Passive or Active?
Passive noise cancellation, or noise isolation, is the most fundamental way of protecting ears from ambient noise. Any headset offers some degree of passive noise cancellation because the headset itself physically blocks sound. The best passive noise-cancelling headsets, also called hearing protectors, offer great noise cancellation but are bulky and very uncomfortable to wear. To offer the comfort and versatility required for an office worker using their headset for concentration and calls, the design can’t provide the same passive damping as a hearing protector. Furthermore, these more comfortable, versatile passive noise-cancelling headsets, only offer noise cancellation at high frequencies above 800Hz. Here is where active noise-cancelling headsets offer multiple benefits. The active system complements the passive system by offering noise cancellation at low frequencies (20–800 Hz) with no added physical discomfort. Furthermore, the active system can be set in different modes (on/off/adaptive) to give the best user experience in a given situation – namely the ability to concentrate better in a changing open office environment.
The Active Advantage
Active noise-cancelling (ANC) headsets provide all the benefits of passive noise-
cancelling headsets but add an extra level of noise reduction by effectively removing lower frequency sound waves.