Noise canceling headphones become affordable

Noise canceling headphones can block out more than 80 percent of ambient noise, so that you hear just the music. These are great for listening to music on airplanes, buses, trains or trams. Bose and Sennheiser make some great NC headphones but at Rs 15,000 or more these products were beyond reach for most of us.

But that’s set to change.

Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to find a Philips active noise canceling headphone at the eZone retail store in Mumbai. I am referring to the Philips SHN 9500/00 and it costs just Rs 6,000.

Philips SHN 9500/00

Philips SHN 9500/00

Last month I received a press release from Sony announcing the launch of its low-cost NC headphone. The Sony MDR-NC7 costs Rs 4,490. The technology site has reviewed this product.

Other headphones in this category: Creative Aurvana X-Fi and Logitech PN 980409-091.

What’s next? Well, I am hoping that manufactureres of value-based products, notably iBall and Intex latch on to this trend and offer NC headphones at even lower prices.

If you find these prices too high then settle for in-ear, noise isolation (passive noise canceling) ear buds. Personally I detest these as they are uncomfortable and I am wary about having voice coils hammering so near my precious ear drums.

Tip: When buying NC headphones ensure that the set you choose is foldable and comes with a nice carrying case. Also ask where the battery is stored (external unit?).


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