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4:26pm on Monday, 27th July, 2015:
I finally snapped and bought some noise-cancelling headphones so I can work when my father-in-law wants to watch Bargain Hunt and anyone else wants to watch whatever they've recorded from the SyFy channel. I specifically didn't want wireless, because there's some kind of interference I get on the audio from wireless headsets in my office. I'd have preferred over-ear rather than on-ear, but I couldn't find any that were reasonably-priced. I'd have also liked them to be powered from my PC through a USB interface or something, so I wouldn't have to keep buying AAA batteries, but it doesn't seem such headphones exist.
I went for Sony MDR-ZX110NA Overhead Noise Cancelling Headphones - Black, because they weren't expensive and the reviews were good.
There's a definite difference between when I have the noise cancellation switched on and when I don't, but in the end the main way of escaping the distraction is how loud the music I play through the headphones is, not whatever noise cancellation it's doing.
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