Do noise cancelling phones actually protect the wearer’s hearing from loud noises like lawn mowers or do they simply make sub-damaging decibel (<85 db) levels less annoying? If they don’t protect the wearer’s hearing from loud, damaging db levels, is this important to you?
I tried my QC35s for the first time mowing this weekend and they didn’t do anything. Aside from being much more entertained while mowing it certainty wasn’t worth the money. Good thing they’re awesome on planes.
While mowing my lawn, I use a pair of Bluetooth headphones, with a set of 3M ear protectors (the earmuff style) over the top of them. The Bluetooth headphones were like $25 on Amazon, and the ear protectors were even less than that
I’ve owned noise cancelling headphones in the past, 18 years ago, and while I’m sure they are better now they really only work with more or less constant frequency sounds. Aircraft drone, noise from a fan etc. I’m not certain that lawn mower noise is constant enough to have them work well. If you buy some, make sure that they can be returned if you’re not satisfied.
When I mow I use a set of radio earmuffs. This is the set I have now and they deaden the mower’s engine and blade noise to a comfortable level.
The big headphones that totally cover the ear will provide a fair bit of noise dampening on their own. Go on homedepot.com and search for “bluetooth ear muffs” and you’ll find a few that are meant for yard work. I would expect most of the noise cancellation comes from the fact that they are safety earmuffs designed to block out external noise rather than sophisticated electronics canceling the sound.
The really expensive noise cancellation are great if you need total silence. I love flying with them. You don’t realize how much more relaxing it is when it’s quiet versus hearing the roar of the engines. But the expensive ones really aren’t designed for the harshness of yard work, so they probably wouldn’t hold up.
Not noise-cancelling, but I’ve mowed the lawn wearing Skullcandy Hesh 2 wireless headphones and could hear my podcast just fine. Also worn them while power washing, running a table saw, using a hammer drill, etc. Might be over $50, but under $70.
I have a pair of Bose QC35’s but as others mentioned I would never wear them while doing manual labor like mowing the lawn. They’re great on planes and I travel frequently for business. Personally when mowing I just use some cheap ear-buds to listen to music. Prior to the Bose QC35’s, I had a pair of Sony noise cancelling headphones that were cheaper and I’d be less worried about using them while mowing the lawn. I don’t think they were less than $50.00 but definitely less than $100.