Why Noise-Cancellation Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be
by Chase Welcher
There’s nothing better than putting on a pair of headphones and escaping from the world around you...until you hear outside noises interfering with your music. That’s why lots of people look for noise-canceling headphones. We receive a lot of questions about noise cancellation at LSTN HQ, but is it really all it's cracked up to be? Let’s dig deeper into the science behind active noise cancellation vs. noise isolation.
Active noise cancellation uses a microphone to record noise as it enters your environment. To reduce outside noise, an opposing sound wave is generated to reduce the sound waves heard by the receiving microphone. This cancels out all outside environmental noise, allowing the listener to hear only what is coming through the headphones- your music.
Neat, right? Well....not exactly. Unfortunately, this technology comes with its fair share of flaws. The opposing sound waves generated by active noise cancellation technology end up blocking key parts of the sound spectrum (aka your music). With key parts of your music blocked, your ears are forced to work harder to create sound. This creates ear fatigue and will leave your ears more fatigued than standard headphones - this is why you'll never see musicians using noise-canceling headphones.
Noise-canceling technology also comes with some unwanted design setbacks, and it can impact your convenience. The battery needed to power the noise-canceling microphone is just another “tech item” making your headphones bulkier, heavier, and oftentimes ugly - not to mention way more expensive. Keep in mind that without a working battery, these headphones become useless - be sure you carry a backup battery with your noise-canceling headphones and know how to install it when you are traveling! More tech on your headphones = more potential parts to break or malfunction.
Once the facts are laid out, we think you'll agree that the cons outweigh the pros of active noise cancellation. That's why we choose noise isolation headphones to keep your hearing intact longer and provide a stylish, quality product you can trust. Noise isolation provides extremely comparable noise reduction vs. active noise-canceling headphones, without the use of any batteries. Escape from the world around you, without pumping unnecessary sound into your ears. Take a tip from musicians worldwide - they know how to treat their ears. Ignore the hype around noise canceling, and get the most out of your headphones.