Active earphones or Passive Earphones?What is the difference?

19/06/13 10:03 PM

Hi and welcome to a innovative new series of assistance to those earpiece questions. Ever wanted to find out about something headphone, earphone or headset linked? Now is your chance. Due to a large amount of questions we’re so frequently asked, we’ve dipped into our mailbag and selected the 9 most applicable (and most often submitted) questions. Enjoy.

Oh, by the way, if your question is not here, then merely mail us an message and check back in a few… you may see it featured in the later series. Thanks.

Part Four: Noise reducing headphones or closed headphones, What often is the distinction?

That’s one of those most frequently asked questions, we get it all the time and, frankly, we’re sick of giving the same stock email time and again. So, we decided to solve it once and for all.

Now, before we go any further, I’m off to draft the stock email that directs someone to this post, back in a minute…….You’re still here? Good. I stopped off to buy a vitamin drink plus a cup of tea as well, sorry.

OK. To put it plainly, there are 2 varieties of noise reduction, active and passive.

Passive noise cancellation/reduction is generally a by-product of wearing the earphones in the 1st place. If a headset covers your ears up, it essentially has an identical noise cancellation effect like a pair of earmuffs. The sound has to work that much harder to travel to the ear how it must first go through a solid surface. Passive noise reduction arrives mostly from blocking, or covering your ears and listening to a louder sound in closer proximity. In case your friend is attempting to discuss with you and you can’t hear them due to the headsets, then that’s passive noise reduction.

Active noise cancellation/reduction is a little more technical. Earphones that actively cancel outer noise achieve this by producing a low field of white sound around your ear, this effectively masks outside sound and is a meaning in and of itself, from the sound reproduction performance of those speakers.

To be frank, anything you put in or around your ear carries a passive noise reduction effect, but only headphones equipped with noise reducing options will create a masking white sound. This noise will not interfere with the performance of your headphones, but it’ll cover the noise from wind, rain, road works and the other train passengers and their noisy phone conversations.

Noise cancellation/reduction headsets will do a much better job of drowning out the sound pollution created by barking dogs, train announcements, bad street buskers and the charity trolls who accost you in the street.

Joking aside, this is a FAQ because it is a good one to ask. Noise cancellation features significantly add to the cost of the headsets and it’s completely worth knowing what you’re buying before you lay your hard earned down onto the counter.

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