back to article La, la, la, I can't hear you! Apple to challenge Bose's noise-proof cans

Bose's noise-jamming headphones are ubiquitous with business travellers and also popular among commuters, but the 11,000-strong company will face designer competition from Apple in a battle that pits two of the industry's most-respected engineering teams against each other. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has confirmed an analyst note …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The company faces strong competition from Sony and Sennheiser (who boast superior audio quality) but Bose still leads the market."

    Superior audio quality? Is that factual journalism or personal opinion of the author?

    I would have thought it's subjective between listeners and personal taste.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Agreed. My Audio Technica headphones are far superior in sound quality to the equivalent Sennheiser ones I tried out at the time.

      My AT's aren't as good as the Bose ones though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Goodness. If there isn't enough to fight about on this site.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        "Goodness. If there isn't enough to fight about on this site."

        You wanna make something of it?

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: make something

          That's dangerously close to productivity. We'll have none of that here.

      2. elDog

        I'll see those fighting words and raise you double. How about a visual pollution-proof gatdget

        So, we just need to design something that throws a 180--degree competing light into our eyes for all adverts, especially bouncy ones.

        We could test it on The Register to see if it works.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: I'll see those fighting words and raise you double. How about a visual pollution-proof gatdget

          @elDog

          So, we just need to design something that throws a 180--degree competing light into our eyes

          It won't work unless it utilises gold plated oxygen free fiber optics

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Who boast..." suggests that it's Sony and Sennheiser making the claim, not the author.

      1. Steve the Cynic

        "Who boast..." suggests that it's Sony and Sennheiser making the claim, not the author.

        It's ambiguous, at best.

        "X boasts that Y" is X claiming thing-Y about itself in a self-aggrandising way. ("Sony boasts that it has ...")

        "X boasts Y" is merely the writer saying that X has Y. ("Sony's offering boasts a superior sound reproduction.")

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I've still got the headphones from my Sony disk man and can attest to their superior audio capabilities.

    4. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge

      Fact or opinion

      You can read it as a factual statement that Sony and Sennheiser both boast of superior audio quality, although [citation needed], and that wouldn't be the ordinary idiomatic meaning.

      1. Barry Rueger

        Re: Fact or opinion

        statement that Sony and Sennheiser both boast of superior audio quality

        Of course, much depends on whether you listening to Vinyl or CD, or (God help us), MP3.

        And whether you use mono-directional, oxygen free Monster cables.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Fact or opinion

          >Of course, much depends on ....

          >And whether you use...

          Well with all digital sources, much depends on the quality of the A-D chipset and clock.

          But in all cases valve amplification plays a big part...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fact or opinion

          "statement that Sony and Sennheiser both boast of superior audio quality

          Of course, much depends on whether you listening to Vinyl or CD, or (God help us), MP3.

          And whether you use mono-directional, oxygen free Monster cables."

          Not this nonsense again.

          A well ripped MP3 from a good quality CD will be indistinguishable from the original to almost anyone, and leaps and bounds ahead in sound quality of a vinyl disk taken from the same master.

          MP3 in its early days was indeed crap. It has had many years and is now actually excellent.

          Don't believe me, grab a copy of Foobar and the ABX plugin. Then take a properly ripped MP3 (use EAC or DBPoweramp for example, with the latest LAME plugin and rip to 220 VBR or 320 ABR if you wish(unnecessary) ), and compare to the original using (good) headphones. You won't tell them apart.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Fact or opinion

        You can read it as a factual statement that Sony and Sennheiser both boast of superior audio quality, although [citation needed], and that wouldn't be the ordinary idiomatic meaning.

        I suspect that when it comes to "sound quality" statements that it's all subjective based on the listeners perspective and the state of their hearing. For example, I have some hearing loss due to jet engines and race cars and my wife does not have any loss. We hear things "differently" so what works for her, doesn't work for me.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Fact or opinion

          I have some hearing loss and need quality sound more than ever.

          Tinnitus, down to 12k on left and 14k on right, 10 years ago was nearer 17k.

          Combined with poor background noise removal I often use subtitles on films or music heavy dramas.

    5. anothercynic Silver badge

      Sennheiser...

      ... Is well-known to have audio reproductive qualities superior to many earphones and headphones within the price range that Bose and Beats hang out in. That said, I've given up on OTE headphones. They are big, clunky, look utterly ridiculous. Something small and unobtrusive, beautifully balanced for sound, yep, that works. Pricey, yes, but so damn worth it.

      Surprisingly, the dinky cheap Sennheisers for £20 also work pretty well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sennheiser...

        > I've given up on OTE headphones. They are big, clunky, look utterly ridiculous. Something small and unobtrusive, beautifully balanced for sound, yep, that work

        Over-the-ear headphones tend to have significantly better noise isolation than in ear models, which means I can listen to music at lower volumes and hear the outside world less. Case in point: Sennheiser IE7 in ears - 20dB noise attenuation, HD 280 Pro over-ears - 32dB noise attenuation. Bonus - over-the-ear headphones are less fatiguing when used for long periods.

        Don't get me wrong, I like my IE7's, but for extended use ... no.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Sennheiser...

          Not to mention that the 'perch in ear' type make my ears hurt quite quickly - and I have tried different sized bud. On the other hand, I really do like my Sony MDR100X - about the same cost as Bose, but much nicer.

        2. 2Nick3

          Re: Sennheiser...

          Being a bass player, and standing next to drum kits a lot, I love my Sennheiser HD 280 Pros - the noise attenuation lets me run the mix on my Aviom monitor at a reasonable volume level. I had tried some Sonys, but they have such a bias toward the bass it was hard to get a good mix, and Beats would be even worse. Sennheiser has a great, and I think well deserved, reputation for use as monitors.

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. Orv

          Re: Sennheiser...

          Over-the-ear headphones don't tend to be very comfortable for glasses-wearers, unless the tension is very light and/or the earpads are soft. My Sennheiser's are in that category, but they actually provide very little noise isolation for pretty much the same reasons they're comfortable.

          I once had a pair of $50 Monoprice active noise-canceling headphones that were blatant rip-offs of $200 Bose cans. They worked remarkably well and I frequently used them on the bus and on planes, but in true Monoprice fashion they quit after a year.

      2. Inspector71
        Thumb Up

        Re: Sennheiser...

        Go for a smaller OTE, I have stuck with the Sennheiser HD25 since I did a bit of DJing years ago. They have the added bonus that they can really take a beating and every part is replaceable. My current HD25-ii are the perfect travelling headphones for me.

        1. Duffy Moon

          Re: Sennheiser...

          "My current HD25-ii are the perfect travelling headphones for me"

          Another vote for the HD25-ii. I bought a used pair and they've lasted for years. I have better quality ones, but they're the ones I use most often. Having a closed back, they isolate perfectly adequately on a commute.

      3. DrBobK

        Re: Sennheiser...

        I used to have some HD25s which were fantastic until they got nicked. I now have some HD26s - the sound is as good and they are more comfy. These are both stunning headphones given their indestructibility and are great for aeroplanes - fair amount of sound isolation without any noise-cancelling gubbins (also designed for monitoring and so pretty neutral in terms of colouring sound). I have some cheap second hand Audeze headphones (OK, only comparatively cheap - but no more than new Bose QCs) for non-travel use. I remember being impressed by Bose Triports until I heard them back to back with headphones half the price. That, unfortunately, set me on the track of realising that good headphones were a thing (and, in the end, need headphone amps - Oppo do good cheap portable headphone amps).

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More to the point

      Beats has made a bundle selling rebranded Chinese crap. It's been a very successful business model. So now Apple will sell rebranded Chinese crap with it's badge on it.

      And some people will pay a premium for it.

      Brilliant!

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: More to the point

        People will rush to pay the gullibility tax. Not me - I'm at least part Scottish. We are not mean - just poor.

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: More to the point

          "I'm at least part Scottish. We are not mean - just poor."

          Maybe you need to make a buckfast

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: More to the point

        Perhaps that is why Apple are not branding these as yet only rumoured devices as Beats but as Apple?

        That way, they can uplift the price even more.

        Beats would become their 'value' brand.

    7. MJI Silver badge

      Well Sony and Sennheiser are both respected headphone manufacturers.

      I like my Sennheiser pair I use with my Walkman.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah its largely subjective. He's right though. Bose headphones have a naff sound profile.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Perhaps...?

    It should be more like

    Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has speculated in an analyst note that Apple will enter the high-end market with Apple-branded over-the-ear, noise-cancelling headphones.

    Now does that not sound more likely?

    IMHO, Mr Gurman has decided to compete with Ming Kuo Cho in the ''guess what Apple will do next" race.

    It is entertaining... up to a point. After a while these guesses get somewhat boring.

    Perhaps the site should keep a detailed record of who has sued Apple this week. That will be far more entertaining. /s

  3. Spender
    Thumb Up

    Sennheiser owner says...

    My Sennheiser Momentum M2 AEBT cans were my favourite tech-purchase last year. I've burned through a lot of headphones in my time, and these ones sound peachy-delicious. In listening tests at the shop where I bought them, I thought they beat the Bose, but they don't cancel noise quite so well...

    ...but they were jolly expensive, so I probably have chronic confirmation bias. Ignore me.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've always found

    that the current big brands like Bose, Sennheiser, Sony and Beats (urgh) colour the sound way too much. Whether its the over processed sound of the noise cancellers or the stupid flabby bass of the Beats or missing midrange of Sennheisers, its getting really hard to find a decent set of day-to-day head phones that have a nice flat response that aren't studio monitors. I'm still using a pair of Denons from about 10 years ago, not particularly expensive, but nothing modern sounds as good.

    1. Oh Matron!

      Re: I've always found

      I've had many iterations of Bose Quiet Comfort X

      The sound, to me, always sounded a bit flat, and, well, dull.

      So, after flogging my QCx, I bought the Parrot Zik 3.0. What a revelation....! Simply brilliant :-)

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: I've always found

        (sad face) I owned a pair of QC1's. Over-the-ear, comfy, you could put them on on a flight and sleep. The sound may not have been perfect (a bit hissy, perhaps) but in comparison to the incessant roar of an aircraft, heaven.

        Left the buggers in the seat pocket in front of me while packing up my stuff before leaving. Damn. Damn.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: I've always found

          >Left the buggers in the seat pocket in front of me while packing up my stuff before leaving. Damn. Damn.

          Sadly for me such incidents are a case of 'when' and not 'if', so twenty quid for in-ears and thirty quid (ideally some Sennheisers in a sale) for over-ears tends to be what I spend.

          I had a lovely pair of Sennheiser over-ears that were so comfortable that I could sleep in them and have no discomfort upon waking... but for some stupid reason I took them out the house and left them in a pub.

        2. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: I've always found

          @Missing Semicolon, big sad face here in commiseration. QC1 and QC2 were great for noise-cancelling (especially on the older generation jets in the back), so I feel for you. The QC3s are on-ear so are liable to slipping off. And the Bose in-ear phones are just totally and utterly uncomfortable despite the 'horns' to anchor them.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I've always found

      > I've always found

      that the current big brands like Bose, Sennheiser, Sony and Beats (urgh) colour the sound way too much

      Beats especially have long had a reputation for being too bassy. If Apple wanted to sell headphones to grownups (who have more money and are more likely to travel by air) then releasing Apple branded headphones instead of Beats branded headphones is not a stupid move.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: I've always found

        Also, by releasing good quality headphones Apple can continue to make their case for ditching the 3.5mm audio socket. Audio over Lightning can do something that 3.5mm can't: supply power to active noise cancelling headphones. True, the primary use-case will be wireless, but using Lightning when Bluetooth is not appropriate (Airplane Mode, or low headphone battery) makes sense.

        Personally, I wouldn't mind a 3.5mm socket so that I can treat inexpensive earbuds as consumables (they always get lost or broken), but Apple won't reverse their decision.

        1. israel_hands

          Re: I've always found

          Also, by releasing good quality headphones Apple can continue to make their case for ditching the 3.5mm audio socket. Audio over Lightning can do something that 3.5mm can't: supply power to active noise cancelling headphones.

          That's not true at all. Sony's Xperia phones use 3.5mm jacks that provide power to active noise-cancelling headphones. The trick is it's not just the usual 3-rings, you get an extra couple of rings to carry the sound from the microphones in the headphones. Lovely sound quality too and if you plug them into a standard 3.5mm jack they still work fine, just without the noise-cancelling effect.

          I tried a pair of Beats before but the sound quality was shit. They'd just ramped up the bass drivers at the expense of the original music. Made everything sound too bassy and anything with a lot of bass in originally became a wall of squelch.

          I don't expect Apple's own-brand stuff to be any better. All of their headphones I've tried have been of comparable quality to Poundland jobbies and a hell of a lot more expensive.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: I've always found

            >Sony's Xperia phones use 3.5mm jacks that provide power to active noise-cancelling headphones.

            Not technically true - the extra ring is provide a second mic in (thus stereo) from the headset. The noise cancelling is done by the phone itself, and the resulting combined signal sent back to the headphones. No power is sent, which is why I phrased my post the way I did.

            New gen Xperias have no 3.5mm socket. On premium Walkmans Sony have recently introduced a new analogue audio connector bigger than 3.5mm.

            Weird Sony, ah bless.

  5. Douchus McBagg

    Obviously enough idiots dropped £300 on a pair of their crap headphones, so they're turning up the numbers and seeing what muppets'll spend £600? or a grand?

    nice position to be in, I wish them well in their endeavours to separate the stupid from their money.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Well you try travelling 1 week every month - you would be screaming for decent noise cancelling headphones. In fact even crap ones would be better than the best of non cancelling phones.

  6. msknight Silver badge

    Brand watching...

    ...is going to get interesting. I know some people who love their Apple and Bose.... so it'll be interesting to see if their ditch their Bose for Apple brand.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple's solution

    1) Buy company making ordinary headphones

    2) Apply Apple Label

    3) Increase price by 500%(1)

    4) If any one says they don't actually seem to cancel sound, tell 'em they are listening wrong.

    5) Profit

    6) Launch incompatible upgraded model next year

    7) more profit

    8) Trademark the word "headphone"

    9) Profit

  8. BenDwire

    10) Cut the 3.5mm plug off

    11) Profit

  9. phuzz Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Fortunately my ears are crap, so I'll stick to my £1.50 pair of earbuds thanks.

  10. Daedalus Silver badge

    MacGuyver solution in the wild

    Seen on flight to UK:

    Pair ear pods (corded) plus industrial grade hearing protectors = cheap and cheerful no-noise headset. Hard hat optional.

    1. A K Stiles
      Thumb Up

      Re: MacGuyver solution in the wild

      Similar concept - squishy earplugs then (sub £50) noise cancelling headphones. Engine drone gone, plus some good practice lip-reading the cabin-crew when they ask what kind of booze you want!

      1. GruntyMcPugh

        Re: MacGuyver solution in the wild

        .. just sign them the letters 'G' and 'T'.

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: MacGuyver solution in the wild

      Don't try this at home and if you do, you do so at your own risk etc.

      I had the issue that the in ear headphones always seemed to fall out and didn't provide enough ambient noise blocking. So I took a pair of Samsung corded in ear headphones that came with my phone and filled the silicone cups with a hot glue gun. Waited until they had cooled a bit but were still malleable and then placed them in my ears to mould them. They now fit perfectly and block far more noise than they would have otherwise and don't fall out as often.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: MacGuyver solution in the wild

        Third party foam tips called Comply are available for a range of in-ears headphones. I haven't used them myself, but reviews seem to be favourable.

        1. Is It Me

          Re: MacGuyver solution in the wild

          I use them on some reasonably cheap sondmagic earphones, it makes them comforatable enough to sleep and in cuts out more background noise than the rubber/silicon ones do

        2. Raphael

          Re: MacGuyver solution in the wild

          My Jaybird X3's came with some of them (Comply Tips). They work really well, and are comfortable, but I've found they don't last for very long (so gonna have to buy some replacements).

          I've used them whilst mowing the lawn (petrol mower) and I would say the comply tips are as good as the class 5 earmuffs I normally use

      2. Daedalus Silver badge

        Re: MacGuyver solution in the wild

        I used a trick back in the days of PA systems in the cubicle farm. Heat up some wax and keep it malleable until it was bearably hot, then work it into the ol' lug 'ole for a good fit. Definitely something to be done with care, but well worth it if you have somebody announcing "Paging Paul Portulacca! Will Paul Portulacca please call the operator!" over the PA every 10 minutes.

        Another trick, if phone bells could not be quieted to any degree, was to stuff them with tissues.

  11. Rusty 1
    WTF?

    "LED Fuel Gauge"

    Wow, that is some serious integration into the bike/car/plane/rocket propulsion system!

    All I was after was audio quality, and these froods have gone and done this. Frak!

  12. User McUser

    Wait - am I a weirdo?

    I actually *like* the ambient noise in the aircraft - that low level hiss/hum of what I guess is the wind or maybe it's the engines? (Or both?) Not sure what causes it, but I find it quite soothing.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Wait - am I a weirdo?

      You're not a weirdo - controlled tests in people suggest that constantly loud noise is no barrier to sleep, and indeed can aid drowsiness. It's sudden changes in noise level that keep people awake.

      Indeed, one of the new generation of large airliners elicited complaints from pilots that their rest area was too quiet - without constant engine noise they could hear noises from the passenger area which disturbed their sleep.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wait - am I a weirdo?

        I used to live next to the M1 motorway, the constant loud drone wasn't an issue. I moved to a local village high street and that was a problem with just half a dozen cars a night whizzing by.

        1. elDog

          Re: Wait - am I a weirdo?

          But I bet the occasional screech of tyres and crunch of metal got your attention next to the M1.

          I also now live in the country and hear every single car that drives by on our dirt road, the crows of the cocks, and the coos of the cows (or whatever.)

          1. A K Stiles
            Joke

            Re: Wait - am I a weirdo?

            "Coo, Mavis - look at that Cock in the fancy car there!"

    2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Wait - am I a weirdo?

      Nope, you are not a wierdo. I find that there is something reassuring being able to hear the hum of the engines when travelling at 500mph in an aluminium tube at 30,000 or so feet above the sea.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wait - am I a weirdo?

        reassuring in the fact that you can hear they are still running, with you there ... If I ever got off the ground I'd have to sit as close as possible to those engines...someone has to keep an eye on them!

    3. jeffdyer

      Re: Wait - am I a weirdo?

      "Low level?"

      Either you're deaf, or you've never sat at the back of a flight from NY to LA.

    4. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: Wait - am I a weirdo?

      Are you travelling in the front part of the plane?

      The difference in noise ahead of the fans from that in the cheap seats is quite striking. Though much better than the days of the old Tridents with a turbine grinding away over your head and one each side.

    5. Alan Edwards

      Re: Wait - am I a weirdo?

      Made the mistake of sitting at the back of a QueasyJet 737 (it was a few years ago) from Aberdeen to Luton - 'low-level' is not how I'd describe the racket :)

  13. iron Silver badge

    Apple or Bose? Either way they are going to be shit.

    1. Swarthy
      Trollface

      No Highs?

      No Lows?

      Must be Bose!

  14. Grim...

    I can't see any problem with this

    "In 2014 Bose sued Beats over patent infringement. Apple responded by removing Bose products from its Apple Stores."

    This is fine.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mine is better than yours debates....

    Try AC DC full volume with any head phone and quality ceases to matter after 2 hrs, come to think of it so does noise cancellation, the tinnitus takes care of most external noise. Do that for Led Zeplin etc as well for 30 years and the £2.99 ear phones all sound pretty darn good, you just buy which ever one has the biggest dB level :)

    Been there, done that, ....pardon, what did you say?

    I only need cheap ear phones now, so take that suckers! I'm quids in......DOH!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mine is better than yours debates....

      ...in fact, it's not all bad, I've really started to enjoy Rod Stewart and the Faces recently and expanded my musical taste and reckon I could start to attempt some of this modern POP Music stuff I've read about....maybe, soon, perhaps, I might even enjoy X Factor...you know, with all the pretty colours, because there won't be much sound left!

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: I only need cheap ear phones now, so take that suckers!

      I bet someone is working on tinnitus-cancelling headphones. Question is whether you would then prefer a Gymnopedie or three.

      Edit: Fancy spending £4,500 instead of £2.99? The Daily Mail has a possible answer...

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2171138/Tinnitus-The-4-500-headphones-eased-suffering.html

    3. PhilipN Silver badge

      Re: Mine is better than yours debates....

      Try The Who at 11.

      No .... 12

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you want superior quality to cost performance it's hard to beat the headphones from the dollar store for $4.

    Also, if you misplace them it really doesn't matter that much and replacing them is trivial and fast.

  17. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Going for the customers who previously purchased gold-plated ethernet cables?

    Apple already competes in the active noise-cancelling category with its £299/$349 Beats Studio3, which incorporate Apple's low-power W1 chip. Cupertino now thinks there's room for an upmarket Apple-branded sibling.

    How much more upmarket (ridiculously expensive) do you need to get for headphones? I doubt I've spent more than a tenner on a pair.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Going for the customers who previously purchased gold-plated ethernet cables?

      >How much more upmarket (ridiculously expensive) do you need to get for headphones?

      Suspect Apple are envious of handbag designers such as Hermes; trouble is that the secondhand ones go for more than the new ones...

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Joke

        The Importance of Being Apple

        @Roland6

        "How much more upmarket (ridiculously expensive) do you need to get for headphones?"

        Suspect Apple are envious of handbag designers such as Hermes; trouble is that the secondhand ones go for more than the new ones...

        To lose one airpod, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness.

        A handbag?

        With thanks to Oscar Wilde

    2. Raphael

      Re: Going for the customers who previously purchased gold-plated ethernet cables?

      Perhaps they're chasing after the customers of the Sennheiser HE160.

      They cost AU$75,000

      https://www.smh.com.au/technology/sennheisers-75000-he160-headphones-the-greatest-sounds-you-will-never-afford-20160209-gmp4e1.html

  18. elDog

    I'd buy OTE with a tiny air-conditioner (noiseless) included

    Maybe it's just me but I get hot wearing a well-sealed over-the-ear kit.

    I guess an AC unit would drain batteries pretty quickly but the sound of the compressor might do the sound suppression pretty well.

  19. BasculeW

    As a frequent long haul flyer for many years I was grateful for my Bose QC headphones, but never ever let them near the audio gear at home! Having tried many, I have yet to hear any NC or wireless phones even remotely approaching 'hifi' quality. (Tbh, even as a customer that's where Bose sits with me for all their products - your opinion may vary.)

    Based on this, I don't currently buy into the marketing, that NC = improved audio. Its a very different need. NC has it's place - on long (oh so long) flights, I found in-ear too uncomfortable and over ear too hot, so the 'on ear' Bose ones were an acceptable compromise, and useful when an 11 hour flight follows a 15hour working day.

    Tech usually improves though. If they can pull off an Audeze-bothering SQ from active NC headphones like these, at a comparatively reasonable price then that's great. Til then, for me and I suspect like most who are into their audio gear, there'll be headphones for at home, IEMs for out and about, and maybe NCs for flying if the need is there.

    If the recent Homepod is anything to go by they may well sound perfectly reasonable, but will be crippled and only work with apple devices as their source, at which point they will be immediately ruled out. Breath is not being held!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gnomes rule!

    ...sorry wrong forum.

    Hmmm.... my wireless $50 Panasonic (that are gym friendly) work and sound just fine.

  21. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    AKG and Mio

    Now, if I'm going to blow a buttload of cash on overpriced headphones, I'll get some AKG K701's like Mio-chan

  22. RobThBay

    I wonder what sort of pro-Apple messages will be hidden in the noise cancelling audio signal produced by an Apple headset? ;-)

    Apple is good... iFires are a feature...

    Haha

  23. Mitoo Bobsworth

    What to call them...

    iCans

    iTinnitus

    iCantHearYou

    iDontCare

    Contributions welcome.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: What to call them...

      Pardon?

  24. Roger Ramjet

    Ho Hum

    It's all sujective anyway.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fixed that for you

    "a battle that pits two of the industry's most-respected engineering teams marketing departments against each other."

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