What is Environment Noise Cancellation & How Does It Work? What Are ANC and Passive Noise Reduction?

Ever wondered what is Environment Noise Cancellation, Active Noice Cancellation, or Passive Noise Reduction?


Well, we're about to open a technical chapter here young buck!


If you find yourself leaning towards understanding the technical side of things more, then you might just grab your pen and your notebook - better yet, open the notepad on your computer - because we're about to take a deep dive into the issue of the Environment Noise Cancellation.


Noise Cancellation is one of the most important technologies when it comes to earbuds - as they help you enjoy a more immersive experience while listening to your favorite songs.


But, what's so special about it when you can do the same with Passive Noise Reduction?


Well, it's totally different.


While you can enjoy an immersive listening experience with the help of Passive Noise Reduction - you can't enjoy a clean calling experience.


Meaning, you can't filter out unwanted noises coming from the environment when you're on the call.


You can rest assured that the person on the other side will hear every single noise around you.


And that's what Environment Noise Cancellation helps you with.


Now without wasting one more minute in the intro - like a slow earbud would take when connecting to a device - let's dive in.

What Is Environmental Noise Cancellation

Environmental Noise Cancellation (ENC), simply put, is a technique that filters out all the noises in the environment.


When it's installed in earbuds, it helps the consumer listen to their favorite songs and talk to people without getting interrupted by any noise in the background.


But, how does Environmental Noise Cancellation (ENC) work?


Stick tight to your seat, young buck! We're going to take a detailed look at how it works exactly - in the next section.


ENC in earbuds is a really cool feature, as the user can move around freely and talk without having honking horns coming through the background straight at em'.


Useful Resource: Enhancing Audio Quality with Environmental Noise Cancellation in Sound Processing - A Detailed Introduction

Earbuds From Audionic That Uses Environment Noise Cancellation

Airbud 400

Crystal Airbud 575

Airbud 425

Airbud 550

Difference Between Active Noise Cancellation And Environment Noise Cancellation —  ANC Vs ENC

Environment Noise Cancellation

Active Noise Cancellation and Environment Noise Cancellation - are two sides of the same coin.


If you think about it that way...


Both technologies are focused on canceling background noise - it's just that the approach they both use is simply different from each other.


Environment Noise Cancellation or ENC uses a microphone to detect external noise.


Then it creates an opposite sound wave.


That opposite sound wave is sent out - canceling the noise that it was created against.


Because when two sound waves of the equal and opposite forces meet - or rather say 'collide' - they cancel each other out.


So, what does that mean?


Well, in essence, it simply means that Environment Noise Cancellation (ENC) is particularly effective at reducing consistent, low-frequency sounds.


Examples would include sounds such as the hum of an air conditioner or the 'hums' of the engine.


ENC is often used in earbuds and headphones to create a more immersive audio experience by blocking out background noise.

Active Noise Cancellation.

Now let's talk about Active Noise Cancellation.


Active Noise Cancellation or ANC also uses microphones to detect incoming external noises.


Then, it goes a step further by creating an opposite sound wave.


But it's not the same as ENC - simply because that sound wave is specifically designed to cancel out the incoming external sound.


So, how is Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) able to do this?


Well, the technology uses complex algorithms accompanied by advanced signal processing techniques.


Together, they create an anti-noise wave that is simply more effective at canceling out various types of noises - which also includes high-frequency sounds such as the noise of an uncompromising crowd.

Environment Noise Cancellation Vs Active Noise Cancellation: ENC VS ANC

How Environment Noise Cancellation Works In Earbuds

So, Environment Noise Cancellation (ENC) is a technology that eliminates background noises in a given environment.


When we talk about earbuds, ENC simply works by using microphones on the outside of the earbuds.


The microphone sits there like an external sound-detecting ninja and does its job quite well.


Just when it detects the incoming external noise - the earbuds use this information and creates an opposite sound wave.


The opposite sound wave is sent out by the earbud to cancel the opposite noise.


Now all that we've just told you - is done through a process.


That process is called destructive interference.


destructive interference's process is solely focused on creating a sound wave of equal amplitude where opposite phase cancels each other out.


So if the earbuds detect a sound wave with a certain frequency and amplitude, they can effectively create an opposite wave with the same frequency and amplitude - but opposite phase.


And that's what BASICALLY cancels out the external noise.


Now, here are two things that are worth noting about ENC - Environment Noise Cancellation.


First, ENCs are fantastic at canceling low-frequency noises - such as the hums of the engine and some other ones that we just described above.


However, they don't cancel out high-frequency sounds - such as an ambulance siren or someone shouting nearby.


And that's exactly what makes them completely safe to wear.


You can simply wear them without running the risk of missing out on important noises - such as an ambulance wanting its way through the traffic.


And the second thing that's worth noting is this: ENC in earbuds can be improved by adding multiple microphones, instead of one.


That way, earbuds will be able to detect multiple noises of different frequencies - at once.


How Does Noise Cancelling Headphones Work

At Last, Let’s Talk About Passive Noice Cancellation Vs ENC

A lot of the time, people confuse Passive Noise Reduction with Passive Noice Cancellation.


In the context of voice cancellation, we refer to it as Passive Noise Reduction - and not Passive Noise Cancellation.


Passive Noise Cancellation, we'd better refer to it as a technique rather than technology - simply because PNR or Passive Noise Reduction works by physically blocking out the noise.


That's done through the design and construction of the earbuds or headphones.


Earbuds that come with Passive Noise Reduction contain materials such as foam or silicone to create a seal around the ear.


But that only helps with blocking the noise in an attempt to ensure an immersive listening experience.


But when it comes to sending out calls and attending online meetings, Passive Noise Reduction is of no help.


Because it doesn't create and send out an opposite sound wave to cancel the outside noise.


That's what Environment Noise Cancellation technology does - and that's what helps you filter out unnecessary noises, allowing a cleaner and more peaceful calling experience.


Read more about passive noise cancellation/isolation

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