Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sound Cancelling Headphones - Choose The Perfect Sound Cancellation Headphones

By Thomas Singelin

Sound cancelling headphones appeared on the market a while ago. A lot of individuals use them on airlines to cover the noise of the aircraft. Amar Bose, from Bose Technology was one of the first to develop sound cancelling headphones. He realised that the standard head phones were unpleasant and presented several issues. In the 80s, Bose Technology was the first company to make available this technology to the public. Two questions remain, how do they work and what makes high quality sound cancelling headphones?

The technology is based on inverting the sound around you to cancel out what you are hearing outside the head phones. It does this by a microphone picking up the sounds around you. It then takes those sounds and turns them inside out so they are the inverse of the sounds recorded. By applying the inverted sounds against the actual sounds the sound is eliminated. This technology works best for a constant sound such as an airplane engine or an air conditioning unit. They are less efficient on quickly changing noises such as speech as the sound waves change quickly and the inverting technology, working in real time; struggle to keep up with the changes.

To allow this technology to work, a battery power source is needed. When components need to be added to the cables it can be bulky and inconvenient. More useful models have the battery in the headphone casing itself meaning no excess bulk or inconvenience is created. Good headphone will continue to work even if the battery runs out, the sound cancellation technology simply won't be operating in these cases.

The two major forms of sound cancelling headphones are the ear surround model and the over ear model. The ear surround model works somewhat like a pair of air muffs. As well as passively reducing the sound getting into the ear canal, the cancellation technology reduces noise even further. They are well cushioned but several people find them heavy and when worn for long periods of time to be hot and sweaty.

The on ear version of sound cancelling headphones is a lot lighter but they do not cover the complete ear area. They are usually lighter and allow more airflow as a consequence. They are also less capable of filtering out loud noises.

The ability to detach the cabling may be something you would use. If you want to just eliminate noise at times and not listen to your MP3 player or iPod detaching the cable will free you from the cables. Being able to separate means you won't be tied to a set of headphone cables.

If you use sound cancelling headphones on a regular basis such as for your job or travel, you may need to transport them safely. The final accessory you should look at is the carry case that is provided. Soft cases are easier to fit into odd spots in your luggage or hand bag, but they do not provide the level of protection a hard case will.

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