What Are Noise Cancelling Headphones?

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If you’ve ever shopped for headsets or headphones, I bet you’ve heard the term “noise cancellation” used once or twice. I can also bet that you weren’t always quite sure what it meant. It’s not your fault: Depending on the context, noise cancellation can mean a number of things, and companies aren’t exactly consistent in how they use the term. Let’s try to unravel the riddle.

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What is active noise cancellation?

Simply put, active noise cancellation is a technology that cancels out certain elements of ambient sound. The key word here is active — the technology does not negate noise by simply attempting to block it. Instead, it listens to the sound using microphones on the headset, and produces a sound wave of its own that effectively cancels out the existing sound. With this, the sound is actively and deliberately reduced.

Noise cancellation types and settings

Your noise cancelling headphones may work in more ways than one. Pick the setting, mode or noise cancellation type that suits your commute or enhances your relaxation time. 

  • Passive Noise Cancellation uses well designed ear cups to seal out unwanted noise. This is used for both over-ear headphones and in-ear earphones where the earbud itself will keep surrounding noise out.

  • Active Noise Cancellation uses microphones and speakers to reduce background and surrounding noises. This is the most known type and has mostly been used in over-ear headphones. Technology has become so small and battery efficient now that it can be used in true wireless in-ear earphones.

  • Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation uses microphones and speakers to automatically adjust to your surroundings. This is the more sophisticated type of ANC where the level of noise cancelling digitally adapts to the surroundings. 

  • Adjustable Active Noise Cancellation lets you change how much background noise you hear by manually adjusting noise cancellation levels. This is useful when you want to have full control.

  • Transparency Mode lets you easily tune back into the world around you, without switching off your music or taking your earphones out of your ears. 

  • Adjustable Transparency Mode lets you change how much of the outside world you want to pass through, without switching off your music. 

  • Adjustable Own Voice lets you control how much you would like to hear your own voice during e.g. conference calls while using ANC.

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Purchase ANC headphones from us

Frequent flyers and commuters are likely to be benefited the most by active noise cancellation headphones. The technology works most effectively with the hum of an airplane engine or the hiss of air on an open commuter train or bus. Furthermore, these headphones can help you concentrate or sleep in these environments. If you want to purchase any ANC headphones, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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