June 6, 2011 5:48 PM Subscribe
Noise-canceling headphones, or noise-cancelling earbuds, or earmuffs, or earplugs, or some combination? I need to protect my ears from both subway noise and loud co-workers.
posted by Chicken Boolean to technology (17 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I tried earplugs on their own, and they don't work very well. I've never used noise-cancelling headphones/earbuds, so I don't know how well they work, but I heard they can only block white noise and don't work on voices. They're also very expensive, so I'm thinking about other options.
I had the idea of using earmuffs--the type that construction workers have--since they must be able to block a lot of noise and are cheaper than fancy headphones. And if I had earmuffs, wearing earplugs under them would work even better, or on the subway I could listen to music by wearing my regular earbuds underneath. (No, I don't care about looking ridiculous.)
I want to figure out how to combine any of these to get maximum noise-blocking capability. Let me know if you've tried any of them, especially if you've tried more than one.
1. Can noise-canceling headphones block voices or other irregular sounds?
2. How do earmuffs compare to earplugs and noise-canceling headphones in terms of effectiveness?
3. Is there any reason I would not be able to wear earmuffs and earbuds at the same time?
By the way, if I get headphones, I don't care at all about sound quality--especially since I won't be listening to music while at work.