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The Best Noise Cancellation for Both Ears

Mon Jul 3, 2006 - 6:09 PM EDT - By Harv Laser

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Would you recommend theBoom Quiet Stereo Headset?
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Product Info
> Name theBoom Quiet Stereo Headset
> Company UmeVoice
> Tested with Sprint Treo 650, 700p, XP laptop, Sony receiver
> Fact Sheet & User Opinions
> Available
> $274.95


theBoom Quiets fold and unfold in a number of ways:

This was, at first, a bit confusing, since unlike normal headphones, the headband is double-hinged in the middle, between two thick, soft pads. Unfold them one way to wear them; the headband expands and contracts about an inch and a half above each cup to fit different sized heads. Fold them to put them back in the hard case, fold them another way almost literally into a ball to plop them in the vinyl pouch. All of this is illustrated with photos in the manual.

The first thing you'll need to do is slide open the door on the outside of the left earcup and insert the two batteries that power the ANR circuitry. Since this door is hinged, you can't misplace it.

On the edge of that left earcup is a rotary volume wheel. This controls the headphone volume only, plus a power slide switch with a green LED (ANR circuitry on and off), a port labeled "mic" (plug theBoom microphone in there), and another port labeled "audio in" (plug the appropriate cable into that one, depending on whether you intend to use the Quiets as a phone headset or Stereo headphones).

There are no controls or jacks on the right earcup at all, and those on the left one are easily operated by feel once you learn where they are.


Just put them on, flip the ANR switch and mask out low frequency noise for some peace and quiet. You don't get TOTAL silence but the ANR really knocks out ambient irritants like leaf blowers, fans, screaming rug rats, and especially low frequency noise and hum on an airplane, train, or road noise. Note: driving with headphones on is illegal just about everywhere, but as a passenger, a flip of the switch and you can relax and get some quiet, restful sleep.

You can use theBoom Quiets in many ways:
  • Sitting here in Summer's heat with a two foot box fan blowing on me just feet away, I put on the Quiets, flipped the switch, and the loud fan's roar hushed to a faint whisper. When using them purely for noise reduction, you don't get total silence. They're not ear plugs. You can still hear the phone or doorbell ring. Remember, the Quiets do triple duty: they tremendously reduce low frequency, irritating ambient noise, they let you speak on your phone in a whisper and be clearly heard in a noisy place, and they're very high quality stereo headphones for audio pleasure.
  • Plug in the appropriate combo of cable and jack and you have full range high quality stereo headphones for music or any kind of audio reproduction, from virtually any sound source you can think of. The Quiets deliver beautiful high fidelity dynamics, especially those satisfyingly thunderous, low bass fundamentals, although I think my Sony V6s have slightly crisper highs, but just fiddle with your sound source's tone controls or equalizer and I think you'll agree the Quiets are VERY acceptable as your primary headphones.
  • Plug in theBoom mic and you have the same noise canceling bliss of the other theBoom models, whether you use them with your Treo, or jack them into your laptop to make IP calls with a service like Skype, but unlike the other theBoom models, you'll hear your caller in the middle of your head in mono coming from both earcups' speakers. VOIP with a laptop requires a dual jack PC cable, sold separately.
Featuring UmeVoice's patented noise canceling technology for the mic, theBoom Quiet lets you be heard clearly regardless of the level of background noise.

theBoom Quiets even help protect your hearing from loud noises but without the bulk of many ANR headsets, like those worn by pilots.

The specially designed noise-reducing speaker domes have a soft, thickly padded "pleather" covering that fits firmly over ears for optimal seal.

Complaints? Not many

I generally prefer headphones with coiled cords, like the Sonys. The Quiets use a long, thin cable instead. It's not a big deal, just a personal preference.

There's no audible beep or warning indicator to let you know when the batteries driving the ANR circuitry are about to conk out except the little green LED won't light when you throw the switch, so on a trip, carry some extra AAAs with you. You should get dozens of hours of continuous use out of a fully charged pair.

I asked for, but was unable to get frequency response specs from UmeVoice, nor could I find out how many speakers are in each earcup, or their size. But compared to my Sonys, as stereo headphones, my subjective opinion is that the Quiets produce very high quality audio across the full spectrum of sound.

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