A Comparison between Active and Passive Noise Cancellation in headphones

The topic of Noise cancellation is taken really lightly in headphones. People might not even know what Noise Cancellation in Headphones mean. In this blog we are going to do a comparison between Active and Passive Noise Cancellation and tell how it affects and creates headphone quality.

What is Noise Cancellations in Headphones?

Noise Cancellation in headphones means complete or partial reduction of unwanted noises by your headphones. The Headphones which support Noise Cancellation reduce unwanted ambient sounds using active noise control feature. They snugly cover your ears and prevent other noises from entering in it!

Its benefits includes that you can listen to the audio content without raising the volume to the fullest which many people have to do as their headphones are not noise-cancellation ones. It also helps people to sleep in a noisy environment with ease. There are several Noise Cancellation Headphones specially developed for that purpose.

Now that you have gotten the idea as to what Noise Cancellation Headphones are lets discuss the different types of Noise Cancellation in Headphones;

(1) Active Noise Cancellation

Active and Passive Noise Cancellation

Active Noise Cancellation refers to noise cancellation in which unwanted sounds are reduced by addition of a second sound which is specifically designed to cancel the first. these headphones are expensive and generally have batteries installed for the Noise Cancellation Circuitry to work properly.

Active Noise Cancellation involves not only padding which passively blocks sound, microphones which are planted in the ear-wells of headphones actively analyse ambient noise level and reflect sound waves back into your ear which zaps or cancels the outside noise. This was the most less scientific we could get about the working of Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Modern Active Noise Cancellation is generally done with use of Analog Circuits or Digital Signal Processing. Active Noise Cancellation can also be termed as 3D Noise Cancellation. The Active Noise control is control done using a power source as mentioned above.  This is best suited for low frequencies.

Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are usually very expensive. Here are some of the Active Cancelling headphones available.

(1) Sony Wh-1000XM3

(2)Philips Fidelio NC1

(3) Bose Quiet Comfort 35

(4) Bowers and Wilkins PX wireless

 Passive Noise Cancelling in Headphones

Active and Passive Noise Cancellation

Passive Noise Cancellation in Headphones means that Noise Cancellation which is based on the physical design of the ear cups. Passive Noise Cancellation mostly depends on how well the headphones fit over your head and how well do they cover up your ears. Thus, they don't have much circuitry installed within them for  noise cancellation.

Thus passive noise cancellation is all about how your earphone's cups are designed. If they fit well over your ears and snugly cover them, the noise reduction will happen very well and you will be able to hear music really good.

They account for 99% of the noise cancellation market as they are very in-expensive and also available most of the time. Thus, if you are really rich you can go for active Noise Cancellation headphones otherwise go for the Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones.

They start from really low prices from 1000 Rs and go on to 10-12k.


One of the best Noise Cancelling Headphones are the Boom-buds which are true Noise Cancelling Headphones. They are also wireless thus adding to the fun.

Hope you liked our comparison of Active and Passive Noise Cancellation. Do share it among your friends.