Active Vs Passive Noise Cancelling – [earprotectionheadphones]

When it comes to choosing headphones, people are frequently perplexed by noise-cancelling technologies. They don’t know whether active noise cancellation or passive noise cancellation technology is better and how to set them apart informally. That’s why we came up with this Active Vs Passive Noise Cancelling headphones guide to lead you on the right track.

In the following, we have compared both these technologies with plenty of features so you can be aware of their capability and quality and pick the best option.


Passive noise cancellation

Active Vs Passive Noise Cancelling

Passive noise cancellation is when earbuds, headphones, or earphones block the outside noise naturally. It means when a headphone isolates the user from ambient noise without using technology, then it’s called a passive noise cancelling headphone.

A headphone with this capability molds to the accurate shape of the ears and blocks the surrounding ambient noise from entering the ear canal. Thus, the user can listen to music at a low volume even in a noisy coffee shop or near the place where the engine.


Active noise cancellation

Active noise cancellation

A headphone that neutralizes the surrounding ambient noise using noise-canceling technology is called an “active noise cancellation headphone.” It incorporates a microphone into the headphone and creates a phase inverted sound to cancel the ambient noise effectively before it reaches the ears.


Active Vs Passive Noise Cancelling: comparison in different features

Once you know what passive noise isolation and active noise cancellation headphones are, it’s time to focus on the main part. In the following, we have compared both the passive noise isolation and active noise cancellation earbuds so you can set them apart quite efficiently.

Better sound quality

Better sound quality

Edge: Passive noise canceling headphones

When compared to earbuds with the same build and tuning quality, those with passive noise cancellation will deliver better sound quality than those with active noise cancellation.

That reason is that ANC headphones and earphones generate noise to cancel the surrounding sound. This can add distortion to the music. Conversely, passive noise cancellation delivers a truer representation of music and blocks the outside noise at the same time.



Edge: Passive noise canceling headphones

Earphones and earbuds deliver passive noise cancellation through custom fit and custom mold. But active noise cancellation headphones don’t adjust perfectly to all unique ears. It means you can cause fatigue more quickly by using ANC earbuds as they put pressure on certain parts of the ears.

But custom-fitted PNC headphones eliminate the worry of putting pressure on them. Thus, it ensures a comfortable feeling even after a long time of use.


Safer for hearing    

Edge: Passive noise canceling headphones

Both the PNC and ANC will let you enjoy music at lower volumes. Still, passive noise isolation is a safe choice for overall hearing. The reason is that ANC neutralizes outside noise by generating equal and opposite noise.
It means it doesn’t let you crank the volume to hear music; but still, it lets more dB enter into the ear than PNC.


Power consumption

Edge: Passive noise canceling headphones

Even passive noise isolation headphones use Bluetooth to operate. Still, it consumes less power compared to Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancellation.

Headphones with ANC need the power to generate noise to block ambient sounds before they reach the ears.

Edge: Both

In general, the price of earphones and headphones largely depends on the brand. So you can easily purchase both PNC and ANC headphones for $50. However, their build and sound quality won’t be impressive. You will need a healthy pocket to buy quality headphones, whether it is passive noise isolation or active noise cancellation.


Benefits beyond listening to music

Edge: Passive noise canceling headphones

If you need a headphone mostly to block the ambient noise out, active noise cancellation is your way to go. It can block the noise at low frequencies. ANC headphones can block up to 60 dB of noise, which is the same as coming from a subway train.

However, active noise-canceling headphones don’t block the noise completely. So you will hear a slight hiss from the noise floor. This gentle noise always exists, no matter whether you are hearing music or not.

If you want to block outside noise when not listening to music, you should go for PNC custom-fitted headphones. These will make you more comfortable throughout the day. The reason is that these types of headphones are designed to fit the unique shape of your ears perfectly. These also evenly distribute pressure across the ears, preventing earaches.



Edge: Passive noise canceling headphones
When it comes to portability, PNC headphones come in a more compact design than headphones with active noise cancellation.

The reason is that active noise cancellation headphones need an onboard microphone to neutralize the ambient noise. However, portability can vary depending on the brand and model of the headphones.


Final words

In this Active Vs Passive Noise Cancelling headphones debating guide, we have compared all of their capability and outcome face to face. Following the edge, passive noise canceling headphones are clearly the better and safer choice whether it is for comfort, safer use, portability, or quality sound.

However active noise canceling is a preferable choice for the user who needs to spend more time in a noisy environment. Lastly, go with your preference and condition to enjoy the desired quality music.

Leave a Comment