What Is Active Noise Cancellation in Earbuds?
Earbuds are supposed to let you hear whatever you want to listen to - the latest hit single on the radio, your favorite podcast, or a phone call from a friend - in public, without bothering anyone else.
But what’s the point of wearing earbuds if they don’t block out the noises you don’t want to hear? Traffic, other people’s conversations, the music playing over the speakers in the mall… these are all things you should be able to muffle when you’ve got your earbuds in.
Unfortunately, so many of the brands you find at the store nowadays don’t provide what should be a basic feature. As a result, you’re forced to turn up the volume on your phone to unsafe levels just to hear your sound. This can cause lasting, irreparable damage to your eardrums and make it harder for you to hear in normal situations.
For all these reasons, when you’re a young person shopping for affordable wireless earbuds, you need to look for a product that uses active noise cancellation technology.
What Is Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)?
Active noise cancellation (ANC) is a type of sound technology that you’ll find in the best earbuds on the internet.
ANC was first integrated into headphones by Dr. Amar Bose - a professor at MIT and the founder of the Bose Corporation which sells speakers and headphones - and his team of engineers.
Bose came up with the idea of noise-canceling headphones on a flight in 1978, when he tried to listen to a Sony Walkman using new, electronic headphones.
To Bose’s disappointment, the headphones didn’t cancel out the noises on the plane surrounding him, meaning he couldn’t listen to the tape in his Walkman. But this disappointment soon gave way to a brilliant idea.
It took more than 15 years, but eventually, he and his team at Bose developed headphones that could block out or muffle external noise. They were first used by aviation pilots, the military, and coaches in the National Football League (NFL).
Now, you can find them in earbuds for everyday use.
How Does Active Noise Cancellation Work?
We’re taught in grade school that sound is made up of invisible waves that move from the source of the sound to our ears. ANC technology is based on this basic principle.
When a sound wave moves toward your ear, as from a car engine or a person speaking, the ANC-equipped earbuds you’re wearing send out waves of similar length from tiny microphones embedded in it. These waves cancel out the ones that are coming toward your ears.
Image from Wikimedia Commons
The effect is you don’t hear the external noise, or it’s so muffled that it doesn’t overwhelm what you’re trying to listen to through the earbuds.
What Are The Benefits Of Active Noise Cancellation?
The benefit of ANC earbuds is they allow you to listen to your music or talk to friends no matter where you are, even if there is a lot of noise in your environment.
Imagine this: you’re walking down a street in your city. There are construction noises all around you because of the construction crew working on the road. On top of that, there’s the sound of vehicles’ engines revving and horns honking as they make their way through traffic.
But none of these things bothers you because you’re wearing your active noise canceling earbuds. You’re listening to a new podcast or calling your friend to make plans for the upcoming weekend at a safe volume, completely unbothered by all the sounds going on around you.
Apply this to any scenario: shopping at the mall, walking across campus to your next class, taking the subway to your job, or whatever you normally do that takes you through a noisy place.
Where Can I Find Active Noise Cancellation Earbuds?
Costar earbuds, in particular, offer a modern style and comfort as well as ANC up to 25dB. In case you need to listen to an external sound, like an ambulance or someone speaking to you in person, you can easily switch these earbuds into Transparency Mode, which will shut off the noise-canceling microphones.
Another factor to look for in ANC earbuds is price. Whether you’re a teen, a college student, or an up-and-coming young businessperson, saving money is a big deal. For young people, the best feature of Costar earbuds by far is the low cost. At just ₹1799, they’re more affordable than other brands’ offerings which cost upwards of ₹2000.