Finding the Right Audio and Visual Equipment

« Back to Home

Insight into Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) Headphones

Posted on

Headphones have been in existence for many years, but a recent trend is the ability to cancel unwanted background noise when listening to music or your favourite audio files. This feature is also known as active noise cancellation (ANC). Remember that all active noise cancellation headphones are not designed equally. Therefore, buyers should know the significant and subtle differences before buying such headphones. There are three common types of active noise cancellation setups for headphones: feed-forward, feedback active and hybrid. Here are some insights into active noise cancellation features.

The Feed-Forward ANC

In the feed-forward type, a microphone is located outside the ear cup, allowing the device to capture noise before reaching the ear. The ANC feature generates an anti-noise signal and sends it to the speaker. The setting reduces high-frequency noise before it reaches the ear. However, the feed-forward ANC type is sensitive to wind noise and can amplify noise at specific frequencies.

The Feedback ANC

The feedback setup has a microphone placed inside the ear cup just before the speaker. Therefore, the microphone captures sound signals, just like the listener, and can cancel or correct any noise accordingly. Also, headphones with feedback ANC capture a range of sound frequencies. Besides, feedback ANC can correct noise even when headphones are worn improperly, at least to some extent. However, headphones with feedback ANC may not be ideal for suppressing high-frequency sounds. Also, some feedback ANC headphones can filter out good sound since they receive noise and sound simultaneously. Therefore, when buying such headphones, you should always go for reputable and high-quality brands.

Hybrid ANC

Hybrid active noise cancellation headphones have microphones placed inside and outside the ear cup. Therefore, users get the best of both worlds with limited challenges. A hybrid model's cost is high compared to other ANC setups because of the complexity of designing the headphones and the high-quality microphones needed for the headphones. Additionally, the hybrid design is easily adaptable to different noise types and can correct them with relative ease. Due to the top-quality performance, the price of hybrid ANC headphones can be more than their counterparts.

Adaptive ANC

The adaptive active noise cancellation setup uses speakers and microphones to adjust sound based on the background automatically. In this sense, the rate of noise cancellation is adaptive to the surrounding. Most importantly, the adaptive technology dynamically adapts headphone performance continuously and in real-time based on background noise and tightness of fit.

Contact a company like Bang and Olufsen for more information.