You have most probably come across the term noise-reduction, if you have ever scoured the net for a pair of headphones. But, what do noise-reduction headphones actually do, and how important is noise reduction in hearing aids? These are common queries of the hearing impaired when looking for hearing aids, and rightfully so; noise reduction hearing aids tend to add more cost onto, what are already pricey, hearing devices.

What Does Noise-Canceling Mean?

Noise cancellation is the reduction of external, unwanted noise; which can often be heard through earphones. These disturbing sound waves are countered by a special kind of technology integrated into headphones; by which, a sound wave is generated by the hearing device itself. This sound wave, produced by noise-reduction hearing aids, is of a specific wavelength and exactly cancels the unwanted sound wave.

Noise Canceling Hearing Aids

Hearing aids which have special noise cancellation technology, whether that’s ANC or noise reduction by digital signal processing, are coined ‘noise reduction hearing aids’. They detect low-frequency sounds and cancel them out, just like other noise reduction devices.

The 2 Types Of Noise Cancellation Used In Earphones and Hearing Aids

Now that you’re familiar with what noise cancellation means, it’s important to distinguish between the main two types of this technology often integrated into hearing aids. There is Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and noise reduction using Digital Signal Processing (DSP)

How Active Noise Cancellation Technology Works

Active noise cancellation (ANC) is more than ordinary sound insulation by the headphone material; it is the active production of sound waves that counterbalance those of the background noise. For this, a microphone and speaker is necessary. The microphone, obviously, detects the background noise; which is then analyzed by the electronics of the hearing aid, before a noise of exactly opposite sound waves is produced. Now, this exact but opposite production of sound causes “phase inversion”, which is the principle responsible for ANC.

Phase Inversion Method For Active Noise Canceling Hearing Aids And Headphones

Phase Inversion By ANC Hearing Aids

But, what is phase inversion?

This simply means that the sound wave created by the hearing aid to cancel out background noise, is inverted; i.e. it’s exactly the opposite sound wave. When these waves are played at the same time, the overall wave produced is 0. The end-product is zero because one wave exerts a positive pressure, while the other is exactly the same magnitude but in the negative direction. It’s like 1 and -1 playing at the same time, the overall effect and sound produced will be of 0 magnitude. Thus, the ambient noise is canceled.

But, there’s a downside

Though this concept is not too difficult to get your head around, it is in fact extremely hard to get right. Practically speaking, ANC is used to cancel out enviornment noise in common Bluetooth earphones, but ANC is not strictly applicable for hearing aids.  

Noise Reduction Using DSP (Digital Signal Processing)

This type of background noise emission uses DSP technology to detect more intense background noise, and reduce all sounds of that frequency. In this way, no extra soundwaves are being produced and thus, there is no risk of buzzing sounds being produced by the hearing aid itself. Simply, background noise is reduced. Also, this feature can often be controlled through an online hearing aid app, downloaded onto a smartphone. The noise canceling concept of this type of hearing aid is as easy as the implementation of it; thus, such noise reduction hearing amplifiers provide a more comfortable audio experience than their ANC counterparts.

The Best Hearing Aid With Noise Reduction

When looking for hearing aids, noise cancelation is a feature you should have in your requirement criteria. However, with hundreds of options, making a decision about the best active noise reduction hearing aid can seem impossible. It’s important to pick a hearing aid which does noise cancellation well; otherwise, alongside irritating background noise, you might have to deal with a terrible low frequency buzzing sound. That’s why it’s strongly recommended to choose a pair that use DSP noise reduction. These wireless bluetooth hearing aids by Hear+Hi use advanced noise reduction algorithms to make them fully sound-proof and so they can amplify sound without any horrible murmurs. What makes these the best hearing aids is that they are also wireless, and reasonably priced. Thus, they connect with smart media and fall within most people’s budget.

Rechargeable Noise Canceling Hearing Aids With Advanced Noise Canceling Technology

Hear+Hi Noise Canceling Headphones With A Recharging Charging Case 

That just about sums up noise reduction hearing aids and how they work. As a quick word of warning, any noise reduction hearing devices should not be used while crossing the road, or in any other potentially life-threatening situation where the hearing sense is needed. When used properly, noise reduction hearing aids make audio much more comprehensible and clear; enhancing their function massively. Get yourself a noise reduction hearing aid today and hear without frustration and stress!

FAQs

Are Noise Canceling Headphones Worth It?

Yes, they really are worth the extra money if you’re hard of hearing. Often, the hearing impaired struggle to hear in noisy environments, despite wearing a hearing aid. Background noise cancellation cuts out all the disturbance and allows you to hear attentively and comprehend audio properly. If you can hear perfectly well, background noise reduction headphones are still an excellent investment, for the ultimate audio experience and without having to tell your peers to keep the noise down.

Does Noise Canceling Affect Sound Quality?

This depends on the quality of the headphones you choose and the technology they use for noise cancellation. Some noise reduction hearing aids actually create a low frequency buzzing sound, which can be even more irritating than background noise. Hear+Hi uses best-in-class advanced noise reduction technology, to manufacture noise reduction hearing aids without any buzzing. So, make sure you do your research on noise cancellation and pick the best background noise reduction earphones for your hearing needs.

Is Noise Canceling Necessary?

In short, yes. While wearing ordinary hearing aids, too much background noise is a common issue. Noise reduction hearing aids produce an ‘anti-noise’ sound wave which counters the background sound waves. This way you can hear clearly without getting disturbed by a noisy environment. After all, chances are, you will use hearing aids in a setting where there is a somewhat level of background noise (even if it’s just office chit-chat), so it’s best to select noise reduction hearing aids to hear clearly, whatever your surroundings.