Why Noise Reduction Headphones Are Better

Noise Reduction Headphones Are Better Than Noise Cancellation Headphones

Our Direct Sound Extreme Isolation headphones are passive noise reduction headphones. They reduce noise by a greater number of decibels and sound better than traditional active noise cancelation headphones. And, perhaps best of all, they are a great value for your money.

Direct Sound EX-29 Noise Reduction Headphones
Noise reduction headphones are not the same as noise cancellation headphones. The Direct Sound Extreme Isolation Headphones are better classified as noise reduction headphones because they do not use electronics to actively cancel ambient noise. Instead, our headphones physically block sound by reflecting the sound away from your ears while enclosing your ears in our patented sound isolating ear cups. The result is a greater degree of sound isolation and superior sound quality for your music.

Why Noise Reduction Headphones Sound Better

Most noise cancelling headphones use electronics to “listen” to the sound around you so that they can produce an “opposite” sound wave to cancel the sound inside the ear cups. This is called active noise cancelation because the headphones are actively destroying incoming sound with a cancelling sound wave. For audiophiles like us, the major problem with this type of noise reduction is that the “cancelling” sound wave which is intended to block the ambient noise also destroys the music you are actually trying to listen to. There’s simply no way around it. Let’s take a simple sound frequency as an example. Suppose there is an ambient noise at 1000 Hz around you. So your active noise cancellation headphones produce a sound wave that blocks that frequency inside of your ear cups. But what if the music you are listening to also has a sound at 1000 Hz. That frequency in your music is then cancelled as well. So now you have cancelled sound you actually do want to hear.

The problem doesn’t stop there. The folks that make active noise cancellation headphones know this so they build their headphones to artificially boost certain sound frequencies in your music because they know that the noise cancellation electronics are going to be destroying those frequencies. Now your music is totally distorted from what the artists intended for you to hear and, instead, it sound like an approximation of what your headphones company wants you to hear. The end result is very unsatisfying.

There is yet another problem with active noise cancellation headphones. The “canceling” sound waves that they produce are not silent. If you put on a pair of active noise cancellation headphones and simply turn on the noise cancellation electronics you are going to hear a very disorienting, swooshing noise. This is the sound of the “canceling” sound waves inside of your ear cups. This swooshing, static noise does not go away when you start playing your music. So you are going to be hearing a distracting and annoying static noise in the background of EVERYTHING you listen to. This destroys the quality of your music and makes it sound like you are listening to an old record or a dubbed tape or something. You will not be getting the crystal clear audio that you could be getting.

Our Noise Reduction Headphones Are Crystal Clear

Our noise reduction headphones do not use electronics to block noise and, therefore, do not introduce any swooshing static noise into your music and they do not destroy any of the audio frequencies in your music. The result is crystal clear audio the way the artists intended for you to hear it.

Noise Reduction Headphones Block More Noise

Our noise reduction headphones block more noise and a wider range of sound frequencies than active noise cancellation headphones. The average set of active noise cancellation headphones blocks about 12 – 15 dB of noise. Even the really expensive, $300 active noise cancellation headphones only block about 17dB of noise. Our Direct Sound Extreme Isolation headphones block an average of 29 dB of sound. If that doesn’t seem like a big difference, keep in mind that something that is 10 dB louder is twice as loud. This means our headphones will block what sounds like twice as much noise. If you want to learn more about what a decibel is read our article What Is A Decibel? Or if you want to know more about what sound is you can read our article What Is Sound and How Hearing Works?

In addition to reducing sound be a greater number of decibels, our headphones block a wider range of sound as well. Active noise cancelation headphones are only effective at block consistent, rumbling noises like engine noise on an airplane. They do not do very well blockinging short bursts of noise like phones ringing or people talking. This is because the electronics in the headphones do not have enough time to calculate a “canceling” sound wave for these short bursts of noise.

Noise reduction headphones, on the other hand, are excellent for blocking snoring, talking, dogs barking and other types of short burst noises because they work be reflecting the sound away from your ears. Our headphones do not need to calculate anything, they instantly reflect the noise away from your ears.

So, in summary here is a list of reasons why our Noise Reduction Headphones are better than active noise cancellation headphones.

  • Better sound quality for your music
  • Blocks more decibels of sound
  • Blocks a wider range of sound
  • Effecive at block short bursts of sound like TVs, talking, dogs barking, etc.
  • Do not require batteries
  • More durable
  • Better value for your money

So if you are looking for the best headphones that block the most noise, please take a look at our EX-29 Extreme Isolation Headphones. Or, if you want a more compact style of headphones which are great for traveling or studying, read more about our EX-25 Extreme Isolation Headphones.