The question on a lot of peoples' minds - is noise cancelling bad for your ears?
Noise-cancelling headphones have become increasingly popular. They can be used for a multitude of situations.
With so many distractions we face in our day to day lives, there are times we need to block out those annoying noises and reduce stress and anxiety. That's when noise cancelling headphones can come in handy.
You don’t need to listen to constant music, especially at high volume as this could lead to future issues with your hearing if it is above 85 decibels. Noise-cancelling headphones can reduce unwanted ambient sounds by using active noise control as part of the listening experience.
But a common question that is often asked is ‘are noise-cancelling headphones safe?’. So, let’s take a look at some of the facts.
The straight answer - is noise cancelling bad for your ears?
Noise cancellation earphones pose no risk to your health and are perfectly safe to use. Unlike mobile phones, they don’t emit low-level radiation, so you can use your headphones to block out background noises knowing they pose no risk to your safety or wellbeing.
In that case, can noise cancellation headphones be beneficial to your health?
Noise-cancelling headphones can be beneficial for many reasons.
If you find yourself in a situation where there are acute loud noises, this can be damaging to your hearing. For example, some people have sensitive ears and loud music at concerts or festivals can be harmful. Sometimes in adults, constant loud noise can raise your blood pressure and cause tension headaches. In all these situations, noise cancelling headphones can be a pretty handy pair of headphones.
Then there is sleep! We all need a good night’s rest to function and stay healthy. Which brings us on to the next question;
Are noise-cancelling headphones safe for sleeping?
If you are unfortunate enough to have noisy neighbours or perhaps you live near a busy road, you may be susceptible to insomnia through no fault of your own.
Noise cancellation headphones will bring much-needed relief from those unwanted noises. They have amazing sound quality and are perfect for people who tend to sleep on their backs or side. Listening to relaxing music before you sleep will ensure you have a restful sleep. And then listening to white noise during your sleep can remove any disturbances through out the night.
If the noise cancelling headphones are Bluetooth earphones, they do not come with wires so you can wear them safely when you sleep without the worry of tangled wires. Plus, some are designed for comfort using flexible silicones that mould to your head. Few also have sleep sensing EEG Brainwave sensors that monitor your sleep experience.
What can noise-cancelling headphones be used for?
If you struggle to sleep at night this can be due to annoying noises from the outside world. Or worse, you have a partner who snores, which can be infuriating.
They are ideal for when you want to shut out the rest of the world. It could be that you work in a noisy environment or you simply desire some ‘downtime’ without distractions.
Imagine you are on a long flight and just want to shut out the background noise of people chattering, or worst still, the young child who is understandably becoming louder and louder.
With noise-cancelling headphones, you can simply sit back and enjoy your journey in peace.
You could be attending a concert or festival with your family and the music is just too loud for those delicate ears.
During times of meditation or yoga, you will find the noise cancelling headphones helpful to block out distractions so you can fully appreciate the experience the session.
If you are a regular at the local gym, chances are you have a strict regime. At times, busy gyms can be noisy. By wearing noise-cancelling headphones, you can enjoy your workout and listen to your music or audio in peace.
Some people who suffer from anxiety or panic disorders can find their intolerance for noise is heightened. This can make for uncomfortable travel or just everyday activities can become an issue. During these instances noise cancelling headphones can become very useful.
How do noise-cancellation headphones work?
To answer that question, let’s look at how noise-cancelling headphones reduce background noise.
They use a sophisticated ‘anti-noise’ sound wave that interferes with and cancels out any unwanted distractions within your environment. In other words, the headphones will fight noise with another noise.
Noise cancellation allows you to be able to listen to music or audio at a safe volume and resist the urge to turn it up to an unhealthy level.
Image courtesy of tripplannerlab.com (https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/691584086518444391/)
What is the difference between noise cancelling and active noise cancelling?
Passive noise-cancelling headphones simply work to block out sound waves by the materials they are made from. Imagine a time when you may have worn fluffy ear muffs. They are soft on the outside and only partially block out noise from your surroundings.
Then there is the active noise-cancelling headphones! Not only does the material block out the noise they also create sound waves that merely mimic outside noise, therefore cancelling each other out.
Can noise-cancelling headphones be used without music?
Absolutely! It would be more effective if you had some kind of audio playing but it doesn’t have to be music. You might want to download your favourite audiobook, or perhaps you prefer the tranquil sounds of the ocean waves to help keep you calm.
Do noise-cancelling headphones damage your hearing?
The short answer to this is no! Some people have reported they hear a low hissing sound, to begin with, but that soon passes and certainly doesn’t harm your hearing. However, it is important to remember to keep a check on your volume and make sure it isn’t too high.
What will happen if the volume on my headphones is too high?
It is important to keep the volume moderate when using noise-cancellation headphones. Constantly having music blaring at an unreasonable volume will eventually take its toll on your ears. The intensity of noise is measured in decibels. The maximum intensity for your hearing is up to 85 decibels.
So, in conclusion, noise-cancelling headphones are perfectly safe and pose no risk to your health. As pointed out they can improve your state of mind and general wellbeing.
If you are in the marketing for a pair of noise cancelling headphones, why not give Kokoon's Nightbuds a try. Nightbuds can both play your sleep-inducing tunes through the thinnest earbuds in the world, whilst also interact with the Kokoon app to provide deep, AI-driven feedback on your slide and be your own personal sleep coach.
You can find out more on the Nightbuds page.