Noise-Canceling Earbuds: Are They Worth It

Noise-Canceling Earbuds: Are They Worth It

We live in a noisy world. Everywhere we go, we are bombarded by sounds that can distract us, annoy us, or even harm us. For instance, the constant honking of cars, the chatter of people, the roar of airplanes, the screech of trains, the hammering of construction work, and the shrieking of kids can make us feel stressed and tired. Therefore, sometimes all that we want is a bit of silence.

But how can we achieve that in this chaotic world full of noisy hustle and bustle? One option is to use noise-canceling earbuds such as Tranya T20. These earbuds are just ordinary earbuds but with the added functionality to block out unwanted sounds and let us enjoy and stay focused on our music, podcasts, audiobooks, study, work, and even meditation.

But are these noise-canceling earbuds worth it? What are the different types of noise cancellation in earbuds? How much do they cost and do they have any drawbacks or risks?

These are some of the questions that we will try to answer in this article and help you better understand noise-canceling earbuds: are they worth it? By the end, you will have a clear idea of whether noise-canceling earbuds are right for you or not. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

What Are Noise-Canceling Earbuds?

A pair of earbuds placed on a table

A pair of earbuds placed on a table

Noise-canceling earbuds are a type of earphone that use active noise control (ANC) to reduce unwanted ambient noise. Unlike passive earphones that rely on the physical seal of the ear tips to block out noise, noise-canceling earbuds have built-in microphones and a digital signal processing chip that create anti-noise sound waves which cancel out the external noise before it reaches your ears.

As such, there are two main types of noise cancellation in earbuds: active and passive. Active noise cancellation (ANC) is the process of creating anti-noise sound waves that cancel out external noise. Passive noise cancellation (PNC) is the process of physically blocking out external noise by creating a tight seal in or around the ear canal.

The basic underlying principle behind noise-canceling earbuds is pretty much straightforward. The process begins when the external mic detects the external noise and hence responds by creating a corresponding same but opposite sound wave. When these two waves meet in the air, they cancel each other out, resulting in silence. If you studied sciences back in school, you would know this phenomenon is known as “destructive interference”.

Consequently, noise-canceling earbuds help to effectively reduce low-frequency sounds, such as engine rumble, traffic noise, or airplane noise. However, more often than not, they are not able to cancel out high-frequency sounds, such as human voices, sirens, or alarms.

And with this known, we now fully explore the benefits and drawbacks of noise cancellation in earbuds to help you better answer noise canceling earbuds: are they worth it?

Benefits Of Noise -Canceling Earbuds

A women enjoying music while lying in a park

A women enjoying music while lying in a park

Noise cancellation in earbuds has many benefits that can improve your quality of life. Here are some of the main advantages of using noise-canceling earbuds:

Hearing Protection

Listening to sounds above 70 decibels for extended periods can damage your ears as well as cause hearing loss. Noise-canceling earbuds protect your hearing by lowering the exposure to loud and harmful noises.

For example, if you work or live in a noisy environment, such as a factory, a construction site, or a nightclub, you can use noise-canceling earbuds to filter out the noise and prevent hearing damage.

Increased Productivity

Besides hearing protection, noise-canceling earbuds also help you concentrate on tasks at hand by blocking out distracting sounds. This can make you stay focused and hence boost your performance and efficiency in work, study, or any other activity that requires attention.

For example, if you are working on a project deadline in a noisy office, you can use noise-canceling earbuds to eliminate the chatter of your colleagues and stay focused on your work.

Reduced Stress

Yet another benefit of noise-canceling earbuds is that they help you relax by creating a peaceful and quiet atmosphere. By using noise-canceling earbuds, you can reduce the impact of noise on your mood and well-being.

For example, if you are feeling mentally stressed and physically exhausted after a long day at a construction site, you can use noise-canceling earbuds to create a peaceful atmosphere and unwind.

Improved Sound Clarity

If you are always talking to someone over a phone because your work requires it, noise-canceling earbuds can improve your experience by reducing the background noise that affects your voice quality. This results in communicating more clearly and smoothly with the person on the other end of the line, without having to repeat yourself or raise your voice.

For example, if you are making a phone call in a crowded cafe, you can use noise-canceling earbuds to make sure that your voice is heard loud and clear.

Better Sleep Quality

Last but not least, noise-canceling earbuds can also help you sleep better by creating a quiet and relaxing environment, especially if you are traveling. You can also use noise-canceling earbuds to listen to some soothing sounds that help you fall asleep faster and deeper as well as tune out distracting noises.

For example, if you are traveling on an airplane or taking a long bus ride, you may encounter noisy situations such as a baby crying constantly or bus tires producing screeching noise. You can use noise-canceling earbuds to drown out these noises and get some well-deserved restful sleep.

As seen above, noise-canceling earbuds have many benefits that make them worth considering. However, they also have some drawbacks at the same time. In the next section, we will discuss some of the disadvantages of noise cancellation in earbuds.

Drawbacks Of Noise-Canceling Earbuds

A person adjusting his earbuds

A person adjusting his earbuds

So, as told above, noise-canceling earbuds are not without their drawbacks. Here are some of the main drawbacks of noise-canceling earbuds:

Cost More Than Regular Earbuds

Noise-canceling earbuds are more expensive than regular earbuds because they use more advanced technology and components. The price of noise-canceling earbuds can range from $50 to $300, depending on the brand, model, and features. Regular earbuds, on the other hand, can cost as low as $10 to $50, depending on the quality and design.

For example, the Apple AirPods Pro, which is one of the most popular noise-canceling earbuds, costs $249, while the Apple EarPods, which are regular earbuds, cost only $19!

Drain Battery Power Quickly

In addition to costing more, noise cancellation in earbuds also requires more power than regular earbuds because they use active noise control (ANC) to generate anti-noise signals. This means that they need to be charged frequently, or they will stop working.

For example, the battery life of noise-canceling earbuds can range anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, depending on the usage and settings. Regular earbuds, on the other hand, have much better battery timings that can go up to 20 hours!

Cause Discomfort, Pressure, or Headaches

For some people, noise cancellation in earbuds causes some physical discomfort since they create a pressure difference in the ear canal. This pressure difference can cause a feeling of fullness, tightness, or pain in the ears. Moreover, some users may also experience headaches, dizziness, nausea, or fatigue after using noise-canceling earbuds for a long time.

Reduce Situational Awareness

Continuing with the flow, noise-canceling earbuds also reduce one’s awareness of your surroundings, because they block out important sounds that alert to potential dangers or emergencies, such as sirens, alarms, horns, voices, or footsteps.

So, for example, if you use noise-canceling earbuds in public places or while driving or cycling, you may miss these sounds and put yourself at risk of accidents or injuries. While regular earbuds may also reduce your situational awareness, they do not block out as much noise as noise-canceling earbuds.

Not Always Effective

Although noise cancellation in earbuds may be a very enticing feature for some users, however, noise-canceling earbuds do not work with 100% accuracy in every scenario. Even though noise-canceling earbuds cancel out all kinds of noise, they still let some noise through, which can affect your listening experience.

For example, noise cancellation in earbuds does not always work well for high pitch tones like baby crying or cutlery clattering. The overall performance differs from brand to brand.

Noise-Canceling Earbuds: Do You Need It?

A man enjoying his favorite music

A man enjoying his favorite music

So, after learning about the benefits and drawbacks of noise-canceling earbuds, you may be wondering: do you really need them? The answer to this question is not so simple though. The final decision ultimately depends upon your lifestyle, preferences, and needs.

But let us assume a couple of real-life situations where noise-canceling earbuds play a vital role to help you better answer whether you really need them or not.

So, assuming you are a frequent traveler who travels by plane, train, or bus, then having a pair of noise-canceling earbuds will do you more good than harm. All those tire screeches, blaring horns, and people chattering will be greatly reduced. POOF!

Also, if you are a music lover, then having noise-canceling earbuds will definitely come in handy. With external noise eliminated, you will hear every detail of your music, without having to turn up the volume too high and get to immerse yourself in your music.

Moreover, if you are a student who prefers studying in maximum silence then I don’t see any reason for not having a pair of noise-cancelling earbuds plugged into your ears unless they cause you discomfort.

Last but not least, if you work or live in a place where there is a lot of noise, such as a factory, a construction site, or a nightclub, noise-canceling earbuds will help you protect from noise-induced stress, fatigue, or hearing loss.

So, you decide now. Are noise-canceling earbuds worth it?

To Wrap Things Up

Noise-canceling earbuds are devices that use active noise control to reduce unwanted ambient sounds. While they boast many benefits, they also have some drawbacks. And whether you need noise-canceling earbuds or not depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and needs.

Why not them out yourself and see if they are worth it for you? What do you think? Share your thoughts with us and let us know in the comments below!

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