I worked in a creative and in many ways awesome tech hub. The downside to being surrounded by interesting and talented people, with no dividing walls between us, was that it could get quite noisy. That affected my ability to focus so I needed something to shut out unwanted noise.
One alternative was to use earplugs. I have a really good pair from Happy Ears. They get me the quiet I want but it is a bit fiddly to have to take them out every time the phone rings or when someone wants to talk. I also like to listen to radio or music from time to time and thats impossible with earplugs.
Another alternative was using headphones with noise canceling technology. I read a lot of reviews that all said the same thing. Bose QuietComfort 35 currently were the best ones. They had the best noise-cancelling tech, they have great sound quality when you listen to music and they are cordless. I bought a pair. They are among the more expensive ones. I paid over 400 USD for mine (in Sweden a few years ago).
After years of use I have formed my opinion. They are really good at canceling out noise. They don't get it all but most of it. When I turn them on it feels like a light pressure against the eardrums. That's because they emit a sound that is mirroring the sound around me and thus making it near quiet. Walking in noisy traffic is no problem. The same goes for the noisy office. It all fades away in the background. And then I haven't even put on any music.
The sound quality is as good as the reviews said. It's a joy listening to loud music. But I don't have to. The noise cancellation is so good that I can listen to music on a much lower volume than with all my previous headphones. This is something I hadn't anticipated appreciating as much as I do.
Whenever the phone rings I press a button and answer. Noise cancellation works for that as well. When the call is over I press the button again and music, or whatever was on, comes back.
Since they have built in battery they need charging (with a micro USB cable). I do it once a week or less, but I don't use them all day every day. I use them on my commute to and from the office, when I take an hour long walk in the evenings and when I need quiet in the office or at home. I estimate that all of this sums up to around 20 to 25 hours a week and I often charge them when they are 1/4 to 1/2 full.
What else should I tell you about them? They are easy to set up, they are comfortable to wear for long periods, they come with a cord to use if the battery has run out, there is an app (Bose connect) for setting them up, you can pair them to several devices, they usually switch between devices automatically when I turn them off and on.
Would I buy them again if I didn't own them? Yes.
How do you handle noisy offices? Do you have a favorite pair of headphones? Post a comment below.