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Youa€™ll see an estimated delivery date - opens in a new window or tab based on the sellera€™s dispatch time and delivery service. This item will be sent through the Global Shipping Programme and includes international tracking.
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Most purchases from business sellers are protected by the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which give you the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days after the day you receive the item. By clicking Confirm bid, you are committing to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder and have read and agree to the Global Shipping Programme terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab. By clicking 1 Click Bid, you are agreeing to buy this item from the seller if you're the winning bidder. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month I caught up with Wolfson Microelectronics, who make digital converter chips and other audio components.
The origin of the technology here is in the company’s 2007 acquisition of Sonaptic Ltd, specialists in micro-acoustics, or in other words getting good sound from mobile devices.
The new Digital Silence range has three models, of which I have been testing the DS-421D, which is set for general availability shortly. What you get is a stereo headset with clip-on controller, spare ear foams, mini-jack adaptors to cope with the fact that some mobiles wire up their 4-pole mini-jacks differently, USB charging cable, and a black zip-up carrying case. The controller has a rechargeable battery, charged by a USB connection, and specified to last for 14 hours of playback. I also compared the DS-421D to a set of Sennheiser PXC 300 foldable noise-cancelling headphones.
The design of the DS-421D  is excellent in terms of technology, but I am not so sure about the ergonomics.
Visually, the design looks a bit geeky to me; not unattractive, but I can imagine the DS-421D losing out among the more fashion-conscious purchasers.
Wolfson’s noise-cancelling system is called myZone ANC (Ambient Noise Cancellation) which the company says uses “feed-forward, rather than the usual feedback systems”. The figure on the left is a feedback system where the microphone is placed between the loudspeaker and the ear.
The main problem with implementation is time-aligning the cancellation signal with the input signal.
By placing microphones at the rim of the headphone, the ambient noise signal can be acquired and driven to the loudspeaker in advance of its arrival at the eardrum, thus compensating for the intrinsic response time of the loudspeaker. The illustration in the paper shows a ring array of 5 microphones around each headphone, but since the DS-421D is a small earbud I doubt it has such an array.
Wolfson did not invent feed-forward as far as I know, so its innovation is in the area of how to achieve accurate time-alignment of the cancellation signal.
This entry was posted in audio, gadgets, mobile, reviews, Uncategorized and tagged audio, digital silence, noise-cancelling, wolfson on March 11, 2012 by Tim. If you live in a noisy area, you know the feeling well: you are exhausted after a long day, and you are ready for a few hours of sleep.
Besides the material, another way to gauge earplug functionality is by the noise reduction rating, or NRR. The most important thing to remember when looking for earplugs is that there are no ultimate earplugs.
Mack’s Ear Care noise cancelling earplugs for sleeping have a very effective NRR of 32 decibels.
I have been using these ear plugs for the past few years, and I don’t know how I got through a decade of marriage without them! These earplugs by 3M have the NRR of 29 so they are in the middle of the pack when it comes to the noise reduction rating.
If you’re using ear plugs on a daily basis there are a few guidelines you should follow to avoid ear inflammation and earwax build up (that might cause some hearing loss due to wax plugging the ear).
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Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount. They do not sell many products to end users, but are making an exception for the Digital Silence range of noise-cancelling headsets. In other words, microphones on the outside of the buds pick up external sounds, phase reverse them, and add them to the input signal so that you hear more of the music (or voice, if listening to a call) and less of the external sound. A switch on the controller enables ANC and lights a green LED to show that the battery is OK. My regular set are Shure SE210 noise-isolating (not cancelling) ear-buds which I find easily out-perform the ones that come free with smartphones and iPods. Don’t have unrealistic expectations, these will not deliver “digital silence”, but they will substantially reduce the noise.
The PXC 300 was slightly more effective in killing background noise, but the reason I tend to leave these at home is that they are bulky and use two AAA batteries which give out if I forget to switch them off. I used it for Skype on a Windows 8 tablet and it worked much better than using the built-in microphone. The length of cable between the ear buds and the controller is short, so you cannot clip the controller to your belt.
In the feed-forward system the microphone is external so that the external noise is detected, inverted and added to the input.
I cannot find a direct link, but if you go here and search for resources for the WM2002 you will find it. If you are planning on using your earplugs for sleep, it is crucial that they are comfortable.
This rating is quantified by decibels – the higher the number, the higher the noise protection. Sleeping with a snoring partner might be difficult, especially if you’re a light sleeper. All of the products mentioned in this guide have dozens of raving reviews and lots of people found those comfortable, easy to insert and effectively blocking noise.
In fact, these beige-colored earplugs boast low-pressure foam for increased comfort to go along with the superlative noise protection. With NRR of 32 decibels they will be great for anyone who’s a light sleeper or tries to sleep in a noisy environment. Although many other earplugs are also latex-free, the fact this is advertised on the packaging will provide peace of mind for those with allergies.
As all other ear plugs in this guide they’re praised for being comfortable and doing their job, that is blocking unwanted sounds.
Whether sanding, mowing the lawn, studying, doing work, or trying to sleep in a noisy place, this cut out almost all sound. While using plugs for the first couple nights will likely feel odd it should be comfortable.
If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable.
By default they are iPhone-ready, but will work with pretty much any mobile or player with a standard 3.5mm mini-jack output. Whether it is a truck driving by, somebody yelling, or even a barking dog, sleep is delayed and the noise does not necessarily go away. If they are not, it will be even more difficult to fall asleep, and you may wind up not wanting to use them at all. Keep in mind that if the NRR is too high (32 and above) it might block out the sound of your alarm.


If you can’t sleep or wake up many times during the night because of the snoring sounds, you definitely should do something about it. Reviewers seem uniformly impressed with both the comfort and functionality of these earplugs. When I get a good snug fit, I could study through the worst hours of a frat party without losing concentration. The are comfortable enough that in general I can have them in my ear and have my ear on the pillow.
In a quiet environment, you might also prefer not to use ANC in case it adds artefacts to the sound. No amount of noise cancellation would make them good if they were poor to begin with, and I suspect this fundamental good design is actually more important than the clever processing. The biggest difference is in the bass extension, but the sound is also smoother but without loss of clarity. There is also a slight change in the quality of the sound, for the better in my opinion, being a little richer than before.
Or, your spouse or neighbor is insisting on watching television into the wee hours of the morning, and the constant noise is making a trip to the land of slumber impossible. The only real drawback of these plugs is that they might block out too much sound, like emergency alarms or alarm clocks. However, a few reviewers have claimed that the noise protection is not all it is cracked up to be.
Besides using them for sleeping, many people use those when attending a concert, riding a motorcycle or in cinemas.
These earplugs do have mostly positive reviews for their comfort and utility, but some reviewers note that you need to be sure to read the instructions for wearing these earplugs carefully to avoid discomfort. Even though ear plugs in most cases are one-size-fits-all, everyone has their own preferences. These are the first ear buds I have used where you do not feel you are compromising by not using over the ear headphones. I used the DS-421D on an aeroplane and on the London Underground and had worthwhile results in both cases. Or maybe you work at night and the outside world is not sympathetic to your plight of needing to sleep during daytime hours. Of course your spouse should visit a doctor and start a treatment for snoring, but it might take some time for effects to show. His life improved, too, since he was allowed to sleep comfortably on his back without me pushing at him all night. This is important for comfort but even more important because if they do not fit well the plugs cannot do their job: keeping out sounds. Ones with NRR between 27 and 29 should do the job well without making your nearest surroundings seem silent so you can still hear your significant other talking to you. If any of these situations are familiar to you, there is a solution: noise cancelling earplugs for sleeping. If, on the other hand, you need to sleep for a few hours during the day and you live near a construction site, choosing more powerful earplugs (with NRR of 30 and above) is the way to go. Fourth, clean your ear plugs after every use and once the plug starts losing its initial shape get rid of it and use a new one.
Of course earplugs are inexpensive so if you’re not sure just buy a few pairs with various NRR ratings and test them out to figure out which ones work the best for you.



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