Noise Cancelling 2022

hapl808

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Lately I've been dealing with some local construction noise. I have an old wired Bose noise cancelling earbud from 10+ years ago when I used to travel, but I think they're about to die.

I don't want to spend the money, but seems like noise cancelling can be very useful for our broken nervous systems. When I hear construction and leaf blowers and such, it's exhausting.

I may finally replace my Bose QC20i and looking at the Airpods Pro 2 or the Bose NC700.

I used the Sony XM4 before - great noise cancelling, but finicky and not very comfortable for long periods. I'm a bit sensitive to the 'pressure' feeling of noise cancelling earbuds and find the QC20i exhausting to wear for more than an hour or so. I'm hoping the NC700 or Airpods Pro 2 will be less fatiguing, otherwise it defeats the purpose.

Anyone here have experience with our peculiar problems and particular models?
 

Springbok1988

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I have Sony WH1000XM3 and a pair of AirPods Pro first gen. I can’t imagine not having the escape of having these devices in my life. I am often very noise sensitive.

I have never felt the pressure of the noise canceling with either of these. The Sony pair has better noise canceling than the AirPods Pro. I haven’t tried the second generation of AirPods Pro so I don’t know if it’s any better. Each have their own pros and cons. My only qualm with the Sony is that they run against my glasses and make a noise that is unpleasant. The AirPods just don’t cancel noise well enough sometimes. The battery life on the Sony is excellent at 35 hrs.

I’m not sure if any of this information helps you at all but I thought I’d share my thoughts.
 

Pyrrhus

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My only qualm with the Sony is that they run against my glasses and make a noise that is unpleasant.
I bought a pair of the Sony WH1000X and bizarrely, it produces annoying static noise in the right ear whenever I turn on the noise cancellation. Other users have reported this defect on the web, but Sony refuses to recognize that some headsets come with static noise. Weird.

So I went back to the Bose noise cancelling headphones and never looked back...
 

hapl808

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The Bose seem like a pretty safe choice - QC45 or NC700 both look good.

Something like the Airpods Pro 2 are nice to be able to wear them in bed on the occasions I need to try to nap through noise, but I think in-ear are just less comfortable overall with our sensitivities. In addition, I do worry a bit about bluetooth radiation for hours right next to your brain, and I think over-ear headphones at least have a couple inches more separation (and hopefully some inverse square protection).

Also when I talk to people who have the Airpods Pro 1, the mic noise cancellation is awful so ambient noise sometimes is painfully amplified. I've listened to YouTube reviews of the Pro 2 and that tendency still seems to be present.

It's frustrating to me that a wired $20 headset will have far better mic quality than bluetooth has at any price, but the convenience of wireless is pretty huge. Especially since I need crutches or a wheelchair to get around, so cords can be dangerous. Still, I hope they update the spec someday to allow better mic quality.