Noise-Cancelling Headphones: How Do They Work? Do They Reduce the Decibels?

Discussion in 'Support' started by MattS, Jul 26, 2019.

    1. MattS
      Overworked

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      Question to the community:

      Do noise cancelling headphones *actually reduce* the decibels and sound waves hitting the ear? Or do they just create algorithms that keep your ears from *noticing* those decibels/sound waves? If they actually reduce decibels, that's amazing obviously. If they only mask the waves, but they still technically hit the ear, that would be far less good.

      Thanks!
      Matt
       
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Please click on the link below that gives information on how passive and active noise cancelling headphones work. Since you have "noise induced" tinnitus, I strongly advise you not to use NC headphones to listen to audio or any other type of headphone even at low volume, as there is a risk of your tinnitus increasing to a new permanent level.

      Michael

      https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-noise-cancelling-headphones-work/
       
    3. Mister Muso
      Busy

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      They physically cancel out the sound waves, which is great in some places e.g. an airplane flight, but they don't always react quickly enough to sudden or high-pitched loud noises. Ear muffs are superior in that respect, and reduce the volume by just as much, if not more. Sadly I bought the headphones of my dreams (Sennheiser Momentum - OK not quite audiophile level but I liked them) and enjoyed them for just 4 months before tinnitus struck. I'm following the advice from @Michael Leigh though and I never listen to them for fun any more. It's too easy to have the volume be louder than you thought, and if you have hyperacusis and noise-induced tinnitus then you will probably get shooting pains in your ears after just a few minutes telling you to stop, even at low volume.
       
    4. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Yes

      No
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MattS
      Overworked

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      Now there we go. A man who gets straight to the point in a clear, concise manner.

      Thanks Greg!
       
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