are noise cancelling headphones worth it, and safe?

Hardware and Accessories

hi all,at present i have airpods, which while are great, are medioka i feel, in sound. do others use noise canceling earbuds when out, like the soner wf-1000 xm3 that have just been released, or, overears, like dj’s use, i guess, the bose qc35 ii or the ones i considering, the sony wh-x1000 xm3? are these safe to use, or, are earbuds better? i don’t travel on planes regularly, i am not a businessmen, so are the over-ear ones vs earbuds, too gimmicky? i just go walks, takethe train, bus, and round the house. having no sight, is noise canceling risky, and is "ambient mode" good on earbuds that support it or should i stick with airpods i am consideding airpods 2? can i also assume, that airpods are the only earbuds that connect with an apple watch? if i got the sony earbuds i assume they would not, say, if i’d left the iphone at home, just seemlessly pair with the watch as only pair one device at a time? i am not looking to start a war over what is better please, just general discussion, although if people have used the over-ears and can recommend them, the wh 1000, and or the wf 1000, the new earbuds, please, let me know? i’d use them namely for listening to audio books, tv here in the uk, kindle, and Graphic Audio drama.



Submitted by Paul on Sunday, July 21, 2019

Noise canceling is not safe while you’re walking around, especially while listening to audio. I don’t have any experience with noise canceling headphones that offer an ambient mode, so I can’t comment on that. However, as someone who uses QC35’s at home, I can say that good noise canceling can enhance your listening experience.

Personally, I’d stick with earbuds outside, especially if like Air Pods you can just use one without a dangling wire, but if you want good quality audio at home without using speakers, I’d go for over ear noise canceling headphones.

Submitted by Will on Sunday, July 21, 2019

hi paul, what made you get over-ears then for home listening? guess it different when wearing them at home, as no traffic when out? then my airpods will last longer for when travelling to work? what made you get qc 35 then for home? same reason as me, just prefer the better audio?

Submitted by Will on Sunday, July 21, 2019

do you like the noise canceling paul on the qc 35 then? the ambient mode on the sony ones means when you walking, they can pipe in audio from the outside, when sitting, say at home, they can adjust yet again, and when on transport again, use different settings but i think, as i better off not lugging them around, and just watching tv etc. on a pair that i can use for weeks on end between charges, the qc 35 be ok.

Submitted by X2 on Monday, July 22, 2019

Hi, I have an Apple Watch and AirPods and a pair of Bluetooth earphones and headphones. Any Bluetooth earphones/headphones can connect to the watch. I never used Sony over the ear headphones but noise canceling isn’t safe if you‘re walking around. They’re only good if you’re on a plane/car ride. I prefer walking around with just one airpod, no wires nothing connected, and I can keep my phone in my pocket or in my room and walk to the kitchen and have one in.

Submitted by Paul on Monday, July 22, 2019

I watch movies with my QC35's, and they sound pretty good, but it's entirely possible that a cheaper product might offer a similar experience. The noise canceling, as you might expect, works best on constant noise like hums, but I've found it can also significantly reduce the volume of other noise as well, especially lower frequencies.

One benefit of the QC35's have is that if you choose to do so, you can use a cable to connect them to an audio source that has a headphone jack but doesn't support bluetooth, with or without noise canceling (I believe noise canceling can only be switched off when the cable is connected).

One significant disadvantage I've found with them is that it's easy for them to fall off backwards if you have them on laying down then sit up too fast. I don't know how much that means to you, but it means when mine are broken, I'll consider looking at other options.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Monday, July 22, 2019

In the right circumstances, noise cancelling headphones are awesome. I had the OG QC35s for a couple years and they were great for home listening, or in a crowded place like a busy restaurant or on the train. I just had to be sure I took them off when I got close to my stop. One morning I went to a local cafe to get breakfast and was listening to something on my phone. I took them off and one of my friends was standing in front of me and I wondered when she got there. She said she pounded her fist on the table to try and get my attention but I didn't even notice. lol Just shows how good the ANC in those things is. I'm thinking about picking up a set of PowerBeats Pro when my current Beats X die.

Submitted by Will on Monday, July 22, 2019

i tried the qc 35 they nice but think i will just in general stick to the airpods, or, get the sony earbuds the wf 1000 as they not cover ears literally like cans.

Submitted by Alex Marositz on Monday, July 22, 2019

Greetings. I'd like to suggest something a little different. The Pioneer RayZ are wired ANC earbuds. They are not nearly as obtrusive as over-ear headphones. Sound quality is good and the ANC works well once you get the right fit on the ear tips. The RayZ app is accessible with Voiceover too.