I've been curious about noise reducing headphones and how effective they might be with woodworking machinery. As it turns out, I read this week that Bose just came out with their latest model, the QC 35, so I decided to read a few on-line reviews of this new product. All the reviews I read gave the QC 35's very high marks. Apparently, Bose is considered to have the best noise canceling technology and supposedly, the QC 35's are the best of the best. So having absolutely no previous exposure to noise canceling headphones, I decided to give the QC 35's a try.
I tried the headphones with my ETS EC 150/3 and my CT26. I have no idea if my expectations were realistic or not, but I have to say I was somewhat disappointed with the noise canceling effect. Without music, I could clearly hear the machinery. The noise canceling effect was a little less effective than my SensGard SG-31 hearing protection which I typically use. But of course, the SensGard cannot play music. With music, I became less aware of the remaining machinery noise as I turned up the volume, but at low volume or soft musical passages, that ambient noise was still there. Naturally, it was most obvious during the pause between songs.
The sound quality of the music itself was, however, very satisfying. Admittedly, I am not an expert on sound quality, but I was very happy with the QC 35's in that regard. The wireless bluetooth works quite well and was extremely easy to pair with my iPhone.
Again, I have no idea if my expectation were unrealistic, but at $374.50 including tax, I was hoping for more. I believe I get a very similar listening experience with my LG bluetooth ear buds under over the ear hearing protection, so I'm considering returning the QC 35's.
Does anyone have any other relevant experiences with noise canceling technology? Is there something better out there than Bose products? How do others listen to music while working with machinery?