What kind of noise do noise-canceling headphones cancel?

You might be familiar with the term noise cancellation headphone if you have ever bought a headphone or a microphone but if you are not clear on what that means then this article can be a great help for you. There are a lot of headphones that come with a mic and offer both microphone and headphone noise cancellation. The noise cancellation that takes place through the microphone helps the listener to listen to your voice. But the one that takes place through the headphones helps you to listen to music clearly or shut down all the noises of the environment.

Here our main concern is how noise cancellation headphones can be helpful for you so if you are on a flight and there are a lot of people around you out of which some are babies who are crying and screaming constantly then you can simply wear headphones and reduce the sounds coming from outside through noise cancellation mechanism.

Types of noise cancellation and how it works

The next thing that comes in the list is how many types of sounds are there and which sound is more effectively canceled by the best quality headphones. So there are two types of noises i.e. active noise and passive noise. Active noise cancellation means the cancellation of sound waves coming toward your ear. While passive noise cancellation refers to the physical cancellation of all the noises coming from the environment.

The physical features of an earphone such as its material and design are involved in the cancellation of passive noise and the passive noise is created usually by high-frequency sounds. While active noise cancellation takes place by anti-noise waves that a headphone creates by detecting the type of sound waves coming towards your ear and active noise is created by slow and low-frequency sounds.

The noise cancellation depends upon various factors and the noise-canceling headphones that are working perfectly for you may not be the best for someone else. Because the headphones work based on how perfectly they fit in your ear canal and the material and quality of the headphones. So this may vary from person to person or from device to device.

How is Noise Reduction rated in headphones?

Noise reduction means the value of sound is reduced by a certain device while its usage. A Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is given to every device that offers active noise cancellation and it is measured in decibels(dB). 

Some people confuse the value of noise reduction with the incoming noise so they don't get the idea of what it means. Here is an example that might help you to understand it in a better way. Suppose a headphone offers 40db noise cancellation but the sound coming from outside is 50db then only 10db noise will reach your ears as 40db will be canceled by the headphones.

Noise cancellation is also measured by the term attenuation which is calculated by calculating the average amount of noise reduction across the range of different frequencies like bass, mid and treble. Attenuation usually refers to audio signals so it always comes up in discussion when talking about headphones. 

How much noise cancellation is offered by a good quality headphone?

If you are investing in a headphone then you should go for the ones that offer noise cancellation up to 20db to 30db. A headphone should not only offer the best noise cancellation but the sound quality that it offers should also be amazing. Some best headphones in the market that offer high-quality performance including good sound quality and active noise cancellation include Sony headphones, JBL headphones, and Apple headphones.