Episode 032: Tech Talk Tuesday – Noise Cancelling Headphones

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They have been an aspirational item on many an overnight business flight, yet time and time again, I resisted the urge to drop the cash required to own a pair of the best noise cancelling headphones around.

Working for some of the top hardware companies globally, I have had the opportunity to use various noise cancelling headphones and found the experience to be pleasing, but due to past medical issues, the use of in and on-ear style headphones is limited to an hour or two at the most before the experience becomes painful.

What pushed me over the edge, however, was when I moved to Lagos Nigeria for work and had the generator for our building, running for several hours a night, usually for several nights a week, right outside the bedroom windows. Trying to sleep at night is like being on an overnight flight. So when I found myself in the USA recently, I took the plunge and added the Bose QC35 to my shopping cart of gadgets. Of everything I got while I was there, these have got to have been the best thing I bought.

Competition

So the Bose QC35 were not the only headphones I was looking at. Sony’s MDR-1000X have had fantastic reviews and in multiples tests, I found their noise cancellation for sounds outside of engine drone, to be superior to the Bose, however, the way they sealed around my ears created pressure on my eardrums that was a tad too uncomfortable.

This is really the only reason, that I picked the Bose over the Sony offering, that and the reports of Bose stores being able to service and replace padding and parts on older headphones still which seemed to me to make them a good investment.

Fast forward several months, every time I put these headphones on when the generators are roaring outside, I cannot help but smile and instantly feel my stress levels dissolve away. I never thought I could justify spending a few hundred dollars on headphones, but now, I wonder why I took so long.

(Listen to the previous episode here.)