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Old 03-23-2017, 08:13 PM   #1
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Solutions for blocking out background noise while working from the road

We're taking an 8 week trip this summer out West and I plan to work from the road for 6 of the 8 weeks. We have 2 girls who'll be 7 and 5 and a puppy. Has anyone found a good solution for blocking out noise while working in the Airstream? I'm on my cell phone or Skype meetings at least half of my day. I can always listen to music when I'm just working and not on a call, but really was hoping there'd be something that might also block out my background noise for those on the other end of my calls.

I did a lot of research on noise cancelling headphones that also supposedly had a noise cancelling microphone.... returning the pair I thought might work as the incremental improvement nowhere near justified the price.

Worse comes to worse I'll set up shop in the truck when I need peace and quiet. That's not ideal and was curious if someone had a better idea.

Thanks,
Eric
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:25 PM   #2
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My old jawbone headset did a great job blocking out background noise...but they don't make them anymore I don't think.
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:16 AM   #3
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That stuff is hard to do. You might look into some gaming headsets. I find gaming headsets they do a great job of that and sealing out outside down so the player is not distracted. I bought a pair of Astrogaming A50s and they work well. Some important features for gamers is to block outside noise, be able to hear very clearly whatever your speaking and produce excellent sound.

Your also going to pay for anything that does noise cancellation effectively.
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:17 AM   #4
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We have our tow vehicle set up so that privacy is available there. It helps that the TV is a full-sized van with a day bed, good stereo etc., but any tow vehicle can be a place of refuge. A cooler and a butane single burner cooktop unit make our van a "home away from home away from home" when we are on the road. With only a 20' AS, the van is an important asset.

You mention setting up in the truck. Could that arrangement be improved? How about an office tent? With a 30' AS at least you can be separated from the worst of the sound, but your kids may have a hard time respecting the "office time" as something you need to do. At least if you were in the truck, they could understand that interrupting you is not appropriate?

Good luck!

Peter
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Seinbelld View Post
Worse comes to worse I'll set up shop in the truck when I need peace and quiet. That's not ideal and was curious if someone had a better idea.

Thanks,
Eric
That's what I do for all phone calls. Not ideal in a pickup truck, and it can get hot in there!

For other times, I try to work outside the trailer at a picnic table or the like.

Giving serious thought to what OTRA15 does. Except we've already looked at high top Nissan NV's and would probably go that route.
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Old 03-24-2017, 11:09 AM   #6
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I agree that you'll need a separate space, for the sake of sanity as well as noise control. One owner on the B Van Forum has reported using the wet bath as a noise control strategy, at which point his spouse began referring to it as "the phone booth", but of course there's no air conditioning in there, and in some models, reportedly no outside wall insulation either, so in the summer it can easily climb over 100 degrees. Talk about a fate worse than death - trying to work out of a 100-degree lavatory.
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Old 03-24-2017, 11:39 AM   #7
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Headphones for Working on the Road

Have you considered David Clark helicopter pilot headphones? Go here:
http://www.mypilotstore.com/MyPilotStore/sep/641
They are costly ($322.00 on Amazon) but provide -23Db noise reduction and are very effective.
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:29 PM   #8
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Have you considered David Clark helicopter pilot headphones? Go here:
http://www.mypilotstore.com/MyPilotStore/sep/641
They are costly ($322.00 on Amazon) but provide -23Db noise reduction and are very effective.
But wouldn't the caller on the other end still hear all the background noise from the kids?
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:24 PM   #9
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The best are the Bose A20 Aviation headets with Bluetooth. Believe me, you won't hear anything outside and the sound is crystal clear. Pricey ($1000) and a bit heavy.

The other option is the Bose QC15's (lightweight and very comfortable), and there are bluetooth mics you can get to work with them. That's what I would go with.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:08 PM   #10
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But wouldn't the caller on the other end still hear all the background noise from the kids?
David Clarks are very good at noise cancellation. But they sound like a radio too.
And after a while your head feels like it's had a C-clamp on it.
Also, any aviation headset is designed to work in a radio, not the tiny 4 conductor jack of a cell phone.

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Bose A20 Aviation headets with Bluetooth
Nice! But for that money you could rent a space in an hotel business center.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:29 PM   #11
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I appreciate all your replies. That's kind of what I was afraid of. I had purchased a $300 Jabra headset similar to the Bose QC25 that was made for an office environment (think customer service) and I swear the callers could hear our dog more clearly when I wore those at home than my crappy iPhone headphones.

Outside is a great suggestion although I'm also reading that the cell booster I bought will work best when I'm inside the camper. I'll probably plan on the truck for now for "important" calls and then can just crank up Pandora while working and not on the phone.

Keep 'em coming if you have other suggestions. I'll tell you, first world problems!

Happy Friday,
Eric
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:05 PM   #12
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Calm down with CALM Radio.

Might try calm radio. (Calm.com) They have all types of background sounds, including music of all types.

Some of the sounds are meant to hide background like groups of people, kid shriek, etc.

It is internet radio and will stream to any device including Sonos units. Buy by the month, year of forever. Low load on data rates.


Best of luck.
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:27 PM   #13
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Outside hadn't worked well for me while on calls because of the random sounds from other campsites.

In the truck still works best.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:44 PM   #14
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if you never used sound cancelling headphones before, beware.

they actually increase the volume or SPL (Sound Pressure Level) inside the headset. WHY?
the take the exterior signal invert it and mix it with the signal inside. The sum of the two creates the signal for what the heaset will reduce. the net effect is the SPL inside goes up even though you don't hear the outside noise much.

some people get headaches after wearing the headset after a few hours. That is because your brain still reacts to the increased SPL and is like being at a rock concert.

Try to borrow a friend's sound cancelling headset before you buy one and find that your brain can't handle the sustained high SPL
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:27 PM   #15
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This is meant with good intention. If you feel this is none of our business please ignore and sorry for the intrusion into your family life.

Not to dig too deep into your personal life, but what will the other occupants be up to while you are "at work"?

There is more to consider than you projecting a professional face to your work counterparts.

There is also the day to day weariness that your spouse and children will feel when having to listen to you project your voice to speak as one has to do when on conference calls and remote-ins.

We were at the air port a couple of weeks ago and while waiting for our flight, another passenger engaged in some work calls in the gate area. I tell you, it was darn annoying to us. She was of course so focused on listening to the caller that she had no idea how obnoxious she was to the 50 others around her.

What is your expectation to help your family cope with this?

Is your plan to "kick out" your family during these calls? I feel that it is perhaps unrealistic for them to tip toe around just because you have a phone call, especially given their young ages. I am not sure how hot it will be where you plan to travel, but it may be a good idea for a stand alone tent to be part of your equipment. So that either you can go into it, or they can.

I think your strategy also would vary if you have intermittent calls vs 4 hours of calls in a row. And if your calls are 10-15 minutes, 30 minutes or less, or 1 to 2 hour meetings it will impact how others will need to work around them.

A nice shaded tent, with some floor cushions and books and toys and a dog bed and cooler would be easier on them then trying to be still and quiet inside.

I realize that your spouse may also take them on excursions throughout the day, but I assume that at least some of the time they will want an afternoon nap/rest time.

I wouldn't want to sit in my truck and work all day. I think it would be very uncomfortable.
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
if you never used sound cancelling headphones before, beware.

they actually increase the volume or SPL (Sound Pressure Level) inside the headset. WHY?
the take the exterior signal invert it and mix it with the signal inside. The sum of the two creates the signal for what the heaset will reduce. the net effect is the SPL inside goes up even though you don't hear the outside noise much.

some people get headaches after wearing the headset after a few hours. That is because your brain still reacts to the increased SPL and is like being at a rock concert.

Try to borrow a friend's sound cancelling headset before you buy one and find that your brain can't handle the sustained high SPL
With all due respect...no.
Here's how noise canceling headsets work. You are listening to music in a noisy environment, there's a baby crying near you. The headsets have a microphone on the inside and the outside. They are 180 degrees out of phase.
So the outside mic hears the baby and cancels the baby noise inside, but not the music, because only one mic hears the music.

It may appear that the music got louder, but it didn't. All the noise just went away. It can be dramatic if it's done well.
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:52 PM   #17
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Without being too helpful, many have heard my life in the background. It's never slowed business and actually made friends that know we are just people. Might not want to get too deep about it. Now that the kids are grown and gone, it's not an issue but if I take my dog to the warehouse and he barks, most often the question is what kind is he?
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Seinbelld View Post
We're taking an 8 week trip this summer out West and I plan to work from the road for 6 of the 8 weeks. We have 2 girls who'll be 7 and 5 and a puppy. Has anyone found a good solution for blocking out noise while working in the Airstream? I'm on my cell phone or Skype meetings at least half of my day. I can always listen to music when I'm just working and not on a call, but really was hoping there'd be something that might also block out my background noise for those on the other end of my calls.

I did a lot of research on noise cancelling headphones that also supposedly had a noise cancelling microphone.... returning the pair I thought might work as the incremental improvement nowhere near justified the price.

Worse comes to worse I'll set up shop in the truck when I need peace and quiet. That's not ideal and was curious if someone had a better idea.

Thanks,
Eric

Bose QC-15 Noise Cancelling headphones are amazing. You can plug them into your phone so you don't miss your calls, but external noises are gone!
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:16 AM   #19
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Bose QC-15 Noise Cancelling headphones are amazing. You can plug them into your phone so you don't miss your calls, but external noises are gone!
What do the people on the other end of your call hear through your microphone, in terms of nearby ambient noise inside the trailer, like screaming kids? The OP would prefer [IMO] to have his business callers experience a professional call, with a minimum of trailer noise "leaking into" the call. Tough to do inside an Airstream with a hard reflective interior.
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:45 AM   #20
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Noise canceling headphones won't help screaming kids from the standpoint of background noise picked up by a phone transmitting out. It only helps with the other half of the problem.

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