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No matter what your taste in music, finding the best headphones is a modern must-do. And with swarms of employees transitioning to remote work, the need for devices capable of drowning out the din of domestic chaos increases with it. So it’s likely that as you’ve scrolled through lists of the best wireless earbuds, you’ve seen marketing for active noise cancellation. If you’ve noticed this and asked yourself, “What are ANC earbuds?” keep reading to find out.
We get that purchasing new ear speakers is no light task. Because of this, we have much more headphone-related content to browse through, such as our article comparing Beyerdynamic DT770 80 Ohm vs 250 Ohm. And if you’re on a tight budget, we have a general outline of how much earbuds cost.
There are a variety of designs of active noise-canceling headphones that differ in where the feedback mic is placed.
ANC stands for “active noise-cancelation,” a technology used in earbuds and headphones. It’s not too hard to imagine what’s meant by “noise cancelation.” Instead, the “active” part leaves many scratching their heads. So what makes it active as opposed to inactive?
Active noise cancellation means the headphones have a built-in electric circuit that creates ambient noise. This noise is intended to neutralize external noises. Think of it like a built-in white noise machine.
The system uses a small feedback microphone that listens for outside noises. Then, the internal system generates the anti-noise as it picks up the external sound waves.
If you want to check out some more content comparing earbud models, you can read up on Airpods vs Airpod Pros. And for those looking for maintenance tips, we have an article on how to fix an earbud’s mic.
The main pro, as outlined above, is that you hear a more precise audio quality. In addition, by eliminating excess noise, you can focus on the audio at hand, whether it be work, music, or a podcast.
Using in-ear headphones increases the likelihood of hearing loss compared to over-ear devices.
Also, if you’re debating between earbuds and ear headphones, remember that earbuds are more portable than wireless headphones and cost less. For example, the size difference between headphones and earbuds dramatically impacts those who like to exercise with music.
Of course, it’s nice to have something that can drown out the background noise. However, there are some things to consider before purchasing.
First, they use more battery power because of the additional electronics incorporated with active noise cancelation. Because of this, a single charge won’t last as long.
STAT: The average battery life of a single charge on wireless earbuds is around 6 hours. (source)
Also, as opposed to headphones, earbuds make it hard for any environmental noise to break through. Some don’t like the feeling of eliminating ambient sounds. And for those who walk on busy city streets, being able to hear what’s going on around them is essential from a safety standpoint.