Noise-canceling headphones are a handy option to enjoy music anywhere without having a soundproof room. But many people believe that they need to invest more to get an effective and optimum noise canceling experience. But it’s not completely true. In this case, learning How does noise canceling headphone work will let you understand the basic principle and pick the right one for your desired purposes.
In this article, we have briefly discussed the working principle of noise-canceling headphones theoretically and practically as well as mentioned the tricks to avoid potential hazards.
How does a noise canceling headphone work?
Noise-canceling headphones observe the sound surrounding people and block unwanted noise before reaching the ears. Miniature microphones used in headphones listen to the outside noise and produce an opposite signal to cancel the noise.
What is sound, and what is noise?
To understand how does noise canceling headphone works, you should know what is sound first. Sound is what you hear and the compression and decompression of the particles which flow through the medium. You can imagine sound as a ripple moving through the air. However, these particles change rapidly in air pressure.
The changes in air pressure are known as amplitude. The ears and brain identify and read those changes as sound where the larger the amplitude the louder the sound becomes. At the same time, the quicker the changes, the pitch becomes higher.
Despite sound can be pleasant or unpleasant and wanted or unwanted. For example, loud sound is considered unpleasant, unwanted, and noisy.
How do headphones block outside noise?
Headphones usually block ambient noise using phase inversion technology to make anti-noise. It’s a simple yet tricky concept.
If you line up two identical waves with each other and if their troughs and peaks match, its means these waves are in phase. And if they are summed they will cause larger waves or louder sounds.
Wondering what would happen if one of the waves gets delayed by one-half wavelength while matching up troughs with peaks of another wave?
This condition will consider out of phase. At a time one will act as the positive pressure while the other one will act as negative and vice versa. Imagine adding one and deducting one which will result in zero. And this is the basic physics of noise cancellation technology. But how do headphones use this noise cancellation technology?
Does a microphone use noise cancel?
Headphones continuously monitor and sample the ambient noise with built-in microphones to create anti-noise. It receives the ambient noise from the surroundings and delivers it to the onboard electronics. Like the music, headphones also create the sound opposite to the sound wave to block it out. Therefore the user only listens to the music that comes from the headphones without hearing it outside.
Apart from the theatrically, noise cancellation is quite a tough job practically. Headphones can easily detect and cancel the constant noise like hums of the jet engine than sudden and random sounds like human talk.
Can noise-canceling headphones cause dizziness?
Some listeners complain that they feel dizziness and disorientation while using noise-canceling headphones. Some people also suffer from nausea and headache. But the most potential reason behind these problems is being triggered by ANC.
Typically, noise-canceling technology produces very low-frequency vibrations to stimulate balance receptors to attach to the human ear’s stereocilia which is a hair cell. If these receptors communicate to the brain, it delivers a message like experiencing motion which causes dizziness.
To solve this problem, the listener must reduce the ANC intensity. You can do it using headphone companion apps. Alternatively, you can buy a pair of low-class noise canceling headphones.
Does noise cancel hurt ears?
Noise-canceling doesn’t hurt hearing negatively. But the user can feel slightly hissing while the ANC turn on which can be irritating for some people.
Is noise canceling worth it?
Of course, noise-canceling headphones are a handy appliance to protect hearing, decrease environmental distractions, and experience better audio.
Do noise-canceling headphones block everything?
Noise-canceling headphones block noise up to 25 dB and 2000 Hz. It means it can block the sound of speech almost completely.