With the title above, I am not talking up a gadget like BOSE's noise cancelling headsets. I have been using BOSE's quietcomfort15, and it works better than other models of Boze and other manufacturers I know. But its noise-cancelling capability is sometimes not good enough. To me, excessive noise which Bose headsets cannot handle enough occurs in two places:
(2) In the commuters' train in and around Tokyo when people sitting close to me talk each other so loundly (usually teenagers, girls or senior ladies; I think Japanese men tend to be more quiet than other nationals).
(1) in the gyms with loud pop music. I am a member of a big gym chain, and can visit any branch (with training wear, shoes, towels are provided at each gym). But it is so noisy with music at branches that I cannot listen to my own music from iPod/iPhone (I usually listen to audiobooks while exercise, or sometimes watch a film with a portable DVD player or iPad while doing exercise on the cross-training or climbing machine, or treadmills. Sometimes I read a book while walking swiftly on the treadmill. But too loud music at some gyms bothers me.
In both cases, BOSE's noise cancelling headsets (I have several types) failed, though it does reduce the noise to a certain degree. So I started to use ear plugs, then cover my ears with the headsets.
To make a silent environment for reading, or any other purpose that require focus, I simply use the noise-cancelling function of the headsets. Together with the earplugs under the headsets, this will doubly reduce the noise (though slight sound is still audible). When I want to listen to audiobook or watch a movie, I turn the noise cancellation function of the headset on, and turn the volume up within the comfort zone. The quality of the sound is a bit degraded (sounds a bit dull), but together with the earplug, this will reduce the level of the noise (loud music, or chatting of others) to the level that I do not notice it at all. This will certainly protect my ears, because without one of them (noise-cancelling headset or earplugs), I would have to turn the volume up to compete the loudness of the noise/voice from outside. And now I can focus better in the train and in the gym.
This method works well for me. But if you want to try, please make sure that you use it in the safe area. Even in the gym, I do not recommend to use it if it is crowded with people so that you will notice when other people talk to you to ask for a courtesy to use machines/equipment, etc.
Posted on Friday 6 July 2012