“Cancellation” is the key word of this feature, and it marks an important distinction from earbuds that only block or mask noise by virtue of their placement in the ear. Noise cancellation goes much further by analysing surrounding sound and then emitting opposite frequencies to essentially cancel out the noise altogether. The result is an uncanny bubble of silence through which only your music, podcast or soundscape can pass.
Noise cancellation has earned its share of devotees, and for good reason.
For many first-time users of noise cancellation, the effect can shock in the best possible way. Free of any ambient sound bleeding in, the music – even well-trodden favourites – sound fresh and new. In fact, the musicians themselves may seem to be playing right next to you.
New technology always takes time to catch on, and that’s no different for noise cancellation. Getting to know the pros and cons of noise cancelling headphones can help you get an early sense of whether it’s right for you.