What is Active Noise Cancellation & Do You Really Need it? - Exhibit Tech Headphones
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What is Active Noise Cancellation & Do You Really Need it?

What is Active Noise Cancellation & Do You Really Need it?

Truly wireless earbuds and neckbands have taken over the decade-old style of wired earphones and headphones, which are way cheaper than these newbies, but the newbies are making headlines in the rising world of the audio industry because of one freshly risen feature, ANC or Active Noise Cancellation. The hyped feature was once limited to high-end audio products but is now making its way to the budget section.

You may have heard some of your friends or colleagues discussing the benefits and advantages of active noise-cancelling headphones, and due to fear of moving out, you might have added a pair of active noise-cancelling headphones to your wish list, but have you ever considered spending a few minutes to check what are they actually? Are they worth a shot? And whether you genuinely need them or not?

What is Active Noise Cancellation & How it Works?

The ANC or Active Noise Cancellation concept was first developed in late 1930s, and after a couple of decades, it eventually landed in commercial airline headsets. Active Noise Cancellation is a technology that combines hardware and firmware to reduce unwanted ambient sounds by using active noise control as part of the listening experience.

What is Active Noise Cancellation & Do You Really Need it?

In short, it keeps ambient noise away by adding a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first. The term Noise Cancellation does not commit to removing the sound altogether, it only diminishes the surrounding noise significantly, giving the illusion that the noise is cancelled, but when you add Active before the Noise cancellation, it works differently and actively looks for the noise to counterpoise it.

A number of earbuds or headphones features an inbuilt noise cancelling technique that works through ear tips or ear cuffs and reduce the outside noise by some amount, but ANC loaded devices have specific earbuds that help them make a significant difference in your listening experience and the technology used to create them is far more complex than the usual passive noise cancellation.

ANC uses electronics to prevent undesirable or excessive volume, such as the hum of jet engines on aeroplanes and traffic, from reaching someone’s eardrums. Sound travels in waves through the air, and when two identical waves with the same frequency but the opposite amplitude meet each other, they are called out of phase as they cancel each other out, and this method helps you hear absolute pure music, which comes from your headphones.

The ANC technology works best when you’re around a massive noise source, such as the hums of aeroplanes, which is easier to recognize than people talking or regular day-to-day noises. In some cases, listeners have reported dizziness and headaches while using noise-cancelling headphones, which may be prompted due to extremely low-frequency vibrations towards our hearing hair cells, but this can be solved by decreasing the ANC intensity. The solution is right there, but are they worth taking a risk?

Do You Really Need ANC Support on Your Earbuds?

Clarifying certain things always benefits us in the long run, and when it comes to active noise cancellation, it does provide quality music and podcasts by removing distractions, but it doesn’t improve the sound quality of your headphones. The ANC technology blocks or filters high-frequency sound waves using passive or active responses, respectively, and now it’s time to know about the benefits of Active Noise Cancellation technology.

It helps you to block annoying noises

Active Noise Cancellation earbuds or headphones are handy for commuters who travel long-distance, mainly via planes or trains or even buses, as it aids you to get some quality sleep, even when you’re not listening to the music. The ANC technology reduces the impact of annoying loud sounds such as constant honking, people chattering, disturbing construction noises and audio distractions to help you stay focused.

It allows you to have better conversations

Apart from listening to music in a chaotic environment, the ANC technology helps you avoid “excuse me” or “I’m sorry, could you please repeat that?” during the calls. The noise-cancellation system blocks virtually all of the background noise you hear around you and allows you to have the smoothest conversations of your life.

It cares for you and protects your ears

Anything above 75 decibels is counted as unsafe noise, and when you continuously deal with the audio above 80-85 decibels, you risk losing your hearing ability. You can avoid such risks by wearing proper fit, active noise cancellation headphones as these devices can reduce sound levels by up to 80 dB, almost defeating the massive sound of aeroplane engines which hits 130 decibels regularly.

It helps you reduce stress

When you’re constantly exposed to noise above 80-85 decibels, it automatically creates concerns. After a while, repeated exposures can create annoyance in your brain and lead you to a stressful and hectic life, but if you’re having a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones, you can have peace of mind, which leads to a healthier life.

It helps you in increasing concentration

How does someone lose concentration? Of course, due to surrounding noise inputs, which leads to less productivity and dissatisfaction. The pandemic days makes us realise how a little bit of annoying noise can distract us from our work or study. So, it’s better to have some device that will kill all the distractive sound and help you concentrate fully, and what’s better than ANC backed headphones? The ANC technology not only allows you to block the outside noise but also sends a text to your colleagues that you’re trying to concentrate.

When it comes to the disadvantages of ANC-backed headphones, we would like to highlight a few things. First of all, they are expensive, they make you unaware of your surroundings, they can be a medium of ear infections and last but not least, they have short battery life. So, the answer to the question “do you really need ANC backed headphones or not?” lies within your lifestyle.

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