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Wired or Wireless Headset?

Take Control of Your Sound Environment

Loud background noise in open offices are unavoidable. But thanks to technology advancements, there are now ways to tackle this reoccuring issue.

Have you ever tried to concentrate when a group of colleagues is discussing the latest sales report right next to your desk? Have you ever worked from a café and struggled to be productive because of the surrounding chitchat? Or maybe you have found yourself on an overseas flight trying to work on that head-aching budget plan and couldn’t because of the screaming baby behind you. 

It is evident – background noise does affect all of us to varying degrees. It affects our health by increasing stress levels. It affects our concentration by causing distractions and consequently affects our productivity by decreasing focus. For modern workers in open-office environments, ambient noise can be particularly detrimental. And that’s where Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and ANC headsets come in handy.  

But let’s take a step back: What is noise cancellation?

Generally speaking, this is the method for reducing unwanted sound. Now, there are different ways to reduce unwanted sound, and active noise cancellation is one of them. But let’s start with the most basic one – passive noise cancellation.

Passive noise cancellation

– also called noise isolation - is the most fundamental way of protecting ears from ambient noise. Even the oldest pair of headphones that you have at home provide some sort of passive noise reduction. They cover your ears and thus block at least some of the surrounding noise. You get it – the thicker the ear pads, the better the passive noise cancellation. 

Of course, passive noise cancellation only provides a limited reduction of ambient noise. Going in the nitty-gritty details, it only covers the higher frequencies of sound, leaving noise in the low-frequency range passing undisturbed.

Active Noise Cancellation

That’s where active noise cancellation shows its advantages. Active noise-canceling headsets are no different than passive noise-canceling ones but have the benefit of adding an extra level of noise reduction. How? By generating ‘anti-noise’ – equal, but opposite sound waves that contrast and minimize ambient noise. In this way, the lower frequency sound waves get reduced too.

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Hybrid active noise cancellation, as the word suggests, is a mix of feedforward and feedback ANC. It works by using microphones both on the inside and outside of each ear cup. In this way, ambient noise outside the ear cup is recognized, and anti-noise created. The inside microphone detects anti-noise as it leaks in and adjusts its' level to perfectly match - neutralizing the unwanted noise before it reaches the ears. This guarantees a broader and better noise cancellation. 

But that’s not all.

Active noise cancellation can be implemented in three different ways. That’s why we talk about feedforward, feedback, and hybrid active noise cancellation. 

Feedforward active noise cancellation works by placing a microphone on the outside of the ear cup. The microphone detects surrounding noise early on and generates anti-noise to counteract it. 

In feedback active noise cancellation, the microphone is placed inside the ear cup instead. This implies that anti-noise is generated to contrast ambient noise that has passed through the passive noise cancellation. 

Hybrid active noise cancellation, as the word suggests, is a mix of feedforward and feedback ANC. It works by using microphones both on the inside and outside of each ear cup. In this way, ambient noise outside the ear cup is recognized, and anti-noise created. The inside microphone detects anti-noise as it leaks in and adjusts its' level to perfectly match - neutralizing the unwanted noise before it reaches the ears. This guarantees a broader and better noise cancellation. 

But that was not enough for us. At EPOS, we strive to perfect audio experiences through pioneering audio technology. 

That’s why we pride ourselves on an even more advanced hybrid ANC technology – Adaptive ANC. EPOS hybrid active noise cancellation technology adds an “adaptive” dimension, which constantly monitors your background environment and seamlessly adjusts to the ambient noise around you, providing the correct level of suppression where and when it’s needed.