Noise cancelling headphones

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Planned obsolescence

Like for any consumer product, one has to be careful of planned obsolescence when purchasing (noise cancelling) headphones.

Check the following:

- Charger cable: make sure it is a standard USB/micro-USB cable.

- Audio cable: make sure it is a standard 3.5mm audio cable, or 2.5mm<=>3.5mm cable. For example, the Sony MDR-1000X use such a standard cable, but the Bose Quiet Comfort QC15 use a proprietary cable which, if broken, cannot be replaced, especially now that the QC15 is no longer on the market. 1

- Battery: nowadays, batteries for over-the-ear, wireless (bluetooth) headphones are embedded into the headset and cannot be replaced by a 3rd party. For most models, it is unknown which size the battery is, whether it's a standard size that could, eventually, be replaced by a 3rd party from part purchased elswhere. If the battery can no longer be replaced, beware that after a few years of use, it may not be possible to have a worn battery replaced.

- Ear muffs: even for the most expensive models, the ear muffs wear down very easily. They look nice and comfortable in the shop. After a few months of personal use, they will look more scruffy and the seams may break, leaving out the foaming contained inside. Some brands sell replaceable ear muffs, but availability is limited in time, and parts may no longer be available a few years after the product comes off the market.

  • 1. Based on personal experience - augustin.