Philips cancels noise with or without the wires

The one thing outside of a change of clothes we always have with us in the air is noise cancelling headphones, but while these tend to be expensive, Philips is looking into options to bring down the cost.

And the move to bring down the cost is going to happen depending on how much you like cables and how much you, well, don’t.

The Gibson Innovations-owned Philips is this week revealing two models of active noise cancelling headphones for release in Australia, with one made for people who like cables and saving a bit of money and the other for people who might prefer going wireless on the day-to-day.


First up is the SHL3850NC, a compact pair of folding active noise cancellation cans powered by a single AAA battery that can play music for up to 40 hours through 32mm neodymium drivers on each ear.

Philips has engaged what it calls “ActiveShield” technology for the noise cancellation side of things, relies on two noise sensors to cancel out 97 percent of background noise, though the company doesn’t say much of what else is employed in the headphones.

In any case the 3850NC headphones can be found in Officeworks for a recommended retail price of $129.95, and they are wired only, powering the noise cancellation with a small switch on the headphones.


If, perhaps, you prefer your noise cancellation without wires, an option will be offered pretty much taking the same headphones but adding in Bluetooth transmission and replacing the AAA battery with a rechargeable microUSB battery.

A microphone is built into the headset and Bluetooth multi-pairing will let you play music and receive calls from up to two devices at the same time wirelessly, but if you do need a cable connect, a 3.5mm cable is found in the box complete with an airline adaptor.


But by and large, these are the same headphones, although the wireless option does get NFC for easy pairing on compatible devices, such as those running Google Android or Windows Phone.

The addition of wireless does raise the cost of the headphones, with this variant — the SHB8850NC — costing $199.95, with Harvey Norman joining Officeworks for selling these headphones.