What Is The Difference Between Noise Canceling And Regular Headphones

Difference Between Noise-Canceling Headphones And Regular Headphones?

Whenever you look for headphones online, you see some are “Noise Canceling headphones” while some are not. You may also notice that Noise Cancellation ones are more expensive than others. This indeed raises the question, what is the difference between Noise Canceling and Regular headphones? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered.

The major differences between Noise Canceling and Regular Headphones are Structure, Mechanism, Power, User experience, and Cost. These differences between them make noise-cancellation headphones stand out from the rest.

Want more info? Then keep reading. I’m describing every difference between these two in this guide.

Noise Canceling vs. Regular Headphones- Explaining The Differences

What Is The Difference Between Noise Canceling And Regular Headphones

There are several distinct differences between noise cancellation and regular headphones. You should know each of them in detail before you decide which one suits you the best and definitely buy.

Difference Of Structure

Noise Cancellation headphones are built slightly differently than non-noise cancellation ones. Those headphones that have Noise Canceling features are bulkier and look a bit bigger than most regular ones.

The reason is that companies put noise-reduction circuitry in the ear cups, which does not allow any annoying noise to pass. So, if you were wondering why some headphones cancel noise, the answer is this circuitry is the architect of filtering out the noises you should hear. But adding this makes headphones a little bigger.

In addition, some companies purposely make noise cancellation headphones bulky because they want the ear cups to cover some portion of the ear canal. This also does not allow any low-frequency background noise to pass.

In comparison, no such circuits are placed in the regular headphones.

Related: What Is the Difference Between Cheap And Expensive Headphones?

Difference Of Mechanism

Noise cancellation works differently than regular ones. When you connect Noise Canceling headphones and start listening to music (or anything), the sound wave data is fed into a built-in circuitry or chipset. This runs algorithms that let the circuitry/chipset produce a soundwave that you hear from in-built speakers within ear cups. This mechanism cancels out any irritating background noise.

Regular headphones do not have a specific chipset for noise cancellation. That is why you can listen to every background noise when you wear them.

Noise Cancellation Headphones Need Power

What Is The Difference Between Noise Canceling And Regular Headphones

Another big difference between noise cancellation and regular headphones is that noise cancellation needs the power to operate. They have built-in cells which often need recharging. They stop working when the battery goes zero.

The battery time of Noise Canceling headphones varies depending on which company’s headphones you use. The more credible the company, the better the battery time. For example, Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Canceling Headphones have a battery life of 30 hours. Similarly, Philips Noise Canceling Headphones also have a strong battery life of 28 to 30 hours.

You can easily check the battery timing of any headphones online. Just visit Amazon or the company’s official website, and you can see every detail about the headphone there.

Most Regular headphones, on the other hand, do not require charging. You can just plug/connect it to your device and start listening. When you are done, remove it or leave it there with your device. However, you can’t just leave the Noise Canceling headphones connected to your laptop or mobile. They will continue consuming the battery, and you will then have to charge them again.

User Experience Is Different Too

Those who own both noise cancellation and regular headphones know that these two types of audio equipment do not provide the same experience. Let me explain.

Noise cancellation headphones provide a better user experience because you are not disturbed by the Noisy environment. This allows you to focus better on what you are doing or listening to. It is a real blessing for those who live or spend a lot of time in noisy neighborhoods/surroundings.

Therefore, you can say that Noise cancellation audio equipment can provide Peace of mind. That is why a lot of people use them to sleep. They just wear headphones, play some soft music at low volume, and just lay in bed.

One distinct benefit a noise cancellation headphone provides is that it is Perfect for travelers who take trains/buses. Since these rides are full of noise, using noise cancellation headphones will make the journey more peaceful and enjoyable.


The last major difference between noise cancellation and regular headphones is the price. Noise cancellation ones are obviously expensive as they are made up of extra material, which costs money. But there’s more to it.

Another reason why such headphones are high in price is that they are manufactured in limited quantities by very few brands. Not every brand can manufacture Noise Canceling headphones as they are made using the latest technology. Therefore, Noise Canceling headphones are very less in number than regular headphones.

Contrarily, there are dozens (possibly hundreds of brands) of brands in the USA alone that manufacture ordinary headphones. Some of them manufacture in the US, while most of them import from China.

Want to get an estimate of how much both of these headphones cost?

When it comes to price prediction, good quality noise cancellation headphones easily cost over 100$, whereas you can get regular headphones for 30$ more or less. If you buy non-noise-cancellation headphones from a reputable company (like Sony, Philips, etc.), then they will cost more too, but not more than their noise cancellation ones. Which headphones you want is up to you.

So, these are the top 5 differences between Noise Canceling and Regular Headphones.

Related: What Are The Uses Of Headphone In Computers?

Final Words

All-inclusive, there are five major differences between Noise Canceling and regular headphones. These are differences in structure, mechanism, charging/power, user experience, and price. These factors make them distinct from any regular/ordinary headphones. But since they are overpriced, people are hesitant to buy them.

If you have a wider budget, I suggest you must go for Noise Canceling headphones as they are much better than regular ones in almost every way.

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