Good non-powered noice cancelling headphones
August 16, 2021 10:02 AM   Subscribe

This is a tad neurotic, in an OCD way but, fuck it...

I have a favorite coffee shop I like to go and write in. But they play their music way too loud. It's one of those places where the baristas can't wait for their turn to play their latest faves. Fair enough.

I wear my Apple Pro Airpods (which has the most amazing noise-canceling feature) but still, the surrounding music competes.

I'm looking for some over-the-ear covers (like headphones) but nothing powered that I can wear OVER my Airpods.

I think people who work around loud machinery wear something like that, but it's useless to search for them online as every result is for noise-canceling (powered) headphones.

Does anyone have a favorite regarding what I'm describing and looking for?
posted by zenpop to Shopping (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I think "noise cancelling" is the search term that's throwing you off. Try searching for "hearing protection" equipment at places like Lowe's or Home Depot. Here's an example.
posted by theodolite at 10:04 AM on August 16, 2021 [12 favorites]

The term ‘ear defenders’ will also get you better results.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:17 AM on August 16, 2021 [3 favorites]

Yeah, you want a hearing protection headset like people wear at a firing range. “Noise cancelling” means headphones that use microphones to listen to outside noise and generate a reverse audio wave to cancel it out. By definition they are powered.
posted by mattholomew at 10:23 AM on August 16, 2021 [8 favorites]

I bought a bunch of these for the woodshop that I run, and they seem to work well. They have a fairly deep cavity inside the earpieces, which I think would allow room for airpods.
posted by jon1270 at 10:33 AM on August 16, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks, hive. Right -- wrong search term.

jon1270 -- how heavy are those?
posted by zenpop at 10:59 AM on August 16, 2021

Best answer: The common search term you want is "earpro" (as in ear protection)

You may NOT want the ones optimized for shooting as they are designed to block "impulse" sounds (high volume, short duration) as it seems you want it to block more "normal" sounds. I'd suggest Peltor (by 3M). They have several different grades of blocking:
posted by kschang at 11:01 AM on August 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

jon1270 -- how heavy are those?

According to my digital scale, 222g / 7.8oz.
posted by jon1270 at 11:43 AM on August 16, 2021

Response by poster: Great. Thank you kschang! I see your point. I'll order some of these.
posted by zenpop at 12:03 PM on August 16, 2021

If you want something that look more like regular headphones, looks for the ones drummers wear. They often also *do* function as headphones, since a person practicing drums might want ear protection and also to hear music.

an example
posted by RustyBrooks at 3:49 PM on August 16, 2021

If you go with the Peltor solution, consider the gel pad replacements as a nice upgrade. The default foam cushions suck in comparison.
posted by jgreco at 5:05 PM on August 16, 2021

i got some bose wired noise canceling ones for around 70 one black friday. they take an aaa battery, and the noise canceling feature Works even if they are plugged into nothing, which is how i often use them - Over earbuds, in a coffee shop, like you were describing. they have a switch on the side to turn nc on or off. I also have shop muffs too, But I find they press too hard on my ears/head to wear often in a coffee shop. i know not exactly what you were asking for, but wanted to share in case helpful.
posted by elgee at 6:49 AM on August 17, 2021

Ignore me if too late, but I recently bought some over-ear headphones that seemingly do about as good a job as the industrial ear protection I once bought (after googling 'earmuffs,' not that that would help with search terminology). They'd look less out-of-place on your head in public, and are lighter. And the noise cancellation is passive; the cushions just do that good a job blocking out noise, there's not electronic noise cancellation. In case you have reason to explore again, they're the Sennheiser HD 280 Pros.
posted by troywestfield at 8:25 AM on August 23, 2021

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