Problem with noise-cancelling headphones

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Bhard, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Bhard

    Bhard New Member

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    I recently bought a pair of noise-cancelling audio-technica ATH-ANC23 in-ear headphones on the internet. After receiving them only a few days ago I am very confused. The sound is not bad as such and the red control lamp is brightly burning when I move the noise-reduction slide to "on". But what I can't discover is any noticeable noise-reduction. In fact, nothing significant seems to happen when I move the slide (there might be a small change in tone, but is this all?).

    Now, my problem is that I never owned headphones with active noise-cancellation, so I simply don't know what I to expect. What I tried was to listen to music with some water running in the background (no cancellation). Is this the wrong kind of noise? But, then, what would be the right kind to hear the difference. Since people seem to give this headphones excellent reviews, I am, as I already said, confused.

    Do I have the wrong kind of ear-plugs? Or is there something wrong with the headphones I bought? I would be very grateful if anyone could help me to clarify this, for instance, by explaining how the headphones should work.
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Ordinary noise with some high frequencies such as a radio in the background or a dishwasher, the sound should reduce dramatically. Low frequency sounds like an air conditioner that's hidden in a closet or separate room (muffled sound), won't get reduced as much.

    But if your earphone works with noise canceling ('NC') set to OFF, and you're listening with the NC off and then you press the button or push the switch to activate NC while the music is still playing, you should hear a major difference.
     
  3. Bhard

    Bhard New Member

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    Thank you, your reply is in line with the reviews I have read. I've done some experimenting with background sounds, and I still can't say I notice anything remotely significant. Just a few additions

    1. Could it be a problem caused by the earplugs not fitting tightly, or something like that?

    2. Should I be able to notice an effect without playing music through the earphones (with noise-reduction on).

    3. Is noise-reduction dependent on how I set the volume for the earphones (the volume control on the earphones, not the device they are plugged into)?
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The answers would be no, yes, don't know.

    At normal listening volume with the music player on pause the noise reduction should be very significant. When I last had a noise canceler on (Logitech UE6000) I stopped the music player and had the NC off and was listening to sounds at the end of a pier into Charleston Harbor (USA). The sounds were slightly reduced by the headphone, then suddenly I switched the NC on and the difference was dramatic. I've had 3 different Bose noise cancelers as well, and the difference is dramatic with those as well. You couldn't mistake active noise canceling for any other phenomenon.
     
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