Are Noise Cancelling Headphones Really Worth It?

Noise-cancelling headphones reduce unwanted ambient sounds by using active noise control as part of the listening experience. This design is different from passive models which use a process of soundproofing to create a similar result. That means you can listen to your preferred audio without excessive volume.

Are noise-cancelling headphones worth it? Considering the numerous advantages hearing protection and peace of mind, noise-cancelling headphones are totally worth the investment. If you must focus on the audio, then this is the option to choose.

are noise cancelling headphones worth it

Why Noise-Cancelling Headphones Are Worth The Price

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 The primary benefit of noise-cancelling headphones is a reduction in the stimulating sounds that are in our modern environment. This technology blocks or filters high-frequency sound waves using passive or active responses respectively. You can then choose what you wish to hear.

Anyone with auditory, sensory, or behavioral processing disorders can use this technology to reduce the audio impact of busy environments. You can wear them in the classroom, on airplanes, or while driving to improve your focus.

Noise-cancelling headphones can help you choose which sounds in the environment you wish to hear as well. That means you can manage concerts or sporting events better from a noise pollution perspective.

Here are some of the other benefits to consider when contemplating this technology.

1. It reduces the volume levels for your audio.

The reason why many people listen to music at a high volume is that they are trying to replicate the noise-cancellation effect using an additional audio source. If your music is thunderous, then the rest of the world goes away. This habit can adversely impact your hearing over time.

Noise-cancelling headphones allow you to hear fuller, more vibrant sounds at a healthier volume level for your hearing. The distortion that occurs when the volume is set too high will disappear, allowing you to hear the intended variations of each composition without background interference.

2. It blocks out annoying noises.

When you travel on an airplane or a bus, then the outside noise can be disturbing. The sounds from the engines or the road can be as loud as the music turned up way too high in an older pair of headphones.

Noise-cancelling technologies will reduce the impact of these sounds, reduce audio distractions, and allow you to remain focused on whatever task lies before you.

You can take advantage of this benefit without playing any audio through the headphones. The noise-cancelling feature will actively reduce annoying sounds whenever you turn on the equipment.

3. It can help you to study and concentrate.

When there are excessive noises in the background of your environment, then maintaining concentration levels for a student or professional project can be challenging.

Trying to concentrate when there are loud sounds present can feel like an impossible task. Noise-cancelling technologies will block out the bothersome audio to help you retain more information and help your brain to process data more efficiently.

Cowin E7 Pro noise-cancelling headphones

4. It works to protect your hearing.

I’ve written about this in detail in my article here.

Sound measurements are in units called decibels (dB). Anything that is less than 75 dB is safe for extended listening in any environment.

Once you receive repeated or extended exposure to audio at 85 dB, then you have a higher risk of experiencing hearing loss. The sound of a jet taking off is 130 dB, which means there is no safe exposure level for your hearing.

If you wear noise-cancelling headphones with a proper fit, you can reduce the overall sound exposure you receive by about 20 decibels without assistance.

Active-design models can reduce sound levels by up to 80 dB, virtually eliminating the sound of an airplane engine.

5. It provides peace of mind.

When you find yourself around loud background audio frequently, then there is a worry that can begin creeping around. You start to wonder if your hearing will receive adverse impacts due to noise pollution.

There can be days of irritating ringing in the ears or painful side effects after prolonged exposures that can generate worries about permanent hearing loss.

When you own a pair of high-quality noise-cancelling headphones, then you can achieve a peace of mind that is not available otherwise.

You can avoid the rhythmic sounds that might trigger a migraine without missing essential environmental sounds.

Mpow H5 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

6. It can reduce your stress levels.

People who receive constant exposure to loud noises can experience higher levels of daily stress compared to those who do not. This issue even impacts children.

When kids live in a neighborhood with constant background noise, then their cortisol levels are comparatively higher than those who live in quiet homes.

People who receive consistently low-level noise exposure are also more likely to suffer an adverse cardiac event. Noise-cancelling headphones can reduce or eliminate these potential threats to your health.

7. It can improve the quality of your sleep.

Over 60% of people in the United States experience sleep problems at least once per week. One of the leading triggers for these disturbances is ambient noise.

Whether you wake up because of a snoring partner or sounds that are outside, there is a reduced quality to the reparative rest your body receives.

You can remove these audio triggers by using noise-cancelling headphones while you sleep. Although it is popular to use this technology to rest while flying, you can use them in the bedroom too.

Are There Disadvantages to Owning Noise-Cancelling Headphones?

 The only real disadvantage to consider with noise-cancelling technologies is the initial consumer cost. If you purchase a set of premium headphones with this feature, then the final price can be up to 10 times the cost of what you would pay for a standard pair.

You can find cheaper models available from some manufacturers, but you definitely receive what you pay for with this product.

If you do not have a problem with the cost of this technology, then here are some additional key points to consider before finalizing your purchase.

1. It can be heavier to wear noise-cancelling headphones.

There are more inner components to a set of noise-cancelling headphones compared to standard or Bluetooth models. This technology can produce specific tones that will reduce or eliminate specific external sounds, but they will also feel more cumbersome on your head when wearing them.

If you do not like the idea of bearing the weight of a full set of headphones, then you might wish to consider a pair of noise-cancelling earbuds instead.

The Bose QuietComfort 20 (check prices on Amazon) is ideal for iOS devices, offers an aware mode that allows you to hear essential environmental sounds, and provides an inline microphone for one-touch answering. It works with select devices as well.

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

2. It requires more power to use this technology.

If you own a standard pair of headphones, then there is an excellent chance that you plug in the equipment to your 3.5mm jack and worry about doing nothing else.

Because noise-cancelling technology requires equipment that actively or passively reduces or removes noise from the background environment, it requires a power source on the device to be useful.

You can find options that take regular alkaline batteries or rechargeable headphones to satisfy this requirement. If you want a long-lasting product in this category, then consider the HiFi Stereo Wireless noise-cancelling headphones from TaoTronics. With swiveling ear cups, comfortable pads, and up to 30 hours of playtime, you can actively manage any environment.

TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

3. It changes the quality of the sound you hear.

When you decide that noise-cancelling headphones will best meet your needs, then you are trading quietness for audio quality.

The music which plays through this technology tends to have a mechanical, somewhat tinny sound to it that is similar to older Bluetooth devices.

Most users do not notice a difference in the quality of what they hear, but there are some people who are very sensitive to this potential issue.

If this is a concern for you, then Sony’s proprietary high-definition noise-cancelling technology (see it on Amazon) is an option to consider. The product tailors the sound to your exact preferences, balancing noise levels to create unprecedented clarity while pairing it with your Android device to use Google Assistant.

Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones
Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

4. It may not block all background sounds.

If you require complete silence to study or sleep, then noise-cancelling headphones may not provide the results you want. Although most audio sources experience significant reductions with this technology, there are still some sounds that get through.

Loud noises tend to be the worst offenders. Even with intermediate counter decibels present in the headphones, high-pitched audio is heard at times as well.

For the best results, a premium set like the Bose QuietComfort 25 can provide an exceptional outcome. You can personalize your settings, experience audio-only augmented reality, and talk to Amazon’s Alexa with this device.

Read my review of the Bose QC25.

5. It may cause some comfort concerns.

There are multiple design options to consider when you shop for noise-cancelling headphones today. You can choose from an on-the-ear design, earbuds, or over-the-ear models. If your ears are sensitive to additional weight, for example, then choosing anything but an over-the-ear option could cause physical discomfort.

Some people also report that some headphones produce a slight humming sound that feels like it places pressure on their eardrums. That is why it is essential to look at several different options from a variety of manufacturers to find something that meets your exact needs.

Where Can I Find the Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones?

The easiest way to find the best set of noise-cancelling headphones is to purchase them online through the links provided above. You can find more models and color options available at prices that are often less than what is available at local stores.

If you are traveling and want to try this technology, then you can find the most reputable brands at airports, duty-free shops, and electronics stores.

Are noise-cancelling headphones worth it? Yes. If you wish to protect your hearing, reduce environmental distractions, and enjoy a better audio experience, then this technology will surprise you with its impactful results.

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