The Significance of Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QC35-Active noise cancellation headphone

What is Noise cancellation, and where is it used?

In simple terms, noise cancellation is the process of suppressing noise or unwanted ambient sounds using soundproofing materials or Active noise control (More on that later …)

The history of Noise cancellation …

It all started in 1978 when Amar Bose (former MIT professor & electrical engineer) was travelling from Boston to Zurich on an aircraft. On this fateful flight, he successfully demonstrated that “Frustration is the mother of invention”. He was extremely annoyed by the fact that the engine noise drowned his in-flight music experience. So he grabbed a napkin and tried to design a concept that could negate this effect. It was those designs and calculations he made several thousand feet over the Atlantic Ocean that gave rise to the BOSE audio as we know it today!

Amar Bose infographic

The types of noise cancellation :

Several decades down the line, we have 2 types of noise cancellation called Active and Passive noise cancellation. Let’s get a comprehensive idea of what it means.

  • Passive noise cancellation “Obstructs sound ”- This happens by using materials or designs that tend to muffle external noise. This is otherwise called “Noise isolation.”

Working of Active Noise Cancellation headphones :

So now let's come to the main part where we try to understand what really makes these headphones extremely expensive in the first place.

The simplified image shows what happens during destructive interference
Bose SoundTrue headphones — A classic example of passive noise-cancelling headphones

Hi, I am an engineer by profession and a content writer by passion . I enjoy writing about arcane topics from a wide spectrum of domains !