how does active noise canceling work

How Does Active Noise Cancelling Work

Cities are notoriously loud, and it’s hard to escape all the noise. Heavy traffic, construction sites, or even a noisy garbage truck can all be harmful for your hearing. Many people use music to block out the background noise. Do you turn up the volume even higher when the noises around you get louder? Millions of Americans use music to drown out distractions, but this can be very bad for your ears. If you want relief from background noise and a better way to listen to your favorite music, active noise cancelling headphones can make listening safe.

Never-Ending Noise

If you live in a city, noise is a big part of your life. You may not notice it anymore, but loud sounds are all around you. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, sounds over 85 decibels (dB) can lead to hearing loss. Did you know that even heavy traffic can reach 85 dB? Other loud city sounds include subway trains, buses, or large vehicles. A nearby airport or freeway causes extra background noise, and construction sites add to the din. It can be very hard to escape all this noise. 

Noise Can Get Annoying

All the noise around you can get irritating, so it makes sense that we try to use music to get some peace of mind. But putting in earbuds doesn’t get rid of the background noise. We often turn up the volume to maximum to get away from all the other noise. Even still, we can hear the background noise through our music.

And the noise doesn’t stop when you get home. The heater or the air conditioner makes noise, the fridge hums or something rattles in the dryer. The kids are shouting in the yard, and the TV is on in the background.

Negative Side-Effects of Loud Noise

Living in all this noise is annoying, but that’s not all. A recent study looked at how noise affects your overall health. They discovered that noise can lead to increased stress and anxiety, as well as an increased risk of hypertension and heart disease. Noise can also affect your mood, cause irritation, and make it hard for you to sleep soundly at night. When you’re surrounded by sound, you use up energy blocking out the background noise, leaving less focus and concentration for your work or personal life.

Watch Out for Hearing Loss

No wonder we use music to block out background sounds! However, all that music rushing right into your ears could be causing another problem: hearing loss. When you turn the volume all the way up, your personal listening device can reach up to 100 dB! At this volume, you’re definitely hurting your ears.

One solution is to get noise cancelling earbuds or headphones. You’ll be able to enjoy your music without turning up the volume, and get relief from all those background noises. 

What is Active Noise Cancelling? 

Getting a pair of noise cancelling headphones can change the way you listen to music and block out background noise. Active noise cancelling digitally analyzes all the sounds around you. Instead of letting all those sounds get to your ears, active noise cancelling neutralizes the sound waves. It will effectively cancel out the background noise before it gets to your ears. Active noise cancelling creates another sound wave that matches the background noise, but then inverts it by 180 degrees. The background noise and the noise cancelling sound cancel each other out. This means you won’t hear the background noise or the sound created by your noise cancelling headphones. 

Active noise cancelling headphones don’t block out all the sound. Instead, they reduce the volume of the background noise by about 30 dB. The background noise will sound very soft, or you may not hear it at all. 

Protecting Your Hearing

If you want to learn more about active noise cancelling, find out when you need to wear hearing protection, or discover some amazing hearing aids, contact us! We’ll help you develop safe listening practices, like keeping your music volume under 60%, and taking breaks to give your ears a rest. Find out more about your unique hearing with a hearing test, and see if you’re missing any of the sounds around you.