According to the information supplied with these headphones, they are designed to reduce low frequency sound and they do reduce a portion of this type of noise. Other more expensive over ear headphones can eleminate all noise. The advertising doesn't mention that it's only low frequency noise that it can work on. It also mentions 'passive attenuation' whereas it's actually 'active' with little mics that pick up the noise and try cancel it. This active attenuation has a penalty on quality and non-noise reducing headphones a third of the price would beat these headphones on sound quality. So far I've used them in an office environment and they were effective at reducing to a tolerable level the background hum but not other sounds such as individual voices.
Surprisingly, they were also effective at making the builder's jack hammer, 20 metres away from my single glazed window, tolerable (it was a portable diesel/hydrualic hammer working on concrete). I could still hear it but it was reduced enough to allow me to continue to read and study. The headphone speakers are mounted on little plastic swivels and look delicate.
Overall, I prefer to use ordinary (non-noise reducing) headphones and take these ones out only when I have to use them. They are very comforable but the big advantage of these noise reducing headphones is that they fold up into a pocket sized pouch (200x125x45 mm approx).
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