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Sennheiser CXC 700 In-ear Active Noise-Cancelling Headphone Review$229.95
The Sennheiser CXC 700s are interesting in that they have three separate modes of active noise cancellation that you can choose from. Using the one that blocked out the most noise (in our labs), you can see something bizarre happen. For whatever reason, and against all logic, turning the active cancellation unit on actually makes the attenuation worse than the passive attenuation in some ways. We struggled to explain this phenomenon away, but the only conclusion we could come to is that because of the selected destructive interference pattern, additional noise must have been pumped into the ear canal by the headphones.
Overall, though, the Sennheiser CXC 700s do attenuate noise fairly well, dropping total sound pressure levels (SPL) down by an average of just over 19dB, which is a substantial reduction.
There are no issues of leakage with the Sennheiser CXC 700, so you should be safe blasting your favorite tunes without disturbing others in public.
Maximum Usable Volume
While it is theoretically possible for you to listen to your Sennheiser CXC 700s at a level exceeding 125dB without reaching a 3% level of distortion, we strongly advise you not to even come close to approaching that volume. Nobody wants to lose their hearing over a pair of headphones, especially not audiophiles.