Noise Cancelling Headphones?

Have re-sound aids.
I have trouble with comprehension mostly with TV. Somewhat telephone. Bluetooth from TV helps but I worry that it’s just over amplified making my hearing worse.
I’m considering noise cancelling headphones - especially after a recent flight - to block road noise etc.
I see them anywhere from $69 to over $1000. Suggestions???
Also I have read about using them with HAs. I’m thinking of bluetooth the headphones to TV without the HAs.
Comments / experiences appreciated.
Thanks, David

Turn the volume down?

Wouldn’t that be ‘over amplified’?


You would have to turn the volume up so it’ll be over amplified?

I have a Sony WH-1000XM4 and can use them both with and without my P90 HA’s . There is an app for the phone that allows equalizer adjustments, so they can be set to use with or without the HA’s.
My wife has a similar set from Bose which she uses, (she has good hearing, but hears the TV better with them). Both are blue tooth.


David, I have some questions. First, why do you want to specifically use “noise cancelling” headphones when you’re watching TV? Are there other sounds in the place (fan noise, etc.) that are interfering? If so, I suggest passive (closed, over-ear) headphones. Active noise cancellation cans produce a different noise at a wavelength that ‘cancels out’ your perception of the other noise, but both noises will still be producing volume into your ears. Passive cans simply seal out the outer noises somewhat, like noise reduction muffs (but not as much reduction). If you don’t have background noises to block out, then open-back headphones will do the job just fine (I like my venerable Sennheiser HD 600 cans, they have very faithful sound reproduction).

Second, why do you want bluetooth headphones when wired cans will reproduce sound more faithfully? BT introduces compression and other losses. I have a long extension cord for my headphones and have used this with my TV on occasion (but mostly I just turn on subtitles and be done with it). Be aware also that if you want the TV speaker to still produce sound (let’s say for bass effect or for the sake of others in the room), then you’ll need cans that feature a particular type of BT codec called APTX Low Latency (LL); otherwise there will be a lag between the main speaker and your headphones, producing nasty echo effect that muddies the hearing.


You’re not thinking of wearing them while driving, I hope!

Bose and Sony are the popular choices in the 2-3 hundred range.
Do you value sound quality over N/C? If so, Sennheiser is the choice.

Biggest problem is lip sync, but with the higher quality cans, you may be ok.

Actually most active noise cancellation uses the principal of destructive interference so the noise is actually reduced not just your perception of it.

I think some very early noise cancellation used pink noise or similar which might be what you mean.

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I use Bose Quiet Comfort headphones. They are BT enabled, you operate the volume from your phone. They are great I love them.

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I use headphones without HAs & use a equalizer played through a hi-fi which has a five band equalizer.
I only do this while watching TV by myself, all bass is turned down & all treble turned up works for me. If my wife is watching, she will use the sound bar.

Good it works for you.

I can’t hear a thing without my Aids.

OP didn’t show his hearing loss so hard to know.

I can’t speak to all your concerns but I would avoid noise canceling headphones while driving as they may cause you to miss the noise of approaching sirens until quite late.

First of, it all depends on a few things.

Type of noise cancelling:

  1. Active-noise cancelling - Uses batteries and applies a inverse sound wave to environmental sounds to cancel out any environmental noise. Most fall into this category.
  2. Passive-noise cancelling - Uses pads and headset pressure to block incoming noise instead of batteries and inverse sound waves. Think hearing protection for noisy environments like shops.

Type of headset:

  1. Over the ear
  2. On the ear
  3. In the air

Type of sound delivery:

  1. Wired
  2. Wireless

The best, hands down, noise cancelling I’ve ever experienced has been the “Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Earbuds” They are wired, but wow, they will cancel out everything.

However, a close second is the Apple Air Pods Pro. They are wireless/bluetooth, and do an amazing job at active noise cancellation.

If you’re looking for over-the-ear headphones, Bose QuietComfort 45 are pretty good. Over the ear will always be worse than in-the-ear if you wear glasses. Something to think about. It’s still good, but not near as good as in-the-air. The advantage of over the ear is that they are more comfortable.

If you fly a lot, you may also want to consider how you’d use some of the wireless/bluetooth units with a 3.5mm jack for airplanes. You can purchase dongles/adapters.

My wife has hearing difficulty and has worn aids for years. She currently has ReSound with a bluetooth enabled TV using a ReSound MultiMic. It is quite good she claims.

But, when she wants to especially listen to an important to her program, she uses a pair of Sennheiser HDR-120 headphones. They are so good she occasionally hears background on-set conversations not intended to be heard. Music and speech are far improved. They are wireless so she can walk around the house - far beyond the bluetooth range - and hear a program while she is doing something else.

There is no need for noise cancellation - background noise is not usually an issue with TV, only your ability to distinctly hear sounds, especially the voices of women.

We have a similar setup elsewhere in our home using a Sony headphone setup. Also wireless but not nearly as good as the Sennheiser HDR-120s.

We have had these units for several years so there may be new models - but not necessarily better. Buy them from someplace easily returnable because they must fit and feel comfortable to be of any value.


I’m often using a Bose QC35 II and my HA are Phonak P90.
When i’m wearing both, i’ve got sometimes larsen, and the HA’s behavior is not good. This come from the fact the microphones of the HA are very close to the headset leather.
The solution is to put the HA off and only wear the BT Headset. An EQ can be setup on my phone (Redmi note 10 pro). The EQ is set from a kind of hearing test. Very efficient, and specific to left/right (useful when you have a loss on one side). But i don’t think you can do it on a TV, and i don’t know any headset that could include an EQ inside.

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I also use the Sennheiser phones. I have a separate speaker output on my receiver that I can use to drive the Sennheisers, My normal setup is aids and TV volume. If I’m having trouble hearing I use the Sennheisers with my aids. For movies (where speech is often not clear) I’ll turn on subtitles with one of the first two options.

I also use Resound aids (Jabra Enhance from Costco, which are rebranded Resound One). I also wear glasses.
Headphones definitely improve listening to music or speech (eg, in videos), but you need to get headphones that fit properly over your aids. You should look for over-the-ear rather than on-the-ear headphones, with soft padding on the cups. To minimize ambient sounds, you want closed back rather than open-back.
I use Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro headhones (About $150) for listening to music or watching videos at my desk. Excellent sound and very comfortable over my aids and glasses.
I also have a pair of Sony MH-1000XM3 (about $350, superseded by nearly identical MH-1000XM4) bluetooth noise cancelling headphones which I use for watching TV or working outdoors. My wife, who has excellent hearing, likes the Sony headphones to watch TV by herself without bothering me.

If we’re getting into audiophile headphones now talking about Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser, then I’d like to recommend Drop Headphones | Audiophile | Drop . Many of Drop’s headphones are rebranded Sennheiser for a quarter of the price. I have a pair of HD6XX and they are the same Sennheiser HD650 at a fraction of the price. They are not noise-cancelling, and they are open-back, so they aren’t exactly what the OP was asking about, but figured I’d at least mention to check out Drop. I’m a big fan.

Also: Be aware that a lot of these audiophile headphones will require an external amp to drive them. If you are interested in headphones that are like 200-300 ohms, please do your research to see if you’ll need an external amp to drive them.

I’m going to put in a plug for Audera headphones. They come with an ap that lets you “test” your hearing. The playback is then adjusted to your hearing. These devices have been great for me as they allow me to do a hearing test anytime I need an objective view of how my hearing is (it fluctuates). They will pair with any bluetooth transmitter. I use mine mostly at night when the hearing aids come out and I’m watching TV in bed. I don’t want to fall asleep with my rechargable hearing aids in so my nightime routine is to take the aids out and put them in their charger and use the headphones if I want to watch some TV. For all other TV viewing the Phonka TV connector can’t be beat!

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Sennheiser RS-135 is a great headphone for TV. Have been using them over a decade usually without hearing aids, but sometimes with. Very comfortable even for extended wear. And cheap, like $99.

They are RF, not Bluetooth. Only downside is that they connect to TV with RCA cables. You can buy converter if that doesn’t work. Upside is that you can listen through headphones with tv or sound bar volume on or off (controlled independently). This means your spouse or friends can listen at their preferred volume and you at yours.

I also have the Sony noise canceling wireless WH-1000XM that I use for travel. They are great on airplanes, but definitely less comfortable.

I sent mine back. They just sounded muddy to me. This was a few years ago and they don’t seem to have updated their model. Anyway, I’m glad to see that my return didn’t send them over the edge into bankrupcy.

Edit: Sorry, there is a new model. Mine was the A-01. They’re selling both A-01 and A-02.