Noise Cancelling Headphones Buyers Guide
To make sure that you choose the very best noise-canceling headphones for your needs, then there are several features that you need to consider, and then you need to choose which of these features are the most important to you.
Of course, the level of noise cancellation that you require is the primary decision that you must make. The amount of money that you are willing to spend will be integral to your final decision, though, as the more advanced the technology is that you choose, then the more expensive the headphones will be.
You also need to remember that noise cancellation is only one feature of the headphones, and if you’re planning on listening to music through the headphones, then the sound quality will be just as important.
It’s only worthwhile eliminating external noises if you are happy with what you’re listening to instead of these annoying noises. The following are the key elements to keep in mind when you’re choosing your next set of noise-canceling headphones:
Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones versus Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
The most important choice you need to make is between noise-canceling headphones that use passive technology or active technology.
Passive noise-canceling headphones manage to block out external noises through the design of the headphones themselves. The most important part of the headphones is the ear cups and the ear cushions.
They will form a seal around your ears. The materials used for the ear cushions will insulate your ears against external noises. Because of the availability of high-quality materials for low prices, manufacturers are now able to offer passive noise-canceling headphones at very affordable prices.
The level of noise cancellation is not as high as active noise-canceling headphones, but for people who want to block out the vast majority of ambient noise, then these headphones are a great choice. Passive noise cancellation also doesn’t require any kind of power source, so they can be worn without the need for charging the headphones.
Active noise-canceling headphones have circuitry built into the ear cups which requires a form of battery to power. This form of noise cancellation uses a highly technical process that basically allows for external noises to be canceled out by a signal that is produced by the mechanism inside the earcups.
This form of technology is more expensive to make, which means that the headphones cost more as a result, but it is a highly efficient way of blocking out external noises. Active noise-canceling headphones will usually have passive noise-canceling technology built into them too, meaning that you have a very low chance of any external noise penetrating the headphones while you wear them. Active noise cancellation requires power, so you will find that headphones of this type will need to be charged.
Ear Pads and Ear Cups
Besides offering passive noise cancellation, the ear pads are extremely important in terms of comfort. If you intend to wear the noise-canceling headphones for a prolonged period of time, then you must make sure that the earpads have been made from a protein material. Ideally, this will be a memory protein that will mold to your ears, and give you sustained comfort.
The ear cups also contribute to comfort. Swiveling ear cups allow you to move your head freely while you are wearing the headphones. If the ear cups don’t swivel, then you will find the headphones being much more restrictive, and this will reduce the amount of time you can comfortably wear the headphones.
Wired or Wireless
Noise-canceling headphones will be either wired or wireless. A wire means that the headphones will not require charging. Although, in some cases, if they are active noise-canceling headphones, then a battery will still be required to power the active noise-canceling technology, and this will either require charging or changing, depending on the battery type.
Wireless headphones use Bluetooth technology to hook up to your device – whether a smartphone, tablet, media player, or another such device – and this means that they will require charging. When active noise cancellation technology is being used, then this will significantly reduce the amount of playtime that you get from a single charge.
If you plan to use the headphones for regular, long commuted or journeys, then picking active noise-canceling headphones with a long battery playtime would be the best idea for you.
Battery playtime varies, but it is possible to find wireless noise-canceling headphones that offer you well over 50 hours of playtime from a single charge. You can also find headphones that have a quick-charge function, where a ten-minute charge can give you an hour or two of playtime.
A noise-canceling microphone is a common feature on the best noise-canceling headphones and this is recommended for anyone looking for ANC headphones that can be worn for making phone calls. Both wired and wireless noise-canceling headphones have microphones, with wired noise-canceling headphones having an in-line microphone built into the wire.
The drivers are what power the sound. The bigger the drivers, the more power and the wider the frequency response. 30mm is a sufficient size for affordable noise-canceling microphones, but if sound quality is valuable to you, then 40mm should be your minimum, and 45mm or 50mm would be the ideal for audiophiles.
Is it possible to purchase active noise-canceling headphones that fit inside the ear?
Generally, active noise-canceling headphones will have an over-ear or on-ear fit. The main reason for this is because it allows for passive noise cancellation too. There are some manufacturers, however, who have started to produce in-ear active noise-canceling headphones.
Bose is one of the best companies for active noise-canceling headphones of this type. Many people find in-ear headphones more comfortable to wear, as they are smaller, lighter, and there is less chance of becoming overheated while wearing them.
Active noise-canceling headphones are the best choice for people who want 100% noise cancellation, but they come at a cost. If you’re looking for the best budget noise-canceling headphones, then go for passive noise-canceling headphones instead, as they will still offer a lot of noise cancellation, but they won’t empty your bank account as a result.
Did you know?
Many linguists believe that the word ‘noise’ has roots in the word ‘nausea’, and anyone who is sensitive to noise will attest to the fact that it can lead to a certain sense of sickness, but fortunately noise-canceling headphones have been created to allow people who are sensitive to noise to be able to listen to more pleasurable sounds without external disturbances.
There are some fantastic noise-canceling headphones available in 2019 which are effective at silencing external noises, while also offering outstanding sound quality so that you can listen to your favorite music without any disturbance.
The best noise-canceling headphones will include a noise-canceling microphone, as well as extremely soft ear cushions that fit inside swiveling ear cups so that you can wear the headphones for a long period of time and remain comfortable.
Active noise cancelation is the most effective form of noise cancelation, but if you’re looking for noise-canceling headphones on a budget, then choosing high-quality headphones that have passive noise cancelation is a great choice too, and will reduce ambience noise significantly, allowing you to listen to your favorite music or podcasts without being bothered by external noises.