Bought noise cancelling headphones - best thing I ever did

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05 Mar 2013, 3:15 pm

In the past year, I've had several bad meltdowns in public places, including screaming at a restaurant owner, and having a screaming match with the police. I the last three years, I've been to court after street fighting with noisy people, including being kicked repeatedly in the ribs.

Today I bought a pair of noise cancelling headphones because I have a low tolerance for noise. I'm very pleased because they're proving to be effective.

The pair I bought were expensive, but I wanted the job done as well as possible. They are Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones. There are also QuietComfort 15's, which sound better and have slightly better noise cancelling, but they're much bigger and I really wanted something I could wear out and about as much as possible without looking like an idiot.

First I tried them on in a quiet house, which results in an almost supernatural quietness that's quite eerie.

Next I tried them in a café I make the effort to go to every day, so that I'm not too isolated. When it's busy, I usually end up reading with my fingers firmly in my ears. Using the headphones was like being in the next room, behind a solid, closed door. Not quite like being underwater, but very effective with a large drop in volume.

Seems to be best with white noise, humming and rumbling. Some of those are eliminated completely and everything else reduced to varying degrees. You can still hear talking, but much reduced.

All in all, very happy.


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BTDT
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05 Mar 2013, 3:20 pm

That is great! An excellent solution to a serious problem.



goldfish21
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05 Mar 2013, 3:27 pm

Nice!

I've never tried noise cancelling headphones.. for one they're expensive, and two I'd worry I wouldn't hear something I needed to for safety reasons. I use some regular earbuds w/ the little silicone gel buds & listen to the radio on very low volume while out and about in public or while running etc. I find it calms my anxiety tremendously by cutting down on all the background noise and chatter of other people etc, but being on very low volume I can still hear things for safety reasons (cars etc) as well as voices, and can still have a conversation with someone with one or both earphones still in.

I suppose it helps that I can read lips very well, so I can have 'em both in and be listening to music w/o absolutely having to hear everything someone else says to know what they're saying - but I usually have the volume so low that I can hear everything during a conversation anyways. Just thought I'd throw that bit out there as if you practice reading lips (aka "speech reading," for the politically correct.) then you might find it works as an additional coping mechanism. I picked it up over the years from my deaf friends combined with me avoiding eye contact - so conversations with them became so much more natural as I just focused on their mouths. Also came in very handy taking orders while bartending in loud bars; never know when something might be of value.



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05 Mar 2013, 7:33 pm

Sounds nice!

How do those noise canceling headphones work? Do they actually produce some soft sound or something to cancel out the noise around you? Or do they fit tightly on your ears to seal any gap, blocking the noise from outside? I'm seriously interested because I don't like most kinds of noise. I imagine the peace you gain would be priceless. I might get exactly the same ones. Roughly how much do I expect to pay for it if you don't mind my asking?

Any way, I'm glad you found your peace. I know how distressing noise can be.



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05 Mar 2013, 7:46 pm

I'm thinking of getting these too...the same ones, the Boise. I know they're expensive but might be worth it. It has been suggested to me by my mum and one other person that wearing these could make you less aware of danger around you while on a crowded bus ect. Even if you're overloaded and not so alert to begin with you could atleast hear if something scary started happening and run away or something, I guess. Any thoughts about that. Is it safe to drown out what's happening around you that much?



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05 Mar 2013, 7:51 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
Nice!

I've never tried noise cancelling headphones.. for one they're expensive, and two I'd worry I wouldn't hear something I needed to for safety reasons. I use some regular earbuds w/ the little silicone gel buds & listen to the radio on very low volume while out and about in public or while running etc. I find it calms my anxiety tremendously by cutting down on all the background noise and chatter of other people etc, but being on very low volume I can still hear things for safety reasons (cars etc) as well as voices, and can still have a conversation with someone with one or both earphones still in.


I have the ear plugs too with the little buds.... noise isolating they call them.....they do help.......but I still get overload with them in in crowded places sometimes . I'm worried about the same thing you are.......the safety concerns with really good noise cancelling headphones.



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05 Mar 2013, 11:28 pm

I bought the Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones a couple of weeks ago. It's the best investment I've made in treating my noise tolerance. I live in San Francisco and they help tremendously. I've noticed it does a much better job of cancelling lower frequencies than the higher ones. It removes a lot of the constant loud 'hum' sound I hear in the city and actually makes it easier to pay attention to conversations (which isn't what I was expecting). If you can find a Bose store at the mall, I recommend trying them and seeing if they are a right fit for anyone that feels that they might be overwhelmed by city noises.



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05 Mar 2013, 11:50 pm

I had a wonderful dream about living in a soundproof room last night.


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05 Mar 2013, 11:57 pm

Nice. Glad they are making you happy. I've been meaning to look into something like this myself.

Can't wait until the come out with some good cordless ones.



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06 Mar 2013, 12:05 am

I want my noise cancelling headphones to come in.

I couldn't afford expensive ones, but I found some old Sony ones cheap on ebay - ones that would have been $200 in 2005, for $25, the highest quality ones Sony made in 2005. I'm getting those in later this week. They'll not be as nice as Bose ones, and they'll be old, but they should be nice still.



Ca2MgFe5Si8O22OH2
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06 Mar 2013, 2:55 am

jk1 wrote:
How do those noise canceling headphones work?
they come in two types, "active" and "passive". passive is just like using earplugs, whereas "active" noise canceling headphones actually have microphones which pick up incoming sounds and then play the inverse waveform. if the hum of a fan is a "2" then the headphones' mic picks it up, then plays "-2" so you end up hearing nothing at all. I expect this is why the OP mentions that constant noises are more completely blocked out than are things like human speech. fans and engines and so on are engaging in very repetitive motion which has a more predictable frequency. so the fan is just putting out "2", "2", "2", "2", etc, whereas human speech is more like "2", "5", "8", "3", and so on in much more complex patterns, so a lot of that reaches your ears before the headphones can adjust to the change in sound.


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goldfish21
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06 Mar 2013, 4:11 am

^ thanks for that explanation. 8)



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06 Mar 2013, 4:50 am

Ca2MgFe5Si8O22OH2, thanks for your explanation. I got the idea. Sounds like a fantastic thing to have. I think I'll seriously look into getting a pair myself. It might change my everyday stress level.

The worst noise that I'm dealing with daily is the noise of running cars - vibrating/rumbling engine noise, swishing noise etc.

Another kind of noise I'm stressed by pretty much every day is the radio (mostly music) that is on at work. I don't know that noise can be canceled by the noise canceling headphones.



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06 Mar 2013, 6:35 am

One could invent a pair of headphones that would eliminate the music--you could have a wireless mic that pics up the offending music for cancellation by the headphones.



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06 Mar 2013, 6:43 am

BTDT wrote:
One could invent a pair of headphones that would eliminate the music--you could have a wireless mic that pics up the offending music for cancellation by the headphones.


You mean, attaching a microphone to the headphone? How do you do that?