For Christmas Roberta and the girls got me a set of Bose Quiet Comfort 15 headphones with noise cancellation.

Bose Quiet Comfort Headphones

Due to very low tolerance of people who are all talk and no work, my office has been in the data center for the last year or so. I actually share an office with about 500-550 or so pizza box style servers. Needless to say, it’s a bit loud at times. WHAT DID YOU SAY?? I CAN’T HEAR YOU!

Here is a view taken from my desk that shows some of the systems near me.

From Monterey Living

Anyhow, Roberta is getting tired of my always saying “What?” whenever she asks a question.

I had a cheap pair of ~$20 noise cancelling headphones that only took out the low-frequency sounds (like the rumble of an airplane). Unfortunately the Dell servers have high-pitched fans that make a heck of a lot of higher frequency noise and the cheap headphones only toned it down a bit. Maybe 25% or so. I would have to set my iPod on about 3/4 volume to listen to my music and be able to hear it decently when I was working on systems.

Well, today was the first day I took the Bose QC15 headphones in to work with me.  When you first turn them on it almost feels like your ears pop, like with altitude. But the volume of sound from the servers drops by about 75% or so. I was standing between two rows of servers for about 5 hours total today (300-350 servers within 20 feet of me) and was comfortably listening to my music on the iPod at 1/3 volume. It wasn’t until I took the headphones off to try to speak with someone who walked in that I noticed how loud it was where I was standing. LIKE REALLY LOUD!  We actually had to go to a different section of the room to chat.

So far I’m pretty happy with the Bose headphones. I might actually have some hearing left in a year. My impression so far is that these are by far the best noise cancelling headphones I’ve tried for data center frequency noise. Definitely worth the steep $300 asking price, if they last a couple of years.