Noise-blocking headphones for office use ?

I currently work in a noisy office (shouting, explosive sneezing, etc.).
I find this very distracting when I'm trying to do work that requires
concentration, which is most of the time. Raising the issue with
management is unlikely to help. I currently wear Sennheiser HD 202
closed back headphones, which have good sound quality, but don't block
external noise much, and are uncomfortable to wear all day.
Can anyone recommend a better noise-blocking solution? I don't mind
spending a few hundred pounds if necessary.
The reviews for Sennheiser HD-25 headphones suggest they are good at
blocking out noise but squeeze the head very hard?
Would active noise-cancelling headphones help? The reviews I've read
suggest that they are more effective with fairly constant noises, rather
than the sudden unpredictable noise in an office. I would prefer a model
that I could adapt to be powered from a USB port.
Ideally the headphones should not be too garish either.
Reply to
Are you saying you want to block the noise, or that you want to listen to something else, in peace (e.g. music)?
I often use cheap sponge earplugs to block out noise, e.g. while I'm trying to read the paper when the Significant Other has the radio on -- which means we're keeping company, but we're each doing our own thing.
I buy them at my local chainsaw suppliers:
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shove them *right* into my ears and have to extract them with the tips of my fingernails. They expand after insertion, and create total silence (though if the S.O. speaks directly to me, I can hear her).
Mind you: probably not a good idea to wear them all day long, so this is probably a waste of your time.
Reply to
Another John
I tried some noise cancelling ones.
They cut out all the whoosh of the aircon and computers, leaving the voices more obvious :(
My cans are reserved for the really bad days.
Reply to
Andy Champ
I should have said that I've already tried in-ear headphones, and find them very uncomfortable, so I don't think I could tolerate ear-plugs for any length of time.
The closed-back over-ear HD202 headphones I have are comfortable enough for an hour or two, but don't block out external sounds sufficiently unless I play quite loud music through them, which is not tolerable for long periods.
I'm really looking for headphones that: - Almost completely block external sounds, without the need for excessively loud music. - Are comforable enough to wear all day. - If they are active, can be modified to work on USB power. - Don't make me look too weird in an office environment.
Reply to
They do give good isolation, some people complain that they squeeze but can't say I've noticed but then the longest I'd normally wear 'em for would be a couple of hours. They do sit on your ears rather than around them, cotton covers for the muffs might be a good idea.
Reply to
Dave Liquorice
I have a pair of relatively old HD-25 SP headphones - they have the larger jack so I use a mini-jack adapter. The give really good sound, are light, and block out most external noise. I use them with the PC and with an old HD iPod. No problems wearing them for an extended period.
However as they say in the financial adds past performance is no guarantee of future performance so I don't know if the latest ones are more or less the same as my pair.
Damn fine set of headphones, though. Allegedly used a lot by sound engineers.
Dave R
Reply to
David WE Roberts
In article , snipped-for-privacy@invalid.invalid says...
I have finally found some in-ear 'phones that I can tolerate for 30 - 40 minutes but that's my limit.
The closed-cell sponge earplugs, on the other hand, I can tolerate for a much longer period. You roll them between your fingertips to squash them down before insertion, & they slowly expand to conform to the shape of your ear. They're very light, soft & don't create any pressure points which in-ear phones tend to do. Also they don't have any attached wires so minor head movements etc. don't result in vibration being transmitted to the ear.
They don't cost much so it would be worth trying.
Maybe you could ring the changes between these & some over-ear headphones so that any irritation doesn't build up too much.
Reply to
Try some comply foam tips for your earphones. They're made of the same stuff that my earplugs are made from, memory foam sort of stuff. They're great. They improve the sound quality no end, and have the added benefit of noise isolation.
Not associated, just a happy user.
Reply to
They are completely different products and feel entirely different in your ears. Its almost impossible to tell if you've got decent earplugs in, apart from the silence...
Reply to
Etymotics in-ear phones with custom earpieces moulded to your ears. Etymotics used to sell a pack of the earphones with a voucher to take to a hearing aid specialist to get the ear inserts moulded. Very comfortable and extremely good sound.
I use mine on aeroplanes to block out engine noise.
Reply to
Steve Firth
I use more expensive in-ear sponge plugs they give about 22-30dB rection and they make a huge difference. A John said, you need to roll them up tight and push right in and let them expand inside the ear-canal. As they expand it's just as if someone turns the volume of the world right down.
Something else: I find it useful to block ONE ear only. That makes the sound much less distracting, probably because it is no longer in stereo. But you can still talk to people, if need be, without having to grovel about in your ears pulling out the plugs.
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