Noise-cancelling headphones are a type of headphones that can eliminate unwanted external sounds by creating a sound wave that is the exact opposite of the ambient noise. They work by using tiny microphones to pick up the surrounding sound waves and then creating a signal that is 180 degrees out of phase with the original sound wave. This signal cancels out the unwanted noise, leaving the listener with a much clearer and quieter listening experience.
How Do Noise-Cancelling Headphones Work?
Noise-cancelling headphones use two different types of noise-cancellation: passive and active.
Passive Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Passive noise-cancelling headphones work by physically blocking out external sounds. They use materials such as foam or silicone to create a seal around the ear, preventing sound waves from entering the ear canal. These headphones are typically less expensive than active noise-cancelling headphones but are less effective at blocking out noise.
Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Active noise-cancelling headphones, on the other hand, use electronic circuitry to create a sound wave that cancels out external sounds. They use small microphones to pick up external sounds and then produce a sound wave that is the exact opposite of the ambient noise. This results in a much quieter listening experience.
Types of Noise-Cancelling Headphones
There are two main types of noise-cancelling headphones: in-ear and over-ear.
In-Ear Noise-Cancelling Headphones
In-ear noise-cancelling headphones are smaller and more compact than over-ear headphones. They fit snugly into the ear canal and use silicone or foam tips to create a seal that blocks out external sounds. In-ear headphones are typically less expensive than over-ear headphones but may not be as effective at blocking out noise.
Over-Ear Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Over-ear noise-cancelling headphones are larger and cover the entire ear. They use padding to create a seal around the ear, preventing external sounds from entering the ear canal. Over-ear headphones are typically more expensive than in-ear headphones but are more effective at blocking out noise.
Benefits of Noise-Cancelling Headphones
There are several benefits to using noise-cancelling headphones, including:
- Improved sound quality: Noise-cancelling headphones allow you to hear your music more clearly by eliminating external sounds that can interfere with your listening experience.
- Reduced stress and fatigue: By blocking out external noise, noise-cancelling headphones can help reduce stress and fatigue, allowing you to relax and enjoy your music more.
- Increased productivity: Noise-cancelling headphones can help you focus by eliminating distractions in your environment.
- Improved travel experience: Noise-cancelling headphones are especially beneficial during air travel, where the constant hum of the plane’s engines can be a major distraction.
- Comfort: Noise-cancelling headphones are often designed with comfort in mind, with features like soft padding and adjustable headbands to provide a comfortable listening experience.
- Hearing protection: By reducing the need to turn up the volume to hear your music, noise-cancelling headphones can help protect your hearing.
Drawbacks of Noise-Cancelling Headphones
While there are many benefits to using noise-cancelling headphones, there are also some drawbacks to consider:
- Price: Noise-cancelling headphones can be expensive, especially compared to traditional headphones.
- Battery life: Active noise-cancelling headphones require power to work, which means they need to be charged or have a battery replaced regularly.
- Sound quality: While noise-cancelling headphones can improve the sound quality of your music, some people feel that they can also reduce the overall audio quality by filtering out some of the higher frequencies.
- Bulkiness: Over-ear noise-cancelling headphones can be bulky and heavy, making them less portable than in-ear headphones.
Buying Guide for Noise-Cancelling Headphones
If you’re in the market for noise-cancelling headphones, there are several factors to consider:
Considerations When Choosing Noise-Cancelling Headphones
- Type: Determine whether you prefer in-ear or over-ear headphones.
- Noise-cancelling technology: Look for headphones with active noise-cancellation technology, as it is generally more effective than passive noise-cancellation.
- Sound quality: Make sure the headphones deliver high-quality audio with a wide frequency range.
- Comfort: Look for headphones with comfortable ear pads and an adjustable headband.
- Battery life: Check the battery life of the headphones to make sure they can last through long listening sessions.
Top Noise-Cancelling Headphone Brands
- Bose: Bose is a well-known brand in the audio industry and is known for its high-quality noise-cancelling headphones.
- Sony: Sony also produces high-quality noise-cancelling headphones, with some models offering advanced features like touch controls and voice assistants.
- Sennheiser: Sennheiser is a German audio company that produces a range of high-end headphones, including noise-cancelling models.
- Beats: Beats is a popular brand of headphones that offers a range of noise-cancelling models, with some designed specifically for use during exercise.
How to Use Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Using noise-cancelling headphones is easy:
- Charge the headphones if necessary.
- Put on the headphones and turn on the noise-cancelling feature.
- Adjust the volume to a comfortable level.
- Enjoy your music or audio without the distraction of external sounds.
Maintenance and Care for Noise-Cancelling Headphones
To keep your noise-cancelling headphones in good condition:
- Clean the ear pads and headband regularly.
- Store the headphones in a protective case when not in use.
- Avoid exposing the headphones to moisture or extreme temperatures.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and battery replacement.
Noise-cancelling headphones are a popular and effective way to block out unwanted external sounds and enjoy high-quality audio. With a range of options to choose from and factors to consider, it’s important to do your research and choose the headphones that best meet your needs.
- Can noise-cancelling headphones damage your hearing?
No, noise-cancelling headphones are designed to protect your hearing by reducing the need to turn up the volume to hear your music.
- Are noise-cancelling headphones good for studying?
Yes, noise-cancelling headphones can be beneficial for studying by reducing distractions and helping you focus.