Passive Noise Cancelling vs Active Noise Cancelling.

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Noise-canceling technology is becoming very essential in almost every device we have in our houses but most of us don’t seem to understand what exactly it is. Before we dive deeper, it is important to know exactly what this is. Noise-canceling is simply the elimination of unwanted noises in your surrounding to enhance the listening experience. This feature will provide a sense of peaceful and quiet environment.

Noise-canceling technology is a crucial feature in headphones but it can also be applied in other gadgets. For example, our smartphones have also included this feature to improve call quality. Smartphones employ a quality noise cancellation system to remove some of the background noise when you hold your phone up to your ear, for crystal clear phone calls.

Other devices include the Google Home and Amazon Echo. They are designed with omnidirectional microphones, offering better speech detection and noise reduction characteristics than your typical smartphone. We also have sound masking machines. They use either fans or digital recordings to create white noise, which masks out unwanted disturbances. These encourage relaxation, focus, and a good night’s sleep.

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There are two main types of noise cancellation; passive noise cancellation and active noise cancellation.

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Passive Noise Cancelling.

This is also considered as noise isolation. It is the simplest method of noise canceling. This refers to any physical measures that clean up a sound signal and prevent noise. Headphones that are designed with passive noise cancellation in mind are made to completely cover your ear with extra padding that encloses your ear completely. The effect is to focus your ear in on listening to what’s coming out of the speakers built into the headphones alone.

Foam and leatherette ear cushions provide comfort plus create and acoustic seal to your ear. Earbuds sit inside your ear and provide greater isolation from external sounds. How much noise cancellation is achieved depends on how strong the seal is between your ears and the device. Passive cancellation is often limited to canceling frequencies above 1 kHz. It is also all about the physical, or you can say the mechanical, design of the device.

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Active Noise Cancelling.

This is the newest type of technology being used in Bluetooth wireless headphones, earbuds, and headsets to reduce the distractions of a noisy environment. Active noise cancellation (ANC) is the process of using a microphone to monitor environmental noise and creating anti-noise that’s then mixed in with audio playback to cancel noise entering the user’s ear.

The microphones pick up the audio that the user would hear and it is fed into the ANC circuitry, inverted then played into the same audio path. The result is the noise combined with the inverted noise cancel each other leaving just the intended audio. Usually, there’s a button you tap on to activate the active noise cancellation, which then cues into the sounds around you.

Active noise canceling is very good at removing low-frequency noise typically 80 to 700 Hz. This type of technology is advantageous because you don’t have to raise the volume to get to hear clearly. You can enjoy your music and phone calls at low volume levels. This gives you a chance to maintain good hearing in the future.

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Which type will suit you best?

There different pros and cons of each type of noise cancellation and the decision solely depends on you. For instance, passive noise cancellation may be too bulky and be uncomfortable after long hours of use and only reduce noise to a certain level. However, they can be cheap and rarely require batteries or charging.

On the other hand, active noise cancellation may be expensive, require charging and batteries but will reduce background noise efficiently. After taking the time to analyze each, you’ll be able to choose wisely.