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Different Types of Noise Canceling

Noise canceling headphones help block outside noise. Discover the different types of noise canceling and which is best for your needs.
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What are the Different Types of Noise Cancellation?

Noise canceling headphones are a great way to shut out the world around you, whether you need to focus on a work assignment or important test or just want to enjoy music without interruption. Did you know that there are different types of noise cancellation, though? Passive, adaptive and active noise cancellation (ACN) each have their own pros and cons. When budgeting for your headphones, the price point for noise canceling headphones can be seen as good, better, best (ranging from around $49 to $399 and above). Before you invest in a new pair of headphones, it's important to learn the difference so you can buy exactly what you need.

Passive Noise Cancellation

Passive noise cancellation is the most commonly found in headphones. Simply put, these kinds of headphones are able to filter outside sound because the device is physically blocking sound, whether it's inside the ear or covering it entirely. If you're just trying to block out ambient noise like office chatter, headphones with passive noise cancellation are a great idea. Because these devices don't feature technology that actually disperses outside sound waves, a proper fit is especially important. The more secure the fit, the better their ability to block noise. However, because their design is responsible for isolating noise, these headphones tend to be bulkier. Generally, passive noise canceling headphones cost less than their ACN counterparts.
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Active Noise Cancellation

Headphones and earbuds with ANC are equipped with microphones that cancel out incoming sound waves from the noise around you. These microphones detect the sound then produce equal but inverse sound waves that cancel out the outside noise. Because of their special noise-blocking technology, active noise canceling headphones can be heavier and will typically cost more than standard models. Turning on ANC will also drain your headphones' battery life faster, so be aware if you're on the go.
Active noise canceling headphones are great for a variety of scenarios. They're the perfect travel companion on noisy airplanes, whether you're doing work on the go or just want to listen to music without distraction; they'll be able to block out the constant noise of the flight. College students living in noisy dorms will appreciate how much easier it is to concentrate when outside activity is silenced. Maybe you're just someone who wants to enjoy music to its fullest without distractions. No matter the reason, ANC is ideal for those trying to focus in noisy environments.
Woman holding a smartphone and wearing headphones walking in a metropolitan area

Adaptive Noise Cancellation

As the name suggests, adaptive noise canceling is a technology designed to adapt to the changing ambient noise around you. This sophisticated technology digitally adapts to the noise around you. Some audio brands also have features that allow you to manually adjust the level of noise canceling, often called Transparency mode. Other brands have their own distinct version of this technology, like Bose's Aware mode. This feature is helpful in several scenarios; for example, someone may leave work to walk to a local coffee shop and want to hear traffic and construction noise around them for safety.

Find Noise Canceling Headphones at Abt

Abt has a variety of noise canceling headphones whether you prefer classic on-ear headphones or wireless earbuds. If you have additional questions about the different types of canceling, reach out to an Abt audio expert at 800-860-3577. They can also provide specific product recommendations so you can bring home the perfect listening device.

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