Noise-cancelling headphones are simply headphones that reduce unwanted noise. They are specifically designed to eliminate ambient sounds. Generally, these devices have active control engineering. As a result, they significantly eliminate unwanted noise. So, the wearer ends up enjoying their music, without even raising the volume excessively.
Noise-cancelling headphones are increasingly becoming popular. This is because noise is everywhere. Whether you are commuting, in a place, office setup, or simply within your neighborhood, you will still come across the noise. However, constantly exposing your ears to these noises is dangerous. You may end up suffering from hearing loss temporarily or permanently. Besides that, you may end up with reduced productivity. However, the use of noise-cancelling headphones can help to minimize these unwanted frequencies.
Why Is It So Popular In Noisy Workplaces
This century has been characterized by massive changes. Virtually, every aspect of human life has significantly changed. This change has indeed led to the development of personal protective equipment. A lot of people are working in offices and industries at the moment. So, they are frequently exposed to intense noises. Besides that, industries are characterized by low-frequency noises. All these are seriously harmful to human health, especially the ears.
To reduce the side effects of these frequencies, people are now wearing noise-cancellation headphones. These devices help to enhance the hearing safety of workers. They help to significantly reduce the intensity of noise waves entering the ear.
It should be noted that passive protection is absolutely important. This is particularly beneficial against high and mid-frequency noise. Low-frequency noise waves are normally generated by motors, fans, and engines. They are also extremely challenging. Additionally, they easily penetrate the passive barriers including cement walls.
To reduce their frequency, it’s important to use Active Noise Reduction technique. This involves the use of anti-noise gadgets such as active noise cancellation headphones. They electronically couple noise waves with the exact mirror image. As a result, the noise ends up being cancelled.
Generally, these devices are popular in noisy workplaces because they aid concentration. Noise usually causes interference and leads to low concentration. Besides that, they lead to better productivity. When you are disrupted, it’s difficult to be productive. Lastly, they help to protect the ears.
How Do Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones Work?
These headphones simply use noise-cancelling technology. It helps to significantly reduce distracting background noise. These headphones are exceptionally comfortable. As a result, they provide wearers with a restful and extremely conducive environment. This is particularly beneficial in areas with high ambient noise. Generally, noise-cancellation headphones have components which aid their functionalities. So, how do they work?
- The Microphone
These headphones usually feature miniature microphones. They are ideally placed in the earpiece. So, they normally end up “listening” or picking up ambient noise. This could be human chatter, traffic, engines, and background noise, etc. These microphones carefully “listen” to external sounds that can’t be passively blocked.
- Noise-Cancelling Circuitry
It’s a type of electronics in the earpiece. This circuitry creates a noise-cancelling wave that is 180° out of phase with the ambient noise. As a result, it creates a wave that acts like a noise eraser. It perfectly cancels out the annoying sounds within the surrounds. However, it doesn’t diminish audio you want to hear. So, you will end up in a peaceful enclave where you can conveniently enjoy your favorite music.
This is where the “anti-sound” created by circuitry is directly channeled. They unwanted waves seamlessly combine with the normal audio. The speaker, therefore, aids in the erasure of the unwanted noise. It causes destructive interference. However, it doesn’t interfere with the desired sound waves in the headphones.
It should be noted that noise-cancelling electronics are usually battery-powered. Some of them have replaceable batteries. So, you have to replace them once the energy is depleted. Alternatively, there are those with rechargeable batteries.
Why Noise Cancelling Headphones Don’t Block Voices
Many people usually buy these headphones with the hope that they’ll effectively block noise. However, most of the times they end up hearing noise still. It should be noted that this is a common occurrence. Well, there are instances where the noise may also seem amplified. But what could be the reason?
Well, it’s because of the current active noise cancelling technology. The technology perfectly works for frequencies which are below 500 Hz. Additionally, they can also eliminate noise up to 1000 Hz. However, they are some workplaces which are extremely noisy. This includes large industrial sites with heavy machines. So, sufficiently eliminate heavy noise becomes impossible. The current ANC doesn’t effectively support anything above 1000 Hz.
The frequency range for understanding human speech starts at around 500 Hz. on the other hand, there are important bands for speech intelligibility. They are categorized such as 500 Hz, 1000Hz, 2000 Hz, and 4000 Hz. So, anything above 1000 Hz can’t be contained.
Different Types of Noise Cancelling Headphones
A noisy workplace can be annoying. You have to listen to workmates engaging. Besides that, you have to listen to their interactions with clients. Overall, there are lots of movements and noise in workplaces.
It should be noted that all headphones can somehow block noise. However, those with noise-cancellation technology are effectively beneficial. There are multiple types of these headphones. These devices are usually available in Bluetooth wireless headphones. Below are some of the different types of noise cancelling headphones?.
Incidental Noise Cancellation Headphones
It’s found in most basic headphones. It should be noted that they make no real attempt to actively reduce noise. Therefore, you can hear noise from the surrounding environment. They simply introduce new audio at a closer range. As a result, they cause your ears to focus on the audio. Manufacturers of incidental noise cancellation headphones don’t specifically concentrate on external noise. Note that they are usually cheap hence they’re attractive to most people.
Passive Noise Cancellation Headphones
This is indeed the most common type of noise cancellation headphones. It should be noted that they are sometimes referred to as noise isolating devices. Overall, these devices usually have noise inhibiting features. For instance, their shapes, design, as well as material are gatekeepers. They efficiently block noise from reaching the ears.
Passive noise canceling headphones also known as “Over Ear Headphones” are usually bulky. This is because they are importantly made for noise isolating purposes. So, they fully cover your ears. Additionally, they also have extra passing to effectively drown out outside noise. Overall, they allow you to fully focus on the incoming sound from speakers. However, they are not great for prolonged use. This is because they are too bulky. As a result, you may end up with discomfort or fatigue.
Active Noise Cancellation Headphones
They use the latest technology. These devices use their shape and design to effectively mute external noise. Furthermore, they go a step ahead to actively cancel noise. It should be noted that they have an inbuilt audio processor. This is an absolutely important component that cancels noise. The audio processor detects and carefully analyzes sound patterns. Thereafter, they cancel the noise by generating an anti-noise signal. This is a significantly unique technique that mirrors the incoming external noise.
Generally, ANC headphones effortlessly remove constant noise. These include varieties from the lower ranges such as white noise. Moreover, they also help to eliminate other low-frequency sounds. Overall, these devices are helpful in muting traffic, engine noise, constant humming, and human chatter.
Passive noise-reducing headphones do not offer active noise-cancelling benefits. Instead, they have closed-backs achieve passive noise-reduction. This means that they act by physically covering the ears. As a result, they help block out external noises. Generally, passive noise-reducing earphones offer an in-ear design. This includes an acoustic seal that helps to block background noise. Additionally, it allows for increased fidelity at lower volume levels.
What Type of Noise Cancellation Is Right for You?
Well, there is no one specific answer to this. This is because there are numerous factors to consider. Generally, it all depends on what you want and your budget. Do you want to use the device to mute human chatter or watch movies? Besides that, do you want to use it in traffic?
Decide on the Type of Headphones You Want
Do you want active or passive noise cancelling headphones? Alternatively, do you want a device with an adaptive mode? Well, these factors can help you understand what noise cancelling headphone is good for you.
This is definitely another factor to consider. How much are you willing to part with? Overall, the more costly a device is, the better it is. So if you want to have to effectively cancel out audio, be fully prepared to spend more.
- Battery Life
Noise-cancelling devices normally use batteries. So, the model you choose should have good battery life. For instance, check if the headphones have replaceable batteries or not. This is indeed important in determining battery life.
Noise cancelling headphones should certainly provide you with privacy. Sound leaks can be annoying especially when you are on a call. This becomes even worse when you are in a public space. So, thoroughly check the device to determine its efficiency in offering privacy.
Benefits of Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise-cancelling headphones can effectively detect ambient noise. They are indeed “anti-noise” because they perfectly eliminate destructive interference. Overall, they significantly reduce the frequency of external noise. So, are you thinking of getting these headphones? Well, below are some of the reasons why you should clearly get them.
- They Reduce Hearing Loss
Frequently exposing yourself to high-intensity sound is very dangerous. However, this is a common problem in modern society. As a result, most people end up suffering from Noise Induced Hearing Loss. This problem is normally experienced by people in noisy workplaces. It should be noted that thousands of people suffer from this condition. Furthermore, some suffer from permanent hearing damage.
However, you can reduce hearing loss with noise cancelling headphones. They help to effortlessly cut out excessively loud noise. Additionally, you can hear music properly without having to feel unsafe.
- Reducing Stress
This is importantly another benefit of these devices. Costly exposing your ears to intense noise can cause stress. For instance, a lot of city dwellers are usually stressed and irritable. Medically, this is usually attributed to a high-level of noise. Studies indicate that people in noisy neighborhoods have significantly high chances of suffering from stress.
On the other hand, low-level noise exposure is also harmful. This type of noise is commonly found in corporate settings. People who are frequently exposed to it have high chances of suffering heart attacks. However, using noise cancellation headphones can help to reduce stress. Well, this is because they help to create a noiseless environment. Overall, people who normally use these devices are typically less stressed and anxious.
- Improved Concentration
Noise is generally destructive. If you are in a work setting, it may lead to less productivity. Well, this is because of noise causes interference and loss of focus. As a result, it makes it difficult to concentrate. However, using an anti-noise device such as these headphones can lead to better focus. Overall, they help to promote productivity at work.
- Reduced Stress
Almost 60 percent of Americans suffer from sleeping problems. This is according to the National Sleep Foundation. Well, ambient noise is undoubtedly the number one cause of sleeplessness. This may be from wind, snoring partner, background music, neighborhood parties, and traffic, etc. By using noise-cancelling headphones, you significantly reduce ambient noise. As a result, you will end up enjoying a better quality of sleep. These devices normally create relatively good sleep environments.
Disadvantages of Noise-cancelling Headphones
Noise-cancelling headphones are great. They eliminate unwanted noise and as a result promote a better work environment. Besides that, they make it easier for you to sleep. This is because they significantly reduce ambient noise. However, they also have disadvantages such as:
- They are Costly
These devices are definitely not like common headphones. They have extremely complex features. Generally, noise-cancelling headphones are complex. As a result, they are more expensive than standard headphones. Well, this is due to the additional costs of implementing the noise-cancelling technology.
- Low Audio Quality
These devices heavily depend on noise-cancelling circuitry. Without this, they cannot effectively function. However, this circuitry can interfere with audio quality. There are extremely high chances of getting high-frequency hiss. This is a limitation that can be experienced frequently. As a result, you will end up with low audio quality.
- Bulkier and Heavier
Unlike standard headphones, these devices are bulkier. Well, this is due to the fact they have additional components. Most of these devices need additional electronics and also batteries to effectively work. So, they can result in fatigue.
- They consume too Much Power
Noise-cancelling headphones are not your usual headphones. They come with multiple internal components that need power. Unlike standard headphones, they significantly utilize a high amount of power. It should be noted that they come with internal batteries. So, this means that some of them may need frequent replacements. Besides that, others may need to be recharged constantly.
- Other Disadvantages…
The above-mentioned disadvantages are the most common. However, some people may experience additional issues due to the type and brand of the headphone.
- Not All Sounds Are Blocked
Well, as much as they are effective, they are not 100% efficient. Not all noise-cancelling headphones block all sounds. Although most sounds normally get blocked, this technology may still let some sounds get through.
It should be noted that some people also hear the humming sound. The generally perceivable sound has a negative impact on the brain. There are reports that some people end up suffering from painful eardrums. This is due to the fact of increasingly high pressure on the eardrums. So, those who have sensitive eardrums should avoid them.
Noise-cancelling headphones are important. Frequently exposing your ears to both low and high frequencies of noise is harmful. You may end up with serious health problems and low productivity. However, the wide range of noise-cancelling headphones can help you.
These devices have multiple benefits. Although many people may assume that these headphones are primarily for isolation, it’s not true. They lead to better productivity by allowing to fully concentrate. And as a matter of fact, they are important for your physical and mental health.
It should be noted that they reduce stress and ear damage. As a result, they can make a significant difference to the quality of the user’s life. So, if you are currently working or living in an area where there is either high intensity or high-level noise exposure get noise cancelling headphone.