Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you’re tired of background noise affecting your concentration and peace, you’re not alone. Finding moments of peace in today’s hectic world isn’t easy. Noise cancelling headphones help. They’re remarkable because they create a personal oasis of calm in the middle of chaos, which is why they’re so popular. 

Throughout this blog post, we’ll explore the technology behind noise cancelling headphones, and their relevance in our daily lives, and ultimately provide a comprehensive guide to helping you choose and make the most of them.

Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless

Table of Contents

Brief Explanation of Noise Cancelling Technology

In order to block ambient noises, noise cancelling headphones use a combination of advanced hardware and software.

Your ears are tuned to recognize external noises. An anti-noise signal is generated by these microphones, exactly mirroring the unwanted sound but with an inverted phase. It reduces or even eliminates unwanted sounds when this anti-noise signal mixes with the original noise.


The effectiveness of noise cancellation is measured in decibels (dB), which represents the level of sound reduction achieved. Most noise cancelling headphones can attenuate ambient noise by 20 to 30 dB, though some models go up to 30 dB.


 If you’re listening to music, podcasts, or phone calls, this impressive level of noise reduction can really make a difference.

Importance of Noise Cancelling Headphones in Today’s Noisy World

Today, noise-reducing headphones have become more than just a luxury; they have become a necessity.

These are some of the reasons why noise cancelling headphones are so important:

1. Enhanced Focus and Productivity

Whether you’re studying, working, or simply trying to concentrate in a noisy environment, noise cancelling headphones can create a bubble of silence around you. By eliminating or minimizing external distractions, they help enhance your focus and productivity, allowing you to accomplish tasks more efficiently.

4. Travel Companion

Whether you’re a frequent traveler or simply commuting to work, noise cancelling headphones can be your best companion. They help neutralize the rumble of engines, the chatter of fellow passengers, and other bothersome sounds, allowing you to enjoy a more peaceful and comfortable journey.

2. Stress Reduction and Mental Well-being

Excessive noise can lead to heightened stress levels and negatively impact your mental well-being. Noise cancelling headphones provide a sanctuary of tranquility, shielding you from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. They enable you to unwind, relax, and recharge your mind, promoting a sense of calm and reducing stress.

5. Versatility

Noise cancelling headphones come in various designs and styles, catering to different preferences and needs. From over-ear to in-ear options, wireless or wired, and even specialized models for specific activities like sports or gaming, there’s a wide range of choices available to suit your lifestyle and requirements.

3. Better Audio Experience

By blocking out unwanted noise, noise cancelling headphones allow you to fully immerse yourself in the audio content you’re consuming. Whether it’s your favorite music, a thrilling movie, or an engaging podcast, you can appreciate the nuances and details of the sound without any disturbances, ultimately enhancing your overall audio experience.

6. Health Benefits

Exposure to loud noises for prolonged periods can have adverse effects on your hearing health. Noise cancelling headphones mitigate the need to increase the volume to drown out external sounds, thus reducing the risk of long-term hearing damage. By providing a controlled acoustic environment, they contribute to preserving your auditory well-being.

Noisy City - showing why noise-cancelling headphones are so important
Autistic man wearing noise-cancelling headphones

Comprehensive Guide on Choosing and Using Noise Cancelling Headphones

We give you a comprehensive guide on noise cancelling headphones in this article. We’ll talk about a bunch of stuff, like what to look for, what noise-cancellation technology to get, how to keep your headphones in shape, and how to maintain them. 

In this Guide, you’ll learn what you need to know to make an informed decision and get the most out of your noise cancelling headphones, whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to upgrade your current headphones.

In order to discover the world of tranquillity and immersive audio experiences noise cancelling headphones offer, let’s go on this journey.

How Noise Cancelling Headphones Work?

How does noise cancelling technology work? Let’s take a look. Noise cancelling works by using a combination of hardware and software wizardry. The headphones have built-in microphones to pick up ambient noise. When these microphones take in sound, the headphone’s processor analyzes it and generates an “anti-noise” signal that’s the same amplitude but the same phase as the unwanted noise.

Inverted sound waves are then emitted from the headphone’s speakers with this anti-noise signal. When these anti-noise sound waves mix with the original noise, they cancel each other out, reducing the amount of noise that reaches your ears. You’ll enjoy a quieter, more serene environment, where you can fully immerse yourself in your favorite audio.

Difference Between Passive and Active Noise Cancellation

When it comes to noise cancellation, there are two main types to consider: passive and active. Let’s explore their differences:

1. Passive Noise Cancellation: Passive noise cancellation refers to the physical design of the headphones themselves. By using materials that block or reduce sound waves from entering your ears, such as dense foam or ear cups that create a tight seal, passive noise cancellation reduces the amount of external noise you hear. While this approach can provide some level of noise reduction, it is generally not as effective as active noise cancellation.

2. Active Noise Cancellation: Active noise cancellation takes noise reduction to a whole new level. In addition to the physical design, active noise cancelling headphones employ electronic components and advanced algorithms to actively counteract external noise. 

Active noise cancellation uses the microphones we mentioned earlier to capture the ambient sound, and then generates the anti-noise signal to cancel it out. This real-time, dynamic process allows for more precise and efficient noise reduction, making active noise cancellation highly effective in creating a peaceful listening experience.

Overview of the Components Involved in Active Noise Cancellation

Active noise cancellation relies on a few key components working together to deliver its impressive results. These components typically include:

1. Microphones: Active noise cancelling headphones incorporate multiple microphones strategically placed on the ear cups. These microphones capture the ambient sound and convert it into an electrical signal, which is then processed by the headphone’s built-in circuitry.

2. Digital Signal Processor (DSP): The electrical signal from the microphones is sent to a digital signal processor, which analyzes and evaluates the sound wave characteristics. The DSP then generates the anti-noise signal with the appropriate amplitude and phase inversion to cancel out the unwanted noise.

3. Speaker Drivers: The anti-noise signal generated by the DSP is fed into the speaker drivers of the headphones. These drivers emit anti-noise sound waves that effectively cancel out the ambient noise when they mix together.

By combining these components and sophisticated algorithms, active noise cancelling headphones can deliver impressive noise reduction and create a serene listening environment, allowing you to enjoy your audio content without the interference of external disturbances.

Types of Noise Cancelling Headphones

When it comes to noise cancelling headphones, you’ll find a variety of options to choose from. Each type offers its own unique features and benefits. Let’s explore the different types of noise cancelling headphones available in the market:

Over-ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones, also known as circumaural headphones, are those big, comfy headphones that completely cover your ears. They are designed to enclose your ears within the ear cups, creating a seal that helps block out external noise. 

This design not only provides effective passive noise isolation but also allows for the implementation of active noise cancellation technology. Over-ear headphones usually have larger drivers, which can deliver excellent sound quality and immersive audio experiences. They are popular among audiophiles and those who prioritize comfort and a high level of noise reduction.

On-ear Headphones

On-ear headphones, also referred to as supra-aural headphones, sit directly on your ears rather than enclosing them entirely. These headphones typically have smaller ear cups that rest on the outer part of your ears. On-ear headphones are more compact and portable compared to over-ear headphones. 

They offer a good balance between comfort and portability. While they may not provide as much passive noise isolation as over-ear headphones, some models still incorporate active noise cancellation technology to enhance noise reduction. On-ear headphones are a popular choice for those who prefer a more lightweight and compact option.

In-ear Headphones (Earbuds)

In-ear headphones, commonly known as earbuds, are the smallest and most portable type of noise cancelling headphones. They are inserted directly into your ear canals, providing a snug and secure fit. In-ear headphones are highly portable and convenient, making them ideal for activities like exercising or commuting. 

They are also known for their excellent passive noise isolation, as the ear tips create a seal that blocks out external noise. Some in-ear headphones feature active noise cancellation technology as well, further enhancing noise reduction. In-ear headphones come in different designs, including true wireless earbuds that have no wires connecting them, offering a truly wireless and hassle-free experience.

Pros and Cons of Each Type of Headphone

Each type of noise cancelling headphones has its own advantages and considerations. Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons:

Over-ear Headphones

Pros: Excellent noise isolation, immersive sound quality, comfortable for extended wear.

Cons: Bulkier and less portable, may cause ear fatigue for some individuals.

On-ear Headphones

Pros: Portable and compact, balanced sound quality, suitable for on-the-go use.

Cons: Less effective noise isolation compared to over-ear headphones, may not fit securely on all head shapes.

In-ear Headphones (Earbuds)

Pros: Highly portable, secure fit, good passive noise isolation, suitable for active lifestyles.

Cons: Smaller drivers may sacrifice some sound quality, can cause discomfort with prolonged use for some individuals.

When choosing the type of noise cancelling headphones that best suits your needs, consider factors such as your listening preferences, comfort requirements, portability, and the level of noise reduction you desire.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Noise Cancelling Headphones

With a wide array of noise cancelling headphones available, it’s important to consider various factors to ensure you find the perfect pair that suits your needs and preferences. Let’s explore some key factors to consider when choosing noise cancelling headphones:

  • Sound Quality and Frequency Response: When it comes to headphones, sound quality is paramount. Look for headphones that offer a balanced and accurate sound reproduction, with a wide frequency response range.  A good frequency response range ensures that the headphones can produce both low and high frequencies effectively, resulting in a more immersive and detailed listening experience. Pay attention to factors like clarity, bass response, and overall tonal balance to find headphones that align with your personal audio preferences.
  • Battery Life and Charging Options: For wireless noise cancelling headphones, battery life becomes an essential consideration. Look for headphones with a long battery life that can last through your desired usage time. Consider how frequently you’ll be using them and whether you’ll have access to charging options. Some headphones offer fast charging capabilities or the ability to use them while charging, providing added convenience. It’s also worth checking if the headphones support quick pairing and have a low power consumption mode to maximize battery efficiency.
  • Comfort and Fit: Comfort is crucial, especially if you plan on using your noise cancelling headphones for extended periods. Look for headphones with well-padded ear cups and an adjustable headband for a comfortable fit. Consider the weight and overall design of the headphones to ensure they won’t cause discomfort or fatigue. Additionally, headphones that provide a good seal and proper ergonomics contribute to effective noise isolation and enhance the overall listening experience.
  • Portability and Design: If you intend to use your noise cancelling headphones on the go, portability is a key factor. Consider the size, foldability, and overall design of the headphones. Compact and foldable models are more travel-friendly and can easily fit in your bag or pocket. Additionally, consider the durability of the headphones, especially if you plan to use them in different environments or during physical activities.
  • Additional Features: Noise cancelling headphones often come with additional features that can enhance your user experience. Wireless connectivity, such as Bluetooth, provides freedom of movement without the hassle of tangled wires. Look for headphones with intuitive controls for playback, volume adjustment, and call management. Some models also offer smart features like voice assistant integration or customizable sound settings through dedicated apps. Assess which features align with your preferences and prioritize them accordingly.
  • Budget Considerations: Lastly, consider your budget when choosing noise cancelling headphones. Prices can vary significantly based on brand, features, and overall quality. Determine your budget range and look for headphones that offer the best balance between performance and affordability. Remember that investing in a high-quality pair of noise cancelling headphones can provide long-term value and an improved listening experience.

By considering these factors, you’ll be equipped to make an informed decision and find noise cancelling headphones that cater to your specific needs, preferences, and budget.

Tips for Using Noise Cancelling Headphones Effectively

Once you have your noise cancelling headphones, it’s essential to know how to use them effectively to get the most out of their noise reduction capabilities. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your noise cancelling headphones:

Proper Fitting and Adjustment

One of the key factors in maximizing noise cancellation is ensuring a proper fit and adjustment of your headphones. Make sure the ear cups fully cover your ears or the earbuds fit snugly in your ear canals.

This creates a seal that helps block out external noise and allows the noise cancelling technology to work effectively. Adjust the headband or earbud position to find the most comfortable and secure fit. A good fit not only enhances noise isolation but also improves sound quality and overall listening experience.

Understanding Different Noise Cancelling Modes

Many headphones with noise cancelling capabilities come with different modes or settings that allow you to customize the level of noise cancellation. These modes can range from full noise cancellation to ambient or transparency modes that let in some external sound. 

Take the time to understand the different modes available and experiment with them in various environments. For example, you might prefer a full noise cancellation mode in a noisy aeroplane cabin but switch to an ambient mode when walking on a busy street for added awareness of your surroundings.

Best Practices for Maximizing Noise Cancellation

To further maximize the noise cancellation capabilities of your headphones, consider the following additional best practices:

1. Optimize Seal and Position: Ensure that the ear cups or earbuds create a tight seal around your ears or within your ear canals. Adjust the position and angle of the headphones to achieve the best seal possible. Properly sealed headphones provide better passive noise isolation, which complements the active noise cancellation technology.

2. Minimize Background Noise: To enhance the effectiveness of noise cancellation, try to minimize background noise in your environment whenever possible. Close windows and doors to reduce outside noise, or move to quieter areas if feasible. By reducing the overall noise level in your surroundings, the noise cancelling headphones can focus more on canceling out the remaining noise, resulting in a more immersive experience.

3. Experiment with Different Ear Tips (For In-ear Headphones): If you’re using in-ear headphones or earbuds, try different sizes and types of ear tips that come with your headphones. The right ear tip should fit snugly in your ear canal, creating an effective seal for noise isolation. Experimenting with different ear tips can help you find the best fit that offers maximum noise reduction and a comfortable listening experience.

Maintaining and Caring for Your Headphones

To ensure the longevity and performance of your noise cancelling headphones, follow these additional tips for maintenance and care:

  • Detachable Cables: If your headphones have detachable cables, handle them with care during detachment and attachment. Avoid pulling or twisting the cables excessively, as this can lead to damage or connection issues. When not in use, detach the cables and store them separately to prevent tangling.
  • Clean the Headphone Ports: Over time, dust and debris can accumulate in the ports of your headphones, potentially affecting their performance. Use a small brush or compressed air to gently clean the headphone ports, ensuring that the sound can flow freely without any obstructions.
  • Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Exposing your headphones to extreme temperatures can cause damage to the internal components or affect the materials. Avoid leaving your headphones in extremely hot or cold environments, such as direct sunlight or a freezing car. Store them in a temperature-controlled area when not in use.
  • Cable and Connector Care: If your headphones have a wired connection, be mindful of the cable and connectors. Avoid excessive bending or pulling on the cable, as this can weaken the internal wires or damage the connectors. When disconnecting the cable, grasp it by the connector instead of pulling on the cable itself.
  • Check for Firmware Updates: Some headphones with noise cancelling capabilities can receive firmware updates to improve their performance or add new features. Check the manufacturer’s website or app periodically to see if there are any updates available for your headphones. Keeping the firmware up to date ensures that you have the latest enhancements and optimizations.

By implementing these additional tips, you can maintain the functionality and longevity of your noise cancelling headphones, allowing you to enjoy their benefits for an extended period. Remember, proper care and usage will contribute to a better overall listening experience.

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Guides and Reviews

In the realm of audio equipment, noise cancelling headphones have emerged as a game-changer. They offer an immersive listening experience by reducing ambient noise and allowing the user to focus on the audio. Whether you're a music enthusiast, a frequent traveller, or someone who simply values tranquillity, these headphones can be a valuable addition to your life. 

A Guide to Noise Cancelling Headphones for Babies

If you're new to the world of noise cancelling headphones, understanding how they work and knowing what to look for to best suit your baby can be a challenge. Check out our in-depth Guide to Noise Cancelling Headphones that serves as an excellent starting point.

The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

With so many options available in the market, finding the best noise cancelling headphones can be overwhelming. This article comes to your rescue by reviewing the top models and the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones in 2023, providing an in-depth analysis of each model's features, performance, and value for money.

Safety and Health

The benefits of noise cancelling headphones extend beyond just providing a quiet environment. They can also have potential health benefits and implications, especially in specific settings. Here, we explore some of these aspects.

Are Noise Cancelling Headphones Safe for MRI Machines?

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Can Noise Cancelling Headphones Help with Nausea or Headaches?

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Can Noise Cancelling Headphones Help with Tinnitus?

Can Noise Cancelling Headphones Help with Tinnitus? Tinnitus, characterized by a constant ringing in the ears, can be a debilitating condition. Discover the potential benefits of headphones with noise cancelling capabilities for individuals suffering from tinnitus in this article. 

Headphones for Specific User Groups

Noise cancelling headphones can be particularly beneficial for specific user groups, including gamers, individuals with ADHD, autism, and children. These headphones can help these users navigate their daily lives more comfortably by reducing the impact of ambient noise.

Buying Guide for Noise Cancelling Headphones for Gamers

We all know how important sound quality is for gamers. Blocking out the outside world while being able to enjoy the sounds in the game is essential. Check out our Buying Guide for Noise Cancelling Gaming Headphones to help you make your decision.

The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for ADHD

For individuals with ADHD, focusing in noisy environments can be a struggle. Check out this guide to the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for ADHD that provides a curated list of the best noise cancelling headphones designed to help people with ADHD concentrate better.

Buying Guide for Noise Cancelling Headphones for Autism

Noise sensitivity can be a significant issue for individuals with autism. Discover the best noise cancelling headphones for these individuals in this Buying Guide for Noise Cancelling Headphones for Autism.

Buying Guide for Noise Cancelling Headphones for Kids

Children can also benefit from the quiet environment provided by noise cancelling headphones. Check out this Buying Guide for Noise Cancelling Headphones for Kids that provides parents with a list of the best models.

The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Babies and Infants

Protecting the delicate ears of babies and infants is crucial. Discover the top noise cancelling headphones designed for this age group in this guide to the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Babies and Infants.

Headphones for Pets

Pets, like humans, can also be disturbed by loud noises. Noise cancelling headphones designed for pets can help keep them calm in noisy environments. Here, we explore some of the best options available for dogs and cats.

The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Dogs

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Buying Guide for Noise Cancelling Headphones for Dogs and Cats

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Headphones for Professions or Activities

Certain professions or activities can expose individuals to high levels of noise, making it essential to protect their hearing. Noise cancelling headphones can be a valuable tool in these scenarios. Here, we explore some of the best options for various professions and activities.

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The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Radio

Radio professionals need clear, uninterrupted listening. Discover the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Radio professionals in this article.

Buying Guide for Noise Cancelling Headphones for Truckers

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The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Woodworking

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The Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds for Construction

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The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Gaming

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Noise Cancelling Headphones Without Music

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Question 01 - What are the benefits of using noise cancelling headphones for individuals with autism

Noise-cancelling headphones can be particularly beneficial for individuals with autism as they often have heightened sensitivity to sound. These headphones can help to reduce the impact of ambient noise, creating a more comfortable auditory environment. This can reduce stress, improve focus, and help individuals better manage sensory overload.

Question 02 - How do noise cancelling headphones work to reduce ambient sounds?

Noise-cancelling headphones work by using active noise control engineering. They have a microphone that picks up ambient noise, such as chatter or traffic, and a speaker that produces a sound wave with the opposite phase. This effectively cancels out the unwanted noise, allowing the wearer to focus on the audio they want to hear or enjoy a quieter environment.

Question 03 - What are the top-rated noise cancelling headphones for people with sensory sensitivities?

The top-rated noise-cancelling headphones for people with sensory sensitivities can vary based on individual needs and preferences. Some popular options include the Bose QuietComfort series and the Sony WH-1000XM series. These headphones are praised for their high-quality noise cancellation, comfort, and sound quality. However, it's important to try different models to find the one that suits you best.

Question 04 - Can noise cancelling headphones improve focus and concentration in noisy environments?

Noise cancelling headphones can significantly improve focus and concentration in noisy environments. By reducing background noise, these headphones can help individuals concentrate on tasks without being distracted by ambient sounds. This can be particularly beneficial in busy environments like offices, public transportation, or crowded public spaces.

Man on train listening to noise-cancelling headphones


In this comprehensive guide on noise cancelling headphones, we have covered key aspects to help you make an informed decision. 

We discussed how they work, the different types available, factors to consider when choosing, tips for effective usage, and maintenance advice. Now equipped with this knowledge, you can confidently select headphones that suit your needs. 

Noise cancelling technology offers a sanctuary of serenity in our noisy world, allowing you to enjoy your favourite audio content and experience immersive sound. Invest in a pair of noise cancelling headphones to enhance your audio journey and embrace the benefits they bring to your daily life.

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