Under $50: Good Noise Reduction Headphones

 I travel quite a bit, and love to listen to my iTunes music and audio programs. Trying to listen on planes and other noisy environments with standard earphones takes away much of the pleasure. I’ve been tempted by the ads for the $300 noise reduction headphones, but that seems awfully steep.

Recently a P.R. person, sent me information about a new “under $50” Genius GHP-04NC “with a revolutionary sound blocking feature that cancels out background distraction noise allowing only the music to be heard”. She offered to send the headphones for testing.
I’ve used them on several trips. Here is what I found:
  • Even with the headphones off, quite a lot of noise gets muffled due to the construction of these ear-cup headphones, and the way they cover the ear.
  • Once turned on, listening to iTunes files on planes once again becomes a pleasure. They did the job for me.
  • It outputs loud bass, so for bass lovers on a budget, this is a great option. The press release states: “To create great sound quality, the GHP-04NC uses a 40mm unit driver.”
  • The headphones were reasonably comfortable, but not ideal. I did feel their pressure in certain spots. They weight 5.6 oz.
  • The headphones come with a nice carrying case, which can come in handy because they are bulky to carry or store.
  • According to press material, you can get up to 50 hours on two AAA Alkaline batteries. However, the green LED on-light can be easily missed. I wish the headphones turned off automatically after a period of non-use. Several times, after forgetting and leaving them on, I had to replace batteries.
  • The battery covers come off a little too easily. I almost lost them several times.
  • You can purchase them for $50 at the Genius eShop. According to the release, interested shoppers can go to New Egg.com, Amazon.com, Tiger Direct, Buy.com or other retailers and distributors listed at http://www.geniusnetusa.com/buy.php.
  • The headphones come with an airplane adapter, a quarter-inch headphone adapter, the case, and two AAA batteries.
I recommend them.


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Hal Goldstein (hal @ iphonelife.com) is the founder, partner, and Senior Editor of  iPhone Life. Hal founded Thaddeus Computing in May 1985, and remains CEO (www.thaddeus.com). Since its inception, Thaddeus Computing has written about, bought, and sold pre-owned mobile computers. Hal lives in Fairfield, Iowa, with his wife and co-founder, Rita.