Active noise cancelling technology has always been an intriguing concept to me. The concept is pretty basic: sound travels as a wave, to cancel out a wave you simply need the opposite sized wave to be at the same place at the same time. Active noise cancelling headphones go one step further to identify noise sound waves and they only send through the opposite sound waves to the surrounding noise. We're going to test this with the i7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones from NoiseHush.
• Frequency: 30Hz-20kHz
• Speaker Type: 40mm
• Neodymium Cone Impedance: 32ohm
• Power Output: 100mW
• Noise Reduction: 20dB max
• Sensitivity: 98±3dB
• Audio Connector: Gold Plated
• Cable Length: Detachable 5.9 feet
• Weight: 175g
• Battery Life: Up to 120hrs
The ear cups on the headphones are made with genuine leather. They swivel making them flatter for easy storage. On the left ear cup you'll find the 3.5 mm audio port and the outside plate slides down to open the battery compartment. On the right ear cup there is a switch to turn the noise cancelling on and off. The headphones come with a detachable cable which has a built in mic and a single button. They also provide a couple converters which is a nice bonus.
I recorded a few seconds of audio next to my desktop computer. In both samples the microphone was placed inside of the headphones. The only difference was the noise cancelling feature being on (top sample) and off (bottom sample). If I had a better microphone I am sure the difference would me more pronounced; however, the top sample does have noticeably less waves. The amplitude is still about the same, but the frequency is less which I think demonstrates how several sound waves are in fact being canceled out.
Real World Experience
I've sampled the NoiseHush i7 headphones on several flights recently, in the car and sitting next to a noisy desktop computer. I noticed a significant drop in noise from the moment I turned on the active noise cancelling in each of these situations. I could still hear what was going on around me but the white noise was reduced by a noticeable margin.
I took the headphones on several flights. The lower rumble of the plane was dampened, but not quite like the higher tones put out by the plane. I could still hear children crying and people talking. However, this was all heard through less noise from the plane. I thoroughly enjoyed using the NoiseHush i7 headphones on all of my flights.
I live far outside of town, so my drives in to the city take a minimum of an hour. To pass the time I enjoy listening to audio books. The NoiseHush i7 headphones are perfect for this because I can cut out a lot of the white noise from the fan and engine. It's not that I have a hard time hearing my audio books while driving, but the active noise cancelling lets me listen to them at a lower decibel.
For those of you that work next to a noisy computer, the NoiseHush i7 headphones can be used without even plugging them in. The active noise cancelling cuts out almost all of the noise from my computer. This is probably one of my favorite applications for the headphones. I can block out all that awful noise and focus on my work. After a few hours I would find myself forgetting just how well the active noise cancelling was working and I would lift the headphones off my ears with stunned results of how much noise I was missing out on while I worked away.
The NoiseHush i7 headphones have a built in amplifier which kicks in when the noise cancelling is turned on. The bass had punch, but lacked depth. The mid range tones came through loud and clear while the higher range tones could have been a bit louder.
Overall I was impressed with the active noise cancelling offered by the NoiseHush i7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones. There is a difference between cancelling out noise and cancelling out sound. The NoiseHush i7 Headphones are designed to cancel out white noise, not all sound. They perform exceptionally well for what they're designed to do. The build quality is solid and the headphones can be worn for several hours without discomfort. The price point, build quality and active noise cancelling performance of the NoiseHush i7 Headphones have earned the headphones our Value award.