I've been keeping my eye on these Monoprice headphones for some months now, especially having spent a lot of time on cross-country trips lately, as well as greatly increased time spent with my snow blower. Of course, there's no SkyMall in flight magazine to peruse these days. So yes, I'll admit it, I used a decent GoGo WiFi connection on a nice new Airbus 321 from JFK to SFO, to shop around a bit to finally set my sites on the Monoprice Noise Cancelling Headphone w/ Active Noise Reduction Technology. I just can't see paying the steep $300 for the Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, and so many other buyers of similar brands complain about poor comfort, especially for larger heads. In contrast, see the Monoprice ratings, see also the similarly pretty-darn-good reviews on Amazon, especially for the price:
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By ChrisV on August 12, 2014
I recently purchased these headphones and I'm really enjoying them. I work in a shared research workspace filled with everything from background hums of lab equipment to people having side conversations while they are supposed to be working. While this product reduces noise, its important that prospective buyers understand that the "noise" which is most efficiently reduced is background hum type noise. This being said, when wearing these headphones with active noise canceling turned on and classical music playing at low volume, the voices of my co-workers are hardly audible. Just what I was looking for.The headphones feel sturdy and the case they come with is very nice. I would buy these again or recommend them with the caveat that you should not expect these or any other noise canceling headphone to totally eliminate tones in the human vocal range. Adding the background low volume music makes all the difference.
I didn't actually buy them from my VPN encrypted connection on the plane, as I was waiting patiently for a discount. Today, that arrived in my inbox, with a 15% off promotion, that I'm happy to share with you. I suspect this discount will come around again, in case you're reading this after February 22nd, 2015.
Notice that the 15% discount is application when shopping with the above link, and using the SOUND15 discount code at checkout. Also note that you are also offered the option to use your Amazon account for payment and shipping info, to make the Monoprice.com ordering much simpler.
No shipping fees, if you're willing to wait 3-5 business days. I ordered mine today, Sunday, and am told to expecting them to ship Monday.
Wondering how I plan to Bluetooth enable these corded headphones, when I'm out and about mowing or snowblowing? Since the audio cable is detachable, I plan to simply re-use the tiny Bluetooth dongle I already own, and a bit of Velcro, described here:
Enjoy tangle-free listening to music and podcasts instead of your mower, protecting your hearing for just 60 dollars
Once I receive the headphones, I'll update this article with my first-hand experiences.
Turns out Jim Collison also has a big head, so we'll be comparing notes on how these brand fit, and how comfortable they are for extended use. Jim has the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7B SVIS noise canceling headphones, which he reviewed.
They arrived March 2nd, so far, so good!
- Immediately noticed the much improved noggin fit, compared to the $18 Howard Leight headphones I've been mowing with (those had vinyl, and held up to sweat and dust and abuse, but they have essentially no bass, and for music, it's all about that...)
- much more comfortable material around my ears
- less pressure on the top of my head, less pressure around my ears
- jury out on noise suppression for mowing, but I'll be snowblowing tonight, so I'll know more soon about the active noise cancellation abilities
- for podcasts, the Jumbl Bluetooth dongle has controls that work well with Pocket Casts, effectively adding Bluetooth to a non Bluetooth headset
- on flights, I'll just detach the module (Velcro), and go with a wired connection
- if the bass response of my old headphones was a grade of F, these Monoprice headphones score a B- over bluetooth (decent bass), and an A- with the included cable (good bass)
- 2 audio cables included, one straight through, the other, thin, with a small Apple-compatible-volume-and-pause control
- the fairly rugged travel case seems like it'll hold up to my (occasional) travel abuses
- I have found a somewhat less dorky place to mount the Jumbl module, with easy, natural, left-thumb access, and not that noticeable when viewed from the front
trying to see how the noise suppression works, I cranked this ambient jet sound video up, and turned the headphones switch on and off to compare, seems like it removes about two thirds of the ambient noise (that's purely subjective, will know more when I actually fly somewhere)
If you want to make these headphones Bluetooth capable, with easy access controls (leaving your phone in your pocket), it can be done very affordably, under $40 shipped, here's the parts:
If you weren't able to order the headphones discounted from the Monoprice link above directly, here's the Amazon listing:
I'll also post some more observations, once I have more time spent with these parts assembled (I'm temporarily using a too-thick (X-ACTO shaved) cable).
Finally, the unboxing:
There's a new Jumbl Bluetooth module in town, and I've been using it for about a year now. It has a much more universal micro USB charging port, and incorporates the newer Bluetooth 4.0 standard. I have noticed that when paired with my iPhone 6 Plus, the first 10 seconds of audio are a bit choppy, then it smooths out and works great, even up to about 50 feet away.
Links in the original article above changed to this newer model:
Turns out the Duracell Quantum AAA batteries don't seem to be compatible with these headphones, with no green light to indicate active noise cancellation. It would seem there's some sort of slight difference in size that's just enough to prevent solid conductor contact. I even tried several Quantum batteries from two different batches, same results. These same Quantum batteries work fine in other devices.
Or, I insert a sharp object like a needle behind the headphone's positive battery connector to bend it out slightly. Now, contact with the Quantum battery is made, and the green light goes on.