Nicole, the writer of the ‘Passenger X’ blog, wrote about her experience with QuietOn active noise cancelling earplugs. The text has been translated from German into English. You can read German text at Nicole’s blog: http://passenger-x.de/allgemein/quieton/
I’ve been flying a lot in the last few months. This has not only been bad for my CO2 balance, but has often made me feel very strenuous. Use the flight to rest and sleep? I can’t do that. Too uncomfortable seats, too many people and, above all, too much noise. Conversations that take place around you and the eternal humming of the turbines. It doesn’t bother me massively, but I don’t really get enough rest either. Sometimes I use conventional earplugs, but even these are only of limited help.
When I was recently asked if I would like to try the electronic QuietOn earplugs, which promise the reduction of all noises but especially of those in the cabin area, I was curious and agreed for the test immediately.
I have tested them on both long-haul and domestic flights and now I want to tell you whether it’s worth buying them.
First of all, the function promised
QuietOns are active noise cancelling earplugs with noise reduction technology that promises an attenuation level of up to 40 dB. How does this work?
Active Noise Cancellation uses a microphone to pick up the sound and a loudspeaker to create a phase-shifted sound that eliminates the original sound, while QuietOn features the microphone that picks up the sound directly in the ear canal! This means that QuietOn can produce a more accurate ‘antisound’, which leads to good noise suppression at the eardrum. By placing the microphone in the air volume of the ear canal, QuietOn can also reduce sound that is conducted into the ear by the bone.”
The aim is to reduce the stress level generated by engine noise and air currents outside and inside the aircraft.
So basically electronic earplugs that analyze and counteract the sounds in your environment. That’s the promise. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
Do they work as promised?
At my first attempt I couldn’t notice much of a difference as there was a lot of noise coming through. That’s not how the product could have been thought of? So I took a look at the manufacturer’s video and realized: the error was with the user, so it was me. I simply hadn’t used them correctly.
The second time I followed the clues and instructions, which made it much better. It’s not that you wouldn’t hear anything at all, but all the noises are very muffled and in fact the turbine noises are much more pleasant. This is not a huge effect, but nevertheless remarkable. They are also very comfortable to wear. No unpleasant pressure, they fit in your ear really well. This made it possible for me to have a more relaxed flight.
Since the batteries last about 50 hours, you rarely need to charge them and if you do, the small storage box makes it easy to store them, because it can be connected directly to the charging cable – quite cool.
It’s a shame, though, that you can’t use these small technical marvels as headphones and connect them to your smartphone, for example. If that were possible, they would have convinced me 100%. So I always had to switch between headphones and QuietOns.
In addition, there is a pretty handsome price of 179 euros. What makes QuietOn a product that is of particular interest to frequent flyers, for whom even the small differences can have a big impact. In my opinion, they are less exciting for holidaymakers who would rarely use them.
For me they land in my hand luggage for the next flight, that’s for sure.