Why You Need a Pair of Noise Canceling Earbuds

Think back to your last flight.  Did you notice the frequent flyer with a nice pair of the Bose noise canceling headphones?  Over the years, I kept seeing these headphones on flights, but never understood why people seemed to love them so much.  For my birthday last month, I got a pair of Bose noise canceling earbuds (specifically, I got the QuietComfort 20i).  If you’re serious about focusing and getting your work done, you need a pair of these!

I have found three primary benefits to using noise canceling headphones.  

First, even with the earbuds, I’ve found that they truly do a remarkable job reducing background noise.  Whether the loud background noise from an airplane engine or people walking down the hall outside my office, these headphone almost completely eliminate this noise and distraction.  They aren’t great at eliminating people talking such as a person sitting behind you on a plane.  But they do a great job on those small noises that can cause you to lose focus on what you’re trying to get accomplished.

Second, the noise canceling headphones mean that you can listen to music at a much lower volume.  In the past, I would often turn up the volume to try to drown out other noises.  After a little while, I would find the loud music would start giving me a headache or become a distraction itself.  With the noise canceling technology cutting down the outside noise, I can listen to music at a reasonable volume helping me stay productive longer.

Finally, the headphones have proven to be a great trigger for getting work done.  When I put them on, it means I’m serious about accomplishing the task in front of me.  It is useful when writing or working on other creative activities to be able to focus through a routine.  Putting in the headphones and getting to work can be a valuable part of a work focusing habit.

The biggest downside to noise canceling headphones is the cost as they can run between $200-$300.  Given the cost of other high quality headphones, I believe it is worth the additional investment to get the noise canceling component.

Regarding the pair that I have, the Bose QuietComfort 20i, I have nothing but good things to say.  The earbuds are incredibly comfortable and I wondered if the noise canceling would work without the large over the ear nature of their other headphones.  I normally don’t put much stock in company advertisements but this one from Bose is very much what it is like to wear these earbuds (see the video about halfway down this page).

If you’re looking for a great way to keep out distracting noise while you get your work done, I highly recommend the Bose QuietComfort 20i noise canceling earbuds.