All wired up

These head­phones bring the mu­sic but elim­i­nate the noise,

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech - writes Mau­reen Shel­ley

SENNHEISER PXC 250-II Sennheiser, $ 299.95 sennheiser. com. au

★★★★★■

The im­pact of these Sennheiser head­phones is amaz­ing. Put them on and even the sound of air­con­di­tion­ing dis­ap­pears. Back­ground noise is muted but voices are still clear. The trade­mark NoiseGard ac­tive noise can­cel­la­tion tech­nol­ogy pro­vides ‘‘ anti sound’’. It works us­ing a mi­cro­phone to de­tect am­bi­ent noise while the head­phones gen­er­ate sound­waves with re­verse po­lar­ity to can­cel them out. They come with a bat­tery, flight adap­tor and carry case.

PANA­SONIC NOISE­CAN­CELLING STEREO

$ 329 pana­sonic. com. au

★★★★★■

Pana­sonic’s top-of-the-range head­phones re­duce back­ground noise by 92 per cent and come with a hard carry case and a two-pronged in-flight adap­tor for easy in­ter­na­tional travel. These have been road-tested from Syd­ney to San Fran­cisco and back. Hav­ing re­mained com­fort­able on the jour­ney, they are also still us­ing the same AAA bat­tery – although it was not supplied. Users must lift the left earpad to in­sert the bat­tery, which can be tricky, but it min­imises tan­gles.

PHILIPS SHN2600 AC­TIVE NOISE-CAN­CELLING

Philips, $ 79.95 philips. com. au

★★★★★■

The light­est of the five sets tested, these Philips ear­buds of­fer 75 per cent noise can­cel­la­tion. The SHN2600 comes with three dif­fer­ently sized ear pieces to ob­tain a per­fect fit. Noise-can­cel­la­tion is pow­ered by an in­cluded AAA bat­tery. The set comes with a 6.5mm adap­tor and twin-plug adap­tor for use with in-flight en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems. The ear­buds are par­tic­u­larly soft and can be worn for ex­tended pe­ri­ods with­out dis­com­fort.

SONY MDR-NC7 NOISE-CAN­CELLING

Sony, $ 149 sony. com. au

★★★★■

Of­fer­ing 87.4 per cent noise-can­celling ef­fec­tive­ness, these units weigh only 134g and can be folded flat or the ear pieces can be tucked un­der the head­band. The fact the ear pieces can swivel can also be use­ful when you need to break the si­lence. One AAA bat­tery ( not supplied) slots into the out­side of the left head­phone, en­sur­ing it doesn’t get tan­gled up in the cord. They also come with adap­tors to plug into a stereo or into the plane’s arm­rest for en­ter­tain­ment.

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