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What are the differences between Noise Cancellation and Noise Transparency?

Noise Cancellation

You may have heard about the 2 functions of headphone or earphone devices including ANC or active noise cancellation function and noise transparency if you are really a headphone or earphone lover. Users may have their own favorite function using with their headphone products. Therefore before you decide to buy any type of headphones and earphones, figuring out about these 2 functions is good for your decision in buying one among many types of listening devices.

Explain what is Noise Cancellation?

Noise cancellation or ANC (active noise cancellation) is a type of function which helps the microphone eliminating background noise or sound from outside or around users by having a contrast signal noise replace it. In short, when you turn ANC mode on, it will help cut out or reduce all low frequency ranging noises such as fan noise, airplane sound, traffic noise, or even higher frequency ranging noises like human voices. So users can enjoy having speech by using their microphone without getting distracted from external background noise from outside.

The ANC or noise cancellation system work by having one microphone listen to the external sound and internal sound of the earphone and then a chipset of the ANC system will combine the soundwaves and a speaker inside the earphone that canceling the external sound by keeping the balance of the soundwaves. However, ANC can’t remove all types of unwanted background noises. Some external background noises include strong wind who might have higher frequencies can get through the ANC effect, so you will still include that noise when you speak with the microphone.

Explain what is Noise Transparency?

The noise transparency function helps you be aware of the external sound around you when you listen to high-volume sound through earphones. By using this function, it will help inform you of what is really happening while you are listening to a high volume of song or speeches. For example, if you are taking a subway or running in the morning during your exercise alone, making yourself aware of the external sound around you can also protect you from some bad situations as well. By using this function, it makes you enjoy listening with your earphone while acknowledging what is really happening around you.

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Do both of these noises affect sound quality?

Well, both of these noises could affect the sound quality. Even though both of these noises functions can help you get rid of most of the external background sounds but it doesn’t mean that it will remove all types of unwanted noises. Moreover as for the noise cancellation function, when you turn on ANC mode, it may reduce some of the background noise but you will hear some background hiss to it.


In nutshell, both functions may not always offer a good side it. It’s not always perfect. Therefore, being a user you need to identify of when you should use that function and when you shouldn’t. Most functions have the right time for you to know when to use one of them. The best option is you need to know what functions work best on which occasion or situation so you can decide which function to be on or off.

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