How Noise-Cancelling Earbuds Work Best

By The Best Portable SpeakersMar 28, 2020

Bluetooth wireless earbuds just like headphones are not all built the same.

They have many differences from manufacturer to manufacturer.

One variation that makes Bluetooth earbuds and headphones different from one another is noise cancelling.

noise cancelling earbuds

Let's take a moment and focus on this point and see an overview of what noise-cancelling is all about.

A basic explanation of how noise-cancelling earbuds and noise cancelling headphones work is by cancelling out one noise with another noise. This is a method commonly called Active Noise Control (ANC) or Active Noise Reduction (ANR). The end result is that both sounds effectively cancel each other out and the user of the earbuds or headphones doesn't hear it.

If you would like to know more about noise-cancelling earbuds read on.

What do Noise-Cancelling Earbuds do?

If you're looking for wireless earbuds that let you immerse yourself into your music with as little as possible background noise then noise-cancelling earbuds may be for you. The main function of noise-cancelling Bluetooth earbuds is for the user to hear less of what's going on around them and more of the sound coming out of the earbuds.

The end result that is intended with noise-cancelling is to give you as a user a more enjoyable and uninterrupted sound experience from your Bluetooth earbuds.

Noise-Cancelling Earbuds do they Work?

Noise-cancelling Bluetooth earbuds can work to some degree. Quite often it is perceived that when we hear the word noise-cancelling we automatically think these types of earbuds are going to eliminate all background noise.

This, simply, is not the case and the fact of the matter is there are many factors that come into consideration.

Without getting all technical about it, the basics are as follows. Not all noise can be canceled out as it often can be too loud or high-pitched and the earbuds will try and cancel it out but won’t be able to achieve this.

The earbuds like most noise cancellation devices can lighten the background noise giving you a fuller sound and less interruption to your music.

It’s worth mentioning here as well that all earbuds operate differently and there can be many variations to how well they will work. Some Bluetooth earbuds may work better than others, but it’s hard to know without actually buying and testing them yourself.

So, yes, earbuds can cancel noise out, but no, they won't cancel out every noise. The end result, however, will still be noise reduction.

What do Noise-Cancelling Earbuds Block Out?

Generally speaking, noise-cancelling earbuds will give some noise reduction from some background noise giving you better listening experience.

If you're looking to purchase noise cancellation Bluetooth earbuds to block out your neighbor’s barking dog or so you can’t hear someone talking, don’t expect the noise to be blocked out completely. There may be a slight noise reduction in being able to hear a dog bark or somebody speaking, depending on which particular earbuds you use but that is as far as it is going to go.

How Good are Noise-Cancelling Earbuds?

As we have previously mentioned, wireless earbuds that are advertised as being noise-cancelling are not all made equal. Like any product, some are better than others.

It all depends on the cost and how they work. That being said, if you find the right Bluetooth earbuds for you that have been built well, you will have a good set of noise-cancelling Bluetooth earbuds.

Are Noise-Cancelling Earbuds Worth It?

If you're wondering in this day and age whether Bluetooth noise-cancelling earbuds are worth it, the simple answer is ‘Yes’. Most Bluetooth earbuds that are equipped with noise-cancelling technology, aren't really any more expensive than standard wireless earbuds.

The best advice that we can give here is that, if the set of earbuds you like suits your needs and has this technology installed, it’s another good reason to purchase them.

Can you Listen to Music with Noise-Cancelling Earbuds?

Of course, listening to music with a good set of Bluetooth earbuds that do cancel out at least some background sound, is going to give you a better sound experience than the ones that don’t.

So, yes, you can listen to music with noise-cancelling Bluetooth earbuds, however, they most probably won’t block out all the background noise, that's all.

Does Noise-Cancelling Affect Sound Quality?

Sound quality can be affected by this process and again it’s going to come down to the quality of the actual product. Some will be better than others as to whether they affect the sound quality in a big way or not.

Most, if not all wireless earbuds with noise-cancelling will reduce the sound quality in some way. It will ultimately depend on user preference: a little reduction in sound quality for an overall better experience or more background noise and higher quality sound. The choice is yours. 

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Is Noise-Cancelling Bad for your Ears?

When it comes to noise-cancelling earbuds there is no evidence that they are harmful to your ears.

All they are doing is cancelling one sound out with another sound giving you better user experience.

The only thing you may notice is a static sounding noise in the background when you are wearing the earbuds.

3 Noise Cancelling Apps that Work

This sound would also most likely be unheard, depending on what you are listening to as well.

Are Noise-Cancelling Earbuds Safe?

Bluetooth earbuds with noise-canceling in them are completely safe for most people to use. They don’t emit any radiation like mobile phones that we use today. And only transmit sound to cancel out unwanted sound.
The only thing to be aware of as a safety concern for some people is the static sounding noise that may be heard in the background. Some people can become dizzy from, extended use of noise-canceling wireless earbuds due to this static sound. If you are already aware of this and do suffer from it, these kinds of earbuds may not be particularly good for you.

Also, if you are not sure, if you suffer from this reaction, there is a sound-cancelling app that you may install on your iPhone or computer. Krisp has a free plan that would give you enough time to test whether or not noise-cancelling affects you.
The Krisp App may be a great alternative to purchasing a new set of Bluetooth earbuds if you already have some.

Do Noise-Cancelling Earbuds Work without Music?

They certainly do. Obviously, they seem to work better with music as it is less likely that you will hear the static background noise that they make.

Although they may be better with music, they will still work how they are meant to, even if you're using them for something else other than listening to music.

Noise-Cancelling Earbuds vs Noise Cancelling Headphones

Looking at the differences here, one difference is the sensitivity of the ear canal and possible pain due to eardrum suck. Clearly, there are a lot of people, who have sensitive ear canals and simply cannot use wireless Bluetooth earbuds and they stick to headphones.

There is also the fact that quite often a superior sound quality has been achieved by headphones too. We now find, with technology in the earbud area, getting better all the time, this is becoming less and less of a problem in our days.
Bluetooth earbuds quite often achieve a better seal in the ear canal if the correct fit is achieved and thanks to eardrum suck. The result of this better fit is less background noise.

An Alternative to Noise-Cancelling Earbuds

Here’s a little alternative that can be tested for free and may serve as a great substitute to noise-cancelling earbuds, headsets, or headphones for some people.

This alternative is a cool little app called Krisp (mentioned above) which works as a noise-cancelling app to do the job.

All you need to do is simply install it on your iPhone, Mac, or Windows computer and it will assist you in cancelling out that annoying background noise.

Krisp app noise free

If you make or take a lot of calls while moving around, this may serve as a great alternative to having to buy new wireless earbuds.

In addition to that, if you already have a great set of earbuds and they are not noise-cancelling this is a great way to make them noise-cancelling. Check out the Krisp App today and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Some of the Best Noise-Cancelling Earbuds

Check out, some of the best and most popular Bluetooth earbuds out below.

You may or may not have been aware that these all have noise-cancelling technology inside them. We have listed 3 good picks below, however, feel free to check out all the Bluetooth Earbuds we have listed as there are also others that have noise-cancelling built into them as well.

Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

This one is an incredible set of wireless Bluetooth earbuds. They have everything you would expect from Bluetooth earbuds.

These earbuds are comfortable, firm fitting and they are water-resistant with an IPX5 rating.

Moreover, they come with good battery life and are also equipped with Bluetooth 5.0.

If you are interested, we have a full review of these Bluetooth earbuds, so if you would like to know more check it out.

Sennheiser Momentum 2 True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

Another fantastic set of earbuds and these 2nd generation earbuds have been much improved on the original version.

They now provide you with extended playtime time of 4 hours from the earbuds and an extra 12 hours from the charging case.

Their water-resistant rating isn’t as good as some of the others, but it is still effective with an IPX4 certification.

Sony Noise-Cancelling Truly Wireless Earbuds WF-1000XM3

These are one of the more popular sets of Bluetooth wireless earbuds for noise-cancelling.

Made by Sony, who is one of the leaders in this technology.

These buds come with pretty good battery life and recharge power in the carry case.

The only thing with these earbuds is they don't have an official IP waterproof sweatproof rating. It appears they would withstand a bit of sweat, though.

Not out of Reach

You don’t have to spend a lot of money either if you are looking for a good set of Bluetooth earbuds that have noise-cancelling technology.

Like anything, there are many things to consider, when buying wireless earbuds so this is a guide to help with your decision.

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