on 13 October 2014
I have a friend who kept pestering me to buy noise cancelling headsets. He had bought a set around the £50 mark and extolled their virtues. I finally succumbed and reviewed the market and came across this set considerably cheaper than £50, I thought it was worth a punt so bought a set. Wow. I am massively impressed. I have a number of other pairs at the £10-40 price range and these beauties can easily hold their own against any of them without the noise cancelling switched on based on build quality and sound reproduction. I do like the ability to recharge using a micro usb as we now have many devices; phones, kindles, tablets all using the same charger.
For the noise cancelling itself, I can see why people are unhappy about it's effect. If you're looking to cancel ALL noise, go and get the £200+ kit. For example, I did not hear much improvement in the gym or in the house.
If you want to cancel out the background engine noise or road rumble you hear on a plane, train or car, this set absolutely works. I actually bought a second set and we will use them almost exclusively for plane travel. At the price, it's a steal. You even get a wee bag to store the headset which allows me to also store our Aeroplane headphone socket adaptor for those older fashioned systems.
One tip to further enhance their performance is to buy a set of comply isolation earphone tips. The 400 range fits these headsets.
One of my best, low cost, techy purchases of recent times.
on 14 July 2011
I was a bit skeptical of purchasing this product as I had not heard of this brand before and also because there are a number of products with perhaps more recognizeable brands competing in the same price range. After searching the Web and coming across a number of positive reviews, I thought, what the heck - let's give it a shot.
I'm glad that I gave these a chance. For others who may have similar doubts, here are my thoughts for your consideration.
Sound quality: Good, decent bass and the highs are crisp. The sound quality is better than I had expected and comparable to much expensive headphones that I've used before. I listen to a fairly wide range of music - classical to rap to house. It all sounds good on these headphones.
Active Noise Cancellation: Very effective, I've tried these on the street, bus, tube and overground in London and have to say when activated, it cuts out a lot of the background noise. As expected with ANC, there is an audible hiss when activated but it's barely noticeable once the music starts. I can listen to my music at a lower volume now that the sound doesn't have to contend with all the extraneous background noise.
Design / appearance: Better than I expected. It's not the most streamline or sleek looking set of headphones but it's not an eyesore to me either. The clip is handy, especially since the ANC unit adds a bit of weight to the cord so you can limit the pendulum affect by affixing the unit to your jacket or shirt.
Fit: I wasn't sure what to make of the rather strange-looking earbuds but I have to say they fit quite snug and are comfortable to wear. As expected, they are shipped with the standard 3 sizes.
Gotchas: I *forgot* to check compatibility of my Samsung Galaxy S with this device and found out that I have to use an adapter (included in the box). It's not an issue for me but this may be a deterrent for others. I would recommend checking the manufacturer's website to see if you need to use the adapter before purchasing.
Overall: I'm glad I bought these and would recommend this to others who are looking for an affordable pair of ANC headphones that offer good sound quality.
on 29 June 2014
I've owned these for 4 months and am delighted. Not sure whether to buy them or not? Here's a simple way to decide.
If you want to block out noise on a train, bus, tube, aircon, worksite or anywhere else where there is a consistent noise, buy them.
For the price, I don't think you're going to get better quality. I've used them on long haul flights sitting over the wing, as well as on my daily commute via train and tube. They block out 99% of noise, to the point where I can listen to my music in peace. There are three different earbud sizes, so fit should not be a problem. Don't expect perfection, but this is as close as you'll get for the price. If you're a true audiophile, don't expect miracles - this is for the generic commuter who wants to block out annoying background noise. They also stay charged for a long time as well which is very helpful and can plug into your usb port for a quick charge at any time.
If you are looking to block out ALL noise, including people talking, don't buy it. Frankly you need to up your budget because you're not going to get total noise cancellation at this price. They definitely don't block out chatter and talk, as other reviewers have mentioned. I don't view this as warranting a lower review, however, as this should be expected by anybody with any experience with noise cancelation.
Overall the quality for the price is excellent and fit for purpose. I've owned pricey Sennheiser noise cancellers before (which were awesome), so can say with experience that these are a fantastic budget item.
on 19 April 2013
I've used this regularly for more than one year now, detecting their good and bad points.
- Very good noise cancelling, much better than heard on some much more expensive sets
- Light and portable, unlike the sets which use AA or AAA batteries
- Very good battery life
- Sound quality comparable to a much higher price range
- Price (is this real?!?!?!). One of the top noise cancelling sets on the market for just £10? I initially paid £30 and it still was an amazingly good price!
- The only flaw I found so far is that the earbuds fall out very easily. Extra attention is needed and I guess the pouch for keeping the headphones in does have its meaning...
I would certainly recommend and in fact, I have already bought them for others.
on 12 February 2014
I initially bought these with a long return rail journey in mind and was expecting to be able to enjoy them and then write a review that dealt with their effectiveness on bus/taxi, train and tube (I also had some less than charitable hopes that they might nullify the squeals and shrieks of young nephews and nieces, and the grumblings of aged ancestors). However, nature intervened and most of my itinerary is currently submerged/flooded/missing/impassable due to God's wrath at unconventional bedroom gymnastics/global warming/the bloody weather/socialism/immigration/tonyblair/maggiethatcher (tip: pick one option, apply to all situations and stick to it, come what may) so instead of trundling along the south coast from Sussex to Devon and back via the capital I find myself sitting at home hoping for a refund on my rail tickets and using these earphones to defeat the noise of the angry, frustrated motorists queueing at the traffic lights outside my living room window. They (the motorists) can be a mannerless and impatient bunch, prone to revving their engines, honking their horns, playing vile music much too loudly, and occasionally breaking each other's sidelights, wing mirrors, noses and so on. I am pleased to say that these very cheap Digital Silence branded earphones render most of these goons inaudible. Only the very most determinedly oafish manage to make their presence felt and their odious spectre is reduced to a tiny fraction of its norm.
These things do hold their charge for an awfully long time. The manufacturer claims something like 30 hours of noise reduction. I don't have a sufficiently well developed amphetamine habit to test that claim but I can say that you can definitely go 12 or 18 hours with your wine box(es) while happily ignoring external realities and not have to care at all about the battery. I don't have the need or desire to explore beyond this kind of liquid capacity or time period so am definitely content (and sometimes tending towards joyously insensible).
The sound quality is unremarkable and inoffensive. That may read like faint praise or an expression of indifference but actually it puts these well ahead of many competing products which are sold on their supposed audio quality. I own some very good headphones: Sennheiser Momentum circumaural, Shure SE215, Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5vi and Sennheiser CX95 in ear monitors and some others, and have owned a wide variety of cheap earphones that are sold at prices similar to the Digital Silence's. These are not world beating earphones but they are decent and much better than many similarly priced products. They would still be very good value even without the active noise cancelling capability. The bass is not grossly exaggerated and the treble isn't harsh. The mid range is a bit recessed but that's what you get in just about anything whose price doesn't bring a tear to your eye, so par for the course.
I did try these outside while "enjoying" walking in the typical urban environment of busy streets+angry motorists+horrible loud bassy music+huge lorries+busses and these earphones really can't solve that problem. You are better off with good quality, deep seated, noise isolating, in-ear-monitors as made by Shure, Ultimate Ears, Etymotic and so on. Where these Digital Silence noise cancelling earphones score highly is in dealing with that huge urban drone, the big universal hummmmmmm, the steady noise of extractor fans, cooling fans, engines, server rooms, droning bores (present company excepted), domestic appliances etc etc etc etc ....all that stuff that adds up to ugly, intrusive, inescapable noise all around you, all day, every day. It vanishes. It's lovely.
edit: after using these for a few weeks I'm really pleased with the sound. You get the airiness and spaciousness and believable soundstage that is found with loudspeakers or open backed 'phones but also the kind of noise attenuation usually only found with closed, isolating, in-ear-monitors or closed back headphones. This is a very appealing combination. Also notable is that these are more comfortable over long periods than most isolating in-ear models as they don't sit deep in the ear canal or rely on expanding foam tips or tight fitting silicones. These are definitely not going to replace my Sennheiser Momentums but nevertheless they have their place and can be a practical, highly portable and unobjectionable listening choice.
on 24 January 2011
I've been surprised by these since first trying them. The music reproduction is superb and the ambient cancellation is much more impressive than any other units I've tried. Battery life is excellent too - it laughed at a 12h flight and was an absolute godsend throughout.
Digital Silence DS-101A Ambient noise Cancelling Stereo Headset
on 18 September 2012
I bought Digital Silence soly for flying and could not be more happy, not only could i listen to my music without the background hiss but found that they also silenced screeching children to a soft whimper.But they are no good for stopping them kicking the back of your seat!
I'm rather a belated convert to noise cancelling headsets, due to simple lethargy at getting round to trying them - though judging by the number of other people on my recent long flight who looked to be using normal earbuds, I'm far from alone in that.
But that flight did now make me a firm convert, and a fan more specifically of my Digital Silence DS-101A Stereo Analogue Ambient Noise Cancelling Headset.
For not that much more that you can easily pay for standard ear buds, the Digital Silence noise cancelling ear buds give you a greatly improved performance on flights, effectively cutting out rumbling background noise such as aeroplane engines without making it impossible to notice that someone is trying to talk to you. The DS-101A has a good long battery life - last over 15 hours between recharging in my experience.
The Digital Silence headset is not prefect: not everything is cancelled and for me (as for some but not all other users) there is an audible hiss if you turn on the noise cancelling without playing any music or audio. However, once the music or audio starts, the hiss rapidly gets tuned out. Likewise, the bulkier nature of noise cancelling technology means there is a unit about the size of your thumb that has to hang around between your ears and the plug. But it is pretty light and comes with a clip to be conveniently held in place. So again, pretty good.
If you spend more - a lot me, even up to ten times more - then you can get something better. But for the rest of the market, the DS-101A Noise Cancelling Headset does far better than you would expect for its very low end price.
Even better, for just a few pence (literally less than a pound most of the time) you can get an adapter which means any headset with a standard plug can be plugged into the non-standard two and three pin sockets used by some airlines: Gold Plated Airplane Headphone Socket Adaptor / Aircraft / Airplane / Airline Headphone Adaptor - Twin 3.5mm Mono Jack Plugs to 3.5mm Stereo Jack Socket - For use on most major airlines - Comaptibles E-Shop
on 12 June 2014
I needed a new set of earbuds, as the set I had before failed where the jack plugs into the phone (a common place, for me at least). I was going to replace them with the third set of the same but they've shot up in price and only last me about a year, so I decided to look around. I wanted a set with inline controls, ideally to skip tracks, answer calls and adjust the volume.
Like many people I've never heard of this make before. I'm always willing to take advice from reviews though and these have many good comments, so I decided to give them a try. The controller doesn't adjust the volume but as they're quite a bit cheaper than the set I wanted I decided to give them a go.
The sound quality is great. I listen to a wide variety of music and have used more expensive headsets. With these I've heard subtle details I've never heard before, like a brushed snare drum on a Rolling Stones track. I also listen to heavy rock and they handle the bass just fine, no distortion even when cranked well up.
Some people haven't got on with the shape of the earbuds themselves. The flexible bud goes into your ear the same as on others, then a 'bulbous' part of the earbud fills the remaining cavity of your ear, making them very left/right side orientated. I find them just as comfortable as my previous set. When the volume is turned up on a lively track you get the slightest of sound bleed, not enough I feel though to disturb somebody sat next to you on the bus for example.
There's a mic in the right hand wire so you can speak hands free/without taking the earbuds out. The sound is clear. The controller is quite heavy but has a good clip on it to attach to your clothing. The controller has a button to start/stop or skip tracks (depending on how your player is set up) and a slide switch for the noise cancelling.
The only reason I haven't given this 5 stars is I don't rate the noise cancelling. When you switch it on a green light shows so you know it's working. I found it took only the very edge off a person's voice (the sharp tone) rather than getting rid of it altogether. I know this isn't the most expensive headset in the world but since it's advertised as noise cancelling this is rather inaccurate. My last (admittedly more expensive) earbuds were noise cancelling by their very design, there was no sound leakage even when cranked up, so I don't have any experience with similar on/off type noise cancelling - I know some comments on here have said it's great, others not so.
Regardless of the slight disappointment in the noise cancelling I am happy to keep the headset, since I seem to be rather hard on earbuds generally and I don't mind so much if these also fail after a year since I paid a reasonable amount less than my last set.
on 14 January 2014
I am a complete audophile and compare everything to my (fully burnt in) ATH M50's.
Firstly, these are not my first pair of noise cancelling earphones and certainly not the first I've tried. Its important that you know before you buy these or any noise cancelling gadget -
NOISE CANCELLING NEVER WORKS 100%. Never. Ever. It is physically impossible. Even if you spent £10000000 on the worlds best noise cancelling earphones, they will not compeltey shut out all of the sound around you. What they do is simply remove ambient noise, such as your kettle (not compeltely but a large chunk of the sound), you tumble drier or your hard drive fan. The will also remove a large amount of the impact from sounds like door slams or footsteps.
That said, if you want some quiet you have 3 things here:
1) noise isolation due to the in ear pieces, which function as ear plugs to stop a lot of sound coming in.
2) Noise cancellation (or noise reduction)
3) listen to music to mask the outside noise
So with these earphones, lets talk abou the noise cancellation. To be brief - its good, very good, in line with almost all noice cancellation devices ive used from bose quiet comfort to audio technica. If you have ever tried noise cancellion earphones before and therefore know what to expect - I think you'd be pleased with these. But if your expecting it to entirely remove all sound - you WILL be disapointed with these and ANY noise canceling earphones.
I used to own a pair of audio technica ones, a few years ago that were abut £50. The noise cancelling on these is better than those if i recall correctly, certainly not worse. What is a big plus with the DS-101S is the little box of electronics - it is small, light, comes with a clip and looks robust to me. The audio technica one was big, bulky, flimsy, heavy, got in the way and took a big battery which didnt last very long, I am so pleased with these that it is a USB rechargable battery and so small and managable.
Also, these earphones have a microphone and button on them which is GREAT. I paid £40 for a pair of Jays one+ mainly for the microphone and button, but I wish I had just bought these from the start.
The sound quality right out of the box amazed me for a £18 pair of earphones. With noise cancelling on there is also a small volume boost and a change of EQ. The bass is boosted to a pleasant level, the mids are clear and the highs are far far from tinny.
The bass is at a perfect level for really enjoying music, better than my Jays one+ and of course higher than my M50s which are monitors. So with that, these are FAR from flat response, however, i think their response is brilliant tuned - be it on purpose or luck.
Another point about the audio technicas, was when the cancelling was turned on, it took all of the bass out of the music. I couldnt help but think that the bass was resonating the microphone and causing it to get cancelled. this does NOT happen with these DS-1010A. In fact the bass increased.
The isolation is good, what you would expect from an in ear set, pushed right in.
I bought these to help me sleep in a noisey house and they work great. They take the impact out of the loud bangs occuring, while cutting some out due to the earbuds, and masking what remains with some quiet music. WIth this i was realy please to find that the are comfortable to wear in bed. The backs are flat and lye flat on a pillow without pushing them further into your head. Truly comfortable.
I think that covers everything so to summarise: PLEASE do not be put off by this unknown brand or price. These are great earphones. I am confident that there is not a pair for under £20 on the market that come any where close to these in any category. PLEASE do not be put off by the negative reviews that were written by people expecting these to work magic and remove all sound.
I hope you choose to buy these and be as happy with them as I am.