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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2012
I've had many noise cancelling headphones (though not Bose, I don't like the bulk of them). The DS-321D's are the best I've tried. These are more effective at cancelling noise, and provide very impressive music reproduction with or without the noise cancellation turned. I was genuinely startled by how good the bass reproduction is.

These are much better than the equivalent Sony noise-cancellation headphones for both sound reproduction and for noise cancellation. I have not tried the top-end Sony's - too expensive for what I need them for: making plane/train journeys less stressful.

I should also note that your head can lie flat against a pillow with the headphones in so sleeping in flight is possible.

Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Colour Name: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The DS321D Headphones are the third set of noise cancelling headphones I have owned, after a set of Sennheiser over-the-ear cans (no longer in production) and a set of Pioneer SE-NC31C Fully Enclosed Dynamic Inner-Ear Noise-Cancelling Headphones - Black.

The Sennheisers were probably my favourite on the basis that they were the first set of noise cancelling HPs I owned and being over-the-ear were the most comfortable. However, they were bulky and as I mostly use headphones when travelling by plane, used up quite a lot of space in my hand-luggage. When they reached the end of their natural life due to a loose connection that resulted in interference on the audio feed, I decided to go for the Pioneers because they were so much smaller and more versatile. The performance wasn't as good as the Sennheisers and they weren't as comfortable to wear but they did the job, cutting out a reasonably amount of ambient background noise, and I would have happily continued using them.

When I was offered the opportunity to try out the DS-321D headphones via the Amazon Vine Programme however, I decided to ditch the Pioneers and give them a whirl. One immediate advantage that the DS-321D have over the Pioneers is that they're Smart Phone compatible, with none of the interference from your phone that you get when using the Pioneers. Plus with the DS-321D you get a built in microphone with an (admittedly basic) track and call control button.

These features would be worthless however, if the DS-321D didn't provide decent noise cancelling and audio quality. Fortunately on both counts they perform well. Some other reviews have said that the effectiveness of the cancellation is limited. I would argue with this. Having tried them out in various environments, including whilst cycling, working, driving and on a plane, I say that the ambient noise reduction they offer is pretty good. Certainly on a recent transatlantic flight they eliminated pretty much all the background noise on-board the aircraft and I found that I had to make use of the 'monitor' button to mute the volume and suspend the noise cancellation if I wanted to hear any PA announcements or speak to the cabin crew.

The audio quality provided, both with and without noise cancellation being engaged, is also pretty good. Bass and Treble levels are pretty good and clarity is maintained across the range. They're never going to compete with truly high-end units in terms of quality but you wouldn't expect that for this type of product.

The rechargeable battery pack is a great touch. Battery life on a full charge seems to be pretty good (8 hours+ so far with no drop off in performance) and its nice not to have to carry spare AAA's around with me. The battery pack is also smaller and lighter than the the equivalent unit on the Pioneer and feels more solid.

The call/track control button on the microphone works well enough and is useful to have when you're using the headphones in conjunction with a smart-phone or don't want to have to dig out your MP3 player from a pocket to skip forward a track or answer a call (particularly helpful when cycling).

The whole package is also nicely presented, with a faux-leather case of decent quality that is large enough to safely store the headphones, charger cable, ear buds (the latter in a nifty internal pocket) and, in my case, an iPod Shuffle, but isn't too big. Again this is a step up on the flimsy draw-string cloth bags that often accompany in ear headphones (and was provided with my Pioneer SE-NC31C's).

Of course there are some niggles with the DS-321D's. Other reviewers have pointed out the lack of a volume control on the battery pack or elsewhere. The 'Monitor' button does mute sound entirely when needed, but I will agree that a fader of some sort would have been better.

I'm also not entirely sold on the comfort of the earbuds themselves. This is a very personal thing, since its likely to depend on the shape and size of the user's ears, but I found that the DS-321D's became a little uncomfortable after a few hours of continuous use, which isn't great on long flights. Whilst the rubberised 'in-ear' part of the buds were comfortable enough, the problem was with the outer units that sit just outside the ear canal. These are made of hard plastic, with no cushioning, and were the parts that began to cause slight discomfort. The addition of some form of rubberised cover or bumped around the edge would probably have helped.

However, these are minor complaints and overall Digital Silence have produced a solid little product that I intend to continue using as my main set of Noise Cancelling headphones. In terms of performance they do everything I need them to and in terms of size and build quality they're definitely a step ahead of the other units I've used.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2012
I had never used noise cancelling headphones before, did a bit of research and took a gamble with these. I travel by train and tube and use them with my iPhone. Sound quality is pretty good and once you choose the right size latex 'bud' thingy the noise cancelling feature works very well. Depending on the environment I estimate they reduce unwanted noise by 20-50%. This basically means you don't need to crank the volume up. Hands free facility works a treat too. USB charging very handy as I can either use my iPhone charger with the supplied cable or computer. You get a nice little carry case which also holds the charging cable. Just make sure you turn the noise cancelling off when you're not using them,
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Colour Name: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is my first pair of noise-cancelling earphones and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I'm pleased to say that these have turned out to be more impressive than I was realistically expecting.

Having been using big over-ear headphones for the last year or so, the first impression is how compact the case is (pretty obvious I suppose, given that these are earphones). This can sometimes be the difference between carrying an mp3 player or not, if you don't fancy the bulk of headphones. The charger/batttery is tiny, about half the size of a matchbox, so doesn't get in the way at all. It's placed about 12 inches from the jack, so you'll need to clip it relatively near the player or phone.

As for performance, with the suppression switched on I immediately noticed an improvement compared to the over-ear phones I'm used to. This allowed me to vastly reduce traffic noise at lower volumes than before, which must be good for my ears. Even sitting in a room with the tv on, you'll notice the same improvement. Pressing the mute button can surprise you with how loud the background noise actually is.

I wasn't too keen on the earbuds themselves, being of some flimsy thin rubbery plasticky material rather than more comfortable foam. As others have said,it's important to try the different sizes of buds to make sure you combine comfort and maximum noise suppression.

Condidering the reasonable price, I'd say this is a worthy buy, especially if you're a frequesnt air traveller and/or use it with your smartphone as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Colour Name: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have owned a number of inexpensive to high end headphones. I have also owned a number of noise cancelling headsets. As such I decided to order these headphones via the Amazon Vine programme, to try and test them to see if they worked.

I fly a lot on business and on long haul flights I find it very difficult to rest due to the background noise. In Business Class you are very often given Bose noise cancelling headsets, but I find their sound to be muffled and not true to the actual music. I recently bought a pair of Blackbox noise cancelling headphones, (see other review) and found them OK but not great. The Blackbox headphones RRP is three times more expensive than these ear buds, so my expectations were set very low for these headphones.

I charged the set for several hours before first use. I find this to be a potential problem as there is no battery to replace and on a long flight, the 14 hour battery life can run out. On the positive side, they are the best noise cancelling headphones I have ever heard when the noise cancellation system is turned off. They are acoustically brilliant as normal ear bud headphones. Also I may worry about how many times the battery can be recharged, without losing its longevity. At £50+ do you want a set of headphones that may not work in a handful of years?

Once charged I switched on the noise cancellation system and was not impressed by the suppression. The actual music was clear and sounded fantastic but I could hear everything in the background. I played around with the buds and how they were sat in my ear and I could sill hear background noise. I tried the other rubber buds supplied but they made it worse. I eventually bought a set of rubber buds and found one that fitted my ear perfectly. Once I had found the correct buds for my ears the sound suppression worked better than any other headphones I have tried. The sound produced is clear and accurate and the suppression is very good. In short these are as perfect a set of headphones with or without the noise suppression activated.

There is only one further issue that mars the brilliance of these ear buds and that is the length of the cord, it is simply too short. I bought an extension for them to use as normal headphones, but why cannot the manufacturer supply a bit more cable?

The headphones reproduce sound brilliantly and when the noise cancellation is switched on, they work very well, but you may need to buy additional rubber buds to get the correct fit.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 April 2012
Colour Name: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This set of headphones appears to have been styled to compliment the design of the iPhone 4 / 4s and comes with three different sized pairs of earbuds and a carry case.

You need to attach the rectangular bit (containing the battery and switch) to your clothes to stop it from bouncing around as you move or pulling the earbuds out of your ears. It's not really a clip, more of a slide which I find restricts where I can put it - it needs to go on a wasteband, pocket, belt loop or similar.

Unfortunately the earbuds are made of soft plasticy stuff rather than the squashable foam ones which is a real shame as I find it harder to get them to sit correctly in my ears. It is worth trying out the different size earbuds to get the best fit as a poor fit makes the noise cancelling less effective. If they are in place correctly, I would estimate I get an 80% drop in noise level, and found they were best at cutting out low frequency noise. I used them in a noisy gym and could still just about hear what was going on, but it wasn't fighting with the music I played through them. When playing music back, the sound quality is much better than you get with the standard iPhone headphones.

The battery charges by USB, which is great if you like to keep the number of chargers you have around to a minimum, as you can use an iPhone charger.

Not at all bad for the price, but it's a real shame the earbuds aren't made of nicer stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2012
I cant comment on battery life - as I've only tried these once. However - as another reviewer said, you have to mess around with the buds. I could not hear any difference with the device on or off with the small or medium, but with the largest buds, the effect of noise cancelling was clear.

public transport is made much more bearable. this device cancels the mid- frequencies very well, but struggles to cancel high or low frequencies as much. the only down side I have noticed, is that with noise cancelling on - there what appeared to be a low frequency rumble - this could be the device being overzealous, or it could be the fact that it doesnt cancel low frequencies, and because it has cancelled the mids so well, you can hear the ambient low frequencies better.

anyway, all that is small detail - very happy with the noise cancelling capabilities of these.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
They are a lovely pair of headphones, and seem to be very nicely designed. They are convenient - charge the battery using USB and it will last plenty of time. And you can hear when they are switched on because there's that characteristic hiss of white noise, and voices go a whole lot quieter.
HOWEVER
Although background noises are a whole lot quieter, they are still quite intrusive. I don't know if this is because I can't find ear cushions to fit my ears or for some other reason, but I'm disappointed with them.
Also even at low volumes, people can hear my music. It's as though it's playing outwards through the microphones as well as inwards into my ears.
Perhaps in-ear headphones just aren't noise isolating enough for me and I need over the ear headphones?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 October 2012
Colour Name: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a difficult review to write - these earbuds are certainly pretty reasonable quality, smooth without excessive bass, good detail and comfortable. However, I've yet to be impressed by the noise cancelling function. I have not yet used them on a plane (where I suspect they will come into their own) but on the London Underground, they failed to impress. Switching noise-cancelling on did make a difference to the background noise, but enough for me really want to be bothered with it. Is this because I just listen to music too loud, drowning out the background noise anyway? Possibly, but I don't think so. Until I find a context where the noise-cancellation really works I shall have to reserve judgement on this function.
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on 30 October 2013
I've had a pair of these for about a year now maybe, certainly a good few months, with pretty much daily use. I bought them initially because I use them a lot when I'm out at shops, in uni, or on the way to these places, as well as while travelling. This means that more for covering up plane or train noises, I needed something that would block out the noises of buses and cars on the main road right next to me as I walked, and to turn down some of the constant noise of people too.

They worked very well, my only problem initially was that the left and right headphones seemed different lengths, and I'm not sure why this is. It was sufficiently annoying that I wound the longer cable round the other a few times and then taped it to make them more even. If they were just both the same length it would have been much better. Aside from that, the headphones work wonderfully; they block out massive amounts of the noise, I can still hear the cars and buses but it's more the noise of the tires on the road than the engine and squealing brakes now. They work great in the city centre too, blocking out the constant bickering and shouting, and on bus journeys I find them great too because they tone out the loud noises of travel such that I can just focus on my music and look out the window. As a result I feel much more relaxed when travelling now, didn't realise how much of it was noise related. They also hold charge very well, and on the rare occasion that I was out using them and they'd ran out of charge, they still work without the noise cancelling turned on, which was a key feature for my choosing them.

Recently however, my current ones have had a problem with the connection I think. The noise cancelling and such works fine, but music no longer comes through the left headphone, rendering them pretty much useless. I'm not sure if this is a fault with the headphones or a device I used them with that might have damaged the connector, but either way I'm buying a second pair after writing this review. They were well worth the money for me, and I need them or something very like them, and the other options don't have the same things I'm looking for.
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