Detailed discussion on how a noise cancelling headphone really works
There is quite some confusion going on about the noise cancelling headphones about which people are raising questions such as whether they are really worth it or not. Firstly, they are expensive and secondly, every review so far has pointed out that they don’t sound as good as compared to the other similarly priced headphones. On the other hand, the marketing claim of 95% noise reduction is quite appealing and sounds good enough and there is apparently no need to mention how isolated the person feels who owns a good quality pair of in-ear headphones.
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For those who are thinking that the noise cancelling headphones work in the similar fashion as do normal headphones then they are in for a surprise. These noise cancellation headphones make use of microphones and some fancy processing to create an opposite sound wave than the one that’s headed for your eardrum. The inverse wave is supposed to cancel out any intruding sound wave from the outside and it does cancel it out; but to a certain extent.
Had the world been a perfect place, the noise could easily have been cancelled 100%. Unfortunately that is not the case. Even the best ones out there don’t guarantee you noise cancellation completely. As long as the sound is low and steady, it can easily be cancelled out but is it is high pitched then this task becomes a little different. Though the best ones out there do work really well, you should still be prepared to hear some noise from the outside world.
On the other side are the noise isolating headphones which do differentiate from the noise cancelling ones. These provide better results than the noise cancelling headphones since they have higher resistance towards high frequencies.