There is no question that noise-canceling headphones can help considerably enhance your listening experience. You see, you may not always be sitting or lounging in an area where there is zero to slightly mild external and ambient noises. You may not always be in your room, with the windows shut, the AC turned, listening to your favorite track at full volume.
That is why, to ensure audiophiles are never bothered when they are listening to music, anywhere, anytime, they go for noise elimination earphones. These headphones are designed to cancel out outside noises by generated inaudible patterns of sound waves.
However, they are models that just come with foam fitting and ear canal sealing so that noise leaks into your ear, but they have no electronic components to eliminate the sound.
This blog essentially focuses on two types of noise elimination methods that are being widely used by people today. They are known as Active and Passive noise canceling headphones.
These are cutting-edge headphones fitted with a sophisticated mic and a digital signal processor. An internal battery powers them. So, the microphones inside the headphone pick up a different ambient or external sounds around you.
As soon as the headphone start picking up noises like the dog barking, cars whizzing by and whatnot, the DSP or digital signal processor absorbs those sound waves and fire a wave of inaudible sounds matching those ambient noises at a 180-degree phase-out, effectively canceling the noises.
The technology and theory behind the technology should effectively work to negate all types of sounds, however, in the real world; these types of headphones will never always perform perfectly. Why? Well, the only way to truly benefit from active canceling earphones is to listen to music where the noises are consistent.
For example, if there is a loud mouth sitting behind you, the headphones should be able to cancel the noise. However, if someone slams the door behind you, you will hear a loud thud because the noise canceling technology and process isn't fast enough to create and bounce sound waves to match the sound the door makes.
Similarly, you will also be able to hear high-frequency noises, such as a car suddenly screeching to a stop and whatnot.
Sure, there are active noise elimination headphones you can use to cancel out ambient noises to a larger degree completely, but those products are quite expensive with some ranging over $500.
The alternative to opting for active noise canceling headphones is passive noise elimination earphones. These are more simple and easy to use regarding the fact that they aren't battery powered. Moreover, passive headphones have everything to do with the design of the earbuds to disallow or cancel any sound from leaking inside your ear canal.
Closed-back headphone or open-back earphones – all to a certain degree, perform well to block ambient noise from entering your ears. However, because they are equipped with a digital signal processor or any other electronic component to cancel outside, they will never be able to block ambient sounds 100%.
In simpler words, these types of headphones are designed to block outside noise instead of actively deflecting them – like active noise canceling headphones do. If you are opting for a pair of passive earphones, the best thing to do will be to go for a closed-back design or in-ear headphones.
The materials used to manufacture passive sound elimination headphones is most high-density foam or any other type of insulation material – like leather. These materials work pretty well to cancel high-frequency noises, but you can't count on them all the time.
Active noise cancelling headphones are more effective at what they do, but the downside is that this noise cancellation requires batteries. Here are more pros and cons of this headphones:
Passive Noise Cancellation is the noise that headphones block out based on the physical design of the earcups. Let's look at pros and cons of this headphones:
So there you go – everything you need to know to make a wise selection between active and passive noise canceling technology.