How to Choose an Active Noise Cancelling Earphone

How to Choose an Active Noise Cancelling Earphone

Jun 29 2020

Principle of active noise reduction
The main function of active noise reduction technology is to use the physical principle called phase cancellation. The sound propagates in waves, which move air molecules. These waves propagate through the air to your ear canal, where they vibrate your eardrum, causing noise. What you don’t know is that when a sound wave encounters another sound wave with the same frequency but opposite amplitude, the two cancel each other to a great extent.

Active noise cancelling earphones use a miniature microphone inside the ear cups to process the sound towards your ears, and immediately play the opposite sound through the headphone driver. The reverse force effectively reduces the movement of air molecules, and your perceptible sound is also reduced.

What type of headphones should you buy?
For frequent flyers or people who want to ignore the annoying air conditioning buzz, active noise canceling headphones are a good choice. The best noise-cancelling headphones are equipped with ear cups and ear pads, designed to block mid- to high-frequency noise to the greatest extent while maintaining comfort. In addition to saving money, the advantage of using passive noise to isolate headphones and earplugs is that you will not feel the eardrum sucking.

Other soundproofing options
If you have tried the above suggestions and still cannot tune out the sound that distracts you, then you have other options. First of all, white noise, rain or sea waves are very useful for masking external noise. Just make sure to listen at a reasonable volume to protect your hearing. Experts say that it is usually safe to listen to up to 60% of the device volume for 60 minutes.

If you are easily distracted but still want music, you can use what I call the "nuclear option", which is to wear earplugs under the earmuffs to protect your hearing. However, if you do this, keep in mind that you will not be able to use the controls on true wireless earbuds, and wired earbuds will cause a silky crease on your cheeks.

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