We live in a world full of noise. A roommate snoring, the cars driving down the road outside, wind blowing against the window.

Noise is part of our everyday life and whether it comes from the hum of a computer fan, your neighbor cutting their grass five houses down the street or just the fridge kicking in while you’re enjoying a bit of quiet time, we all have moments where we want uninterrupted personal time.

In the beginning

Since the mid-1980s, companies have been working to craft noise reducing technology. At first it was built for military applications and the consumer application wasn’t really at the forefront.

But as the world of travel expanded, crowded public transit became an urban reality and overall having our daily lives inundated with status alerts, many wanted to carve out a space inside their head just for themselves and their music.

Inventors and lovers of science found a problem with passive noise cancelling headphones (foam over ear protection) and sought to fix it. And they did, with noise cancelling technology, reducing noise by an average of 17-22 decibels (dB) above and beyond the reduction of noise already provided just from the ear cup on the over the ear headphones.

As an example, the average conversation with no raised voices comes in at around 60-65 dB, the sound created in the passenger cabin on a commercial jetliner comes in at around 80-85 dB, while the refs whistle at the local hockey game comes in at 110 dB.

At its root, Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and Active Noise Reduction (ANR) is self-explanatory. You hear a lot less of the noise around you so you can focus on the sounds you want to hear.


But how does it work?

The most basic form of ANC and ANR technologies rely on an external microphone which actively picks up on noises coming towards your ears and runs defense so to speak. The mic sends the external audio to a chip, that chip scrambles the audio (We know this is oversimplifying it) and then delivers a sort of white noise to your ears instead, reducing the decibel level of your surroundings. This allows you to focus on what you want to hear.

Where it isn’t so simple is that depending on whose patented technology you’re using, the data gathered from the microphone is put through a different algorithm. Everyone has their own way of dealing with the data coming into the headphone, and the results will vary depending on the company, but overall there are distinct advantages to the technology and some important health and sanity reasons to consider picking up ANC or ANR headphones and earbuds.

Benefits to your health and sanity

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “I can’t hear myself think.”

Those living in noisy areas and anyone with kids knows the issue of trying to get a little time alone to enjoy your music or a podcast. With Active Noise Cancelling technology in both over ear headphones and in-ear earbuds, it’s easier than ever to find your place of Zen.


Working on your laptop in a coffee shop and not interested in hearing every clink and clang of cups and dishes? It’s a technology for you.

While regular annoyances make it worth getting acquainted with ANC/ANR, there’s a serious reason to consider it for all the parents out there. Do you ever notice your kids blasting their eardrums out with their earbuds or headphones?

Symptoms such as tinnitus (constant ringing in ears) and even hearing loss can come from overexposure to extremely loud music. While many of us are too old to completely reverse the effects of all the loud music we may have listened to in the past, ANC/ANR headphones allow you to have a completely immersive listening experience without jacking up the volume to block out noise pollution.

So, for all the parents out there, if you have ever worried at all about your kids blasting their music, destroying their hearing, Active Noise Cancelling earbuds might be a great investment in their healthy young ears and are worth the investment.

Whether you’re a jetsetting professional flying the globe, a writer coming up with the next New York Times Best Seller, an average person looking for some “me time” or just a concerned parent looking to keep their family safe, there’s noise cancelling technology suited to your needs.

Hitfar offers a great selection of ANC/ANR over-ear headphones and in-ear earbud options from brands you can trust. Click here to see them all.

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