My greatest problem is background noise, either from airplanes or road traffic. So far I had not found little noise cancelling earbuds to actually cancel noise at all, let alone as much as the larger earphones. Finally I tried the Sony mdr-nc22 which actually seem to work.
Half of the benefit is the in-ear configuration. I normally hate how those feel, but this design is quite elaborate to fit nicely. So they are bearable, and block a lot of noise even without the cancelling powered up. Then you flick on the aaa batttery powerpack and it actually makes a difference (unlike an off brand model).
It’s a little hard to quantify the difference because there is a transition phase when you flick it on, but you can sure tell a difference. I was so skeptical that I decided someone had turned off an a/c machine rather than the earbuds supressing it’s noise. You can really tell walking by lots of traffic… there can be a weird hush at times making you wonder if you could get run over (some sounds still get thru clearly like wind noise or motorcycle engines).
Well, thought some might like a break from the whinefest from a product (sansa-clip) in end of life support mode, and a possible way to boost satisfaction. (yes, I did post this elsewhere too, in case you noticed it)