Try Before You Buy

Demonstration of our Noise Cancelling Headphones Buying headphones online can be tricky, especially ones that are supposed to reduce noise. We’ve created a video to help you get an idea of what are headphones are like. Hopefully this will help...

Why Noise Reduction Headphones Are Better

Noise Reduction Headphones Are Better Than Noise Cancellation Headphones Our Direct Sound Extreme Isolation headphones are passive noise reduction headphones. They reduce noise by a greater number of decibels and sound better than traditional active noise cancelation headphones. And, perhaps best of all, they are a great value for your money. Noise reduction headphones are not the same as noise cancellation headphones. The Direct Sound Extreme Isolation Headphones are better classified as noise reduction headphones because they do not use electronics to actively cancel ambient noise. Instead, our headphones physically block sound by reflecting the sound away from your ears while enclosing your ears in our patented sound isolating ear cups. The result is a greater degree of sound isolation and superior sound quality for your music. Why Noise Reduction Headphones Sound Better Most noise cancelling headphones use electronics to “listen” to the sound around you so that they can produce an “opposite” sound wave to cancel the sound inside the ear cups. This is called active noise cancelation because the headphones are actively destroying incoming sound with a cancelling sound wave. For audiophiles like us, the major problem with this type of noise reduction is that the “cancelling” sound wave which is intended to block the ambient noise also destroys the music you are actually trying to listen to. There’s simply no way around it. Let’s take a simple sound frequency as an example. Suppose there is an ambient noise at 1000 Hz around you. So your active noise cancellation headphones produce a sound wave that blocks that frequency inside of your ear cups. But what if the...

How Noise Cancelation Headphones Work

How Noise Cancelation Headphones Work There is a lot of confusion about how noise cancelation headphones work so we thought we should take a moment and answer a few questions about how they work and provide a little advice to anyone shopping for a good set of noise reduction headphones. Active or Passive Noise Cancelation There are two main types of headphones that block sound. Some headphones block sound by sampling the ambient noise with tiny microphones built into the headphones. Then an “equal but opposite” cancelation sound wave is generated inside of the ear cups to “cancel” the sound you hear. This technology is call active noise cancelation and is very effective at blocking consistent, rumbling or humming noises like the airplane engine noise you hear when flying or the sound of an air conditioner or fan. It is “active” because there are microphones and electronics actively trying to sample the ambient noise and then figure out how to cancel it before it reaches your ears. Active noise cancelation headphones tend to be fairly compact in size and some models sit on your ear rather than having the ear cups enclose or surround your ear. Active noise cancelation headphones always require batteries to run the electronics that cancel the sound. When the batteries die, so does the noise cancelation – and sometimes, depending on the set of headphones, you can’t hear any music at all if your headphone batteries die. Also, active noise cancelation headphones produce a hissy swoosh noise inside of the ear cups. This is the “canceling” sound wave. It makes your music sound like there...

What Is Sound?

What Is Sound? To understand how hearing works, you first have to understand sound. Your hearing system is based solely on physical movement. An object produces sound when it vibrates in matter. This could be a solid, such as earth; a liquid, such as water; or a gas, such as air. Most of the time, we hear sounds traveling through the air in our atmosphere. When something vibrates in the atmosphere, it moves the air particles around it. Those air particles in turn move the air particles around them, carrying the pulse of the vibration through the air. To see how this works, let’s look at a simple vibrating object: a bell. When you hit a bell, the metal vibrates—flexes in and out. When it flexes out on one side, it pushes on the surrounding air particles on that side. These air particles then collide with the particles in front of them, which collide with the particles in front of them, and so on. This is called compression. When the bell flexes away, it pulls in on the surrounding air particles. This creates a drop in pressure, which pulls in more surrounding air particles, creating another drop in pressure, which pulls in particles even farther out. This pressure decrease is called rarefaction. How Hearing Works To hear sound, your ear has to do three basic things: Direct the sound waves into the hearing part of the ear Sense the fluctuations in air pressure Translate these fluctuations into an electrical signal that your brain can understand Once the sound waves travel into the ear canal, they vibrate the tympanic membrane,...

What Is A Decibel?

What Is A Decibel? What is a decibel? How many decibels is a normal conversation? Will 29dB of noise reduction block out all the noise I can hear? In this article, we answer these questions and more. A decibel is one unit on the decibel scale, which is a logarithmic scale. The name means one-tenth of a bel, a bel being an eponymous unit named for Alexander Graham Bell and used to compare power in electrical communication, voltage, or intensity of sound. The abbreviation of bel is B and decibel, dB. The primary use of the decibel scale today is to test audibility, and the results are called the sound-pressure level (SPL), which is similar to loudness. The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) has set guidelines to help people determine the maximum loudness they should be exposed to. The SPL level that OSHA recommends is 85 decibels, above which special ear protection is required. The human ear is extremely sensative to sound. Your ears can hear everything from a flick of a fingernail to a loud jet engine. In terms of power, a jet engine is 1 trillion times more powerful. On the decibel scale, the smallest audible sound (near total silence) is 0 dB. A sound 10 times more powerful is 10 dB. A sound 100 times more powerful than near total silence is 20 dB. A sound 1,000 times more powerful than near total silence is 30 dB. Here are some common sounds and their decibel ratings: Near total silence – 0 dB A whisper – 15 dB Hotel lobby conversation 40-45 dB Normal conversation –...