Our Next Generation Addiction: Headphones, Music and Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)

There are many things in their lives that people connect to without realizing it. Sleep, shopping, excessive internet and social media use, and even substance abuse can be counted. I think many of these are addictions that we all have. Of course, there are also addictions that do not harm us if used correctly. One of them is music and related headphones . As you can see, there is a significant increase in the use of headphones , whether they are over the head, in-ear or true wireless .

While previously people considered headphones to be simple devices that plug into the computer and be used to mute out sound, they have now become the perfect companions that occupy much of our day. So much so that, according to a study conducted in the USA in January 2019, in 44% of residences, individuals use separate earphones for both their phones and computers . Of course, this rapid rise paved the way for the emergence of different innovations in headphone technologies . Such as waterproof headphones , " True Wireless " headphones that we call fully wireless without even a cable, technologies that can be connected to two devices, new Bluetooth versions and codec technologies that increase the shooting distance and reduce battery usage, while not neglecting to increase the sound quality. And perhaps one of the most important of these new technologies, the one that has been developed the most in recent years, and which has a fierce competition between brands: Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) , ie Active Noise Cancellation .


In fact, noise canceling technology is divided into three different branches. Passive, adaptive and active. Passive noise canceling is a noise canceling technology that does not involve any technological processes and represents the natural isolation provided by ear pads. Adaptive noise canceling , on the other hand, is a technology that actually works on the principle of active noise cancellation , but regulates the noise cancellation level in real time. It may sound better than active noise canceling , but still, active noise canceling is the most widely used noise canceling technology because it doesn't give a very effective result. But what about active noise canceling?

The Keystone of Modern Headphone Technology: Noise Cancellation

We can explain active noise canceling as follows without bogging you in too much technical detail. In a single sentence; noise cancellation technology is based on the principle of wave phase cancellation. To put it more simply, two sound waves formed at 180 degrees opposite each other cancel each other out. It is a kind of neutralization of – and +. Noise canceling performs the steps of recording background noise, then inverting that noise signal to create "anti-noise", and then adding it to your output signal containing your music.


Since the output principle of this technology interferes with sound frequencies, it was technically possible to observe that there were losses in sound quality at first. Of course, like any technology, active noise canceling technology has evolved over time to a level that doesn't affect sound quality.

Yes, if we understand the technical aspect of the job, let's continue from where we left off. What were we saying? Music addiction . These products, which we use to meet our music addiction, are an invention that many of us use for most of our day. Of course, in addition to these, we can say that most of our day is spent outdoors, in public transportation, or in noisy environments. In the meantime, we want to disconnect from the outside world and really focus on the music we listen to. On the way to work in the morning, you turn on a rock to get some life, even if you turn the headphones to the maximum volume, you still feel the lack of something. The hustle and bustle of public transport will overwhelm you. This is where active noise canceling comes into our lives. Although this technology, of course, varies from product to product, it minimizes the external sound intensity as much as possible and makes you even more addicted to your music . I still cannot forget the first reactions of my friends who tried my headphones with this technology for the first time.


You can understand the difference of this technology very quickly. When you plug in the earphones , even when the music is not playing, you are a few clicks away from the universe. Maybe you are in a sound environment at that moment. You want to take a nap for a few minutes. Pink Floyd is playing in your ears. You found the video with nine episodes of Shine On You Crazy Diamond on Youtube , 20-odd minutes of peace. Or you came home after a tired work and you aim to fall asleep listening to Max Richer 's “Sleep” album that he made just for people with sleep problems. But a few voices from outside; maybe a door slamming sound, maybe that annoying tick-tock adventure of an hour, who knows, that annoying crackling of the parquet when your child sneaks into the kitchen for a snack… I'm sure there are people who live what I'm saying and understand me right now. Therefore, it would be wrong to think of this technology as only indexed to the outside world. These headphones , which we use for a long time even when we are at home, increase the pleasure we get whenever we listen to music with active noise canceling technology .

So Which Product?

In this regard, Sennheiser has two products that do a pretty good job. Sennheiser PXC 550-II for those who are constantly on the go and want a more portable product with a long battery life, and Momentum 3 for those who aim for maximum quality in sound quality and technologies. Both products have ANC (active noise canceling) technology. Here, the PXC 550-II draws our attention with its 30-hour battery life and portable design. Momentum 3, which is in a different class than the PXC 550-II, sets a new standard in its category with its larger drivers, class-leading sound technology, wider frequency range , and incredible bass response .


Both headphones are considered the best products in their categories. Here, of course, you need to choose the product that is suitable for you according to your intended use. I personally use Momentum 3 , there is nothing negative to say about the sound quality anyway. Having three different modes of ANC technology also provides a semi-adaptive use. You can increase the battery life by switching between these modes according to the sound intensity in your environment. Of course, since I personally want to focus entirely on my music, I always use it at the maximum level.


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