Noise is everywhere. Whether you work from home, in the office, or on the go, you’re likely to be exposed to distracting sounds from neighbors, colleagues, or general ambient noise.
That’s why headphones with ANC—”active noise cancellation”—have become an invaluable tool for busy professionals. These types of headphones work by sensing the noise around you and generating a kind of “anti-noise” signal to reduce it. This helps you tune out distractions and focus on the job at hand.
But not all ANC headsets are the same. EPOS carries a number of different professional ANC headphones. To make the right choice for you, it’s important to consider several key factors.
In-ear or over-the-ear?
First off, there’s the wearing style and form factor. ANC headphones tend to come in two types:
In-ear ANC earbuds
As the name suggests, these earbuds go directly inside your ear, creating a sound-isolating plug to keep out external noise. This wearing style is most relevant for people looking to use ANC headphones on the move, as earbuds are more portable and convenient.
Over-the-ear ANC headphones
These are headphones with larger earcups that fully cover the ear to create effective sound isolation with added passive noise dampening. This type of headphones is most frequently used in the office. The added benefit here is that the microphone is typically located closer to the mouth (especially if they come with a boom arm) to ensure optimal voice pickup.
Feedback, feed-forward, or hybrid?
In addition to the wearing style, there’s the question of how ANC headphones actually function.
In this type of ANC system, the noise-sensing microphone is located on the outside of the ear piece. This helps it catch the incoming noise early and adjust the signal more quickly.
The disadvantage here is that this sensor microphone doesn’t hear the “end” result and has no way to self-correct if it generates any unfavorable sounds for the wearer. It also risks overreacting to wind noise.
In this ANC setup, the sensor microphone is located inside the earcup. As such, what it “hears” is more aligned with what the user hears. This helps the headset better adjust the levels of active noise cancellation.
At the same time, feed-forward ANC may end up creating higher levels of static “buzzing” noise because the sensor microphone and the speaker are so close together.
These ANC headphones offer the best of both worlds by having microphones on the inside and the outside of the earcup. This helps compensate for most of the disadvantages of each separate system.
Because it requires two sensor mics, this type of ANC system tends to be more expensive. It’s also more complex and tricky to get just right, so it requires significant engineering know-how. At EPOS, we’re proud to offer a range of headsets with hybrid ANC.
In addition to the above, ANC headsets may have additional features you may find relevant depending on your individual needs. At EPOS, we offer the following:
- Adaptive ANC: This automatically adjusts the level of active noise cancellation depending on the surrounding noise. This allows the headset to lower the static “buzz” from ANC in quieter environments and boost ANC in more noisy settings.
- Adjustable ANC: This puts the user in charge by letting them manually set their preferred ANC levels to make sure they get the best mix of noise cancellation and sound clarity.
EPOS headsets with ANC: Which one is right for you?
Many of our professional headsets come with ANC to help workers focus in busy offices, noisy households, or on the go.