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Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones Provide Peaceful Travels

By AudioMan
Posted on Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Category: Earbuds, Headphones, Noise Cancelling Headphones


Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones like the Shure Earbuds block sound by lodging in the ear

Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones Block Background Noise the Easy Way

Look around the bus, train, or plane the next time you travel.

Chances are, many of your fellow travelers are sporting headphones. Favorite podcasts or music playlists are tried and true ways to brighten a commute.

But the struggle to eliminate background noise can cause commuters to crank up the volume and risk future hearing damage.

Noise cancelling headphones are one solution to this problem. They come with many different pricetags and features- including active noise cancelling technology that electronically blocks noise.

Passive noise cancelling headphones, on the other hand, block sound by using earcups or in-ear canalphones to muffle extraneous noise.

Are passive noise cancelling headphones the right choice for you?

Why Choose Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones?

Active noise cancelling headphones are a great way to quiet your commute. But they have disadvantages as well.

One is background hiss generated by the electronic circuitry.

Another is that high frequencies and intermittent sounds are more difficult to capture and cancel. Active noise cancelling headphones won’t do much to cut out the conversation in the row behind you.

Cost is another factor. In general, active noise-cancelling headphones cost more, and batteries are an ongoing expense.

Passive noise cancelling headphones, by contrast, offer better sound quality at a lower price point.

Passive headphones  use sound-isolating techniques to seal off the ears and cut down on intermittent sounds that are difficult to isolate electronically.

Passive noise cancelling headphones sometimes use large earcups like the familiar bulky cans used in recording studios.

However, the bigger the earcup, the more uncomfortable some listeners find them- especially when used for extended listening sessions.

More modern passive noise cancellation methods include earbuds (also called canalphones) that firmly press into the ear canal itself, sealing off the ear much like earplugs with a built-in speaker.

Although not for everyone – some people dislike the feeling of having something lodged in their ear canal – in-ear canalphones offer the maximum noise cancellation possible with purely passive devices.

What Else Do Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones Offer?

Audio manufacturers often add travel-friendly features to noise cancelling headphones. These include adapters for airplane audio systems, retractable cords, collapsible headband designs, and carrying bags.

In-line volume and mute controls are another handy enhancement, especially when listeners may need to cut the volume to hear announcements.

Are Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones Right For You?

Think of your listening habits. If you like to listen to podcasts on your subway commute, an inexpensive set of canalphones or low-end headphones may be right for you.

If you’re a serious audiophile – or if the thought of in-ear speakers turns you off – consider investing in larger earcups, sturdier construction, or top shelf¬† sound quality- especially if frequent traveling is on your itinerary.

AudioLinks offers a variety of noise cancelling headphones featuring both active and passive technology to fit a variety of needs and budgets. Expert advice from our staff of technicians is just a phone call (1-800-263-0112) or email away!



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