Guide To Getting The Best Office Noise Cancelling Headphones

4 years ago

The best noise cancelling headphones take music listening to the next-level by blocking outside noise and allowing you to focus in on your favorite songs. Whether you plan on using them in office, they’re a must-have for music lovers, commuters, intrepid explorers, and office workers alike. 

First, the roots of the words noise cancelling and noise-reducing. Noise cancelling is short for noise threshold, and it’s used to describe high-quality noise cancelling headphones. Noise-reducing is the inverse of noise cancelling, and it relates to low-quality noise cancelling headphones.

Best Office Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones

oise Cancelling Headphones

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise Canceling Gaming Headphone

Noise Cancelling Wireless

There’s also cancelling, which is a well-known term in sound engineering circles. The idea is to cancel out direct and/or reflected sound so that the listener can hear the same sound as the original source. High-quality noise cancelling headphones block unwanted outside noise frequencies with a very steep nulls curve (a curve that cutting off a curve) while low-quality noise cancelling headphones do neither allowing high-pitched and/or high-frequency frequencies to leak into the ear canal.

While you’re turning off your ringtones, microwave ovens, and coffee makers, why not turn off the world around you?

Benefits of Using Noise Cancelling Headphones

Sound Isolation

With noise cancelling headphones, uncompressed high-quality music can be enjoyed without the driver of the headphones being distorted even slightly by the thumos. Since it is not necessary being selective about the music to be able to hear it, it is possible to enjoy the entire range of a musical performance, as anyone can hear and enjoy the highs without having to turn up the volume unnecessarily.

Immediate Impact of Noise Isolation

Because the sound is immediately attenuated, it is possible to listen to the music without having to adjust the volume, and without being distracted by constant noise. You can play it louder if you want to, and it will be more enjoyable.

For musicians and producers it means that they can lock away their sound, and the listener can enjoy it uninterrupted. Since they will play a much larger range of sounds without unwanted noise, they can get many more uses out of the same instrument.

There are some incidents where cancelling headphones can’t be used.

No Ear Fatigue

When you wear cancelling headphones your ears are never exposed to the same sounds consecutively. Instead of wearing them for extended periods of time, they can be swapped-out, leaving the other ear undisturbed.

The ears are not pushed over the edge by having too much of it happening at once. Cancelling headphones give the listener a break from outside effects in the form of natural sound pressure.

Elimination of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing in one’s ears. This is often caused by an increased ambient sound level which the ears are unable to interpret as sound. Noise cancelling headphones both absorb and block the aforementioned sounds, preventing them from reaching the brain and causing the ringing and buzzing to dissipate.

What are Noise Cancelling Headphones Good For?

Living Car-Free

Just like you breathe into a paper bag, you easily breathe in every bit of outside noise through the headphones. From having your hair blown by a passing truck to having your personal space invaded by a seemingly harmless noise, cancelling headphones let you live car-free. By turning your music up and hearing your favorite tunes much louder and clearer, you can enjoy your new car-free lifestyle much more.

Commute To Work

When you are in your car, not only does every outside sound enter through the speaker, but it will also be amplified through the car’s sound system. With cancelling headphones, you can listen to music softly and comfortably while enjoying a lesser amount of outside noise. This increases the quality of your commute time substantially while also making it much more enjoyable.

Maximum Productivity

Lower outside noise allows the brain to function at its highest potential. By preventing outside noise from getting in your ears, you can access your maximum productivity. When the outside noise is gone, your brain is then able to focus on the task at hand without feeling distracted by outside sounds.


Those who are looking for the best in audio equipment can get them here. There are sound engineers out there who only use headphones with noise cancelling headphones technology. The reason is that:

No Distractions

The average person who has a personal stereo can’t listen to music without having the outside noise bleed in, coupled with the fact that it is more enjoyable to listen to high-quality music when the ear fluid has a chance to equalize the outside noise. It’s a given that the listener has to turn up the volume, but with office noise cancelling headphones, it is possible to keep the volume low and still enjoy the music much more than you would if you were in an environment that made it very easy to turn up the volume.

More Convenient and Safer

Since it allows you to control the amount of outside sound that reaches your ears, the headphones also make it easier for the listener to control the audio. As such, music is heard with much more fidelity and enjoyment.

The iPhone, for example, has an automatic volume control. Closing the outside environment fixes the acoustic leak problem. Since it is impossible to turn up the volume either too far or too little according to the outside noise, a person can easily keep the volume at the optimal level, the one that will produce the minimum distortion of the audio spectrum.

This is true whether the listener is using the device alone or in the presence of other people.

Are Noise Cancelling Headphones For Everyone?

Well…no, not by a long shot. It’s important to remember that not everyone will benefit from using these headphones, or avoid them if they are not necessary. Here are some of the negative points to wearing these headphones:

Risk of Tinnitus

It’s been noted in a few studies that tinnitus is an issue that many people face. Tinnitus is a sensation that vibrates the parts of the inner ear that help interpret sound. The cause for it are still being debated, but one thing is for sure: it is very common.

In people that don’t consciously seek out noise cancelling headphones, a common cause is that the ear canals produce too much pressure and vibrate too much so that sound is heard. Supposedly, this can happen due to an inner ear infection or even if the auditory nerves are damaged. In any case, it is important to understand that you might experience this condition even if you aren’t actually wearing noise cancelling headphones.


These headphones are designed to reduce sound, and they will allow the use of more powerful devices with lower noise levels than many other headphones. This is mainly to give you an advantage in using devices with high volume.

The downside to it is that whenever you increase the volume to fill in for this “extra noise,” the listener will get the same effect that they get when they increase the noise from an actual noisemaker.

In some situations this may be appropriate. For example, if you’re in the middle of summer and want to be able to listen to music at maximum volume. For this reason, cancelling headphones tend to be used in highly technical settings.

Before Using Any Headphones

I’m not going to tell you to buy these headphones without knowing whether you need them or not, which will probably cost you more money.

Frequency Response Curve

A brief technical look at cancelling headphones

The low-frequency response of the noise cancelling headphones

Office Noise Cancelling Headphones

No noise cancelling headphones work by using a high-frequency sound to cancel out the noise in front of the listener.

As such, it’s dangerous for the listener to wear these headphones while listening to any music with different sound frequencies.

The new version of noise cancelling headphones are very similar to the noise-cancellation that uses baffles to cancel out sound in an elevator. These new models are able to completely neutralize the surrounding noise so that music can be heard in its purest form from all directions.

Internal noise cancelling circuitry on the headphones

Anyone who has ever experienced an outside sound can illustrate the way these headphones work. Noise is usually produced by cars passing by, air conditioners, explosions, and all sorts of machinery.

When acoustically introduced to a person’s ear, the ear can interpret the outside sound as music. To cancel this sound, the headphone must be turned completely off. It can’t just have one tone heard in the ear (very obvious when one turns on music and it’s possible to hear the difference between the drum kit and the bass guitar); it needs to have an equal volume of external sounds to be heard in the ear canal. This is why noise cancelling headphones often come with microphones.

The headphones also have to be able to make sure the outside sound doesn’t enter the ear as it passes by, otherwise it would die out quickly.

Many of these headphones have circuitry to ensure they’re not turned on when exposed to outside sounds. Some have batteries to power them, and some even use coils in their circuitry to make sure they are being powered by an outside source.

Electronics to mitigate the sound

Noise Cancelling Headphones, or Noise Cancelling Earphones?

Noise cancelling earphones themselves are not a new invention. They were invented in 1960 by Thomas Cochrane. Cochrane was working for the University of Toronto on the idea of an electronic noise-cancelling system called “Electronic Ear ShutOff.” He was working with a few doctors when another student suggested the name “Noise Canceller.”

In the 1980s, Cochrane’s noise-cancelling headphones were used by passengers on airplanes to transfer the sound from the movie to the speakers, allowing the movie soundtracks to be heard by the other passengers.

More recently, Cochrane’s invention has been adapted to reduce the background noise from computer keyboards and home sound systems. Cochrane also patented the Noise Cancelling Headset Technologies.

In the mid 1990s, the Cochrane Electronic Ear Shutoff system was used successfully for canceling the noise in an airplane canceled. It was also used for canceling sounds in a high-rise office building.

Today, almost all noise-cancelling headphones consist of a microphone, LCD display of the mic and headphone, microphone amplifier, and delicate electronics to create a canceling effect.

Noise Cancelling Headphones and Noise Cancelling Headset

More expensive than ordinary and fashion headphones

Noise can cancel headphones are available with or without microphones. Noise cancelling headphones are usually expensive than ordinary headphones.

They are also usually more feminine in style. They are designed to be more casual and laid back than the typical expensive headphones. Some options are totally wireless, so no cords are necessary. Noise-cancelling headphones usually do not have a volume control.

I would suggest trying on a pair of regular headphones first. You don’t want to be told that your ears are packed and the noise of your favorite song isn’t getting through, only to find out that they are noisy and not producing any usable sound.

They are usually sold or marketed as ear-bud or headphone earphones, and near-as-possible the same as the regular headphones sold on the market.

The next step would be to try on a pair of type of noise cancelling headphones that has in-ear headphones. While you can find these in-ear headphones at a specialty audio store, they are pretty pricey. I would suggest buying this one from amazon and trying it on.

If you can get a pair with a microphone, they have two more options that are a decent price. However, I found one with the sound of the ground (Noise-free) and another with the sound of a jet coming at me from an airplane. Use your best judgment.

The noise cancelling headphones that have earphones will usually be a bit thicker, and it will surround your ear. Another style is just over your ear. Sometimes, you can wear these in your car or in the office.

The noise cancelling headphones that have earbuds usually do not go over your ear. The earbuds are much smaller and can fit in any ear. They can go over your ear, but they usually do not because they will get uncomfortable in the ear and may hurt in time.

To use these, you would either have to have an amplifier in your computer or device, or In-Ear monitor with sound. Anything you would use headphonest to listen to music would work. However, the noise cancelling headphones that have earphones are usually not powerful enough to cancel out the sound of a jet engine in an airplane.

Although most noise-cancelling headphones can be used in an airplane, you may be at a disadvantage if the plane is equipped with personal entertainment systems.

They also work in places where there is loud machinery, such as construction sites and heavy industrial work, but they will not work for everyday office work.

A noise-cancelling headphones is on of the most effective but most expensive noise-cancelling headphones. Manufacturer’s are having a great success making noise cancelling headphones.

It is an effective solution for most situations, but they are very expensive. Most people who use them are airplane or car riders.

Some states are more strict about using noise-cancelling headphones on airplanes. If your state does not have this law mentioned above, you can use them to cancel the noise made by other passengers.

If you’re going on a long trip or a business trip, having some noise-cancelling headphones can help reduce the noise around you.

The way they work is pretty simple. They work like headphones but don’t use sound. The headphones make the sound less than the ear’s own sounds.

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