How Noise-Canceling Headphones Work?

Whether you are on a plane, crowded place, or in a commute, you can fade off all the noise outside and enjoy your music peacefully when you are wearing noise-canceling headphones. Unlike other headphones, how do they cancel out all the outside noise and give a way to hear the pleasant music? Let’s find out where and how it all started.

It all started when Dr. Amar Bose took a flight in 1978 where he got frustrated as the noise of the plane faded the music played in the headset. Yes, he is the founder of Bose audio. It took him almost 10 years of rigorous research and millions to come up with a working prototype in 1986 which were initially made available for airline pilots and military and later to the general public when prices came down.

He created the headphones which would listen to the noise around while you enjoy your music.

Every sound travels in the form of a wave which is called a sound wave and each sound wave is different with peaks and valleys. When you play two sounds at the same time the peaks and valleys of two sounds combine and you call that phenomenon as constructive interference by which the sound gets amplified and you hear a louder voice which can be experienced in crowded places.

Constructive and Destructive Interference

The complete opposite of constructive interference is Destructive interference wherein the peaks of one wave combine with valleys of other wave and the sound instead of amplifying becomes so quiet to hear. This is what exactly noise-canceling headphones are doing.

Noise-cancelling headphones have built-in microphones which on detecting sound wave, create a new wave form that is totally the opposite of detected wave form which results in the canceling of detected wave and ensures silence for you.

If you have ever used any noise-canceling headphones, you might have noticed that they don’t cancel out every single noise like vehicles honking and much sudden and louder voices because they work better with consistent noise environments like planes and crowded places with consistent combined noise as it becomes tricky to match such sudden voices.

Even if they are not achieving perfect silence every time, they make our day easy to listen to peaceful music and made our day to day life peaceful while commuting to avoid frustrating noises around


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