A lot of people nowadays use headphones everyday without really thinking about it. Whether you are isolating yourself whilst watching television or playing a game at home, playing on a portable games console or your phone, or simply listening to an mp3 player or iPod, it is likely that you use a pair of headphones or earphones to keep the sound of your activity as private as possible.
This lets you fully immersing yourself in it as well as avoiding irritating people around you with sound that they may not appreciate. Unfortunately, sound in general isn’t quite as considerate, and there are a great deal of penetrative external sounds that may muscle in and disturb your listening experience.
No matter what the distraction, ambient sounds can be extremely frustrating when you are trying to enjoy listening to something. The best kinds of headphones and earphones on the market do everything they can to combat this problem; on the cheaper end of the spectrum, “in ear” ear buds which reach further into the ear canal and headphones which fit very close to the head are designed to keep as much external sound as possible from reaching your ears. These are passive methods of noise cancellation, and are a cheaper, less effective option that the more expensive active noise cancelling headphones.
Active noise cancelling headphones need their own source of power (most are chargeable, via a direct power cord or USB) so that they able to produce what is known as “anti-noise”. These inverse sound waves are emitted from the headphones and collide with incoming sound waves, cancelling them out before they reach your ear. These models are more expensive than passive noise cancelling equipment, and before investing in a pair you should be sure you know what you are getting.
For example, check how long the battery life of the headphones is. An additional problem is the precise wave form of the emitted anti-noise. If incorrect, this can produce a background noise in itself, an uncomfortable hissing sound. If you do decide to splurge out on more expensive active noise cancelling headphones, be sure the quality matches the price.
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