Audio Solutions Question of the Week: How Do Audio-Technica’s Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones Work?

Question: How do Audio-Technica’s active noise-cancelling headphones work?

Answer: Active noise-cancelling headphones are often considered a must have item for traveling, especially on a bus or plane as the engine noise and other ambient sounds can make personal listening more difficult. Active noise-cancelling headphones are recommended to achieve a more comfortable audio listening experience in these noisy environments, but how do active noise-cancelling headphones work?

Audio Solutions Question of the Week: How do Audio-Technica’s Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones Work?

Most closed-back and in-ear headphones provide what is often referred to as “passive noise reduction” by covering the ears and creating a physical seal, which helps to block out ambient noise. To block out even more ambient noise, active noise-cancelling technology is required.

The term “active” means that the headphones require an energy source in order to power the noise-cancelling circuitry. Audio-Technica’s QuietPoint® Active Noise-Cancelling headphones are battery-powered, using either AA or lithium polymer rechargeable batteries, depending on the model.

Active noise-cancelling headphones have a miniature microphone (or microphones) built into one of the earcups to pick up the ambient noise, such as traffic, engine noise, air-handling systems, etc., that is being produced outside of the headphones. The noise-cancelling circuitry then takes the ambient noise signal coming from the mic and creates a noise-cancelling wave that is 180 degrees out of phase with the ambient noise. This noise-cancelling wave is then sent back through the headphones’ speakers with the music (or other audio source), acting like a noise eraser that cancels out the annoying sounds you don’t want to hear. This results in a more comfortable, peaceful listening experience in noisy environments.

If you have any questions regarding Audio-Technica’s noise-cancelling headphones, please feel free to contact us here in the Audio Solutions Department.


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