The Benefits of Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Over the ear active noise cancelling headphones
Active noise cancelling headphones detect ambient sounds around the user and create a type of “anti-noise” which via destructive interference reduces the effect of the ambient sound.

Chances are if you have traveled on an airplane recently or visited a library then you have seen at least one person using active noise cancelling headphones. In a world which is suffering from increasing amounts of noise pollution their use is only becoming more common. For people who want to concentrate on the task that they are doing without being distracted by other peoples noise there really is no better alternative.

Active noise cancelling headphones are termed as such because they use active noise control. By detecting ambient sounds around the user the create a type of “anti-noise” which via destructive interference cancels out any exterior sound. As you will see below the benefits of noise cancelling head phones go beyond merely helping you to concentrate better. They can also play an important role in improving your health and quality of life.

Noise Cancelling Headsets Reduce Hearing Loss

Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is an increasingly common problem in modern society due to the prevalence of high intensity sound. Two of the most significant causes of high intensity sound are workplace related sounds and those caused by excessively loud music. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that since 2004 almost 125,000 people have suffered permanent hearing damage as a direct result of workplace noise.

Overly loud headphone music is another hearing loss culprit. Music which is played at above 130 decibels can cause hearing loss to occur in under four minutes. One of the primary reasons that people play music excessively loud on their headphones is because they can’t hear it properly over the ambient sounds around them.

However with active noise cancelling headphones it is possible to hear the music properly without having to turn it up to a level which is unsafe. If you have been listening to music on standard headphones for a prolonged period of time it is important to check how loud the music you are playing actually is. As people damage their hearing they tend to increase the sound even further, not noticing how loud the music has actually become.

Noise Reducing Headphones Can Reduce Stress

When you are constantly exposed to high level noise, as most city dwellers are, it can actually increase you stress levels. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America released a study which looked at the effect of high level noise such as train and car traffic on children.

The study showed that children who lived in neighborhoods with constant background noise, had a higher amount of cortisol which is the body’s stress hormone, compared to children in neighborhoods which were quieter. The effect of this constant stress can actually be quite serious.

Another 2006 study showed that people with constant low level noise exposure were more likely to suffer heart attacks. By wearing noise cancelling headphones while walking the streets or even when you are home in your apartment you will create an environment which is stress reducing. People who use active noise cancelling headphones typically note a reduction in their feelings of stress and anxiety.

Noise Cancellation Makes It Easier To Concentrate

Whether you are working in the office, studying for a test or trying to read a book on the bus, ambient noise can make it very difficult to concentrate. The anti-noise which is created by noise cancelling headphones eliminates these sounds so that you are able to focus solely on what you are doing. Using noise cancelling headphones can therefore help to improve your test scores and your productivity at work. They are also great if you are traveling on public transport and don’t want to be distracted.

Lowering Noise Can Improve The Quality Of Your Sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 62% of Americans experience problems sleeping at least a few nights a week. One of the leading causes of sleep problems is ambient noise. This noise might come from a snoring partner or a noisy neighborhood but the results are the same – another sleep deprived night. Removing the noise with noise cancelling headphones can allow you to enjoy quality sleep even in a relatively noisy environment. One of the most popular uses of these headphones as a sleep device is for plane travel.

As you can see the benefits of using active noise reducing headphones are wide ranging. While many people assume that these headphones are primarily used as a way to isolate oneself to concentrate on a task, in fact the health benefits are equally important.

Reducing stress and ear damage can make a significant difference to the quality of the users life. If you are currently working or living in area where there is either high intensity or high level noise exposure it would be a good idea to look at how active noise cancelling headphones can help you.

Originally posted 2013-02-13 21:34:31.