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How Noise-Cancelling Headphones Work

Sep 29, 2020

Are you getting into meditation and need help tuning out so you can tune in? Do you work in an especially noisy or chatty office that makes it hard to get work done? Are you a frequent traveler and find it difficult listening to your devices on airplanes? If yes, then you might want to check out noise-cancelling headphones.

At All in Audio, we sell noise-cancelling headphones in a variety of types that include earbuds, over-ear, on-ear, and Bluetooth. In this blog, we’ll explain what noise cancelling headphones are used for, how they work, and highlight some of our best sellers.

What are noise-cancelling headphones?

Unlike traditional headphones, these devices actively block out ambient noise. Instead of plugging your ears or covering them entirely to eliminate distractions, noise-cancelling headphones use active noise control that lets you listen to music or audio without having to crank up the volume. They are often used for:

  • Focusing on work in a loud office environment
  • Tuning out ambient noise in traditionally loud locations, like coffee shops, buses, and planes
  • Delivering clearer and sharper audio while gaming or watching a movie

In short, when you need to focus on what’s in front of you instead of around you, noise-cancelling headphones are an absolute lifesaver!

How do noise-cancelling headphones work?

First, a distinction should be made between ‘noise-isolating’ and ‘noise-cancelling’ because you may run across both types.

  • Noise-isolating headphones passively block noise by using muffling elements, such as large ear coverings or buds that fit tightly inside your ear canal to create a seal against background sounds. This technology is also known as passive noise reduction.
  • Noise-cancelling headphones use a built-in microphone to measure the ambient sound around you. It creates a waveform that negates the sound and plays it through the earpiece. If you’re listening to music or an audiobook, this waveform blends so smoothly into it that you don’t even notice. The technology is called active noise cancellation.

At one time, active noise cancellation was only available on high-end headphones that were both complicated and pricey. In the past few years, however, the technology has become more common, as there are a lot of consumers who want to focus on their music or podcast without having to crank up the volume, which will harm hearing over time.

It is important to note that at present, noise-canceling headphones can only negate low-frequency noises. You will still be able to hear loud or high-frequency sounds like birds chirping, airplanes taking off, and raised voices.

Who uses noise-cancelling headphones?

The general answer is: anyone who needs some extra help focusing on what they’re doing or listening to. Additional popular uses include:

  • Commuting. If you ride the bus or subway to work, noise-cancelling headphones let you relax and read a book without being distracted by your fellow commuters.
  • Transcribing: If you’re a medical or legal transcriptionist, accuracy is key. Headphones make it easier to focus on what you’re working on.
  • Open-plan office work: Open plan offices are everywhere now and, while they’re great for teamwork, they’re not as ideal when you’re trying to concentrate. Some compact wireless earbuds let you discreetly tune everything out.

Which noise-cancelling headphones should you get?

With so much variety available, how do you choose the set that’s right for you? While every customer is different, we find these two headphone types to be constant best sellers.

  • Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones: These wireless headphones fit snugly but comfortably over your ears, so you can enjoy your audio without constant interruptions. They are Bluetooth-enabled, so pair it with another Bluetooth device like a smartphone or stereo for wireless listening enjoyment.
  • Active Noise Cancellation Stereo Earphones: If larger headsets aren’t for you, you’re going to love these discreet but effective earbuds, which are Bluetooth-enabled and come with a charging case for an easy boost anywhere and anytime.

What’s the bottom line?

Noise-cancelling technology has come a long way. At one time, these headphones were exclusively the over-ear type. They blocked out unwanted noise by completely covering your ears and filtering out background distractions. Now, you can also buy earbuds that do an equally effective job and are a lot less noticeable. At All in Audio, we have noise-cancelling headphones that look great, work even better, and are available to suit a variety of budgets. Get ready for a more peaceful office environment, relaxing commute, or better gaming audio experience by checking out our online store. If you have any questions please contact us today.

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