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Last Updated on May 18, 2024 by Rifthy

Let’s think you are on a subway and wanna hear some pure acoustic music. Duh, but you got a busy environment with traffic noises. Luckily you have got headphones with noise cancellation. So you put it on. You enjoy the music in a calm and steady atmosphere. Life is so good. But,

How does this affect your ears? Is it okay to go with noise cancellation?

There are adverse effects reported associated with more extended usage of noise cancellation. With these reports, now it is in question buying a headphone with Noise Canceling. But is it scientifically proven? Is there enough proof? Let’s find out.

“I think you would be doing your kids (and their hearing) a favor by giving them noise-canceling headphones.”

ANDREW WEIL, M.D when question about noise canceling headphones for kids

The process of noise cancellation.

Do you know how noise cancellation works? Before everything, let’s get a small brief about that. There are two types of Noise Canceling. They are active noise cancellation and passive noise cancellation.

The magic with the Passive Noise Canceling is they prevent the input of background noises by sealing off the ear. It’s physical and pretty touchable!

But the Active Noise Canceling works differently. ANC produces an opposing frequency that helps to cut out the ambient noise.

Let’s dig a little deeper!

Passive noise cancellation 

Passive noise cancellation is the most dominant type of NC you can see in the headphones market.

PNC technically does the job by physically soundproofing your ears by forming a solid seal over your ear, closing the two ends of the sound pathway.

Active noise cancellation

ANC has more advanced technology that electronically controls the outer sound to cancel it.

ANC system technically observes a sound profile of the current environment producing a reverse soundwave. It’s all about science!

Is noise canceling bad for your ears?

So this is the answer you are craving. Let’s look at the facts first.

The origin of the ANC involves the pilots. It is basically designed for the heading protection of the pilots against the huge sound of the airplane’s engine. This dramatically reduces hearing loss and noise-related stress.

So the ANC keeps cutting off the external noises resulting in a clear atmosphere for the listening person. So he can keep the volume the same for better hearing. Therefore reducing the damage to the ear occurring from the high volume of the headphone.

This is good for people with sensitive ears and kids who are more likely to get their ears damaged. There are noise-canceling headphones that provide additional hearing protections that are specially made for children. But it would help if you were careful when choosing a good ANC headphone. Some are also cutting out voices.

Suggested Light weighted Noise canceling Earbuds for Children and Sensitive Ears

Apple Airpods Pro SEnsitivev Ears

Light weighted Noise canceling Earbuds for Children and Sensitive Ears

Have you ever heard of noise-related stress? Noise-related stress can interrupt concentration and cause blood pressure, migraine, and ulcers. Noise-canceling headphones can drastically reduce stress and keep your mental health good.

If you are having a small ears and only need a good paid of headphones you should check out our Headphones for Small Ears guide

Common complaints of users regarding noise-cancellation headphones

Even though there is no direct bad effect of noise cancellation, there are some bad experiences and complaints shared by users.

More pressure on ears

The most popular complaint is these ANC headphones responsible for jaw pain. Dizziness, headache, and also ear pressure.  

It is also because of the fake idea your brain gets that you are about to take off the ground in an airplane.

The brain thinks you are about to fly just because the ANC cuts out the low-frequency sounds. This resulted in headaches and ear pressure feeling.

Some people don’t feel like this and are well-adapted to ANC headphones. Some people feel this just after a few hours of using headphones. It depends on the person. There is no cure for this condition. If you’re a frequent traveler who is annoyed by Airplane surrounding noise I think you should definetly check out our guide on Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Flying.


Tinnitus can be explained as a ringing or buzzing sound inside the ear.

Many ANC users complained that they were experiencing tinnitus while using ANC headphones. But still, there is no scientific reason for this. They may be more likely to hear these buzzing sounds because of the absence of the surrounding sound.

But it’s recommended to use ANC for tinnitus people to prevent future tinnitus phases. This is because the ANC headphones prevent the urge to increase the volume in a busy and noisy environment.

Do you need to use noise cancelling headphones every day?

If you are living in a very noisy and busy environment the noise cancelling headphones will be your savior. Cities like New York, Tokyo, and Shanghai are very busy and you wouldn’t have your peace without these Noise Cancelling technologies for sure.

But if you are not get along well enough with ANC it’s recommended you to wear headphones with PNC.

What are the disadvantages of noise cancellation headphones?

The main cons of Noise Cancelling is you are distracted from your environment. So have to have the presence of mind all the time cause this can affect social disconnections, misunderstanding and also can cause accidents.

Our view

Noise cancellation has many positive health effects on your ears. But if you are experiencing any harmful effects from ANC, you can switch to a PNC headphone. After all its your ears and hearing that matter the most!

Is your love for bass music damaging your hearing? Find out the truth about the effects of bass on your ears.

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