Noise-cancelling headphones

Integrating Sound Level Meter

Noise-cancelling headphones reduce unwanted ambient sounds using active noise control.

- Noise-cancelling headphones

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Active noise control

Method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first.

Graphical depiction of active noise reduction
Electronic noise management test in Vienna, 1973

Several commercial applications have been successful: noise-cancelling headphones, active mufflers, anti-snoring devices, vocal or center channel extraction for karaoke machines, and the control of noise in air conditioning ducts.


Headphones are a pair of small loudspeaker drivers worn on or around the head over a user's ears.

Headphones on a stand
Wireless headphones
Bone conduction headphones.
Brandes radio headphones, circa 1920
Sennheiser HD 555 headphones, used in audio production environments (2007)
Headphone cord with integrated potentiometer for volume regulation
Circumaural headphones have large pads that surround the outer ear.
A pair of supra-aural (on-ear) headphones
In-ear monitors extend into the ear canal, providing isolation from outside noise.
A typical example of a headset used for voice chats
Sony Ericsson Cordless bluetooth headset
Lightspeed Aviation 30 3G ANR Aviation headset used by aviators
In-ears are among those good for noise isolation.
A typical moving-coil headphone transducer
Electrostatic loudspeaker diagram
Balanced armature transducer with armature balanced and exerting no force on diaphragm
A custom in-ear monitor which uses 8 balanced armatures in a triple crossover configuration (4 low/2 mid/2 high). Headphone designs often use multiple balanced armatures to provide a higher fidelity sound.
Sony MDR-7506 headphones in stowed configuration
Product testing - headphones in an anechoic chamber

Unwanted sound from the environment can be reduced by excluding sound from the ear by passive noise isolation, or, often in conjunction with isolation, by active noise cancellation.

Noise reduction

Process of removing noise from a signal.

Noise reduction by correlation

Noise-cancelling headphones

List of noise topics

List of noise topics.

NASA researchers at Glenn Research Center conducting tests on aircraft engine noise in 1967

Noise-cancelling headphone


Very high-speed digital subscriber line (VDSL) and very high-speed digital subscriber line 2 (VDSL2) are digital subscriber line (DSL) technologies providing data transmission faster than the earlier standards of asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) G.992.1, G.992.3 (ADSL2) and G.992.5 (ADSL2+).

A VDSL2 cabinet on top of a copper cabling cabinet in Italy.
A VDSL2 DSLAM Cabinet installed by PCCW in Pat Heung, Hong Kong.
An Openreach engineer works at a UK VDSL cabinet

It is based on the concept of noise cancellation, much like noise-cancelling headphones.

List of Saturday Night Live commercial parodies

Commonly shown after the host's opening monologue.

Current logo since September 27, 2014

A November 2021 ad acknowledges that hosting your family "can be... a whole damn thing." For that, there are discounts on such items as Nate's Humane Tofurkey Loaf (to satisfy your sister's vegetarian boyfriend), Apple noise-cancelling earbuds ("for when Grandpa weighs in on social issues"), and various wines and beers (to get through conversations about cryptocurrency, relatives recently dying, etc.).

Index of electronics articles

Index of articles relating to electronics and electricity or natural electricity and things that run on electricity and things that use or conduct electricity.

Modern surface-mount electronic components on a printed circuit board, with a large integrated circuit at the top.

Noise-cancelling headphone

Mixed reality

Merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations, where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

Mediated reality continuum (horizontal axis: virtuality; vertical axis: mediality). Four points are shown for augmented reality, augmented virtuality, mediated reality, and mediated virtuality.
The reality-virtuality continuum
A user standing in the middle of a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment
Photograph of the Head-up display of a F/A-18C.
An Augmented reality head-mounted display
2 mobile devices: a smartphone (left) and tablet (right)

No matter where they are physically located, an employee can wear a headset and noise-canceling headphones and enter a collaborative, immersive virtual environment.

In-flight entertainment

In-flight entertainment (IFE) refers to the entertainment available to aircraft passengers during a flight.

IFE control integrated in an armrest
The first in-flight film screened during the 1921 Parade of Progress Exposition in Chicago
Movie screening in a DC-8 of SAS, 1968
Simplified version of Airshow
iQ entertainment system on a Qantas A330
Panasonic eFX system installed on a Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-800

In 1985 the first personal audio player was offered to passengers, along with noise cancelling headphones in 1989.

Bose headphones

Bose has sold aviation headsets since 1989 and consumer headphones since 2000.

Bose QuietComfort 25 with mounted 3.5 mm headphone jack, and carry case.
QuietComfort 35 II

Development of the company's noise cancelling headphones (and first over-ear headphones) began in 1978 when the chairman, Amar Bose, tried a set of airline-supplied headphones during a flight and found that engine noise from the aircraft prevented the music from being enjoyed.