Active Noise Reduction headphones


Thread Starter


dear friends,

I'm looking for Active Noise Reduction (ANR) headphones, suitable for industrial use. If there isn't anything specific, are aviation ANR headphones useful to reduce any of the infinite series of common noises of industrial or workshops environments, e.g. grinders noise, hammer bangs etc?

any information is greatly appreciated

thanks in advance

Luca Gallina
Everything that I have seen in the airplane magazines tells me that the noise reduction in active headsets is great. Will the frequencies and pressure levels be the same in industry and an airplane... no... Low frequencies in aircraft and higher frequencies in industry. But I think that a low cost ANR headset would be a first best bet to get your feet wet in this area of protection. All aircraft headsets keep out most of the LOUD noise and thus protect the ears. It is the ANR headsets that reduce the stress level (from noise) and keep the pilot a lot more comfortable over time.

Jack Eskew
Microsmith, Inc.
301 W. Deer Valley Road # 3
Phoenix, AZ 85027
V: 623-587-6473
F: 623-587-0612
[email protected]
I'm assuming you want to listen to music or some other source as well? Or are you just trying to reduce noise in general?
I recently was in the market for some ANR headphones and after some research and purchases of some low cost ANRs, I went with a passive closed set of headphones. I wanted a low costing, good sound quality, and NR.

The problem with low costing ANR is that yes, they will reduce sound but if you want to use them for listening to music the sound quality can be very poor. The reason is, most of cost goes towards the electronics, etc of the ANR - not the actual speakers themselves. However, if you willing to spend $$$ you can get good ANR and excellent sound.

Also, a good set of closed headphones (ones that completely cover the ear) will reduce a lot of sound, offer good sound quality and be cheaper than ANR.

One place that helped in my decision to go with passive rather than active NR is this site:
thank you all for the answers.

I'm not listening to music, I'm just looking for maximum possible noise reduction: target is silence. I'm willing to pay $$$ for a good product but I've never seen any ANR device worn in industrial environments. Aviation devices are probably good against continuous noise (roar or whine), I'm not sure they're as good against industrial noises. I'll try to borrow a pilot's headset and perform some tests..

thanks again
Luca Gallina
What you need is a dynamic white noise generator.

These devices use electronics to invert sound waves that cancel the noise frequencies that you don't like. The best ones reduce most noise to a background hum - or so I have been told.

These have been on the market for some years. A search for "white noise" might get you an answer.

Bob Pawley
Here are some papers that might be of interest:

Regarding airplane ANR:

Here is some companies you might look at: (QZ-2000 is an example)

It seems to me that any active noise reduction works on the basis of measuring or predicting the current noise spectrum and providing a canceling sound spectrum. This method does not seem practical for random noise, only a continuous noise spectra with sufficient time for the active noise system to come into play or a noise detection system where there is a known time delay between the noise generation and the noise reception. Actually you probably
do not want anything to cancel a random noise since that would be a safety issue (alarms or dangers are sometimes random noises) as would total noise cancellation.

Bill Mostia
William(Bill) L. Mostia, Jr. P.E.
Worldwide Excellence in Dependable Automation
[email protected] (b) [email protected] (h) 281-334-3169
These opinions are my own and are offered on the basis of Caveat Emptor.
My work environment is pretty noisy at times - copier, printer and the usual office noise, but most importantly people chatter noise. I do not have a private office. My desk is in the front administration office and my job requires that I do programming in new software. HELP! What are the best headphones for me? I don't care what they look like, but they need to be comfortable. I have a budget of around $100 US dollars.