pin. Its good soft ear pad design
makes it one of very comfortable headphones for home use even when
you dont need noise cancellation. It is perfect for watching
late night movies without disturbing others.
comes with generous life time warranty.
If you can afford
higher price then have a look at US$199 Solitude
from same company at http://www.protravelgear.com
. It is over the ear design and is supposed to out perform Bose
QuietComfort 2 at 67% cost. ProTravelGear
also offers cheaper US$29.99 Latitude
headphone, but stay away from them.
If you want
to buy in budget but want over the ear design for better passive
noise cancellation then go for Mark 5 model of PlaneQuiet still
available at some online stores. But current NC-6 PlaneQuiet does
better job of active noise cancellation.
Q: What is
the difference between active and passive noise reduction?
A: Passive noise
reduction is the noise reduced by covering the ears and Active noise
reduction is the noise reduced from the active noise reduction electronic