How Does Noise Cancellation Work?

When you’ve walked down any street, anywhere inside the Uk, at any point in the last 10 years, you will know that the Britain of this early 21st Century is noisy, crowded and busy.


Those shuttle past you with earphones on, cell phones in front of their faces and sometimes, seemingly talking to themselves (until you notice the Bluetooth headset). Many is a time I have heard someone talking and rotating to address them, only to see that they aren’t chatting to me at all. There are more vehicles #on the# road and there are more highways for those cars to drive on. Yes, this country is a busy place and sometimes you want to just shut all of it out.


You could be attempting to hear a client’s requests on your hands free earpiece, or you could just want to forget everything else around you and listen to music. For these reasons (and some more) noise cancelling headsets are rising in popularity at an alarming rate. Actually, they are a great invention, and a essential one.


But how does such wondrous technology work?


Well, to say it simply, there are a couple of forms of noise reducing headsets. The 1st is pretty simple. Standard noise cancellation occurs when you place anything in (or over) your ears. In fact, this simple fact is simply really utilized through the design of the earphones themselves. If they cover your ears, or block them with ear buds, then you’re accomplishing basic noise cancellation. We’ll call that ‘passive’ noise reduction.


The second type, we’ll call ‘active’ noise reduction. With this type, a particular technology is used. Active noise cancelling earpieces generate a field of white noise round the ear, which acts as something of a vacuum and drowns out basically any sound round the wearer. These noise reducing headsets are useful plus they work a treat if you happen to live near any road works.


There is, of course, a draw back. With some noise reducing headphones, you even have a hard time hearing, well, anything at all. This is now fine when the ambient sound is restricted to kids listening to chavvy music on their phones, or else uppity couples quarrelling (so violently that you suspect ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ could be holding clandestine auditions somewhere) and noisy delivery trucks trundling past, but it may be a bit of a downer when you don’t hear oncoming cars, or phrases like “Ow! You stepped on my foot!”


Making sure that’s how it works.