The Technology Behind Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Active noise-canceling headphones (ANC) have quickly become a must-have accessory in our daily lives. Whether you're traveling, working from home, or simply trying to immerse yourself in music, these devices offer a remarkable audio experience by eliminating unwanted ambient sounds. But have you ever wondered how these 'magic' headphones work? Let's delve into the captivating science behind active noise-canceling headphones.

Understanding Sound Waves and Frequency Noise

Sound waves are simply pressure variations in the air. They range from low-frequency bass sounds (like a drum beat) to high-frequency treble sounds (like a whistle).

When we hear sounds, we're really detecting these pressure variations through our eardrums. Ambient sounds, which are the continuous background noise in our environment, consist of a mix of all sorts of sound waves.

Woman listening to music using ANC Headphones

ANC headphones are uniquely designed to cancel noise by creating 'anti-noise' sound waves that mirror the intrusive ambient noise in real-time, a phenomenon known as destructive interference.

Destructive Interference: The Core of Noise Cancelling Technology

Destructive interference happens when two sound waves of the same frequency and amplitude meet but are out of phase – meaning one wave's peak aligns with the other's trough, and vice versa.

In simpler terms, ANC headphones produce a sound wave that's the exact mirror image of the incoming ambient noise. When these two waves meet, they cancel each other out, essentially creating a quiet or “silence.”

Noise reduction

Our selection of ANC headphones at Srhythm leverages this advanced technology to give you an unrivaled audio experience.

How Noise-Cancelling Headphones Work

In practice, ANC headphones utilize built-in microphones to continuously listen to ambient sounds. These microphones catch the incoming noise and feed it to an internal electronics system.

This system processes the sound waves, identifies the frequency and amplitude, and then generates a mirror image (the “anti-noise”) in real-time. This anti-noise is then played back through the headphone speakers along with your music or other audio. The result is a dramatically reduced background noise level, allowing you to focus on what you want to hear.

It's important to note that ANC headphones are most effective at canceling consistent low-frequency sounds, like the hum of a plane or air conditioner. This is because these sounds have long, predictable waveforms that are easier to counteract. High-frequency sounds, like people talking nearby, are more challenging to cancel due to their irregular and rapid waveforms.

Active Noise Cancelling vs. Passive Noise Cancelling

While discussing noise-canceling technology, it's vital to distinguish between active noise-canceling (ANC) and passive noise-canceling.

Passive noise-canceling, or noise isolation, is a simpler form of noise control. It involves physically blocking noise from reaching your ears, for instance, by using headphones with a tight seal around your ears or earplugs. This can be effective for reducing some ambient noise, but is less capable of dealing with loud sounds or inconsistent noise.

In contrast, ANC headphones actively process and counteract ambient noise, offering a more powerful and comprehensive noise-canceling solution. For example, our NC75 is equipped with advanced ANC technology that provides superior sound quality

The Advantages of Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Given this intricate technology, ANC headphones excel in a variety of environments. Whether you're on a noisy flight or in a bustling office, these headphones significantly reduce unwanted background noise, allowing you to listen to music, watch videos, or make calls without distraction.

Aside from enhancing your listening experience, ANC headphones also help to protect your hearing health. By eliminating the need to increase your audio volume to compete with background noise, ANC headphones can help prevent potential damage from loud sounds. Explore our range of ANC headphones for professionals to find the perfect fit for your needs.

The Future of Active Noise-Cancelling Technology

As technology continues to advance, we can anticipate even greater developments in noise-canceling capabilities. This includes a better reduction of high-frequency sounds and an even more seamless audio experience, among other things.

At Srhythm, we're committed to leading the way in this innovation. Keep an eye on our blog for updates on the latest advancements and insights into the world of noise-canceling technology.


Active noise-canceling technology is an impressive feat of audio engineering. By understanding how it works, you can better appreciate the genius that goes into every pair of ANC headphones. This advanced technology not only provides a superior listening experience but also promotes better auditory health by protecting you from damaging loud sounds.

Whether you're a frequent flyer, a music lover, or just someone who appreciates good sound, ANC headphones are a worthwhile investment. At Srhythm, we offer a range of high-quality ANC headphones designed to cater to every need. Check out our offerings and experience the power of active noise-canceling technology for yourself.

To learn more about our headphones and how to get the most out of them, explore how ANC headphones helped me on the blog.