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Noise Canceling Headphone Shootout

By   WirelessPhreak      Sunday, November 04, 2018      Labels: , , , ,  

The Unofficial non Scientific Noise Cancelling Headphone Shootout.

Recently a few of us at work bought Noise Cancelling Headphones, it just happened to work out that all three were different manufactures. So as Geeks you know the first thing we wanted to do was test them head to head. I added the unofficial non scientific part to the title because were not audiophiles and we didn't use any testing criteria outside of just our personal experience. This review is not meant to swing anyone person to purchase a certain brand but just express our personal and subjective critique of each headphone.

The three headphones we tested were the Beats Studio3, Sony's WH1000XM2, and Bose's Q35. All three headphones had a form of Active Noise Canceling and what better place to test than a data center. Luckily we work in one so we grabbed our headphones and headed to the raised floor. We figured the constant sound of fans spinning would be an accurate representation of plane noise.

The criteria we used to test the headphones was to pair via bluetooth to each persons respective iPhone. We all streamed the same song (Tupac's Changes) from Apple Music except the Sony Headphones (he used you tube), and we all set our volumes three click down from full volume. So below is the conciseness we came to for each headphone.

The Beats Studio 3:
Probably the loudest out of the bunch with really clear highs and mids.  Also out of all three seemed to stress the least with the bass keeping the sounds clean and tight. The downfall surprisingly was the bass, what Beats is supposed to be known for. Even though the bass was clean and sounded good there wasn't the resonance the other two headphones had. The other headphones just seemed to have more of that early 90s mini truck bass. Even though all headphones seemed to have almost the same level of noise canceling the Beats seem to be little behind the other two.  Not that it was bad it was much better then most headphones I have heard, I could hear more of the server noise through the Beats. One other thing we found interesting was when we stood near the exhaust of the servers the Beats were the only headphones that picked up the wind passing over the microphones. Again this isn't a big deal unless you’re flying an open cockpit plane but just something we found notable. Lastly as someone who has bought in completely into the apple ecosystem the W1 chip is really nice to aide in paring across all of your apple devices.

The Bose Q35:
These where probably the most compact of the headphones,  not a surprise since they are the primary choice of most travelers.  With the noise canceling turned up we felt it probably had the best noise canceling out of the three headphones, but was probably the quietest of all three. Also the bass seemed to be on the verge of distorting, not that it was terrible, but you could tell the driver was close to max output. It did have really good Bass resonance though. Also the Bose app is pretty nice to help pair and manage your headphones.

The Sony WH1000XM2:
Out all three headphones we felt the Sony's had the most balanced sound. They where also the bulkiest of all three but fold up pretty small. The app does some cool things  playing with the sound by creating Virtual Surround Sound that creates different listening environments like stages, clubs, or arenas. It also had very good noise canceling on par with the Bose headphones.

Final Consensus:
All three headphones where outstanding and even though there are differences none of these where  enough to say don't by these headphones. For us it really came down to price, all three retail for 349.00 but you can find some killer deals.  As of the blog post both the Bose and Beats are on sale at Costco for 249.00. The Sony's where found on slick deals for 200.00 and  included a Sony Bluetooth speaker. So if you in the market and with Black Friday quickly approaching keep your eyes out for deals and pick up any of these headphones we don't think you'll be disappointed.

About WirelessPhreak

Just your everyday Packet Wrangler who enjoy's traveling and anything techie...