Noise canceling headphones are very useful in today’s noisy world, where we spend more time in vehicles, factories, and even at home. Although we are surrounded by noises, we often cannot stop listening to music because of how distracting they can be. The question is: do noise canceling headphones work? Let’s find out.
The first thing you need to know is that noise canceling headphones do not use active noise canceling technology. Instead, they rely on a phenomenon called passive noise cancellation. This is different from active headphones that, if they completely eliminate noise, employ techniques like soundproofing to ensure that the same noise does not carry over into the headphones. These headphones rely on an electronic transducer coupled with a separate noise-canceling microphone that works within the speaker system and cancels out any external noise.
The next thing to know is how noise-canceling headphones work. To understand it, you must know that there are two types of noise canceling headphones: passive and active. The passive headphones use electronics in the speakers to cancel out the noise. You could think of these as speakers that only work while you’re wearing them. Active noise canceling headphones, however, use active electronics in the speakers to cancel out the outside noise and then send the audio back to the headphones so you can hear your music in stereo. So although the noise from the speakers can be canceled out, you won’t be able to listen to your music without a good earphone.
A lot of people think that noise canceling headphones work well when you are traveling because the earphones go into your ears and seal out the outside noise. But actually this isn’t true. The noise-canceling technology is built into all kinds of headphones, not just earphones. When you are driving, biking or working outside at the factory, most of the time the noise canceling headphones will be on your ears and not in your bag.
When you buy noise-canceling headphones make sure you look for earphones that have active electronics as well. There are many wirecutter headphones on the market that don’t have this technology built in. Instead they rely on transducers in the ear buds that do the job. Wirecutter headphones usually give you very poor sound quality.
In short, to truly get the most out of your noise canceling headphones you need to get a good pair. Earphones that have active electronics will let you listen to your music with better sound quality for all times and all places. And if you travel you’ll appreciate being able to wear them during your travels. The best noise canceling headphones are made by Bose, Sony, and Philips.