When we found this post we were so pleased, having searched for over a year for this, finding it on this blog was an thrilling time for yours truly.
If you’ve walked down any street, anywhere in the United Kingdom, at any point in the last decade, you’ll know that the Britain of the early 21st Century is noisy, crowded and busy.
People shuttle past you with headphones on, mobile phones in front of their faces and sometimes, seemingly talking to themselves (until you notice the Bluetooth headset). Many is the time I’ve heard somebody talking and turned around to address them, only to see that they aren’t talking to me at all. There are more cars on the road and there are more roads for the cars to drive on. Yes, this country is a busy place and sometimes you want to just shut it all out.
You might be trying to hear a client’s requests on your hands free headset, or you might just want to forget everything else around you and listen to music. For these reasons (and a few more) noise cancelling headsets are growing in popularity at an alarming rate. In fact, they are a great invention, and a necessary one.
But how does such wondrous technology work?
Well, to put it simply, there are two forms of noise cancelling headsets. The first is pretty basic. Standard noise cancellation occurs whenever you put anything in (or over) your ears. In fact, this simple fact is only really utilized by the design of the headphones themselves. If they cover your ears, or block them with ear buds, then you are achieving basic noise cancellation. We’ll call that ‘passive’ noise cancellation.
The second type, we’ll call ‘active’ noise cancellation. With this type, a special technology is used. Active noise cancelling headsets generate a field of white noise around the ear, which acts as something of a vacuum and drowns out pretty much any noise around the wearer. These noise cancelling headsets are useful and they work a treat if you happen to live near any road works.
There is, of course, a downside. With some noise cancelling headsets, you actually have a hard time hearing, well, anything at all. This is fine when the ambient sound is limited to kids playing chavvy music on their phones, or else uppity couples arguing (so violently that you suspect ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ might be holding secret auditions somewhere) and noisy delivery lorries trundling past, but it can be a bit of a downer when you don’t hear oncoming cars, or phrases like “Ow! You stepped on my foot!”
So that’s how it works.