Noise canceling headphones have become quite popular in recent years, but a lot of people don’t recognize the downsides of sound cancellation.
Noise Cancelling Benefits
Noise canceling works and functions well enough to give you the illusion of quieter environment that makes listening to music much more enjoyable. At the same time, you may use the NC headphones just for canceling the sound with no music. Ideal for times when you need to break your mind.
Noise Cancelling Disadvantages
Noise canceling headphones often cost more, particularly the higher end ones. Each of the technology, microphones and more sophisticated design cost cash.
To acquire good NC headphones you are going to have to pay money for which you’d acquire non-cancelling headphones with better comfort, better build quality, and especially greater audio.
Lower sound quality
Noise canceling technology produces the counter frequencies to negate noise, but since it’s not 100% true all of the time you can hear a hissing noise when it is turned on. Not to mention a few of the frequencies in the first music recording will also receive canceled out, distorting the overall sound quality.
But if you don’t have the best ears and value more features and user experience, the cans on this list are one of the best to choose from. Since ANC (active sound canceling) technologies can not work without power, you need a battery, making it less user-friendly. Some cans use rechargeable batteries, some varying ones, but complete this means more hassle and cost to the end user.
The Truth About Noise Cancelling Technology
One of the known problems of active noise canceling is evident when you’re out in strong winds. When strong winds are blowing and making noises, your microphones pick it up and create a complete mess of the noise you hear on the headphones. This is why ANC headphones aren’t recommended for outside use and can be extremely frustrating if you’re ever caught in this circumstance.
There is nothing which can be done about this because it is just another “feature” of the noise canceling technology in general. If you are buying ANC, expecting to invest more money for a good pair is the general rule of thumb. Additionally, don’t use them outside, keep your eye on the battery and don’t expect superb, audiophile sound quality. In the event, you value sound quality and do not want to pay an excessive amount of money, take a peek at noise isolating headphones. Normally, they are cheaper, seem better and provide good protection against external noise.
The Bose QuietComfort 25 are considered by most to be the best noise-canceling (NC) headphones in the world. This doesn’t mean you should buy them, however.
This headset is better than the competition because Bose’s technology reduces noise more effectively than any other comparable pair of headphones. It also produces reasonably good sound quality, but that’s definitely a secondary concern. (The QuietComfort also has some other nice features, like the ability to perform music while the NC is lifeless, a removable AAA battery, and a removable sound cable.) But just because the tech beats out the competition within its class doesn’t indicate that these are truly excellent headphones.
In order to achieve the noise-canceling effect, ANC devices simply play music in a lower grade than headsets that do not simultaneously blocking noise. The busy NC technology creates an odd ear-pressure feeling that feels weird and a bit uncomfortable after extended use, which makes the experience much less natural than that using a standard set.
Should you most of your listening into a residential area or a quieter workplace, you may want to consider spending your money on over-ear headphones made to get you the very best possible quality for your money, such as the $150 Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Their passive noise canceling (AKA the absolute thickness which keeps sound outside) ought to be more than sufficient for a great listening experience 90 percent of the time. Occasionally you’ll find yourself bothered by a blower or barking dog, but in return, you get maximum quality unblemished by NC’s strain on your ears or poorer sound.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve really liked the QC25s I’ve used in the past. Just keep in mind you might have to take them off every few hours to ward off stress headaches.
If your situation is similar, or whether you’re a regular flier, operate in a loud office, or simply hate disruptions, a top-tier NC headset such as the QC25 could be right for you. However, when you buy noise-cancelling headphones, know that there is a trade-off involved. You are losing some quality and relaxation for a technology that will cut out a few, but not all, noise.