Active Noise Cancellation:  Absolute Necessity for the Frequent Traveler

Active Noise Cancellation

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology is mainly used in high-end earphones and headphones. Smartphones employ the same technology. It allows us to clearly hear the other person’s voice when on a call. Now, as its name implies, this technology is designed to eliminate or significantly reduce background noise. The benefit is to enjoy a smooth conversation even in a noisy situation. While walking on a crowded street or traveling with a plane or a train. 

The product’s microphones capture and analyze environmental noises. Then, to cancel out outside noise, they employ speakers to generate a nearly equal and opposite frequency. Consider it as adding -1 to 1 to obtain a zero. However, it’s not perfect. The technology isn’t always adequate, and it might not completely block out all the frequencies. Loud, unexpected noises may move too quickly for some systems to manage, allowing them to pass through. However, depending on the product’s cost, active noise cancellation could be more effective.

If your device has active noise cancellation, it effectively filters out low, recurring sounds. It’s a terrific technique to isolate yourself from your environment.  Occasionally you could still hear certain extremely high-pitched frequencies, loud clangs, or other unexpected noises.

What is the use of noise cancellation in a smartphone?

Active Noise CancellationWhen accepting calls in noisy settings, noise reduction is crucial to your ability to hear and be heard. Your smartphone has a secondary microphone for noise reduction in addition to the primary microphone for capturing voice. This technology has been used in phones for quite some time, and it continues getting better.

Secondary microphones  may also utilize the information obtained from secondary microphones to automatically alter call volume. We base that on background noise levels and it tries to block howling wind in addition to noise cancellation. Most smartphones can easily access many of these functions.

The use of localized voice for smart assistants is another use of multi-microphone installations. To determine the direction of an incoming sound, many microphones are necessary. We may distinguish the background noise  using this information. Even whether it comes from TVs or other voices, ANC filters it away to provide the speech recognition algorithms the cleanest possible source.

What's the difference between ANC and PNC?

Active Noise CancellationEvery pair of headphones, earphones or earbuds already has some form of passive noise cancellation. We base that on the physical construction of the ear cups, the form of the headphones or earphones, and how it fits over the ear. Passive Noise Cancellation (ANC) uses well-designed ear cups to block out unwanted sounds.

The earbud itself will block out outside noise. Both over-ear and in-ear headphones utilize that. They don’t even need power or have a built-in battery. It is possible to classify anything as passive noise-cancelling if it physically shields your ears from external noise, such as earmuffs. On the other hand, we use speakers and microphones in Active Noise Cancellation to decrease ambient noise as explained.

Does Active Noise Cancellation use more battery?

By enabling ANC we are reducing battery life . At what level this depends on the noise cancellation type used, how loud the noise is, how long the ANC system works, and the battery life of your device. Therefore, you may disable ANC to preserve battery life. This is if you don’t mind too much about noise when traveling for a long period of time.

Does Active Voise Cancellation hurt your ears?

ANC pilotOverall, using headphones with noise cancellation has no detrimental effects on your hearing. When you switch on ANC you could hear a very faint hissing sound, but that’s about it. However, this may irritate some individuals and perhaps make them feel uncomfortable. On their own, noise-cancelling devices are secure. The ANC technology was created primarily to protect the pilots’ hearing from the loud noises of the aircraft engine.

Does ANC protect hearing from loud noises?

It will provide you with a high-fidelity listening experience while suppressing lower frequency sounds. Nevertheless it won’t shield your ears from extremely loud noises. ANC is not designed for hearing protection. 

Latest noise-cancelling earbuds and headphones use soundproofing for higher frequency sounds and active noise control for low frequency sounds. This is to filter out undesired background noise. The amount of hazardous noise we are exposing ourselves every day can be reduced by up to 45 decibels (dB) when using ANC headphones. Average reduction is around 30dB.


Undoubtedly, we undervalue smartphones or headphones noise reduction features. It’s likely that most of us utilize it frequently each day without even realizing it. The quality of your preferred services wouldn’t be nearly the same without this discreet technology, whether you’re a frequent voice caller, smart assistant user, or wireless music fan. Especially If you frequently travel, investing in a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones will make any trip by car, airline, or train much more relaxing. 

In general, active noise cancellation devices are the best choice for minimizing the common background noise that might occasionally obstruct music or call listening. However, buying such devices it is good to have at least some familiarity and awareness with the ANC technology before making your choice.