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What is Noise Cancelling Headphones?


Noise cancelling headphones are a great way to cut out unwanted sound. If you live in a noisy neighbourhood or like to listen while commuting, they are the best option. Read on to find out more about noise cancelling headphones and how they work!

Definition of noise cancellation

Noise cancelling headphones are a great way to cancel out noise and enjoy your music or other sounds in peace.

However, you should know that noise cancellation is not the same thing as soundproofing, which is an active process of blocking outside noises by sealing off an environment from its surroundings. Noise cancellation uses electrical circuits or physical elements, such as gel ear tips, to reduce ambient sounds such as engine rumbling or air conditioning hums.

There are two types of noise cancelling: active and passive reduction. In active reduction, microphones inside headphones pick up ambient sound waves and redirect them through speakers at precisely the right frequency so they interfere with each other and cancel out much like how two equal signals can add together or subtract from one another when combined properly. Passive attenuation works like earplugs by physically blocking out unwanted noises coming into your ears either through foam tips that seal off areas around the ears completely (sometimes called “ear plugs”) or gels applied directly against skin surfaces (which often provide better comfort).

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How it works

What Is Noise Cancelling Headphones?
What Is Noise Cancelling Headphones? 5 Noise Cancelling December 2022

Noise cancelling headphones work by using a microphone to pick up the ambient noise, which is then processed by the DSP. The DSP produces a reversed copy of the ambient sound and combines it with the original signal. This results in an overall reduction of background noise, allowing you to enjoy your music without distraction.

Headphones vs earbuds

Headphones, as opposed to earbuds, are the better option if you’re looking for noise cancelling headphones with a mic. They typically have larger drivers that offer more power and a more immersive listening experience. For example, the Bose QuietComfort 35 IIs offer excellent noise cancellation and sound quality in a sleek design that won’t slip out of your ears.

Earbuds are best suited for portability over sound quality or noise-cancelling features. A good pair will deliver rich bass without sacrificing battery life or comfort—but they don’t usually come with any noise-cancellation functionality at all (except for some wired models).

What Is Noise Cancelling Headphones?
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Checkout Some Noise Cancelling Headphones Here

Bose Quietcomfort 35 Ii Noise Canceling Bluetooth Wireless Over Ear Headphones With Mic And Alexa Voice Control, Black

Bose Noise Canceling 700 Bluetooth Wireless Over Ear Headphones with Mic for Clear Calls & Alexa Enabled and Touch Control, (Black)

Sony WH-CH710N Active Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones Bluetooth Over The Ear Headset with Mic for Phone-Call, 35Hrs Battery Life, Aux, Quick Charge and Google Assistant Support for Mobiles -Black

JBL Live 650BTNC, Over Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones with Mic, Signature Sound, Quick Charge, Dual Pairing, AUX, Built-in Alexa and Google Assistant (White, Wireless)

boAt NIRVANAA 751ANC Hybrid Active Noise Canceling Bluetooth Wireless Over Ear Headphones With Mic, with Up to 65H Playtime,ASAP Charge, Ambient Sound Mode, Immersive Sound,Carry Pouch(Gunmetal Grey)

Impact of Noise Cancelling on the human body

When you listen to music via your earphones, the loud noise level can cause fatigue, ear discomfort, and hearing damage. Noise cancelling headphones also trigger tinnitus which is a ringing in the ears that can be persistent.

Tinnitus can cause stress, headaches, and insomnia as well as depression. These side effects are due to the fact that our body has a natural way of dealing with sound waves but when these waves are changed by noise cancelling technology, it’s not able to cope with them correctly causing problems such as ear pain or tinnitus. The brain may eventually get used to this unnatural form of sound but this doesn’t mean it won’t have an effect on other parts of your health over time because these changes aren’t healthy for anyone’s mind or body!

Isolate/cancel using electronics or passive noise reduction (isolation)

  • Passive noise reduction (isolation): The use of a physical barrier to block outside sound. This is most commonly achieved through the addition of foam or other soft materials to the earpads on headphones.
  • Active noise cancellation (cancellation): The use of electronics and microphones in your headphones to measure and create an opposite waveform that cancels out external sound waves before they reach your ears.

If you think about it, both methods work by converting outside sounds into electrical signals that are then processed by an internal circuit board, so why would active noise cancellation be more effective? The answer is simple: because it reduces unwanted noises by up to 98%! As such, many people choose this method over passive isolation when it comes time to buy some new cans.*

Noise cancelling neckbands/headphones work by isolating the outside noise, producing white noise, and cancelling it out.

What Is Noise Cancelling Headphones?
What Is Noise Cancelling Headphones? 7 Noise Cancelling December 2022

How does noise cancelling headphones work?

Noise cancelling headphones work by isolating the outside noise by active noise cancelling, producing white noise and cancelling it out. This means that you can listen to music on your headphones without having to turn up the volume so loud that it’s uncomfortable for you or others around you. It also means that if someone is talking to you while wearing noise cancelling headphones, they won’t be able to hear what you’re listening to as well (though this can be a good thing if they’re trying to get your attention).

Noise-canceling earbuds are different from regular earbuds in that they completely isolate sound waves from entering your ear canal. These types of headphones are ideal for anyone who wants privacy during phone calls or when listening to music alone. The downside is that these types have less bass response compared with other models—but then again, most people don’t really care about the bass response when using their earphones at home!


In summary, noise cancelling headphones, or the best noise cancelling earbuds work by isolating the outside noise, producing white noise, and canceling it out.

How does noise canceling work?

Noise cancelling headphones are a type of headphones that uses active noise control or ANC to cancel out lower-frequency portions of the noise. A microphone captures the targeted ambient sounds, and a small amplifier generates sound waves that are exactly out of phase with the undesired sounds. When the sound pressure of the noise wave is high, the cancelling wave is low (and vice versa). The opposite sound waves collide and are eliminated or “cancelled” (destructive interference). Most noise-cancelling headsets in the consumer market generate the noise-cancelling waveform in real-time with analog technology. In contrast, other active noise and vibration control products use soft real-time digital processing. According to an experiment conducted to test how lightweight earphones reduced noise as compared to commercial headphones and earphones, lightweight headphones achieved better noise reduction than normal headphones. The experiment also supported that in-ear headphones worked better at reducing noise than outer-ear headphones.

What is Active Noise Cancellation?

Modern active noise control is generally achieved through the use of analog circuits or digital signal processing. Adaptive algorithms are designed to analyze the waveform of the background aural or monaural noise, then based on the specific algorithm generate a signal that will either phase shift or invert the polarity of the original signal. This inverted signal (in antiphase) is then amplified and a transducer creates a sound wave directly proportional to the amplitude of the original waveform, creating destructive interference. This effectively reduces the volume of the perceivable noise

Is noise cancelling good for your ears?

The quality of these headphones varies greatly, though. The best ones are incredibly sophisticated and can cancel out more than 90% of ambient noise. Other models will only reduce it by about 30%.

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