Noise Reduction Headphones

Friday, August 04, 2006

Eliminate Noise to Reduce Stress

By Lee Blue

If you've been feeling stressed out lately, you're not alone. Stress is an accepted fact of life that most of us have grown accustomed to enduring in our busy lives. And if you are in the minority population of people who don't feel stressed, the noise of your surrounding environment is likely stressing you, and you don't even know it.

Whether you are aware of the stress or not, minimizing the noise in your life can significantly reduce stress and increase a sense of well-being and productivity.

There are many types of audio and visual noise that can cause distractions that break concentration and increase stress. There’s the noise of traffic and conversations when we’re walking down the street, but then there’s the subtle everyday noises of our homes and offices that can easily distract us: doors shutting, the television playing, conversations in the next cube, phones ringing, fingers tapping on the keyboard. A study conducted by Cornell University found that office workers exposed to constant noise showed physiological signs of stress, even though they did not report feeling stressed at all. Not only does the noise distract you, but it can be stressing you and you don’t even realize it.

While we can’t necessarily control the fact that the noises exist, there are ways to minimize or eliminate these noises from infiltrating our personal space.

And when outside and background noise is minimized or eliminated, the result can be a noticeably positive change in human productivity. A study by the Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise revealed that when the outside noise of airplanes flying over a school was reduced, test scores among high school students increased by 12%. Now, airplanes are a dramatic example of noise, but the evidence shown in the study speaks for itself – reduction in noise reduces distractions, increases productivity.

Here are some suggestions to reduce the sources of noise and stress in your life.

Check Your Environment – When you sit down to complete a task that requires your full attention, and you find yourself easily distracted, take a look around – is your office disorganized, have a décor that encourages a lack of concentration, or is the furniture arranged in a way that encourages distraction? For example, if your desk faces a window that overlooks a busy street, maybe you should turn your desk in another direction. How does your space or office feel? If the colors and décor are too loud and busy with bright colors, patterns and designs, it may be time for a makeover to tone it down a bit if the space is constantly distracting, rather than inspiring, you. On the other end of the spectrum, if your office décor has muted tones and bare walls, you may need to spruce it up a bit to make your office more interesting. Lastly, clutter is an unappreciated distraction for many of us. If your desk is buried under piles of old files and junk mail, your mind can easily trail off to thinking about what’s in the pile instead of being focused on the task at hand.

Tune the Noise Out – Even after making sure there are no distractions in your own personal space, you still face the noise of others. Especially for many of us who work in open offices with cubicles, something as small as a quiet conversation between two coworkers can destroy our concentration. Earplugs are an option, but are limited in their ability to truly turn off the outside noise in your environment. A set of headphones, such as the EX29 Extreme Isolation Noise Reduction Headphones, can completely tune out the noise. Unlike noise cancellation headphones that attempt to balance the noise coming into the headphones to the noise outside of the headphones to create quiet, noise reduction headphones go a step further and block outside noise. In addition to blocking out distracting noises to help increase concentration, the EX29 Extreme Isolation headphones do not need batteries and you can wear them for hours without fatigue. If you use them to listen to music, you do not have to raise the volume to override outside noise – instead, you will be able to enjoy the intricate nuances of your favorite music.

Get Your Downward Dog On – A routine yoga practice can reduce the “noise in your head” so that when you do sit down to concentrate, you won’t be distracted by the noise between your ears. There are several different types of Yoga for various fitness levels, and with the focus on breathing to ease the flow of oxygen throughout the body, most people notice a significant difference in stress levels from their very first Yoga session. There are many medical research reports to support the health benefits of the exercise done in Yoga, and many Yogis claim success in gaining an ability to focus on the present moment, making them more productive and less stressed than non-Yogis.

Cornell University, Yale University, University College London, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have conducted studies and collected research that validates a link between noise and stress. Start with the above tips to minimize the noise and stress in your life - you will see a difference before you know it.

About The Author
Lee Blue is an avid musician, composer, and home studio recording artist. He uses noise reduction headphones in his recording studio as well as his office during work to block out distractions - on the web at

Friday, June 16, 2006

Blocking out the Noise: Headphones and Earphones

Noise reduction headphones make any trip more comfortable--the longer the trip, the more helpful they are. During my wild youth, right between college and reality (an office job), I took a backpacking trip through Europe. On the flight over, I was given some noise reduction earphones that I used just about every day for two and a half months.

International travel should be mandatory: it's an eye-opening experience without parallel. But it's also an ear-closing experience. Planes, trains, boats, and buses wear on the nerves after a few days, to say nothing of the crowds. Have you been to Greece during the summer? It's a festival of noise.

Noise Reduction Earphones Block Out the Background
There are a few methods to reduce noise, active and passive. Active noise reduction is fairly complicated: it creates a sound wave opposite of that of the background noise, so they cancel out. Passive noise reduction relies on blocking the noise before it gets to the ear, and then filtering out specific frequencies.

Having noise reduction headphones on my big European trip was one of the smartest things I did that summer. I have trouble sleeping in new places, too, and having a way to block out the background noise was a godsend. And the more places you visit, the more chances you'll have to get some peace and quiet--even in the middle of a crowded ferry from Greece to Italy.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Extreme Isolation EX29 Headphones

In 1984, John Josef, a Los Angeles session drummer, decided that he needed to overcome the problem of having his headphones loud enough without leaking sound into the sensitive studio microphones. So much time and money was being wasted through constant trips to and from the control room to audition his takes, and re-takes.

As a result of his hard work and dedication, the Extreme Isolation EX29 Headphones were developed, passively reducing external noise by an incredible 29dB. Instantly, he was able to listen to a studio mix or a backing track at a comfortable volume, whilst hearing exactly what he was playing. Because of their excellent noise rejection, the EX29 Headphones allow the user to monitor sound at lower levels, thus protecting their hearing, and also considerably reducing fatigue in long sessions.

Of course, there are many other applications that the EX29 Headphones are perfect for; Home Studio musicians can record live instruments whilst sat next to their mixer, Sound Engineers can monitor the mix without hearing the main loudspeakers, and foldable earpieces mean that DJ’s can hear the monitor and live mix whilst cueing up tracks.

Extreme Isolation EX29 Headphones are a practical and cost effective solution to any situation in which the user wants to be isolated from external noise.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

No More Distractions with Noise Reduction Headphones

The world can be a noisy place with loud and distracting sounds – constant, droning noises – noise reduction headphones can help you get a some peace when surrounded by the distractions of life. Noise Reduction Headphones can block out the sounds and noises that occur in a host of settings and are helpful to those who need a break from the "world of noise".

Sleeping – If you have trouble sleeping, noise reduction headphones may aid you in getting some rest. Barking dogs, traffic, and awake family members can contribute to sleepless nights, and for those who are sensitive to noise when they're trying to sleep, noise reduction headphones create a sound-free environment so they can rest.

Playing Music – Musicians often use noise reduction headphones to help them block out sounds that may interfere with them hearing their instrument. Once the background noise is blocked, they are free to concentrate purely on the sounds they are making rather than the sounds around them. This creates an environment of total immersion into their music and allows them to perfect their work without being in a studio.

Autistic Students – Noise reduction headphones can also be used in the classroom to help autistic children. Often classroom environments can be distracting to children with autism. Headphones for the children help teachers instruct each student individually so others aren’t confused or distracted by the instructions for the other students.

Studying – Noise reduction headphones are very useful in situations where you need peace and quiet but can't always control the environment. Students who are studying may find noise reduction headphones helpful in blocking out the distracting sounds around them. Headphones create a peaceful world in which they can focus on their work, rather than environmental noises or the sounds of others.

Working – If you work in a cubical or an open-plan office but find yourself regularly distracted by people walking by, phones ringing, others talking, and the general chaos that can be office life, noise reduction headphones can make a difference. They can help you focus on the task at hand rather than everything going on around you which can boost your productivity and the quality of your work.

Noisy Neighbors – Living in an apartment building, condo or townhouse may include noisy neighbors. Depending on the thickness of your walls and ceiling, you may hear your neighbors walking around above, or hear their music or talking. Noise reduction headphones can block these sounds so you can enjoy being at home, even if the neighbors are loud.

These are but a few examples of the sorts of noise disturbances you come across in everyday life. Where once you had no choice but to be bothered, now noise reduction headphones put you in control of the noises around you. You don't have to experience a night without sleep or a project being overdue or missed. Noise reduction headphones can be used to block out the sounds and noises around you allowing you to decide what you feed your ears.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Using Noise Reduction Headphones With an MP3 Player Is Better Than Earbuds

Noise Reduction Headphones or Noise Canceling Headphones are a better choice for MP3 players
By Lee Blue

MP3 players and portable CD players usually come with the standard “earbud” headphones. Earbuds fit into the ear like a hearing aid and are lightweight and portable. Their advantages, however, stop there. When it comes to the quality of the music you are listening to, that quality can be greatly diminished due to the inability of earbud headphones to filter out the noises that you are not interested in listening to; such as the voices, car engines, train noises, and barking dogs that may be all around you when you are out in public.

One of the great advantages of MP3 players, such as iPods, and portable CD players is that you can take them with you wherever you go. Sometimes the very reason for bringing them along on an outing is so that you can entertain yourself while you are engaged in other activities, such as jogging, riding on the subway, or waiting in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Soothing music being piped into your ear can go a long way in easing tension when you are running errands; and upbeat, rhythmic music can help tremendously when you are exercising and need incentive to go that extra mile.

Noise reduction headphones, a better choice
Fortunately, there is an excellent alternative to earbud headphones. Noise reduction headphones can enhance the quality of the music you are listening to by making sure that you get nothing but the music, in exactly the way you should be hearing it. While earbuds sit inside your ear, possibly causing irritation and discomfort, headphones are styled to fit around your ear like earmuffs, guaranteeing that they will not only reduce outside noise, but will feel comfortable as well. While, with earbuds you usually have to increase the volume to be able to hear the music that you are trying to listen to, noise reduction headphones can keep the volume at a comfortable level and allowing you to enjoy your music in the top-quality manner that it is intended to be heard.

The portability of MP3 players encourages prolonged use, especially by teenagers. Unfortunately, the combination of increased volume and longer listening time may cause hearing damage which can lead to hearing loss. The use of noise reduction headphones can help protect hearing by delivering music without the increased decibel level. This also allows listener to enjoy their music longer without suffering hearing damage.

Noise reduction headphones work not only by surrounding your ears, therefore helping to block out outside noises, but also by using noise-cancellation technology, which further enhances your “music only” experience. Not only do noise reduction headphones help to filter out all noises except what your MP3 player is outputting, they also contain your music thus not disturbing those around you. The noise reduction works both ways – you hear your music like you are supposed to, and others don’t have to listen along with you.

A good set of noise reduction headphones does not have to be cumbersome, either. Taking into consideration what portable music device users need, the makers of noise reduction headphones are making their product light, foldable, and easily portable.

When you purchase your MP3 player or portable CD player, one of the best things you can do after that is to put aside the earbud headphones that come with it and buy a good set of noise reduction headphones. You won’t be sorry.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Noise Reduction Headphone Review

I wanted to write to tell you that I finally had a chance to listen to your headphones in my studio while voicing and producing a commercial for radio.

When I first put the Noise Cancelling - Canceling Reduction Headphones on and started to record my voice cold, I noticed that the mids and lows were very pleasant, the response was flat, but it felt like I needed to add a little eq at the top to make the sound of my voice really come alive. Of coarse any headphones can do this, but trying to "mix" with headphones on is another story, and not "any" headphone can do that, and that's where the Extreme Headphones really shine, kind of like separating the men from the boys. I always mix my production using my Genelec near field monitors, but I wanted to try mixing using your headphones because they are flat in frequency. To my delight, I was able to mix the tracks using your headphones and get pretty close to were I wanted the final mix to be. Of coarse, I would always recommend mixing with a great set of monitors in front of you, but if you need to track quietly, or you're using your phones as a reference tool to hear your mix as an A/B comparison, then your headphones are simply a great piece of gear to own around the studio. If your phones had that extra EQ built in on the top, I wouldn't have been able to mix my final as close as I wanted to, so my hat goes off to you and the Extreme Phones.

I just finished our outdoor concert this past weekend playing drums with our band, and I used the Extreme Noise Cancelling - Canceling Reduction Headphones throughout the entire concert because we were using a click track on every song. The sound and quality of the phones in a live or studio setting is where I consider your headphones my favorite, outside the studio environment. They sound awesome because of the flat response, and my ears never became fatigued from wearing them, and the isolation fits the name of the headphone perfectly. After trying several other brands of isolation headphones, some even higher priced than yours, I have to honestly say that you have really done your research on finding the perfect isolation phone. Maybe all those years as a session drummer has really paid off for you when designing these headphones. If more people would just try these phones for themselves, I know that the only item they would return to you is a check for the price of the phones.

Feel free to use all or part of my email for a testimonial because what I wrote is true, and it's what I really think and feel regarding your Noise Cancelling - Canceling Reduction Headphones.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Noise Cancelling versus Noise Reduction – The Difference When It Comes to Headphones

Noise-cancelling headphones use tiny microphones that identify the noise or sounds outside the headphones and then work to cancel out the sounds. Noise-reduction headphones (also known as noise-isolation headphones) reduce sound by being a barrier through which sounds cannot pass. What does all this mean? And how do these two differ?

Wikipedia ( states, “noise cancelling is a method for preventing unwanted sound. Sound consists of vibrations in the air, which can be represented as a wave. If a speaker emits a sound whose wave has the same amplitude and the exact opposite polarity to the original sound, the waves cancel out and the result is no sound at all.”

While this seems rather technical here is a more simple explanation: sound waves are created by the noise cancelling headphones to counter and eliminate the unwanted sound waves outside of the headphones or speakers. A digital signal processor determines what sound wave is needed to cancel the outside sound wave and it produces that sound and amplifies it through the headphones.

This method differs from noise-reduction headphones which are designed to reduce the noise you hear by physically blocking the sound from reaching your eardrum. This is the same passive, unpowered method that is used by insulation or sound-absorbing ceiling tiles.

Noise canceling headphones tend to work best for constant sounds like lawn mowers and appliances but allow in intermittent sounds, such as conversation or a ringing phone, so you are not totally isolated. They are also known to be more comfortable than noise-reduction headphones since they are lighter weight and generally smaller in size than noise reduction headphones.

Some of advantages of noise cancelling methods compared to passive or noise-reduction methods are:
• They can be more effective at low frequencies
• They can be less bulky
• They can be selective in that they can block noise (e.g. from an engine) but not useful signals (e.g. voice).

Some of disadvantages of noise cancelling methods compared to passive or noise-reduction methods are:
• They consume power, usually supplied by a battery that must be replaced. If the batteries die the noise cancellation stops working and in many models the music stops as well.
• They may introduce additional noise, usually in the form of high-frequency hiss. Noise cancellation headphones attempt to block sound by sampling the outside sound and then producing an equal but opposite sound but the approximation of sound can be difficult.

Whatever method of noise reduction you choose, it can help prevent hearing loss. By using headphones when listening to music, you can hear the music at much lower volumes because you are not trying to drown out background sounds. And those around you won’t have to listen to your music; it can be contained in the headphones.

About The Author
Mr. Lee Blue is also an avid musician, composer, and home studio recording artist. He uses Extreme Isolations headphones ( in his recording studio as well as his office during work to block out distratcions.