Our world is filled with distracting background noise: the conversations of co-workers, construction on a nearby building, neighbors rising early to do loud yard work. Most of us, given the choice, would prefer to drown out of these disturbances. This would provide us the ability to focus on the task at hand, whether putting together an excel file in the office, playing video games online with friends, conversing with a professor over the phone, or just trying to find some sleep in a noisy world.
Noise-cancelling headphones provide users the ability to do just that. They rid the user of ambient interruption and allow them to focus on their current objective. Here are five reasons why you should consider purchasing noise-cancelling headphones.
1. They Use Smart Technology to Cancel Out The Noise
Noise-cancelling headphones don’t create a sound wall; they actively work to cancel outside sound by “listening” to the ambient noise around you. They do this by implementing digital signal processing (DSP) technology. DSP runs analog sounds through a microphone, which is analyzed by an algorithm in order to produce the opposite sound. The opposing sounds cancels out the ambient sound, in a process known as “destructive interference), allowing you to focus on what you are listening to and not the outside world.
2. They’re Really Good at Cancelling Low-Frequency Sound
While noise-cancelling headphones aren’t going to be able to block the sound of a gunshot or a car honking at you (nor should they), they are exceedingly good at blocking at low-ambient noise, like the engine of an airplane or your co-workers chatting by the water cooler. This means that they are extremely useful for traveling or operating effectively at work or school.
3. They Sound Better and Are Better For Your Ears
One of the most useful aspects of cancelling sound is that it allows for lower-volume listening. When you no longer need to blast the volume in your headphones, you actually hear music or voices better and more richly. Lower volume gives you the ability to differentiate between the subtleties in the various sounds, allowing for a richer experience when listening to music or a clearer conversation with another person via the headset. In addition, lower volumes are better for your ears, whereas repeated exposure to high volumes can weaken your hearing permanently.
4. They Are Surprisingly Affordable
Noise-cancelling headphones have never been more affordable. In the past, they could cost upwards of hundreds of dollars. Today, with the advent of noise-cancelling adapters, noise-cancelling technology is quickly becoming the norm. These adapters can be equipped to everything from phones to video game controllers to iPods. And when this technology can cost you under thirty dollars for use on any of these devices, noise-cancelling adapters are a strong (and cheap) investment for your focus and your ears.
5. They Can be Equipped with a Noise-Cancelling Microphone
In addition to the noise-cancelling headset or adapter, you can also purchase an additional noise-cancelling microphone. These specialty microphones have two receivers. The juxtaposition of these two receivers allows the microphone to differentiate between the sounds closer to it (most likely your voice) and ambient noise. As such, these allow a much clearer sound to be transferred to whomever you are speaking with, whether it be a potential business client, or a familiar friend. Much like the adapters, noise-cancelling microphones are becoming much more affordable as well.