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Noise Cancelling (ANC) Headphones Vs Earbuds with pros and cons

Updated: March 29, 2022 13:36

In the previous market of audio headsets, there were only two categories earphones and headphones. But in the recent few years as technology is becoming powerful all the companies are there to capture the audio market with their new and different gadgets. This neck-to-neck competition born an all-new category of Earbuds. It comes with a super lightweight design with comfortable fits in your ear. But every single user is wondering if these earbuds can be worth buying. Because in today's world the headphones and earbuds both have a new-gen technology called Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) features that give the premium age to depreciate with the other ordinary headphones and earbuds. The Active Noise Canceling (ANC) works by canceling all the noise from your surroundings like traffic noise, dog brack, Havey construction noise, etc. By canceling these noises the ANC features allow you to enjoy your own music without any disruption.
This new technology of cancelling the unwanted noise may cost a heavy load to you pocked.
So, everyone finds that is earbuds are more effective in Noise Cancelling than headphones. Because if you chose the wrong category you must disappoint with your whole decision.
But now you don't have to worry because you are in the right place, here I will analyze every single corner of both the category and provide you with a proper concussion.

At the first, I will start with;

What is Noise-Cancelling in Headphones?

The latest technology is Noise-Cancelling which removes all the unwanted noise of the surroundings and gives you the original music experience that lets you enjoy every single lyrics and bass of the song don't matter where you are. The Active Noise-Canceling features work on headphones by covering the whole ear with proper awareness of your surroundings.
Some of the companies have made features like Sony in their Sony WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphone that will allow only the important voice from the surroundings. And if any important voice is not there except the unwanted noise it will cancel all those unwanted noises and give you the original music experience.
Pros and Cons of Noise-Cancelling Headphones?
All the new technology has its pros and cons, but the companies are trying their best to improve the Noise-Cancelling technology in headphones.

Let's talk about the pros:

  • The most interesting element of this feature is that it allows the user to enjoy its own music, gaming, podcast, online classes, and watching movies without any destruction.
  • I think the headphones are effective because they cover all of your ear from the outer part and give a proper no-voice area.
  • Surrounding Sound Reduction - The sound reduction or ANC features allows user to listen uninterrupted to music.
  • How do ANC features work? The Active Noise-Cancelling technology works with the transmission of waves by the microphones that are present in every ANC headphone. This cancels the surrounding unwanted sound waves that are coming to the ears. This latest ANC technology blocks all the noise sounds of the surroundings that provide the best music experience to the user.
  • Turn Off and On to avoid heavy battery loss - As we all know that the Noise-Cancelling technology in headphones consumes more battery power from the headphone. But Almost all the companies come with an on-and-off switch feature that allows the user to toggle the noise blocking ability of their headphones according to their situation requirements. On the other hand, the most popular brands of headphones come with auto-on-and-off Noise-canceling features like Apple and Sony with their premium Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones with Mic. This feature of ANC on-and-off is useful to be awarded of your surrounding important noises because most of the casualties happen when a user is not attentive from their surrounding that we have often seen in the viral videos where a person comes in danger while using their phone while walking on the busy road of contraction areas.
  • Auto Volume Lower - The noise cancellation headphones can prevent your ear from any damage. The headphones are the most covered to the ear that makes no sense to increase music value, and the ANC also Cancelling all noise of the surrounding crowd

Now let's talk about the cons;

  • Battery life - The Active Noise-Cancelling features give most disappointment in the battery life of the headphones.
  • Battery power - When your ANC feature is enabled in your headphones it consumes the most of the battery power and gives you less operation time.
  • As for the AND feature headphones has to carry a bigger battery to give a decent battery life, which makes the headphone heavier than the ordinary headphone.
  • Disadvantage - Another disadvantage the headphone is that we can't wear these for a long time because they are heavy and cover all you outer parts you the ear. That started producing a lot of sweets around the ears. But all the companies proved soft material on the ear cap that let you wear these headphones for a long time.
  • High Cost - Noise-Cencilastion headphones are the most expensive headphones, so if you have a deep pocket then you can go for it.

What is Noise-Cancelling in Earbuds?

The Noise-Cancelling features in earbuds work by getting an in-ear canal to provide the best sound quality. On the other hand, a headphone is placed on your on-ear surface that produces external sounds. However, the earbuds don't have the proper isolate of high-frequency noise compared to headphones.

Let's talk about the pros:

  • Lightweight - The earbuds are lightweight audio equipment easy to carry anywhere. Even you can were earbuds for a long time without any trouble or if you are listing to your favorite music while sleeping and changing your position I can say you don't feel any disturbance.
  • Affordable price - The Active Noise-Cancelling (ANC) earbuds come in very affordable compared to noise-cancelling headphones.
  • Now let's talk about the cons;
  • Sound quality - The earbuds don't have a proper Active Noise-cancelling ability the eliminate the noise of the surroundings. Even after buying an expensive ANC earbud, you will not get the right ANC noise cencelling audio quality as the Active Noise-cancelling headphones are used to provide.
  • Ear Damage - If you are using earbuds for listening to your favorite music you have to make the volume high which can cause ear damage. Because Earbuds are placed into your ear canal. Which can harm your ear slowly even you don't notice this damage.
  • Vulnerability - As earbuds are lightweight and portable to carry it can lose easily. And in some cases, people eat these earbuds accidentally.


After analyzing every corner of the Headphones and earbuds I can say that it's your call. If you are buying Wireless earbuds it gives you the advantage of carrying anywhere and don't want to spend a huge amount of money you can go for earbuds. But if you are concerned with sound quality with a proper Active Noise-Cancelling you have to go for headphones.
Because the Active Noise-Cancelling feature works with a huge margin in headphones compared to earbuds.
Both the noise-cancelling gadgets have the features but the headphone is placed Over-ear of the user allowing it to provide the best audio experience while the earbuds lack in this area. The overall noise reduction and sound quality are enhanced in a headphone.
So, if you are not worried about the price then you can go for a headphone. The best wireless headphone is the Sony WH-1000XM4 with a noise-canceling feature under Rs 30000 after Apple headphones that come in a 60k price range. But if you are finding these headphones are very much expensive then you can go for the best headphones under 5000.

Example - If you usually walk or live in an area where a lot of traffic, construction, neighbors use to make a lot of noise then you have to buy a noise-cancelling headphones. It will eliminate all the noise of the surroundings and give you peace and relaxation. That will make you more productive and give you a full focus on your work-from-home situation.

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Abhishek Sahani

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