There’s a difference between noise cancelling and noise isolating headphones. Noise cancelling have a microphone which picks up outside sounds, then an internal process reduces them. Noise isolating on the other hand, block outside sounds with varying effect, depending on the type you use. They’re either over the ear, against the ear or in the ear.
The problem with noise cancelling headphones is that they use a battery and the effectiveness varies. More expensive models are usually best and cheaper models have been known to add hiss. This is why we prefer noise isolating headphones.
Which are the best noise isolating headphones?
In ear headphones can be effective at noise isolation as they’re similar to earplugs, but only if they’re a good fit. Cheaper models tend to rest in the ear rather than fitting snugly to form a tight seal. A good model is the Klipsch IMAGE S4 In-Ear Enhanced Bass Noise-Isolating Headphones . Read our article here and our review here.
Over ear or circumaural headphones are popular for noise isolation because the ear is completely covered. This reduces the amount of sound that can get in as long as the ear cushion is made from a good firm foam and fits well. We’ve previously recommended the V-MODA Crossfade LP Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphones. You can read our article here and our review here.
Supra-aural headphones which rest against the ear can work well because the ear cushion presses tightly against the ear to form a good seal. The problem some people find with these is that they can become uncomfortable when wearing them for long periods. The SOL REPUBLIC Tracks HD On-Ear Headphones are good quality and fitted with comfortable noise isolating ear cushions.
Why are these the best noise isolating headphones?
The type of noise isolating headphones you go for is a matter of preference, but you do need to bear price in mind as it will make a difference to the results you get.
We’ve already discussed the Klipsch IMAGE S4′s and V-MODA Crossfade LP’s in previous articles. As for the SOL REPUBLIC Tracks HD’s, they’ve been around for some time but they are stylish and lightweight whilst offering good noise isolation. These are not the most expensive on ear headphones, but when it comes to value they’re a good buy and are popular with customers who have bought them.
Click here to buy the SOL REPUBLIC Tracks HD On-Ear Headphones
You can read our article here
Click here to buy the V-Moda’s
Click here to buy the Klipsch IMAGE S4′s
Over the ear headphones can be either open or closed back and because they fit right over the ear they can be quite large, but do tend to be more comfortable than those which rest on the ear.
Although technology improves all the time it is said that full-sized headphones give full-size quality, which may be a little unfair on other types, but over the ear closed back offer a robust sound and are often still the first choice for broadcasters.
Which is our choice of over the ear headphones?
Because these type of headphones fit right over the ear, the closed back models tend to be best for noise isolation – keeping outside sounds out and inside sounds in. This does mean the sound can be slightly less natural but on the other hand they produce an excellent range, particularly bass.
We’ve picked the V-MODA Crossfade LP Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone which were designed with input from DJ’s and producers to give a great sound and be durable when on the move.
Why are these our choice of over the ear headphones?
As over the ear or circumaural headphones are larger than other types they can house bigger drivers which will give a better sound. The drivers can be placed at a better distance from the ear or have multi-drivers placed in different positions to improve sound reproduction.
The V-MODA’s have 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers with inner and outer rings to keep the bass separate from the mid and higher ranges. The driver quality or Crossfade sound is tested a t six different frequencies to make sure they deliver a consistent sound.
Over ear headphones are often the choice of DJ’s who gig around the world as they’re mostly heavier duty and therefore more durable. In a previous article we mentioned another DJ choice, the Sony MDR7506 which is a good set of headphones and regarded as an industry standard, but the downside is that they can suffer from wear and tear if not handled with care. The V-MODA’shave been specially designed to handle rough treatment. They’re also very stylish and the metal backing is available in different colors and can even be customised with your name or logo.
Click here to buy the V-MODA Crossfade LP Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone
You can also read our review here
In-ear headphones fit into the ear canal and can often sound better than traditional headphones. They’ve become much more popular in recent years because they’re often standard with mp3 players, smartphones and tablets although those supplied aren’t usually the best. When for the best in-ear headphones for bass there are a few things to consider.
Because good in-ear headphones fit snugly into the ears they block outside sounds which means the volume doesn’t need to be turned up so high and therefore helping towards safe listening levels.
Which are the best in-ear headphones for bass?
There are plenty of decent in-ear headphones on the market at a low price but if you pay a bit more you’ll really hear a difference, Professional sound mixers are increasingly using in-ear headphones for monitoring at live gigs because they prevent audience noise and even feedback from monitor speakers.
We’re looking for the best model that delivers a good bass response and in order to do that you need a pair that will fit tightly into the ears. The Klipsch IMAGE S4 In-Ear Enhanced Bass Noise-Isolating Headphones are good noise isolating headphones which deliver a dynamic sound.
Why are these the best in ear headphones for bass?
Often the bass response from in-ear headphones isn’t up to that of full size models because of the way they’re built but the Klipsch IMAGE S4 In-Ear Enhanced Bass Noise-Isolating Headphones have a dual magnet microspeaker, powerful coil drivers mean the frequency range is outstanding. The low range is from 10Hz which together with the noise isolating earpieces gives a booming ultra-thumping bass whilst maintaining clarity through the high frequencies. In order to ensure the sound is totally isolated the S4′s come with different sized ear tips so you can use which best fits your ears. Sealing the ear canal provides the best isolation and bass. This is often lacking with in-ear headphones so there is no seal and they move around giving a poor performance. The S4′s get around this with the choice of ear tip size plus they’re built with an angled nozzle for a better ear alignment.
Because the audio is delivered straight to the ear drum, bypassing the outer ear it can make the sound a little different but it does mean the volume doesn’t need to be so loud. These are one of the best in-ear headphones for bass at a reasonable price.
Check out the Klipsch IMAGE S4 In-Ear Enhanced Bass Noise-Isolating Headphones
You can read our review here