Sound canceling headphones have been erupting over the years, and have surely reached peak popularity in 2018. Personally, I had never been interested in sound canceling headphones, but the buzz among my peers and the media seemed endless.

So, nearly against my own will, I indulged in a pair. This is my experience and what I learned about these magical musical earmuffs.

How Sound Canceling Headphones Work

There are two types of sound canceling headphones: Passive and Active.

 

Passive headphones are easily explained. These headphones block the outside noise like a foam earplug might. The headphone’s ear chamber is padded with noise reduction material that stops the sound from traveling to your ears. Simple right? These headphones are often much cheaper than its active counterpart because of its simple technology.

 

Active headphones have a little more to them. In order to really understand how active headphones work, you need to know this fact; sound itself travels in waves. On paper, it looks something like this.

 

Neat right? I know, so cool. What’s actually really cool is how active sound canceling headphones use this basic understanding to prevent outside noise from interrupting your tunes. Active sound canceling headphones fight fire with fire, or sound with sound. These headphones are built with a mic that I like to call the “frequency detector,” that is generally installed somewhere between the earcup and the earchamber. When sound canceling is enabled, this device actively captures the current frequency of your environment, and creates its own frequency to counter that of your environment. This in turn, blocks the excess ambiance of the outside world so you can remain purely focused on your entertainment.

 

Imagine these two different sound waves. One sound wave ( let’s say it’s the incredibly loud child on the airplane) is a positive force and the other (sound wave created from the headphones) is a negative force. What did 4 years of high school math teach you? Not a lot, but you know that a positive and a negative force generally cancel each other out. Therefore, eliminating the product. Or in our case, eliminating ugly outside noises from our picky ears.

 

What Appealed To Me

Like anyone, I want to enjoy my music or audio book in a quiet and controlled environment. The few pairs of sound canceling headphones ( both active and passive) I tried out, let me do just that. I was able to peacefully listen to my music on busy streets and packed airplanes without having to blast the volume.

 

This was very attractive to me, as I am a person who loves to completely focus on what I’m listening two. Almost to the point that I am unable to perform other tasks at the same time, because I am too absorbed in my music. If you are like me, you may find it worthwhile to invest in one of these babies.

 

They are also very handy for phone calls! I usually have a hard time hearing the voice on the other end, even with earphones. But the sound canceling headphones made that voice very audible, and that’s something I appreciate. Plus most of these headphones have an installed microphone! Bonus!

 

What You Need To Be Weary Of

As a person who appreciates good quality sound, I was not very impressed with a few of these products. Especially the earlier models. Don’t worry, major improvements were made since way back when, but be smart and do you research before throwing cash at these headphones. When you find the perfect pair of sound canceling headphones, before you buy, keep this in mind.

Comfort
Especially in the active pairs. The added technology adds considerable weight to these headphones. Make sure to wear these headphones for 5 minutes…10 minutes if you’re patient enough to determine comfort. Active sound canceling headphones are also more expensive! Which isn’t very comfortable for your wallet.
Material
Headphones are generally made up of metal, plastic, or a combo of both. Metal headphones, although more durable, can interfere with the frequency of your audio which in turn, hurts the quality of sound. Make sure you know what kind of crap your headphones are made up of.

Battery life

Active sound canceling headphones need battery in order to do what it does best. Unfortunately, most of the sound canceling headphones I viewed never mentioned anything relating to battery life, if it was rechargeable, replaceable, or anything of the sort. It’s really good to know information like this! I had to ask people and do research to find out for a few of mine.

 

Quality of sound

There can be a big difference in the quality of sound when sound cancellation is enabled. Again, this only concerns active sound canceling headphones. I found in my pair of COWIN E7 Pros (which has exceptional sound quality for such a cheap headphone) that the mid and lows become a bit muddy when I turn on sound canceling. This is actually a problem I’ve found in every sound canceling headphone. If you’re looking for the best of the best in sound quality, these type of headphones may not be for you. But for the rest of us, they will do just fine.

 

Click the link below if you want to check out the COWIN E7 Pros.

What Pair Of Sound Canceling Headphones Should I Get?

You are going to find these headphones in all shapes and sizes with different prices that range from $50 t0 $1000. I bought the COWIN E7 for about $70 and am very happy with them. Stay away from older pairs. They did not have their crap together like they do now.

I spent a lot of time going to various stores like Walmart and Best Buy, and sampled all the headphones I could. I compared sound canceling with regular pairs, active with passive, and played that game for 30 minutes at a time until I felt like I got the information I needed. If that’s what you need to do then do it! You deserve to have what best suits you!

Alright, let’s wrap this up

If you’re set on getting yourself on a nice, shiny pair of sound canceling headphones… Cool! Use this information, and get what you need to get! Be cautious of little things like battery life and comfort because those little things are what make a great pair of headphones great!

Email admin@soundoftheriver.com for any questions you might have. Best of luck to you!

 

 

 

 

Comments (4)

  1. Christian Vogelgesang

    Reply

    Damn, what a great guide. I’m really digging the different aspects I hadn’t considered or even KNEW about! I have been disappointed in the past buy the fit and them being uncomfortable. I think I’ll do what you did and try out a few different types. Thanks!

  2. Furkan

    Reply

    I like listening in the gym without the gym’s music disturbing me. I like Cowin and I wonder how long does it last? I think of using it almost every day in the gym.

    • admin

      Reply

      Furkan,
      I apologize for the delayed reply. Hope you can forgive me.
      COWIN E7 Pros last around 20-30 hours on a full charge

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