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Does Noise Cancellation Improve Sound Quality?

Does Noise Cancellation Improve Sound Quality?

Noise-canceling headphones are the new trend nowadays. Everyone wants to listen to their music without constant interruptions and noises from the outside. They seem to be the right choice to make if you want a fully immersive music experience.

But the truth is, noise-canceling headphones technically reduce and distort the sound quality a bit. This happens because the headphones are equipped with little electronic devices that filter the noise from the outside. The incoming music has to be digitized before being converted back to its analog version. 

The whole process requires power consumption, and the sound reproduced is usually of lower quality to minimize more power consumption. It is a trade-off to make, they are an excellent way of blocking out external interruptions, but the musical output that you receive may have an audio quality lower than that of the original sound.

If you are confused by the technical jargon and all this has caught you by surprise, keep reading as we walk you through the process.

How Do Noise Cancelling Headphones Work?

Noise-canceling headphones monitor the external sound around us, and they prevent unwanted noise from ever reaching our ears. They do this using mini microphones in the earcups or earbuds that listen to the outside noise frequencies and emit signals with the same but opposite frequency to effectively “cancel out” both sets of sounds when the soundwaves collide.

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How Does This Impact Sound Quality? 

A lot of power is consumed to create frequencies to cancel out the outside sound. To provide us with the sound we intend to listen to and filter out the noise, that sound is first digitized and then converted back to its normal form using filters. Again, this process requires power consumption, and less power is left to provide us with high-quality sounds, hampering the quality a little. 

What Difference Does Noise Cancellation Make On Sound Quality?

The sound may appear a little less strong or powerful. The subtle power beats in some music may also be diffused or blurred. The music can go from sharp and clean to muffled and blurred. Some users may also feel dizzy using noise-canceling headphones.

There can be other distortions in the sound too, but usually, they are not great enough for the user to pick up on.

Is There A Way To Improve The Sound?

You can always lower the noise-cancellation option if your headphones allow it. Listening to music using noise-cancellation works best if you are not in a windy or noisy area because that means that fewer external disruptions need to be canceled. Specific genres of music like pop or rock are not impacted as such by the headphones either, so you can always use noise-canceling headphones for that.

In Conclusion

Purchasing noise-canceling headphones is always a trade-off. Some users prefer them because the compromised sound quality is better than putting up with outside disruptions. However, it is a myth that noise-canceling improves sound quality; the only thing it does is block out outside noises.